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What: La Liga’s deal to play regular-season games in the US and Canada is a huge risk for the league.
Why it matters: La Liga’s gamble to export to domestic league matches won’t do much to grow soccer in America.

Growing Soccer in America

In August, Relevent Sports and La Liga announced their plans to have regular season La Liga games played overseas in the United States and Canada. The move has been made in an attempt to raise the awareness of La Liga soccer and grow the sport in America. However, is this enough reason to bring Spanish domestic league soccer games across the Atlantic? Soccer is already one of the fastest growing sports in America. The number of boys and girls participating in high school has been on a steady rise since 2009 (https://bit.ly/2PCVDcj). The average attendance for MLS games currently stands at around 22,000, which is more than the NBA and NHL average attendances (https://bit.ly/2NgJgVL). The US, Canada and Mexico have just won a joint bid to host World Cup 2026 (@united2026) and Relevent’s ICC preseason tournament continues to set record numbers despite clubs rarely fielding star players on the tour. So does La Liga really need to have its games take place in North America to grow the sport?

Breaking Down La Liga’s Attempt to Reach North America

Speaking to the COO of Collegiate Sports Management Group and an adjunct professor with Columbia University’s Sports Management Program, Ray Katz (@realraykatz) believes that this is the kind of deal that could hurt the league. In his opinion, player relations could suffer greatly from staging games across North American. Additionally, he points out that there are better ways for Spain’s top-tier soccer league to reach new audiences. “If La Liga want to get their product out there, then the key is availability globally from a media perspective. Make the league available to people on any screen, and ideally free or as part of existing a solid OTT or cable subscriptions.”

At the moment, La Liga games are shown on Bein Sports Network, a network that has recently been dropped by one of America’s top cable providers, Comcast. To Katz’s point on availability, a lesson is there to be learned from NBC Sports. In 2013, NBC Sports captured the rights to show the English Premier League (EPL), perhaps Europe’s most popular soccer league. The network made all games available, free of charge, provided viewers had a cable subscription. It wasn’t until last year the network put up a paywall for games not televised on cable. But by then, NBC Sports’ brilliant coverage had made hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans into fans of one team or another in the EPL. More importantly, it made fans out of people willing to pay to see their team play if they weren’t being televised on one of the network’s major channels.

Make the league available to people on any screen…

If NBC Sports had made a pay streaming service for games at the outset of their deal with the EPL, there is serious doubt as to whether the EPL would be as prominent as it is in the US. In contrasts to La Liga, it’s current spot on a TV network, not readily available to most is extremely damaging to the product in America. On this issue, Katz said, “…La Liga needs to centralize their TV strategy and negotiations instead of having individual teams make these deals. The NFL did this in the 1960’s and it yielded epic results.”

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It’s clear from this deal, La Liga wants to do what the National Football League (NFL) has done with their sport. The NFL has exported regular season games to Europe and Mexico for some time now and it has been met with huge success. However, Katz points out La Liga won’t experience that same success with this new venture. “There isn’t any other high-level American football played outside of the U.S so NFL games abroad, serve essentially as an “ambassador” for the sport itself. For La Liga, every country has their own reasonably strong soccer league so La Liga soccer won’t necessarily attract that many new fans unless there are games with Barcelona or Real Madrid.”

Barcelona FC and Real Madrid CF have a massive global following already and don’t need to hold games across the Atlantic to increase their presence. Ticket pricing has already been earmarked as a possible problem. Last year’s ICC tournament featured the first “El Clasico” to be played outside of Spain, when Barça and Real met in Miami. Tickets to that match started at a whopping $300. This figure would get you into all home games alone at most Spanish clubs. But this is what ticket prices will look like if Americans want to watch regular season La Liga games in their own backyard. On the issue of ticket pricing Katz explained “…the only people who will pay the exorbitant ticket prices, are people who are fans of La Liga already.

You have to find a well thought out, balance between generating revenue and selling tickets. It can’t be one or the other.

A Mountain To Climb

The deal lacks support from the La Liga Players Association (LLPA), who are willing to strike in an effort to keep La Liga games in Spain. Many are not surprised by this stance, given the number of matches and cup competitions soccer players are involved in. One game could make all the difference in a season. La Liga will also have steep competition with established American sports, given the NFL, NHL, and NBA could all be in full force when it seeks to stage its games.

LLPA President, David Aganzo, speaks to the press after La Liga’s Captain emergency meeting.

Additionally, the deal has to be approved by FIFA, UEFA, CONCACF, The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the Spanish FA, Spain’s National Sports Council and its foreign ministry. FIFA will have the final say on the matter, but precedent doesn’t favor the deal either. The governing body’s former president Sepp Blatter condemned the EPL’s previous proposals to play matches overseas as “unacceptable” and an “abuse of football.” Despite all of this, La Liga recently announced that Barcelona against Girona will be the first game to be played overseas, with the Miami Dolphins Hard Rock Stadium the destination.

 

What: Mobile Ads & Social Media can trigger purchase interest and aid product discovery, according to IAB’S latest “Mobile Commerce: A Global Perspective,” a mobile users survey carried out in 19 Countries.
Why it matters: Three-quarters (75%) of smartphone and tablet users said they have purchased a product or service on their smartphone or tablet in the past six months. Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the U.K., and the U.S. reported the highest levels of clicking to purchase.

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Mobile shopping and purchasing have become the norm across the globe, according to“Mobile Commerce: A Global Perspective,” an in-depth survey of mobile users from 19 countries around the world, released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) at the IAB MIXX Conference.

Three-quarters (75%) of smartphone and tablet users said they have purchased a product or service on their smartphone or tablet in the past six months. Among these recent mobile purchasers, nearly a quarter (23%) buy on mobile devices on a weekly basis.

Overall, 57 percent of the mobile purchasers surveyed say that they have been buying on mobile for over a year. More than a quarter (28%) made their first mobile purchase in the last six months.

Austria, Peru, and Colombia are key new adopter markets, with significantly more consumers making their first purchase on mobile within the past year, followed by Mexico, France, Turkey, and Chile.

The mobile shopping experience, enhanced by the combination of convenience, time saving, and price, won high marks from the majority (80%) of those polled. Sixty-two percent plan to purchase more products and services via their smartphone or tablet in the next six months. Mobile purchasers in the U.K., Brazil, France, Ireland, and Peru expressed the greatest propensity for increasing their mobile shopping activities.

Seventy-six percent of mobile purchasers said that they had engaged with a mobile ad in the last six months. On average, 33 percent clicked on the ad to find out more information, while 28 percent clicked to visit the advertisers’ websites, and 21 percent clicked to purchase. Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the U.K., and the U.S. reported the highest levels of clicking to purchase.

 

 

Mobile purchase

The leading destinations of mobile purchases include retailer sites/apps, auction sites/apps, and brand sites/apps.

Consumers purchase a wide range of products and services on mobile.

  • From mobile apps (43%)
  • fashion items (41%)
  • tickets (36%)
  • household items (25%)

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It should be noted that in South America, public service payments is also key product areas for the region. Cross-channel research and purchase is becoming the new norm. Mobile devices serve not only as a platform for direct purchase, but also aid consumers in their purchase journey, driving multiplatform purchase behavior. Both ‘showrooming’ and ‘multiscreening’ are taking place – 44% of mobile purchasers have purchased a product on their mobile device after checking it out in store, 38% have done the same after researching via laptop/PC. On the flip side, research conducted on mobile devices leads to purchase via other channels – both digital and non digital.

80% of mobile purchasers are satisfied with their purchase experience to date. Consumers indicate a positive momentum of their future purchases on mobile. 62% plan to purchase more products and services via their smartphone/tablet in the next six months. This appetite for future purchase is seen across all markets – although it should be noted some may require greater attention than others in order to capitalise upon this momentum.

  • Convenience (49%) and time saving (46%) are the key drivers of mobile purchases.
  • Price (34%) also plays an important role.
  • 44% of mobile purchasers cite ‘trust’ as a barrier for purchasing more via their smartphone/tablet
  • while 31% feel they have no need.

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In terms of trust, security and privacy are the key concerns. In order to win back the hearts of those who are dissatisfied with their experience, proving value, reducing cost of transaction and improving purchase experience is a must.

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Mobile & Social media

Social media plays an important role. Sixty percent of mobile purchasers from around the world saying they often discover products and services to buy on social platforms. More than one-third (36%) of mobile purchasers leverage social media to share their mobile purchase experience.

76% of mobile purchasers have engaged with a mobile ad in the past six months:

  • On average, 33% clicked on the ad to find out more information
  • 28% clicked to visit the advertisers websites
  • 21% clicked to purchase!

Social media plays a key role in product and service discovery. 60% of mobile purchasers often find new products and services to buy via this channel.

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The influence of social media in product discovery is most pronounced in South America. And it also offers consumers a channel to share their mobile purchases and experiences. 36% indicate they like to share mobile purchases and experiences online. Given the strong levels of satisfaction consumers display with their mobile purchase experience, there are opportunities for digital merchants and retailors to encourage and motivate consumers to share their positive sentiment via social media.

 

“Pressing the ‘buy’ button on mobile devices is now a regular occurrence the world over,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President, Mobile and Video, IAB. “Marketers and media agencies need to fully embrace smartphones and tablets as a critical pathway for all shopping activities and increase investment if they want to build meaningful relationships with mobile consumers, driving them from discovery to purchase.”

The report shows that credit/debit cards on mobile web and online payment services are the most popular payment methods (40% and 37%, respectively).

Mobile wallet users

Mobile wallet users are the most heavily engaged in mobile commerce, purchasing more frequently on mobile (36% weekly vs. 23%) than average mobile shoppers. In addition, they are more likely to engage with mobile ads (82% interacted vs. 76%). Driven by the ease of purchase, 18 percent have used a mobile wallet for mobile purchases in the past six months. At 47 percent, mobile wallet usage for purchases on smartphones and tablets is strongest in China, followed by Norway (42%), the U.K. (24%), and Japan (20%). Online and off, mobile wallet users have leveraged the technology to pay for a range of items, including:

  • Mobile app downloads or updates (43%)
  • Digital content, such as films and music (42%)
  • Physical products ordered from a website or app (41%)
  • Food or drink in a shop, cafe, or bar (40%)

 

What: WPP’s MEC is car rental company Hertz new media agency of record in the US, Canada and Latin America.
Why it matters: MEC will replace incumbent agency Florida-based FKQ Advertising.

Car rental company Hertz has appointed WPP’s MEC as its new media agency of record in the US, Canada and Latin America.

The win follows a “media pitch which consolidates media investment, planning, strategy, digital, SEM, SEO, mobile, analytics and insight, and affiliate marketing with one agency,” according to MEC.

MEC will replace incumbent agency Florida-based FKQ Advertising for media planning and buying duties.

“We’ve determined that MEC is the right media planning and buying partner for Hertz Global and our portfolio of brands. We look forward to tapping their strategic planning, creativity and best-in-class analytics and insights capabilities in the digital space as we go to market in support of our Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty brands,” said Hertz’s EVP and chief marketing officer Matt Jauchius on the appointment.

In 2015, the company reported total advertising costs of US$170 million.

 

See also:
SALES LEADS LATAM: Marriot, Hertz, Dove…

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What: DynAdmic, a video technology firm/ad platform, has raised US$3 million in a Series A funding from XAnge Private Equity.
Why it matters: With its cookie-less contextual/targeting solution, DynAdmic is planning to use the funding to roll out in the U.S. and Canada as well as Latin America  and continue expanding in Europe.

descargaVideo technology firm/ad platform DynAdmic has announced that it has raised US$3 million in a Series A funding from XAnge Private Equity to roll out in North and South America and continue expanding in Europe.
DynAdmic sells tailored branding campaigns using an advertising technology solution based on video content recognition to help identify viewers’ interests to serve the right ad to the right person. DynAdmic’s targeting platform runs advertisers’ content only on videos most relevant to their brand. Through its proprietary technology, it gains a deeper understanding of consumers’ video interests and is able to offer a superior contextual targeting. DynAdmic’s technology helps advertisers use Ad-Exchanges without impacting quality, transparency, confidence and accuracy.

The company is known for its cookie-less contextual/targeting solution but also, its brand safety technology providing a new level of transparency in digital video advertising now available for all media buyers. DynAdmic currently works like clients such as BMW, RedBull or Peugeot already use this technology.

For Stephane Bonjean and Bruno Champion, co-founders : “DynAdmic has set the standard for innovation in contextual Real-time bidding video advertising. Our technology currently analyses more than 1 billion video ad impressions per day in 18 countries. This fundraising by XAnge will enable us to accelerate our geographical expansion and focus on providing world-class technology and services to our clients.”

Nicolas Rose, partner at XAnge says : “DynAdmic, already present in most European markets, can now accelerate in the US and Brazil, both large video ad markets, as well as contribute to the programmatic buying revolution, which represents already 40% of total online media purchase globally.”

What: Mobile advertising revenue soared a massive 92 percent to US $19.3bn in 2013 from US $10.1bn in 2012, according to the U.S. IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB Europe, and IHS Technology global figures.
Why it matters: Latin America shows highest year-over-year growth, soaring 215%, with major increases coming from North America, Up 122%, and Europe, Up 90%.

Mobile advertising revenue soared a massive 92 percent to US $19.3 billion  from US $10.1 billion in 2012, according to U.S. IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB Europe, and IHS Technology global figures confirming the adoption of mobile as an essential element of the marketer’s toolkit.

2013 share by region

• North America: 41.9% (US $8,100m)
• Asia-Pacific: 38.9% (US $7,525m)
• Europe: 17.3% (US $3,346m)
• Middle East & Africa: 1.2% (US $225m)
• Latin America: 0.7% (US$144m)

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Growth year-over-year was strong across the board, led by Latin America, which saw a massive 215 percent leap over the 2012 figures. North America and Europe also saw major increases:

• Latin America – 215%
• North America – 122%
• Europe – 90%
• Asia-Pacific – 69%
• Middle-East and Africa – 45%

2013 revenue gains over 2012 ($m)

Search remains the dominant segment representing 48.9 percent of the total global mobile advertising revenue in 2013 at US $9.5bn
Display approaches parity with a 41.5 percent share at US $8bn. Mobile display shows the highest growth at 123.4 percent Mobile search, up 92.1 percent, flourishes mainly driven by smartphone penetration
Messaging takes a 9.6 percent share at US $1.9bn. Messaging, itself up 19.4 percent, might not be sharing as much robust growth due to migration from operator-owned messaging services (e.g. SMS and MMS) to alternative platforms.

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“These powerhouse numbers directly reflect mobile’s rapidly increasing role as a vital part of the marketing media mix. In particular, as mobile ad campaigns become easier to plan, create, buy, and measure – in great part due to programmatic strategies – these operational efficiencies are spurring the growth of the mobile display ad market. And, this impressive rise in mobile advertising is unquestionably a worldwide phenomenon, with strong year-over-year upticks being seen in every corner of the globe,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB.