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What: PSG star Neymar Jr has signed on with global banking firm QNB as Brand Ambassador and is a key member of the soccer-centric OTRO digital fan club.
Why it matters: Neymar Jr’s international appeal has never been stronger and is still growing, as the 26-year-old Brazilian star continues his ascent up the Forbes top sports earners list.

Flickr/Antoine Dellenbach

Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_insidestar Neymar Jr (@neymarjrhas never been bigger. The Brazilian standout has helped PSG to a sizable lead in the French Ligue 1 (@Ligue1_ENGstandings to date with 11 goals, and his off-field success may be even greater. At 26, his estimated income this year is $90 million USD, with Forbes ranking him 13th among sports figures worldwide. A growing portion of that is via sponsorship, with Gillette (@Gillette), McDonalds (@McDonalds), Nike (@Nikeand, more recently, GaGà Milano (@GaGaMilanoWorldand Café Pilão (@cafe_pilaoshowing the breadth of his appeal.

The São Paulo native added two notable partners recently, one on the endorsement side and another in digital communication. This month, Middle East/African financial giant QNB Group (@QNBGroupnamed him as Global Brand Ambassador (expect to see plenty of Neymar Jr-themed QNB marketing soon among soccer circles). This comes following soccer-focused digital platform OTRO (@OTRO) having announced that he is among several international stars signing on to the Players’ Tribune-type site.

Neymar Jr’s social media footprint is enormous: more than 200 million followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram alone. This connection with young fans across many lines worldwide makes him attractive to brands like QNB.

In his playing prime and with a five-year contract with PSG in hand, expect to see Neymar Jr’s name even higher on next year’s Forbes rankings.

“We are delighted to welcome Neymar to the QNB family; a man who shares many of the same values with our brand and who is always looking for opportunities to reach greatness,” said Yousef Darwish, General Manager of QNB Group Communications, in a statement. Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Neymar Jr is a true sport icon who inspires fans worldwide to strive to reach the ultimate standards of excellence.”

The ambassadorship expands upon QNB’s partnership with Paris Saint-Germain, which includes a sleeve logo on the team kit as well as other financial connections to the club.

 

Join us at PORTADA LOS ANGELES on March 15, 2019 at the Loews Beach Hotel Santa Monica, where we will dive deep into sports and soccer marketing’s preeminent topics. Felix Palau, VP Marketing, Heineken will discuss “How to measure ROI and transfer best practices between sports marketing platforms”. Other speaking engagements include Tiago Pinto, Global Marketing Director, Gatorade who will provide answers to the question: “Will Corporate America jump on the soccer opportunity?”Attendees will also be able to benefit from Portada’s meet-up service of three-eight-minute meetings with top brand executives!

(Flickr-alegermino)

And his connection with OTRO affords Neymar Jr another opportunity to present these and other partners and causes. Lionel Messi, David Beckham, James Rodriguez and Luis Suarez are among the others on board with OTRO, a “freemium”-model site which last week announced a new round of investment.

In his playing prime and with a five-year contract with PSG in hand, expect to see Neymar Jr’s name even higher on next year’s Forbes rankings as the Brazilian national team star continues his ascent into the top echelon of sports figures worldwide.

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Cover Image: credit Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil

What: Soccer star Neymar Jr. has begun his two-year term as Global Sports Ambassador for TV and small appliance manufacturer TCL.
Why it matters: TCL is increasing its presence in the U.S. and Latin America, in particular in 4K/HDR television sets, and connecting with Neymar Jr. is helping introduce the brand to a younger audience there.

TCL (@TCL_USAis a relative newcomer in the world of TV manufacturers, at least to U.S. fans. But its Roku-enabled 4K and HDR sets have helped the 37-year-old company, also known for producing air conditioners, gain at least a small foothold as fans upgrade their home entertainment experiences.

The Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China-based company recently added soccer superstar Neymar Jr. (@neymarjrto its roster of sport-related partners, inking the Brazilian National Team standout to a two-year stint as Global Brand Ambassador. While the role covers all of TCL’s products, high-definition television sets are the most natural connection, as the company looks for additional brand awareness in the Americas for its well-regarded products. He officially kicked off the role this week after having been named in February.

With sports fever set to spread all over the world this year, Neymar Jr. is undoubtedly the best possible partner with whom, together, we can deliver an exceptional experience to our consumers.

“We are delighted to welcome this outstanding, talented young athlete to the TCL family,” said Tomson Li, Chairman and CEO of TCL Corporation, in a statement. “Neymar Jr. is truly a global sports icon who inspires fans to strive to reach the ultimate standards of excellence, just as TCL constantly strives for excellence in technological and product innovation. With sports fever set to spread all over the world this year, Neymar Jr. is undoubtedly the best possible partner with whom, together, we can deliver an exceptional experience to our consumers,” Li added.

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This is the latest in a series of sports partnerships for TCL that also include NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolvesand Lynx (@minnesotalynx ‏), soccer team San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes), Brazilian Football Confederation (@CBF_Futebol ‏), Rosario Central Football Club of Argentina (@CARCoficial ‏), Philippine Basketball Association, The Melbourne Cup and Melbourne Victory Football Club (@gomvfc ‏).

“I am thrilled to be partnering with TCL,” said the Sao Paulo native in a statement announcing the partnership in February. “It was an easy decision for me. I share similar values with TCL – the constant pursuit of excellence and great results in every game and I’m excited to work closely with TCL and support the company’s efforts to bring the global sports community together through football.”

Neymar Jr., 26, competes for Paris Saint-Germain in France’s Ligue 1, though he is currently injured and did not play in the team’s championship-clinching win on Sunday in Paris. Known for his exceptional ball skills, Neymar Jr. is a popular fit for other global brands such as Nike, Gillette, Panasonic, Red Bull and Beats by Dre, with Forbes estimating his earnings last year at $37 million, nearly 60% of that from endorsements.

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

  • The Portland Timbers announced a multiyear partnership extension with Alaska Airlines. As part of the continued partnership, the airline’s wordmark will continue to be featured prominently on Timbers game kits and club apparel. In addition, Alaska Airlines will continue to serve as the team’s official airline. As Founding Partner of the Timbers, Alaska Airlines has been the club’s jersey partner since its inaugural 2011 MLS season.

  • Telemundo, the exclusive Spanish-language home of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, announced the launch of “El 12”, a new, bilingual digital initiative to search for the next generation of top soccer influencers in partnership with the global soccer media company COPA90. The selected creators will be tasked to share their passions, experiences and Vancouver Whitecapshow they celebrate their national team with family and friends while building excitement and awareness of Telemundo’s Spanish-language coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
  • The Vancouver Whitecaps (of MLS) announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Ford, as the official automobile of the franchise. In addition, the carmaker will attach its name to a family zone in a designated seating section of BC Place Stadium during Whitecaps home games. Ford will also sponsor the ‘Caps Clubhouse presented by Ford,’ a concourse activation space targeted towards parents and kids.

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  • PepsiCo extended its partnership with UEFA. The company will continue to sponsor the Champions League for three more years with six PepsiCo brands including Pepsi Zero Sugar, Lay’s Neymar Jrand Gatorade.
  • Neymar Jr announced his plans to bring his global five-a-side team tournament to the US. The tournament will take place in 17 US cities and crown new champions in both the male and female divisions. This will be the third season of Neymar’s signature tournament.
  • FOX Sports launched a new weekly soccer podcast, Alexi Lalas’ State of the Union, expanding its digital offerings and podcast portfolio ahead of the World Cup this summer.

 

What: LaLiga has formed a new partnership to promote soccer development in Malaysia
Why it matters: This deal is mutually beneficial in that LaLiga can expand its reach while Malaysian football can learn from Spain’s success.

Malaysia Matches Up with LaLiga

LaLiga, the association in charge of Spanish soccer’s top division, has stuck a partnership with Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) to create a 50-year plan to grow the sport in this robust Asian nation. Over the three years of the deal, LaLiga will advise the FMLLP, Malaysia’s privatized footballing association, on various ways to create a healthy infrastructure in which football can flourish. For example, LaLiga will help Malaysian clubs get their finances in order, improve social outreach, expand marketing initiatives, and improve day-to-day operations such as security. As FMLLP chairman and Football Association of Malaysia president Tunku Ismail indicated after the signing ceremony, the goal is to put in place a plan that draws upon the experience of a top league like LaLiga and sets guidelines for Malaysian football for subsequent federation heads to follow. Utilizing a proven league as a consulting service seems like a logical step forward for this budding footballing nation, and it would not be surprising to see other countries collaborate in the same manner.

These initiatives show how LaLiga is off to a great start in terms of exploring new markets with growing soccer awareness and economic promise.

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LaLiga Looking Abroad

For LaLiga, this deal marks a further step in the league’s mission to expand its reach across the globe. Prior to the Malaysia deal, LaLiga struck a similar agreement with Japan’s J-League to exchange information and help each other grow. In addition to pooling together ideas on best practices, it is clear that another principal goal of LaLiga with these moves is to increase brand exposure in new markets. LaLiga president Javier Tebas recognized the value in working with local football officials to reach new markets when he lauded LaLiga’s new ability to understand the Malaysian market as a result of the partnership. Though LaLiga is attempting to tap into passion for soccer in East Asia, its sights are set far beyond just this part of the globe: the league has an office up and running in the United States and has expressed a clear goal of increasing its influence in India. These initiatives show how LaLiga is off to a great start in terms of exploring new markets with growing soccer awareness and economic promise.

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What: Neymar is joining forces with Digible to create the Neymar Experience app.
Why it matters: This move exemplifies how star athletes can be utilized by tech companies as influencers to gain traction in Hispanic and Latin markets.

Neymar Scores Himself a New App

PSG winger Neymar is one of the world’s biggest soccer superstars, and he has partnered with Digible to create a new app, Neymar Experience, to spread his brand and interact with his fans. One of the app’s primary focus is to help users learn to play and take care of themselves like Neymar with features such as skill challenges, video tutorials, and nutrition advice. Neymar, however, will leverage his massive social media appeal (87.5M Instagram followers, 60M Facebook followers) to increase fans’ ability to connect with him through the app. Namely, Neymar will review users’ attempts to complete the app’s challenges and will post submissions of his choosing to his various social media pages. With athletes such as Tom Brady and LeBron James having created their own apps, Neymar seems to be right on track in his quest to join the world’s most notable athletes in terms of global marketing capital.

Neymar Experience shows how technology companies are recognizing the possibilities for massive growth in Latin and Hispanic markets, and a key to unlock this potential is collaboration with influencers, particularly athletes.

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Digible’s Drive for the Latino and Hispanic Market

The partnership also signifies a strategic move for Digible, as it signals a move specifically aimed at engagement with Latin and Hispanic consumers. Neymar has captained Brazil’s national team, played for Spanish giants F.C. Barcelona, and has the attention of football followers across the globe, particularly in the Americas. The app is available in Spanish, Portuguese, and English so it can accommodate Neymar’s wide-ranging appeal, and the company believes that it will allow it to have tremendous engagement in the Americas. An example of this confidence was co-founder Fabio Freitas’s comment that he expects to increase the number of the company’s Brazilian users to surpass two million just shortly after the app is released for both Android and iOS. Neymar Experience shows how technology companies are recognizing the possibilities for massive growth in Latin and Hispanic markets, and a key to unlock this potential is collaboration with influencers, particularly athletes.

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What: Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc. has signed an exclusive contract with soccer star Neymar Jr. to support its 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ marketing and brand campaigns beginning in January 2018.
Why it matters: Neymar Jr.’s exclusive contract with Arcos Dorados’ Brazilian operation further strengthens McDonald’s brand market leadership in the country.

Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc., Latin America’s largest restaurant chain and the world’s largest independent McDonald’s franchisee, announces that it has signed an exclusive contract with Neymar Jr. to support its 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ marketing and brand campaigns beginning in January 2018.

McDonald’s is an official sponsor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and Arcos Dorados has signed Brazil’s biggest soccer superstar to serve as an ambassador in its media and marketing campaigns related to next year’s sporting event. A self-described fan of McDonald’s food, Neymar Jr. will feature in several exclusive activations that will offer the Company’s millions of guests the unique experiences that only the McDonald’s brand is able to deliver in Brazil.

“Neymar Jr. and the McDonald’s brand share values related to leadership, success, feel-good moments, family and creativity. So, it’s natural that we join forces to celebrate Brazil’s participation in yet another FIFA World Cup™. We are very excited to have Neymar Jr. on our team in 2018 as we continue working to deliver the best guest experience in each of our restaurants,” said Dan Gertsacov, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer for Arcos Dorados.

The signing of a global soccer superstar is yet another victory for the Company’s Brazilian operation, which has consistently delivered better operating and financial results in recent years despite a very challenging consumer environment.

Arcos Dorados has also announced a capital expenditure plan of around one billion Brazilian reais from 2017 to 2019 to modernize its existing restaurants and open new restaurants throughout the country.

During the first nine months of 2017, systemwide sales grew 6.2% in the Brazil division and 10.4% on a consolidated basis, excluding Venezuela. Its Brazilian market share is estimated to be between three to four times larger than its closest competitor based on systemwide sales. The Company’s Brazil division’s Adjusted EBITDA margin expanded 180 basis points during the first nine months of 2017 compared with the prior corresponding period. Arcos Dorados has also announced a capital expenditure plan of around one billion Brazilian reais from 2017 to 2019 to modernize its existing restaurants and open new restaurants throughout the country.

“We have an ambitious plan to deploy the Experience of the Future (EOTF) platform in the majority of our restaurants in Brazil by the end of 2019. We are very pleased with the initial results of this roll-out, which are consistent with the mid-single digit sales lift that McDonald’s has seen in markets where EOTF has been fully implemented. We delivered strong results across our main markets during the first nine months of 2017 and are confident that we will continue capitalizing on our competitive advantages to capture the full potential of McDonald’s brand in the years to come,” said Sergio Alonso, Chief Executive Officer of Arcos Dorados.