A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • The San Jose Earthquakes hired Matías Almeyda as the team’s new coach. Almeyda was leading coach of the Chivas from Guadalajara during the team’s CONCACAF Liga de Campeones 2018 final. Almeyda will start his new position in 2019.

  • The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has signed its Copa Libertadores streaming rights over to Facebook. The deal will run from 2019 until 2022. Facebook will make the streaming available to all ten of Conmebol’s member nations.


  • Los Angeles FC Banc of California Stadium revealed a new virtual reality (VR) mobile app. The app allows LAFC fans and other customers to explore spaces within the stadium from anywhere in the world. Users can even select different camera angles to help visualize the various uses for each space.


  • Liverpool has signed a deal with AXA. Through the multi-year agreement, the insurance company will become the club’s first global insurance partner. AXA will host a range of Liverpool-themed mass participation events worldwide, as well as offer fan experiences.

Subscribe to Portada daily Sports Marketing Updates!

  • Brasileirão Serie ACampeonato Brasileiro Série A streaming rights were acquired by new sports technology startup Fanfoot for US$150 million. Fanfoot says it combines live streaming with a built-in online social community across any device in order to provide fans with high-quality video, engagement opportunities, unique content, and special promotions. The platform will be available to fans in early 2019.


  • Arsenal inked a new kit sponsorship deal with Adidas which is speculated to be worth around $78 million per year. The deal replaces Puma as the club’s partner and will go into effect on July 1 next year.


  • FIFA launched its first-ever global strategy for women’s soccer, “to realize the full potential that exists within the women’s game.” This Division will work closely with MAs around the world via workshops and special initiatives to assist them in bringing together key stakeholders to discuss, develop and implement their respective women’s football strategies and to ensure the greatest impact possible of their efforts to develop and grow the women’s game.


  • Perform Content has extended its exclusive betting partnership with LaLiga. Perform Content will remain the exclusive LaLiga betting video streaming provider until the 2022/23 season. The deal covers 848 matches per year.

A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • Soccer club Barcelona is expecting to reach its highest ever revenues of €960 million (US$1.1 billion) during the 2018/19 season. The team also stated that it is expecting to reach its target of exceeding revenues of €1 billion by 2021.


  • Andrés Iniesta
    Andres Iniesta.

    Spanish player Andres Iniesta will have his own fly-on-the-wall documentary television series, focusing on his life in Japan with the J1 League Vissel Kobe team. The show will be produced by local e-commerce giant Rakuten, who financed Iniesta’s move to Kobe. The series will be available on Rakuten Viki in English, Spanish, and Japanese.


  • The Canadian Premier League (CPL) has signed a long-term deal with Macron, making the Italian-based company the official league kit provider beginning with the 2019 CPL season. The deal includes custom-designed playing kits and training gear for Canadian Premier League clubs; HFX Wanderers FC, York 9 FC, Forge FC, Valour FC, FC Edmonton, Cavalry FC, and Pacific FC squad and coaching staff.

Subscribe to Portada daily Sports Marketing Updates!

  • The New York Red Bulls has named New Jersey-based Brisas Bakery & Restaurant as the club’s official empanada. According to the club, this represents the first such sponsorship of any pro sports team in the country.


  • KonamiArsenal has expanded its global partnership agreement with Japanese video game company Konami, as the club’s official video game partner. In-game graphics of both the club’s first team players and the Emirates Stadium will benefit from 3D scanning, while former club legends will feature in the game for the first time.


  • Manchester United’s latest financial report showed revenues of UK£590 million (US$777 million). These numbers represent an increase of 1.5 percent on the previous year. The club cited sponsorship deals as a key revenue driver over the past year, with a total of seven partnerships signed including the team’s first ever sleeve sponsorship with Kohler.


  • The players of the FC Barcelona Club stepped into fashion by wearing Thom Browne custom made-to-measure suits for the first time, when arriving in London to play the Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur. Thom Browne was announced as the official off-field outfitter of the Catalan soccer club in July 2018.

A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • Club Puebla🎽AT&T Mexico has inked a deal to sponsor Liga MX football club Puebla FC. With this partnership, Puebla will include AT&T’s brand on the front of its shirts and, as main sponsor, its logo will also feature throughout the team’s Estadio Cuauhtemoc home ground. AT&T also sponsors Liga MX teams Monterrey and America.


  • Egnyte, a provider of secure content collaboration and compliant data protection, will provide its platform to the AS Roma football club. AS Roma is modernizing their infrastructure as they move to the cloud, creating secure collaboration across their entire organization. “Egnyte came in and transformed the way we approached collaboration across every department, from sales and marketing to operations and IT, making us more mobile and more efficient than we’ve ever been before,” stated Fabrizio Preti, Chief Technology Officer at AS Roma.

Subscribe to Portada daily Sports Marketing Updates!

  • HeinekenHeineken kicked-off its partnership with Italian Sportswear brand Kappa® for a limited edition, six-piece capsule collection. The 2018 #Heineken100 program commemorates and continues the conversation following the World Cup, by partnering two global iconic brands that share a rich heritage of supporting soccer style and culture.


  • Arsenal has hired former Candy Crush data expert Mikhail Zhilkin as a data scientist. He will focus on analyzing injury and related physical data, and putting together insights to be utilized as coaching tools.


  • Nexen Tire, a tire manufacturer and the Official Tour Partner of Manchester City Football Club (Manchester City), is officially sponsoring the ‘2018 International Champions Cup (ICC)’ in the United States for the second consecutive year. The 2018 ICC, which began on July 20, runs until August 11 across America, Europe and Singapore.

A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • FOX SportsPac-12 Networks will carry 66 live women’s soccer games in 2018, beginning Aug. 17 with four matches highlighting the opening night. All Pac-12 universities will appear on the Networks at least seven times in 2018, with Stanford leading the way with 13 appearances.
  • FOX Sports has recorded its two most-watched days of the 2018 FIFA World Cup over the last weekend with an average viewership of 3,875,000 on Saturday and 3,158,000 on Sunday. Sunday’s Colombia/Poland match was the most-watched match of the day and drew 4,555,000 viewers on the FOX broadcast network and FOX streaming sources.
  • Forbes has announced that FC Barcelona is the greatest football club in the world in terms of the quality of its sponsorship deals. The club’s annual income of 247 million US dollars is 45 million more than that of Manchester United and 47 million more than Real Madrid, who are ranked second and third. While FCB’s income was up by 15 million US dollars, Manchester United’s was down by 12 million in 2017, and Real Madrid’s by 16 million. These figures include both kit and stadium sponsorship agreements.

Subscribe to Portada daily Sports Marketing Updates!

  • Telemundo Deportes’ Spanish-language presentation of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia has now reached 25.7 million viewers in the first 10 days of the tournament’s Group Stage through Saturday, according to Nielsen data. Telemundo Deportes’ digital presentation also scored records, surpassing one billion live minutes streamed last Saturday.
  • Rwanda is defending its multi-million dollar deal to sponsor the Arsenal soccer team, by telling politicians from European donor countries it is “none of their business”. Rwanda reportedly paid the London club $40 million to have Arsenal players wear the “Visit Rwanda” tourist board logo on one sleeve.

Soccer’s popularity in the United States and the rest of the world has given rise to an alternative new business that has mushroomed in the last three years: soccer summer camps and soccer academies.

Teams such as FC Barcelona, German club Bayern Munich, and British clubs Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United, are the first seeking to set up US outposts through football academies, which enroll about 300 children each year at an average cost of $2,000 each.

FC Bayern and Global Premier Soccer (GPS) have an extensive youth partnership that brings the knowledge and expertise of FCB’s notable Youth Academy. The partnership, which began in 2014, aims to grow the level of the game in North America, bringing the FC Bayern coaching philosophy and curriculum to now over 85,000 children and 6,000 coaches into 101 soccer clubs in over 22 states.

FC Barcelona, one of Europe’s most popular teams, has 25 academies and dozens of summer camps in more than 60 countries on five continents, which together enroll more than 30,000 boys and girls each year. They represent small regiments of brand loyal consumers who will further expand the team’s fan base among their close circles of friends and family.

Luis Ramón Carazo
Luis Ramón Carazo. (Photo: Twitter)

In the US, Barça got its start with camps run by the ISL Futbol company. Nowadays, the club has a presence in 25 cities, four of them with academies for kids ages 6-14.

Increasing merchandising sales for their clubs is the big draw for teams looking to establish a presence among their younger sports fans, said Luis Ramón Carazo, sports business specialist and columnist for Mexican newspaper Reforma. By increasing brand recognition and engagement, clubs increase their sales of team-related merchandise, such as jerseys.

Increasing merchandising sales for their clubs is the big draw for teams looking to establish a presence among their younger sports fans

In addition, the strategy helps clubs find talent at an early age and develop young soccer talents who have the potential to become future professional soccer players.

Alex Isern
Alex Isern, Director of ISL Futbol. (Photo: LinkedIn)

In addition to enrollment income, the soccer camps and academies welcome sponsors looking to establish a presence on the pitch and make activations. “The sponsors are the same ones who’ve signed on with the club in each region. In the US, we have the support of Gatorade, Gillette, and Black & Decker,” said Alex Isern, Director of ISL Futbol.

The sponsors are the same ones who’ve signed on with the club in each region. In the US, we have the support of Gatorade, Gillette, and Black & Decker.

“FC Barcelona has one of the most important sports brands, with millions of fans around the world. In addition, it has a highly recognized training method, not only for its sporting successes, but also for the values it instills”, said Eduardo Celorio, Director of FCBEscola, Mexico.

A multinational future

In the long run, having foreign soccer stars playing on European teams increases the TV rights paid by international broadcasters, explained Carazo. “In Mexico, for example, we follow Bayern because Javier ‘El Chicharito’ Hernández plays for them.”

European teams are also training their sights on Asia, to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and China. Latin America is not far behind, with Brazil and Colombia among the countries where FC Barcelona has already inaugurated its first soccer schools. Mexico will be next, with the arrival of its first soccer academy slated for September 2018, stated Celorio.

The new “Early Morning Classic”

The European influence on American soccer is evident. The International Champions Cup, previously known as the World Futbol Challenge, is the most important international friendly tournament in the world. It has already created a new soccer classic: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, which will be held this year on July 29th in Miami.

Tickets for the “Early Morning Classic,” as it known in Spain because of the early morning match time in that country, went on pre-sale in March at $125-$500 each, and sold out within a few days. Resale prices for the tickets go from $500 to almost $3,000 each.

Text written by Gabriela Gutiérrez M. @gabytronica

Feature image: sxc