By Edgar Alejandro Jiménez @edgar85jimenez
What: We talked to Pablo Sánchez, NIVEA Men, Shower, Sun, and Intimate Brand Manager in Mexico, about the company’s international campaign in partnership with Real Madrid, and why the brand chose soccer as its main way to connect with consumers via sports content.
Why it matters: In 2015, NIVEA signed on as an international sponsor of Real Madrid for three seasons (through 2017-2018). Although NIVEA Men has been supporting the team since late 2012, its previous sponsorship had been only at the local level in Spain.
Along with the signing of its international sponsorship agreement, NIVEA decided to capitalize on Real Madrid’s star power by using players Gareth Bale, Marcelo, Isco, and Dani Carvajal as influencers to enhance their investment in the Spanish soccer team. With this move, the German cosmetics company boosted the brand’s global presence, including the Mexican market.
“NIVEA sought to take advantage of Real Madrid’s global popularity, as well as its popularity among the Mexican public, to become a leading brand for men,” said Pablo Sánchez, NIVEA Men, Shower, Sun, and Intimate Brand Manager in Mexico.
Among the huge range of sports available, Sánchez explained that soccer has remained the ideal sport for sports marketing. “In Mexico, soccer attracts millions of fans of all ages, and as a result, there is a great passion for soccer. All the men have had contact with this sport and also have values in common with the NIVEA brand,” he said.
As the most important sport in the Mexican market, as well as Latin America, NIVEA saw its alliance as a way of reaching potential customers in a massive way and through different means, “creating an opportunity to be on their minds and attract them to the brand.”
According to Sánchez, sports marketing helps to associate brand values with sport in order to create strategies between them.
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Soccer thus became the perfect pretext for the cosmetics brand to approach the male audience on a common ground. Soccer is so strong, that NIVEA has no plans to invest in any another sport at the moment.
When NIVEA decided to work with influencers, its existing sponsorship deal allowed it to enhance its investment without needing to find external actors. When choosing a sports influencer, Sánchez explained that what the brand is looking for is a “globally recognized player whose values are in line with the brand and is recognized as a good player by the fans.”
“Brands seek to generate empathy with their consumers, and they achieve this through players that become part of their image. In this way, consumers identify with them and, at the same time, with the brand.”
Even so, with the company’s current agreement with Real Madrid drawing to a close soon, Sánchez admits that NIVEA has lacked a strategy to really boost its sponsorship, at least in Mexico. “As a brand, we have not exploited the full potential of the Real Madrid platform. We still have a lot to learn, also insofar as creating the synergy that will have a much greater impact on all of our consumers.”
To date, NIVEA continues its efforts to reach every corner of the world in which Real Madrid has a presence. Among these places, Mexico is one of the countries where sponsorship efforts have shown the best results. “Mexico is where we have had the greatest success; [sponsorship] has been used to enhance communication at many points of contact, from television to point of sale,” said Sánchez.