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

  • Aurora Cannabis and UFC locked in an exclusive, multi-year, multi-million dollar, global partnership, designed to advance further clinical research on the relationship between 100% hemp derived Cannabidiol (CBD) products and athlete wellness and recovery. The research will be conducted at the UFC’s Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

  • State FarmState Farm and League of Legends are extending their partnership through 2021. The deal includes North America’s League of Legends Championship Series; League’s three global events: League of Legends World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star Event; and the League of Legends College Championship presented by State Farm. Financial details for the agreement have not been made public.

 

  • A new partnership makes the Chinese social media platform Weibo serve as the “Official Social Media platform” of UFC throughout the country in a new strategic alliance. The platform will have access to UFC live event content including athlete and executive interviews, fight highlights, fight night results, athlete metrics, fight announcements, and content highlights from the soon-to-open UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

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A|X Armani Exchange will become the first fashion brand to enter esports, locking in a sponsor with the Italian team Mkers for the 2019-20 season. The team will serve as the global ambassador for the brand and wear a new official uniform at tournaments. “We are proud to be the first e-sports team chosen by a prestigious brand like Armani Exchange,” said Mkers CEO Paolo Cisario in the announcement. Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to buy and wear video game branded apparel, according to a 2014 Think Now Research study

FanDuelFuboTV and FanDuel announced a partnership that will make FanDuel Group the exclusive sportsbook, online casino, horse racing and DFS partner of the live TV streaming service. This is the first deal of its kind between a sports gaming company and a third-party OTT service, it also includes a media buy that will make FanDuel the exclusive advertiser on FuboTV in those categories.

Univision Deportes Network has ranked as the top Spanish-language sports channel among adults 18 to 49 in primetime, with the highest concentration of those viewers among 10 dedicated sports networks, irrespective of language. UDN was also the youngest network among this group, with a median age viewer of 43.

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

  • Matchroom BoxingSky Sports and Matchroom Boxing locked a deal with the World Boxing Super Series to exclusively broadcast the three Semi-Final doubleheaders throughout the UK starting April 27. “The WBSS is delighted to be working with Sky Sports and Matchroom Boxing to bring our sensational semi-finals to as many UK fans as possible,” said Kalle Sauerland, Chief Boxing Officer of Comosa, the organizer of World Boxing Super Series.

 

  • Starting next season, NBA clubs will be allowed to sell international sponsorship rights (outside the US and Canada), according to the Sports Business Journal (SBJ). The agreement will start with a three-year test of the International Marketing Program. This could permanently end the league’s control of all international sponsorship deals. But, the new model states that sponsors can only use non-game content.

 

  • DAZN partnered with LeBron James’ production company Uninterrupted, to produce and air a new boxing-focused documentary series. With the name “40 Days”, the first edition will center on Mexican boxer and DAZN contractor, Canelo Alvarez. The series will follow Alvarez and American boxer Daniel Jacobs, during their preparation for their highly-anticipated middleweight title fight at Madison Square Gardens on 4th May.

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  • ESPN Deportes unveiled a new marketing campaign for its coverage of the Lima 2019 XVIII Pan American Games, featuring Peruvian Latin Grammy recording artist Gian Marco performing “El Triunfo es mi destino.” The spot has been running across ESPN Deportes’ platforms since last week. Various editions of the creative will be distributed across ESPN Deportes’ linear, digital and social channels in the US and Latin America.

 

  • LeBron JamesThe NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced that LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers secured the top spots on the NBA’s Most Popular Jersey and Team Merchandise lists. The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry ranked No. 2 on the player list followed by the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 3).

 

  • Last week’s 2019 NFL Draft became the highest-rated and most-watched Draft ever. Overall NFL Draft telecasts combined to reach over 47.5 million viewers over the three-day event, up 5% over 2018 with NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes in addition to NFL and ESPN digital and social properties all carrying the content.

 

  • The Overwatch League locked a deal with AB InBev, making Bud Light the official beer of Overwatch League. The brand will now activate at fan watch parties around the world (excluding China) and will include sponsorship of fan activations when the league hits the road, including last weekend’s events in Dallas, along with Atlanta Bud Light Homestand Weekends and the LA Rivalry Weekend.

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

  • Beijing, China, has become home to the NBA’s largest official store outside of North America. In alliance with Nike and Topsports, a leading Chinese sports retailer, the new 1,145 square meter store is will provide Chinese fans with authentic NBA apparel from partners such as Nike, Jordan Brand, as well heritage merchandise from Mitchell & Ness. “Our largest NBA Store outside North America underscores the NBA’s long-standing commitment to serving our fans in China,” said NBA China chief executive, Derek Chang.

 

  • Minor League BaseballMinor League Baseball, together with Brand Activation Maximizer, launched the “Grilling All-Stars” national retail program, the largest in its history. The program will encompass five national brands and will be activated at select retailers in more than 100 MiLB markets and over 13,000 locations across the country. Brands include BUSH’S Beans, Scott Bath Tissue, Scott Paper Towels, Ball Park Buns and The ORIGINAL Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce.

 

  • MLB FoodFest Presented by Budweiser is returning to the MLB. After having a sold out within 48 hours during its debut in New York in 2018, MLB has expanded FoodFest to three locations across the globe in 2019: Los Angeles, New York, and London. The new edition of MLB FoodFest hits downtown LA from April 26-28 at Magic Box. New York and London will host the much-anticipated event in the second half of the season.

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  • As part of a rights deal with Russian telecommunications company Rostelecom, the UFC has launched UFC TV. Its first-ever dedicated linear channel will be broadcast 24 hours a day across all Russian regions as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). UFC TV will also offer hundreds of hours of original programming, including archived content, interviews, and event reviews.

 

  • Combate AmericasCombate Americas is prepping its next live television event, ‘Combate de Reinas’, at Galen Center in LA on April 26, with a new equity infusion of $20 million. This will represent “the first time in history that a combat sports event will feature an all-women’s lineup on broadcast television.” Investors included actress Kate Del Castillo, along with Joe Plumeri, Ambassador Cliff Sobel and Irving Place Capital CEO John Howard. Del Castillo will now chair the advisory board, continue the company’s commitment to female empowerment and take on an active leadership role in growing the global MMA sports entertainment brand.

 

  • DAZN launched its biggest marketing campaign presenting the Canelo Alvarez/Daniel Jacobs boxing match set for May 4 in Las Vegas. The full campaign features a 30-second, 15-second and six-second video spots that will run on linear and digital outlets.

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

  • ONE Championship will have its first ever media tour to the United States from Feb. 25-28. The MMA heavyweight tour will pass through Seattle (Feb. 25), Los Angeles (Feb. 26) and Las Vegas (Feb. 28) with the LA and Vegas events open to the public. As part of the media tour, Johnson, Alvarez, and Northcutt will be hosting open-mat demonstrations in Los Angeles at Clube LA and at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.

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  • DrLupoState Farm locked its first-ever sponsorship of an individual professional esports athlete, signing a deal with Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo. The captain of Rogue’s Fortnite team boasts 2.9 million followers on Twitch and 7 million followers across all social platforms. Terms of the sponsorship include State Farm support of DrLupo’s livestreams through branded replays, live in-stream stunts and product integrations, event-based remote streams, sponsored giveaways, and social content. “Being given the opportunity to work with State Farm is, without a doubt, huge,” DrLupo stated. “I couldn’t imagine a better company to work with, and I’m excited to see what we can do together in the future.”
  • UFC confirmed an extension of its partnership with Volkswagen do Brazil, in which Amarok will continue to serve as the “Official Car Partner” of UFC in Brazil until 2020. As part of the new deal, Amarok will have logo placement inside UFC’s Octagon at events in the country. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

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.

  • According to Forbes, ESPN is reportedly in talks with the MLB to extend its media rights for live games, for seven more years. Baseball content is “an enormous part of ESPN’s strategy”, ESPN spokesman Ben Cafardo told the business magazine and explained that Baseball Tonight would continue as part of MLB’s premier-tier events. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

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

  • Lowe'sLowe’s has partnered with the NFL to become the league’s official home improvement retail sponsor. Preparing for the Super Bowl, Lowe’s will place marketing signage along the Atlanta highways and at the airport, and is taking over branding at one of the stadium gates during the game. The multi-year deal also grants Lowe’s the ability to activate with league branding across various media and at other key NFL events such as the NFL Draft, NFL Combine, NFL Kickoff and in support of the NFL Salute to Service.

 

  • The NBA has added a new ten-minute pass option on its International League Pass, this will allow Canadian fans to buy any ten minutes of a game for CA $0.99. The option will be available for more than 600 live games via League Pass in Canada for the remainder of the current season, excluding the Toronto Raptors. Meanwhile, US League Pass subscribers can pay for coverage quarter by quarter since last month.

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  • Avocados From MexicoAvocados from Mexico will be back for its fifth annual Super Bowl ad. The broadcast will feature actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth. The ad will be broadcast during the second quarter of the game.

 

  • IMPACT Wrestling renewed its broadcast deal for Mexico with MVS Comunicaciones MVStv. “Hot off the heels of a pair of successful events in Mexico City, we are thrilled to extend our partnership with MVStv to broadcast our premier content across Mexico,” stated Ed Nordholm, president of IMPACT Wrestling. “We had more than 30 million social media engagements in Latin America across our YouTube, Facebook and Twitter platforms in 2018. We are very pleased that our fans in Mexico will now have an opportunity to see our full lineup of original content.”

 

  • In its first year as NFL partner, Pizza Hut’s Super Bowl plans will include a temporary rename to Pizza Hut Hut at a local restaurant in Atlanta and across its website and social channels. Also, a limited-edition Super Bowl LIII fleet of pizza delivery vehicles, powered by fellow NFL sponsor Hyundai and its Santa Fe SUV, will hit the streets.

 

Portada 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.

 

  • MLBMLB, Nike and Fanatics locked in a new 10-year global partnership that designated Nike as the Official Uniform and Footwear Supplier of MLB starting in the 2020 season. Fanatics got the broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of the Nike MLB Authentic Collection, as well as Nike and Fanatics fan gear, sold through the retail community, including MLBShop.com, MLB clubs and brick & mortar stores.

 

  • The NFL formalized the calendar for its five 2019 international regular-season games. Four games will take place in the UK and one in Mexico. The Mexico matchup will feature the Chiefs/Chargers, while UK contests will serve up Panthers/Buccaneers, Bears/Raiders, Bengals/Rams and Texans/Jaguars.