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What: The Association soccer league has created a new, athletics-based way of networking in Los Angeles.
Why it matters: Big brands like SpaceX and Beats by Dre are already on board in this opportunity for multicultural connections in the diverse Los Angeles market.

Successful sports marketing, especially around the fast-growing business of soccer in the United States, is all about networking, seizing opportunities and the converge of events.

Meet The Association soccer league.

Billed as a place where soccer and culture meet, and partially coordinated by colleague Mario Flores (@LatinoSportsGuyat Sportivo, The Association recently launched in Los Angeles with teams made up of colleagues at a wide variety of brands, ranging from SpaceX (@SpaceX), and Beats by Dre (@beatsbydre), to Red Bull (@redbull) and Jason Markk (@jason_markk). “The Association is not just about soccer. In fact, I think the games play a secondary role in this unique experience. It’s like a social environment where soccer games happen to be going on,” Flores said. “For brands, the opportunity to connect with a truly multicultural audience exists in only a few places like Thursday nights in Los Angeles at The Association.”

Each brand gets a chance to host and tell the latest and greatest, and then take to the pitch for some five-on-five competitive soccer.

Supported by Adidas (@adidas), El Jimador (@ElJimadorand Kia (@Kia), games are played Thursday evenings with every week curated by a participating brand. A DJ lends the soundtrack to the evening while teams play on concrete fields enclosed by pallets that serve as fencing; night-club-style lighting lends a unique ambiance. Games are free to attend and open to all ages.

The five versus five influencer soccer league was built around merging street soccer, art, music, and fashion in a 10-week season at the Adidas soccer L.A. Base, a futsal-style warehouse in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The goal is simple: have a curated group of like-minded individuals come together to talk about what they are doing to build their networks and see if there are common areas of collaboration. Each brand gets a chance to host and tell the latest and greatest, and then take to the pitch for some five-on-five competitive soccer.

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While scores are kept, the real unique value are the potential scores for brand building and networking, with a collaborative passion around soccer and a drive for some cutting-edge business development. Now social networks around curated leagues have existed for years; some of the biggest deals on Wall Street have been forged in highly competitive hoops games in places like Basketball City (@BasketballCity), and pickup soccer leagues have sprung up in urban areas pulling together a unique group of passionate players whose skills extend beyond a field and into entrepreneurship. However, The Association being invitation only with a core of disruptive brands is a little different.

While we didn’t get a chance to attend this time out in LA, it is an idea that can have some very interesting upsides as sports, pop culture, entrepreneurship and art continue to converge, this time on a soccer pitch.

It’s a new type of competitive networking which goes beyond drinks and snacks. While it may not be for everyone, for an engaged group it is certainly something to watch. Let’s see how it plays out not just in final scores, but in some unique collaborative business ideas down the road.

Cover Image: courtesy The Association

What: The newest MLS team, Los Angeles Football Club, and FIFA World Cup have announced their respective Spanish language U.S. broadcast partners.
Why it matters: Whether an established international tournament or a team competing in its first handful of games in its inaugural season, soccer broadcasts in Spanish are critical in reaching this huge audience.

The launch of MLS’s latest franchise, Los Angeles Football Club (@LAFC), is off to a rousing start, with the new squad quickly developing a supporters group—seven busloads strong for a battle with “crosstown” rivals LA Galaxy in Carson, Calif. Starting next week, Spanish speaking LAFC fans can tune in to the first of 18 matches on UniMás () KFTR Channel 46, as the team announced that Univision Los Angeles will be its Official Spanish-Language TV partner this year.

“We are committed to making our matches accessible to everyone throughout Los Angeles,” LAFC Owner and President Tom Penn said in a statement. “It is an honor to partner with Univision Los Angeles – a trusted and respected broadcast leader that ensures award-winning, comprehensive content and coverage of our Club.”

We’re excited to be part of the World Cup event and our ability to provide extensive coverage to our local communities through our radio stations.

This comes on the heels of news that Hispanic fans who want to follow this summer’s FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCupon radio will have a new option: Entravision (@EVCMedia), which will broadcast 53 of the 64 total matches (including al three for Mexico in Group F) on its stations in 16 markets, beginning with the opening ceremony and group play on June 14. With Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Colombia joining Spain and Portugal in the field, there will be plenty of interest among the Latin American fan base, particularly in markets like Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, El Paso, Albuquerque and Las Vegas, whose affiliates will air the games.

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“Latinos live and breathe soccer and it is by far the number one sport among our listeners,” said Jeffery A. Liberman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Entravision, in a statement. “We’re excited to be part of the World Cup event and our ability to provide extensive coverage to our local communities through our radio stations. This global soccer tournament is one of the most recognized sporting events in the world and provides advertisers with a premier opportunity to connect with our audience.”

No word yet on which advertising partners are on board for either entity, but with UniMás KFTR 46 ranking among the top stations in L.A., regardless of language, in key demographics, opportunities abound for marketers to catch on to the early success of LAFC and its newly formed fan base. And World Cup retains a huge appeal, even without the U.S. National Team, which failed to qualify.

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 LAFC

What: NFL owners voted on Tuesday to move the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles, the city they called home for nearly 50 years.
Why it matters: The move to Inglewood is to cost the Rams a reported US$550 million relocation fee. The league will benefit greatly from a return to a city that prizes celebrity and is home to major media, advertising and marketing agencies.

descargaRshlNAkd_400x400NFL owners voted on Tuesday to move the St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles, the city they called home for nearly 50 years(from 1946-1994), after two decades without a team in the nation’s second-largest media market.

NFL had been without a franchise since the Rams and Raiders left town following the 1994 season. The owners approved the measures by a 30-2 vote. At least 24 votes were needed for ratification.

The move to Inglewood is to cost the Rams a reported US$550 million relocation fee. The Chargers or Raiders would have to pay the same fee if they end up moving to Los Angeles.

Besides voting for the Rams to move from St. Louis to Inglewood, Calif., owners of the teams also gave The Chargers a one-year option to join them there by relocating from San Diego.

The Raiders, who also had applied to relocate to Los Angeles but remain in Oakland , would have inherited the one-year option to move to Inglewood weren’t for the Chargers.The Raiders previously have considered the possibility of moving to San Antonio and possibly could have the now-vacant St. Louis market.Now, they are receiving US$100 million toward a new stadium.The Chargers would receive an identical amount if they stay in San Diego and get a new stadium there.

The Chargers were said to have the strongest support from the owners among the three teams that applied for relocation.

The Rams will play their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum next season while the Inglewood stadium, scheduled to open in 2019, is being constructed.

The Inglewood stadium is estimated to cost US$1.86 billion, but will likely exceed US$2 billion, Adweek reports. The stadium would be the centerpiece of an entertainment, retail and housing development, and when the stadium finally opens in 2019, it could mean for Los Angeles to be part of the Super Bowl again.

CHECK OUT: McDonald’s Patricia Diaz: “More and More Latinos are Becoming Football Fans” 

The league has become one of the most popular sport in the country and one of the strongest brands in the world (US$10 billion in annual revenue), during its 20-year absence from Los Angeles.Now that is back, it will benefit from a return to a city that prizes celebrity and is home to major media, advertising and marketing agencies.

“I said this morning that we’ve been at this for over 20 years,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at an owners’ meeting at a Houston hotel that originally was scheduled to last into Wednesday. “We felt that we needed to have the kind of stadium, the kind of project, that had vision, that had the facilities that would really bring a new kind of fan experience to the NFL and to Los Angeles.”

“We’re excited that we got something done,” Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II said. “It was time to get a franchise back to Los Angeles. And it was time we got this situation resolved and get a program in place for the other communities to continue to work to keep their franchise. It’s been a long, difficult process.”

“This is not a win for the Raiders. … At the same time I’m really happy for Stan Kroenke and the Rams going to Inglewood. … We’ll see where the Raider Nation ends up here,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said. “We’ll be working really hard to find us a home. That’s what we’re looking for, for our fans and everything else. Don’t feel bad. We’ll get it right.”

What: After merging with K. Fernandez Marketing of San Antonio, cross-cultural agency Sensis is opening  an office in Austin today March 2.K. Fernandez Marketing Founder, Karla Fernandez Parker has been appointed  Sensis’ managing director of Texas.
Why it matters: The Texas office is Los Angeles-based Sensis’  fourth office after Washington DC, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Texas offers exponential returns and growth for marketers, specially in relation to the Hispanic market.

sensislogo_2012_400x400Cross-cultural agency Sensis will open an office in Austin on March 2 after merging with K. Fernandez Marketing of San Antonio. Karla Fernandez Parker will start immediately as Sensis managing director of Texas.

The Austin-based office, located in a technology corridor, is the fourth office for Los Angeles-headquartered Sensis. In addition, the agency also has an office in Washington, D.C. and most recently opened an office in Atlanta to capitalize on the Hispanic growth in the Southeast.

170a11eA brand engagement and marketing veteran, Fernandez Parker specializes in total market and Hispanic advertising. She founded K. Fernandez Marketing over 18 years ago. She has worked with clients like Proctor & Gamble, Wells Fargo, McCormick & Company, Bank of America, M&M/Mars, and UnitedHealthcare.

“Texas is the exemplar minority-majority state making it fertile ground for our cross-cultural approach,” Sensis founder and President José Villa said. “Austin remains an intersection of creativity and technology, affording us the opportunity to serve clients in ways they’re not used to. Add to that Karla’s expertise in cross-cultural branding and engagement and we’re delighted by the potential Texas holds for us.”

“I’m very pleased to be joining the Sensis Team,” Fernandez Parker said. “With my knowledge of the Texas marketplace from the border to every major metropolitan area and even semi-urban markets, the sky is the limit for the impact we can make for clients by joining forces.”

Sensis has grown in the last 17 years from a company building websites to a strategic marketing firm harnessing the power of digital communications to reach a multicultural world. Texas offers exponential returns and growth for marketers. It is rich with Hispanic families who made their mark on Texas generations ago. Some hold steadfast to their Hispanic traditions while others have embraced the culture of their adopted country. There is also a continued influx of recent immigrants working to adapt to their new environment while still rooted in their countries of origin.

A measured approach is necessary for reaching this diverse and valuable market.

“A measured approach is necessary for reaching this diverse and valuable market,” Villa said. “There is no magic bullet. Karla understands that and we expect our partnership will yield great results for the regional marketers in Texas who are still trying to find the right approach for this ever-growing audience.”

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What: Founded by a team of private investors and CEO Alejandro Burato, digital entertainment company FAV! Network has oficially launched across the Americas. The company also announced the appointment of former MundoFox President Emiliano Saccone as COO. FAV! is headquartered in Los Angeles and its production capabilities are based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The company is also  working on rolling out an additional production hub out of Central America.
Why it matters: An increasing number of  Multichannel Networks (MCNs)- or Companies that bond talent creators, often YouTubers, with audiences as well as audiences with advertisers – are emerging in the U.S. Hispanic markets and Latin American markets. This follows the same trend in the U.S. general market.

Captura de pantalla 2014-12-08 a la(s) 18.20.17One more piece in the puzzle of the emerging Latin Digital entertainment and online video space:   FAV! Network, a  digital entertainment company created to bond global content creators, audiences and advertisers around the diverse Latino cultural DNA has officially launched across the Americas. FAV! is founded by a team of private investors and CEO Alejandro Burato with offices in Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, and Central America.  The company also announced the appointment of former MundoFox President Emiliano Saccone to the post of COO.

FAV! creates digital video content in English, Spanish and Portuguese through a host of Owned & Operated (O&O) vertical content channels including lifestyle, food, entertainment, kids, music, technology, gaming, fiction and more, and it also aggregates multiple video content channels already existing on Youtube and other digital platforms as part of its content network. The company comes with a  backing from a number of private investors including MarVista Entertainment, whose CEO Fernando Szew will play a strategic role in the company.   FAV! has a strategic association with Marvista Entertainment, which will guarantee talent exposure on mainstream channels as well, in turn providing significant added value.

At its core FAV! is a multiplatform entertainment company.

Alejandro Burato, CEO and Emiliano Saccone, the new company’s COO, tell Portada “that at its core FAV! is a multiplatform entertainment company. FAV! produces, distributes, aggregates and monetizes content across all available digital platforms and it was not designed exclusively with Youtube in mind like a multi-channel network would. Youtube is one of the targets for FAV’s content and so is Facebook, Vine, Twitter, Vimeo and other. Unlike big media companies which could also be labeled as “multiplatform” FAV! was conceived with a digital DNA from scratch.”

Expansion Plans

Both executives tell Portada that  they have an aggressive plan that “involves different buckets equally as important: original content, content aggregation and content acquisition. First, it is about developing our own content and talent on the back of our production facility in Buenos Aires with high quality standards and cost-efficiently. Then it is about aggregating existing content on Youtube, Vine and other platforms to maximize its exposure, reach and monetization capabilities. Finally, it is about identifying and acquiring relevant content that may have never been exploited digitally. Having a strategic alliance with Marvista Entertainment, a leading production and distribution company in the U.S., will allow for our digital stars to cross over into traditional media hence creating a virtous cycle. ”

 

Alejandro BuratoAlejandro Burato, FAV’s CEO (left) says: “We all know where Millennials spend most of their time watching video. Many of us see it at home through our children first-hand everyday. FAV! is here to capitalize on that, except it will do so without any geographic boundaries from the get-go.”

There are different and equally important buckets: original content, content aggregation and content acquisition.

 

Saccone as COO

B7wF299CUAA-M4k Emiliano Saccone, the new COO (left), tells Portada that “Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to build strong connections with audiences all over the world, and created bold solutions to make those connections an advertisers’ a natural habitat,” “I applied Internet’s Law of the Network Effect across many linear brands to reach unprecedented share levels, and provided opportunities for unknown talent to be heard and be seen. I’m thrilled to be able to bring all that to the table in what seems to me media’s next big chapter for years to come.”

Content Monetization

How is FAV!s digital entertainment content going to be monetized? Saccone and Burato tell Portada that “The FAV! founding team has a history in the ad network business, and as a result it is organically setup for the monetization process. ” They add that they are “currently working on laying out a dedicated sales force throughout the key territories of Latin America and US Hispanic and that  FAV! already has a solid relationships in place with the region’s key agencies and brands.”

 

What: Founded by a team of private investors and CEO Alejandro Burato, digital entertainment company FAV! Network has oficially launched across the Americas. The company also announced the appointment of former MundoFox President Emiliano Saccone as COO. FAV! is headquartered in Los Angeles and its production capabilities are based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The company is also  working on rolling out an additional production hub out of Central America.
Why it matters: An increasing number of  Multichannel Networks (MCNs)- or Companies that bond talent creators, often YouTubers, with audiences as well as audiences with advertisers – are emerging in the U.S. Hispanic markets and Latin American markets. This follows the same trend in the U.S. general market.

Captura de pantalla 2014-12-08 a la(s) 18.20.17One more piece in the puzzle of the emerging Latin Digital entertainment and online video space:   FAV! Network, a  digital entertainment company created to bond global content creators, audiences and advertisers around the diverse Latino cultural DNA has officially launched across the Americas. FAV! is founded by a team of private investors and CEO Alejandro Burato with offices in Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, and Central America.  The company also announced the appointment of former MundoFox President Emiliano Saccone to the post of COO.

FAV! creates digital video content in English, Spanish and Portuguese through a host of Owned & Operated (O&O) vertical content channels including lifestyle, food, entertainment, kids, music, technology, gaming, fiction and more, and it also aggregates multiple video content channels already existing on Youtube and other digital platforms as part of its content network. The company comes with a  backing from a number of private investors including MarVista Entertainment, whose CEO Fernando Szew will play a strategic role in the company.   FAV! has a strategic association with Marvista Entertainment, which will guarantee talent exposure on mainstream channels as well, in turn providing significant added value.

At its core FAV! is a multiplatform entertainment company.

Alejandro Burato, CEO and Emiliano Saccone, the new company’s COO, tell Portada “that at its core FAV! is a multiplatform entertainment company. FAV! produces, distributes, aggregates and monetizes content across all available digital platforms and it was not designed exclusively with Youtube in mind like a multi-channel network would. Youtube is one of the targets for FAV’s content and so is Facebook, Vine, Twitter, Vimeo and other. Unlike big media companies which could also be labeled as “multiplatform” FAV! was conceived with a digital DNA from scratch.”

Expansion Plans

Both executives tell Portada that  they have an aggressive plan that “involves different buckets equally as important: original content, content aggregation and content acquisition. First, it is about developing our own content and talent on the back of our production facility in Buenos Aires with high quality standards and cost-efficiently. Then it is about aggregating existing content on Youtube, Vine and other platforms to maximize its exposure, reach and monetization capabilities. Finally, it is about identifying and acquiring relevant content that may have never been exploited digitally. Having a strategic alliance with Marvista Entertainment, a leading production and distribution company in the U.S., will allow for our digital stars to cross over into traditional media hence creating a virtous cycle. ”

 

Alejandro BuratoAlejandro Burato, FAV’s CEO (left) says: “We all know where Millennials spend most of their time watching video. Many of us see it at home through our children first-hand everyday. FAV! is here to capitalize on that, except it will do so without any geographic boundaries from the get-go.”

There are different and equally important buckets: original content, content aggregation and content acquisition.

 

Saccone as COO

B7wF299CUAA-M4k Emiliano Saccone, the new COO (left), tells Portada that “Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to build strong connections with audiences all over the world, and created bold solutions to make those connections an advertisers’ a natural habitat,” “I applied Internet’s Law of the Network Effect across many linear brands to reach unprecedented share levels, and provided opportunities for unknown talent to be heard and be seen. I’m thrilled to be able to bring all that to the table in what seems to me media’s next big chapter for years to come.”

Content Monetization

How is FAV!s digital entertainment content going to be monetized? Saccone and Burato tell Portada that “The FAV! founding team has a history in the ad network business, and as a result it is organically setup for the monetization process. ” They add that they are “currently working on laying out a dedicated sales force throughout the key territories of Latin America and US Hispanic and that  FAV! already has a solid relationships in place with the region’s key agencies and brands.”

 

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