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For brands who want to connect with Caribbean Hispanics in the U.S., baseball could represent the right platform to start a long-term consumer-brand relationship. Nearly one-third of all major league players are Latinos, including those born in Latin America and within the 50 U.S. states. The Dominican Republic has the highest number of players in the big leagues.

Once upon a time, on May 9, 1871, Estevan Enrique “Steve” Bellán debuted as the first Latin American born individual to play professional baseball in the U.S.A. He played as a third baseman for the Troy Haymakers in New York. About 200 years later, nearly one-third of all major league players are first or second-generation Latinos.

connect with caribbean hispanics
Augusto Romano, CEO at Digo Hispanic Media.

According to the Major League Baseball (MLB), the Dominican Republic has the highest number of international players in the big leagues, with 102 players during Opening Day in 2019. Second in the ranking is Venezuela, with 68 players, and Cuba comes in third with 19 players. “Baseball receives the most attention in Caribbean countries, even more than soccer,” Augusto Romano, CEO at Digo Hispanic Media, tells Portada.

Catering for A Segment’s Needs

First, Digo noticed Caribbean Hispanics are a niche market with particular needs, separate from the general Hispanic market. Then, the U.S Hispanic audience network figured how to reach about five million Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans who are concentrated on the east coast of the U.S. However, Romano has a new strategy in mind: “Get to them through baseball!

Get to them through baseball!

Born from the union of the two largest media groups in the Caribbean, GFR Media from Puerto Rico and Grupo Corripio from the Dominican Republic, Digo’s audience has shown a special interest in how Caribbean-born baseball players are developing within MLB. We write stories about the players in a culturally relevant manner, starting with their origins, something the mainstream media doesn’t do. This allows U.S. Hispanic fans to follow players from their country of origin on our premium sites, says Romano. Nevertheless, it seems brands are still missing out on the opportunity.

Individual Promotions

According to Josh Rawitch, Sr. Vice President, Content & Communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks, since last year, the MLB has been working on promoting individual players.This is an important shift in the league’s marketing strategy where traditionally entire teams were promoted.

“The league is smart enough to let these players be who they are,” Rawitch tells Portada. “Therefore we are letting their personalities show a little bit more.”

Most of Arizona Diamondbacks’ fans come from Mexico and Venezuela. However, the team also recognizes the importance of its Caribbean followers. The star, pitcher Yoan Lopez, for example, is from Cuba.

Concerning Puerto Rican players, Esteban Pagán, sports editor at GFR Media, believes that even though Puerto Rico has produced four island born hall of famers, and they have always been very active and noticeable with players in the league, right now there’s a new group of very talented players that are starting to arise. It is a matter of time for us to see more profesional global Puerto Rican players, he explains. “Brands are missing out on opportunities to connect with the U.S.H. audience because these big players are just starting to emerge and are recently being noticed and followed by MLB fans.”

“We are in the exact time in which we can see the potential [of the Caribbean players] in the long run,” Jorge Cabezas, GFR Media, General Manager, adds.

Connecting With Caribbean Hispanics

“The way we try to connect with the Caribbean fan base is first through our social media accounts. They’re being followed by Latinos all over the world, thus we specifically try to highlight our Hispanic players. We have some Cuban players and tons of Venezuelans and Dominicans,” adds Rawitch. “We know when we are sending out messages on social media, we are interacting heavily with fans from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

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The second way the D-Backs are connecting with Caribbean Hispanics is through their local baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. In fact, all 30 major league clubs have baseball academies there, according to Anthony Salazar, chair of the Latino baseball committee.

The way we try to connect with the Caribbean fan base is first through our social media accounts.
Josh Rawitch
Josh Rawitch, Sr. Vice President, Content & Communications at team Arizona Diamondbacks.

“We go down there for graduation every January or February. Moreover, we do a second trip when we do a clinic in the Dominican Republic or we’ll do public appearances,” explains Rawitch.

As a matter of fact, Digo Hispanic Media recently announced their exclusive partnership with NGL Collective, focused on custom content generation.

Their first docuseries named “Las Academias,” explores the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic along with the small towns scouting for talented hopefuls. These athletes each and every day train at one of the 30 major league youth training camps across the island.

“Brands will have access to sponsor these content series via our sales team and we will insert them in the story to ensure their brand and products are showcased in a relevant and engaging manner,” said Aisha Burgos, SVP of Sales & Marketing for Digo Hispanic Media.

Brands’ Approach

It seems that the league and its teams are already reaching out to their Hispanic and Caribbean Hispanic fans. So, what’s happening with brands?

Most brands recognize that outside of soccer, baseball is probably the second most followed sport in Latin America. However, in some countries like Cuba or DR, it is even bigger, believes Rawitch. “Simply, look at the sheer volume of people who are following baseball from the Caribbean. If you’re a company looking to communicate with them, it makes sense to find your way there through a major league team, for instance.”

According to Google Trends, in the past 12 months the words baseball, beisbol and pelota were the most searched the most in countries like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panamá & Venezuela. “Baseball runs in our blood. This represents a huge opportunity that brands need to take advantage of,” said Romano.

Visa’s sponsorship reached it’s first big win after the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup back in June. Now, the financial company is going for more. The American audience on English-language television for the Women’s World Cup final was 20% higher than the 2018 men’s final.

Visa's sponsorship
VANCOUVER, BC – JULY 05: Carli Lloyd of USA (2nd R) celebrates scoring her 3rd goal with her teammates during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Final between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015, in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Steve Bardens-FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images).

Back in May 2019, Visa announced a Five-Year Partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation with special support of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT). Visa had also locked a deal sponsoring the male team. But, the company made it soon clear that its support of the female division was serious.

At least 50% of Visa’s sponsorship budget would be designated for the women’s side, the company shared. It seems that Visa made a smart move. According to Fox Sports, the American audience on English-language television for the Women’s World Cup final was 20% higher than the 2018 men’s final.

That final was the one that made the USWNT four-time world champion. This represents more than any other women’s soccer team in the world.

This is only the beginning of a new growth era for the USWNT, and for Visa as its supporter. The company’s sponsorship also includes the SheBelieves Cup, a four-team women’s international team tournament played in the United States each year.

We talked to Chris Curtin, Chief Brand, and Innovation Marketing Officer at Visa, about the ongoing five-year sponsorship, and how the company is planning to leverage this new relationship.

Q&A

Chris Curtin, Chief Brand and Innovation Marketing Officer at Visa.

Portada: Why was now the right moment to lock a partnership with the U.S. Women’s National Team through 2023?

“Visa is partnering with the U.S. Women’s National Team because both the sport and the team are on the rise. We believe they represent the best values in Visa and we believe the sport is at a tipping point in popularity. Over the course of this summer, not just the performance of the team, but also the character will help advance the popularity of the sport in the United States and beyond.”

Portada: What does the sponsorship specifically include?

“Visa recently announced a five-year partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation in support of the U.S. Women’s National Team through 2023. As the Official Payment Technology Partner of the US Soccer Federation, Visa will also be the presenting sponsor of the SheBelieves Cup, an annual four-team international invitational. The tournament is based around U.S. Soccer’s SheBelieves initiative to inspire girls and young women to achieve greatness, an integral theme throughout Visa’s FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ campaign.”

Portada: Why did you choose to become the main sponsor of the SheBelieves Cup?

“Beyond the title and its mission – the main reason Visa sponsored the SheBelieves Cup is because it will be hosted in the United States and we think it is a nice precursor to the FIFA World Cup coming to the Americas. Also, the ability for younger female players in the United States to be able to attend the games and interact with the teams that will compete—at Visa, we believe those are really meaningful opportunities to be affiliated with.”

…we think it is a nice precursor to the FIFA World Cup coming to the Americas.

Read also -> Budweiser to Sponsor the NWSL, Weekly Soccer Marketing News

Portada: How will you leverage this sponsorship?

“Visa is best in class in terms of activating and supporting global sports properties and sponsorships. We use these moments in time to showcase the best of our brand and the future of payments to fans, media, and our partners.”

Portada: Which platforms will be key?

“At Visa, we try to focus on the right choreography with traditional and emerging platforms to live up to our tagline of ‘everywhere you want to be.'”

Portada: Who is your main target?

“We believe that this is the moment when women’s soccer is going to attract a broader audience and population. At Visa, we look forward to being a contributor to that outcome.”

This is the moment when women’s soccer is going to attract a broader audience and population.

Portada: How will you measure your return on investment?

“We look at all metrics, both for the impact of the brand but also the impact on the business. We are looking at the near term, midterm, and longer-term outcomes as a result of this particular effort.”

Portada: You have been described as the most progressive brand supporting women’s soccer. Do you agree with this term? Why?

“Personally, I do. It seems to be validated by those who are close to the sport and affiliated with the property. To be honest, our efforts are a source of great pride for the 16,000 employees that wake up every day and go work at Visa. We think it will serve as a beacon we stand for on our best days.”

Soccer Marketing

Portada: Where in the market is women’s soccer now?

“The sport is only growing in popularity and I have consistently said that the tournament this summer will be a tipping point for the sport and this is one of the reasons we are so excited to be a part of this journey, particularly at this stage.”

Read also -> P&G Calls for Women’s equal pay in soccer. Weekly Soccer Marketing News

Portada: What has been key for its growth?

“The quality of the play, as well as the character of the female footballers, are key for the growth of women’s football. Both have created a bond and connection with the audience, within the stadiums and beyond, which is contagious and growing.”

The quality of the play as well as the character of the female footballers are key for the growth of women’s football.

Portada: What makes it attractive for sponsors?

“Women’s soccer is attractive for sponsors as it provides an opportunity for your brand to make a statement about who you are and what you stand for. If at the end of the day, you only stand for mature well-established categories, then you are missing a lot of opportunities to stand for growth, development, and equality. Growth, development and equality are hallmarks of the Visa brand, both internally and externally.”

 

We talked to Terry Sell, national truck manager at Toyota Motor North America, about Toyota’s recent soccer campaign featuring Jorge Campos.  Toyota is one of the top 10 spenders in broadcast TV advertising, with $157 million spent in 2017. Through the campaign “Choose the Toughest Field”, the car company has managed to reach out to three audiences: Hispanics, soccer fans, and car lovers. Here’s what Sell had to say.

Toyota Campaign
Photo via Toyota.

Portada: Tell us what the “Choose the Toughest Field” soccer campaign is about.

Terry Sell: “The ‘Choose the Toughest Field’ soccer campaign is the 2019 soccer platform for Toyota. It builds powerful connections between the sport of soccer, players, fans, and trucks. The campaign was inspired by some of the more traditional playing conditions in Latin America. We considered that soccer is often played in dirt fields rather than nicely groomed grass. Those tough fields are where players exhibit their true potential, just like our trucks. The campaign’s commercials capture the toughness of the Tacoma and Tundra trucks as they take on tough terrains in a rough, non-traditional environment, thus their connection to the sport.”

To learn about another automotive brand that is reaching out to U.S. Hispanics, read  How to Market to Hispanic Consumers According to Kia’s Senior Director of Multicultural Marketing.

P: Who is the target of the campaign?

TS: “Toyota has long recognized Hispanic guests as a linchpin of its success. Hispanic vehicle registrations account for over 20% of overall registrations, making the Hispanic market a significant portion of Toyota’s overall success. In fact, Toyota has been the number one automotive brand among Hispanics for 14 consecutive years.”

Hispanic vehicle registrations account for over 20% of overall registrations.

P: On which platforms will it appear?

TS: “The campaign broadcast elements were timed for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. But it will continue through March 2020 on other soccer media properties that we sponsor such as the UEFA Champions League, the U.S., and Mexican National Teams and Liga MX.”

P: Why did you choose retired Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos as your spokesperson?

TS: “We are delighted to partner with Mr. Campos. He is the embodiment of someone who has taken on the toughest terrains throughout his life and career as a legendary soccer player. His personal story, very much in sync with the attributes of the vehicles, resonates incredibly well with fans.”

Mr. Campos is the embodiment of someone who has taken on the toughest terrains throughout his life and career as a legendary soccer player.

P: How will you measure the success of the campaign?

TS: “Our goal is to drive consideration for Toyota trucks by increasing model association within their competitive set, and elevate ad awareness, vibrancy, opinion, consideration, and imagery. On the ground, through our interactive footprint at events, we are looking at engagement levels that funnel into sales leads.”

Photo via Toyota.

P: What other activities will you do around the campaign, off-screen?

TS: “The campaign has a diverse and robust digital and social component, including videos and rich mobile display ads and banners. For our social channels, we teamed up with Jorge Campos to develop a series of soccer technique videos. These showcase his great foot skills to engage guests in the sport.

Off-screen, we’re bringing the campaign to life through an interactive soccer footprint. It was present throughout the Gold Cup games and will be present during our sponsorship of Tour Aguila with our Club America partners in July. Also, it will appear at the Toyota Copita Alianza youth tournaments that continue through September.”

Off-screen, we’re bringing the campaign to life through an interactive soccer footprint.

P: Does this campaign appeal to any other market apart from Hispanics?

TS: “Soccer is part of the Hispanic culture. It is part of their life and brings generations together to enjoy the game. In fact, we know that Hispanics over-index when it comes to viewership in the U.S. With that in mind, our campaign fully focuses on this important target market for our brand.”

This is not the first time Toyota uses a Mexican celebrity to reach the Hispanic audience. Check out the campaign with movie star Diego Luna.

P: What challenges do you face with this campaign and how will you overcome them?

TS: “As soccer continues to gain popularity in the U.S., we have seen more brands getting into this space. Toyota has supported the sport and engaged with its fans for more than a decade so we’re appreciative of the brand loyalty we’ve received from fans and owners over the years. We’ll continue to engage with fans by developing creative campaigns that leverage partners, properties and celebrity talent that truly speak to the fans and to the essence of the game.”

As soccer continues to gain popularity in the U.S., we have seen more brands getting into this space.

P: What else are you working on?

TS: “As I mentioned, our campaign ambassador, Jorge Campos, engaged with us on a series of videos showcasing soccer techniques. In August, Jorge Campos hosted a soccer clinic at one of the Toyota Copita Alianza youth tournaments. We’ll also recognize a stellar student-athlete with a scholarship for their outstanding accomplishments in the classroom and on the field as part of our partnership with Alianza de Futbol.”

 

Barcelona will debut as the first sports club to use Facebook’s new fan subscription platform. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

Barcelona Facebook
Foto via Facebook.

FC Barcelona has become the first soccer club to use Facebook’s new fan subscriptions product. Subscribers will have access to special rewards, exclusive content and interactive experiences. Also, the social media platform will provide users with exclusive groups and virtual badges highlighting their status as a Barcelona supporter.

Barcelona’s site subscribers will have access to exclusive content in different formats, including on their news feed and in the supporter-only Facebook group. Barcelona’s official Facebook page will also have a ‘For Supporters’ tab, which will only be available to subscribers.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

Liverpool and Turner Sports have expanded their partnership. The US broadcaster will now share exclusive content from the club’s in-house channel LFCTV via streaming platform B/R Live.

Subscribers to the OTT service will have access to 40 live Liverpool matches each season. This number includes pre-season, women’s, academy and legends games. Also, users will be able to watch replays from all men’s first-team matches.

Turner will also distribute behind-the-scenes content. It will feature the European champions, including access to players and manager Jürgen Klopp.

Louis Vuitton to sponsor 2019 League of Legends World Championship. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

eSports

louis vuitton league of legends
Photo via Riot Games.

Louis Vuitton could become the main sponsor for the Riot Games’ 2019 League of Legends World Championship. The luxury brand will create a “one-of-a-kind” Louis Vuitton-branded trophy case to host the Summoner’s Cup. In addition, players will receive unique champion skins and a capsule collection designed by Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections.

The Video Game Entertainment and New Network (VENN) has added US$17 million in seed round funding to the launch of its own new network dedicated to esports and gaming entertainment. The platform is planned to go live in 2020 with two studios based in New York and Los Angeles. Content will also be available on-demand across social media.

NBA

The Golden State Warriors locked a deal with Biofreeze. The partnership makes the pain relief brand secure naming rights to the franchise’s new training facility: the Biofreeze Performance Center. The facility is located in the Warriors’ new US$1.4 billion Chase Center home.

F1

Singapore Airlines will continue to serve as Formula One’s title sponsor of the Singapore Grand Prix until 2021. “We are very pleased that Singapore Airlines will continue to be the title sponsor for the Singapore Grand Prix until 2021,” F1 chief executive Chase Carey said.

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NFL

San Francisco-based Social Finance (SoFi) has acquired the naming rights to the NFL Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers’ home stadium. According to Bloomberg, the 20-year agreement could be worth more than US$30 million per year. If so, the amount could represent the record for a naming rights deal for a sports venue.

For the ninth time, the NFL, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Nationwide partnered for the annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market. Nationwide will help each recipient to select an organization of their choice that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $2,000 donation.

Coca-Cola and the Oakland Raiders locked a multi-year stadium and team partnership. Hence, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling will become the official soft drink partner of the Raiders and Allegiant Stadium.

 

USL is now officially open to receiving betting sponsorships. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

USL betting sponsorship
Photo courtesy Ivan Pierre Aguirre / El Paso Locomotive FC.

USL

Any USL team is now officially allowed to sign shirt sponsorships with sports betting companies. The change of the league’s policies puts the North American soccer’s secondary league body in line with the MLS, which opened its shirt sponsorship category to betting brands in July.

MLS

MLS has opened its sponsorship inventory for the match breaks created by video assistant referee (VAR) technology. League executive Carter Ladd, told the Sports Business Journal (SBJ) that MLS is in a “couple of ongoing conversations” with companies interested in sponsoring VAR, which was introduced to the league in 2017.

BODYARMOR has become MLS’ official sports drink partner in the US. As part of the agreement, BODYARMOR’s logo and branding will appear on coolers, cups, squirt bottles and towels on MLS sidelines within the US starting in 2020. Also, BODYARMOR and MLS will collaborate on exclusive custom content featuring top MLS players and BODYARMOR athlete partners.

Andrew Hauptman, chairman, and owner of the Chicago Fire, is selling his share to US billionaire Joseph Mansueto. Hence, Mansueto will take over control of the Fire with immediate effect. He will also assume the position of chairman. According to Forbes, Mansueto could have paid US$204 million to acquire the remaining 5% of the team.

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Women’s Soccer

A recent Wall Street Journal publication stated that advertisers invested close to $100 million on US spots in and around the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This number is significantly higher than the company’s earlier estimate of $43 million. The report notes that the initial projection didn’t account for ad revenue generated by Spanish-language networks, such as Telemundo, which made up 11% of the total.

Secret deodorant brand will reportedly snatch up 9,000 seats to National Women’s Soccer League games this season. In July, Secret donated $529,000 to members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team, to highlight the gaping pay difference between women and men.

thereforeNFL extends Facebook partnership until 2020. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

partnershipNFL

The Oakland Raiders have named Twitch as the founding partner of their new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The deal, which starts in 2020, will see Twitch have a branded lounge in the lower level of the 65,000-seater stadium. The aim of the partnership is to make Las Vegas ‘the global hub for esports’.

The Philadelphia Eagles launched a redesigned mobile app. The platform includes a new content interface featuring live TV and radio streaming access from Eagles’ games for the first time. The app is available on iOS and Android devices.

The NFL extended its partnership with Facebook for two more years. Under the extension, the Facebook Watch video service will continue as a platform for three-minute game recaps of all regular-season contests. Similarly, video highlights will also be accessible from the NFL Draft, Pro Bowl, and scouting combine.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

MLB

MLB signed a multiyear partnership with EquiLottery Games. The deal makes this the first North American pro league to tie in with lottery draw game. Looking to boost fan engagements, MLB has thrown out the first pitch on Baseball Bucks. “We are always aiming to work with partners who share our goal of providing innovative ways for fans to engage with live games,” said Kenny Gersh, MLB’s executive vice president for gaming and new business ventures.

UFC

UFC and Toyo Tires expanded their long-time partnership to launch a new annual end-of-year awards program that honors UFC’s top fighters, performances and moments. The winners of the ‘UFC Performance of the Year’ and ‘UFC Fight of the Year’ awards will be personally chosen by UFC President Dana White. Meanwhile winners in the ‘UFC Honors Fan Choice’ group will be determined through social and online voting.

Broadcast/Radio

Univision’s TUDN Radio network strengthened its affiliate base, signing 10 new deals. Therefore, with 38 stations TUDN Radio reaches more than 60% of all Hispanic adults in the U.S., thanks to its presence in top Latino markets including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, San Antonio, and Phoenix.

FuboTV is officially debuting its own free-to-view TV channel. Hence, the platform will expand its reach via third-party connected-TV platforms Xumo, which also powers LG Channels; Samsung TV Plus; and the Roku Channel. Therefore, Fubo Sports Network features a mix of original programming, licensed content from partners as well as some live college football and basketball games, soccer matches, horse racing, and cycling action.

Coca-Cola extends Euro sponsorship for the 2020 season. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

coca-cola euro
Foto via Uefa.com

Coca-Cola extended its deal with Uefa which makes the drinks company the Euro 2020’s official non-alcoholic beverage sponsor. Thus, Coca-Cola will showcase several of its brands across various city venues, using physical and digital branding. Next year’s competition will be hosted in 12 cities across the continent to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UEFA EURO.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

Sports AI and data expert Stats Perform announced a five-year deal with the Argentine Football Association (AFA). As a result, they get the rights to global betting video and data across competitions including Superliga Argentina, Copa Superliga Argentina, Argentina Cup, and Recopa Argentina.

German subscription streaming platform Sportdigital has added MLS competitions rights to its programming line-up. The company has acquired the rights as part of sub-licensing deals with DAZN, which holds MLS rights in the country.

La Liga locked a deal with Premier Sports to show Spanish soccer in the UK and Ireland. Hence, LaLigaTV, the league’s own 24/7 English-language content channel, becomes part of the broadcaster’s linear and over-the-top (OTT) channels.

NFL Joins TikTok. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

NFL

The NFL is working on an alliance with TikTokNFL TikTok, to lock a new multi-year partnership. Through the new deal, the football league is looking to reach TikTok’s global community. Thus, the NFL is launching its official TikTok account. Content will include uniquely packaged highlights, sideline moments, and behind-the-scenes footage.

NFL star Antonio Brown and helmet company Xenith Shadow have locked a partnership. Previous to this deal Brown used to carry a Schutt helmet. Due to the previous model was banned by the league after it was deemed not to meet required safety standards, Brown decided to change the brand.

NFL has added Reddit to its roster of digital marketing channels. As a result, Reddit will host a monthly series of ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) discussions on its platform.

Pepsi unveiled its “Always be Celebrating” NFL campaign. The season-long campaign “spotlights and honors the amazing celebrations that NFL fans and players have taken part in over the years.” Included in the campaign will be a new spot, a new charitable program with United Way and the NFL, and more.

The Denver Broncos signed a 21-year naming rights deal for their Mile High Stadium with retirement plan provider Empower Retirement. The stadium’s new name will be Empower Field at Mile High until 2039.

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Buffalo Wild Wings announced a multiyear deal with MGM Resorts International and its sports betting venture Roar Digital. For this reason, odds and point spreads will appear on screens at select Buffalo Wild Wings. Together, the companies will launch Picks and Props, a free-to-play, mobile-only football game that mimics sports betting. Prizes include trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Broadcasting

Lino Garcia, founding General Manager of ESPN Deportes TV, Radio and Digital, will oversee a new sports radio network. Titled Radio Unanimo Deportes the network will retain most of the ESPN Deportes talent from its airwaves, who will be hosting shows in their normal timeslots.

Esports

G2 Esports and Red Bull signed a 360-degree global, multi-year partnership. Hence, the pair will collaborate across all teams, players, and content creators to “enhance individual player and team performance, produce high-end entertainment formats and create dynamic and unique event activations.” G2 teams will wear Red Bull-branded jerseys.

The WSL Comes to Mexico after securing its first overseas broadcast rights deal. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

European Soccer

WSL
Foto via the University of Reading.

England’s top female soccer league, the Women’s Super League (WSL), secured its first overseas broadcast rights deals. As a result, Sky Mexico and Scandinavian broadcast group NENT have both signed three-year deals with the Football Association (FA). Most importantly, Sky Mexico’s deal covers Mexican rights, including those in Central American territories and the Dominican Republic.

English soccer’s governing body locked a partnership with Deliveroo. The food delivery platform will become an official partner of the England national teams and the FA Cup. Also, Deliveroo becomes the national team’s first sleeve sponsor, with branding on the training kit.

FC Barcelona named Cupra official automotive and mobility partner for the next five seasons. Hence Barca will work with Cupra developing new projects aimed at improving urban mobility. Also, the team will collaborate on different marketing and sponsorship activations.

MLS

Atlanta United is looking to secure an expansion franchise in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), US media reported. In this context, Merritt Paulson, owner of NWSL’s Portland Thorns and part of the league’s expansion committee, told an open forum with supporters that as many as three new teams could join the nine-team division by 2021.

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Movie star Matthew McConaughey has joined as one of four new minority owners of expansion franchise Austin FC. Therefore he’ll join Austin FC’s majority owner and CEO Anthony Precourt, who will continue to represent the club as governor on the MLS board.

USL

The USL and ESPN locked a new three-year rights agreement to showcase the USL Championship and League One matches through the 2022 season. The new deal includes a higher number of games televised annually on ESPN’s networks. Also, the deal includes the addition of Spanish-language telecasts on ESPN Deportes.

Premier Partnerships has become the USL commercial-rights and sponsorship-deals handler for the USL Championship and USL League One men’s professional soccer leagues. The agreement puts the US-based consultancy firm in charge of negotiations and rights management for North American soccer’s second and third tiers.

Mediapro has secured Canadian broadcast rights to Concacaf’s inaugural Nations League competition. The Spanish agency will cover every match played by the confederation’s 41 member associations across North and Central America and the Caribbean.

 

F1 Stays in Spain. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

F1 stais in Spain

F1 Stays in Spain. The F1 confirmed the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona for the 2020 season. In the past, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has relied on public money to cover the costs of the race and has struggled for profitability since 2008, according to the regional news outlet Ara.

NFL

The Green Bay Packers expanded their partnership with Oneida Nation Casino. The extension deal comes after the NFL approved casino sponsorships.

The Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams have all partnered with US wine brand Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi for the 2019 season. The new deals are effective starting the season, in September. Through the deal, Woodbridge becomes the official wine partner of the three franchises.

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The NFL and partner Pizza Hut presented the first-ever virtual stadium deal in esports. Through the deal, they presented the Pizza Hut Stadium as part of the EA SPORTS’ Madden NFL 20 Championship Series. The Madden NFL 20 Classic was on August 30-September 1.

The NFL and American eyewear manufacturer Oakley have signed a new four-year partnership. The deal, which begins with the upcoming season, sees Oakley become an official on-field partner and licensee of the North American football league.

The Oakland Raiders and Credit One Bank locked a partnership. The US financial services company will become the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders official credit card partner. As part of the deal, Credit One Bank will host a branded sideline club at the new 65,000-capacity venue.

eSports

Adidas has signed Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins in a sponsorship. Details of the new relationship with the gamer have not been shared. “I can’t say specifically what is in the works with Adidas but use your imagination,” Ninja said.

MLB teams could generate US$11 million from jersey patch deals. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

jersey patch
Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco, via Wikipedia.

MLB

According to Nielsen, MLB teams could make more money from jersey patch deals than NBA franchises. If the league allows them to start selling the sponsorship inventory, an MLB sleeve sponsor would appear on camera almost three times as often. As a result, Nielsen estimates that these jersey deals could generate US$11 million in brand value per team each season.

MLB and the Chinese Baseball Association signed an agreement to help relaunch the China National Baseball League (CNBL). China’s top domestic baseball competition has been going through a challenging time since its inception in 2002. In 2012 and 2017 the league was suspended due to a lack of funding and exposure.

NFL

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders head coach, Jack Del Rio, will join ESPN as an NFL analyst. He will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and more throughout the year. “I’m really looking forward to the upcoming football season and my new role with ESPN!” said Del Rio.

Oakley became an official on-field partner and licensee of the NFL. The four-year partnership is the biggest sports deal in the brand’s history. Apart from becoming the official shields and eyewear Powered by Prizm Lens Technology, Oakley will provide Officially Licensed NFL Eyewear available for fans.

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eSports

League of Legends reached the highest viewership in professional gaming, according to Newzoo. 23% of people who watch esports online prefer League of Legends. In comparison, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (20 percent) and Overwatch (16 percent) have the next highest viewership of all esports titles.

NBA

The Boston Celtics could be ending their jersey patch sponsorship deal with General Electric (GE) a year early. Although, the NBA team signed signing a three-year deal worth US$7 million a season.

Tennis

Naomi Osaka is the world’s most marketable athlete for 2019, according to a SportsPro ranking. The Japanese tennis sensation is the second woman to top SportsPro’s annual list of the world’s 50 most marketable athletes. Osaka replaces Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba at the top of the list, who now holds place 11.

It’s official: St Louis is joining the MLS.  Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.
St. Louis

On Tuesday, the MLS announced that St Louis had been awarded as the league’s expansion team. With Betz and six other female members of the Taylor family part of the ownership group, St Louis becomes the first female majority-owned club in MLS history and one of few in professional sports.

The club will begin MLS play in 2022, in a brand new stadium located in the Downtown West district of St Louis.

“Our ownership group has come a long way since we first announced our bid last October at Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, and it’s an incredible feeling to now be able to say, St Louis is home to the first official majority female-led ownership group in MLS,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz.  “Our MLS team and stadium will only add to St Louis’ renaissance currently underway and will provide us with a great opportunity to bring together many different segments of the community, uniting people in their love for the game.”

MLS

MLS expansion club Austin FC adopted VR technology. The technology will drive season ticket sales at their new US$200 million stadium ahead of their inaugural season in 2021. The strategy is part of a new multi-year partnership with US mobile ticketing platform SeatGeek.

David Beckham’s Inter Miami announced Heineken as its first founding partner. The long-term deal will see Heineken serve as the official beer partner of Inter Miami. The deal also secures signage, intellectual property rights, and retail activations.

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Broadcasting

ESPN signed an exclusive agreement with the National Women’s Soccer League locking worldwide rights (excluding U.S.) to the league’s regular-season and playoff matches. ESPN already held the rights to NWSL broadcasts in the US. “This is an important step for NWSL to strengthen the league’s reach through ESPN’s international network,” said NWSL President Amanda Duffy.

LaLiga extended its partnership with beIN Media Group, that will see beIN SPORTS USA and Canada exclusively broadcast LaLiga until 2024. The new agreement comes just days before the start of a 2019-20 season.

US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said the country is planning a bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup. Cordeiro’s comments came during a conference call with reporters. During the call he announced Kate Markgraf as the new general manager of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT).

ESPN got the exclusive broadcasting rights in South America for the next three seasons of Premier League. The deal covers Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Branding

Adidas locked a deal with DAZN to advertise across the platform’s live Premier League soccer rights in Canada. This marks the first brand to run adverts DAZN. Also it’s the first time that Adidas has advertised on a streaming provider in North America.

baseball

La Vida Baseball Lock Partnership with the Houston Chronicle. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

Baseball

La Vida Baseball and the Houston Chronicle have locked a content partnership. Through the online platform, the baseball-focused media will provide print and video content for coverage of the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and other features of interest. It is the first-ever content partnership between La Vida Baseball and a major news outlet.

The Los Angeles Dodgers named Postmates as their exclusive On-Demand Delivery and Pickup Partner. The baseball team will incorporate Postmates Live into the concession stands at Dodger Stadium.

NFL

Pizza Hut locked the rights of a virtual football stadium, as part of an arrangement with the NFL. The deal comes ahead of this year’s Madden NFL 20 Championship Series (MCS). As part of the esports series, four major tournaments will compete at the virtual Pizza Hut Stadium.

Allegiant Air has become the official naming rights holder of the Oakland Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

NBA

Rakuten extended its jersey patch deal with NBA team Golden State Warriors. Amit Patel, chief executive of Rakuten’s Americas, said that the partnership has been key to raising its brand awareness in the US.

Bud Light has become the NBA 2K League its official beer partner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Specific partnership activations will be announced soon. “Bud Light was one of the first adopters of esports years ago and this NBA 2K League sponsorship is another pillar of the brand’s overall esports strategy,” said Nick Kelly, head of US sports marketing at Anheuser-Busch.

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Esports

The Kellogg Company is joining the amateur esports market through a new partnership with N3rd Street Gamers. The deal includes the sponsorship of a new Overwatch esports tournament with its Cheez-It Grooves product.

Twitch has become the exclusive digital streaming partner for USA Basketball, through 2020. Games will be available at twitch.tv/NBA, while full on-demand videos will be accessible shortly after the end of each broadcast.

F1

The Mexican Grand Prix will remain on the Formula One calendar beyond 2019. It seemed that the five-year contract was up at the end of this season because of a lack of public funding. Now, a group of businessman will help cover the annual cost of hosting, estimated at US$45 million.

Women’s soccer keeps getting attention with new partnerships and the promise to double the prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. This is a summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

soccerMLS

Austin FC and SeatGeek have reached a multiyear agreement. Through this deal, the software becomes the MLS club’s official ticketing partner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Active PDF and the LA Galaxy have locked a partnership for the remainder of the 2019 season. Through this new deal, ActivePDF becomes the Naming Sponsor of the “Substitutions” image posted on the Galaxy Twitter feed. The new partnership includes a prominent display of the ActivePDF logo and branding within the Galaxy’s home field stadium at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Audi of America and the MLS announced a multi-year initiative to improve the experience at MLS academies. The partnership includes the brand-new youth academy support program, Audi Goals Drive Progress, to help provide funding for MLS academies.

European Soccer

Dutch soccer champions Ajax and beer brand Budweiser locked a long-term partnership until June 2025. The deal covers both Ajax’s men’s and women’s teams. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) presented its revamped model for Spanish women’s soccer. Iberdrola is also expanding and extending its title sponsorship deal for six more years. The top-flight will be entitled Primera Iberdrola, while the second division will now be known as the Reto Iberdrola.

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NWSLWomen’s Soccer

The numbers are out, Fox Sports earned US$506,665 on average for each 30-second advertising slot sold for its coverage of the USA’s 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the Fifa Women’s World Cup final. Provided by analytics company SQAD the figure tops the average US$437,707 that each ad spot went for on the US network for its broadcast of the men’s 2018 Fifa World Cup final between France and Croatia.

FIFA’s Council approved expanding the Women’s World Cup from 24 teams to 32 for the 2023 tournament. Nine national associations are looking to host the next world cup: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and South Korea, which could bid jointly with North Korea. Formal bids are due Oct. 4.

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has signed an extension with Nike its exclusive kit supplier through 2022. The sports brand will continue to supply uniforms, apparel, and equipment for the NWSL. “The relationship with Nike aligns with our goals to strengthen the level of competition, as well as to support and develop female athletes as they continue to train and play at the highest level,” said league president Amanda Duffy.

Women’s soccer keeps getting attention from Fifa is promising to exceed its commitment to double the prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to US$60 million. “We have until 2023 to discuss the prize money,” Gianni Infantino, president of Fifa said. “I think we need to market it as well in a certain way. I’m very confident, I’m sure we can go higher than doubling.”

 

Mark Sanchez joins ESPN for the college football season. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

NFL

Former Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez joins ESPN in a multi-year deal in an analyst role as an analyst. Sanchez will be in the studio each college football Saturday for ABC. The former player will also contribute to other ESPN shows, including College Football Live and Get Up! during the season.

NFLTony Gonzalez is joining the FOX NFL Thursday pregame show for the upcoming season. Debuting on Sept. 26, the collaboration will start with the revamped TNF pregame show. Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, and Howie Long will be joining Gonzalez.

NBA

NBA team the Golden State Warriors signed a ten-year, omnichannel retail partnership with Fanatics. The global sports merchandiser company will become the exclusive online and on-site operator of all ‘Warriors Shop’ outlets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. This includes the Warriors’ flagship store based at the recently developed Thrive City shopping complex, located near the Chase Center.

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Wrestling

IMPACT Wrestling renewed and expanded its partnership with Twitch. This includes the weekly premiere of the flagship two-hour show IMPACT! and more exclusive content. In exchange, IMPACT Wrestling will facilitate co-streaming of the weekly flagship show and will be announcing details of a contest featuring co-streamers in the near future.

AB InBev Partners with La Liga and Premier League, Soccer Marketing News

La Liga

  • AB InBev Partners with La Liga and Premier League, signing a new multi-year global deal which makes Budweiser the league’s official beer. The partnership will run across five continents and in more than 20 countries, including the United Kingdom, China, South Africa, India, Chile, and Nigeria.
    We will see the beer brand activating trophy tours, viewing parties, broadcast media assets, and content collaborations.
    “We are excited to kick-off these long-term partnerships with the Premier League and LaLiga, two world-class football competitions,” said Pedro Earp, chief marketing officer at AB InBev. “These partnerships will allow us to further connect with key consumers and football fans across the globe.

  • Ab InBev PartnersLa Liga will stream up to 35 live pre-season games on its own OTT platform for free. Launched in March, LaLigaSportsTV will also show the coverage of the International Champions Cup (ICC) clash between cross-city rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on 27th July.

 

  • La Liga partnered with UK-based food delivery company Deliveroo, for the 2019/20 season. Deliveroo will gain visibility across La Liga’s media platforms, including its official broadcasts, digital channels, and written press.

 

  • FC Barcelona launched an official account on the Chinese social media platform TikTok to engage with younger fans. Barcelona will produce a ‘user challenge’ featuring first-team players as part of their launch. The deal was unveiled in time for the club’s pre-season tours of Japan and the US

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MLS

  • The Leagues Cup, the new club soccer competition featuring teams from the MLS and Liga MX, will double the number of teams to 16 for the 2020 edition of the tournament. The teams qualifying from the MLS will be those who finish in the top four of the Eastern or Western Conference during the regular season. It is limited to those who are not competing in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League.

The eight Liga MX clubs will consist of the 2019 Apertura champion, the 2020 Clausura champion, the 2019/20 Copa MX winner and the top five teams in the combined Apertura 2019-Clausura 2020 regular season standings who have not already qualified for the Leagues Cup.

 

  • NBA star James Harden is now co-owner of MLS club Houston Dynamo. Harden has acquired a 5% stake in the club, According to Front Office Sports. The franchise has been valued at more than US$475 million.

 

  • Ally Financial locked a multi-year agreement with potential MLS team Charlotte Soccer Bid Team. The deal designates Ally as the founding and lead partner of the team. Aside from marketing efforts, Ally plans to leverage its partnership by demonstrating its commitment to the local community.

Mariano Rivera World Tour Apparel Collection will be launched by Bleacher Report to honor the Panamanian-American former professional baseball pitcher. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop. 

MLB

  • Bleacher Report is launching the Mariano Rivera World Tour Apparel Collection. The collection includes two designs in short and long sleeve: Unanimous World Tour and Save New York – featuring locations for all of his 652 saves during the Panamanian-American former professional baseball pitcher’s career and designed by contemporary Latino pop artist and native New Yorker, M. Tony Peralta.

Mariano Rivera Apparel Collection

  • Major League Baseball (MLB) is considering allowing sponsorship patches on its teams’ uniforms within three years. According to the Sports Business Journal (SBJ), the MLB has seen the NBA’s jersey branding success and is interested in following its lead. The deals bring in an average of US$7 million a year per team. Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment confirmed to the SBJ that some MLB franchises have been approaching the sports agency for evaluations of the potential new inventory.

 

  • Last week MLB and YouTube had their first exclusive broadcast as partners. It saw over 200,000 concurrent viewers at peak of the Phillies’ win over the Dodgers, according to Google. The game also saw more than 2 million views on the league’s official channel.

eSports

  • Social broadcasting service Caffeine has become the streaming partner to the US League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). Caffeine will host the official LCS broadcast every weekend. This will include the remainder of the 2019 Summer Split regular season, the LCS playoffs, finals, and regional qualifiers.

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UFC

  • UFC and Blackheart Premium Spiced Rum have extended their multi-year marketing partnership. The spirits brand will continue to offer fan experiences and will have a branded presence inside the Octagon during key UFC events. Blackheart will also have a presence on UFC’s official Instagram as the presenting sponsor of select “Shot of the Night”.

 

  • UFC Arabiahas become the first Arabic language UFC streaming platform in the MENA region. Fans in the region’s 21 countries will now have access to exclusively live stream events as well as a range of fight videos. “We are very excited to welcome back UFC to Abu Dhabi. We are thrilled to allow all passionate fans in the UAE, and MENA, a chance to exclusively live stream all UFC events. This step reaffirms our commitment to bringing all major sports to our viewers in the region,” said Abdulrahman Awadh Al Harthi, Executive Director of Television at Abu Dhabi Media.

Broadcasting

  • Univision Deportes has officially rebranded as TUDN, after sealing its cross-border partnership with Mexico’s Grupo Televisa. TUDN is the channel’s new name, with TUDN branding also running across sports telecasts on Univision Network, UniMás, Galavisión and across their audio and digital platforms. Televisa and Univision will also be sharing programming and talent.

Boxing

  • The World Series of Boxing might be disappearing soon, according to a report from Inside the Games. The organization has indefinitely suspended its activities and could disband after the International Boxing Association confirmed it could not fulfill its agreement with the competition’s main investor. Only a significant investment could save the organization at this point.

P&G Calls for Women’s equal pay. A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

Women Soccer

  • The BBC has secured exclusive live rights for Uefa Women’s Euro 2021. The deal follows the corporation achieving record ratings for its coverage of this year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup.

 

  • P&G Calls for Women's equal pay.
    Foto via P&G.

     Official US Soccer partner Procter & Gamble (P&G) has made a public donation of US$529,000 backing up the US women’s national soccer team’s (USWNT) fight for equal pay. The move comes after the company ran a full-page ad in the Sunday editions of The New York Times, calling for women’s equal pay.
    P&G has been the first U.S. Soccer sponsor to address the subject. The brand has backed up the USWNT via its Secret Brand. “Inequality is about more than pay and players,” P&G said in the ad. “It’s about values.”

 

  • Canadian streaming platform OneSoccer has added Liga MX to its rights portfolio. The deal includes two games a week from Mexico’s top-flight soccer league. The first streaming will be on 20th July, the week of the 2019 league-opening Apertura tournament. “We have no doubt that the support for the historic, first-ever Leagues Cup final from the passionate soccer fans of Las Vegas and surrounding region will be tremendous, and the atmosphere at Sam Boyd Stadium will be electric,” said Don Garber, MLS Commissioner.

European Soccer

  • Konami has become Bayern Munich’s platinum partner. The gaming company will carry out a complete 3D scan of Bayern’s Allianz Arena in order to accurately recreate the 75,000-seater venue in the game. Bayern also announced Serge Gnabry as an official PES ambassador.

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  • Streaming platform FloSports has secured broadcast rights to the Ligue 1 Games pre-season soccer tournament in the US and Canadian. The four-match tournament will be available live and on-demand via FloFC.com, FloSports’ soccer-dedicated, over-the-top (OTT) service.

 

 

The NFL is heading to Germany to search for new talent prospects to join the league in the U.S. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Football

  • NFL International Combine will visit Germany for the first time. Up to 50 athletes will go through a series of tests in front of NFL evaluators at Sportschule Hennef, near Cologne on Oct. 19. Potential NFL players will be invited to train in the US for 3 months.
    “Following last year’s inaugural International Combine in Australia, we are excited to explore the talent pool internationally,” stated Damani Leech, NFL Chief Operating Officer of International. “Since 2017, the NFL’s International Player Pathway program has provided international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level and develop their skills, and we hope to discover new talent through this event in Germany.”

 

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and TradeWinds Island Resorts have locked a multi-year partnership to create collaborative marketing initiatives. The partnership will focus on enhancing the in-game stadium experience for Buccaneers fans at Raymond James Stadium.

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Basketball

  • Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa 2019 will take place July 28-31 in Senegal. BWB Africa 2019 will bring together the top male and female players ages 17 and under from throughout Africa to learn directly from current and former NBA and FIBA players, coaches, and legends.

 

  • The NBA sealed a strategic partnership with mobile artificial intelligence (AI) developer NEX Team. The league will have access to AI to measure player skills development, this will form part of the NBA’s global youth basketball initiatives.

Media

  • Mexican television personality Giselle Zarur will be the newest member to join FOX Deportes. Zarur will serve as part of the network’s Liga MX broadcasts.

MMA

  • As part of UFC’s event plans, this year’s final fight will be held in South Korea on Dec. 21. Overall, 21 more events are on the calendar. Locations include Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2, Abu Dhabi on Sept. 7 for UFC 242, Singapore on Oct. 26, and Vegas for UFC 245 on Dec. 14.