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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!

What: Coca-Cola, Sprint, Volkswagen, BuzzFeed and VICE are among the international partners for Telemundo Deportes’ coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018.
Why it matters: Power brands providing sponsorship and Spanish-language content across multimedia platforms, even without a U.S. team presence in Russia, demonstrates the desire to connect with this audience.

The countdown to FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCupis on for fútbol fans across the globe, and nowhere is that fervor stronger than in Latin America. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay will represent the region in various Groups in Russia beginning on June 14, and for many fans, Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSportswill be the preferred outlet to follow the world’s largest sporting event.

Telemundo has unveiled its top-level slate of partners, including worldwide sponsors like Coca-Cola (@CocaCola), Sprint (@sprintand Volkswagen (@Volkswagen), and content creators NBCU Digital Lab, BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeedand VICE (@VICESports).

On the content side, in which Telemundo plans more than 1,000 hours, VICE will create short features and stories geared toward the younger soccer audience.

“We are kicking off the 100-day countdown in a big way to celebrate this historic moment for Telemundo Deportes,” said Ray Warren, President of Telemundo Deportes, in a statement. “This will be the most consumed and most widely distributed digital event in Spanish-language television history. All of the initiatives announced today support our mission to bring our viewers the most authentic and complete coverage in the history of the tournament.”

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On the sponsorship side, Coca-Cola will present the post-game shows and will appear on the in-game clocks on Telemundo’s coverage. Sprint will serve as the halftime sponsor and will allow its customers access to a portal with exclusive Spanish-language content. VW gains the lead on the primetime show, airing highlights and commentary nightly from 7-8 p.m.

On the content side, in which Telemundo plans more than 1,000 hours, VICE will create short features and stories geared toward the younger soccer audience. NBCU Digital Lab will work with Telemundo on the digital docu-series “Somos el Mundial” (“We are the World”), while BuzzFeed will create other short-form content for its multimedia platforms.

Some of the personalities on Telemundo Deportes’ coverage include Tab Ramos, Diego Forlán, Jesús “Chucho” Ramírez and Teófilo Cubillas.

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: 2014 World Cup Final (Danilo Borges-copa2014.gov.br)