Houston Dynamo


A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the market and/or targeting Multicultural consumers right now.

To subscribe to Portada’s Interactive Database of Marketers targeting U.S. consumers, please contact Sales Research Manager Silvina Poirier silvina@portada-online.com.

For prior Sales Leads editions, click here.

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

  • Amazon 

Amazon has launched a review of its global media planning and buying accountAdweek has reported. The review has invited media agencies to pitch for the business. The estimated US$1 billion-plus media services account includes North American and other markets worldwide. Incumbent IPG Mediabrands Initiative handles global media AOR, while WPP’s MEC handles U.S. digital media-buying.

  • Ubisoft

Gaming giant Ubisoft has appointed IPG’S UM to handle media planning and buying duties. Ubisoft spends about US$30 million a year on U.S. measured media. The UM office in San Francisco, where Ubisoft’s U.S. operations are based, will oversee the account. UM will also handle data and analytics for the Ubisoft brand. GroupM handles global media for Ubisoft and that relationship so far continues. Among Ubisoft’s gaming products are the Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and Just Dance titles.The account win is the fourth for UM in 2017, already having won the media business for fashion brand Coach, streaming service Hulu and the B2B division of consultancy Accenture.



  • Richemont

Luxury-goods giant Richemont has appointed WPP’s MediaCom to handle its US$400 million global media planning and buying business. Publicis Media agencies handled the account.Richemont brands include Montblanc, Piaget, Cartier and Alfred Dunhill.



  • Subway

Subway has kicked off a formal North America agency review that could include bringing creative and media together. The company hopes to have a new agency or agencies in place by early next year. “We are evaluating all options, including bringing creative and media together, to drive efficiency and effectiveness across channels in a changing landscape,” Subway said. The review includes current agency partners and other agencies and agency families. The review comes three months after Subway hired Accenture’s Karlin Linhardt to the new role of senior VP-marketing, North America. Subway noted that it has long-standing agency relationships, including 17 years with Mediacom, 14 years with MMB and 10 years with Carat.


NEW PORTADA RESEARCH REPORT: “Content Marketing Initiatives targeting Hispanic and Multicultural Audiences”. The report is filled with intelligence for brand marketing executives targeting multicultural consumers – the majority of consumers in many major U.S. markets –  as well as for media and marketing tech vendors. This report provides a description of 20 content marketing initiatives. Each program’s main elements are described (Brands involved, Target Audience, Owned Properties, Paid Media Program, Key Influencers) are summarized and the agencies and brand decision makers behind them are listed. Described companies include: Avocados from Mexico, Barilla, Best Western, Ford, General Mills, Hershey’s, Kellogg, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, Makita, Miller Coors, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, State Farm, Sprint, Unilever, Verizon, Vilore and Wonderful Pistachios. Buy the report here  Upgrade to “Research Plus Membership” for only US$ 999 and access this report and 9 more!

  • Geloso Beverage Group

Leveraging the popularity of two popular Hispanic-inspired cocktail classics, Geloso Beverage Group’s Clubtails brand has launched two new malt based ‘Cocktails in a Can’ under the Clubtails Especial brand. Clubtails was launched in 2012 with four original malt beverage flavors and has since expanded and today features 12 cocktail-flavor favorites.The product appeals to consumers who enjoy traditional cocktail flavors with higher alcohol content that offers a spirit-like finish with the convenience of a can. Clubtails Especial extends the Clubtails portfolio, offering products specifically targeting the Hispanic market with cocktail flavors native to their culture.Clubtails Especial Cuba Libre and Paloma will be available in retail stores where Clubtails are currently sold.

  • Mazda

NBCUniversal Telemundo has created for client Mazda an eight-episode documentary series aimed at Hispanic viewers called Al Bate! (Batter Up!) that features former Major League Baseball Mexican player Ramiro Peña, who is now an infielder for the Hiroshima Carp in Japan.The Spanish-language series will appear on TelemundoDeportes.com starting July 25, accompanied with commercials introducing the new Mazda CX-5. The video’s web page will be co-branded by Telemundo and Mazda.The launch of the series is being preceded by other Mazda marketing materials. In addition to TelemundoDeportes.com, those Japanese materials appeared on Telemundo’s Novelas app and the network’s Facebook Page.NBCU is using premium content to tell Peña’s immigrant story to Hispanic consumers, who want that content wherever they go and view digital media on mobile devices. “This is a way of giving them a different story that is not going to be on television,” she said.Hispanic viewers are also very engaged with sports, and Telemundo research indicates that its viewers are more likely to talk about products they see advertised on the network.

  • UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group , one of America’s largest health insurance payer, has launched a media agency review. UnitedHealth Group recently issued an RFP calling upon agencies to handle media planning and buying for all of its brands (including UnitedHealthcare) in the United States, according to Adweek.The review remains in its early stages. Agencies from MDC Partners, Publicis Groupe and WPP’s GroupM are involved in the pitch. Omnicom, IPG Mediabrands and Dentsu Aegis cannot participate due to conflicts regarding other health care clients.Independent Minneapolis agency Periscope handled media duties on its most recent campaigns.UnitedHealth Group spending US$242 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2016 and US$44 million during the first quarter of this year, according to Kantar Media.

  • Allstate

As a visible and active supporter of the soccer community, Allstate has renewed its title of Official Insurance Sponsor of CONCACAF, and has wasted no time making a splash with Hispanic fans. Allstate is reaching and connecting with passionate fans is through the new #MalaSuertePrometo campaign, the brainchild of Ad agency Lapiz, which is built on the idea that fans will make crazy promises if it means that their team will win. Built around the 2017 Gold Cup, #MalaSuertePrometo features the sophisticated and clever, yet often mischievous, Mala Suerte character that fans have come to know and love. Through Mala Suerte, Allstate has been challenging fans from its Facebook page to make these crazy promises using the hashtag #MalaSuertePrometo for a chance to win tickets to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in San Francisco. The campaign includes on-site activations ahead of select Gold Cup matches where fans can fulfill their promises live on camera – everything from fans shaving their heads to wearing crazy outfits – with all footage being shared on Allstate’s Facebook page. For the final match, Allstate will use Facebook Live to broadcast the fulfillment of the winning promise, and it “promises” to be an epic ending to the tournament. (Allstate’s Daniel Keats, Director Sports and Sponsorships and Consumer Marketing Allstate Insurance will be one of the key speakers at Portada’s Sports Forum on Sept. 13.

  • Houston Dynamo

MLS team’s marketing strategy is trying to stand above the crowd in a city with so many sports and entertainment choices. The Houston Dynamo was one of the first teams to join the MLS. It was also the first U.S. team to secure a place in the CONCACAF Champions League, starting in 2008. Portada interviewed Lexie Sidney, Director of Strategic Marketing for the soccer team Houston Dynamo, about the challenges the team is facing in terms of marketing strategies. We also spoke with Alyssa Bruno, Marketing Director for the Colorado Rapids, about what strategies are working the best to grow the team within the MLS.

We have incorporated new features to the interactive database of corporate marketers and agency executives targeting U.S. consumers:
New Leads: Weekly more than 20 new leads uploaded to the Database by the Portada team as well as the contacts related to the above weekly Sales Leads column written by our editorial team.
Download the Database: Download the full Database in Excel Format.
Search Database: You can search through a user-friendly interactive Interface: Search Fields include: Name, Company/Agency, Job – Title, Address, Zip, E-mail, Accounts (Agency), Phone, Related News.

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

What: We interview Lexie Sidney, Director of Strategic Marketing for the MLS Houston Dynamo, in order to know more about the MLS team’s marketing strategy and how it tries to stand above the crowd in a city with so many sports and entertainment choices.
Why it matters: Founded in 2005, the Houston Dynamo was one of the first teams to join the MLS. It was also the first U.S. team to secure a place in the CONCACAF Champions League, starting in 2008.

Alexis SidneyWithout a doubt, a key factor to a sports team’s growth are its fans. Lexie Sidney, Director of Strategic Marketing for the soccer team Houston Dynamo, explains to Portada that her marketing strategies revolve around the goal of engaging the club’s existing fans while at the same time acquiring new Houstonians as followers.

Our primary focus is to engage our existing fans and members more actively, while expanding our fan base throughout the city. While we are a soccer team, we want consumers to also understand that we are a fun, exciting, and unique entertainment experience,” Sidney noted.

While we are a soccer team, we want consumers to also understand that we are a fun, exciting, and a unique entertainment experience.

One of the challenges facing the team is that its regular season, from March to October, is an especially long oneeven longer than that of Major League Baseball. For that reason, “it’s important to be strategic with our paid and earned media programs. We need to stay relevant throughout the year,” Sidney notes.

To maintain interest around each game, the team spends a tremendous amount of time crafting storylines. “We understand that once we get someone in the doors, they’re likely to become a repeat customer, so we constantly work to improve our game day experience,” she added. In addition, the team also executes strategies aimed at those followers who watch the game on TV, computer, or mobile.

It’s important to be strategic with our paid and earned media programs to stay relevant throughout the year.

Focus on digital marketing

Digital Marketing plays a crucial role for The Houston Dynamo as digital media allows the team to measure the engagement it generates, how the engagement translates into transactions. Digital marketing also allows to segment the audience and customize messaging.

According  to the team’s own metrics, 60% of visitors to the official HoustonDynamo.com site do so through their mobile phone, “so we keep mobile functionality top of mind, ” Sidney states.

Subscribe to Portada daily Sports Marketing Updates!

Houston DynamoFacebook has become the main social network for the Houston Dynamo. “Facebook continues to be the best platform from an outbound engagement standpoint. It has the largest reach and has provided the strongest returns on paid promotions,” said Sidney.

Because storytelling is the team’s main strategy, 80% of their content is non promotional content (storytelling),  while the remaining 20% is promotional messaging on social media.

“On our website, it’s probably more like 50/50 and we focus on building our homepage as a functionality tool to help fans find what they are looking for: schedule, tickets, new, information, etc. As with most companies, we see the highest levels of engagement with short videos so we incorporate video content wherever possible.”

We see the highest levels of engagement with short videos so we incorporate video content wherever possible.

Main challenges

The competition is fierce. In a city like Houston, we compete with three local professional sports teams, and it doesn’t stop there. The competition is international within the existing soccer audience, as many fans are supporters of other leagues like EPL or La Liga,” Sidney explains.

Compounding this is the challenge of competing against other forms of entertainment. “We don’t just compete for sports dollars, but for entertainment dollars in general (movies, concerts, etc.).”

We don’t just compete for sports dollars, but for entertainment dollars in general.

For this reason, it’s important for the club to get fans into the stadium—that is where the show really happens and where it’s easier to thrill and engage the audience with the team.

Sidney also asserts that it isn’t necessary for their fans to be exclusive: “We want Houstonians to realize that they can be a Dynamo fan AND a Rockets fan—that they can support their international team AND their hometown Houston Dynamo,” she noted.

Subscribe to Portada daily Sports Marketing Updates!

“With Houston being such a large and diverse city, we reach a wide range of fans just by engaging Houstonians. We currently have a roster featuring players from eight countries, so of course we look to grow our fan base within those communities locally and abroad as well,” Sidney said. Additionally, the club is betting on a younger crowd, especially those who already play soccer at school or with an independent team. “We continue to try to engage fans as early as possible,” Sidney concludes.

What: The LA Galaxy presents the largest video display board at an MLS stadium in North Americain partnership with movie studio theme park Universal Studios Hollywood.
Why it matters: This is the first time StubHub Center and the LA Galaxy partner with Universal Studios Hollywood in a multi-year deal that taps the destination as the first-ever theme park partner of the multi-use sports complex in Carson, California.

LA Galaxy names Universal Studios Hollywood as exclusive theme park partner of the club and home stadium StubHub Center. (Photo: Business Wire)The park’s first move as a multi-year partner was to install a 20-feet high and 53-feet wide new video board, which is the largest in professional soccer in North America. In addition, a replica of Universal Studios Hollywood’s iconic globe logo has been put on top of the screen.

“As a global entertainment destination, we continually seek opportunities to showcase our exciting rides and attractions,” stated David Miller, Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing, Universal Studios Hollywood. “This unique partnership with the LA Galaxy and StubHub Center is indicative of our mutual brands’ commitment to providing uncompromised entertainment options for our thrill-seeking guests.”

This unique partnership with the LA Galaxy and StubHub Center is indicative of our mutual brands’ commitment to providing uncompromised entertainment.

The new signage will debut on Saturday, June 17, at the LA Galaxy’s match versus the Houston Dynamo, and will remain at the venue for the length of the partnership, which includes future promotional content across both social and digital media platforms in addition to a range of in-stadium signage to maximize the impact of the partnership for fans.