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What: The NFL has become more popular in the Mexican market, creating a great business opportunity. An example of this is the game between the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans, which will be played in Mexico in November 2016.
Why It Matters: In 2015, the NFL brought in US $1.2 billion in revenue, a 4.4% increase from 2014, according to the consulting firm IEG. The vast majority of these revenues came from the the U.S. However, countries like Mexico where audiences love football are high growth opps for the NFL. The popularity of the NFL in Mexico represents a huge marketing opportunity for sponsors, who benefit from the exposure and association with a powerful brand.

For the NFL, Mexicans represent the largest market in the world outside of the United States. This was obvious when 100,000 seats to the game between the Houston Texans and the Oakland Raiders, to be held at Azteca Stadium on November 21, sold out in minutes.

In 2015, the NFL brought in US $1.2 million in revenue, a 4.4% increase since 2014, according to the consulting firm IEG.

The company officially reached Mexico 15 years ago. It has 15 official sponsors like Kanorte, Bridgestone, Pepsi, Bud Light, Gatorade, Sabritas, Dove, Dodge and Lala, to name a few, which cover the $15 million that it costs, on average, to put on an NFL game outside of the United States.

On average it costs US$ 15 million to put on an NFL game outside of the United States.

The popularity of the NFL in the United States and Mexico represents a huge marketing opportunity for sponsors, who benefit from the exposure and association with a powerful brand.

Vicente Navarro, VP of business development at AC&M Group
Vicente Navarro, VP of Product Development at the AC&M Group marketing agency

Nonetheless, the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal published research conducted by the consulting firm FanLab, which looked at brand recognition among followers of three sports leagues: the MLB (baseball), car racing (NASCAR) and American football (NFL), and the results didn’t look good for football. NFL fans could only name 1.6 brands or categories associated with that sport, far below the 2.1 that baseball fans recognized, and just less than a third of those that NASCAR fans could follow.

The challenge for sponsors will be to obtain the best return on investment. “NFL ratings definitely create brand exposure, but the return on investment and brand recognition are more related to the activations that each sponsor conducts,” warns Navarro. “Brands need to be smart in how they take advantage of the benefits of their partnerships, particularly when sponsoring something like the NFL, which isn’t cheap. The majority of sponsors develop a multiplatform activation to leverage the partnership.”

To sponsorships and ticket sales the NFL adds the revenues from broadcasting rights and product sales (merchandising) to obtain total revenues.

Javier Salinas
Javier Salinas, Director of Sports at Grupo Expansión

Javier Salinas, a specialist in sports marketing and the Director of Sports at Grupo Expansion, considers that the NFL in Mexico “has stagnated, because it isn’t taking the Mexican fan into account. Their business model is to win without investing. The sponsors pay for it.”

“If you have millions of Mexicans that are consuming your product and over 10 years you never brought them a game, from a marketing perspective, it shows great ignorance, and from a social point of view, it shows a lack of respect,” he adds.

The NFL will play three official games in England next October, a month before traveling to Mexico.

With information from Gabriela Gutiérrez

This year, February gave us an extra day. For many it will be one more day of work (it had to fall on a Monday). For others, it gives us the advantage of being able to procrastinate without feeling guilty. So I’ll leave a few of the month’s updates. Let’s start March off on the right foot: decision-makers are back from vacation, in some parts of the world children are going “back to school,” and agencies are planning for the approaching Q2. There are no excuses.

L’oreal Picks Three Agencies

Martin Jones, multibrand digital manager of L’Oréal Argentina, told me recently that they put together a pitch to select three agencies specialized in digital strategy, public relations and media, respectively.

Martin Jones

I haven’t spoken with him since then, although I believe that by now they must have chosen the three. The three winners will serve L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Garnier, Lancome, Biotherm, Yves Saint Laurent, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Cacharel, Viktor & Rolf, La Roche-Posay, Vichy, L’Oréal Professionnel, Matrix and Kerastase. 

Who have they chosen? What a great way to start the year for those  three agencies. I’d be happy with a free sample.

Changes at Publicitas

Gina TinocoGina Tinoco has left her position at Publicitas (Miami) as digital account director for the US Hispanic and Latin American markets, and it appears that she is launching her own company dedicated to representing different media, named Latinoco Media. Good luck!

Changes at Grupo Expansión

Carmen MurilloI was told that Carmen Murillo has left Grupo Expansión (Mexico) to become the editor-in-chief at Creacom. Apparently, her primary responsibility will be the editing of VA!, the magazine onboard Viva Aerobus (a low-cost Mexican airline) flights. What a great take-off!

Start Spreading the News!

We’re going to New York City with Audio.ad (one of the sponsors of #Portada16, the 10th-annual Hispanic advertising and media conference that will take place September 21 and 22nd in New York)! And we’ve created the new category, “Digital Audio,” for the Media Awards that will take place at the event.

Who wants to join us?

Premium Audiences

diego cormioWe figured it out:  Diego Bormio’s startup is called Audiencias Premium, and it will join the programmatic ecosystem. Apart from having worked for various years at Terra and Clarín, Diego participated in the creation of RPA Media Place up until a few months after its launch.

This is all for February – see you in March, everyone!

What: Southern Cross Group has acquired Mexican magazine publisher Grupo Expansión (Gex), a Time Inc. subsidiary, for an undisclosed sum. The deal is still subjected to regulatory approvals. Following the acquisition, Gex will continue licensing the Time Inc. and Time Warner brands that are part of its portfolio.
Why it matters: The transaction reflects important changes in the Mexican magazine market. Earlier this year another major publisher, IASA Comunicacion, was sold to a Monterrey based investor group.

logo-expansionSouthern Cross Group, a Latin-American private equity firm, is acquiring Grupo Expansión (GEx), a Time Inc. subsidiary, subject to regulatory approvals. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. GEx will continue to license the Time Inc. and Time Warner brands that have been part of the portfolio (CNNMéxico, InStyle, and Travel + Leisure) following the acquisition.

GEx was founded in 1966 and acquired by Time Inc. in 2005. It is Mexico’s second largest magazine publisher, after Editorial Televisa,  with 16 titles* including Expansión, Quién, and Life & Style and 10 websites such as Mediotiempo and Metros Cúbicos and a monthly reach of nearly 30 million. Over the last years Grupo Expansion has heavily expanded to a digital multiplatform strategy to decrease its reliance on print advertising.
During 2013, GEx revenues represented less than 2% of Time Inc. combined revenues. Time Inc. revenues in 2013 were US $3.3 billion so that Grupo Expansion revenues were approximately US $66 million.

 An important driver is the magazine sectors decreasing share to approximately 3% of the overall Mexican advertising pie.

Changes in the Mexican Magazine Market

The Mexican magazine publishing market has been undergoing substantial changes and facing challenges. An important  driver of M&A activity  is the magazine sectors decreasing share in the overall advertising pie (approximately 3%, US$ 190 million of the overall Mexican ad market, Source Cicom). Magazine publishers have been extending their brands to digital, events and Broadcast media properties. This requires capital. That could be one of the reasons why private equity investors like Southern Cross are now active in the magazine market. Earlier this year, Iasa Comunicacion, the publisher of Entrepreneur Mexico, Mexico Desconocido, Alto Nivel and many custom magazines, was sold by its former owner, Jose Maria Trillas-Trucy (Interview in Spanish), to a Monterrey based investor group.

Southern Cross Group’s bet

“GEx is a successful multiplatform player with tremendous growth potential. We are confident that the company’s strategic plans focused on technological innovation, its leading brands and its strong management team are the right building blocks to achieve continued success,” said Cesar Perez Barnes, Partner at Southern Cross Group, Mexico. Southern Cross Group is one of Latin American largest private equity investor groups. Its portfolio includes relatively large companies across a wide array of industries.

“Time Inc.’s prime focus today is on growing core assets in the U.S. and U.K.,” said Joe Ripp, Chairman and CEO of Time Inc. “Therefore, we believe GEx will have better opportunity to maximize its value under the ownership of Southern Cross.”

Manuel Rivera, President and CEO of GEx, who will continue to run the company following the acquisition, commented: “I am extremely proud that Latin America’s largest independent private equity fund with almost 20 years experience in the region has chosen GEx as a portfolio company. Southern Cross Group is committed to preserving the good name and values of our company while significantly investing in its growth.”