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What: El Tri announced a deal to play four matches at AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
Why it matters: It’s the latest in a series of initiatives by North American based leagues looking to further connect with Latino fans, still the largest growing population in the U.S.

While the CFL (@CFL), MLB (@MLBand even the NFL (@NFLlook south for new fans and audiences, North America’s most popular soccer club is putting down more consistent business stakes in the U.S. On Wednesday, the Mexican National team, whose rights are marketed partially by Soccer United Marketing (SUM), announced a deal to play four matches, one per year through 2022 — at AT&T Stadium, the 80,000-seat home of the Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys).

The agreement for “El Tri,” (@FMFwill also include cross promotions with the Cowboys, special festivals and community programs in and around Dallas, as well as some promotions with FC Dallas (@FCDallasas well.

Bringing National team players who can be role models to a community that may not connect first with Cowboys players will provide a great bridge.

The move to have a consistent presence not that far north of Mexico for the team, will also be great added value for the national team’s business partners like Adidas AG (@adidas), AT&T Inc. (@ATT), Coca-Cola Co. (@CocaCola), Nissan Motor Co. (@NissanUSA), Delta Air Lines Inc. (@Delta), Home Depot Inc. (@HomeDepotand Wells Fargo & Co. (@WellsFargo), and can help again grow the presence of Liga MX (@LigaMxEngin the U.S., where their games are already the most viewed North American soccer matches on television. It also sets up a great entrée for international soccer in the U.S. as North America preps to host the 2026 World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup).

The partnership will be a great win for the local community that is increasingly bilingual, and can identify with soccer as their sport of choice in homes where English and Spanish are spoken. Bringing National team players who can be role models to a community that may not connect first with Cowboys players will provide a great bridge.

Join us at PORTADA LOS ANGELES on March 15, 2019 at the Loews Beach Hotel Santa Monica, where we will dive deep into sports and soccer marketing’s preeminent topics. Felix Palau, VP Marketing, Heineken will discuss “How to measure ROI and transfer best practices between sports marketing platforms”. Other speaking engagements include Tiago Pinto, Global Marketing Director, Gatorade who will provide answers to the question: “Will Corporate America jump on the soccer opportunity?”Attendees will also be able to benefit from Portada’s meet-up service of three-eight-minute meetings with top brand executives!

“We look to partner with a lot of the ISD, schools and systems within the area to create those programs and the Mexican National team has agreed to work with us through that and be able to expose some of those children with the national team and help with reading,” Monica Paul, Dallas Sports Commission executive director said.

For the Cowboys, in addition to bringing new faces and filling additional dates at AT&T Stadium, the partnership will enhance their community efforts on both sides of the border as they, and the NFL, look to further connect with Latino fans, still the largest growing population in the U.S. It’s a step forward in making “America’s team” more of “Mexico’s team” than they are (don’t forget the Houston Texans have the closest proximity to the border), with the L.A. Rams (@RamsNFLand Chargers (@Chargersalso looking to grow into the added value of Mexico as well) today.

It makes great business sense for all, with consistency and elite brands sharing a stage with no downside.

Fútbol and football keep growing together.

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What: MLS and Liga Bancomer MX have reportedly discussed the possibility of a superleague, encompassing clubs in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
Why it matters: The opportunities for partners in such a superleague would be enticing, with more than 50 combined markets across North America.

credit: Flickr/Paul Bailey

When The United Bid (@united2026), submitted together by the U.S., Canada and Mexico soccer federations, to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCupproved successful, speculation grew that the partnership between the North American nations could be expanded into other areas to further grow the game on the continent. Now fans are wondering what a combined Major League Soccer (@MLSand Liga Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMXmight look like, as reports out of last month’s Leaders Summit in the UK quote Liga MX President Enrique Bonilla as being open to further discussion.

“It’s a possibility, a North American league,” he said to reporters there. “We have to determine how and see the pros and cons, but I think that’s a way to grow and to compete again. “If we can make a World Cup then we can make a North American league or a North American cup. The main idea is that we have to grow together to compete. If not, there is only going to be the rich guys in Europe and the rest of the world.”

…[T]he combined North American entity for World Cup, the MLS-Liga MX superleague would represent a huge opportunity for multinational companies like Adidas and AT&T…

The Campeones Cup (@CampeonesCup), held in September between Toronto FC of MLS and Tigres UANL of Liga MX, can be seen as a direct manifestation of the same spirit of partnership that made The United Bid possible. Tigres won by a 301 count in Toronto, and while the building was half-full, the blueprint for future on-field matches of consequence was set.

“We think this opportunity with the World Cup in 2026 opens the door for us to make a lot of things different and better,” added Bonilla.

“We have been discussing with Liga MX additional ways we can collaborate on and off the field,” said MLS executive Dan Courtemanche at the same event. “We are excited about the future opportunities that exist between our two leagues.”

The Portada Brand-Sports Summit in Los Angeles on March 15, 2019 (Hotel Loews Santa Monica) will provide a unique setting for brand marketers to learn about the opportunities sports and soccer content offers to engage consumers in the U.S. and Latin America.

So what would a combined North American professional soccer organization look like, beyond the Campeones Cup? Liga MX, which has been in existence for more than seven decades, is currently comprised of 18 teams across Mexico, and MLS, which began competition in 1996, comprises 20 U.S. and 3 Canadian sides. 41 clubs would seem to be an unwieldy number, but fans who follow college sports here know that “Power 5” schools, the largest NCAA programs, total more than 60 schools, each with huge fan bases over a diverse combined footprint.

For marketers, there may be some initial negotiation to be done with exclusive sponsors, at least until current deals expire, on both the MLS and Liga MX ends. But in the same way that partners will be working with CONCACAF (@Concacafand the combined North American entity for World Cup, the MLS-Liga MX superleague would represent a huge opportunity for multinational companies like Adidas (@adidasand AT&T (@ATT), which have official partnerships with both leagues, and any of a dozen beverages, airlines and banks that could gain a foothold across the continent in one fell swoop. Not to mention what a Fox Sports, ESPN or NBC/Telemundo could do to attract broadcast advertisers for such a wide-ranging organization.

Some U.S. fans, their own squad not qualifying for World Cup, took to rooting for Mexico last summer. It would be in that spirit: a bold move, one which would have dozens of moving parts and would require concessions and copious amounts of cooperation and faith from both ends to make a reality. But sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the whole; getting huge organizations, with layers of politics and red tape to fight through, to subscribe to that concept might be too big an obstacle to overcome. But fans of the superleague can always dream.

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What: A Chivas press conference received some social media exposure for its excessive product placement in front of coach Jose Cardozo.
Why it matters: The almost comical number of items, coupled with a mic flag and step-and-repeat logo got a few laughs and actually provided some basically harmless extra exposure for the Liga MX team and a few of its partner brands.

Much has been made about the strong growth of both Mexican football and Liga MX (@LIGABancomerMX), the most viewed football week in, week out in North America. Brands like Wells Fargo (@WellsFargo), Allstate (@Allstate) and Verizon (@verizon) have used Mexican football as a key way to engage with a diverse and passionate Latino audience, not just a Mexican audience, across North America.

However sometimes sponsorship can maybe go a little too far—or maybe it’s a little more than innovative. This past week Chivas (@Chivas), one of the most revered football sides in North America set a new bar which frankly drove some great buzz in social media but maybe went a bit too far.

Now Chivas may not have a sponsor on the front of their shirt like others in the sponsorship-cluttered world of Mexican soccer (though Tecate (@tecate) is on the back, but they found a new level of postgame brand integration that certainly was different.

…[T]he social space gave Chivas a tremendous bump of recognition on a quiet summer Sunday where no one probably outside of their loyal fans would have noticed

Following a Sunday home loss in what has been a dismal season, coach Jose Cardozo gave the usual post-match press conference, telling the media the problems that losing clubs have. However the presser was record setting not because of word, but because of product. Almost a dozen products. Cereal, organic cereal, chocolate milk and Coca Cola were placed either side of the microphone, which also had a beer logo on it (Tecate, claro). Then throw in Powerade, Puma, Colavita and another half dozen brands on the wall behind Cardozo, and you have some kind of record for brand integration. Luckily the coach of the 17th place club played along and didn’t go on a sampling binge with the media as he spoke, but maybe that will be next?

Now all was not lost on the moment, as the social space gave Chivas a tremendous bump of recognition on a quiet summer Sunday where no one probably outside of their loyal fans would have noticed. While the club admitted that the product placement was to help bring in added value for its brands, the result was really buzz for partners that was unexpected, and traveled well beyond expectations globally.

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Now is this type of bump something that the growing, prosperous league needs more of? Exposure and activation for ROI is great, but replicating what was an unusual circumstance probably isn’t the way the elite of Liga MX will be going.

Still for one week, intentional or not, Chivas was all the talk again, albeit for an unusual reason. A sponsorship record that probably won’t be broken anytime soon, especially for a losing club in any sport.

A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • Club Puebla🎽AT&T Mexico has inked a deal to sponsor Liga MX football club Puebla FC. With this partnership, Puebla will include AT&T’s brand on the front of its shirts and, as main sponsor, its logo will also feature throughout the team’s Estadio Cuauhtemoc home ground. AT&T also sponsors Liga MX teams Monterrey and America.

 

  • Egnyte, a provider of secure content collaboration and compliant data protection, will provide its platform to the AS Roma football club. AS Roma is modernizing their infrastructure as they move to the cloud, creating secure collaboration across their entire organization. “Egnyte came in and transformed the way we approached collaboration across every department, from sales and marketing to operations and IT, making us more mobile and more efficient than we’ve ever been before,” stated Fabrizio Preti, Chief Technology Officer at AS Roma.

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  • HeinekenHeineken kicked-off its partnership with Italian Sportswear brand Kappa® for a limited edition, six-piece capsule collection. The 2018 #Heineken100 program commemorates and continues the conversation following the World Cup, by partnering two global iconic brands that share a rich heritage of supporting soccer style and culture.

 

  • Arsenal has hired former Candy Crush data expert Mikhail Zhilkin as a data scientist. He will focus on analyzing injury and related physical data, and putting together insights to be utilized as coaching tools.

 

  • Nexen Tire, a tire manufacturer and the Official Tour Partner of Manchester City Football Club (Manchester City), is officially sponsoring the ‘2018 International Champions Cup (ICC)’ in the United States for the second consecutive year. The 2018 ICC, which began on July 20, runs until August 11 across America, Europe and Singapore.

What: Liga MX squad Club América announced a broadbased partnership with Toyota.
Why it matters: Toyota is the No. 1 auto brand in the U.S. Hispanic market. Its sponsorship of Tour Águila, Club América’s annual U.S. Tour, is key to leveraging that position in the market.

This week, Club América (@ClubAmericaofficially announced an integrated partnership with Toyota Motor North America (@Toyotaas its official automotive partner in the U.S. Toyota, the number one auto brand in the U.S. Hispanic market, will bring fans closer to the team through content featuring players, advertising campaigns, social and digital programs, and much more.

The partnership is the latest in an expanded soccer portfolio for Toyota not just in North America but around the global soccer world. Its partnership portfolio includes one with Univision Deportes as the official sponsor of juanfutbol (@juanfutbol), the social-first soccer channel focused on creating socially-native content for Hispanic millennials as well as their overall Univision CONCACAF Gold Cup partnership. The Japanese automaker has MLS partnerships with a host of clubs including Sporting Kansas City, the Philadelphia Union, FC Dallas (which includes the naming rights at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas) and the Chicago Fire, which includes the naming rights to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

Our partnership with the Club will allow us to engage with Liga MX fans year-round across multiple touch points and we are excited to amplify the fans’ experience by igniting their passion and spirit for the game.

In Asia, Toyota has the FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Asian Qualifiers, the AFC Asian Cup, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the FC U-23 Championship and the AFC Futsal Championship as part of its platform.

“We are very excited to continue our expansion in the United States by partnering with Toyota, a global leader and innovator in the automotive industry,” said Mauricio Culebro, Club América’s President, in a statement. “Toyota understands soccer as a passion point and the value of engaging our fans year long.”

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Toyota’s sponsorship also includes participation in Tour Águila, Club América’s annual U.S. Tour. The Tour consists of a series of friendly matches against some of the most important teams in Liga MX and MLS during the preseason and FIFA dates. These matches take place in key Hispanic markets including cities in California and Texas, and are broadcasted on Univision Deportes in the U.S. and on Televisa in Mexico.
“Club América has a storied history and winning tradition in Liga MX, the most watched soccer league in the U.S. Our partnership with the Club will allow us to engage with Liga MX fans year-round across multiple touch points and we are excited to amplify the fans’ experience by igniting their passion and spirit for the game,” said Tyler McBride, Engagement and Event Manager, Toyota Motor North America, in a statement.
The Toyota sponsorship was secured by PRIMETIME Sports (@PTimeSports), U.S commercial agency for Club América in the U.S. and producer of the annual Tour Águila.

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 credit: Club América

A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • HeinekenHeineken extended its Major League Soccer partnership for five more years, to serve as the Official Beer of MLS. Heineken will continue to sponsor Rivalry Week. “Soccer has been a crucial platform for Heineken across the globe with multiple league, team and championship game sponsorships. In the U.S., our partnership with MLS has helped drive the sport’s rapid expansion and growing popularity,” said Felix Palau, Heineken SVP of marketing, in a statement.
  • The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced a partnership with Evanston Soccer Association to bring numerous programs, services and supplemental playing opportunities to ESA and its players. ESA will rebrand its Under-13 through Under-19 boys and girls age groups to Chicago Fire Juniors North Shore.

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  • CHIVASLigaMX soccer team Chivas and German Borussia Dortmund have started a knowledge-sharing partnership. The Bundesliga and Liga MX teams will collaborate on financial, sports and administration strategies, as well as player signings and marketing.
  • The Los Angeles Galaxy announced a multi-year extension of their partnership with Constellation Brands. Modelo Especial will become the exclusive import beer sponsor of both the LA Galaxy and their StubHub Center home, with branding displayed throughout the stadium. Constellation Brands will also be listed as a founding partner of the 27,000-seater stadium.
  • Fifa has sealed a deal with Russian telecoms operator Rostelecom as partner of this year’s Fifa World Cup national team tournament. As part of the deal, Rostelecom will receive a range of rights, including LED board exposure at matches during the tournament and the opportunity to run ticket raffles.

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: 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: The Mexican National soccer team “El Tri” will tweet in English at @MiSeleccionMXEN.
Why it matters: Liga MX is continuing its push in the U.S., with a reported 40 million fans stateside, and English language social media can grow that further.

The most watched soccer in the United States continues to be not Major League Soccer (@MLS) or the Premier League (@premierleague) or Bundesliga (@Bundesliga_EN), but Liga MX (@ligabancomermx). It’s high quality of play and rabid following not just by fans of Mexican clubs but by hardcore soccer fans and casual observers as well, has given Mexico a very unique place in the history of North American sport and in the U.S., a market that remains one of the two fastest growing in the world, Liga MX has been a hit for partners and clubs alike.

Now with the FIFA World Cup coming and the United States on the outside looking in for the event this summer, the Mexican national team could be in for another big run not just on the pitch but in their brand building as well. Delta, Nissan, AT&T and All State are just some of the mainstream brands who see the multicultural branding opportunities not just for World Cup partnerships but also for all the lead up to the games.

The English language channels will help push the branding opportunities not just for the team, but also for Soccer United Marketing who has been representing the team for 16 years.

One issue has been the lack of English language social channels to market the club to a mixed audience, a step many of the world’s elite clubs have taken and have made a key part of brand engagement. Now El Tri will take that step as well, once which will be a boon to U.S. multicultural growth as we head toward Russia.

As of late last week, Mexico now will tweet in English at @MiSeleccionMXEN and post on Facebook as “Mexico’s national team” with the same tag as the Twitter handle.

“Well, basically there are more than 40 million fans of the Mexican national team in the United States. We practically have two territories — Mexico and the United States — because of the amount of fans we have in both countries,” Guillermo Cantu, the general secretary of the Mexican federation, said at a news conference last Thursday. “We could call it our second home.”

The English language channels will help push the branding opportunities for the team and for Soccer United Marketing, who has been representing the team for 16 years. The team will be able to maximize that exposure and push their English language channels when they play Wales in a World Cup tune up on May 28 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California,  El Tri returns home to Mexico City for a send-off match match against Scotland on June 2 in the Estadio Azteca before playing at Denmark on June 9. They open play against Germany on June 17.

Main image courtesy femexfut.org.mx

A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • David Beckham and MLS announced Monday the birth of the Miami MLS team. The team name, logo, when it will start playing and when the stadium will open still need to be set. “Bringing an MLS club to Miami has been a hell of a journey,” stated Beckham.

  • The New York Red Bulls announced the acquisition of German midfielder Marc Rzatkowski on loan from sister club Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Bundesliga. The 27-year-old will remain with New York on a season-long loan and will occupy an international spot on the club’s roster.

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  • LAFC partnered with YouTube TV as both its jersey-front sponsor and local English-language broadcaster. The multi-year deal marks the first time North-American pro sports will have all locally televised matches on a live TV streaming provider.

  • MLS and Liga MX are discussing an annual match between their respective champions, starting as early as this fall, according to Insider. The proposed first meeting would probably take place in mid-September at Toronto’s BMO Field.
  • Jay Heaps, former New England Revolution head coach, accepted a position as president and general manager of 2019 USL expansion team Birmingham Legion FC.

  • The National Women’s Soccer League announced Sunday that the Boston Breakers will cease operations in advance of the 2018 season, due to a lack of investors. “Discussions with an active buyer who had signed a letter of intent were ongoing since November of 2017. Unfortunately, due to certain factors that process was halted on short notice,” Boston Breakers managing partner Peter Stoller said in a statement.
    Fans who already bought tickets for the upcoming season will be given full refunds.
By Gabriela Gutiérrez M.

What: We talked to Mauricio Pallares, Director of Marketing and Digital Sales at BBVA Bancomer, about why Liga MX’ sponsorship is so important to the bank.
Why it matters: Out of BBVA Bancomer’s 18 millon clients in Mexico, 80% follow soccer. Which is why to get new clients, the bank is looking to strenghen its connection to soccer.

Mauricio Pallares
Mauricio Pallares, Director of Marketing at Bancomer.

Six out of every 10 Mexicans – approximately 72 million – are soccer fans. And that’s the audience that BBVA has regularly targeted since 2013, when it became the exclusive sponsor of Liga MX, the Mexican first-division soccer league comprising 18 clubs. Since then, Mexico’s main soccer league has been known as Liga Bancomer MX. “By sponsoring soccer, we have [brand presence] coverage in all cities of the [Mexican] Republic,” says Mauricio Pallares, Director of Marketing and Digital Sales at Bancomer.

Eighty percent of BBVA Bancomer’s 18 million Mexico customers are soccer fans, so in addition to attracting new customers, the bank seeks to strengthen its relationship with its existing clients.

BBVA Bancomer’s strategy has never been aimed at sponsoring a soccer star or a particular team. Instead, from the very beginning, the Spanish bank has sought to sponsor all 18 first-division clubs.

“What we are looking for is not to partner with a particular athlete or club, but with the league as a whole. [By sponsoring] the league, we reach the fans of all the clubs, so that every time a goal is scored or a match begins, [our presence] is there regardless of the team playing,” explains Pallares.

What we are looking for is not to partner with a particular athlete or club, but with the league as a whole.

With one exception: the Rayados de Monterrey club. “It’s a highly sought after prize. Citibanamex and the local Monterrey banks especially, already have a strong club presence. It helps us in positioning our brand,” notes Pallares. The fact is that Nuevo León, the team’s hometown, is recognized nationally for its regionalist culture, so for Bancomer to carve out a brand presence there by way of its league sponsorship was a strategic move.

Bancomer seeks to make the most of its sponsorship deal – inked in 2013 for a rumored $25 million per year – by sending special invitations to its customers to attend games, giving them additional benefits when acquiring their tickets and seeking fan engagement.

80% of BBVA Bancomer clients follow soccer.

The Spanish bank also seeks to strengthen its marketing strategy through joint campaigns with other league sponsors such as Voit, with whom it has created soccer balls “for a cause,” to raise awareness on issues such as education, and breast and prostate cancer, says Pallares.

The challenge for any sponsorship, including that of Liga Bancomer MX, explains Pallares, is to make it profitable and keep improving the show so that more people get on board and increase the brand’s impact: “Being a soccer sponsor is not cheap. If you decide to put your logo on a team jersey, there are so many brands already on it that the impact is diluted. You always have to look for a way to make each impact count, in order to get a return on your investment.”

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With that in mind, Bancomer also decided, in 2015, to sponsor the Liga de Ascenso, in hopes of further supporting and developing soccer in Mexico, he explains.

Bancomer’s league sponsorship contract with the Mexican Football Federation runs through 2019.

The favorite and most disliked teams of Liga Bancomer MX

Mexico’s Favorite Liga MX Clubs
Ranking Club 2016 2017 Most

Disliked

1 América 24.50% 24.40% 39.70%
2 Chivas 17.20% 20.10% 20.80%
3 Pumas 12.00% 9.90% 4.80%
4 Cruz Azul 8.50% 8.80% 6.80%
5 Tigres 4.70% 5.70% 1.60%
6 Santos 2.90% 3.60%
7 Xolos 2.00% 3.60%
8 Tiburones 2.30% 2.40%
9 Toluca 2.60% 2.30%
10 Morelia 1.70% 2.30%
11 Atlas 2.20% 2.10%
12 Necaxa ND 1.40%
13 Monterrey 3.50% 1.30%
14 Tuzos 2.40% 1.20%
15 Puebla 1.40% 1.20%
16 León 1.60% 0.90%
17 Gallos 0.20% 0.30%

Source: Consulta Mitofsky, 2017

 

CHECK OUT: Three Golden Rules for Soccer Influencer Marketing

What: Mexican soccer clubs have begun to work on developing their marketing. Generating more revenue, increasing their number of followers, making themselves more attractive to advertisers, and capturing the Latin American market in the U.S. are some of the goals they are trying to reach.
Why it matters: Liga MX is the most followed soccer league in both Mexico and the U.S., so reinforcing their marketing strategies is an essential key to continued growth.

Image result for liga mxLiga MX clubs have made a significant leap in the last ten years. Mexican teams began to study their international peers to copy their best practices and learn from their mistakes.

“In the last ten years, Mexico has tried to match what European leagues are doing, such as in Spain or England. They are not yet on par with England’s Premier League, the MLB, or even the NFL, but the qualitative leap is remarkable. There are few clubs out there that are not doing a serious job of marketing,” said Antonio Rosique, sports commentator, and sports marketing specialist.

Mexican soccer is an attractive business market for generating and collecting revenue. This is confirmed by the howmuch.net  site, which places Liga MX among the top 15 highest-earning sports leagues in the world, ahead of even European leagues such as the Netherlands’ Eredivisie and the German Bundesliga.

howmuch.net calculates that Liga MX generates US $555 million in revenue annually. Rosique explains that Liga MX’s high revenues are due to the large size of the Mexican soccer market. “If you have a market with a population of 90 million, and the Netherlands has a population of seven million, you are automatically going to generate more money, even with a junk league.”

However, clubs in Mexico need to really boost their revenue through wise marketing strategies. This will help the league become even more attractive to brands.

Read also: With Its Absence in Copa Libertadores, Liga MX turns to MLS

“Soccer is very attractive because it is a topic that penetrates all market segments, from ‘A’ to ‘E’. Each brand decides whether to associate itself with a club or league, or even just with a single match. It depends a lot on the market, and on the interests, you have as a brand,” added Rosique.

Nevertheless, Liga MX faces four basic challenges it needs to overcome in order to truly enhance its brand.

Antonio Rosique, sports commentator, and sports marketing specialist.

1. Violence

Mexican fans are definitely among the sport’s most passionate, but this passion is sadly accompanied by violence in the stadiums and in matches where rivalry runs high. “As long as violence continues in Mexican soccer, there will be fewer brands that want to associate with that,” said Rosique.

As long as violence continues in Mexican soccer, there will be fewer brands that want to associate with that.

2. The stadium experience

Much of the country’s stadium infrastructure is old. If we compare it with that of the MLS in the U.S., for example, Mexican clubs are far behind with their stadiums. Going to see a live game is an experience that needs to be complete and first-class, experts agree. “As clubs improve that experience for the fans, they will see better revenue,” explained Rosique.

3. Underutilization of digital platforms

Javier Salinas, a marketing expert who has worked with FEMEXFUT and teams like Morelia’s Monarcas, thinks that Mexican clubs need to exploit areas such as social networks, where they have grown beyond other sports powerhouses, and where there is a large influx of domestic fans.

“In digital marketing, Mexico is better developed than Europe—our society is more Twitter and Facebook oriented than in Europe. Our country is one of Facebook’s main revenue sources. And Mexico is the fourth highest revenue-producing country for Twitter. On YouTube, Mexican soccer videos are among the most-viewed. This has led to an acceleration of digital marketing processes,” said Salinas.

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Javier Salinas, Marketing Director, LMB.

4. Sponsor relations

Salinas, current Marketing Director of the Mexican Baseball League (LMB), thinks there is room for improvement when it comes to generating and attracting sponsors.

“In Mexico, sponsorship culture is a new thing for brands. Here, it is still seen as an expense, rather than as an important investment in their brands,” he explained.

In Mexico, sponsorship culture is a new thing for brands. Here, it is still seen as an expense, rather than as an important investment in their brands.

Mexican clubs undoubtedly have the exposure and followers necessary to maintain their strong brand. Now, they need to overcome these four challenges to stay ahead, especially against new players who are getting stronger in their markets, such as the MLS in the U.S.

“The example of emulating leagues that have great marketing strategies is still far away. Getting top dollar for TV rights and increasing the number of followers worldwide are still goals that have to be worked on,” concluded Rosique.

 

Article by Edgar Jiménez @edgar85jimenez



What: Uniform manufacturers, banks, cement companies, and casinos top the list of Mexican soccer sponsors.
Why it matters: Knowing what Mexican brands are targeting Mexican soccer fans also offers interesting clues about brand affinity of Mexican-Americans in the U.S. In addition, having the exclusive for making and selling team uniforms, or having your beer logo on a team jersey – in addition to selling the beverage at the stadium – are profitable investments for brands, even if sponsorship figures for Mexican soccer remain undisclosed.

descarga (7)Liga Mx, which according to statistics is followed by at least 60% of the Mexican population, has a series of sponsoring brands that are split among those which produce team uniforms, and those which stamp their names or logos on the garments used by the players on each of the 18 teams that make up the largest Mexican soccer league.

First are the brands that manufacture and provide the teams with their uniforms:

Puma leads the league with five teams (Atlas, Santos, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Querétaro); Charly with three clubs (Veracruz, Puebla, and Chiapas); Nike with three teams (Pumas, América, and Pachuca); Pirma with two clubs (Morelia and Leon); Under Armour with two teams (Cruz Azul and Toluca); Adidas with two clubs (Tigres and Tijuana), and Umbro with one team (Necaxa).

The dollar value of the sponsorships is guarded with great secrecy, and neither the brands nor the teams generally divulge the numbers that grant them the exclusive rights to the manufacture and sale of team jerseys. With retail prices that range from 900 to 1,300 pesos, it translates into a very profitable business for sponsors.

 

Las marcas que visten a los equipos de la Liga MX
Marca Equipo
Puma Atlas
Santos
Monterrey
Guadalajara
Querétaro
Charly Veracruz
Puebla
Chiapas
Nike Pumas
América
Pachuca
Pirma Morelia
León
Under Armour Cruz Azul
Toluca
Adidas Tigres
Tijuana
Humbro Necaxa

descarga (8)But even when sportswear brands are globally renowned, industry experts say that the crux of the sponsorship business is not in who makes the uniforms, but in the brand that supports each of the teams – and whose logo appears on team jerseys – as is the case of beer brands in markets like Germany, Brazil, and  Mexico.

The relationship between beer and soccer fans does not seem to be a coincidence, since the three countries (Mexico, Brazil and Germany) are the most important beer producers. Beer has thus become the sponsor of such important sports events as the Super Bowl, Europe’s Champions League, Formula One, and Mexico’s Liga Mx.

When the Liga Mx championship was defined, the Tigres wore the Tecate brand on their jersey, while the América wore the Corona brand. As all the fans know today, the corona or crown, was taken by the Nuevo León team.

Liga MX Beer Brand Sponsors
Brand Team
Corona Atlas
Corona Santos
Tecate Monterrey
Tecate Guadalajara
Corona Querétaro
Tecate Veracruz
Corona Puebla
Corona Chiapas
_______ Pumas
Corona América
Corona Pachuca
Corona Morelia
Corona León
Tecate Cruz Azul
Corona Toluca
Tecate Tigres
Bud Light Tijuana
Corona Necaxa

But other brands also want the attention their product would get by being printed on a uniform. This is the case with cement companies that sponsor their own teams, such as Cruz Azul, Cementos Fortaleza (Pachuca), and Cemex (Tigres); banks such as Banamex (Toluca and Pumas), BBVA Bancomer (Monterrey), Multiva (Querétaro), and Compartamos Banco (Chiapas); and, most recently, casino chain Caliente.

In fact, Caliente – which includes the online betting site Caliente.mx – is the brand that arrived in mid-2016 and went on to become one of the main sponsors of Mexican soccer, with its support of four teams: Tijuana, Puebla , Morelia, and Chiapas, and is poised to increase its sponsorship efforts starting in the second half of 2017.

Debora Montesinos contributed in this article

 

 

In this regular feature we look at the most watched soccer matches in the U.S. over the past weekend, the networks that came out on top and other relevant insights.

Which match had the largest audience?

The most watched match was the match played between Stoke City and Chelsea, at the 29th round of the English Premier League, it was viewed by  an audience of 519,000 last Saturday.

Which broadcaster came out on top?

NBC Sports Network was the most watched sports network. The network broadcast’s English Premier League matches and had almost 2 million viewers. The second most watched network was BeInSports with approximately 770,000 viewers. BeinSports broadcast’s Spain’s popular La Liga.

What else is relevant?

Two Liga MX matches made it into the top 10. These matches were broadcast by Univision Deportes. Both matches, Tigres vs Cruz Azul and Puebla vs Monarcas, had a combined audience of 655,000 viewers.

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# Program Episode Network Start End Total Viewers (000) Viewers Age 18-49 (000) Day of the game
1 PREMIER LEAGUE L CHELSEA/STOKE NBC SPORTS NETWORK 10:57 AM 12:59 PM 519 302 SAT
2 LALIGA SANTANDER MRQ-L BARCELONA VS. VALENCIA BEIN SPORT ESPANOL 3:34 PM 5:45 PM 506 293 SUN
3 PREMIER LEAGUE L SOUTHAMPTON/TOTTENHAM NBC SPORTS NETWORK 10:08 AM 12:21 PM 478 270 SUN
4 PREMIER LEAGUE L ARSENAL/WEST BROM NBC SPORTS NETWORK 8:24 AM 10:30 AM 392 225 SAT
5 LIGA MX L TIGRES / CRUZ AZUL UNIVISION DEPORTES 6:54 PM 9:00 PM 362 227 SAT
6 PREMIER LEAGUE L MANCHESTER UNITED/MIDDLESBROUGH NBC SPORTS NETWORK 7:54 AM 10:08 AM 300 159 SUN
7 LIGA MX L PUEBLA / MONARCAS UNIVISION DEPORTES 7:54 PM 10:00 PM 293 177 SUN
8 PREMIER LEAGUE L SWANSEA/BOURNEMOUTH NBC SPORTS NETWORK 1:27 PM 3:32 PM 279 147 SAT
9 LALIGA SANTANDER MRQ-L ATHLETIC VS. REAL MADRID BEIN SPORT ESPANOL 11:06 AM 1:15 PM 264 151 SAT
10 MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER L SEATTLE SOUNDERS/NEW YORK RED BULLS FOX SPORTS 1 7:00 PM 9:30 PM 184 90 SUN

Source: SportsTVRatings.com (“All data ©Nielsen, provided by a variety of TV network sources and not directly from Nielsen”)

What: Liga MX and Major League Soccer are negotiating a new 2017 tournament.
Why it matters: Because after the calendar change of the Libertadores Cup led to the departure of the Mexican teams from the tournament, Liga MX is seeking to expand its current market in the United States at the club level and strengthen its positioning and income.

Mexico and U.S. soccer federations are in talks to launch a new international tournament this year with squads from both countries, with the idea of expanding their respective brands on both sides of the border.

Mexican Football Federation executives have turned their eyes north, thanks in part to the departure of the Mexican teams from the South American Copa Libertadores.

As a result, the first Liga MX teams that will participate in the new tourney are those that would have qualified for the 2017 Libertadores Cup: Tijuana, América, and Chivas de Guadalajara— which has millions of followers in the US Hispanic market. A fourth team is yet to be revealed.

Francisco Suinaga, Sports Vice President of Club Toluca and a member of the FMF Sports Development Committee, highlighted the attractiveness of the North American market and pointed out that the idea is to capitalize ̶ at the club level ̶ on the rivalry that already exists between national teams.

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To date, the only given is that four Mexican teams and four MLS clubs will be playing in the first edition of the event. Enrique Bonilla, President of Liga MX, will announce details of the new tournament in March.

Three Canadian teams also compete in the MLS, which makes their inclusion in the tourney a possibility.

What: The Tiburones del Veracruz join the Mexico United campaign.
Why it matters: Protest demonstrations against U.S. immigration policies have already spread to soccer pitches in Mexico, where players are displaying the hashtag #MéxicoUnido (MexicoUnited) on their uniforms.

The opposition to changes in U.S. immigration policy has already reached the Mexican soccer league, with the Tiburones del Veracruz team joining the call for a more united Mexico.

The players are displaying the hashtag #MéxicoUnido next to a shark with the Mexican national flag on their jerseys, in a decision that is seen as a sign of solidarity given the uncertainty generated by the changes in U.S. immigration policy.

The campaign made its debut during the Veracruz match against Toluca in the Copa MX. The team also posted the following message of solidarity and encouragement for their fellow Mexicans on social media: “We are bigger than any wall.”

A summary of the most exciting recent news in sports marketing and media in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

U.S./U.S.-HISPANIC MARKET

fight
Kyra “Mogwai” Batara with coach Casey.

MMA sensation Kyra “Mogwai” Batara will represent the organization for the first time in Combate Americas history during the RIZIN FF fight in Tokyo, Japan, on September 25.

Nike and Apple announced their partnership’s newest product, the Apple Watch Nike+, which pairs the exclusive Nike Sport Bands with the Apple Watch Series 2, which features GPS, a display twice as bright as that of previous models, water resistance for depths of up to 50 meters, a powerful dual-core processor and watchOS 3.

Univision Deportes announced its schedule for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification. The line-up includes games played by the U.S., Mexican and Canadian national teams, as well as the debut of the UEFA National Team qualifying matches on UCI’s networks.

These are the #Portada16 Award Finalists in the Sports Marketing Campaign Category:
-Western Union Digital: the “Be Futbol” Campaign
-Bones Love Milk
-Copa Coca-Cola

Winners will be announced at the Sports Marketing Forum, part of #Portada16 on Sept. 14 in New York City’s Yotel.

With this week’s start of the NFL season, the league’s four major TV network partners have cumulatively sold close to $2.5 billion worth of commercial time, Broadcasting & Cable reports. This means each one of the networks has sold more inventory than it did last season, and at higher prices.

Ray Warren.

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises announced Ray Warren as Telemundo Deportes’ new president. In this new role, the veteran sports executive will oversee NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises’ growing sports business and lead its strategy across all its platforms and networks. He will be responsible for developing both existing franchises and future acquisitions with a keen focus on the FIFA World Cup properties.

Warren will be based in Miami and will report to Cesar Conde, the chairman of NBCUniversal International and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, effective September 19.

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arroz-oriente-petrolero-bloomingLATIN AMERICAN MARKET

Bolivian soccer clubs Oriente Petrolero and Blooming are trying to earn some additional funds by selling their own rice brands through Silos Montego SRL, which will handle the product’s fabrication and distribution.

Argentine soccer club Boca Juniors is looking for companies willing to pay an unspecified sum to put their name on its Alberto J. Armando Stadium and become its main sponsor starting in 2017. Experts expect the stadium to be named after a multinational.

Liga Mexicana has positioned itself in the top ten of leagues who spent the most on signings during this season. England’s Premier League set records, coming in first through spending €1.4 billion, while Italy’s A Series spent €700 million. In ninth place, we find Liga MX’s €49.5 million.

In this day and age, merely looking at television ratings is no longer enough to understand the engagement of viewers with a specific program or TV event. This was the case of Sunday’s (May 26) historic match between Mexico’s Club América and Cruz Azul, in which the former was crowned winner of the 2013 Liga MX Clausura season.

The match not only broke ratings records for the Univision Network, where it aired starting at 8:50 PM/ET, but made it the No. 1 most social broadcast network regardless of language, according to SocialGuide, a company that tracks TV audience engagement on social networks. The Liga MX final, per SocialGuide, had more social engagement than TNT’s NBA Miami Heat vs. Indian Pacers game – delivering more tweets per unique.

Overall, the Liga MX final on Sunday night made Univision the No. 1 broadcast network in primetime among Adults 18-34, beating ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.

Additionally, among Adults 18-49, the final was the most watched Liga MX match on Univision since 2011 in four out of the Top 5 Hispanic markets – Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Dallas.