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What: Argentina and Colombia will battle in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sept. 11 as part of a series of international soccer matches in the U.S. this summer into the fall.
Why it matters: These events can follow on the heels of the excitement of World Cup competition, albeit seven or more time zones away and without the U.S. represented, and successful United 2026 bid to boost the sport for fans and marketers here moving forward.

Argentina (@afaand Colombia (@FCFSeleccionColare on through their respective Groups to the knockout phase at 2018 FIFA World Cup, who along with Mexico, Uruguay and Brazil leave five Latin American teams still alive in the hunt for the trophy. And while they have bigger things on their collective minds right now, the squads will also compete in a match on September 11 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., which while it won’t have the same stakes on the field, will have an important role in keeping the sport top of mind, particularly among the fervent Hispanic fan base in the region.

CMN Sports (@CMNEventsand Relevent (@C_Stillitano), two firms committed to boosting the sport in the U.S., announced the matchup this week, as well as Monday’s on-sale opportunity.

The success of events like these will go a long way in determining how much the World Cup, minus the U.S., Canada and traditional favorite Italy, will have boosted interest in the sport here.

“We’re delighted to partner with Relevent and look forward to hosting this match,” said Henry Cárdenas, President of CMN Sports, in a statement. “Argentina is a powerhouse, loaded with impressive talent, while Colombia has shown enormous potential during this World Cup. We hope fans will enjoy this South American rivalry in a post-World Cup celebration.”

Along with the International Champions Cup (July 20-August 12) , which will feature the top international club teams numerous U.S. cities with large Latino populations like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and more, international soccer will maintain a strong presence in the U.S. with friendlies featuring Colombia vs. Venezuela in Miami and Argentina vs. Guatemala in Los Angeles, both on Sept. 7.

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Colombia jersey (Futbolero)

“Relevent is committed to bringing the incredible culture and enthusiasm of international soccer to the U.S. and this match is sure to deliver that excitement to new and established fans alike,” said Charlie Stillitano, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Relevent.

The success of events like these will go a long way in determining how much the World Cup, minus the U.S., Canada and traditional favorite Italy, will have boosted interest in the sport here. The successful United 2026 World Cup bid “won the press conference,” but it will take a sustained effort to keep the momentum rolling to benefit MLS, the U.S. National Team and World Cup preparation for fans and marketers alike.

Cover Image: credit: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro)

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

  • https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/975880330044325888/RuJuopul_400x400.jpgAdidas extended its partnership with UEFA and will continue representing the Champions League, Super Cup, Youth League and Futsal Champions League until 2021. “As the number one football brand in the world, we have built up a longstanding partnership with UEFA that has seen a great deal achieved in European football,” said Claus-Peter Mayer, VP of sports marketing football at Adidas.
  • Telemundo Deportes will live stream the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia games in Spanish-language on the NBC Sports app, and feature Telemundo Deportes content on desktop computers via a link on NBCSports.com. “Now anyone can enjoy soccer in Spanish-language no matter what app they use, whether they choose to watch through NBC Sports or Telemundo’s own En Vivo App or our local stations’ apps,” said Ray Warren, President of Telemundo Deportes.
  • The Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football has confirmed the 15 venues, including 13 US cities, that will host the 2019 edition of the expanded Concacaf Gold Cup. 2019 Gold Cup matches will also be played in Central America and the Caribbean for the first time.

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  • AFAThe Argentine Football Association (AFA) has agreed on three new partnerships with Chinese firms. Hexindai will become a regional sponsor of Argentina’s national men’s soccer team and will enjoy brand exposure via the AFA website and the federation’s social media channels. Interior design company Der and home appliances manufacturer Vanward will also become AFA’s partners.
  • According to Nielsen, NBC Sports reports a record of 39.3 million Americans watching its presentation of the Premier League on its platforms in 2017-18. This represents a rise of 14%, in comparison with last season’s numbers.
  • The Canadian Premier League announced that Cavalry FC would be one of the founding clubs to play in the upcoming professional men’s soccer league, which will debut in Spring 2019.
  • ESPN signed a multimedia rights agreement with UEFA to continue carrying the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Europa League in Spanish-speaking Latin America, effective 2018/19 to 2020/21. ESPN will carry a total of 71 UEFA Champions League matches each season.

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  • The Brasileiro, Brazil’s top league, will become the first domestic soccer league to stream games live on YouTube. The agreement was brokered by third-party Spanish producer Mediapro
  • LAFCSan Manuel Casino announced a new partnership with Los Angeles Football Club, for the 2018 MLS season. San Manuel Casino will take part in pre-match Fan Fest activation experiences at Banc of California Stadium, and sponsor the City View Club in addition to presenting post-game highlights via in-stadium “Thrill of the Match” broadcasts.
  • French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain is creating an overseas office in New York. This is the club’s third office outside of France, following the one in Doha and Singapore. The team hopes to increase brand visibility, cultivate new partnerships and nurture its growing fan base. Jerome de Chaunac, as Managing Director of the Americas, will manage the office.
  • Nashville MLS announced Ian Ayre as its new Chief Executive Officer. The 55-year-old will be tasked with building and leading the Nashville MLS club. “We are committed to bringing world-class soccer to Nashville, as evidence by the appointment of Ian as our CEO,” said Nashville MLS lead owner John Ingram, in a statement.

What: Cuba will send a team of Olympic and Panamerican Champion wrestlers to the annual Beat the Streets Benefit, May 17 in NYC.
Why it matters: Though diplomatic relations with Cuba are in flux, Cuba participating in a goodwill event like the Beat the Streets Benefit is important in what one day may soon be a viable market for brands.

The annual Beat the Streets (@BeattheStreetsBenefit has for the past nine years held a major Olympic-style wrestling event in New York. Medalists and World Champions abound on an evening of competition in front of a packed crowd watching the world’s best wrestlers battle and showcase the sport. And while it raises substantial, critical funding for an important youth program, the BTS benefit has served another purpose: uniting athletes and fans across the globe.

For the second time in the past four years, Cuba will provide the opposition for the Team USA men on May 17, after becoming one of the first squads to take advantage of the thawing of diplomatic relations between the two nations back in 2015, the most significant since Fidel Castro seized power nearly 60 years ago. Now the Cuban squad, chock full of highly-decorated champions, gets another crack at the Americans, and another grand display of international goodwill.

Events like the Beat the Streets Benefit that spotlight Cuban athletes here are even more important in maintaining the ties between the countries in the sports world.

“Even with the still fluid relationship and challenges that exist between the United States and Cuba, bringing their elite athletes to New York on a goodwill project like Beat The Streets is invaluable,” said veteran sports marketer and Columbia professor Chris Lencheski. “The ability to storytell and build long-term relationships throughout Latin America is going to be even more important going forward as economies continue to mature, and this is certainly a story worth telling, and one that brands may find interesting down the road as well.”

Times Square has been the location for six of the previous eight Benefits, including the matchup with Cuba three years ago. Next week, the scene moves to the Seaport District/Pier 17 in lower Manhattan, a majestic venue for what is being dubbed the “Rumble on the River,” incorporating the Nigerian women’s team and culminating in a Super Match featuring Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold), 2012 gold medalist and probably the de facto mainstream star of the sport, perhaps rivaled only by 2016 gold medalist Helen Maroulis (@helen_maroulis), a Maryland native who now works mentoring BTS kids in New York.

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With 20 Major League Baseball players hailing from Cuba on current rosters—including established stars like Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Abreu and Kendrys Morales—and many more on the way up in the minors, America’s pastime has been the first beneficiary in the U.S. from the longtime hotbed of talent 90 miles off the coast of Miami.

While U.S.-Cuban relations are more precarious given today’s political climate, events like the Beat the Streets Benefit, that spotlight Cuban athletes here, are even more important in maintaining the ties between the countries in the sports world. It’s hard to predict right now what it will mean for U.S. companies trying to work their way back into the Cuban market after decades away, but USA Wrestling and Beat the Streets NY made it a priority to work through whatever channels it could to make the Cuban appearance a reality.

Cover Image: Reineris Salas Perez (credit: Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

What: Portada talked to Vince Torres, Senior VP, Marketing at AT&T, about the company’s new “Giving you More For Your ‘Gotta Get The Best Deal’ Thing” Campaign.
Why it matters: AT&T is offering new deals specifically tailored for the three biggest U.S. cities, which are also the cities with the highest Hispanic populations: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

AT&T’s Vince Torres

Last week, AT&T announced a new campaign with promos specifically designed for consumers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, the three cities with highest concentrations of Hispanic population. The “Gotta Get the Best Deal” campaign is about giving costumers “their thing” and “bring them closer to the thing [they] crave the most”, said Vince Torres, Senior VP, Marketing, whom Portada interviewed to find out more.

Portada: What motivates AT&T’s “Gotta Get the Best Deal” Thing campaign? How did the company notice the need to address the three of the biggest Hispanic markets in the U.S.? 

Vince Torres: “Customers. This is about giving you more of what you already want and do. We have a rich history of offering products and services tailored to meet the needs of the Hispanic market, but this segment’s influence in the U.S. culture and community, as well as their buying power, is more apparent now than ever.

We conducted focus groups across some of the nation’s largest cities  —New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles— and tailored these offers based on insights we found. What we learn here will allow us to assess future opportunities to bring integrated benefits to more customers in additional parts of the country.”

Portada: AT&T claims to give its users “their thing”, does the company have anything planned in terms of personalization? How is AT&T ensuring consumers really feel unique in the eyes of the company?

V.T.: “We’re continuously listening to our customers’ feedback and thinking about making each experience personalized and tailored to their “thing.” One way we do this is offering multiple ways and plans customers can choose to connect to rewards programs like AT&T THANKS, where we continue the conversation long after a purchase is made. Through programs like AT&T THANKS, we’re providing tailored offers to local restaurants, exclusive tickets to movies and sporting events, and access to events.”

 

 

We’re continuously listening to out customer’s feedback and thinking about making each experience personalized and tailored to their “thing”.

“On top of that, we are the only carrier with more than 700 bilingual stores. But it is more than just about being bilingual, it’s about meeting our customers where they are and providing what they need right there in store; like explanations of their bills on the spot and friendly staff with whom they can relate.  And then we provide a touch of what customers want, like a mix of soft rock, merengue, bachata and salsa to set off their experience in store. We’ve been doing this since 2005.”

Portada: What’s your strategy for getting consumers more engaged with AT&T and its new offer? How do you plan to measure response? 

V.T.: “On March 1 we kicked off the local offers, but it was also the start of a longer-term effort to engage with customers where they are. Over the next several months you’ll see us out in each of the markets elevating awareness around AT&T and what we offer, both through programs like AT&T THANKS and hands-on helping communities. We’re measuring the success of this effort through direct customer feedback, and of course, sales will play a role.”

 

Portada: Which platforms/media is AT&T betting on to reach Hispanic consumers? 

V.T.: “We’re using a variety of methods to engage with our local communities.  We’re starting by meeting people in their neighborhoods— we have several activations planned for local barbershops and nail salons. We also want to get them to come see us too, with food trucks and special activities at some of our stores throughout the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles areas.”

Portada: Is AT&T primarily focused on reaching Hispanics? How is the target of this new campaign/offer composed? 

V.T.: “Our latest offers are available to everyone in each market, but we are increasingly focused on sparking a conversation with millennials who are largely multicultural.”

Portada: Without pointing to anyone in particular, what would you say are the most important mistakes Telecom firms have made when addressing Hispanic audiences?

V.T.: “Telcos, and frankly many established companies, spend years building out a product to achieve scale, but where success can really be achieved is by going small. We’ve taken a creative approach in these three markets to use our existing products and services and really target them hyper-locally based on what customers in these areas want.”

Success can really be achieved by going small.

“Additionally, we understand that communicating with the Hispanic audience means more than just putting out in-language materials. Even the Hispanic makeup in the three markets we’ve chosen for the limited-time offer differ widely. This is why we listened to their input to inform how we both integrate the services we’re offering and amplify our local presence.”

Portada: In a world that is increasingly interconnected, in which markets grow and become more competitive, how does AT&T plan to stay on top in the future?

V.T.: “We are starting with the three biggest U.S. metropolitan areas. All three cities are filled with diverse populations that all have a lot of buying power. Based on the success of these three offers we can then replicate them for other markets across the country. It’s all about giving our customers more for their thing.”

Portada: What would you say are the key things to know in order to plan a successful go-to-market campaign? 

V.T.: “First you should get to know your audience, how they spend their money and what they’re looking for in the future. Once you know that you can design an offer they’ll use and ultimately rave about to their friends and family. And this becomes a continuous cycle where you’re always listening for feedback and enhancing your offer to keep up with changing needs and demands.”

What: Three Puerto Rican standouts will receive the Munson Awards during the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, a fund-raising event that has taken place annually for 38 years.
Why It Matters: There will be a strong Hispanic presence at an event which is important because not only does it honor the most valuable baseball players, it also sheds light on their humanitarian efforts.

Annually, one of the biggest events of the baseball off-season is the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, remembering the great Yankees catcher. For 38 years, the dinner has raised funds for AHRC New York City Foundation and honors great New York area stars for success and inspiration on the fields of play, and community spirit off the field.

On February 6, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, three Puerto Rican standouts will be among the honorees, as Carlos Beltran, Jorge Posada and T.J. Rivera will receive the coveted Munson Awards.

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Both Posada and Beltran have spearheaded Hurricane Relief efforts for victims in their native Puerto Rico; the Jorge Posada Foundation assists those afflicted with Craniosynostosis, while the Carlos Beltran Foundation empowers young people to reach their dreams through sports and education. Rivera was the Mets nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for his community efforts, notably at his alma mater, Lehman H.S. in the Bronx.

Honoring Unparalleled Baseball Careers

Beltran had 10 years in New York, including seven in Mets Orange and Blue, when he swatted 149 home runs and swiped 100 bases, slashing .280/.369/.500 in 830 games. In all, he hit 435 home runs and drove in 1084 runs in a 20-year career that concluded with his retirement after winning his first World Series with Houston last year.

Posada’s 17-year career, all in Pinstripes, produced 275 home runs and 1064 RBI, along with five championships. One of the “Core Four,” Posada was a five-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger, hitting .273 in more than 1800 career games.

Both Posada and Beltran have spearheaded hurricane relief efforts for victims in their native Puerto Rico.

Rivera slashed .290/.330/.430 last year in 73 games split between third, first, second and left field for the Mets. He hit five home runs and drove in 27. The native New Yorker of Puerto Rican heritage has defied logic of an undrafted player climbing the ranks in the Mets organization to achieve MLB status.

Others to be honored that night include Yankees pitcher David Robertson and former Giants football standout Justin Tuck.

The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City.

For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188 or email jennifer@emgbenefits.com.

(Beltran photo credit: AHRC; Posada photo credit: Keith Allison; Rivera photo credit: MLB)

 

 

Text by Karina Masolova

 

Thanks to all who joined us for a phenomenal #Portada17. If you remember nothing else, here are the top three things you need to take away.

The first, and a line that earned much applause during a session: “If you’re not passionate about the Hispanic marketplace, leave.” Our jobs can be difficult, but they are also dynamic, insightful, and rewarding. If you’re prepared, here are the rest:

Narrow Focus, Big Impact

When building a campaign, leaders never assume. They analyze detailed consumer research (down to the zip code!), identify demographic data, and are open to realizing new passion points. They develop a single centralized brand message that resonates throughout everything they build. And they aren’t scared to take a chance. It’s a symphony where everyone collaborates and nuances are celebrated.

That doesn’t mean you need a multi-million dollar budget. Seek out partners that are good at what they do, efficient, and make sure that the conversation between your companies is open and transparent. Just like a vertical model won’t have the full impact that a multimedia one will, isolating individual efforts also becomes counter-productive. Having multiple agencies at the table creates a small, but healthy, tension that challenges and inspires us to go beyond the norm and build a truly innovative campaign.

Having multiple agencies at the table creates a small, but healthy, tension that challenges and inspires us to go beyond the norm and build a truly innovative campaign.

Focus on targeting the Hispanic consumer specifically, and don’t just translate general market efforts word-for-word. Over 80 million people identify as Hispanic in the U.S., and half of Millennials are not white. Successful campaigns leverage unique, data-backed Hispanic insights into their overall brand messaging to feed into and grow general market efforts.

Grassroots efforts are some of the most authentic ways to target consumers’ passion points. But we can’t simply copy-paste one local campaign to another area. U.S. Hispanics are a diverse group in and of themselves, and one of the best practices when conducting market research is to conduct multiple focus groups in different cities. Hispanics in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles all have different consumption, buying, and media habits (and it’s not always because of their national origin).

Grassroots efforts are some of the most authentic ways to target consumers’ passion points.

The Year of Soccer

The 2018 World Cup is THE chance to cash in on all your previous soccer marketing efforts. Brands must continue to stay relevant and meaningful to consumers in a limited time frame, and last year’s campaign won’t cut it.

The 2018 World Cup is THE chance to cash in on all your previous soccer marketing efforts.

Digital and mobile consumption of the games is expected to increase next year, so fans will partake in events as they happen, on multiple screens. In addition to the time difference, we must be mindful of the space a brand occupies and that placement is as organic as possible.

At the end of the day, fans don’t necessarily care if their team wins or loses. The most important thing is the experience of being part of the game. When a brand becomes part of that experience too, we’ve done our job.

Some companies describe their efforts around sporting events as akin to becoming a media publisher. They anticipate the events of the day and potential moments where they can critically engage fans—a record beat, a brilliant goal, a last-ditch play. The strongest impact comes when we think on our feet and react with fans, like a fan. The brand not only becomes part of the conversation but can even lead it.

Some companies describe their efforts around sporting events as akin to becoming a media publisher.

To do this well, companies need to come prepared with a developed campaign, content, and brand messaging backed by market research. As in all things.

What: The multimedia company and its flagship magazine LatinTRENDS is landing distribution at participating Target, Duane Reade and ShopRite stores in New York and New Jersey and the King Kullen stores of Long Island, which add to its’ current distribution in over 800 outlets.
Why it matters: The partnership gives LatinTRENDS Magazine an additional reach of 832,000 readers per month and the opportunity to execute geo-targeted marketing campaigns for clients.

ZncVWsvS_400x400LatinTRENDS, a multimedia company and its flagship magazine covering “pop culture with a Latin twist,” is landing distribution at participating Target, Duane Reade and ShopRite stores in New York and New Jersey and the King Kullen stores of Long Island. This is added to its’ current distribution in over 800 outlets.

This partnership is a distribution hub of non-traditional outlets with a combined monthly audience of over 1.6 million clients per month. Thus giving LatinTRENDS Magazine an additional reach of 832,000 readers per month, at a discounted rate of 50% of partners top line monthly clients visits.

This partnership is a distribution hub of non-traditional outlets with a combined monthly audience of over 1.6 million clients per month
 

With these partnerships in place the company can and does execute geo-targeted marketing campaigns for clients.

Juan Guillen, LatinTRENDS’ Founder & CEO, told Portada that LatinTRENDS is not adding any circulation through this agreement but a redistribution to compensate the loss of one distributer, who went out of business. “We have replaced that loss with two new distributers and through them we secured the new outlets.”

LatinTRENDS traditional circulation is 84,000. The company also counts with a non-traditional distribution method of 1,200 plus partners in New York and close to 300 in New Jersey, mainly medical and dental clinics, barbershops and beauty salons. LatinTRENDS’ total combined reach with print ( including traditional and nontraditional), digital and social media is 1.9 million.

LatinTRENDS is a multi-platform media company that connects with the aspirational Spanish-dominant and acculturated Hispanic community. It integrates multimedia company that serves as a platform for sharing relevant content for men and women drawn to “pop culture with a Latin twist.”The brand has a monthly bilingual print magazine for men and women, a weekly e-Newsletter, daily content on www.latintrends.com and daily social media content on www.facebook.com/LatinTRENDS, www.instagram.com/latintrends and www.twitter.com/LatinTrends2010.

Brands and companies that partner with LatinTRENDS include McDonalds, CUNY, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Telemundo 47, US Army, Spanish Broadcasting Systems (SBS), Cibao Meat Products, Univision Radio, Vaughn College, Clear Channel, Resort World Casino, Absolut and Delta. In the health category: Offices of Dr. Pimentel, Healthfirst, Health Plus Amerigroup, and Fidelis Care.