Lionel Messi


What: Barcelona open up their 45th academy in Puebla, Mexico.
Why it matters: Barcelona expand their football influence in the Americas and continue their global initiative to grow their brand of football.

Barcelona Goes in For Mexico

It has certainly been a busy few weeks for  Barcelona FC (@FCBarcelona). Earlier this week La Liga announced that the elite club would play Girona in Miami in January, making the first time two European clubs would play a regular season match in the United States , which followed last week’s announcement of  the opening of their new academy in Puebla, Mexico. The newest Barcelona academy is the 45th football school for the La Liga leaders and the 23rd academy on an American continent. Between North and South America, Barcelona has eight academies in the United States, six in Canada, three in Colombia, two in Brazil and one each in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. The Puebla Academy’s inauguration was oversaw by the director of Barça’s Academy Project, Carles Martin.

The Barça Academy has been the club’s model for youth soccer development with the main goal not to find the next “Messi” or “Iniesta” but rather, “to grow the Barça brand and transmit the work ethic and values of the Club around the world.”

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More Than A Club

The academies under Barcelona have recently undergone a makeover. Earlier this year, the academies changed their names from “FCBEscola to “Barça Academy” (https://bit.ly/2LQBhdp).

Barcelona FC President, Josep Maria Bartomeu

Escola is Catalan for school, a nod to the Club’s roots and region, but the rebranding was done in an attempt to boost the club’s presence and improve marketability in North America. The newest academy keeps the Club on par with Barcelona FC’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s vision to make Barcelona the most prominent sports entity in the world by 2021.

Speaking to NBC Latino last year on Barcelona’s global strategy to expand its own brand and grow the sport in the Americas, the former Business Development Director for Barcelona’s New York office, Arturo de la Fuente said “We are proud to say that we are a Catalan club, but més que un club is the mentality of the club; we develop human beings, we are socially responsible.”

The famous club motto has always symbolized regional Catalan pride. But Bartomeu’s global strategy has demonstrated that the club’s philosophy is not geographically bound to any country, nation, or city.

Barcelona players and Latino superstars, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez

The Barça Academy has been the club’s model for youth soccer development with the main goal not to find the next “Messi” or “Iniesta” but rather, “to grow the Barça brand and transmit the work ethic and values of the Club around the world.” Such work ethic and values include the idea of playing beautiful football for one’s community and not only for money or glory. It is this trademark of Barcelona that resonates with US parents who want their children to take a holistic approach to the game. Hispanic communities are and have always been an integral part of the club’s overall strategy given the cultural ties and the amount of Latino players that have played and currently play for Barcelona. Players such as Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, and Brazil’s Coutinho. This new academy in Puebla, Mexico reaffirms how important these communities are as Barcelona FC continue to push its global initiative. Perhaps even more importantly, both moves show Barça’s two pronged approach to North American growth, expose the club directly into the marketplace with a historic match, while building a future generation with elite grassroots efforts.

Now that’s smart soccer business.

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

2018 NETWORKING SOLUTIONS. To find out about Portada’s new networking solutions targeting the decision makers of the below campaigns, please contact Sales Manager Isabel Ojeda at isabel@portada-online.com.

For prior Sales Leads LatAm editions, click here. 

  • Mastercard

Mastercard announced the launch of its Start Something Priceless campaign in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). For the first time in history, a brand brings together two football superstars of Latin America, Lionel Messi and Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. (Messi and Neymar Jr.), in an integrated marketing and communications platform to score against childhood hunger and malnutrition in LAC.The social movement, #JuntosSomos10 (TogetherWeAre10), will ignite the evolution of Mastercard’s iconic Priceless advertising campaign, transforming it from StoryTelling to StoryInspiring, appealing to today’s socially engaged consumers.As part of their two-year partnership with Mastercard, Messi and Neymar Jr. will seek to inspire fans to join them in fighting childhood hunger and malnutrition through a series of cause-related marketing efforts supporting the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners which will be incorporated into the movement over time.The campaign kicks-off on April 10th with the activation of the #TogetherWeAre10 social movement, encouraging consumers to join Mastercard in doing their part to make a difference in the world.Along the 2-year campaign, Mastercard aspires to have made a positive impact in the lives of children in the region by providing more than 10 million meals and supporting the fight against malnutrition across LAC. “Human connections are the foundation of the Latin culture,” says Ana Ferrell, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Mastercard LAC and Portada Council of the Americas member.

  • Beiersdorf

Dentsu Aegis Network Argentina has been awarded  beauty and skin care brand Beiersdorf account. The agency will handle strategy development, planning and online and offline media buying for all of its brands, including Nivea, Eucerin and Curitas.


2018 NETWORKING SOLUTIONS. To find out about Portada’s new networking solutions targeting the decision makers of the below campaigns, please contact Sales Manager Isabel Ojeda at isabel@portada-online.com.


  • Nissan Brazil

Nissan Industrial Complex in Resende, Brazil, has achieved the milestone of 30,000 cars made for overseas markets. The timing coincides with the second anniversary of the plant’s export program, which is exponentially growing due to an increased demand in Latin America.This is in part due to the success of Nissan Kicks as the ultimate addition to the brand’s export portfolio. Since December, the Argentinian market started to sell the crossover produced at the Resende Industrial Complex. Argentina had already been receiving the March hatchback and the Versa sedan from Brazil’s plant. Both models made in Brazil are also sold in Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.




  • Gore-Tex

W.L. Gore & Associates has consolidated its global media business for its fabric division with Dentsu Aegis Network following a review, Adweek has reported.Dentsu’s Gravity, Carat and Amnet agencies will work with Gore-Tex—used in brand products from Adidas, Oakley, Patagonia, Converse and The North Face—across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.W.L. Gore & Associates’ Gore-Tex spent US$1.5 million on marketing efforts in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media.





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A growing trend among professional athletes has been the usage of social media to make important announcements. And on Sunday, December 17, Brazilian soccer star Kaká declared his retirement via his Twitter account to his nearly 30 million followers.

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The 35-year-old leaves a legacy that will forever rival the playing careers of fellow superstars, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. In fact, Kaká is the most recent recipient not named Ronaldo or Messi to win the Ballon d’Or, which is the award given to the male player of the year.

In the year that Kaká won the Ballon d’Or (2007), Pele said of attacking midfielder, “He’s the complete player.”

Five years earlier, in 2002, Kaká announced himself to the world stage, winning the World Cup with Brazil.

Full name Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, Kaká did most of his international damage in his career with AC Milan, where he played for six seasons beginning in 2003, before leaving to play for Real Madrid. While in Spain, Kaká captured a league title and a Copa del Rey. He returned to Milan for a brief stint before coming to the United States to play three seasons for Orlando City of the MLS.

Upon his announcement, Milan was one of the clubs to offer him a contract that would have extended his playing career, but Kaká felt that it was time to hang up the cleats.

In a farewell interview he gave to Brazil’s Globo TV, he was candid about a different kind of future with Milan.

I would like to participate in the club in another way, as a manager, a sporting director, as someone who is between the pitch and the club. I prepared very hard to be a professional footballer and I want to prepare for this new role.

From the sounds of it, Kaká is determined to once again leave his mark on Milan in his third stint with the club. It just won’t be as a player this time around.

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