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What: The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association of Football (Concacaf) announced that supplier of branded lubricants and automotive services Valvoline will be a key sponsor of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. We talked to Tim Ferrell, Valvoline Vice President, Brand Equity & Consumer Marketing, about why the brand decided to sponsor this specific soccer tournament.
Why it matters: This year’s Concacaf Gold Cup has grown significantly since the last edition, in 2017. This time we’ll see with more nations, more host countries, and more stadiums.


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The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association of Football (Concacaf) is changing the rules for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. With more participating nations (16 up from 12 in 2017), more host countries (three, including first-ever matches in Costa Rica and Jamaica), and more stadiums (17 up from 14 in 2017, eight of which are in contention to become a 2026 FIFA World Cup venue), the Gold Cup is aiming higher than ever.

More than 20 brands from across categories have signed on to be part of the international competition, which will feature the U.S. and Mexican men’s national teams and will be broadcast in Spanish exclusively on Univision Deportes. Valvoline, an American branded lubricants and automotive services supplier, is one of the brands that have signed a partnership to sponsor this edition of the confederation’s championship.

Within the U.S., 15 venues will host matches across 13 cities including Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul and New York. The knockout rounds will be played in Houston, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Phoenix, and the final will take place at the Soldier Field stadium in Chicago on July 7.

“We wanted to be a part of it”, Tim Ferrell, Valvoline Vice President, Brand Equity & Consumer Marketing, told Portada during an exclusive interview. 

Portada: Why was Concacaf the right fit for the sponsorship?
Tim Ferrell: “Soccer is the most watched sport in the world. The Gold Cup has more than 44 million viewers in the U.S. across the tournament and more than 75 million worldwide.  This is a very passionate fan base and there’s a crossover between this audience and the Valvoline consumer.  So we wanted to be a part of it – the excitement, the energy and have the opportunity to share our message with fans.”

The Gold Cup has more than 44 million viewers in the U.S. across the tournament.

Portada: Who is the key market you are looking to reach through the Concacaf Gold Cup?
TM: We want to reach both the general market and Hispanic consumers who are automotive DIYers.

Portada: How relevant is the Hispanic and multicultural market to Valvoline?
TM: “The Hispanic consumer is and always has been very important to Valvoline. We have a long history together embracing the DIY lifestyle”

ValvolinePortada: What actions will the sponsorship include?
TM: “We’re going to be a part of it all— stadium signage and announcements, digital display advertising, social media, on-site activation. We’re also amplifying our presence with broadcast television on national broadcasters Univision Deportes and Fox Sports.”

We’re going to be a part of it all.

Portada: Why did you specifically decide to present your sponsorship through the “High Mileage Stats of the Game” digital platform?
TM: “Valvoline created the first High Mileage motor oil. We created the category. We want consumers to know that. This was a fun way to make that message part of the matches themselves. Those guys cover a lot of ground. The vehicles with engines protected by Valvoline High Mileage oil do as well.

This was a fun way to make that message part of the matches themselves.

Portada: How will you measure the success of this partnership?
TM: “We look at a lot of things: how many DIYers we can reach, the fit between our brand and soccer fans, how well our presence is received by fans, increase in consideration and lift in sales.

Portada: In more general terms, how do you see soccer’s growth in the U.S.? Do you believe the sport will keep attracting more brands and sponsorships in the coming year? Why?
TM: The popularity of and interest in soccer is certainly on the rise in the U.S. We assume results in the continuing interest in brands considering a presence in soccer. For us, it’s more about finding the right fit with the right consumer. Many passionate soccer fans are also passionate DIYers.

 

What: MLS and Liga Bancomer MX have reportedly discussed the possibility of a superleague, encompassing clubs in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
Why it matters: The opportunities for partners in such a superleague would be enticing, with more than 50 combined markets across North America.

credit: Flickr/Paul Bailey

When The United Bid (@united2026), submitted together by the U.S., Canada and Mexico soccer federations, to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCupproved successful, speculation grew that the partnership between the North American nations could be expanded into other areas to further grow the game on the continent. Now fans are wondering what a combined Major League Soccer (@MLSand Liga Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMXmight look like, as reports out of last month’s Leaders Summit in the UK quote Liga MX President Enrique Bonilla as being open to further discussion.

“It’s a possibility, a North American league,” he said to reporters there. “We have to determine how and see the pros and cons, but I think that’s a way to grow and to compete again. “If we can make a World Cup then we can make a North American league or a North American cup. The main idea is that we have to grow together to compete. If not, there is only going to be the rich guys in Europe and the rest of the world.”

…[T]he combined North American entity for World Cup, the MLS-Liga MX superleague would represent a huge opportunity for multinational companies like Adidas and AT&T…

The Campeones Cup (@CampeonesCup), held in September between Toronto FC of MLS and Tigres UANL of Liga MX, can be seen as a direct manifestation of the same spirit of partnership that made The United Bid possible. Tigres won by a 301 count in Toronto, and while the building was half-full, the blueprint for future on-field matches of consequence was set.

“We think this opportunity with the World Cup in 2026 opens the door for us to make a lot of things different and better,” added Bonilla.

“We have been discussing with Liga MX additional ways we can collaborate on and off the field,” said MLS executive Dan Courtemanche at the same event. “We are excited about the future opportunities that exist between our two leagues.”

The Portada Brand-Sports Summit in Los Angeles on March 15, 2019 (Hotel Loews Santa Monica) will provide a unique setting for brand marketers to learn about the opportunities sports and soccer content offers to engage consumers in the U.S. and Latin America.

So what would a combined North American professional soccer organization look like, beyond the Campeones Cup? Liga MX, which has been in existence for more than seven decades, is currently comprised of 18 teams across Mexico, and MLS, which began competition in 1996, comprises 20 U.S. and 3 Canadian sides. 41 clubs would seem to be an unwieldy number, but fans who follow college sports here know that “Power 5” schools, the largest NCAA programs, total more than 60 schools, each with huge fan bases over a diverse combined footprint.

For marketers, there may be some initial negotiation to be done with exclusive sponsors, at least until current deals expire, on both the MLS and Liga MX ends. But in the same way that partners will be working with CONCACAF (@Concacafand the combined North American entity for World Cup, the MLS-Liga MX superleague would represent a huge opportunity for multinational companies like Adidas (@adidasand AT&T (@ATT), which have official partnerships with both leagues, and any of a dozen beverages, airlines and banks that could gain a foothold across the continent in one fell swoop. Not to mention what a Fox Sports, ESPN or NBC/Telemundo could do to attract broadcast advertisers for such a wide-ranging organization.

Some U.S. fans, their own squad not qualifying for World Cup, took to rooting for Mexico last summer. It would be in that spirit: a bold move, one which would have dozens of moving parts and would require concessions and copious amounts of cooperation and faith from both ends to make a reality. But sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the whole; getting huge organizations, with layers of politics and red tape to fight through, to subscribe to that concept might be too big an obstacle to overcome. But fans of the superleague can always dream.

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What: Puerto Rican Football Federation has signed former Honduran star Amado Guevara to rebuild the soccer program.
Why it matters: The soccer program is attempting to gain international success as the island rebuilds from the damage left behind by Hurricane Maria.

As a former captain of the Honduran national soccer team (@FenafuthOrg), Amado Guevara (@AmadoGuevara20) has taken on many challenges throughout his soccer career, including leading the team to a 2010 World Cup appearance.

But none of those obstacles are as great as the one he is currently battling in the Caribbean. As the new head coach of the Puerto Rican national team (@FutbolPR), Guevara has an immense task ahead of him.

Forget the fact that the commonwealth island has never had the talent to participate in a FIFA World Cup or CONCACAF Gold Cup. Puerto Rico is still recovering from the devastation left behind Hurricane Maria.

Amado Guevara, the former Honduran national team captain who previously played with Toronto FC, was signed in July by the Puerto Rican Football Federation to coach the men’s soccer team.

Despite claims of great success in rebuilding the island, by the Trump Administration, Puerto Rico’s recovery has been slow and inconsistent. Hurricane Maria left behind $90 million worth of damage, according to the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, while a George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (@GWpublichealth) study estimates that almost 3000 people died as a result of the natural disaster.

“We are happy, first for the work that has been done, and for the invitation that they made to be part of this project, but above all the idea is to work, work and work,” said Guevara to Honduran publication El Nuevo Dia (@ElNuevoDia). “That is the philosophy. Try to reach the objectives that we want to achieve. The first one we have set is the Nations Cup.”

The CONCACAF (@Concacaf) Nations Cup is the inaugural tournament used as qualifiers for the newly expanded CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. Puerto Rico has been grouped with Saint Kitts and Nevis (@SKNFA_), Martinique (@LFM972_officiel), Belize (@bzefootballfed) and Grenada (@GrenadaFootball).

“I think it’s a really good idea,” said Guevara of the tournament. “The only way to get better is to play competitive matches and now players from all nations can develop more and grow as footballers.”

Guevara has had a rough start to his coaching career. Puerto Rico lost to Saint Kitts and Nevis 1-0 on the road, in September. The squad followed that up with a 1-0 loss to Martinique, in an emotional home match for the Puerto Rican national team, who were making their return to Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel.

Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel, a baseball stadium converted into a soccer-specific venue, is the home field of the national team that was battered by Hurricane Maria. The Puerto Rican Football Federation charged fans free admission for the October match against Martinique for their team’s first home game since their 2017 Caribbean Cup Third Round qualifier against Curaçao (@FutbolCuracao).

“He lost his debut as the Puerto Rico coach versus Martinique but just the fact that a guy like him wanted to be there is pretty important for that team,” said ESPN Mexico correspondent Tony Alvarez (@Tonyar27).

Though beisbol may be king on La Isla del Encanto, Puerto Rico does have 76 years of soccer history. Not great history, but history nonetheless. Since playing their inaugural 1-1 draw against Cuba, in 1940, Puerto Rico spent the next 30 years winless, until a 3-0 victory over the Bahamas, in 1979.

The Portada Brand-Sports Summit in Los Angeles on March 15, 2019 (Hotel Loews Santa Monica) will provide a unique setting for brand marketers to learn about the opportunities sports and soccer content offers to engage consumers in the U.S. and Latin America.

The program failed to build on that success, winning sporadically against teams such teams as the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, and Martinique before going through a 17-year winless drought between 1995 through 2007.

Eric Labrador, president of the Puerto Rican Football Federation, sees the signing of Guevara as a key component in kickstarting the soccer program to a different level.

“It’s very important because this is going to change the way we do soccer in Puerto Rico,” said Labrador to Honduran newspaper El Nuevo Dia.

Guevara does bring some bench experience to the Puerto Rican locker room, having worked with Jorge Luis Pinto as part of the coaching staff of the Honduran national team that fell a game short of qualifying into the 2018 World Cup.

He lost his debut as the Puerto Rico coach versus Martinique but just the fact that a guy like him wanted to be there is pretty important for that team

“Amado feels like he has learned a lot from Jorge Luis Pinto and that he’s ready for the challenge,” said José A. Rodríguez (@Jarm21), editor-in-chief for Deporte Total USA. “He is very well prepared and it’s now time to go on and prove that he can lead a team as a coach like he did for many years as a player. The positive side of things is basically that he is working without any pressure but his own.”

Despite being a rookie coach, Puerto Rican Football Federation officials are hoping that Guevara’s vast experience as captain of the Honduran national team, as well as his stints with Major League Soccer‘s (@MLS) New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls), Toronto FC (@torontofc) and the defunct Chivas USA, as well as Honduran powerhouse Club Motagua (@MOTAGUAcom), can change the culture of the entire program.

“He can implement that knowledge he acquired during his playing days and try to create a good and successful system for his coaching career, starting with a small group of guys that dedicate themselves to others things but that can build a foundation for his own success come the near future,” said Alvarez.

While Guevara is excited about the challenges currently in front of him, he has made no secret he is interested in someday coaching the Honduran national team. Guevara is hoping that a successful stint in Puerto Rico may help him land the Honduran coaching job, down the road.

“Considering that he’s aiming to be the coach of his home country Honduras, even though it is a difficult situation going on in the island so far, you can say that anything good that he can do will be well seen by the people in the [Honduran] office,” said Alvarez. “If you see the big picture, he doesn’t have many resources to be successful, therefore if he can make them go the Gold Cup and get some wins in friendly matches, it’s ok. And if he can’t, nobody will say anything bad about his job because he has not much to work with.”

For his part, while Guevara dreams of coaching Los Catrachos, Puerto Rico’s coach is fully focused on his new career and the task at hand of changing the culture of the island’s soccer program.

“You have to manage more things,” said Guevara. “As a player, you only worry about playing. Coaching is different, but it is everything that I expected and I’m enjoying it.”

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What: FIFA has announced its plans for growing women’s soccer worldwide.
Why it matters: For FIFA, increased participation will mean increased interest in the women’s game, leading to more marketing opportunities for brands as well.

Victory Lap (Wikimedia Commons/Nicki Dugan Pogue)

If for years it has seemed like FIFA (@FIFAcomhas concentrated, say, 99 44/100% of its energies on the men’s game, it’s probably not an illusion. And while the Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWChas helped the ladies version gain popularity since the U.S. won the inaugural event in 1991, soar after the American victory in 1999, and reach new heights following the 2015 U.S. win over Japan in Canada, the lion’s share of the organizing body’s attention has focused on the men in the 100+ years since its 1904 founding.

The Portada Brand-Sports Summit in Los Angeles on March 15, 2019 (Hotel Loews Santa Monica) will provide a unique setting for brand marketers to learn about the opportunities sports and soccer content offers to engage consumers in the U.S. and Latin America.

With the worldwide opportunities that the women’s game now possesses, FIFA recently unveiled a new global strategy, with a stated goal of doubling women’s participation to 60 million across the globe. With the Women’ World Cup looming next summer in France, now is the time for FIFA and its Confederations to step up, and for marketers to take advantage. In fact, the Concacaf (@Concacafwomen’s championship, which determines the World Cup qualifiers, is going on now through Oct. 17.

Most importantly it will make football more accessible to girls and women and encourage female empowerment.
Sarai Bareman (via Twitter)

In what many followers of the women’s game saw as at least a good first step, two years ago FIFA set up its first Women’s Football Division, run by Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman (@SarBareman), a New Zealand native who competed for Samoa, the homeland of her mother. That same year, Fatma Samoura (@fatma_samouraof Senegal was appointed as the first female Secretary General of FIFA. These were two of the first significant moves by Gianni Infantino after replacing Sepp Blatter as FIFA’s president.

“As FIFA’s first female Secretary General I am proud to launch our first-ever global strategy for women’s football,” said Samoura in a statement. “The women’s game is a top priority for FIFA and via our new strategy we will work hand-in-hand with our 211 member associations around the world to increase grassroots participation, enhance the commercial value of the women’s game and strengthen the structures surrounding women’s football to ensure that everything we do is sustainable and has strong results. Most importantly it will make football more accessible to girls and women and encourage female empowerment, a subject of great importance, now more than ever before.”

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(Wikimedia Commons-GoToVan)

In 2015, with the Canada location providing more TV-friendly match times than the previous two Cups in China (2007) and Germany (2011), FIFA broadcast partner Fox attracted brands like Nationwide (@Nationwideand Fiat (@fiatalong with U.S. Soccer’s official sponsors Mondelez, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet and Johnson & Johnson.

Now, pool prize money increases, additional grassroots plans, and commitments to placing women in leadership positions on FIFA committees and in every member association are also part of the initiative. With the U.S. vs. Japan 2015 final attracting nearly 27 million viewers here, the most for any soccer match involving a U.S. team (men or women), interest among sponsors for the 2019 tournament should be at an all-time high.

Cover Image: credit Nicki Dugan Pogue/Wikimedia Commons

What: Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio took some time to discuss the federation’s initiatives coming out of World Cup and looking towards France 2019, Qatar 2022 and beyond.
Why it matters: Changing the culture of the federation across the entire region has been the hallmark of Moggio’s two years at the helm, and a stronger and more unified Concacaf benefits marketers looking to connect.

Philippe Moggio

Concacaf (@Concacaf ‏), one of the six global FIFA (@FIFAcom) federations, administering soccer in 41 nations in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, continues its stated vision, “For the Love of Our Game,” under the administration of General Secretary Philippe Moggio (@PMoggio). The Colombian former NBA Senior VP and managing director of Latin America and the Caribbean has instituted sweeping changes in how the federation operates in his two-plus years at the helm, notably a sizable increase in competitions throughout its footprint and updated branding.

Moggio discussed his achievements, vision and his NBA experience in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Portada this month.

Portada: What do you consider to be the most significant achievement at Concacaf since your appointment two years ago?

Phillipe Moggio: We have made tremendous progress over the last two years. And for us, our biggest accomplishment as we continue changing the culture of our organization is that the discussion across our 41 member nations is, for the first ever, purely about football.

We have made substantial strides in rebuilding Concacaf into a credible, transparent, well-governed organization. We have been heavily focused on reform and good governance while upholding the values of transparency and accountability. In addition, with the aim of providing more access to football for more Member Associations, players and fans, we have also expanded our national teams’ competitions, including Gold Cup and most recently, the Concacaf Nations League, and our club tournaments, including the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, the Scotiabank Concacaf League, and the Caribbean Club Championships.

As a result of these important changes, I think Concacaf is today well positioned for strong, long-term growth and success.

Portada: What are some of the programs or initiatives at Concacaf that were most influenced by your work at the NBA?

P.M.: The NBA is an incredible organization, where I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best leaders in sports, including current Commissioner Adam Silver and former Commissioner, David Stern. From them, I learned that the integrity of the game is a top priority, and that this integrity needs to be preserved through the implementation of strong governance and transparent practices. I also learned at the NBA that to grow a sport you need to ensure you work hand in hand with the right strategic partners and that to continue engaging current and new fans and staying relevant, you need to continuously innovate and push the envelope from a content development and distribution perspective.

Similarly, at Concacaf, we have established good governance processes to ensure the integrity and transparency of our organization and the preservation of our game, supported by a new organizational structure. We have also implemented efficient business processes to improve operational performance and designed a new corporate identity. And to support the growth of our game and our business, we have been very focused on the expansion of our national and club competitions as well as on putting in place the right football development initiatives across professional football, youth development, coaching education and refereeing.

…[W]e have established good governance processes to ensure the integrity and transparency of our organization and the preservation of our game, supported by a new organizational structure

Portada: What are the goals of the new branding of Concacaf?

P.M.: We proudly launched the renewal of our brand in March to better represent the collective best of the individual cultures of our 41 member nations and the “Love for Our Game” that we all share. Brought together by the vision and power of working as one, this new brand represents four core pillars we have identified as central to all Concacaf efforts, which include Unity – we are One Concacaf family, representing the best of our 41 individual and beautiful cultures; Football – the game always comes first; Quality – we are here to raise our game every day, making football better for every team, every time; and Access – in our game, everyone gets to play and everyone in our family should feel connected and respected.

These key pillars, represented in our new logo through the four sides of a diamond, with 41 diamonds coming together in a circle, guide our decision making across all areas of the organization. It is a way of telling ourselves that what we are doing is consistent with who we are as a brand. Unity, Football, Quality, Access. If it doesn’t have these qualities, it isn’t Concacaf. And it isn’t our game. This is what our brand is all about and what our slogan “Love for Our Game” represents.

Portada: Which competitions will be taking place under the Concacaf umbrella that fans can look forward to? Where will those take place?

P.M.: We are very focused on making football more accessible to more teams, players and fans across our region while raising the quality of our competitions. This second half of the year, our fans can look forward to a number of exciting competitions as we are hosting, and fully producing for media distribution, over 260 matches across men’s and women’s national team tournaments and youth competitions.

First, we are incredibly excited for the debut of our Concacaf Nations League Qualifying phase in September. The Concacaf Nations League (@CNationsLeagueis a new national team competition focused on improving the quality and standing of national team soccer within the Concacaf region. The development of this new competition, has been anchored on the principles of providing more meaningful games to our 41 Member Associations’ senior men’s national teams during a full FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle to increase competitiveness and spurring development of the sport on and off the field. The sixty-eight-match qualifying phase of this tournament will take place during the four FIFA match windows of September, October and November 2018 and March 2019.

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Our 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship is scheduled to be played on October 4-17, in Cary, NC, Edinburg, Texas, and Frisco, Texas. The two finalists and winner of the third and fourth place match will automatically qualify to the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year in France and the fourth place team will play a home and away playoff against Argentina in November.

We also have the new Scotiabank Concacaf League. This 16 team professional club competition is currently underway throughout Central America and the Caribbean. The 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League champion will earn a ticket to the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League to be played in the spring, joining clubs that have qualified from across the region, including top teams from MLS in the U.S. and Canada and from Liga MX in Mexico.

In addition, we are preparing for the largest ever Concacaf Under-20 tournament which will be played at the IMG Academy campus in Bradenton, Florida, on November 1-21, 2018. Thirty-four teams from our region will compete in this men’s youth championship to earn one of four spots in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland.

And looking forward to next summer, 15 venues across 13 U.S. metropolitan cities will welcome the 2019 edition of the expanded Concacaf Gold Cup, which includes a pan-regional footprint with the upcoming selection of additional venues in the Caribbean and Central America.

Portada: What can Concacaf take from the 2018 FIFA World Cup results of member nations, heading into the 2022?

P.M.: We are very proud to have been represented by Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia and to have had one of our members, Panama, qualify to a FIFA World Cup for the first time ever. Together with our 41 members, we are working very hard on raising the competitive level across our region, and we believe that the expansion of our Concacaf Gold Cup and the creation of Concacaf Nations League, will give our national teams the opportunity to compete more and on a more consistent basis, we will see an improvement in Concacaf’s teams performance in Qatar 2022.

What: N.Y. Cosmos owner Rocco Commisso has put forth a US $500 million plan (half of which would be his own investment) for an American soccer entity to rival MLS and boost U.S. Soccer.
Why it matters: A push to host a future FIFA World Cup, providing a major boost to the sport in North America, would be helped by an even stronger, more unified pro base.

With American soccer fans —and brands— scrambling after the U.S. men’s national team failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCupfor the first time since the Reagan administration, there has been no shortage of opinions about potential ways to get the program back on track— from the grassroots on up, numerous outlets have reported that New York Cosmos (@NYCosmosowner Rocco Commisso has put forth a US $500 million plan for a league that might even compete with MLS (@MLS).

The outspoken Commisso —a native of Italy who has made his fortune in the U.S. cable industry— has his own issues with the U.S. Soccer Federation (@ussoccer), which has borne the brunt of the national team’s failure to qualify for Russia this summer. The 67-year-old, who has two lawsuits pending against U.S. Soccer, is offering to fund half of the planned half-billion dollar investment in the new entity, which would have a ripple effect on the sport and its partner brands, whether it exists as a direct competitor or a second-level feeder.

Would brands that haven’t traditionally invested in the sport and its fan base get on board, even more than they did for the 1994 men’s and 1999 and 2003 women’s World Cups held in the U.S.?
Rocco Commisso (Mediacom Communications Corporation)

The breadth of such a league could further connect with the Latino fan base, similar to how the NASL (@naslofficial), in which Commisso’s Cosmos compete, included Miami and Puerto Rico entries in its most recent (albeit trimmed down four-team) iteration.

Indeed, marketing is at the heart of Commisso’s dispute with USSF. In a series of letters to U.S. Soccer, FIFA, CONCACAF and the U.S. Senate that were made public this week, Commisso enumerated his demands as part of the huge investment, notably the dissolving of the relationship between USSF and its external marketing, for-profit outfit Soccer United Marketing, which he sees as too interconnected, to the detriment of other soccer entities (notably the NASL), as well as changes in national team licensing procedures, broadcast rights and other areas critical to the sport’s success here.

How might this proposal benefit soccer fans and brands? In short, a push to host a future FIFA World Cup, providing a major boost to the sport in North America, would be helped by an even stronger, more unified pro base. If so, would brands that haven’t traditionally invested in the sport and its fan base get on board, even more than they did for the 1994 men’s and 1999 and 2003 women’s World Cups held in the U.S.?

Cover Image courtesy NY Cosmos

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What: Modelo Especial has become the official import beer of the MLS’s LA Galaxy, strengthening its deep connection in the sport.
Why it matters: Combined with official beer status with the UFC, Constellation Brands has positioned Modelo well within two sports (MMA and soccer) that resonate strongly with Latino fans.

Constellation Brands (@cbrands) has announced it has extended and expanded its partnership with the MLS L.A. Galaxy (@LAGalaxyand StubHub Center, making Modelo Especial (@ModeloUSAthe official import beer of the club and stadium. The multiyear deal also includes building a Modelo-branded area atop the west terrace. Modelo will also be a lead marketing partner of the team, which will include co-branding marketing materials, fan merchandise, consumer promotions and fan engagements.

Previously the Modelo Especial brand was the exclusive import beer sponsor of both the LA Galaxy and their StubHub Center home. Given that the San Diego Chargers are also playing in the StubHub Center these days, is more Modelo in the offing for sports marketing?

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With the expansion of soccer, Modelo can continue to tie to a pair of sports, fight sports and soccer, that are truly aligned with Latino culture in the U.S.

In addition to their soccer spends, which also includes a partnership that runs until 2020 with CONCACAF (@Concacafand their events from the the Gold Cup, the Women’s World Cup Qualifying Championship, Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, the Futsal Championship, the Beach Soccer Championship and club soccer’s CONCACAF Champions League, the brand is now tied closely to the UFC (@ufc).

Modelo became the official beer of the UFC at the start of 2018, replacing Bud Light, which had served in the role since 2008. Its “Fighting Spirit” tagline fits well with the MMA culture, and Modelo’s build out for consumer and athlete partnerships is just beginning. With the expansion of soccer, Modelo can continue to tie to a pair of sports, fight sports and soccer, that are truly aligned with Latino culture in the U.S., and their brand loyalty build should continue to escalate as they expand marketshare.

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 courtesy LA Galaxy

What: Major League Soccer and Liga MX announced a long-term partnership designed to strengthen the sport in North America.
Why it matters: The agreement sends a clear message of unity to FIFA as the 2026 World Cup bid comes into focus.

The recently-announced partnership between MLS (@MLSand Liga MX (@LIGABancomerMXadds more than just a game between the leagues’ respective champions. It represents the setting of a solid goal to work together to enhance the status of both organizations, and the entire North American continent, in world soccer.

“For MLS and its brand partners this is a huge entry point to connect with fans of Liga MX, who have been skeptical of the quality of play and of the pro teams from the U.S.,” said Mario Flores, founder of Sportivo, a leading U.S. Latino marketing firm. “For Liga MX, it’s an opportunity to showcase their league and players to fans who might otherwise not tune in to watch a match. Soccer remains the number one sport of choice among Latinos so this is a very big opportunity, and another option for brands in the U.S. and Mexico to capitalize on the passion of futbol. This is very good news and I already see this as a win for MLS, Liga MX and fans of soccer. It’s really a no-brainer.”

[The Partnership]… represents the setting of a solid goal to work together to enhance the status of both organizations, and the entire North American region, in world soccer.

On that grand scale, the strategic agreement between the continent’s two largest leagues is a great message to brands that want to market professional soccer across North America, particularly to a bilingual and multicultural audience. It helps lift MLS promotion by working closely with the most-watched North American soccer platform.

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Courtesy Toronto FC

“Major League Soccer is proud to come together with Liga MX for this unprecedented partnership,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber (@thesoccerdonadded in a statement. “Together, we have a vision to elevate the popularity of our game to even higher levels in North America.”

Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla agreed. “It’s an opportunity for their champion to play our champion,” he noted, “in a way that can really create enormous interest and attention for both leagues.”

More events on the pitch are in the works, but the first is the annual event dubbed the “Campeones Cup” between the champions of each league, building on the mutual growing rivalry in the CONCACAF Champions League. The inaugural event will pit Toronto FC against either 2017 Apertura champion Tigres UANL or the winner of the current 2018 Clausura Liga MX season at Toronto’s BMO Field on September 19.

Liga MX under-20 teams will also participate during MLS All-Star Week as the annual opponent in the MLS Homegrown Game, to be held this year on August 1 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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!

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

  • Image result for post company logoPost Consumer Brands and Major League Soccer (MLS) signed a multi-year sponsorship program. Starting MLS 2018 season, on March 3, Post will serve as the exclusive cereal sponsor and be visible in stadiums at more than 370 MLS games, including national TV broadcasts.
  • Manchester United finally launched its own YouTube channel. The channel will show original content, including “unique behind-the-scenes access” to its famous Old Trafford ground, as well as exclusive player features, and all the latest goals and match action.
  • Spain’s La Liga will reportedly become Official Football League Partner of the Renault F1 Team. The LaLiga logo will be present on the team’s car as well as on the overalls of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz.

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  • LAFC has unveiled its uniforms for its inaugural season with YouTube TV as its jersey sponsor. The Adidas uniforms stick to LAFC’s black-and-gold color scheme, with the large Youtube logo on the front.

  • Copa90 announced a new partnership with Soccer United Marketing (SUM), the for-profit marketing arm of Major League Soccer. Together, the companies will generate new content formats, as well as bilingual content focused on the Mexican National Team, the CONCACAF Champions League and Major League Soccer.
  • Major League SoccerMajor League Soccer launched its 2018 brand campaign, “Our Soccer.” Cornerstone Agency and The FADER are the agencies behind the campaign, to “tell the story of the U.S. and Canada’s most ascendant, progressive and diverse sports league.” MLS national broadcast partners ESPN, FOX Sports, Univision, TSN and TVA Sports, as well as international and regional MLS broadcast partners, will support the campaign.
  • Verizon and CONCACAF signed a multi-platform media rights deal. The deal gives Verizon exclusive English language rights to distribute multiple Confederation Championships, including the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League and the CONCACAF League in the US.

What: Verizon and the CONCACAF have agreed to a media rights deal to distribute CONCACAF tournaments across Verizon’s digital platforms.
Why it matters: The deal will give Verizon exclusive rights to distribute multiple championships, adding CONCACAF to Verizon’s sports offering which already includes deals with the NFL and the NBA.

Verizon and the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) have agreed to a multi-platform media rights deal to distribute all of CONCACAF competitions across Verizon’s digital media platforms. The deal gives Verizon exclusive English language rights to distribute multiple Confederation Championships, including the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League and the CONCACAF League in the U.S., as well as select tournaments in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Verizon, including media properties like Yahoo Sports, go90, and Complex, adds CONCACAF to its  digital sports offering with vast reach across platforms. In addition to recent deals with the NFL and the NBA, CONCACAF will join Verizon’s wide soccer portfolio, which includes beIN SPORTS, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), Univision’s Liga MX, Eleven Sports’ Jupiler Pro League and a variety of Leagues within GOL TV.

“As the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League continues to gain attention as the region’s most important club tournament, this partnership with Verizon offers a great opportunity for fans who will now be able to follow their favorite teams live as they fight for the Confederation crown,” said CONCACAF CCO Jurgen Mainka.

“Our partnership with CONCACAF is yet another example of how we’re fueling our platforms to become the first screen for live sports. This deal is especially exciting as fans look to us for unique content and experiences in soccer,” added Brian Angiolet, SVP, Global Content & Media at Verizon.

 

What: We talked to Chris Thomas, Director of Digital Media & Marketing for LA Galaxy, about the team’s expansion plans and marketing strategy. He revealed that the team’s main marketing goal is to stay strong and relevant at the local level.
Why it matters: Since its founding in 1996, LA Galaxy has remained the team with the most MLS wins, making it a role model for new teams planning to join the league.

Christopher Thomas
Chris Thomas, Director of Digital Media & Marketing for LA Galaxy (Photo: LinkedIn)

A 2015 Facebook study found that LA Galaxy has the largest number of fans of any MLS team within the U.S. and Canada. According to Chris Thomas, Director of Digital Media & Marketing for LA Galaxy, this may be due to the fact that it is one of the MLS’s first teams and has had more wins than any other team since the league’s inception.

However, its strong position at the national level does not mean that the team can relax when it comes to connecting with local fans.

When we asked Thomas about his strategy for growing the team outside the U.S., his response was clear and compelling: “We do not focus on becoming international—we want to be important locally.”

As an example, he cited teams like Bayern Munich, which have managed to get stronger thanks to their commitment to and relationship with local fans. “The team represents its roots, and that is what needs to be strengthened and maximized before looking beyond its borders,” he said.

We do not focus on becoming international—we want to be important locally.

How are they doing it? The key word is content.

In the last three to four years, the marketing team has focused heavily on digital efforts by creating premium content aimed at their diverse fan base. Thomas did not disclose what percentage of his budget is invested in digital, but he did admit to it being a fairly high amount.

Since the team’s audience is very diverse, the content needs to be varied as well. “We have to be very diverse,” explained Thomas, adding that they do not dwell too much on defining each demographic element of the team’s followers.

They know that their fans are multicultural, that many are young, but also that some of them are older and local, just like the Los Angeles community. “[Our fan base] is representative of LA. You cannot really define it. [That is why] we do not get wrapped up in that,” he explained.

When it comes to generating varied and versatile content, the team’s best allies are its sponsors, or rather, its partners. For example, in partnership with Chevrolet, the team launches its Monthly Mixtape, a video of the best highlights of each month, accompanied by popular current songs.

[Our fan base] is representative of LA. You cannot really define it. [That is why] we do not get wrapped up in that.

LA GalaxyThis type of content appeals mostly to young fans, who are involved with music and trends. At the same time, they also publish longer articles, such as the profile of new coach Sigi Schmid, which are more widely read by the team’s older fans.

That is why, when the team accepts a new sponsor, it looks at brands that “want to work around our story,” Thomas said.

Currently, LA Galaxy has 46 sponsors, making it the team with one of the largest number of sponsorships in the league, including names like Adidas, Chevrolet, Allstate, Herbalife Nutrition, American Express, Corona Extra, Dannon, and Uber. Even this mix of brands shows a balance between innovative and more traditional companies.

The competition

Competing against other sports does not really worry Thomas even though the Galaxy have a new rival in a new stadium, LAFC, coming now as well and the ever-present interest in Liga MX. “We compete against everything: a concert, the beach, the weather. Those are our greatest competitors,” he declared. Nor does he feel threatened by the new teams that will be joining the MLS. By 2022, the league plans to increase its total number of teams from 22 to 28. Thomas thinks it will be exciting to have new opponents to compete against, both on and off the field, in the quest to win fans.

(Feature image: @LAGalaxy)

A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the market and/or targeting Multicultural consumers right now.

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  • Johnny Rockets

PR agency ROX United has been named public relations agency of record (AOR) for California global restaurant chain  Johnny Rockets. ROX United will provide strategic public relations and communications services to help the restaurant chain reach consumers nationally by increasing awareness of the overall brand. ROX United will also help Johnny Rockets positioning around their tagline “Stay Original.”ROX United is part of UNITED COLLECTIVE, a culturally attuned communications group consisting of five specialty agencies. In addition to ROX United, UNITED COLLECTIVE includes creative agency GALLEGOS United, business planning consultancy POLY United, content creation and post production offering LUNA United, as well as digital agency CANVAS United. UNITED COLLECTIVE was formed to help brands capitalize on today’s evolving consumer landscape. ROX United’s current client roster includes: Nike, Domino’s and the California Milk Processor’s Board (got milk?), among others.

 

  • Pinterest

Design App Pinterest has hired independent agency Giant Spoon as its media agency of record, in what is considered “its first move into U.S. paid marketing.” Pinterest will not be a huge media spender, and in fact the company dedicated less than US$200,000 to measured media in the U.S. in 2016 according to Kantar Media, but it has more than 175 million active users.

 

NEW PORTADA RESEARCH REPORT: “Content Marketing Initiatives targeting Hispanic and Multicultural Audiences”. The report is filled with intelligence for brand marketing executives targeting multicultural consumers – the majority of consumers in many major U.S. markets –  as well as for media and marketing tech vendors. This report provides a description of 20 content marketing initiatives. Each program’s main elements are described (Brands involved, Target Audience, Owned Properties, Paid Media Program, Key Influencers) are summarized and the agencies and brand decision makers behind them are listed. Described companies include: Avocados from Mexico, Barilla, Best Western, Ford, General Mills, Hershey’s, Kellogg, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, Makita, Miller Coors, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, State Farm, Sprint, Unilever, Verizon, Vilore and Wonderful Pistachios. Buy the report here  Upgrade to “Research Plus Membership” for only US$ 999 and access this report and 9 more!

  • Treasury Wine Estates

Independent cross-cultural agency BARÚ has been selected to handle Treasury Wine Estates’ media business in the U.S., AgencySpy reports.

 

 

 

 

  • Perry Ellis

Perry Ellis International (PEI) has appointed Media Storm as its media AOR to handle all media planning, buying and analytics for the fashion company’s portfolio of brands including Perry Ellis, Original Penguin by Munsingwear, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Rafaella, Cubavera, Ben Hogan, Jantzen,  Callaway, PGA TOUR and Jack Nicklaus.PEI spent US$5.88 million on advertising in the U.S. in 2016, down from US$6.65 million in 2015, according to Kantar Media.The incumbent agency was PGR Media.

 

  •  CONCACAF

Digital marketing agency The Story Room announced that it will handle brand strategy and digital marketing services for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the continental championship that will be played throughout July in 14 venues across the United States. The Story Room will be responsible for planning and implementing an integrated digital marketing strategy as well as developing the content program for the Gold Cup, targeting both English and Spanish-speaking soccer fans in the region of the Federation which is made up of 41 countries in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. In addition, the agency will generate a comprehensive digital audience research study on soccer fans across the CONCACAF region.The account will be run out of The Story Room’s Miami office, with additional support coming from the agency’s outposts in Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Montevideo.

  • The California Milk Processor Board

The California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) has unveiled its’ latest campaign that integrates creative storytelling with advertising, digital, social, public relations, retail activation, and even virtual reality to encourage Hispanic consumers to rethink how they consume milk.The Atrévete “Mega Dares” campaign, from GALLEGOS United, seeks to create new nontraditional occasions for consumers to drink milk by daring them to try unexpected food and milk pairings with an additional twist – such as a wind turbine. Digital assets include teaser, :15, :30 and :60 second Mega Dares vignettes that will appear on websites popular with the Hispanic female target, such as Hoy, Telenoticias and Huffington Post ES among others. Additional behind the scenes footage will live on the tomalache.com website.GALLEGOS United created a series of consumer activations to take place at select retail locations throughout the state of California. The “Mega Dares” campaign will also include in-store POS, social media initiative and a public relations influencer campaign led by ROX United. The campaign begins on May 15 and will run through June 30.

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What: The agreement secures the exclusive broadcasting rights of Concacaf’s club matches.
Why it Matters: Because it is a five-year deal to broadcast club competition matches, including the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League for Latin America. The Concacaf club competitions platform will include 31 Confederation clubs, beginning with the 2017-2018 season. Sixteen clubs from countries across the region, including Canada, Mexico, the United States, Central America and the Caribbean will compete in the Concacaf Champions League, which will run from February to May each year starting in 2018.

Fox Sports Latin America and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) renewed broadcast rights for five more years for Concacaf’s new club competitions platform, including the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League for Latin America.

“The extension of our relationship with FOX Sports Latin America is clear evidence that the most important official club championship in the region continues to grow in popularity and prestige,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani.

“This renewal allows us to continue offering our fans throughout Latin America the best official Concacaf club championship for five more years,” said Carlos Martinez, President of Fox Networks Group Latin America. “It reinforces our commitment to keep working every day in order to continue being the number one sports channel in Latin America, bringing the best international events and competitions.”

This renewal allows us to continue offering our fans throughout Latin America the best official Concacaf club championship for five more years.

Fox Sports Latin America has the exclusive broadcast rights across all platforms for Mexico and South America, as well as the exclusive Pay TV and digital platform rights for Central America for two CONCACAF club tournaments.

“We thank FOX Sports Latin America for believing in our confederation and the bidding process, and for their great commitment to continue to drive the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League,” added Montagliani.

Thirty-one confederation clubs will participate in the Concacaf club competitions platform, starting with the 2017-2018 season. Sixteen clubs from countries across the region, including Canada, Mexico, the United States, Central America and the Caribbean, will compete in the CONCACAF Champions League, which will run from February to May each year, starting in 2018.

In August 2017, sixteen Central American and Caribbean clubs will participate in a new tournament, ending in October.

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“This agreement encourages us to continue innovating, in order to offer this content across all of our platforms and provide the best experience to our fans,” said Carlos Martínez. “We thank the Concacaf leadership for believing in our project to continue broadcasting one of the most relevant championships for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.”

This agreement encourages us to continue innovating, in order to offer this content across all of our platforms and provide the best experience to our fans.

As for the new CONCACAF Champions League, it will consist of four qualified teams from Mexico (the champion and runner-up of the Liga MX Clausura and Apertura Tournaments), the four best qualified clubs from the MLS, and the champions of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, the Canadian Cup, and the Caribbean Club Championship, as well as the winner of the new tournament played the year before each Champions League edition. All will compete to represent CONCACAF at the FIFA Club World Cup.

The agreement also secures exclusive coverage and special programming for FOX Sports, with all pre-match and post-match analysis done by the broadcasting team composed of Raúl Orvañanos, Santiago Puente, Gustavo Mendoza, Rafael Márquez Lugo, Alberto García Aspe, Alex Aguinaga, and Fabián Estay.

 

Image: Fox Sports Latin America.

What: Patty Marchak, international director at Club América, tells us about the Mexican soccer team’s expansion plans in the U.S..
Why it matters: Sports marketing agency PRIMETIME Sports has entered into a partnership with Club America as the team’s U.S. commercial rights agency including producing Tour Aguila and leading sponsorships & broadcast rights.

Portada: Why is now the right moment to reinforce America’s presence in the U.S.?
PM: “We wanted to amplify our U.S. efforts and the Club’s 100 year anniversary was ideal timing for this.”

Portada: What is your multi-tiered brand expansion plan?
PM: “Through our partner, PRIMETIME Sports, we will provide brands in the U.S. with the year-round opportunity to connect with our fans across all of our connection points.

A key component is the kick-off of our annual Tour Aguila  – a series of match platformances that deliver an unparalleled Americanista experience for fans and heightened engagement for brand partners.  These matches will be played in top Hispanic markets and will be broadcast in the U.S. (soon to be announced partner) and in Mexico trough Televisa.”

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Portada: What are the most important challenges you face in the U.S. market?
PM: “Our main goal is to share our story with potential brand partners in the U.S.. Club America provides a passionate point of connection for U.S. Hispanic fans.  Liga MX keeps fans engaged year-round and in 2015 was again the most-watched soccer league in the U.S., regardless of language, representing 44% of soccer club viewing on national broadcasts. To put that in context, the Premier League was second at 26%.”

In the most-recent Liga MX Clausura 2015 season, Club America averaged more viewers than any other team in addition to being the most-winning Club in Mexico and the CONCACAF region.

Portada: How will you face this challenge?
PM: “By working with strong partners, staying in tune with the market and listening to fans, testing and learning across social/digital /experiential channels.”

Portada: What is Primetime’s biggest task as America’s agency?
PM: “They will produce and manage TOUR AGUILA and share the powerful value proposition Club America can provide in the U.S. year-round with brands/marketers.”

Portada: Which new digital platforms is America using to get closer to the fans?
PM: “We recently released a fun and exciting collection of Club America stickers and emojis that allow fans to “feel” the action inside their mobile messaging app as players kick, juggle soccer balls, block and score. Fans can access the collection by downloading the free Thumbkandi app. We are also developing specific channels and innovating those that we already have. In fact,we have a new app coming this year.”

What: The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced an official partnership with Scotiabank, designating the international bank as title sponsor of the CONCACAF Champions League and official sponsor of its Gold Cup tournament of national teams. Traffic Sports USA, the sponsorship rights agency of CONCACAF, secured the deal.
Why it matters: CONCACAF is a major soccer property and the multiyear agreement makes Scotiabank the first official partner of CONCACAF.

SoccerThe multi-year agreement makes Scotiabank the first official partner of CONCACAF, and covers multiple tournaments through 2018 including the region’s most important club competition – the CONCACAF Champions League –now to be known as the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League beginning February 2015 with the Championship Round of the on-going 2014-15 edition. Scotiabank will also be the official bank of the CONCACAF. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“I am extremely proud to welcome Scotiabank to the CONCACAF football family and commemorate this strategic partnership,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “This agreement exemplifies the growing value of CONCACAF’s properties and demonstrates the trust and confidence in our Confederation.” Headquartered in Toronto, Scotiabank is Canada’s most international bank, with a presence in over 55 countries including the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia. “Scotiabank is proud of our deep roots and strong commitment in the CONCACAF regions – supporting customers, businesses and communities for over 180 years,” said John Doig, Scotiabank’s Chief Marketing Officer.

CONCACAF Champions League

The current edition of the newly-minted Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, a yearly regional championship disputed among the top club teams from countries across North America, Central America and the Caribbean, resumes in February 2015 with the Championship Round. Quarterfinal matches are set to take place in Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States.

The current edition of the newly-minted Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, a yearly regional championship disputed among the top club teams from countries across North America, Central America and the Caribbean, resumes in February 2015 with the Championship Round. Quarterfinal matches are set to take place in Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States.

The 2015 Gold Cup will be played in at least 10 venues in the United States. The tournament will be televised by FOX and Univision in the U.S.

In addition to title sponsorship of the Champions League, Scotiabank becomes an official sponsor for the CONCACAF Gold Cup – the Confederation’s flagship event for national teams – for 2015 and 2017. The 2015 Gold Cup will be played in at least 10 venues in the United States. The tournament will be televised by FOX and Univision in the U.S.

Scotiabank will also support multiple additional CONCACAF tournaments through 2018, including 2016 Olympic Qualifying events, and men’s and women’s tournaments at the under-20 and under-17 levels, starting with the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship Jamaica 2015, set to kick off in January. The deal further includes sponsorship for the next two editions of the CFU Caribbean Cup and the UNCAF Central American Cup, as well as upcoming CONCACAF championships in Beach Soccer, Futsal and at the Girls’ and Boys’ under-15 levels.

Global Sponsorship Standards

“When we extended our agreement with CONCACAF in late 2013, we focused on
restructuring the sponsorship program in line with global standards led by CONCACAF Partners,” said Aaron Davidson, President of Traffic Sports USA, the sponsorship rights agency of CONCACAF. “Scotiabank is the perfect founding CONCACAF Partner thanks to their footprint across the region and their commitment to sport and the communities.”

MORE ON SPORTS MARKETING

2014 Hispanic Sports Marketing Survey (Premium Content)
DOWNLOAD: Portada’s 2014 Soccer Marketing Guide!

What: The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced an official partnership with Scotiabank, designating the international bank as title sponsor of the CONCACAF Champions League and official sponsor of its Gold Cup tournament of national teams. Traffic Sports USA, the sponsorship rights agency of CONCACAF, secured the deal.
Why it matters: CONCACAF is a major soccer property and the multiyear agreement makes Scotiabank the first official partner of CONCACAF.

SoccerThe multi-year agreement makes Scotiabank the first official partner of CONCACAF, and covers multiple tournaments through 2018 including the region’s most important club competition – the CONCACAF Champions League –now to be known as the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League beginning February 2015 with the Championship Round of the on-going 2014-15 edition. Scotiabank will also be the official bank of the CONCACAF. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“I am extremely proud to welcome Scotiabank to the CONCACAF football family and commemorate this strategic partnership,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “This agreement exemplifies the growing value of CONCACAF’s properties and demonstrates the trust and confidence in our Confederation.” Headquartered in Toronto, Scotiabank is Canada’s most international bank, with a presence in over 55 countries including the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia. “Scotiabank is proud of our deep roots and strong commitment in the CONCACAF regions – supporting customers, businesses and communities for over 180 years,” said John Doig, Scotiabank’s Chief Marketing Officer.

CONCACAF Champions League

The current edition of the newly-minted Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, a yearly regional championship disputed among the top club teams from countries across North America, Central America and the Caribbean, resumes in February 2015 with the Championship Round. Quarterfinal matches are set to take place in Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States.

The current edition of the newly-minted Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, a yearly regional championship disputed among the top club teams from countries across North America, Central America and the Caribbean, resumes in February 2015 with the Championship Round. Quarterfinal matches are set to take place in Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States.

The 2015 Gold Cup will be played in at least 10 venues in the United States. The tournament will be televised by FOX and Univision in the U.S.

In addition to title sponsorship of the Champions League, Scotiabank becomes an official sponsor for the CONCACAF Gold Cup – the Confederation’s flagship event for national teams – for 2015 and 2017. The 2015 Gold Cup will be played in at least 10 venues in the United States. The tournament will be televised by FOX and Univision in the U.S.

Scotiabank will also support multiple additional CONCACAF tournaments through 2018, including 2016 Olympic Qualifying events, and men’s and women’s tournaments at the under-20 and under-17 levels, starting with the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship Jamaica 2015, set to kick off in January. The deal further includes sponsorship for the next two editions of the CFU Caribbean Cup and the UNCAF Central American Cup, as well as upcoming CONCACAF championships in Beach Soccer, Futsal and at the Girls’ and Boys’ under-15 levels.

Global Sponsorship Standards

“When we extended our agreement with CONCACAF in late 2013, we focused on
restructuring the sponsorship program in line with global standards led by CONCACAF Partners,” said Aaron Davidson, President of Traffic Sports USA, the sponsorship rights agency of CONCACAF. “Scotiabank is the perfect founding CONCACAF Partner thanks to their footprint across the region and their commitment to sport and the communities.”

MORE ON SPORTS MARKETING

2014 Hispanic Sports Marketing Survey (Premium Content)
DOWNLOAD: Portada’s 2014 Soccer Marketing Guide!