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What: Cristiano Ronaldo tries his hand at American football in a new Super Bowl ad.
Why it matters: Ronaldo’s star status is unassailable internationally, but still emerging in the U.S. beyond soccer fandom.

First we saw him in his underwear in a hotel hallway, now he is trying to play American football in a spot that ran in select markets during the Super Bowl. There is no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is a high priced, and highly visible, figure that is trying to get Altice USA some great and humorous exposure in markets where the media company is looking to continue to grow brand.

Wikimedia Commons/Soccer.ru

However, there is a question with both spots, one in which the star is locked out of his room and gets photographed by a maid who then splashes the photo on social media, and the other in which he is using his soccer skills in American football garb. Does the general public actually know who he is through the spots? It’s a pretty big question, and an assumption that is still TBD.

Ronaldo’s global brand and his place on the world stage as a World Cup and Real Madrid star does make him a household name in the United States IF you follow global soccer and IF you are paying attention to the sports marketing business. It is an audience that is surely growing as soccer takes even more hold in the U.S., and with the coming World Cup, it will grow even more. But he does not play in the States, and La Liga’s deal with beIN SPORTS as their main rights holder in the United States limits the weekly exposure to an English speaking audience that can see Premier League matches on NBC and Bundesliga on FOX.

Soccer is growing, the World Cup is coming, and the growing Latino demo in the U.S. has a much better affinity toward image recognition of a star than fans of the NFL or even MLB or the NBA.

Is the assumption in the spot that the mainstream audience does not know who he is? A quick poll of non-soccer fans thought he was everything from a pop star to a model to a baseball player, with those with an interest in “The Beautiful Game” knowing immediately who he was. Still, that may be a fraction of an audience, while the bigger group can probably be grasped with a little better brand identification during the spots, which run very regularly in areas where Altice is available.

Ronaldo is as big as it gets

“There is no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo has perhaps one of the greatest followings of any athlete on the planet today. Altice USA is smart to be able to take advantage of his star power, especially as they market towards millennials and a Latino audience,” said Ray Katz, co-founder of ROI Sports Group and professor at Columbia University. “However Ronaldo is a superstar in a sport that is still emerging at least in the U.S. Consequently assuming that the television viewing audience, particularly in non-soccer programming, knows who he is and what he is doing is still a pretty broad leap. That can easily be addressed in a little more identification in either or both of these highly visible spots. The best practice here would be total integration with respect to planning and execution between brand managers, the sports agency, the media buying agency, and the creative agency.”

Now going forward is Altice USA making a strong gamble with Cristiano Ronaldo? For sure. Soccer is growing, the World Cup is coming, and the growing Latino demo in the U.S. has a much better affinity toward image recognition of a star than fans of the NFL or even MLB or the NBA. The spots are also humorous, which highlight another part of the elite star’s personality and give the images a viral play that will go beyond the regular spot run. They also set Altice USA apart from the other potential providers doing the same old, so there is a good amount of recall.

It is certainly different to see a global star engaged in promotion, and more will surely be coming. Seeing Ronaldo discover American football also plays well, what might be a little better is if everyone knew who he was, and a little better ID could do the trick.

https://youtu.be/oxbIaT690F0

Image at top: Wikimedia Commons/Ruben Ortega

What: Dutch telecom Altice N.V.will acquire online video advertising marketplace Teads for US $322 million.
Why it matters:Altice will provide clients with data-driven, audience-based advertising solutions on multiscreen platforms including TV, digital, mobile and tablets, as well as an open advertising platform to the media industry, programmers and multichannel video programming distributors. Altice is present in the U.S., but not in Latin America. Teads will continue to operate in Latin America.

Bertrand Quesada et Pierre Chappaz, co fondateurs et Co PDG de Teads, plateforme de publicite video en ligne *** Local Caption *** Teads a leve des fonds notamment aupres de BPI France
Bertrand Quesada et Pierre Chappaz, co fondateurs et Co PDG de Teads, plateforme de publicite video en ligne *** Local Caption *** Teads a leve des fonds notamment aupres de BPI France

Dutch telecom Altice N.V. has entered into an agreement to acquire Teads, the online video advertising marketplace with an audience of more than 1.2 billion unique visitors including 720 million via mobile, for US$322 million.

The acquisition purchase price is subject to Teads achieving certain revenue targets in 2017. 75% of the acquisition purchase price will be due at closing.  The remaining 25% earn-out is subject to Teads’ 2017 revenue performance and will become payable in early 2018. Sources at Teads told Portada, that  Teads will continue its business as usual in Latin America. “While Altice does not have presence there at the moment, with the acquisition of Teads, and given Teads strong business there, is the potential to expand into the LatAm market.”

The senior management of Teads, including Executive Chairman Pierre Chappaz and Chief Executive Officer Bertrand Quesada, will continue to lead the business going forward and have agreed to reinvest a significant portion of their proceeds.  Pierre Chappaz will join Altice’s Management Board responsible for all of its advertising activities.The acquisition is subject to certain competition reviews and is expected to close in mid-2017.

The transaction reflects how telecoms like Altice partner with video advertising leaders like Teads to develop both OTT and data solutions.

This acquisition is another critical component for Altice’s global advertising strategy. Altice will provide clients with data-driven, audience-based advertising solutions on multiscreen platforms including TV, digital, mobile and tablets devices, creating the most open and intelligent programmatic media and analytics platform in the world.. It will also provide an open and intelligent advertising platform to the media industry, programmers and multichannel video programming distributors.Altice is the fourth-largest broadband provider in the U.S., thanks to its US$17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision in 2016.

Altice is the fourth-largest broadband provider in the U.S., thanks to its US$17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision in 2016.

As part of Altice, Teads will be able to offer even more tailored, data-driven solutions and take our value proposition from the digital world to a multiscreen platform, which includes TV, digital, mobile and tablets.  It is this differentiated offering which will allow Altice and Teads to uniquely prosper in the global advertising market. With Teads, Altice will be in a unique position to grow its global advertising platform and better monetize its core telecommunications access and content business.Importantly, the combination is expected to provide immediate commercial and financial benefits to Altice’s advertising business, in particular as it relates making unique first-party data available to Teads in the US and France.

Teads, founded in 2011, is the inventor of outstream video advertising and a video advertising marketplace. Publishers work with Teads to create brand new video inventory and manage their existing inventory, monetizing it through their own sales force, Teads sales force, or programmatic buying.Teads’ native video advertising solutions encompass a series of formats inserted deep into media content, like the inRead playing inside articles. It is changing the game within the video advertising market by creating unprecedented levels of premium inventory, which did not exist before.Brands and agencies can access this top-tier, premium inventory, available on the web and on mobile, through programmatic or managed services. Through its managed services capabilities, the Teads team execute on their clients behalf using its platform.

Michel Combes, CEO of Altice, said: “Convergence of telecoms, content, and advertising is at the core of our business. There is significant incremental value to be generated from our assets. Teads, a powerful business in itself, with major presence in Altice footprint notably in the U.S. and France, will enable us to offer a truly unique value proposition to brands and agencies on the one hand and the media industry, programmers and distributors on the other. It is that value proposition – data-driven, measurable and multiscreen – which will enable us to significantly grow our advertising business. We are very excited to partner with Pierre, Bertrand and their talented team.”

Pierre Chappaz, Founder and Executive Chairman of Teads, said: “We are excited to start this new phase of Teads and become part of the internationally renowned Altice team.  Since our inception we have strived to offer our clients with superior advertising solutions based on measurable performance and technological innovation.  As part of Altice, we will be able to offer even more tailored, data-driven solutions and take our value proposition from the digital world to a multiscreen platform, which includes TV, digital, mobile and tablets.  It is this differentiated offering which will allow Altice and Teads to uniquely prosper in the global advertising market.”