What: The 100th Copa America Is Breaking Records.
Why it matters: The tournament is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and this is the first time the tournament is being held in the U.S., with 15 sponsors confirming months before the tournament started.

Last Friday, June 3rd, San Francisco’s Levis Stadium became home of the Copa America 2016’s inaugural game, in which the U.S. confronted the Colombian soccer team, (ultimately losing 2-0). This year’s cup is the biggest soccer tournament held in the U.S. since the 1994 World Cup. It is the first time, Copa America is being played outside of a South American country.

In case this wasn’t enough to make it a special edition, Copa America is celebrating its 100 anniversary. It will involve 16 countries and 32 matches, and will be played throughout 24 cities, including cities with large US-Hispanic populations like Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and New York.

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After last year’s scandal related to FIFA’s corruption case, potential concerns existed for sponsors looking to invest in the sport. But it didn’t seem to matter much. A month before the cup started, more than ten (out of 15 total) brands had signed sponsoring agreements with Soccer United Marketing, who holdsthe commercial rights for both US Soccer and MLS. Ford, MasterCard, PPG Comex, Procter & Gamble and Remy Martin have all signed on as partners. And Nike, Coca Cola, Sprint and State Farm were first.

The tournament is being broadcasted by two major platforms in the U.S., Fox Sports and Univision. Considering the Gold Cup 2015 and Copa America Chile’s TV ratings, the cultural, soccer & social media marketing agency AC&M Group believes there could be up to 3.2 million viewers in the U.S. alone.

For its broadcasts Fox Sports signed four base sponsors for the duration of the tournament, including Sprint (pregame), VW (halftime), Budweiser (post-game) and Coke/Powerade (in-game enhancements).

“Soccer is the most active property for us outside of the NFL,” said Fox Sports Senior VP/Sales Mike Petruzzi to Sports Buisness Daily. “We would take any soccer content we can get. It’s the hot thing right now.”

Game attendance is expected to surpass 1.5 million sports fans and between 15-22 million will be watching the games on a screen, TV or online, according to Forbes. And thanks to Hispanic’s huge passion for soccer, the impact of Copa America on social media gets even bigger. Just as an example, last year’s Copa America in Chile surpassed all global sporting events on Twitter including the NBA finals and the Super Bowl.

The tournament will feature internationally renowned players such as James Rodriguez, Javier Hernández, Luis Suárez, Alexis Sánchez and Lionel Messi, who have a combined 235.7 million followers on Twitter.

It certainly appears that the Coma America Centenario will make history in the sports marketing industry in addition to on the field.




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Two weeks ago we published the exclusive about QSR chain Bojangles’ hiring the services of AC&M Group, its first Hispanic specific Advertising Agency. We interviewed Doug Poppen, Senior Director, Marketing and Corporate Communications at Bojangles’ so he could provide us more details about this important strategic initiative for the Charlotte, NC based chicken and biscuits chain.

Fans of the brand are attracted to Bojangles’ proprietary menu that offers a flavor profile unlike anything in the Southeast markets it serves, including some of the fastest growing cities for U.S. Hispanics: Charlotte, NC; Raleigh area, NC; Atlanta, GA; and Washington area, D.C.

Bojangles' Doug Poppen
Doug Poppen, Senior Director Marketing and Communication at Bojangles’

Already a substantial amount of Bojangles’ customers are Hispanic and that is why Bojangles’ leadership encourages Hispanics to be franchise owners of Bojangles’ restaurants. “We strive for the ownership, leadership and management of our restaurants to reflect the spirit of the communities in which we serve. We are expanding to more and more high-Hispanic areas, and so yes, we have a strong desire to maintain that consistency as we grow,” says Doug Poppen, Senior Director, Marketing and Corporate Communications at Bojangles’.

60% of Business is Conducted via the Drive-Thru

According to Poppen, from a demographic standpoint, Bojangles’ customer base at each location is very reflective of the general population of that community. He adds that “because approximately 60% of our business is conducted via the drive-thru, we do attract a high percentage of on-the-go customers who are eating as they go to or from work, school or other activities.”

As we expand into more and more communities where Hispanics live and work, we will certainly be looking to make sure our menu is appealing to consumers in those local areas.

Will Hispanic dishes soon have a place on Bojangles’ menus? Poppen answers thatBojangles’ is always looking to offer the highest quality, uniquely-flavored products to our customers. As we expand into more and more communities where Hispanics live and work, we will certainly be looking to make sure our menu is appealing to consumers in those local areas.”

Upcoming Hispanic Campaign

One insight Jaime Cardenas, CEO at AC&M Group, provided during a recent interview, is that “Hispanic consumers are a key segment for Quick Service Restaurants, they already account for 20% of the dollars spend in QSR’s in the U.S. Hispanic also visit QSR more often than non-Hispanics. Spanish Language Dominant Hispanics visit QSR even more often.” Add to that the fact that the Southeast is one the fastest growing areas in the country in terms of Hispanic population – Charlotte, Raleigh and Atlanta are leading the country in Hispanic population growth – and Bojangles’ may be sitting in front of a gold mine. That is why it is working on an upcoming Hispanic marketing campaign. Says Poppen: “We are currently in the process, with the assistance of AC&M Group, of getting a thorough understanding of who the Hispanic quick-serve restaurant customer is within our footprint. Once that foundation is set, the Hispanic campaign might include elements like TV and online video, broadcast and digital radio, paid and owned digital & social media as well as partnership, sports and event marketing,” Poppen notes.

For the general market, BooneOakley (Charlotte, NC) is Bojangles’ agency-of-record. Boone Oakley and AC&M Group will collaborate across all phases – research, planning, creative concept development, production, etc. Bojangles’ also has 3 international restaurants located in Honduras. AC&M will assist with international marketing efforts as needed.


ABOUT BOJANGLES’: Bojangles’ is known for its uniquely-seasoned and marinated bone-in chicken, made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits, and breakfast served all day, every day. Research firm Technomics in 2013 ranked Bojangles’ as the fastest growing chicken chain. And in October 2014, the chicken-and-biscuit chain reached $1 billion in annual systemwide revenue. Bojangles’ has restaurants in 11 states (Alabama, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North & South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia and three restaurants in Roatan Island, Honduras. As of September 27, 2015 Bojangles’ had 657 restaurants, of them 274 are company-operated, and 383 are franchise-operated. An updated store count will be released on March 10.