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What: Coca-Cola, Sprint, Volkswagen, BuzzFeed and VICE are among the international partners for Telemundo Deportes’ coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018.
Why it matters: Power brands providing sponsorship and Spanish-language content across multimedia platforms, even without a U.S. team presence in Russia, demonstrates the desire to connect with this audience.

The countdown to FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCupis on for fútbol fans across the globe, and nowhere is that fervor stronger than in Latin America. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay will represent the region in various Groups in Russia beginning on June 14, and for many fans, Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSportswill be the preferred outlet to follow the world’s largest sporting event.

Telemundo has unveiled its top-level slate of partners, including worldwide sponsors like Coca-Cola (@CocaCola), Sprint (@sprintand Volkswagen (@Volkswagen), and content creators NBCU Digital Lab, BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeedand VICE (@VICESports).

On the content side, in which Telemundo plans more than 1,000 hours, VICE will create short features and stories geared toward the younger soccer audience.

“We are kicking off the 100-day countdown in a big way to celebrate this historic moment for Telemundo Deportes,” said Ray Warren, President of Telemundo Deportes, in a statement. “This will be the most consumed and most widely distributed digital event in Spanish-language television history. All of the initiatives announced today support our mission to bring our viewers the most authentic and complete coverage in the history of the tournament.”

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On the sponsorship side, Coca-Cola will present the post-game shows and will appear on the in-game clocks on Telemundo’s coverage. Sprint will serve as the halftime sponsor and will allow its customers access to a portal with exclusive Spanish-language content. VW gains the lead on the primetime show, airing highlights and commentary nightly from 7-8 p.m.

On the content side, in which Telemundo plans more than 1,000 hours, VICE will create short features and stories geared toward the younger soccer audience. NBCU Digital Lab will work with Telemundo on the digital docu-series “Somos el Mundial” (“We are the World”), while BuzzFeed will create other short-form content for its multimedia platforms.

Some of the personalities on Telemundo Deportes’ coverage include Tab Ramos, Diego Forlán, Jesús “Chucho” Ramírez and Teófilo Cubillas.

Check out the stars of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

cover image: 2014 World Cup Final (Danilo Borges-copa2014.gov.br)

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

  • Dos EquisDos Equis signed a deal with Intersport to become the title sponsor of the inaugural 3X3U National Championship. This new event pits 32 four-man teams representing every Division I college basketball conference against each other as part of a three day, 3-on-3 tournament. The Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship begins on March 30. The games will be streamed live on Twitter.
  • According to Universo, its Spanish-language broadcast of Eagles/Patriots Super Bowl LII averaged 543 thousand total viewers, BuzzFeedranking as the top Hispanic cable network during the telecast for Telemundo Deportes. Total viewership went up by 48% in comparison to Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, the last time the channel broadcast that game.
  • NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed launched Playfull on Facebook, a millennial parenting channel (target audience: 20-34). According to Pew Research Center, ¼ of all U.S.-Hispanics are millennial. Buzzfeed will create videos for Playfull, while NBCUni oversees ad sales and business partnerships. Marketing support will include ads during NBC’s Winter Olympics.

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  • NASCARBig Machine Vodka wants to become title partner for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard will serve as the finale to the Cup Series regular season.
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that ESPN’s OTT service will cost $4.99/month and launch this spring on Apple iOS, Android, and ChromeCast, for starters. The app will be completely new, with original content; personalized scores, highlights and news; live streaming of linear networks, and incremental hours of live programming. “If anything points to what the future of ESPN looks like,” said Iger, “it will be this app.” There are just over 46 million Hispanic mobile phone users and this number is expected to grow to 51 million by 2020, according to Think Now Research.
  • fuboTVfuboTV, in agreement with NBCUniversal, announced a multi-platform content offering for NBCUniversal’s coverage of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games from PyeongChang, South Korea, to run through Sunday, February 25. fuboTV has also launched a new feature, updating its Sports navigation bar to include a break-down of Olympic programming, sorted by sport, in order to help viewers find specific live events more easily.
  • Thursday Night Football has a new home after the NFL. FOX Sports announced that the franchise would shift from CBS/NBC to FOX, courtesy of a five-year deal valued at $3.3 billion. Contests will be simulcast on NFL Network and distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes. With this deal, FOX Sports and the NFL will expand its digital rights, over digital platforms including mobile phones for the first time.

A summary of the most exciting recent news in ad tech in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

U.S./U.S. HISPANIC MARKET

Adaptive Medias, Inc. and AdSupply, Inc. are merging to create one of the most powerful entities in anti-ad blocking technology. Per the terms of the deal, the merged enterprises will be consolidated into Adaptive Medias and will continue to trade under the ticker symbol “ADTM” until the combined entity begins its application to up-list to the Nasdaq. AdSupply (ranked by comScore as the 21st largest online advertising network) has built the patented BlockIQ technology that detects and bypasses ad blockers, including AdBlock Plus. By discovering and overriding the industry’s most tenacious ad blockers, BlockIQ allows online publishers to recover revenue that would have otherwise been lost. Adaptive Medias created the best-in-class Media Graph platform that works across all screens and devices. The platform was designed to scale with the rise of mobile video, which (according to Cisco) will represent 72% of global mobile data traffic by 2019. By joining forces with AdSupply, Adaptive Medias gains access to BlockIQ, providing a critical first-mover advantage over potential competitors. AdSupply has produced consecutive annual revenue growth greater than 30% since its debut in 2012. The company achieved record revenues of $18.5 million in 2015 and serves more than 1,000 publishers with many notable customers, including Google, Alibaba and Caesars Interactive Entertainment.

Snapchat moves into a buzzy part of the Emoji market. Snapchat has agreed to acquire Bitstrips, the Toronto-based maker of personalized emojis known as bitmojis, Fortune has learned from multiple sources. One of the sources says that the deal is valued “in the ballpark” of $100 million, via a mix of cash and stock. Bitstrips was originally founded in 2007 to help users build personalized digital comics, but in 2014 refocused on customized and shareable cartoon avatar or “bitmojis” which the user can put into various different poses or with different accessories, and are readily accessible for mobile communications.

ClicksMob, a mobile-only performance platform that gives app developers and publishers users, has merged with AppGrade, which monetizes video ads for mobile users. The ClicksMob platform will now be able to offer better mobile performance marketing through AppGrade’s SDK platform.

Some may say that ad-tech funding is freezing up, but we don’t see it. German RNTS and its recent purchase Heyzap have acquired Inneractive, an Israeli real-time bidding and mobile ad-exchange company, for $46 million in cash and $26 million in earn-outs and retention payments. Inneractive had only raised $11.5 million in funding until now. RNTS also purchased Falk Realtime for $11 million in 2015.

unrulyLondon-based Unruly, which is owned by News Corp, launched a tool that visualizes statistics about users’ emotional responses to video ads. Until now, the product was only available on a custom basis per client request.

Predictive targeting ad tech firm AdTheorent has launched an attribution service called Barometric, which allows companies to match sales with specific ad campaigns and creates an ID for each user that works across devices and physical stores based on the user’s street address.

Content engine Outbrain has acquired ROI-tracking startup Revee, which had only raised $1 million until now. Revee’s technology has been turned to the Outbrain Automatic Yield service, and they already have a big client: Time, Inc.

Facebook has announced that it has stopped development of a demand-side platform for its ad server and measurement platform, Atlas. Facebook had been testing a buying platform for a small group of marketers that allowed them to bid on advertising on websites and apps programmatically (in real-time).

Premium online video marketplace provider Tremor Video has partnered with digital media agency Integral Ad Science to create real-time video viewability optimization services. Tremor’s platform is now the first of its kind, and will allow Tremor to offer advanced bidding and reporting capabilities. It also gives Tremor Video users the ability to optimize their video campaigns by viewable impressions instead of basing optimization on pre-bid or post-buy approaches.

Buzzfeed is making moves to further monetize its huge reach, and has launched an ad platform, Swarm, to bring ad content to audiences on their favorite platforms. It will allow advertisers to create ads for web, apps and social networks at once.

Gravity4, a digital marketing technology and applications firm, announced that it is opening operations geared towards the Hispanic audiences in the United States. A new app suite that integrated Search, Native Advertisement, DSP, DMP, DCO, CRM, email marketing and analysis in real-time is now available to brands looking to cater to this powerful audience.

Cross-device data management platform Lotame has announced that it is launching the Audience Optimizer, its new solution powered by machine-learning algorithms for more effective campaign optimization and engagement. Audience Optimizer “adjusts for the ‘who’ of the campaign — that is, the audience,” and has already been used by brands like Ulta Beauty, PANDORA and Atkins Nutritionals.

LAT-AM MARKET

Despite its political and economic instability, Brazil is showing strong growth in digital ads: according to IAB Brazil’s data, the market will reach R$10.4bn (£2bn) by the end of 2016, which would be a 12% increase from 2015. The market is composed mostly of search, followed by display and social media and video.

mercadolivreBrazilian digital marketing tools company Predicta, is teaming up with MercadoShops (a unit of Mercado Livre, the e-commerce platform). MercadoShops’s users will be able to use Predicta’s app marketplace, analytics, and other data tools looking at user behavior.

According to a recent study, Mexico processes the highest percentage of encrypted Google traffic in the world. 86% of Mexico’s requests to Google used hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) encryption. Brazil came in second with 84%.

Dentsu Aegis Network is buying one of Mexico‘s biggest digital agencies, Flock, which represents an important Dentsu expansion effort into Latin America. Dentsu’s Isobar Network is already present in Brazil, but does not currently have a presence in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Flock’s impressive list of clients includes Nike, Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza, Jose Cuervo and Cinepolis.

C&W Business, part of C&W Communications (CWC), is partnering with end-to-end software solution provider Scala, Inc., whose clients are mostly in digital signage, visual communications and ad management, to expand their services into the Caribbean and Latin America. C&W is already one of the largest technology providers in the region, and Scala’s 25 years of experience in the industry should make for a powerful team.