Cardenas Marketing Network (CMN), one of the nation's leading multicultural sports marketing and entertainment companies, announced that it has entered into a multi-year partnership with the Asociacion del Futbol Argentino (Argentine Football Association, AFA). The agreement marks the first-ever strategic partnership by AFA in the U.S. and includes the organization of international matches featuring two-time FIFA World Cup Champion Argentina through June 2014.
Under terms of the agreement, CMN will manage the exclusive commercial rights, including broadcast, marketing and sponsorship rights of the Argentinean National Team in the U.S. The new alliance will also allow CMN to organize matches in select European countries including Spain, Italy and Germany. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The first match in the U.S. is scheduled to take place later this year, following the team's participation at the FIFA World Cup, to be held in South Africa from June 11 to July 11. Details of that match will be announced in the near future.
The partnership was successfully completed through FIFA's international agent, Guillermo Tofoni, who also oversees Argentina's games worldwide.
"The Argentine Football Association is without a doubt one of the most recognized and accomplished football organizations in the world," said Henry Cardenas, Chief Executive Officer of CMN. "With the World Cup nearing and a great depth of promising young players led by Lionel Messi, arguably the best player in the world, this is an exciting time for Argentina.
"We look forward to expanding AFA's illustrious brand in the U.S. and showcasing Argentina's roster of world-class players to soccer fans across the nation."
No stranger to 'the beautiful game,' Cardenas has been producing soccer matches in the U.S. since the early 1990s, including exhibitions featuring Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Paraguay, as well as a series of matches between Mexico and Argentina from 1999 to 2002. He has also produced friendlies featuring top clubs from North and South America including Club America (Mexico), Boca Juniors (Argentina), River Plate (Argentina), Santos (Brazil), and Nacional (Uruguay), among others.
Most recently, CMN, a 100% privately owned company, has spearheaded sports marketing campaigns for companies such as Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and Anheuser-Busch.
"It is encouraging to know that Argentina will have a bigger presence in the U.S., where soccer continues to grow and where South Americans have played an important role," said Julio Grondona, President of AFA and Vice President of FIFA. "We hope that this influence will continue to develop and complement the great efforts, both on the field and off, that are already in place in today's fastest growing soccer market."
Led by Argentine soccer legend and four-time World Cup star Diego Armando Maradona, the Albicelestes (Sky Blue and Whites) earned their 15th World Cup berth on October 14, 2009 with a 1-0 win over Uruguay in Montevideo. Argentina finished fourth in South American qualifying with an 8-4-9 record and 28 points.
Currently ranked eighth in the world by FIFA, Argentina is set to kick off World Cup play against Group B opponent Nigeria on June 12, followed by matches against Korea Republic and Greece on June 17 and June 22, respectively. As part of its preparations for South Africa, the team will face three-time World Cup champion Germany March 3 in Munich.
Argentina's heralded roster includes a host of young talent led by 22-year-old phenomenon and FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi. Currently La Liga's top scorer with 16 goals, last season Messi helped the Spanish powerhouse to their historic six titles (UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish and European Super Cups and FIFA Club World Cup), an effort that earned the Rosario native 2009 FIFA Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year honors – the first time ever for an Argentine player.
The team also boasts midfielder and captain Javier Mascherano (Liverpool) and forwards Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid) and Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid). Both Messi and Higuain are solid contenders for Spain's Pichichi Trophy, awarded to La Liga's top scorer.
To view photos of players and executives, please visit http://www.consultantsmn.com/email/afa/afa.html.
Argentina captured its first World Cup Championship on June 25, 1978 in Buenos Aires, defeating the Netherlands 3-1 in stoppage time to become the fifth team in FIFA history to claim the title as the tournament's host nation. The team would go down in history again on June 29, 1986 at the FIFA World Cup Final in Mexico, as Jorge Burruchaga's dramatic tally in the final minutes of play catapulted Argentina to a 3-2 victory over then-West Germany and its second World Cup title before 114,000 fans at Azteca Stadium.
For more information on AFA, please visit http://www.afa.org.ar.
Founded in 2003 by Henry Cardenas, CMN is one of the leading multicultural event marketing and sponsorship agencies in the U.S. CMN creates brand impact through music, sports and other interactive experiences that capture the hearts and minds of millions of consumers across the nation. In 2009 CMN produced more than 1,000 live events, including concert tours, experiential marketing campaigns and theatrical productions. The organization's rapid growth prompted the opening of its third U.S. office in Los Angeles earlier this year.