What: NFL’s main sponsor in Mexico got the most out of the live game the Houston Texans played against the Oakland Raiders, at the Estadio Azteca on November 21st.
Why it matters: Although fans were criticized because of their behavior, Bud Light executives considered the encounter a success, and are hoping they can repeat the experience next year.
Although in Mexico soccer keeps being by far the main sport, football has gained popularity in past few years thanks to the NFL and sponsors’ efforts.
According to Alejandro Gershberg Rubinstein, brand manager at Bud Light México, there are almost 30 million fans in the country. This makes Mexico the second country worldwide with most NFL fans, after the U.S..
With these numbers, it makes sense that the NFL decided to return to Mexico with a regular season game, after 11 years. Actually, this is the second time in history this happens, and Bud Light was ready to welcome and leverage the crowd.
“It is the first time in History that Bud Light decides to fully sponsor the NFL in Mexico. The last two years we built campaigns around playoffs and the Super Bowl, but this year we decided to sponsor the NFL starting week one, up to the Super Bowl,” explains Gershberg to Portada.
This year we decided to sponsor the NFL starting week one, up to the Super Bowl.
The brand manager makes a point when he says how football and beer have always been connected. Because of this, Bud Light has become the NFL’s main sponsor in the U.S. since 2011. And last year the brand, which is part of AB InBev, payed $1.4 million to keep their sponsorship until 2020.
Gershberg admits Mexican football fans have all odds against them. “They have no team or franchise in Mexico, they have a hard time getting their team’s jersey, even worse when they don’t follow a commercial team.”
Due to the weak Mexican peso, it is very expensive for Mexicans to the U.S. to attend a game.
In this context, Bud Light launched its campaign #UnbreakableFans, referring to those Mexican fans who will do anything to follow their favorite sport. The 360 campaign included activities on Twitter and Facebook with the chance to win tickets to the game in Mexico by sharing the fan’s experiences.
Subscribe to Portada Sports Marketing Updates!
Presence in Many Mexican NFL Broadcasts
Bud Light Mexico’s task has become to recognize national fans and bring them closer to the sport through different platforms like social media, TV, or a live game. The brand is present on every game broadcast by Fox Sports, ESPN, Televisa and TV Azteca, with logo presence or the “touch down celebration”.
They have also produced exclusive content together with ESPN and Fox Sports. And as part of the #UnbreakableFans campaign Bud Light has been working together with brand ambassadors such as Inés Sainz, José Pablo Cohelo and John Sutcliffe, who’s present on sight on every Monday Night game.
We believe the NFL has noticed that Mexico is a very important market for the brand.
Now what still is missing, according to Bud Light Mexico’s spokesperson, is to promote digital platforms to bring the consumer closer to the sport, through the devices he is actually using the most.
This year, for example, the NFL signed, for the first time, a deal with Twitter to broadcast their games live through the social network. But many additional efforts are still needed, declares Gershberg.
For the moment, Bud Light feels positive enough as to say that the game between the Texans and the Raiders was a success. Now they are excited about the possibility of having the NFL back in Mexico next year.