What: Fox Sports will pay over US $3 billion to broadcast NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” for the next five years. Why it matters: With this new deal, the NFL hopes to boost ratings while FOX Sports makes an effort to make up for decreases in ad revenue.
Fox Sports has closed a US $3 billion deal to broadcast “Thursday Night Football” for the next five seasons. This agreement shows Twenty-First Century Fox’s goal of becoming a leader in sports after a drop in advertising revenue. Nevertheless, Fox is optimistic Thursday night football will help Fox’s business growth, as president of the company Peter Rice said on a media call. According to CNBC, Fox will be paying about $60 million per game.
“Football is in our blood at Fox and we understand that nothing beats the NFL when it comes to television that captures people’s attention and defines American culture,” said Rice on the call. “Our historic relationship with the NFL dates back to the earliest days of Fox, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our deep and enduring partnership to include primetime games on Thursday night.”
The deal allows Fox Sports to broadcast 11 games between weeks 4 and 15. It will be streamed via NFL Network and will be distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes. NFL Network will also broadcast seven games next season, with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games. It’s the longest broadcast deal for the Thursday games since they began airing on NFL Network in 2006.
Under the new deal, Fox will be able to air its games on mobile phones for the first time, and while the deal is exclusively between the NFL and Fox, they are looking for a digital partner to live-stream the games, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner said on the call. In the past, the NFL has partnered with Twitter and Amazon for those rights.
We spoke with major brand and media executives about their sports marketing plans and expectations for 2017.
The 4 questions we asked: 1. What sports will you invest in/work with during 2017? 2. Which platforms will you use/spend on for your sports marketing campaigns? 3. What sports marketing trends should we keep an eye on during 2017? 4. In terms of marketing in general, what would you like see more of next year?
Gustavo Guerra, Brand Director for Tecate
We will continue to support our target consumer’s biggest passion points: Boxing and Soccer. The soccer games and the PPV Boxing fights are the highest rating TV shows for the target and represent the highest beer consumption occasion for Mexican bi-culturals.
Our target over indexes heavily in digital, so we will continue to focus our efforts in social media and mobile as our key media channels to reach and interact with our consumers. We will also continue to raise the bar in event marketing. We will continue with our traditional focus at retail by securing a flawless execution to ensure we offer the most attractive programs to consumers – bringing them closer to the action in both sports.
Trends from a Tecate POV will definitely be behind boxing, as we will make our biggest splash ever with some exciting new initiatives in the pipeline to support the mega fights in 2017.
Big and bold ideas around sports that can effectively travel to the digital space– different from TV. We need to remember that sports are one of the highest priorities when it comes to entertainment and that social media is the biggest and only channel to enable conversations and interactions with consumer’s pre, during and post events.
Antonio Briceno, beIN SPORTS Deputy Managing Director
Looking ahead to 2017, we are very excited about working with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the global leader in women’s professional tennis. Starting in January, the 2017 WTA season kicks off, and beIN SPORTS will air all matches airing outside the U.S., as well as broadcast the internationally renowned Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada. In 2017, another cornerstone of beIN SPORTS will continue to be live soccer coverage, which includes live matches from LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1, NASL, and CONMEBOL/ CONCACAF/CAF World Cup Qualifiers, as well as news and in-depth analysis of all the top leagues from around the world. In 2017 our coverage of MotoGP, MotoAmerica, WorldSBK and Rallycross will continue to grow and evolve. Similarly, in 2016 we introduced U.S. college sports to the network and will further enhance in 2017 through our partnership with Conference USA. Additional sports you will also continue to see on our channels include boxing and MMA.
In 2017, beIN SPORTS is working with a mix of traditional and modern media, including social, OOH and mobile. As we continue to build the brand and cultivate our audience, we may even consider activating via OTT platforms.
Social media continues to evolve, as does the interactive nature of sports programming viewership, so it’s crucial sports marketers keep ahead of the trends and use this form of media to their advantage. Mobile will continue to be a major component of marketing campaigns in 2017. To successfully engage with fans and viewers, mobile is critical as sports fans remain connected to their devices 24/7 to stay up-to-date on their favorite teams and players.
We’re really looking for innovation, a better use of content and integration that will make the entire landscape more entertaining and more engaging. We’d like to see dollars really start to shift from traditional ads and focus more on impactful, creative placements and activations.
Drew Gehringer, COO at Eat The Bear
(ETB is a sports nutrition-based lifestyle business, providing clean and lean supplements to support achievement.)
Eat the Bear recently signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Luke Kuechly from the NFL Carolina Panthers. While Luke Kuechly will be our main focus in 2017, we are also looking to add a female counterpart as 60% of our demographics is a female consumer.
We will continue to invest in social media (Facebook/Instagram/Youtube/Snapchat) as well as in-store marketing.
We see user generated content and unique video content continuing to surge. We’re confident that 2017 will take this even further – using digital channels and platforms as well to give consumers additional unique experiences.
In terms of marketing trends, I’d like to see brands increase their focus on customer loyalty programs. While almost every brand has a program dedicated to consumer loyalty, many of them are very two-dimensional. Whether through markdowns through subscription based buying programs or branded experiences that bring the brand to life, we as marketers need to figure out ways to give more back to our consumers – particularly ones that have shown their dedication to the brand.
Freddy Rolon, VP and general manager of ESPN Deportes, and Michelle Bella, VP of consumer and ad sales marketing for ESPN Deportes.
Our focus next year will continue to be the power of live events to continue developing the U.S. Hispanic audiences. We have an unmatched line-up of diverse programming next year that will allow us to do this such as the return of the World Baseball Classic taking place in March. In its fourth edition, the WBC has become one of the most popular international sports events featuring some of the best baseball players from the MLB and around the world. Other key programming next year across our platforms includes UEFA Champions League, Mexican League soccer, international friendlies, MLB, NBA, NFL, College Football.
In 2016 we made significant enhancements to our platforms, from our television production, to ESPN.com, ESPNDeportes.com and ESPN App…All with the goal of better presenting our content to the Hispanic fan in the most relevant way possible and in the language they want to consume it. Next year, we will continue with this approach emphasizing our video efforts across platforms with the goal of enhancing quality and consistency in our user-experience.
Brands and agencies are increasingly interested in activating campaigns with social influencers. What’s great is that they’re all engaging with a super engaged fan base for each Live event we carry on TV or Radio or both.
ESPN launched Live Connect this year – a data rich solution for partners looking to gain deeper insights of how their target audiences behave within our content and sites. For Live Connect, we work together with clients to build campaigns or programs with the KPIs that matter most to each brand. We will soon be able to roll this out for advertisers wanting to reach Hispanic and African American audiences on ESPN platforms.
Ray Warren, EVP Chief Revenue Officer at NBC Sports Regional Networks
We are very excited about next year as our FIFA partnership will enter a critical phase with the Confederations Cup, a very important lead up to the biggest global sports event, The FIFA World Cup, which will take place in 2018 in the same country. Telemundo Deportes aired Rio 2016, its fourth summer Olympic games, but the FIFA World Cup 2018 will be the first-time we can showcase this premiere global event and will position us as the premiere destination with global properties in Spanish language in the U.S. The Confederation Cup and 2017 will be key in positioning us as “World Cup Ready, World Cup Great.” Also in 2017, we will take Premiere League to the next level by leveraging the unprecedented investment in players and coaches that English soccer is seeing.
In 2018, and closely tied to the NBC Sports Group we will partnering with some of NBCUniversal’s people, some of their new technology and all of their experience as the worlds best at bringing big, global events to television and digital audiences.
We are a technology company. The X1 service from Xfinity drew approximately 20% more Olympic viewers than other video providers and we are excited to see what other new creations might be available in 2017 and 2018.
Laura Molen, EVP, Cable Advertising Sales at NBCUniversal
We are investing in programming and live events like the World Cup so we can continue this momentum and growth. With the power of NBCU behind out brands, Telemundo Enterpises is primed for the future.
We’re seeing an emphasis across our company in investment in content, data and distribution and this is going to be key as we continue to emphasize our leadership position.
As I mentioned we are committed to our content, data and distribution opportunities for clients and we need our sales teams to be teammates with the agencies and marketers, to help them navigate all we have to give them.
We have some of the best teams in the business who are finding the most unique, authentic ways to partner our advertisers with our content. I’d love to see more companies engage with us from the beginning of a partnership and work with our teams to come up with more innovative campaigns.
Paola Garzón, Marketing Manager at Fox Deportes
Football, Super Bowl specifically and the UEFA Champions league final (soccer).
TV, radio, digital and social media.
Interactive trends that allow the consumer to feel part of the sport experience and in connection with their sports super stars.
Improved measurement for digital marketing campaigns.
A recap of news and trends in the Sports Marketing world as compiled by Portada’s Editorial team….
ESPN Deportes to Carry Spanish-language Telecast of Super Bowl 50
Disney owned ESPN in late December made a deal with CBS according to which the Spanish-language cable network ESPN Deportes will simulcast the Super Bowl 50 on February7. This is the first time ESPN Deportes is carrying the championship game, annually the most watched event on television. The move is a result of CBS’s lack of a Spanish-language cable network of its own, it also highlights the increasing popularity of American Football among Hispanics.
This is only the third time the Super Bowl will get the full Spanish-language simulcast.
Super Bowl 50 only will be the third NFL title to get the full Spanish-language simulcast treatment. Fox gave the Super Bowl the first full Spanish-language Super Bowl simulcast in February 2014 with a parallel feed on Fox Deportes that averaged 561,000 viewers, while NBC Universal leveraged last winter’s Patriots-Seahawks showdown as a launch vehicle for NBC Universo, (formerly known as mun2.). Per Nielsen, Hispanic football fans in 2014 made up 9% of the overall audience for NFL broadcasts, or about 1.5 million viewers per game. During that same season, the league invested some $230 million in Hispanic TV spend, up nearly $100 million compared to the 2009 campaign.
La Liga Opens Office in the U.S. Led by Raúl
Spanish Soccer League “La Liga” (LFP-Liga de Fútbol Profesional) just opened an office in New York City. The “La Liga” U.S. Country Manager is no less than ex Real Madrid Captain and Soccer legend Raúl González Blanco (“Raúl”). Raúl made his first appearance as La Liga’s country manager during a presentation held in Miami at BeIn Sports studios. BeIn Sports holds the broadcast rights for La Liga in the U.S. The establishment of an LFP New York office is part of LFP’s growth strategy which attempts to brand “La Liga” as the main national soccer league. Other offices are based in Bejing, Dubai and Johannesburg.
Spanish-Sports Site As Introduces As USA
A new arrival to the 2016 U.S. Hispanic sports media scene. Spanish-sports site As, owned and operated by Grupo Prisa, is launching As USA, a U.S. Hispanic edition of the site at http://us.as.com/us/. Read the full story of this Portada exclusive here.
Cristiano Ronaldo invests in his own Hotel Brand
Real Madrid Soccer Star Cristiano Ronaldo has invested close to US$ 40 million in hotels bearing his CR7 brand. The Portuguese captain has become a shareholder in Portugal’s biggest tourism and leisure group, Pestana, and the deal will see hotels opened in Madeira, Lisbon, Madrid and New York. The first ‘CR7’ hotel will open in his home town of Madeira this summer, according to reports. “My job is to play football, but life won’t always be like this,” Sky Sports reported Ronaldo as saying. “I have to dedicate myself to this new project and I have the best team in the world around me.”
What: The automaker Ford has announced the arrival of Ford 2015 F-150 with Ford’s most comprehensive truck marketing campaign ever across a variety of platforms. Why it matters: The effort includes three national TV commercials, a webisode content for digital and mobile devices, radio and music tie-in. There is also a separate campaign for the Hispanic-market both in English and Spanish.
As the Ford 2015 F-150 truck is coming out the automaker has announced its arrival with Ford’s most comprehensive truck marketing campaign ever across a variety of platforms.
The campaign focuses mainly on the new F-150’s features including the light-weight aluminum body and 11 class-exclusive innovations, such as its 360-degree camera, LED lights and remote tailgate release. The campaign launched last week with television commercials during the first-ever college football playoff for NCAA Division I teams.
There are also sponsorship components around Professional Bull Riding, NASCAR, Future Farmers of America, and country music, with mobile across all platforms.
TV efforts include three spots: “Forward March” is a 60-second anthem spot that introduces the world to the Future of Tough and the all-new F-150. The second spot, “What’s Next,” lists innovations available only for F-150 customers, from the remote tailgate release to LED headlamps and spotlights to a 360-degree camera system that helps the driver see what’s around tight job sites or trails.Finally, “Move It” shows the F-150 towing a variety of heavy items, utilizing its 12,200 pounds (5,534 kg) towing rating.
In addition to the TV campaign , the effort includes radio and a country music tie-in, pretty much the cultural ground of the pickup truck demographic. There is also a separate campaign for the other truck demo, and the fastest-growing one: Hispanic truck owners.
According to Chantel Lenard, U.S. marketing director for Ford, the Hispanic-market ads will be in both English and Spanish. “We are fortunate that F-150 has been the best-selling truck for 37 years, so great from a geographic and customer base, but we see a growing base in the Hispanic market, so we will have unique creative.” The Fox media buy includes Fox Deportes and MundoFox.
We see a growing base in the Hispanic market, so we will have unique creative.
The Ford team has produced a digital video series called “F-150 Tough Science,” as part of the pro-sports tie-in for mobile devices. It features ESPN “Sport Science” creator John Brenkus, who looks more deeply at the technology, including the military-grade aluminum-alloy body and high-strength steel frame. There is also pre-game content documenting former New York Giants player and “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan’s visit to the Ford truck plant (with Fox Sports’ robot Cleatus).
Lenard pointed out that pre-launch video content on the truck has already gotten some 58 million views, and over 750,000 consumers have configured the truck online, “The challenge is to show all the consumer benefits you can gain. When you think lightweight, you think fuel efficiency, but there’s so much more to talk about with aluminum, in terms of best-in-class. When we take the weight out, we put capability in. We know that the strongest consumer needs are durability and capability.”
Ford and FOX Network Group are working together to promote F-150 across the network’s news, sports and Hispanic platforms, including Fox Deportes and MundoFox.
At the Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum, #PORTADA13, according to John Guppy, Founder of Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing, the Hispanic landscape is complex from a media standpoint because “this is not a one-size fits all audience. There are nationalistic differences.” He cited New York which has large Puerto Rican and Dominican populations. In LA or Chicago, “the discussion would center the Mexican community.”
Moreover, he said “there are generational differences, bilingual second generation Hispanics, differences in passion points and how they consume media.” He cited differences based on geographic location, using the differences in cities like Chicago, New York, LA, and Miami as examples.
The Hispanic landscape isn’t just about soccer.
There are lots of sporting passion points that consumers are interested in, whether it’s basketball, baseball, boxing, motor sports. Within the sport of soccer, there are many properties.
For example, Liga MX has a different viewer base than other properties. Complexity centers not only on sporting interests, but the number of “players in this market: media companies, TV, digital, print, lots of channels, it isn’t just about TV. There are multiple screens, the language question: is this about English or Spanish communication?”
For Jose Maria Garriga, VP of Sports Univision Network, soccer “remains the number one passion point for Hispanics,” though he acknowledged that the Univision audience isn’t a monolith that only follows soccer. “Our passion is to hone in on the content that our audience cares about.” He said that because 70% of Hispanic Americans in this country are of Mexican origin, Univision focuses on content that will appeal to that community. He added that Univision’s aim is to provide content across all screens. But because other sports are popular, they also cover them. “Football, boxing, the NBA are all relevant.”
Juan Vallejo, Sales VP at FOX Deportes, said “undeniably, soccer is number one. Week in and week out, we get millions of impressions because of soccer.” Citing a study, he said:
What Latinos are saying to us is that we need differentiation from limited options, in terms of sports content. That includes best in class content, which is more American, resembling the lifestyles of Hispanics in the US.
To that end, Fox Deportes has been partnering with Fox’s overall sports brand to provide not only soccer but other content like Nascar, college football, and other mainstream sports.
Complexity centers not only on sporting interests, but also the number of players in this market: media companies, TV, digital, print, lots of channels, it isn’t just about TV. -John Guppy
“We’ve taken a little bit of a different approach,” said Hector Vallejo, Marketing Manager at Stanley Black and Decker, who said their consumers are different even within the Hispanic marketplace.
Their approach is to regionalize their strategies: that includes investing in European soccer, particularly specific English clubs. In addition, Stanley Black and Decker focuses on boxing. The company invests in markets like Texas and California with heavy US-born and foreign-born demographics where Hispanics grow up watching boxing with their parents and attend live events. “Boxing has a higher percentage rate than soccer itself because soccer has so many different slices in the market whereas boxing is typically one pie.”
In addition, the company invests in baseball. In New York, it sponsors the Yankees.
Soccer can’t be the only piece of the formula for us – Vallejo
Olga Serna, Senior Marketing Manager at AT&T Wireless, said that AT&T is “among the more sophisticated brands that have stepped away from the traditional way of dividing the Hispanic from general market. While we have different teams, at AT&T, we have a lot of cross pollination. We have a team concentrated on advertising and research for Hispanics, but inevitably that information gets shared.”
Initially, soccer was the sport that AT&T would “communicate to Hispanics with,” but eventually, AT&T decided to “own soccer as a whole,” she said, adding properties like MLS to its portfolio.
The company continues to look for opportunities for cross-pollination. An upcoming spot at the 2010 World Cup will feature the Mexican national team on ABC in Spanish with subtitles. “Ultimately, the Hispanic population is divided into segments” with differing levels of English proficiency and levels of acculturation. That will demand cross-pollination not only with soccer but across all of AT&T’s sports marketing. “For us, soccer helped us get there and now we’re seeing it across our entire sponsorship portfolio.”
Ultimately, the Hispanic population is divided into segments, with differing levels of English proficiency and levels of acculturation. -Olga Serna
Felix Sención of Mundial Sports Network said this is an excellent opportunity to engage consumers with the “evolution of digital and multiple screens, we can move away from language and look at context. It’s a language opportunity.”
Regarding designing the best strategies, Garriga said: “How do you decide what you’re going to bid on? This is the best time to be in the US. Follow the money. The business of soccer is healthy and is going to grow.” Vallejo added, “It all comes down a business plan. We focus on exclusive soccer. Exclusivity is key. Are we being exclusive? Are we going to make money? Are we going to serve fans?” Vallejo asked “where can we get the biggest bang for our buck globally?” Sencion said, we make sure a relevant message is on the multiple screens. Follow the growth of audience and follow the properties that are growing. We make sure context is relevant and resonates.”
Spanish or English?
Vallejo said that with the growth of bilingual/bicultural market (currently, 60-65% of market is bilingual and bicultural), Hispanics want to watch sports in Spanish as well, depending on the sport. Additionally, he said that Fox Deportes is creating content that educates consumers on mainstream sports. “Instead of slapping content out there, we create original productions to talk about the rules of football. When we go to market, we think as the consumer to create the best content out there,” he said.
Regarding consumption habits, FélixSención said that Spanish is still the preferred language. “The consumer is already accustomed to content in Spanish, the experts are probably Spanish. Even if you’re English-preferred, you still want as a customer that sport in Spanish, that’s what’s unique in Spanish. You can leverage the growth as it crosses over to general market consumption.”
The 2013 Upfront season is over and, once again, Hispanic TV networks attracted hundreds of attendees to their respective presentations this week in Manhattan. Overall, 10 U.S. networks presented: Azteca America, Estrella TV, Univision, Discovery U.S. Hispanic, Telemundo, Fox Hispanic Media, Vme, ESPN Deportes, NUVOTV and Tr3s. [Cable nets CNN en Español and mun2 had presented earlier this year, as part of the cable upfronts.]
Unlike previous years, this week’s presentations were not purely about television; most highlighted the growing importance of mobile and digital among their U.S. Hispanic audiences. Here are some highlights:
Univision this year presented its programming slate as a “multiplatform portfolio offering one for all solutions” to marketers. Univision presented clients with opportunities in its online video platform UVideos, its recently launched music service Uforia and touted new digital content, including Flama, a digital destination with original video content for Hispanic millennials.
In addition to original productions and new partnerships for TV shows, Telemundo this week announced the upcoming launch of TelemundoMás, a video player for web and mobile devices. Earlier this month, the NBCU-owned network had also announced the creation of Fluency, a multiplatform studio in Los Angeles that will produce 90-minute programs for web, mobile and television.
ESPN Deportes on Wednesday unveiled ESPN Sync, the first Spanish-language web-based app that enhances sports consumption by offering a second-screen experience that the network says will be “synchronized” with live events. Accessible across multiple platforms, ESPN Sync will launch later this year and will be available on any platform, iOS, Android or Windows without the need to download any supporting software. It will consist of social media elements as well.
NUVOTV presented its upcoming lineup and announced the upcoming relaunch of its website www.mynuvotv.com and of an on-demand service that will allow viewers watch NUVOTV shows on the go.
FOX Deportes announced that it will continue to own the exclusive Spanish-language rights of the premium soccer tournaments, including UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. In addition to televising live those matches, Fox Deportes has added interactive approaches at foxdeportes.com and Fox Sports Mobile offers access via video-enabled wireless devices.