Copa America Centenario


What: The 100th Copa America Is Breaking Records.
Why it matters: The tournament is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and this is the first time the tournament is being held in the U.S., with 15 sponsors confirming months before the tournament started.

Last Friday, June 3rd, San Francisco’s Levis Stadium became home of the Copa America 2016’s inaugural game, in which the U.S. confronted the Colombian soccer team, (ultimately losing 2-0). This year’s cup is the biggest soccer tournament held in the U.S. since the 1994 World Cup. It is the first time, Copa America is being played outside of a South American country.

In case this wasn’t enough to make it a special edition, Copa America is celebrating its 100 anniversary. It will involve 16 countries and 32 matches, and will be played throughout 24 cities, including cities with large US-Hispanic populations like Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and New York.

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After last year’s scandal related to FIFA’s corruption case, potential concerns existed for sponsors looking to invest in the sport. But it didn’t seem to matter much. A month before the cup started, more than ten (out of 15 total) brands had signed sponsoring agreements with Soccer United Marketing, who holdsthe commercial rights for both US Soccer and MLS. Ford, MasterCard, PPG Comex, Procter & Gamble and Remy Martin have all signed on as partners. And Nike, Coca Cola, Sprint and State Farm were first.

The tournament is being broadcasted by two major platforms in the U.S., Fox Sports and Univision. Considering the Gold Cup 2015 and Copa America Chile’s TV ratings, the cultural, soccer & social media marketing agency AC&M Group believes there could be up to 3.2 million viewers in the U.S. alone.

For its broadcasts Fox Sports signed four base sponsors for the duration of the tournament, including Sprint (pregame), VW (halftime), Budweiser (post-game) and Coke/Powerade (in-game enhancements).

“Soccer is the most active property for us outside of the NFL,” said Fox Sports Senior VP/Sales Mike Petruzzi to Sports Buisness Daily. “We would take any soccer content we can get. It’s the hot thing right now.”

Game attendance is expected to surpass 1.5 million sports fans and between 15-22 million will be watching the games on a screen, TV or online, according to Forbes. And thanks to Hispanic’s huge passion for soccer, the impact of Copa America on social media gets even bigger. Just as an example, last year’s Copa America in Chile surpassed all global sporting events on Twitter including the NBA finals and the Super Bowl.

The tournament will feature internationally renowned players such as James Rodriguez, Javier Hernández, Luis Suárez, Alexis Sánchez and Lionel Messi, who have a combined 235.7 million followers on Twitter.

It certainly appears that the Coma America Centenario will make history in the sports marketing industry in addition to on the field.




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The Copa America Centenario will be a huge success, AOL will buy Batanga, major firms will learn from Sprint’s CMO choice, Univision will not IPO…This is how Portada’s Editorial team sees the year unfolding from a marketing and media perspective. We make some predictable bets as well as some more gutsy ones…but only time will tell if we were right!

More Fortune 500 Companies Will Promote their Hispanic Advertising Directors to CMOs

Sprint just promoted its Head of Hispanic Advertising, Roger Solé, to CMO. More CEOs, like Sprint’s Marcelo Claure, will be gutsy and bright enough to name executives who are very experienced in multicultural/Hispanic to their companies’ top marketing roles. It makes all the sense in the world for major corporations whose future largely depends on having a successful Hispanic marketing strategy. This includes the telecommunications, automotive and financial services categories.

The Copa America Centenario Will Become a World Cup-Level Success

SoccerThe 2014 Soccer World Cup in Brazil was yet a new high in the passion U.S. fans have for soccer. This summer’s Copa América Centenario, to be played in the U.S. June 3-26, could bring the passion for soccer to new heights.

The competition is a celebration of the centenary of Conmebol, the South American Football Confederation, and Copa América, and is to be the first Copa América hosted outside of South America. The tournament will feature global soccer heavyweights like Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile as well as Mexico and host United States. (The only unfortunate thing here is Fifa’s corruption morass).

Univision Will Not Go Public in 2016 Either

The Hispanic media behemoth Univision Communications intends to go public in 2016. In fact, it tried to do so in 2015, but adverse market conditions stopped it from doing so. Will 2016 be the year in which public equity investors will be ready to pay for the US$20 billion valuation sought by Univision backers (led by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners, TPG Capital and Saban Capital Group)? We will see. Low valuations of traditional media companies due to cord-cutting, audience fragmentation and low growth in Spanish-language media advertising do not bode well…

Efforts to Target Hispanic Millennials Exclusively in English Will Vanish

Tin Can Phone Spanish and English ConversationDisney’s intention to sell its stake in Fusion highlights how difficult it has been for most media companies to create compelling offerings in English that exclusively target Hispanic Millennials that are compelling to both audiences and advertisers. More examples? NuvoTV all but closed last year, folding into urban TV network Fuse.

English-language digital property Voxxy closed as well, and Viacom’s Mtr3s is out of business. A myriad of web, TV and even print properties have tried to carve a niche by reaching out to Hispanic Millennials in English, yet the results have been mediocre. Is there enough of a differentiation factor between Hispanic Millennials and the general Milennial when the Spanish language is taken out of the picture? Perhaps the Multichannel networks, some of whom are Latino-exclusive (MiTu, 2btube, FAV Networks), will be the exceptions to the rule.


AOL Will Buy Batanga Media

handshake behind a corporative building.Great for any design.This is a gutsy one. But why not? It would make sense. Acquisitive AOL/Verizon needs a stronger foothold in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American digital media markets. Private equity backed Batanga Media, present in both markets with content properties and sales teams, may just fit the bill. Of course, the bill itself (the acquisition price) is one of the big question marks. (Check out Batanga Media’s CEO Rafael Urbina’s answer to this particular prediction and his other thoughts on what will happen in 2016).


Platform Marketing Will Become Even Stronger

For Mass Consumer Marketing and Media, a strong presence on social media platforms is paramount (i.e. Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram, among many others). Check out what Jason Riveiro, Multicultural Marketing Manager at Big Lots, told us about his online video strategy and how it relies on social media platforms: “We have created numerous online videos primarily distributed through programmatic, paid media, YouTube and our Big Lots Latino Facebook page.”

CPGs Will Move Away from Processed Foods and Create New Opps

While the move away from processed foods is a few years old, the pace of current change is unprecedented, says Ken Powell, General Mills’ CEO and a 36-year food industry veteran. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve never seen it this fast,” Powell said. With consumers souring on certain ingredients, General Mills got rid of the gluten in Cheerios and banished artificial colors and flavors from all of its cereals, which constitute the company’s largest source of revenue in the US.

With organic and natural foods booming, General Mills is on the prowl for more acquisitions like its buyout of Annie’s, the macaronie and cheese producer that is popular with millennial moms. These changes bode well for marketing and advertising as these new products need to be positioned in front of consumers’ changing tastes.

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