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

  • Premier LeagueBeIN Sports has locked a multi-year Premier League media rights deal that secures exclusive coverage in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) until the end of the 2021/22 season. Fans in MENA will be able to watch all 380 games per season exclusively live on BeIN.

 

  • Manchester City announced a multi-year global partnership with deodorant brand Rexona (owned by Unilever). The deal sees Rexona become City’s official personal care partner and also includes their sister Major League Soccer (MLS) club, New York City FC. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. As well as Rexona, Unilever will use the partnership to promote its Sure and Degree brands – the trade names for Rexona in the UK and US respectively – in certain markets.

Tom Glick, Chief Commercial Officer at City Football Club, will be a speaker in our upcoming Portada NY conference. Sign up here.

  • Spanish soccer league, La Liga, has confirmed a landmark rights deal with Facebook that will allow fans in the Indian subcontinent to watch every game for free on the social media network for the next three years. The games will be available to viewers in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The financial terms have not been released.

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  • Univision Deportes begins its tenure as the official Spanish-language broadcaster of UEFA this month, beginning with the play-off round on August 21-22 and 28-29, Univision Deportes will carry 137 Champions League matches live across its platforms.

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

  • AudiMajor League Soccer and Audi of America extended their multi-year partnership. With the highest percentage of the millennial audience of any major U.S. sport, the partnership enables Audi to combine its commitment to innovation and technology to engage fans, raise the profile of the game and reach the next generation of young buyers. As part of the agreement, Audi will remain the League’s Official Automotive Partner and the title sponsor of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

 

  • Visa has announced its final results for the FIFA World Cup. The Official Payment Services Partner of FIFA reports that contactless payments accounted for 45% of all Visa purchases in the 11 host cities. Fans from Poland made the most of the contactless purchasing options in-stadium, making 74% of Visa transactions using contactless technology.

 

  • Univision Deportes announced that Univision Deportes Radio is now available nationwide on SiriusXM on channel 467. The lineup will offer “the best in live matches, original content and insightful commentary from a team of renowned sports journalists and analysts and bring more than 350 soccer matches annually to SiriusXM from UEFA Champions League, Europa League and National Team competitions, Liga MX, MLS, CONCACAF, the US Men’s National Team and others.”

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  • Global sports agency MP & Silva has failed to meet payments to multiple rights holders, according to a report from Sports Business. The firm, which is owned by Chinese companies Everbright and Baofeng Group, has apparently defaulted on scheduled payments to England’s Premier League and the European Handball Federation, among others. The agency is also in arbitration with Fifa, over its advisory contract for rights to the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups in Italy.

 

  • Chicago FireMLS team Chicago Fire have announced a multi-year partnership with telecommunications giant AT&T. The deal will see AT&T’s branding integrated through broadcast, digital, video, content and in-stadium exposure, as well as on-site activation at Fire-related events. The company will also present exclusive content and experiences to Fire fans, including a behind-the-scenes series and activations tied to competitive gaming.

 

  • Manchester City has announced their first esports-specific partnership, securing a deal with the gaming headset and audio accessory brand Turtle Beach. The contract sees Manchester City esports players using Turtle Beach’s line of professional gaming audio equipment, as well as other Turtle Beach gear and accessories.

Tom Glick, Chief Commercial Officer at City Football Club, will be a speaker in our upcoming Portada NY conference. Sign up here.

  • UEFA Champions LeagueTurner Sports detailed plans for its upcoming coverage of the UEFA Champions League. On TV, Turner will televise 47 UEFA matches on TNT throughout the season. Meanwhile, B/R Live, Turner’s new premium live sports streaming service will offer fans live UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League action, with content branded B/R Football across all platforms.

 

  • Allstate Insurance Company will launch its first-ever Allstate All-America Soccer platform to honor the country’s rising high school soccer stars. In collaboration with MaxPreps, Allstate will identify the nation’s top high school soccer players in their junior year and award the “Allstate All-American” title to an elite group of 125 male and 125 female players. From the total 250 high school players, 40 males and 40 females will then be selected for the unique opportunity to compete in the inaugural Allstate All-America Cup that that will take place in summer 2019 in the city that hosts the Major League Soccer All-Star Game presented by Target.

What: Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal for Manchester United instead of Manchester City.
Why it matters: For better or worse, Sanchez’s contract with Manchester United places him near the top of football world’s highest earners.

Sanchez Chooses United

 

After months of speculation that go back to the start of the summer transfer window Chile international, Alexis Sanchez, has finally left Arsenal Football Club. But not for Manchester City, the club who once valued him at £60 million during summer negotiations.  Instead Sanchez signed a mega deal with City’s rivals Manchester United. Sanchez to City was all anyone could talk about in summer. It wasn’t a question of ‘was it going to happen?’ Rather it was one of ‘when was it going to happen?’ And when it didn’t happen in the summer, it was assumed City would just go back in for their man in the winter. They did, this time valuing the Chilean at £20 million due to the time left on his current contract and unwillingness to be an Arsenal player. United also valued Sanchez at £20 million. So why the Red Devils over the Citizens? Simply put, United’s £20 million meant a whole lot more than City’s.

 

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What One Sanchez Costs

 

The details of Sanchez’s contract are staggering to say the least: The Chilean forward will earn a £350,000-a-week wage plus an extra £100,000 a week for image rights over the course of a four-and-a-half-year contract.  He will also receive £7.5 million a year for four years as a signing-on fee. In addition to paying £20 million for Sanchez, United also gave the unwanted Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Arsenal. Lastly, United paid £15 million to Sanchez’s agent Fernando Felicevich.

 

Sanchez’s contract makes him the highest paid player in the English Premier League. His wages soar high above United legend Wayne Rooney, who was on £300,000 pounds before he returned back to boyhood club Everton this past summer. Unprecedented in the Premier League, Sanchez’s wages are similar to the salaries of players in Spain’s La Liga, or the Chinese Super League. The next highest paid player in the EPL is United’s Paul Pogba who is on £290,000 a week. Sanchez will be making more than five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

 

The Possible Impact of This Move

 

While the contract is fantastic for Sanchez, especially at his age, it could be a little unsettling for his new teammates and other players in the league. Sanchez had his best season in the league last year scoring 24 goals for Arsenal. Yet we are halfway through this season, and he has only netted seven times. His wages are bound to have a ripple effect on players who feel they are performing as well or better than Sanchez. City’s manager, Pep Guardiola stated City pulled out of the deal in order to preserve the “stability of the club.”

 

Sanchez has firmly held that his decision to go to United was not one motivated by money, but an attempt to make a dream come true. There is no question that he will have that opportunity. However, can he do it under the massive amount of pressure his new contract has put on him?

 

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What: Manchester City has released an interactive online game called “Football Striker,” available exclusively through Facebook Messenger.
Why it matters: Many games have grown in popularity as the use of Facebook Messenger increases, leading to Manchester City deciding to enter the arena.

Manchester City has released an interactive online game called “Football Striker”. The game, available exclusively through Facebook Messenger, gives the club a unique vantage point to interact with fans.

Manchester City is using “Football Striker” in a way where fans can play against each other on their Facebook Profiles. Facebook Messenger is an adjacent property of Facebook that houses all direct messages between profiles. Through the application, users can play a variety of games. Many of these games have grown in popularity as the use of Facebook Messenger increases, leading to Manchester City deciding to enter the arena.

Additionally, fans and players of the game can share their high scores directly to their profile. Because the game is housed through Facebook, the connectivity between the game and the social media site is very strong. Manchester City could reap in the benefits of creating a community of users and fans that all enjoy their team and the online game. Additionally, users on the Messenger App can send an invite to another user in almost no time. This makes sharing the game very easy, and will help it gain traction quickly. In the near future, we could see other clubs use their example as a reason to break into the online game arena.

Because the game is housed through Facebook, the connectivity between the game and the social media site is very strong.

Social Media Connectivity 

When I played the game, I found it almost addicting. The goal of the game is to head or kick the ball with a player who is running forward. Once the ball reaches a small zone next to your player, you then hit the blast the ball away. The game is quick, fun, and gets harder as you go. I thought that it was easy to use on both mobile devices and laptops. Anyone can play the game at anytime on their phone with just a few taps. As a result, the game is accessible, easy to use, and helps keep players engaged over time.

In terms of producing the game, Gamee, a social media gaming platform, partnered with Manchester City to release the game earlier this month. Gamee is also going to benefit greatly from the partnership.  They have now helped a Premier League Team enter a new environment in which both parties can success financially in the future. Also, Manchester City is starting to build up a reputation as one of the most technologically savvy Premier League soccer teams. They started working in Facebook Messenger and even virtual reality in 2016. Soon, we could see Manchester City and other Premier League teams marketing their upcoming games that will also be available in VR.

Overall, it is an exciting time for technology in soccer. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will feature improved replay technology to aid in important goal calls. More and more teams are looking into VR investments. This is a great time to be interested in sports technology, and there are no signs it is slowing down anytime soon.

Wix announced that it will return to the Super Bowl marketing lineup with a new TV spot airing during the FOX broadcast of Super Bowl LI on Sunday, February 5, 2017. Omer Shai, CMO at Wix.com talks to Portada about how the 30 second TV spots are just one part of his company’s Super Bowl investment.

omer-shai-1“Our Super Bowl campaigns aren’t limited to the 30-second spots but are built out to month-long campaigns that extend outside of game day and the United States. We recently announced our third year as a Super Bowl advertiser and rather than just limit it to the US English-speaking community we are also reaching the Spanish-speaking community through bilingual activity, such as our recent release and social activity. Our focus on working on integrated cross-cultural campaigns is emphasized with Super Bowl 50’s TVC with Kung Fu Panda. This campaign was adapted for different markets and in seven languages including Portuguese, Korean, and Spanish.”

 

Rather than just limit it to the US English-speaking community we are also reaching the Spanish-speaking community through bilingual activity.

Super Bowl Investment Adds Cross-Channel Campaign

With Super Bowl spots being able to cost in excess of US $5 million, one key question is how brands can measure the ROI on their investment. Shai notes that the Super Bowl campaign allows Wix to expose its brand to a massive audience.” While the Super Bowl is the most watched broadcast of the year with over 100 million viewers, we will launch a cross-channel campaign that reaches hundreds of millions worldwide – in addition to the commercial. We hope to build on our success of last year when our campaign ranked #1 with 36,459,669 views online. This made the decision to go back to Super Bowl easy, as we had a positive return on investment and saw a meaningful growth in our brand awareness.”

Alignment with Sports Events…

Shai believes that the tenants of sports aligns closely with his brand. “The ideas of teamwork and connecting with fans (or users) is the basis of anything we do as a company. It also allows us to reach a diverse and large audience worldwide that we are always happy to engage with.”

… Sponsor of Manchester City and FC New York

Shai notes that after the success with Super Bowl advertising, Wix decided to expand to the most popular sport in the world – soccer. “Soccer is greatly loved and celebrated across the globe, and the Premier League is the #1 most viewed, admired and celebrated league. Working with a globally recognized club like Manchester City allows us to engage with tens of thousands of fans worldwide. The partnership with MCFC officially kicked off with the release of an online video featuring Manchester City FC players building a Wix website dedicated to the fans and the chants they love as former professional footballer and pundit, Chris Kamara, commentates on every click. The video also served as inspiration for the creation of an all new Wix website ‘Sing Loud, Sing Proud’ where Manchester City fans can listen to some of their favorite chants, and later on upload their very own renditions of the City songs they love.”

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In-House Creative Agency

To some extent Wix can be described as a creative agency. As Shai explains Wix’s in-house studio leads and actively participates in creating and maintaining all Wix products and promotions. “We have over 100 designers and UX designers who take great pride in executing creative materials across the board – web design, branding, printed materials, events, animation, video and more.
As we have an incredibly talented internal team, we feel confident telling our own story. Wix is a product company and we build our campaigns to highlight not only our platform capabilities but the amazing ways that our customers use Wix to make their businesses and brands come alive.”

Combining Off-line and Online

“By combining both online and offline activities we create an engaged user experience,” Shai emphasizes. One example is  the  New York Yankees partnership with Wix.com. Which hosted Yankees legend, Mariano Rivera, at the Wix Lounge in NYC this fall. “We amplified the reach of an event where users can come and hear Mariano speak about his career through a Facebook livestream. This event helped us not only provide a perk to Wix users but also helped us reach a larger audience and talk about a new product of ours – Wix ADI.”

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Substantial Presence in Brazil

Brazil is an important market for Wix. In Brazil, as in the US, Wix uses multi-touchpoint campaigns to connect with its audience across verticals and platforms. “Last summer we partnered with Condé Nast to give three users the chance to shoot the cover of one of three magazines and had amazing success in Brazil. As seen with this video, we not only translated but localized the efforts by amplifying the contest via blog posts, offline events, social and digital to resonate within the Brazilian market. To coincide with the Condé Nast partnership we hosted various events focusing on the photography community such as the Foto Conhecimento (Photography Congress) to create a stronger tie-in.