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Analysis: Sports Marketing – Soccer’s cross cultural appeal


The 2014 Soccer World Cup that takes place next year in Brazil offers marketers a myriad of opportunities to connect with soccer fans all over the U.S. These opportunities will be analyzed in-depth at the Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum, which Portada is organizing in partnership with ACM on September 25. One of the main attractions of major soccer events, according to the below interviewed brand marketers and agency executives, is their  cross-cultural appeal.

MÉXICO FÚTBOL CONCACAF SUB20The Soccer World Cup is a huge event for the Hispanic community, but it is also a truly global event: 3.2 billion people watched the 2010 World Cup around the world. In the U.S., over 24 million people saw the final between the Netherlands and Spain. Almost 9 million of them watched it on Univision and almost 16 million did it on ABC.”So many clients are looking at this asset as a global initiative, not just a local effort,” says Gonzalo del Fa, president of Group M Multicultural. Del Fa adds that from a media perspective his “main goal is to identify the right media partners for our clients that will deliver the highest reach but also the strongest engagement. And we are not only talking about using one specific medium, we want to create communication platforms that can leverage multiple assets to surround the consumer during those 30 days where it is all about futbol.”

Global cross cultural audiences

2010 World Cup Final Spain-Netherlands U.S. Audience.

24 million

2010 World Cup Final Audience on Univision

9 million

2010 World Cup Final Audience on ABC

16 million

2010 Global World Cup Global Audience

3.2 billion

 Wells Fargo’s soccer sponsorships reach out to all soccer fans …

Major Soccer event  sponsorships can provide the opportunity to appeal to both general market and Hispanic consumers. Wells Fargo recently announced sponsorships of the Mexican National Team and Major League Soccer (MLS). Mariela Ure,  SVP  Hispanic Segment Strategy at Wells Fargo,  tells Portada that “Wells Fargo is seeking to reach all soccer fans across the United States. Soccer is very popular worldwide and now one of the fastest growing sports in the US. This is a great opportunity to introduce and strengthen the Wells Fargo brand in the minds of soccer fans. These fans are passionate, loyal and community oriented- qualities that Wells Fargo and our team members share and embody everyday as we seek to help our customers succeed financially.”

“Our sponsorship of MLS provides a national platform for brand, product and community marketing to the estimated 90 million U.S. soccer fans, including not only fans of soccer across all communities but also two important customer segments – Millennials and Hispanics,” Ure asserts. “With our coast-to-coast presence, the time was right for Wells Fargo to invest in a national sports marketing sponsorship that allows us a unique platform for engaging new and existing customers, increasing our overall brand consideration and continuing to support community initiatives in the communities where we have customers and team members.”

Through the exclusive retail banking and commercial lending sponsorship of MLS, Ure notes that Wells Fargo will have an “incredible opportunity to engage with soccer fans and show them we are as passionate about their financial success as they are about their team.”

…and TWC’s Hispanic campaign can be extended to other markets

Other marketers are also taking advantage of soccer’s cross cultural appeal.  Time Warner Cable  (TWC) recently launched a series of national Spanish-language TV spots to celebrate the road to the 2014 soccer World Cup in Brazil.The “Every Fan Counts” (Cada fan cuenta) campaign targets U.S. Hispanic customers in general but particularly those cheering for Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. The campaign urges consumers to tune in to TWC to watch every upcoming  to be televised in Spanish by Univision and in English by ESPN. “What I love about this campaign is that while it is carved out of multicultural insights, it has a very broad appeal and can be extended into other markets,” TWC chief marketing officer Jeffrey Hirsch told Hispanic TV Update.

 DOWNLOAD the special 2010 Portada Soccer World Cup Issue  (2014 Soccer World Cup/Sports Marketing Feature to be published in a few weeks!)


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