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Portada Insights Reports are tools that help navigate different disciplines of marketing for both brand marketers and marketing service suppliers. Portada’s new report, ‘Innovative Approaches to Property and Media Rights Evaluation’, sheds light on how brand marketers can better evaluate and implement sponsorships and partnerships. 

 

Even though most brands know the value of a good sponsorship, most companies struggle to align their partnerships with the brand’s objectives. Negotiations tend to be complicated, and success measurement a great deal more so. In spite of this, sponsorships spending has increased steadily in the latest years. Brands everywhere partner up with all sorts of properties, from sports and entertainment to arts and social causes, but it’s still a challenge to truly measure ROI and know where the value is.

Portada is thrilled to announce its newest insights report titled Innovative Approaches to Property and Media Rights Evaluation’, which offers a fresh perspective into sponsorship evaluation and gathers insights from Portada’s Council System of Brand Marketers.

The report includes:

  • Data showing growth of sponsorships per property in North America
  • Data showing the challenge of ROI measurement
  • Challenges and opportunities as seen by brand marketers
  • Practical examples and lessons learned
  • Solution approaches

Fresh Out of the Oven, Download Now

If you are a brand marketer, download here.

If you are a marketing services vendor, download here.

 

 

 

For brands who want to connect with Caribbean Hispanics in the U.S., baseball could represent the right platform to start a long-term consumer-brand relationship. Nearly one-third of all major league players are Latinos, including those born in Latin America and within the 50 U.S. states. The Dominican Republic has the highest number of players in the big leagues.

Once upon a time, on May 9, 1871, Estevan Enrique “Steve” Bellán debuted as the first Latin American born individual to play professional baseball in the U.S.A. He played as a third baseman for the Troy Haymakers in New York. About 200 years later, nearly one-third of all major league players are first or second-generation Latinos.

connect with caribbean hispanics
Augusto Romano, CEO at Digo Hispanic Media.

According to the Major League Baseball (MLB), the Dominican Republic has the highest number of international players in the big leagues, with 102 players during Opening Day in 2019. Second in the ranking is Venezuela, with 68 players, and Cuba comes in third with 19 players. “Baseball receives the most attention in Caribbean countries, even more than soccer,” Augusto Romano, CEO at Digo Hispanic Media, tells Portada.

Catering for A Segment’s Needs

First, Digo noticed Caribbean Hispanics are a niche market with particular needs, separate from the general Hispanic market. Then, the U.S Hispanic audience network figured how to reach about five million Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans who are concentrated on the east coast of the U.S. However, Romano has a new strategy in mind: “Get to them through baseball!

Get to them through baseball!

Born from the union of the two largest media groups in the Caribbean, GFR Media from Puerto Rico and Grupo Corripio from the Dominican Republic, Digo’s audience has shown a special interest in how Caribbean-born baseball players are developing within MLB. We write stories about the players in a culturally relevant manner, starting with their origins, something the mainstream media doesn’t do. This allows U.S. Hispanic fans to follow players from their country of origin on our premium sites, says Romano. Nevertheless, it seems brands are still missing out on the opportunity.

Individual Promotions

According to Josh Rawitch, Sr. Vice President, Content & Communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks, since last year, the MLB has been working on promoting individual players.This is an important shift in the league’s marketing strategy where traditionally entire teams were promoted.

“The league is smart enough to let these players be who they are,” Rawitch tells Portada. “Therefore we are letting their personalities show a little bit more.”

Most of Arizona Diamondbacks’ fans come from Mexico and Venezuela. However, the team also recognizes the importance of its Caribbean followers. The star, pitcher Yoan Lopez, for example, is from Cuba.

Concerning Puerto Rican players, Esteban Pagán, sports editor at GFR Media, believes that even though Puerto Rico has produced four island born hall of famers, and they have always been very active and noticeable with players in the league, right now there’s a new group of very talented players that are starting to arise. It is a matter of time for us to see more profesional global Puerto Rican players, he explains. “Brands are missing out on opportunities to connect with the U.S.H. audience because these big players are just starting to emerge and are recently being noticed and followed by MLB fans.”

“We are in the exact time in which we can see the potential [of the Caribbean players] in the long run,” Jorge Cabezas, GFR Media, General Manager, adds.

Connecting With Caribbean Hispanics

“The way we try to connect with the Caribbean fan base is first through our social media accounts. They’re being followed by Latinos all over the world, thus we specifically try to highlight our Hispanic players. We have some Cuban players and tons of Venezuelans and Dominicans,” adds Rawitch. “We know when we are sending out messages on social media, we are interacting heavily with fans from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

The second way the D-Backs are connecting with Caribbean Hispanics is through their local baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. In fact, all 30 major league clubs have baseball academies there, according to Anthony Salazar, chair of the Latino baseball committee.

The way we try to connect with the Caribbean fan base is first through our social media accounts.
Josh Rawitch
Josh Rawitch, Sr. Vice President, Content & Communications at team Arizona Diamondbacks.

“We go down there for graduation every January or February. Moreover, we do a second trip when we do a clinic in the Dominican Republic or we’ll do public appearances,” explains Rawitch.

As a matter of fact, Digo Hispanic Media recently announced their exclusive partnership with NGL Collective, focused on custom content generation.

Their first docuseries named “Las Academias,” explores the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic along with the small towns scouting for talented hopefuls. These athletes each and every day train at one of the 30 major league youth training camps across the island.

“Brands will have access to sponsor these content series via our sales team and we will insert them in the story to ensure their brand and products are showcased in a relevant and engaging manner,” said Aisha Burgos, SVP of Sales & Marketing for Digo Hispanic Media.

Brands’ Approach

It seems that the league and its teams are already reaching out to their Hispanic and Caribbean Hispanic fans. So, what’s happening with brands?

Most brands recognize that outside of soccer, baseball is probably the second most followed sport in Latin America. However, in some countries like Cuba or DR, it is even bigger, believes Rawitch. “Simply, look at the sheer volume of people who are following baseball from the Caribbean. If you’re a company looking to communicate with them, it makes sense to find your way there through a major league team, for instance.”

According to Google Trends, in the past 12 months the words baseball, beisbol and pelota were the most searched the most in countries like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panamá & Venezuela. “Baseball runs in our blood. This represents a huge opportunity that brands need to take advantage of,” said Romano.

Visa’s sponsorship reached it’s first big win after the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup back in June. Now, the financial company is going for more. The American audience on English-language television for the Women’s World Cup final was 20% higher than the 2018 men’s final.

Visa's sponsorship
VANCOUVER, BC – JULY 05: Carli Lloyd of USA (2nd R) celebrates scoring her 3rd goal with her teammates during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Final between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015, in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Steve Bardens-FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images).

Back in May 2019, Visa announced a Five-Year Partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation with special support of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT). Visa had also locked a deal sponsoring the male team. But, the company made it soon clear that its support of the female division was serious.

At least 50% of Visa’s sponsorship budget would be designated for the women’s side, the company shared. It seems that Visa made a smart move. According to Fox Sports, the American audience on English-language television for the Women’s World Cup final was 20% higher than the 2018 men’s final.

That final was the one that made the USWNT four-time world champion. This represents more than any other women’s soccer team in the world.

This is only the beginning of a new growth era for the USWNT, and for Visa as its supporter. The company’s sponsorship also includes the SheBelieves Cup, a four-team women’s international team tournament played in the United States each year.

We talked to Chris Curtin, Chief Brand, and Innovation Marketing Officer at Visa, about the ongoing five-year sponsorship, and how the company is planning to leverage this new relationship.

Q&A

Chris Curtin, Chief Brand and Innovation Marketing Officer at Visa.

Portada: Why was now the right moment to lock a partnership with the U.S. Women’s National Team through 2023?

“Visa is partnering with the U.S. Women’s National Team because both the sport and the team are on the rise. We believe they represent the best values in Visa and we believe the sport is at a tipping point in popularity. Over the course of this summer, not just the performance of the team, but also the character will help advance the popularity of the sport in the United States and beyond.”

Portada: What does the sponsorship specifically include?

“Visa recently announced a five-year partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation in support of the U.S. Women’s National Team through 2023. As the Official Payment Technology Partner of the US Soccer Federation, Visa will also be the presenting sponsor of the SheBelieves Cup, an annual four-team international invitational. The tournament is based around U.S. Soccer’s SheBelieves initiative to inspire girls and young women to achieve greatness, an integral theme throughout Visa’s FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ campaign.”

Portada: Why did you choose to become the main sponsor of the SheBelieves Cup?

“Beyond the title and its mission – the main reason Visa sponsored the SheBelieves Cup is because it will be hosted in the United States and we think it is a nice precursor to the FIFA World Cup coming to the Americas. Also, the ability for younger female players in the United States to be able to attend the games and interact with the teams that will compete—at Visa, we believe those are really meaningful opportunities to be affiliated with.”

…we think it is a nice precursor to the FIFA World Cup coming to the Americas.

Read also -> Budweiser to Sponsor the NWSL, Weekly Soccer Marketing News

Portada: How will you leverage this sponsorship?

“Visa is best in class in terms of activating and supporting global sports properties and sponsorships. We use these moments in time to showcase the best of our brand and the future of payments to fans, media, and our partners.”

Portada: Which platforms will be key?

“At Visa, we try to focus on the right choreography with traditional and emerging platforms to live up to our tagline of ‘everywhere you want to be.'”

Portada: Who is your main target?

“We believe that this is the moment when women’s soccer is going to attract a broader audience and population. At Visa, we look forward to being a contributor to that outcome.”

This is the moment when women’s soccer is going to attract a broader audience and population.

Portada: How will you measure your return on investment?

“We look at all metrics, both for the impact of the brand but also the impact on the business. We are looking at the near term, midterm, and longer-term outcomes as a result of this particular effort.”

Portada: You have been described as the most progressive brand supporting women’s soccer. Do you agree with this term? Why?

“Personally, I do. It seems to be validated by those who are close to the sport and affiliated with the property. To be honest, our efforts are a source of great pride for the 16,000 employees that wake up every day and go work at Visa. We think it will serve as a beacon we stand for on our best days.”

Soccer Marketing

Portada: Where in the market is women’s soccer now?

“The sport is only growing in popularity and I have consistently said that the tournament this summer will be a tipping point for the sport and this is one of the reasons we are so excited to be a part of this journey, particularly at this stage.”

Read also -> P&G Calls for Women’s equal pay in soccer. Weekly Soccer Marketing News

Portada: What has been key for its growth?

“The quality of the play, as well as the character of the female footballers, are key for the growth of women’s football. Both have created a bond and connection with the audience, within the stadiums and beyond, which is contagious and growing.”

The quality of the play as well as the character of the female footballers are key for the growth of women’s football.

Portada: What makes it attractive for sponsors?

“Women’s soccer is attractive for sponsors as it provides an opportunity for your brand to make a statement about who you are and what you stand for. If at the end of the day, you only stand for mature well-established categories, then you are missing a lot of opportunities to stand for growth, development, and equality. Growth, development and equality are hallmarks of the Visa brand, both internally and externally.”

 

We talked to Terry Sell, national truck manager at Toyota Motor North America, about Toyota’s recent soccer campaign featuring Jorge Campos.  Toyota is one of the top 10 spenders in broadcast TV advertising, with $157 million spent in 2017. Through the campaign “Choose the Toughest Field”, the car company has managed to reach out to three audiences: Hispanics, soccer fans, and car lovers. Here’s what Sell had to say.

Toyota Campaign
Photo via Toyota.

Portada: Tell us what the “Choose the Toughest Field” soccer campaign is about.

Terry Sell: “The ‘Choose the Toughest Field’ soccer campaign is the 2019 soccer platform for Toyota. It builds powerful connections between the sport of soccer, players, fans, and trucks. The campaign was inspired by some of the more traditional playing conditions in Latin America. We considered that soccer is often played in dirt fields rather than nicely groomed grass. Those tough fields are where players exhibit their true potential, just like our trucks. The campaign’s commercials capture the toughness of the Tacoma and Tundra trucks as they take on tough terrains in a rough, non-traditional environment, thus their connection to the sport.”

To learn about another automotive brand that is reaching out to U.S. Hispanics, read  How to Market to Hispanic Consumers According to Kia’s Senior Director of Multicultural Marketing.

P: Who is the target of the campaign?

TS: “Toyota has long recognized Hispanic guests as a linchpin of its success. Hispanic vehicle registrations account for over 20% of overall registrations, making the Hispanic market a significant portion of Toyota’s overall success. In fact, Toyota has been the number one automotive brand among Hispanics for 14 consecutive years.”

Hispanic vehicle registrations account for over 20% of overall registrations.

P: On which platforms will it appear?

TS: “The campaign broadcast elements were timed for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. But it will continue through March 2020 on other soccer media properties that we sponsor such as the UEFA Champions League, the U.S., and Mexican National Teams and Liga MX.”

P: Why did you choose retired Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos as your spokesperson?

TS: “We are delighted to partner with Mr. Campos. He is the embodiment of someone who has taken on the toughest terrains throughout his life and career as a legendary soccer player. His personal story, very much in sync with the attributes of the vehicles, resonates incredibly well with fans.”

Mr. Campos is the embodiment of someone who has taken on the toughest terrains throughout his life and career as a legendary soccer player.

P: How will you measure the success of the campaign?

TS: “Our goal is to drive consideration for Toyota trucks by increasing model association within their competitive set, and elevate ad awareness, vibrancy, opinion, consideration, and imagery. On the ground, through our interactive footprint at events, we are looking at engagement levels that funnel into sales leads.”

Photo via Toyota.

P: What other activities will you do around the campaign, off-screen?

TS: “The campaign has a diverse and robust digital and social component, including videos and rich mobile display ads and banners. For our social channels, we teamed up with Jorge Campos to develop a series of soccer technique videos. These showcase his great foot skills to engage guests in the sport.

Off-screen, we’re bringing the campaign to life through an interactive soccer footprint. It was present throughout the Gold Cup games and will be present during our sponsorship of Tour Aguila with our Club America partners in July. Also, it will appear at the Toyota Copita Alianza youth tournaments that continue through September.”

Off-screen, we’re bringing the campaign to life through an interactive soccer footprint.

P: Does this campaign appeal to any other market apart from Hispanics?

TS: “Soccer is part of the Hispanic culture. It is part of their life and brings generations together to enjoy the game. In fact, we know that Hispanics over-index when it comes to viewership in the U.S. With that in mind, our campaign fully focuses on this important target market for our brand.”

This is not the first time Toyota uses a Mexican celebrity to reach the Hispanic audience. Check out the campaign with movie star Diego Luna.

P: What challenges do you face with this campaign and how will you overcome them?

TS: “As soccer continues to gain popularity in the U.S., we have seen more brands getting into this space. Toyota has supported the sport and engaged with its fans for more than a decade so we’re appreciative of the brand loyalty we’ve received from fans and owners over the years. We’ll continue to engage with fans by developing creative campaigns that leverage partners, properties and celebrity talent that truly speak to the fans and to the essence of the game.”

As soccer continues to gain popularity in the U.S., we have seen more brands getting into this space.

P: What else are you working on?

TS: “As I mentioned, our campaign ambassador, Jorge Campos, engaged with us on a series of videos showcasing soccer techniques. In August, Jorge Campos hosted a soccer clinic at one of the Toyota Copita Alianza youth tournaments. We’ll also recognize a stellar student-athlete with a scholarship for their outstanding accomplishments in the classroom and on the field as part of our partnership with Alianza de Futbol.”

 

Barcelona will debut as the first sports club to use Facebook’s new fan subscription platform. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

Barcelona Facebook
Foto via Facebook.

FC Barcelona has become the first soccer club to use Facebook’s new fan subscriptions product. Subscribers will have access to special rewards, exclusive content and interactive experiences. Also, the social media platform will provide users with exclusive groups and virtual badges highlighting their status as a Barcelona supporter.

Barcelona’s site subscribers will have access to exclusive content in different formats, including on their news feed and in the supporter-only Facebook group. Barcelona’s official Facebook page will also have a ‘For Supporters’ tab, which will only be available to subscribers.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

Liverpool and Turner Sports have expanded their partnership. The US broadcaster will now share exclusive content from the club’s in-house channel LFCTV via streaming platform B/R Live.

Subscribers to the OTT service will have access to 40 live Liverpool matches each season. This number includes pre-season, women’s, academy and legends games. Also, users will be able to watch replays from all men’s first-team matches.

Turner will also distribute behind-the-scenes content. It will feature the European champions, including access to players and manager Jürgen Klopp.

Louis Vuitton to sponsor 2019 League of Legends World Championship. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

eSports

louis vuitton league of legends
Photo via Riot Games.

Louis Vuitton could become the main sponsor for the Riot Games’ 2019 League of Legends World Championship. The luxury brand will create a “one-of-a-kind” Louis Vuitton-branded trophy case to host the Summoner’s Cup. In addition, players will receive unique champion skins and a capsule collection designed by Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections.

The Video Game Entertainment and New Network (VENN) has added US$17 million in seed round funding to the launch of its own new network dedicated to esports and gaming entertainment. The platform is planned to go live in 2020 with two studios based in New York and Los Angeles. Content will also be available on-demand across social media.

NBA

The Golden State Warriors locked a deal with Biofreeze. The partnership makes the pain relief brand secure naming rights to the franchise’s new training facility: the Biofreeze Performance Center. The facility is located in the Warriors’ new US$1.4 billion Chase Center home.

F1

Singapore Airlines will continue to serve as Formula One’s title sponsor of the Singapore Grand Prix until 2021. “We are very pleased that Singapore Airlines will continue to be the title sponsor for the Singapore Grand Prix until 2021,” F1 chief executive Chase Carey said.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

NFL

San Francisco-based Social Finance (SoFi) has acquired the naming rights to the NFL Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers’ home stadium. According to Bloomberg, the 20-year agreement could be worth more than US$30 million per year. If so, the amount could represent the record for a naming rights deal for a sports venue.

For the ninth time, the NFL, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Nationwide partnered for the annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market. Nationwide will help each recipient to select an organization of their choice that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $2,000 donation.

Coca-Cola and the Oakland Raiders locked a multi-year stadium and team partnership. Hence, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling will become the official soft drink partner of the Raiders and Allegiant Stadium.

 

USL is now officially open to receiving betting sponsorships. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

USL betting sponsorship
Photo courtesy Ivan Pierre Aguirre / El Paso Locomotive FC.

USL

Any USL team is now officially allowed to sign shirt sponsorships with sports betting companies. The change of the league’s policies puts the North American soccer’s secondary league body in line with the MLS, which opened its shirt sponsorship category to betting brands in July.

MLS

MLS has opened its sponsorship inventory for the match breaks created by video assistant referee (VAR) technology. League executive Carter Ladd, told the Sports Business Journal (SBJ) that MLS is in a “couple of ongoing conversations” with companies interested in sponsoring VAR, which was introduced to the league in 2017.

BODYARMOR has become MLS’ official sports drink partner in the US. As part of the agreement, BODYARMOR’s logo and branding will appear on coolers, cups, squirt bottles and towels on MLS sidelines within the US starting in 2020. Also, BODYARMOR and MLS will collaborate on exclusive custom content featuring top MLS players and BODYARMOR athlete partners.

Andrew Hauptman, chairman, and owner of the Chicago Fire, is selling his share to US billionaire Joseph Mansueto. Hence, Mansueto will take over control of the Fire with immediate effect. He will also assume the position of chairman. According to Forbes, Mansueto could have paid US$204 million to acquire the remaining 5% of the team.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

Women’s Soccer

A recent Wall Street Journal publication stated that advertisers invested close to $100 million on US spots in and around the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This number is significantly higher than the company’s earlier estimate of $43 million. The report notes that the initial projection didn’t account for ad revenue generated by Spanish-language networks, such as Telemundo, which made up 11% of the total.

Secret deodorant brand will reportedly snatch up 9,000 seats to National Women’s Soccer League games this season. In July, Secret donated $529,000 to members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team, to highlight the gaping pay difference between women and men.

thereforeNFL extends Facebook partnership until 2020. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

partnershipNFL

The Oakland Raiders have named Twitch as the founding partner of their new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The deal, which starts in 2020, will see Twitch have a branded lounge in the lower level of the 65,000-seater stadium. The aim of the partnership is to make Las Vegas ‘the global hub for esports’.

The Philadelphia Eagles launched a redesigned mobile app. The platform includes a new content interface featuring live TV and radio streaming access from Eagles’ games for the first time. The app is available on iOS and Android devices.

The NFL extended its partnership with Facebook for two more years. Under the extension, the Facebook Watch video service will continue as a platform for three-minute game recaps of all regular-season contests. Similarly, video highlights will also be accessible from the NFL Draft, Pro Bowl, and scouting combine.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

MLB

MLB signed a multiyear partnership with EquiLottery Games. The deal makes this the first North American pro league to tie in with lottery draw game. Looking to boost fan engagements, MLB has thrown out the first pitch on Baseball Bucks. “We are always aiming to work with partners who share our goal of providing innovative ways for fans to engage with live games,” said Kenny Gersh, MLB’s executive vice president for gaming and new business ventures.

UFC

UFC and Toyo Tires expanded their long-time partnership to launch a new annual end-of-year awards program that honors UFC’s top fighters, performances and moments. The winners of the ‘UFC Performance of the Year’ and ‘UFC Fight of the Year’ awards will be personally chosen by UFC President Dana White. Meanwhile winners in the ‘UFC Honors Fan Choice’ group will be determined through social and online voting.

Broadcast/Radio

Univision’s TUDN Radio network strengthened its affiliate base, signing 10 new deals. Therefore, with 38 stations TUDN Radio reaches more than 60% of all Hispanic adults in the U.S., thanks to its presence in top Latino markets including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, San Antonio, and Phoenix.

FuboTV is officially debuting its own free-to-view TV channel. Hence, the platform will expand its reach via third-party connected-TV platforms Xumo, which also powers LG Channels; Samsung TV Plus; and the Roku Channel. Therefore, Fubo Sports Network features a mix of original programming, licensed content from partners as well as some live college football and basketball games, soccer matches, horse racing, and cycling action.

The Mexican LigaMX can be a much better soccer marketing vehicle to engage U.S. Hispanics than the MLS, Nick Kelly, Head of U.S. Sports Marketing at Anheuser -Busch, said during last week’s  Portada New York.

Kelly, a member of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board, said that his company partners with the LigaMX particularly for soccer activations in the Southwestern U.S. which has a very large Hispanic population. In particular, he mentioned Texas, Arizona and Nevada as well as cities like Houston, Dallas and, surprisingly Nashville. “All our world cup campaigns were about the Mexican National Team” (not the U.S. National Team), he told Portada’s Janet Grynberg during the keynote interview at Portada New York in the Westin Times Square last Thursday.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

Chicharito Soccer Activation

Mexican soccer player Javier Hernandez (“Chicharrito”) has also been sponsored by Anheuser-Busch In-Bev brands. “The Chicharrito sponsorship worked very well and showed lift in the markets that mattered most”.”We don’t need brand awareness lift, what we have seen is retail lift in markets such as San Antonio and El Paso,” Kelly noted. “We activate 100% retail”, he added..

Anheuser Busch also activates jersey sponsorships of LigaMX teams through Corona (which is a Grupo Modelo brand; Grupo Modelo was acquired by Anheuser Busch InBev in 2012). LigaMX Club America recently switched its jersey sponsorship from Corona to Bud Light.

One of our objectives is to find out how to activate on a hyperlocal level.
Nick Kelly (right) at the Portada Sports Marketing Board meeting (on his left, Jose Antonio Ortega,(Prisa Brand Solutions), Manny Gonzalez, (Moët Hennessy USA) and Eugene Santos (Kia).

Asked by an audience member at Portada New York whether it makes sense to bring a LigaMX team to play in the U.S, Kelly said that while this type of soccer activation would be popular in the region the match is played, beer wholesalers in other regions would not necessarily like it.
However, Bud Light recently gave soccer fans in Las Vegas a chance to virtually experience a game 1,500 miles away with immersive technology. The four “Seats of Glory” were featured at Beerhaus, a beer hall on the Las Vegas Strip, for a Liga MX playoff match between Club América and Cruz Azul. Every fan over age 21 who visited the bar was able to watch part of the game in VR.

Anheuser-Busch InBev brands spent US$ 591 million advertising to the U.S consumer in 2017, according to Kantar Media.

Coca-Cola extends Euro sponsorship for the 2020 season. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

coca-cola euro
Foto via Uefa.com

Coca-Cola extended its deal with Uefa which makes the drinks company the Euro 2020’s official non-alcoholic beverage sponsor. Thus, Coca-Cola will showcase several of its brands across various city venues, using physical and digital branding. Next year’s competition will be hosted in 12 cities across the continent to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UEFA EURO.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

Sports AI and data expert Stats Perform announced a five-year deal with the Argentine Football Association (AFA). As a result, they get the rights to global betting video and data across competitions including Superliga Argentina, Copa Superliga Argentina, Argentina Cup, and Recopa Argentina.

German subscription streaming platform Sportdigital has added MLS competitions rights to its programming line-up. The company has acquired the rights as part of sub-licensing deals with DAZN, which holds MLS rights in the country.

La Liga locked a deal with Premier Sports to show Spanish soccer in the UK and Ireland. Hence, LaLigaTV, the league’s own 24/7 English-language content channel, becomes part of the broadcaster’s linear and over-the-top (OTT) channels.

NFL Joins TikTok. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

NFL

The NFL is working on an alliance with TikTokNFL TikTok, to lock a new multi-year partnership. Through the new deal, the football league is looking to reach TikTok’s global community. Thus, the NFL is launching its official TikTok account. Content will include uniquely packaged highlights, sideline moments, and behind-the-scenes footage.

NFL star Antonio Brown and helmet company Xenith Shadow have locked a partnership. Previous to this deal Brown used to carry a Schutt helmet. Due to the previous model was banned by the league after it was deemed not to meet required safety standards, Brown decided to change the brand.

NFL has added Reddit to its roster of digital marketing channels. As a result, Reddit will host a monthly series of ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) discussions on its platform.

Pepsi unveiled its “Always be Celebrating” NFL campaign. The season-long campaign “spotlights and honors the amazing celebrations that NFL fans and players have taken part in over the years.” Included in the campaign will be a new spot, a new charitable program with United Way and the NFL, and more.

The Denver Broncos signed a 21-year naming rights deal for their Mile High Stadium with retirement plan provider Empower Retirement. The stadium’s new name will be Empower Field at Mile High until 2039.

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

Buffalo Wild Wings announced a multiyear deal with MGM Resorts International and its sports betting venture Roar Digital. For this reason, odds and point spreads will appear on screens at select Buffalo Wild Wings. Together, the companies will launch Picks and Props, a free-to-play, mobile-only football game that mimics sports betting. Prizes include trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Broadcasting

Lino Garcia, founding General Manager of ESPN Deportes TV, Radio and Digital, will oversee a new sports radio network. Titled Radio Unanimo Deportes the network will retain most of the ESPN Deportes talent from its airwaves, who will be hosting shows in their normal timeslots.

Esports

G2 Esports and Red Bull signed a 360-degree global, multi-year partnership. Hence, the pair will collaborate across all teams, players, and content creators to “enhance individual player and team performance, produce high-end entertainment formats and create dynamic and unique event activations.” G2 teams will wear Red Bull-branded jerseys.

The WSL Comes to Mexico after securing its first overseas broadcast rights deal. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

European Soccer

WSL
Foto via the University of Reading.

England’s top female soccer league, the Women’s Super League (WSL), secured its first overseas broadcast rights deals. As a result, Sky Mexico and Scandinavian broadcast group NENT have both signed three-year deals with the Football Association (FA). Most importantly, Sky Mexico’s deal covers Mexican rights, including those in Central American territories and the Dominican Republic.

English soccer’s governing body locked a partnership with Deliveroo. The food delivery platform will become an official partner of the England national teams and the FA Cup. Also, Deliveroo becomes the national team’s first sleeve sponsor, with branding on the training kit.

FC Barcelona named Cupra official automotive and mobility partner for the next five seasons. Hence Barca will work with Cupra developing new projects aimed at improving urban mobility. Also, the team will collaborate on different marketing and sponsorship activations.

MLS

Atlanta United is looking to secure an expansion franchise in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), US media reported. In this context, Merritt Paulson, owner of NWSL’s Portland Thorns and part of the league’s expansion committee, told an open forum with supporters that as many as three new teams could join the nine-team division by 2021.

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Movie star Matthew McConaughey has joined as one of four new minority owners of expansion franchise Austin FC. Therefore he’ll join Austin FC’s majority owner and CEO Anthony Precourt, who will continue to represent the club as governor on the MLS board.

USL

The USL and ESPN locked a new three-year rights agreement to showcase the USL Championship and League One matches through the 2022 season. The new deal includes a higher number of games televised annually on ESPN’s networks. Also, the deal includes the addition of Spanish-language telecasts on ESPN Deportes.

Premier Partnerships has become the USL commercial-rights and sponsorship-deals handler for the USL Championship and USL League One men’s professional soccer leagues. The agreement puts the US-based consultancy firm in charge of negotiations and rights management for North American soccer’s second and third tiers.

Mediapro has secured Canadian broadcast rights to Concacaf’s inaugural Nations League competition. The Spanish agency will cover every match played by the confederation’s 41 member associations across North and Central America and the Caribbean.

 

F1 Stays in Spain. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

F1 stais in Spain

F1 Stays in Spain. The F1 confirmed the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona for the 2020 season. In the past, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has relied on public money to cover the costs of the race and has struggled for profitability since 2008, according to the regional news outlet Ara.

NFL

The Green Bay Packers expanded their partnership with Oneida Nation Casino. The extension deal comes after the NFL approved casino sponsorships.

The Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams have all partnered with US wine brand Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi for the 2019 season. The new deals are effective starting the season, in September. Through the deal, Woodbridge becomes the official wine partner of the three franchises.

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The NFL and partner Pizza Hut presented the first-ever virtual stadium deal in esports. Through the deal, they presented the Pizza Hut Stadium as part of the EA SPORTS’ Madden NFL 20 Championship Series. The Madden NFL 20 Classic was on August 30-September 1.

The NFL and American eyewear manufacturer Oakley have signed a new four-year partnership. The deal, which begins with the upcoming season, sees Oakley become an official on-field partner and licensee of the North American football league.

The Oakland Raiders and Credit One Bank locked a partnership. The US financial services company will become the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders official credit card partner. As part of the deal, Credit One Bank will host a branded sideline club at the new 65,000-capacity venue.

eSports

Adidas has signed Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins in a sponsorship. Details of the new relationship with the gamer have not been shared. “I can’t say specifically what is in the works with Adidas but use your imagination,” Ninja said.

MLB teams could generate US$11 million from jersey patch deals. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

jersey patch
Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco, via Wikipedia.

MLB

According to Nielsen, MLB teams could make more money from jersey patch deals than NBA franchises. If the league allows them to start selling the sponsorship inventory, an MLB sleeve sponsor would appear on camera almost three times as often. As a result, Nielsen estimates that these jersey deals could generate US$11 million in brand value per team each season.

MLB and the Chinese Baseball Association signed an agreement to help relaunch the China National Baseball League (CNBL). China’s top domestic baseball competition has been going through a challenging time since its inception in 2002. In 2012 and 2017 the league was suspended due to a lack of funding and exposure.

NFL

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders head coach, Jack Del Rio, will join ESPN as an NFL analyst. He will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and more throughout the year. “I’m really looking forward to the upcoming football season and my new role with ESPN!” said Del Rio.

Oakley became an official on-field partner and licensee of the NFL. The four-year partnership is the biggest sports deal in the brand’s history. Apart from becoming the official shields and eyewear Powered by Prizm Lens Technology, Oakley will provide Officially Licensed NFL Eyewear available for fans.

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eSports

League of Legends reached the highest viewership in professional gaming, according to Newzoo. 23% of people who watch esports online prefer League of Legends. In comparison, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (20 percent) and Overwatch (16 percent) have the next highest viewership of all esports titles.

NBA

The Boston Celtics could be ending their jersey patch sponsorship deal with General Electric (GE) a year early. Although, the NBA team signed signing a three-year deal worth US$7 million a season.

Tennis

Naomi Osaka is the world’s most marketable athlete for 2019, according to a SportsPro ranking. The Japanese tennis sensation is the second woman to top SportsPro’s annual list of the world’s 50 most marketable athletes. Osaka replaces Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba at the top of the list, who now holds place 11.

It’s official: St Louis is joining the MLS.  Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.
St. Louis

On Tuesday, the MLS announced that St Louis had been awarded as the league’s expansion team. With Betz and six other female members of the Taylor family part of the ownership group, St Louis becomes the first female majority-owned club in MLS history and one of few in professional sports.

The club will begin MLS play in 2022, in a brand new stadium located in the Downtown West district of St Louis.

“Our ownership group has come a long way since we first announced our bid last October at Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, and it’s an incredible feeling to now be able to say, St Louis is home to the first official majority female-led ownership group in MLS,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz.  “Our MLS team and stadium will only add to St Louis’ renaissance currently underway and will provide us with a great opportunity to bring together many different segments of the community, uniting people in their love for the game.”

MLS

MLS expansion club Austin FC adopted VR technology. The technology will drive season ticket sales at their new US$200 million stadium ahead of their inaugural season in 2021. The strategy is part of a new multi-year partnership with US mobile ticketing platform SeatGeek.

David Beckham’s Inter Miami announced Heineken as its first founding partner. The long-term deal will see Heineken serve as the official beer partner of Inter Miami. The deal also secures signage, intellectual property rights, and retail activations.

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Broadcasting

ESPN signed an exclusive agreement with the National Women’s Soccer League locking worldwide rights (excluding U.S.) to the league’s regular-season and playoff matches. ESPN already held the rights to NWSL broadcasts in the US. “This is an important step for NWSL to strengthen the league’s reach through ESPN’s international network,” said NWSL President Amanda Duffy.

LaLiga extended its partnership with beIN Media Group, that will see beIN SPORTS USA and Canada exclusively broadcast LaLiga until 2024. The new agreement comes just days before the start of a 2019-20 season.

US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said the country is planning a bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup. Cordeiro’s comments came during a conference call with reporters. During the call he announced Kate Markgraf as the new general manager of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT).

ESPN got the exclusive broadcasting rights in South America for the next three seasons of Premier League. The deal covers Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Branding

Adidas locked a deal with DAZN to advertise across the platform’s live Premier League soccer rights in Canada. This marks the first brand to run adverts DAZN. Also it’s the first time that Adidas has advertised on a streaming provider in North America.

baseball

La Vida Baseball Lock Partnership with the Houston Chronicle. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

Baseball

La Vida Baseball and the Houston Chronicle have locked a content partnership. Through the online platform, the baseball-focused media will provide print and video content for coverage of the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and other features of interest. It is the first-ever content partnership between La Vida Baseball and a major news outlet.

The Los Angeles Dodgers named Postmates as their exclusive On-Demand Delivery and Pickup Partner. The baseball team will incorporate Postmates Live into the concession stands at Dodger Stadium.

NFL

Pizza Hut locked the rights of a virtual football stadium, as part of an arrangement with the NFL. The deal comes ahead of this year’s Madden NFL 20 Championship Series (MCS). As part of the esports series, four major tournaments will compete at the virtual Pizza Hut Stadium.

Allegiant Air has become the official naming rights holder of the Oakland Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

NBA

Rakuten extended its jersey patch deal with NBA team Golden State Warriors. Amit Patel, chief executive of Rakuten’s Americas, said that the partnership has been key to raising its brand awareness in the US.

Bud Light has become the NBA 2K League its official beer partner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Specific partnership activations will be announced soon. “Bud Light was one of the first adopters of esports years ago and this NBA 2K League sponsorship is another pillar of the brand’s overall esports strategy,” said Nick Kelly, head of US sports marketing at Anheuser-Busch.

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Esports

The Kellogg Company is joining the amateur esports market through a new partnership with N3rd Street Gamers. The deal includes the sponsorship of a new Overwatch esports tournament with its Cheez-It Grooves product.

Twitch has become the exclusive digital streaming partner for USA Basketball, through 2020. Games will be available at twitch.tv/NBA, while full on-demand videos will be accessible shortly after the end of each broadcast.

F1

The Mexican Grand Prix will remain on the Formula One calendar beyond 2019. It seemed that the five-year contract was up at the end of this season because of a lack of public funding. Now, a group of businessman will help cover the annual cost of hosting, estimated at US$45 million.

Mark Sanchez joins ESPN for the college football season. Here you’ll find a weekly summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop-shop.

NFL

Former Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez joins ESPN in a multi-year deal in an analyst role as an analyst. Sanchez will be in the studio each college football Saturday for ABC. The former player will also contribute to other ESPN shows, including College Football Live and Get Up! during the season.

NFLTony Gonzalez is joining the FOX NFL Thursday pregame show for the upcoming season. Debuting on Sept. 26, the collaboration will start with the revamped TNF pregame show. Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, and Howie Long will be joining Gonzalez.

NBA

NBA team the Golden State Warriors signed a ten-year, omnichannel retail partnership with Fanatics. The global sports merchandiser company will become the exclusive online and on-site operator of all ‘Warriors Shop’ outlets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. This includes the Warriors’ flagship store based at the recently developed Thrive City shopping complex, located near the Chase Center.

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Wrestling

IMPACT Wrestling renewed and expanded its partnership with Twitch. This includes the weekly premiere of the flagship two-hour show IMPACT! and more exclusive content. In exchange, IMPACT Wrestling will facilitate co-streaming of the weekly flagship show and will be announcing details of a contest featuring co-streamers in the near future.

Portada NY Sept. 12 top-notch program includes one-on-one meetings with major brand marketers engaging consumers through sports content who represent companies like Anheuser-Busch, SAP, MasterCard, Kia, Wells Fargo and many more. The event will take place at the Westin New York at Times Square. Get tickets here (early bird expires on July 31!).

Join us for the 13th annual edition of Portada New York where marketing innovators will delve deep into sports marketing  and new consumer insights in Multicultural America.

 

On the agenda on September 12

Senior brand executives and thought leaders will explore topics including the below:

  • KEYNOTE INTERVIEW with Nick Kelly, Head of U.S. Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch
  • CREATING BRANDED CONTENT TO CHANGE BRAND PERCEPTION
  • THE EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING CONUNDRUM: How to measure ROI and transfer best practices between marketing platforms.
  • 5G: How increased connectivity will change media and content strategies…
  • PASSION POINT FOOD: Food is a key cultural factor to bring Hispanic families together.
    and much more….

Choose Your One-on-One Meetings with Brands Engaging Consumers Through Sports

Meeting opportunities with Brand Marketers engaging consumers through sports.

In addition, Portada NY offers senior executives from tech, media and marketing firms will have the opportunity to meet brands engaging consumers through sports. marketers in one-on-one meetings.

 

THE LIST OF BRAND MARKETERS AVAILABLE FOR ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS INCLUDES:

Director, Consumer Marketing Sponsorships, ALLSTATE INSURANCE

VP, Field Marketing Sponsorships & Events, CONSTELLATION BRANDS

VP, Head of Sponsorships North America, MASTERCARD

Group Brand Director Tequila, PROXIMO SPIRITS

VP, Marketing, NORTHGATE MARKETS

Head of US Sports Marketing, ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV

Senior Manager, Advertising & Marketing, Multicultural, KIA MOTORS AMERICA

Multicultural Marketing Manager, NESTLE USA

VP, Global Sponsorships, SAP

Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager, INTUIT

National Media Manager, JCPENNEY

VP, Hispanic Segment Strategy Leader, WELLS FARGO

Program Leader, Hispanic Marketing & Advertising, DOMINO’S

National Director, Multicultural & Growth Markets, REALOGY

Director, Mexican Imports, ANHEUSER-BUSCH

US Managing Director, CH CAROLINA HERRERA

Digital Marketing Manager – SEM & SEO, SPRINT

Head of Marketing, EL SUPER

Assistant VP, Brand Marketing & Advertising, OPPENHEIMERFUNDS

Senior Brand Manager, DEWARS SCOTCH WHISKY BACARDI

Sr. Director of Global Marketing, PAULA’S CHOICE SKINCARE LLC

Brand Director, HEINEKEN

EVP I CMO, CURACAO

VP, Sponsorships, WELLS FARGO

Manager, CALIFORNIA ENDOWMENT

Associate Marketing Manager Multicultural, ALLSTATE INSURANCE

Category Marketing Manager, GRACEKENNEDY LTD

…and many more to be added!

 

CLICK HERE TO GET EARLY-BIRD TICKETS including three-eight minute meetings  with brand marketers engaging consumers through sports. (A form to select your meeting partners will be sent to you after registration, US $599 EXPIRING THIS 07/31)

 

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

  • Mexico’s channel TV Azteca and esports entertainment company Allied Esports are planning to create a 24-hour digital channel dedicated to esports and gaming. They are planning to build a competition arena and content studios. This major, new investment in the Mexican esports market is part of a larger deal. Black Ridge Acquisition Corp will acquire Allied Esports and TV Azteca will become a shareholder. “Continuing to expand our footprint around the world with like-minded leaders and innovators is imperative to our success. We are delighted to partner with TV Azteca as we enter Latin America with a smart, aggressive plan,” Frank Ng, co-CEO of Ourgame, stated.

 

  • UFCThe UFC is opening of a new production facility in Las Vegas, designed to host multiple sports, music, and esports events, as well as original UFC Fight Pass productions. The UFC Apex facility will open its doors on June 18th. It will host the premiere of ESPN’s third installment of Dana White’s Contender Series. “UFC Apex is going to be a massive game changer for combat sports and for UFC,” said Dana White, UFC’s president. “This facility gives us the flexibility to try new things and push the envelope on producing and distributing combat sports all over the world.

 

  • Master Card is planning several promotions around the MLB two-game set between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at The London Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Park on June 29-30. The finances company is offering 30-minute advance access to the London Series Superstore and also early admission to the Hall of Fame suite. In addition, ahead of the second game, fans can take batting practice on the field.

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  • YouTube and the MLB presented the first three matchups for their newest live game streaming distribution partnership: The MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube. The opening lineup includes Dodgers/Phillies on July 18, Indians/Blue Jays on July 23 and Tigers/Angels on July 29.

 

  • Minor League BaseballMinor League Baseball is launching a new content series together with TeamWorks Media, to expand the scope and reach of MiLB’s Copa de la Diversion program. MiLB and La Vida Baseball are producing two weekly dedicated shows of La Vida Baseball Live, the daily four-hour show produced and formatted for every major social media platform to tell the story of the teams involved.

 

  • Mexico’s Lucha Libre AAA wrestlers will be “Invading LA” at The Forum in Los Angeles on October 13 starting at 6p. “By adding the October 13th date, we can reach even more fans in the United States. We are excited to be bringing our world-renowned luchadores to the world-famous Forum in Los Angeles,” stated Dorian Roldán, Managing Director of Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide. “The theme for these events is Invading the U.S.A and our luchadores are ready to invade New York and LA.”

What: Brands are connecting with a broader range of women’s sports on a greater level than ever.
Why it matters: With the US Women’s National Team competing in Women’s World Cup in France, WNBA, WTA, and AVP in full swing, opportunities for marketing through women’s sports are at peak time.

We have long seen and heard the talk: women’s sports, or better yet, sports where the competitors are female, are growing. Women control a growing influential segment of the brand decision making. Girls who play and follow sports are more likely to do better in school, have higher self-esteem and on and on and on. Tremendous, powerful messaging and storytelling.

Yet, support on the spending side, be it in areas like prize money and salary or on the broadcast side, where many reports say only four percent of live sporting events are of women’s sports in the U.S., or most importantly on the brand side. The number of dollars committed to women’s sports is dwarfed by what is spent on traditional sports.

Maybe it’s not one the size of say the Golden Gate Bridge, but it is a driveway which is signaling a shift in the minds of decision-makers with regard to the value of women’s sports.

…[T]he brands shifts towards women’s soccer has already made this year’s gathering in France one for the sports spending ages. It’s a hugely positive step for anyone looking to safely and dramatically up the ante for women’s sports.

Women’s World Cup: A Bold Step

Some evidence includes CBS, which has added the WNBA (@WNBA) to its portfolio for the first time. Platforms like Bleacher Report are now both creating more content and dedicating advertising dollars against women’s sports in ways that they had not before.

Then you have the growing climate of elite, must follow and must engage with events both ongoing and upcoming. The focus will be on elite women and girls, and the stories and brand power tied to them. It begins with the shift and engagement around the Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC).

The brand shifts towards women’s soccer have already made this year’s gathering in France one for the sports spending ages. It’s a huge, positive step for anyone looking to safely and dramatically up the ante for women’s sports.

SUM Takes Action

At the cusp of all that activity is Soccer United Marketing, which has delivered on new partners for US Soccer tied to the national team. The resonance around those brands, which includes what some may say is a nontraditional partner like Anheuser-Busch (@AnheuserBusch) for one, along with a much more robust engagement from companies ranging from Johnson & Johnson to AT&T (@ATT) and Volkswagen (@VW). The spends and the engagements are also not “add on’s,” as may have happened in the past. They are direct strategic campaigns built to target not just women, but men and boys as well. This should resonate well after a WWC Champion is crowned in July.

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Women's Sports“This is a moment in time in sports business which I think we will point back to and say that the way brands have targeted women’s sports as standalone engagement vehicles for a wide audience became mainstream,” said Jen Cramer, MLS SVP of Partnership Marketing. “The political and social climate has shifted. It is opening the door and showing that sports played by amazing athletes who happen to be women are now not just acceptable to watch and engage with, but are required.”

Who’s Playing?

Some of the key examples in that expanded shift include first time or recent partners to U.S. Soccer like Visa (@Visa). The banking company’s portfolio of players includes Megan Rapinoe, Abby Dahlkemper, Rose Lavelle, Jessica McDonald, Adriana Franch, Becky Sauerbrunn and Mal Pugh. They all participate in a national campaign based around thematic of “women everywhere chasing their goals.”

Then there is Volkswagen of America. The company launched a partnership in January 2019 with the “One Goal” thematic. The campaign centered around addressing the shortage of female coaches (and opportunities) across both the men’s and women’s games. The summer campaign launched around the World Cup is based on the thematic of “Big. Bigger” and doing right by others and the environment.

Add in companies like Johnson & Johnson (@JNJCares), whose “Because She Can” campaign is a multi-brand initiative that centers around women’s empowerment, showcased through their partnership with U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. The campaign highlights how participation in sports significantly increases a young woman’s chance of achieving success in her career and becoming a leader in her community.

More to Come

Also, there is Coca-Cola (@CocaCola). Its U.S. Women’s National Team led platform across the Coca-Cola Summer Campaign included an expanded player portfolio with Alex Morgan, Kelley O’Hara, Abby Dahlkemper, and Crystal Dunn. The campaign features across all major Coca-Cola Company brands leveraging Women’s National Team.

Another growing voice in the space (no pun intended) is AT&T. The company wanted to connect the passionate, young, diverse fans of U.S. Women’s Soccer with the thrilling moments on the field. They adopted a #NoGoalsNoGlory theme to tell the USWNT stories of dedication, success, and women empowerment across all their social and digital channels.

Women's Sports
Nicolette Martin, Credit: Robert Beck/AVP

“This support of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) is part of our ongoing commitment to standing for equality, which is a company value and something we have a long history of doing at AT&T, going back to 1972 when AT&T started the first women’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) in the nation,” added Shiz Suzuki, AVP, Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing AT&T. “There’s a lot more that we and others can do to raise the visibility of women in sports. It is not limited to events like this that come around every so often.”

The Beginning

Will this continue on beyond World Cup? Will it grow into a more engaged WNBA series of activations and then on into the winter at the NCAA level and through to Tokyo next summer? It could include a brand like the AVP? Many of the signs and the voices of brand decision-makers seem to think so.

“Today, women are drastically underrepresented in media,” Suzuki continued. “When women appear, it’s largely in a stereotypical, inaccurate way. As co-chair of the Association of National Advertiser’s SeeHer movement, our Chief Brand Officer Fiona Carter has initiated a discussion with leagues, broadcasters, key influencers and of course fellow advertisers to see what can be done to improve coverage and distribution of women’s sports. It’s called SeeHerInSports, and there’s much more to come on that.”

Women's Sports“At the end of the day, we need to keep moving forward. We need to make sure the next generation of fans and consumers continue to see value in the stories and personalities of all athletes regardless of gender,” Cramer added. “The best way to ensure that is by continuing to move the needle. We do this with brands who are seeing ROI from the spend they are doing with women’s soccer. That will translate to other sports and become a self-fulfilling prophecy that is very exciting. It will make things so much better for that next generation. It’s steady growth, and the time is right to keep growing the pie.”

In it to Win it

Growing the pie, vs. reallocating the existing slices is going to be key as well. New dollars infused by brands and media companies across the board for women’s sports will be key to expanded opportunities and engagement. With that expansion comes a larger audience. The system expands as one, not as a segment.

Now is there trepidation that winning will only feed the success of the effort for women’s sports? Perhaps. But from a business perspective, many of the initial ‘wins,” engagement, campaigns, and audience are already in place. Is there still an area for growth and acceptance? Yes. But dollars and brands speak loudly, and this summer, they seem to be shouting.

Enjoy the ride across the bridge, it’s safe to cross over.

Cover Image credit: rawpixel