A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.
Telemundois planning on partnering with SportsManias to create a World Cup-themed keyboard, providing fans with animated soccer emojis for this summer’s FIFA World Cup. According to the broadcaster announcement, the keyboard will feature animated emojis of players scoring goals and celebrating, referees pulling out red cards, fans waving their country’s colors, and more.
According to Nielsen, the FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid game last May 6 made beIN SPORTS’ ratings spike. “El Clasico” matchup between LaLiga archrivals averaged more than 1.4 million total viewers across both networks.
Post Cereals Kicks-Off Major League Soccer Support, as the Official Cereal of MLS. Starting in June, limited edition MLS cereal boxes can be found at grocery stores nationwide, featuring collectible Topps MLS player trading card cut-outs. In addition, more than 20 events will be held in grocery store parking lots across the country from June through August.
GoGo squeeZ has been named the official applesauce and yogurt sponsor of the 2018 Kick It National Tour. The Tour officially begins on June 2 and will involve more than 30,000 youth soccer players across more than 70 events in 2018.
FC Diez Media, IMG and Perform’s joint venture set up to advise CONMEBOL on their commercial rights for club competitions from 2019-22, is now tendering media rights for CONMEBOL Sudamericana and CONMEBOL Recopa until June 6. This is the first time Sudamericana rights have been made available through a tender process and sold separately to the CONMEBOL Libertadores competition.
ESPN and theFC Bayern Munich have reached an agreement for the broadcaster to use and share content directly from the German Bundesliga club across its digital and linear platforms. With this deal, Bayern Munich will make available its content – behind-the-scenes video, access-driven features, pre- and post-match reports, press briefings, team travelogue, and more – for use across different ESPN programs in the United States, Canada, throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Minute Mediahas raised $17 million in a Series F funding round, with new investors, including Goldman Sachs and Vintage Investment Partners, and existing investors such as Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital and Qumra Capital. This adds up to a total funding of $77 million to-date.
FOX is preparing for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by using heavy weight influencers like David Beckham, Ryan Reynolds, Joel Embiid, Alex Morgan and Evander Holyfield, who all play featured roles in FOX Sports’ The World Becomes the FIFA World Cup campaign. Also appearing are FOX Sports Lead Studio Host Rob Stone and Lead Studio Analyst, Alexi Lalas. “It doesn’t get any bigger than the FIFA World Cup. It brings together the worlds of sports and celebrity for an incredible month-long pop culture event,” stated Robert Gottlieb, EVP of Marketing, FOX Sports.“It was a natural fit to have movie stars, musicians and championship athletes as part of our campaign.”
What: FC Bayern is looking to the U.S. and potentially Latin America for growing its brand. Why it matters: The interest FCB has cultivated in the U.S. is one that has Latino legs, and is certainly something to watch as the Americas head towards World Cup and a renewed and expanded interest in all things soccer.
When European soccer clubs look across the Atlantic they see one of the two most engaged and fastest growing business markets for soccer expanding every day. The United States, as well as China, continues to be an expansion areas not for professional play (it is hard to see the Bundesliga (@Bundesliga_EN) or Serie A (@SerieA_TIM) putting up franchises in Chicago or New York or Beijing right now) but for media, marketing, and perhaps most importantly, for cultivation of fans and a vibrant future talent pool.
While Major League Soccer (@MLS) continues to expand its professional footprint and USA Soccer resets its course with a new head and new board members, the elite clubs of the world continue to press ahead, with the help of engaged media companies like Fox and NBC, and soon Turner and the always-trying-to-expand BeIN SPORTS and others.
One of the clubs that certainly has set the bar is FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayern). A few years ago the club was one of the first to set up shop in the U.S., opening an office in New York not just for sales, but for expansion and engagement at all levels, especially in the digital space. The club did have an upcoming U.S. tour to market and eager brands that were familiar to the U.S. consumer like Audi, T Mobile, Allianz and Adidas, but that was not enough. Under the leadership of Rudolf Vidal, FCB built an amazing grassroots following, engaging fans in all 50 States, and they formed over 100 supporter clubs and have grown their U.S. specific following on a social platform like Twitter to over 130,000 engaged followers. They constantly stay in contact with their clubs through social, and have set a very high bar for engagement as other elite clubs look to expand their casual fan base in the United States.
According to Benno Ruwe, Head of Partnerships for FC Bayern Munich US, the next expansion of the brand and its partners could be south.
That social following has been a boom not just for the Bayern brand, but for its partners as well, who have been able to take the elite club and create a whole host of experiences for consumers who are now able to follow the club and its Bundesliga opponents throughout the season on FOX Sports as well as with the engaged social communities that Bayern has created in the United States. Also don’t forget all of this has happened without Bayern having a marketable rising American star regularly in its lineup, something that some of its rivals have had.
So as FCB continues its solid American work, what’s next? According to Benno Ruwe, Head of Partnerships for FC Bayern Munich US, the next expansion of the brand and its partners could be south. “We have enjoyed great success building here in the States in a marketplace that is still growing, and we are going to look to other areas in the near future to replicate that success, and Central and South America seem to be a place we will look,” he said recently during a leadership program at Columbia University. The engagement into Central and South America makes great sense for Bayern, as they have key members of their first team in Rafinha (Brazil), James Rodriguez (Colombia) and Arturo Vidal (Chile), giving them star power into markets that did not exist in the United States.
All those markets are obviously soccer strongholds so the “education process” will not be as vast, but cutting through the loyalties of local clubs could present a bigger challenge. The biggest opportunity according to Ruwe, will be with the seamless integration of Bayern’s elite brand partners into the mix.
“Our partners are very interested in activating in markets throughout Latin America, including Mexico, and we are very interested in that area as a key part of growth for our sport and for the FC Bayern Munich brand,” he added. “We also see a great opportunity to engage with new partners who have an affinity for both elite soccer and the Latino audience, and we believe we have a great chance to again expand our footprint beyond the traditional.”
While Ruwe was careful to point out that no formal plan for expansion deep into the Latino market has been announced, it is clear that the opportunity, and the basic model, FCB has cultivated in the U.S. is one that has Latino legs, and is certainly something to watch as the Americas head towards World Cup and a renewed and expanded interest in all things about “The Beautiful Game.”
The PortadaLat Awards have announced the 2017 Golazo Award nominees. Voting is open through May 19 to determine the finalists who will battle it out in front of a jury at PortadaLat on June 7! Below are the 16 shortlisted nominees. Peer-to-Peer recognition is a foundation of the PortadaLat Awards and it’s up to you to vote on which candidates move on to the finalist round. Check out the nominees and vote for your favorite now!
Agencies, including PR agencies, brand marketers, and media properties were invited to nominate campaigns, concepts and ideas that substantially engage consumers in the U.S. or Latin America through soccer content. These are the nominees:
” MLS “”Stand as One Campaign”/Brooklyn Brothers “
The campaign featured creative elements including television spots, digital and print advertising, in-venue visibility, social content, and storytelling, and was rolled out during the 2016 MLS season. The campaign ran with spots across all MLS’ broadcast partners, along with significant online activation. “Stand as One,” created collaboratively by The Brooklyn Brothers and MLS’ in-house marketing and creative team, was designed to elevate the movement and the sport of soccer in North America. It highlighted the electric and unifying fan and stadium experience that is unique to MLS’ core, as well as the world-class quality demonstrated by its players every week.The campaign was supported by all five of MLS’ national broadcast partners: ESPN, FOX Sports, Univision,
The campaign was supported by all five of MLS’ national broadcast partners: ESPN, FOX Sports, Univision, TSN and RDS, as well as all international and regional MLS broadcast partners. In addition, MLS digital channels, including MLSsoccer.com, MLS Video and MLS’ social media, played a leading role in the campaign. The campaign captured the true essence of MLS by celebrating the stories of MLS’ clubs and local markets. The visual elements reflect the authenticity, unity, and excellence of Major League Soccer, its players and its supporters, who combine to define the sport in the United States and Canada.
“My Inter Jersey” / Gravity
Fans of Inter love to wear their team colors loudly and proudly. Digital natives enjoy generating their own content, especially if they can put their name on it. Our goal was to drive awareness and sales of the new Inter Milan jersey by Nike.
Based on this insight, Gravity proposed to create a web platform that would enable fans to create their own personalized wallpapers for devices depicting the new jersey design.
We targeted fans on social media that re-directed them to a microsite to create personalized jersey. To incentivize fans to purchase the new jersey, the first 10 thousand participates were provided with a discount coupon to buy the jersey from Nike.
Launched in mid-November, it has already attracted more than 24,000 fans from 155 different countries. There are over 12,800 newsletter subscribers and thousands of social mentions and positive sentiment.
In efforts to connect with Hispanic Millennials, The Marketing Arm (TMA) launched the Expresa Tu Pasión soccer campaign, a collaboration between AT&T and the Mexican National Soccer Team (MNT). This campaign engaged Hispanic Millennials, both socially and in the real world through exclusive experiences and activations. To amplify the program, TMA created the “AT&T Expressions” app. A digital platform, which consisted of customized emoticons that brought soccer fan excitement to life. By using these emoticons, AT&T was able to easily interact with Hispanic Millennials in stadiums, music venues, social media channels, and AT&T retail stores nationwide.
The MNT consumer experience included Retail and exclusive VIP events with MNT legendary players, an interactive zone during the pre-game tailgate parties, Fútbol Fiesta, and leveraged the existing relationship with popular Univision sportscaster Adriana Monsalve as a celebrity guest during every match.
FC Bayern Audi Summer Tour 2016 / FC Bayern Munich LLC
FC Bayern Munich opened an office in New York (2014) to grow our fanbase and better connect with fans in the U.S.; bringing them closer to the club they love. In three years we’ve seen interest in Bayern grow from 13M to 27M followers.
The 2016 U.S. Audi Summer Tour campaign gave fans that haven’t been to Munich the chance to see their team on home soil. Fixtures in Charlotte, Chicago and New York, appealed to general sports and soccer fans, including the large Hispanic Bayern fanbase and population there.
Results: • Attendance – 180,000+ for three games • 340M+ people reached via social media • 43.7M interactions & video views on our social channels • 12M+ watched TV broadcast • 65K increase in CRM database, 18K increase in newsletter subscribers • 43 media appointments • 20 player activations with partners
Inter, the Milan-based professional Italian football club, was taking part in the U.S. International Champions Cup, and hoping to make a splash in the U.S. marketplace.
To broaden its reach, Inter worked closely with Gravity to create a campaign that would increase brand relevancy into the lives of U.S. soccer fans.
The campaign featured a video montage of past, and epic, goals, that showcased Inter’s legendary heritage. To further enhance relevancy, these videos used American NBA/NFL/MLB commentators from sports outside of soccer. When Inter was shown scoring a goal, the commentator called out “touchdown” or a “home run” in an effort to “teach America how to cheer.” The unexpected combination of European and American sports promoted Inter in an exciting and engaging way that people (especially soccer fans) across the globe understood.
The four videos were aired globally across Inter’s social media channels as well as boosted with paid social.
Johnson & Johnson announced a multi-year extension of its sponsorship as official healthcare partner of MLS and US Soccer. The sponsorship was first activated in 2015 and this is the second time the consumer brand renews its sponsorship.Johnson & Johnson Consumer Brands will be integrated throughout different platforms including digital, broadcast and video content, as well as in-stadium exposure. Johnson & Johnson will also continue to create on-site activations during relevant MLS events, such as the All-Star Game, which is presented by Target and the MLS Cup. For the US Soccer partnership, the healthcare company will sponsor both male and female senior and youth national teams. Johnson & Johnson will use its partnership to expose many of its different brands on the field. It will also integrate it into its marketing strategies, including the Johnson & Johnson Donate a Photo app, through which people can connect with causes that they care about and other key platforms and partners.
Juanfutbol has disrupted soccer media in Mexico and US Hispanics since 2014. Created by the same entrepreneurs who founded mediotiempo (soccer-specific site acquired by Time Inc in 2010) juanfutbol has a unique storytelling proposition constantly innovating around formats, channels, brands and content marketing. “juan”, has a unique character that presents solid brand features which are very difficult to replicate by other players. juanfutbol is perhaps the brand with the highest engagement among soccer media brands in Facebook and it’s millennial language makes this brand a solid player within the younger generations that consume media in new ways.
A male affinity campaign targeting the Hispanic males, Pass it on is a soccer-related marketing campaign encouraging Hispanic males to register as organ and tissue donors. Featuring Mexican-Argentine soccer legend Tito Villa features the childhood story of Tito as he was raised in a small town in Argentina. The story develops as he explains why the cause of organ and tissue donation is important to him. The 45 day paid social media campaign hopes to target Hispanic males ages 18-35 years old.
The candidate deserves the award not only for the creativity in creating this analogy between soccer and life but also because of her commitment to empowering the Latino community around the world by providing top quality content to help the audience develop a success and happiness mindset. In this respect, latino men need to upgrade their game, but they are reluctant to personal development.
This specific campaign (not yet launched) targets Latino professional men in their 40s, who have achieved a great deal in their careers, but they feel trapped (not happy with their personal life, not really valued in their companies, burned out, etc.)
Because men are not the typical candidates for personal development, this campaign aims at speaking their language by making an analogy with soccer.
An amazing way of how Mastercard extended significant presence as a sponsor of Copa America Centenario via a highly digital buzz campaign, to communicate its offers to cardholders in a new way while increasing overall card transactions.
In 2017, in its second year as a sponsor of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Pepsi launched its first global campaign based on a “Moments” creative platform. The campaign is active in nearly 75 countries including most of Latin America and the U.S. The #PepsiMoment campaign, which features football/soccer stars Sergio Agüero, Alexis Sánchez and Vincent Kompany, looks to build on and associate the Pepsi brand with fans’ excitement in the lead-up to the UEFA Champions League Final on June 3 in Cardiff, Wales. Taglined “Show How Much It Means,” the campaign celebrates the sport’s fans by depicting their passion before, during and after matches. Pepsi posted creative from lead agency AMV BBDO on YouTube, including a 60-second anthem video that’s a montage of game-related moments, called “We Know How Much It Means”; several 10-second videos excerpted from the anthem; and short videos featuring the three brand-rep athletes talking about their favorite football moments. The campaign spans “always-on, exclusive content” and shareable social media creative, including fan-generated content. The campaign lives on Facebook, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat. Digital elements launched this week in the U.S. and most of the other nearly 75 countries targeted for the campaign, a brand rep reports. TV spots are also broadcast in most of those markets.
FC Barcelona and the FC Barcelona Foundation announced an official partnership with Scotiabank that designates the Canadian bank as the Official Bank of FC Barcelona in Latin America and the Caribbean. This agreement will allow Banco Colpatria, Scotiabank’s Colombian partner, to sponsor youth-focused programs in Colombia, as well as participate in events and offer soccer experiences to its clients. Because it will support young people from Colombia through various programs sponsored through Banco Colpatria. The winners of the Scotiabank-organized championship will be able to travel and attend training events in Barcelona, Spain. Scotiabank, in association with its Colombian partner Banco Colpatria, will host a four-day FutbolNet Festival, in which a thousand young players will train and learn important sports and life skills.
Suicide Squad / Minute Media
Target: Latin America and Europe About: Warner Brothers Studios sought to build buzz and excitement around the Suicide Squad movie launch worldwide surrounding the Euro and Copa America 2016, especially among the millennial male audience. Minute Media’s 90min created social engagement tools and an authentic branded content strategy that integrated the movie and characters within the platform’s ecosystem, ensuring the movie made a splash with football fans aged 18-34. On the product side, we wanted to create tools that tapped into the conversations that were occurring organically on the 90min platform, including which players should start for each game within the Euros and Copa games. We developed the Suicide Squad Selector which encouraged fans to create their own squads. The Squad Selector gave fans a platform to voice which players they thought should start the next Euro and Copa game for their country. Fans were able to share their squad socially, creating debate amongst fans and fueling the reach of the campaign. Beyond the custom Squad Selector, 90min also created a proprietary Squad Reaction tool, a new touchpoint for fans to emotionally engage with any piece of content on 90min, leveraging the characters from the movie. Fans rated content based on the movie characters. On the content side, our editorial team developed 37 pieces of localized content that seamlessly integrated the movie characters and theme into football content. Results: – The Squad Selector generated 27.7 million impressions, with more than 250,000 squads created and an increased social engagement rate of 33% against benchmarks – The Squad Reactions generated close to 20 million impressions with a 12% interaction rate – 4 Million Trailer views across all platforms”
Calling the move its largest push into team sports, national big box retailer Target signed a multi-year deal to become an official partner with Major League Soccer, US Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. In addition, the Minneapolis-based company became the jersey-front sponsor for the expansion MLS Minnesota United FC, with activation to include presenting sponsorship for the team’s initial campaign. As part of the strategy, Target is partnering with a number of its leading vendors, including Belkin, Crest, Degree, Dove, Energizer, GE, Gillette, GSK, Hershey’s, Kimberly-Clark, Philips, Scotch-Brite, Smuckers, Tide and Venus. Under terms of the deal, Target will run spots during MLS broadcasts on Univision, Fox Sports and ESPN; and will have “opportunities for in-stadium experiences, player appearances and ownership of certain major MLS platforms,” which the league said would be unveiled in the future.
Univision Deportes Digital’s Best Use of Facebook for Copa America Centenario
Univision Deportes Digital created the ultimate destination for all things Copa America Centenario through a multi-platform delivery of exclusive content giving fans the feeling as though they were in the game. The unique experience – a fully interactive environment complete with exclusive access to stadiums, players, teams and coaches via Facebook Live Training with on-air talent from stadiums showing warm-up sessions and exclusive content and Facebook Live coverage of more than 611 minutes.
All platforms experienced tremendous growth and impressive engagement metrics all-around, combining both organic and paid activations which translated into our best tent pole event ever in terms of web traffic, and social media was a big part of it. The average FB Live reached 1.2M soccer fans. Social brought more unique to our website for Copa America Centenario than the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Gold Cup combined. In addition, there were branded content extensions with Verizon, MillerCoors, Sprint, Western Union, and more.
The campaign is running throughout the USL league’s seventh season and includes additional themes that will spotlight both the heightened level of competition on the field and the significant growth of the USL itself as it continues to drive toward its goal of becoming one of the most respected and recognized Division II leagues in the world. The “Raise Your Game” campaign is supported by the USL’s national broadcast partners, as well as regional broadcasters across the country. Additionally, the campaign will be carried across the USL’s digital channels, including USLSoccer.com and USL Social Media.
What: FC Bayern Munich signed a deal with Apple Music as its official music streaming service. Why it matters: The German football club hopes to bring their fans closer to the team and players through music and exclusive videos available on the platform.
Finally Apple has decided to add sports marketing as part of its general marketing strategies. A couple of days ago, German soccer club FC Bayern Munich signed an agreement with Apple Music as the team’s official music and video streaming service.
Apple Music will provide the team and fans with special playlists, and also with exclusive videos such as what happens in the locker rooms before and after a game, and interviews with some of the players.
According to the team, music inspires the players to train harder. Now fans will be able to train to the same beats as their favourite soccer stars. FC Bayern Munich’ first official playlist is already available on Apple Music.
But Apple isn’t the first music brand to sign a deal with a soccer team. Deezer and Spotify have already sponsorship deals with Borussia Mönchengladbach, and ManchesterUnited, respectively.
It’s also been announced that Beats, by Dr. Dre, will continue to be the official sound partner of FC Bayern Munich providing the club with music equipment, such as headphones and speakers.