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What: Qatar Airways’s sponsorship with CONMEBOL is the latest partnership for an international carrier in the sport of soccer.
Why it matters: The agreement shows the continued growth of Latino markets and fans as affluent consumers and creates a more varied playing field now for a lucrative category.

Gareth_Bale (Football.ua)

The global airlines category in and around the elite world of soccer can be elusive and sometimes difficult to navigate, with many carriers choosing to spend their marketing dollars on sports more locally than around the world.

However, a handful of carriers, especially those looking to expand brand into the Americas, are continuing to look to soccer as a way to engage and storytell to an emerging audience.

Such was the case last week when Qatar Airways (@qatarairwaysannounced its latest sports partnership, this one not with a club but with CONMEBOL ( @CONMEBOL), making the Middle East-based carrier the sponsor of CONMEBOL’s professional competitions across South America through 2022, including the Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, and the Recopa. With the Americas being a growth market for the airline, the CONMEBOL deal can bring a wide range of opportunities to Qatar Airways, who has already spent big with global clubs like with Bayern Munich, AS Roma, Boca Juniors as well as with FIFA and in the U.S. with the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA.

…[B]ringing in a relatively new but established player is good news for everyone.
David Villa (Arturo Pardavila III)

“We are continually striving to boost our global sporting sponsorship portfolio, and this partnership is just one more example of our dedication to the sports sector. We are also excited to further expand our presence in South America, and look forward to supporting the forthcoming CONMEBOL football competitions,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker.

The move is a bold strategy for Qatar Airways as some of its bigger competitors look to the west to also increase their global footprint, sales and brand awareness. Etihad Airways, (@EtihadAirways) for example, supports soccer globally through various partnerships including a Principal Partnership with New York City Football Club (@NYCFC), Manchester City Football Club (@ManCity), Melbourne City Football Club (@MelbourneCity, Al Ittihad Football Club and Al Ain Football Club in the emirate of Abu Dhabi as well as a multiyear and expanded agreement with Major League Soccer (@MLS). They also have a solid place in Washington, D.C. as the official airline of Verizon Center in the Washington Capitals (@Capitals) (NHL), the Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) (NBA), and the Washington Mystics (@WashMystics(WNBA).

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.

Emirates Stadium (Arsenal mjh)

Emirates Airline (@emirates) has also gone the big brand in soccer route, with deals that include Arsenal and Emirates Stadium, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, AC Milan, Benfica, Hamburg SV, Olympiacos, the Emirates FA Cup, the Arabian Gulf League, and the Asian Football Confederation as well as an ongoing partnership with the New York Cosmos, currently looking for a new home after the demise of the NASL.

“If you are going to try and infiltrate the Americas and are already a global carrier with best in class service, the wide footprint that a strategic partnership in soccer can have can reap great benefits,” added Chris Lencheski, a longtime sports marketing expert who has spent years in the soccer space and teaches at Columbia University. “There is no doubt that the world is still looking to the Americas, as well as China, as the still to be refined growth areas for soccer and soccer marketing. Getting in now, as these airlines have done, with both clubs and properties that are looking to seize that opportunity is very smart, and sends a very strong message to the consumer and the business world about areas they believe will grow with partnerships they develop.”

The move to the Americas with CONMEBOL is one to watch for a number of reasons. First, it shows the continued growth of Latino markets and fans as affluent consumers and gives a look into the long-term strategies for nontraditional brands looking for a new way to engage. Second, it creates a more varied playing field now for a lucrative category, as most of these types of deals are not done just as a one-off; they are usually done as stepping stones for other deals as dollars and opportunities become available in other markets.

On the sell side, it is always great to have a new aggressive brand in the marketplace, and bringing in a relatively new but established player is good news for everyone, especially those doing business in soccer in the Americas for years to come.

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Cover Image: credit Clément Bucco-Lechat

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

  • LaLigaLa Liga has extended its partnership with Microsoft. The deal will see La Liga’s content made available to Microsoft News users and on other products including Windows, Microsoft Edge, Xbox Live and Bing. This is the first global alliance signed by Microsoft with a major sports league.

 

  • OTT DAZN has purchased the qualifying matches for 2020 Uefa European Championships, as well as the European qualifiers for the 2020 Fifa World Cup broadcast rights in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The deal also includes the same rights to the 2018/19 and 2020/21 editions of the new Nations League, which began on Thursday night. However, DAZN won’t provide live coverage of any matches involving Germany, Austria or Switzerland in their respective home markets.

 

  • Major League Soccer locked in its schedule and format for the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. The 2018 MLS Cup will be broadcast on FOX and UniMas, and across more than 170 countries worldwide via MLS’s network of international broadcasters.

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  • CONMEBOL.comMediapro has signed a four-year deal with the South American Football Federation (Conmebol) as a production hub. The Spanish agency will provide the international signal for the region’s three major club competition’s internationally and will take care of producing and distributing the Copa Libertadores.

 

  • David Beckham’s new MLS expansion team in Miami has unveiled its name, crest, and colors. The club will be called Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, as a statement to the Latin American roots of Miami. The Spanish name is expected to be informally shortened to Inter Miami.

 

  • Juventus has extended and expanded its licensing deal with international agency IMG to include the US and Canada. As part of the new multi-year deal, the IMG will develop the Serie A club’s licensing business through its network of Asian, American and Canadian offices, coordinated by its team in Milan.

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  • French soccer team Paris Saint-German announced Socios.com as their official branded cryptocurrency partner. The multi-year deal will see the company work with the team to develop their blockchain strategy to enhance and evolve their fan engagement.

 

  • GoogleSpanish La Liga has partnered with Google in an effort to protect the league’s media rights portfolio from illegal streaming websites. The league is working with Google to block search results that include pirate services.

 

  • The German Football Association (DFB has extended its longstanding partnership with Adidas for another four years. The deal will see the German sportswear giant continue to supply kits to the country’s national soccer teams until 2026.

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

  • USLThe United Soccer League (USL) announced a partnership with WSC Sports, the leader in AI-powered sports video content, to automate and simplify USL’s video creation capabilities. USL will be able to create automated video highlights for more than 500 games of the regular season and playoff games. This places the USL on the same level as other WSC Sports clients that include the National Basketball Association, FIBA, Turner Sports and Cricket Australia.
  • Canadian Premier League has granted a conditional club for Vancouver Island. The club will begin to play in 2019, upon the completion of a lease agreement at Westhills Stadium in Langford.
  • Univision Deportes has made deals with Heineken, KFC, Nissan, and Walmart as sponsors for its World Cup coverage content, which will include reporting and analysis of the month-long tournament.
  • Adidas will be outfitting 12 teams in the upcoming World Cup, over Nike’s 10 gear sponsorships, according to REUTERS. While team deals are important for sales of football jerseys, “more critical for sales of boots is the sponsorship of top players.” According to REUTERS data, Nike expects 60% of all players heading to Russia to wear its boots.

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  • Twitter released a blog post sharing new data on which of the World Cup’s teams are the most mentioned around the globe over the past month. These are the top five: 1. Argentina. 2. Japan. 3. France. 4. England. 5. Spain.
  • CONMEBOL.comMP & Silva has made a formal offer to hold the media rights for CONMEBOL’s Copa America 2019 edition until June 13. The sales tender process will be open to broadcasters, digital platforms and media companies that operate in the United States territory and internationally and divided into two packages: the right to exploit the media rights in the United States in the Spanish language; and the right to exploit the media rights in the United States in the English language.
  • FOX Sports has made a deal with adidas as the presenting sponsor of the full company streaming effort across all digital platforms for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Coca-Cola is sponsoring the short-form 90 in 90 match highlights, one of the top-performing FOX Sports digital offerings, as well as joining adidas as a co-sponsor of Team Channels.
  • FanDuel is launching World Soccer Pick’em, presented by GameCredits. This marks the company’s first fully integrated fantasy US product for a global sporting event. Soccer fans will have access to a wide range of fantasy contests for the World Cup. FanDuel’s World Soccer Pick’em is available starting today, June 7th on FanDuel.com and on the FanDuel app.

What: Conmebol reaches an agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation.
Why it Matters: With this deal, the South American Soccer Confederation (CONMEBOL) ̶ the continental governing body of South American soccer associations and one of FIFA’s six continental confederations ̶ adds its third sponsor to the roster of the 2017 edition of the Copa Libertadores Bridgestone. Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers, is growing both its auto business and developing in other fields. Toyota has sponsored the Copa Libertadores since 1998.

The Conmebol Libertadores Bridgestone will count on the support of Toyota Motor Corporation for another year, after the automaker ̶ which has supported the competition since 1998 ̶ extended its sponsorship to the 2017 edition.

This is the third sponsorship contract signed by Copa Libertadores in the last month and a half, following deals signed with Amstel, through 2020, and Gatorade, covering this season.

“We are delighted to deepen and strengthen our relationship with Toyota as the official sponsor of the Conmebol Libertadores Bridgestone. This great brand has maintained a solid commitment to the development of South American soccer for many years. This alliance will be very beneficial, not only for both sides, but also for soccer fans,” said Marcos Senna, Marketing Director, Conmebol.

Copa Libertadores changed its format this season, starting play in January, and is now in the middle of group stage play with 32 teams in the running, after kicking off with 47 clubs representing up to 10 South American soccer federations.

Play will conclude in November with the Cup final, which will crown the new South American champion.

Photo: Copa Libertadores Bridgestone Conmebol

A summary of the most exciting recent news in sports marketing and media 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

Fifa will be expanding the soccer World Cup from 32 to 48 national teams starting in 2026, soccer’s governing body decided yesterday in Zurich. A World Cup with 16 more teams would produce, by FIFA’s estimates, an additional US $1 billion in television, sponsorship and ticketing revenue. The decision has also been critiqued by observers as only financially driven.

Image result for Adidas Kris Bryant

 

Adidas extended  its sponsorship  of the National League MVP and Chicago Cubs’ all-star Kris Bryant.

Telemundo Deportes launched a six-month multiplatform promotional campaign for the kick-off of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 which will take place in Russia in June.

The NFL signed an agreement with social network Sina Weibo, to rebroadcast some of its regular season games.

Accenture became Golden State Warriors’ official technological innovation partner at the Chase Center.

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Image result for Atlanta United FC y el Minnesota United FCThe MLS will welcome two new teams on 2017. It has been confirmed that the Atlanta United FC and the Minnesota United FC will join the organisation next year. Also, Don Graber, MLS commissioner announced that two other franchises will be announcen further on in 2017, both will have to pay US $150.

LATIN AMERICAN MARKET

Uruguay and Argentina will join forces to make the offer to become the 2030 soccer World Cup’s venue. They also want to welcome 2023 basketball World Cup.

The South American Football Confederation presented its new image, which will be used during the Continental Tourney, starting its next edition.

Image result for Atlético de Madrid

Atletico de Madrid is focusing on a Mexican Expansion, where it is planning on bringing the team’s franchise. As part of its strategy, the team has bought an important part of the team  Chiapas’ Jaguares.

Copa Libertadores also presented a new image, as part of its strategy of a new CONMEBOL, more professional, sustainable and with higher quality.