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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.

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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.

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

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

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

The Portada Brand-Sports Summit in Los Angeles on March 15, 2019 (Hotel Loews Santa Monica) will provide a unique setting for brand marketers to learn about the opportunities sports and soccer content offers to engage consumers in the U.S. and Latin America.

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

What: After examining last year’s happenings throughout the vast realm of sports. Portada has identified the top Latino stars, poised to hit it big on the marketing side in 2019.
Why it matters: Standouts in various sports, at different stages of their careers, are attractive options for brands moving forward.

As we enter the deep freeze of winter, who are the Latino athletes plying their trade in the U.S. who brand marketers should be keeping an eye on? Here are six to watch:

1. Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo):
Canelo Alvarez

His sponsor list is growing, and includes deals with Under Armour (@UnderArmour), Tecate (@tecate), Hennessy (@HennessyUS) and Everlast (@Everlast_), bringing in more than seven figures outside his boxing and media deals. His exclusive deal with DAZN (@DAZN_USAhas put the streaming service’s marketing dollars behind him as well, and boxing, not just for the Latino community, remains smoking hot. His star keeps rising in the ring.

 

2. Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo):

Henry Cejudo

The Olympic wrestling and now UFC (@ufcflyweight champion took less money but scored big ratings growth for ESPN (@espnon Saturday night, when he defended his title with a TKO over T.J. Dillashaw (@TJDillashawat Barclays Center. The son of undocumented immigrants, Cejudo is the American Latino success story. With Modelo (@ModeloUSA) now on board as the “Official Beer,” and 7- Eleven (@7eleven) as “Official Convenience Store,” the UFC’s growth to attract casual fight fans through partnerships is in a great place, and Cejudo can help seed that market as a mature, bilingual and very relatable champion in MMA.

 

 

 

3. Sofia Huerta (@schuerta):

Sofia Huerta (Jamie Smed)

This is going to be a big year for women’s soccer, so one to watch is the 26 year old Mexican-American currently playing for Houston Dash (@HoustonDashof the National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL), and on loan to Australian club Sydney FC for the 2018–19 W-League season. Huerta played for the Mexican National team but is now on the rise with the U.S. Women’s National team and is in contention for World Cup eligibility later this year. Her style and background make her worth a follow.

 

…[W]herever [Machado] ends up he will take a massive Jordan Brand deal with him and his permanent home after his time in L.A. at the end of last year will make him very desirable for years to come.

4. Josef Martinez (@JosefMartinez17):

Josef Martinez (credit: Atlanta United)

MLS will be heading to training camp soon, and all signs are that their 25 year old MVP, who led Atlanta United (@ATLUTDto a record year, will be back in the fold for now. Personable, telegenic and the perfect face of a bilingual soccer culture, Martinez is tied to Adidas (@adidas), but should he stay in Atlanta, should be on pace for some marketing gold as the cleats go back on this spring.

 

 

 

 

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. 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!

 

Manny Machado (Keith Allison)

5. Manny Machado:

Where will the All Star end up before spring training? The jury is still out, but wherever he ends up he will take a massive Jordan Brand deal with him and his permanent home after his time in L.A. at the end of last year will make him very desirable for years to come. Baseball brands like Rawlings, which markets a Machado model glove, will also be in the mix moving forward.

 

 

 

Mariano Rivera

6. Mariano Rivera:

Even in retirement, the iconic closer will become more valuable this week as “Hall of Fame” goes on his résumé. He earned $170 million in salary over 19 years, all with the Yankees, and has partnered with businesses like Bank of America (@BankofAmerica), The Hartford (@TheHartford) insurance and insole provider OrthoLite (@OrthoLite).

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!

 

 

 

Cover Image: Sofia Huerta (credit: Jamie Smed)

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

  • Major League Baseball will now include content in the Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks, thanks to a new multiyear partnership with Discovery Education. Educators will help students connect the world of baseball to key science and STEM concepts through real-world data and gameday experiences that fuel deeper engagement.

 

  • PUMAPuma has become the official partner of League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) team and will have its logo on the chest of the team’s jersey. The partnership also designates Puma as the official gameday pants and shoes provider of Cloud9 and includes uniforms for team management. “This deal gives us ability to be a part of more things our kids love, and that’s how our brand moves the culture forward,” said Matt Shaw, head of digital marketing for Puma, to the Esports Observer. “Cloud9 is really uniquely posed to help us do that.”
    The deal will initially cover the 2019 spring LCS season, with the possibility to expand their collaboration.

The Portada Brand-Sports Summit in Los Angeles on March 15, 2019 (Hotel Loews Santa Monica) will provide a unique setting for brand marketers to learn about the opportunities sports and soccer content offers to engage consumers in the U.S. and Latin America.

  • UFC has signed a new integrated marketing partnership with Motel 6, that makes the chain UFC’s first-ever “Official Economy Lodging Partner,” creating a new sponsorship category for the MMA promotion. Motel 6 will have a branded presence inside UFC’s Octagon for select UFC events. Also, the deal includes in-venue commercials, branded integrations in select UFC Pay-Per-Views and collaborations on digital and social media campaigns.

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  • PGATOURLAPGA TOUR Latinoamerica announced that Volvo Car Latin America, Hilton, and Go Vacaciones! will join as category-exclusive partners of the PGA TOUR’s international tour, beginning this month. The three brands will be integrated into the messaging of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and will also receive brand-official designations.

 

  • Multiplayer online battle arena Arena of Valor’s started the third season of the Valor Series with 18 top teams from Europe, Latin America, and North America competing for a $200,000 prize pool. The tournament will kick off on Feb. 2 from noon-7:30p on its Facebook page. Each region will sport its own open qualifier phase where six teams will qualify for that region’s eight-week regular season.

What: Combate Americas continues its ascent in the mixed martial arts world with new deals, programming increased audience.
Why it matters: The Latino MMA franchise and media company has mixed reality TV programming, live events and mobile content to find bigger numbers in the second half of 2018 than ever before.

The fighting space has never seen more engagement, or more buzz, than in the past year. From traditional networks like FOX (@FOXTVand NBC (@nbcupping their interest with promotions like Pro Fight League (@ProFightLeague), to ESPN’s UFC (@ufcpartnership to the continued work Bellator (@BellatorMMAis doing with Paramount Network (@paramountnet) (and now DAZN) to streaming and pay per view, those getting in the ring and the cage are certainly finding new and engaged audiences.

One that continues to fight through the choices, especially with a Latino audience, is Combate Americas (@combateamericas). The Latino MMA franchise and media company has mixed reality TV programming, live events and mobile content to find bigger numbers in the second half of 2018 than ever before.

On our platform, you have the opportunity to see some of the sport’s best, new athletes proudly representing their respective countries against each other.

Case in point was their recent Copa Combate show, which averaged 451,000 total viewers on Univision (@Univisionand Univision Deportes Network (@UnivisionSports) at 12 am ET on Friday, December 7.  Viewership was up over 60 percent from last year’s Copa Combate viewership of 280,000 on Telemundo in the same time slot and beat Telemundo’s boxing program on the same night, in the same time slot (start time was 11:35 pm ET) by over 50,000 viewers.

When comparing these figures to general market sports programming ratings in the same time slot on the same night, Copa Combate was second to only ESPN, beating FOX Sports 1, NFL Network and others. Viewership beat that of Bellator 209 on Paramount on Nov. 17 by 70,000 as well, giving Combate a nice leg up and a solid “one to watch” as 2019 rolls around.

How have things been on the upswing? We asked Campbell McLaren, CEO of Combate Americas.

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!

Portada: How has Combate grown audience…what is the difference maker?

Campbell McLaren

Campbell McLaren: Combate Americas uses a soccer model – country versus country, like World Cup and the most classic soccer rivalries – as a major point of difference.  On our platform, you have the opportunity to see some of the sport’s best, new athletes proudly representing their respective countries against each other.

Our “Copa Combate” one-night tournament is essentially our World Cup competition, filled with national pride and excitement, and has been extremely effective attracting superfanaticos to our brand.  We went a step further at this year’s tournament, unveiling a 5-foot tall, gold ‘Copa,’ the largest winner’s trophy in sports.

We also expanded our TV programming dramatically in 2018, with a new, multi-platform deal with Univision that included premium-level shows airing live on both Univision and Univision Deportes Network (UDN), and weekly programming on UDN.

Combate Americas also opened its own multi-media studio, La Jaula Studios, which has been responsible for producing original, digital and linear content geared towards educating our target audience about our brand, live events and athletes and giving a reason for both new fans and avid fans to care about our talent and our shows.

Portada: What brands have migrated to the shows?

CM: This year, we secured national partnerships with AT&T Cricket Wireless (@Cricketnation), Monster Energy Drink (@MonsterEnergy), Warner Bros Studios (Aquaman @aquamanmovie) and Acronym (@anotheracronym), on behalf of the digital agency’s “Knock The Vote” campaign to drive voter participation from Hispanic millennials in the U.S.

Portada: How has Combate found a way to reach the Latino audience and what can be done to grow that audience in 2019? 

CM: We have created a product that is authentically Hispanic, and embraces key elements of Hispanic culture, beginning with a country versus country format in our events that is easily recognizable and has long been embraced by fans of soccer, the number one sport with Hispanic fans.

Our live events mix MMA competition with other, popular forms of Hispanic entertainment, including live music, such as mariachi band performances and ROC Nation Mexican recording artist Victoria La Mala (@lamalasinging the U.S. national anthem; our “La Jaula dancers;” and appearances by some of the biggest Lucha Libre stars, all of which enhance the fan experience beyond a typical live sporting event.

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What: Between UFC traveling to Buenos Aires and Chile, key broadcast deals by Combate Américas, and impressive victories by Hispanic fighters, the sport of MMA continues to grow in the Hispanic market.
Why it matters: MMA companies are finding different ways to tap into the market as MMA gains popularity.

It has been a November to remember for Hispanics in mixed martial arts (MMA).

Between Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez’s (@panteraufc) devastating last-second elbow knockout of the “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (@KoreanZombieMMA) at Ultimate Fighting Championships’s (@ufc) 25th Anniversary show, Santiago Ponzinibbio’s (@SPonzinibbioMMA) victory over Neil Magny (@NeilMagny) in his hometown of Bueno Aires in UFC’s first show in Argentina, and the return of Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) under Oscar de la Hoya’s (@OscarDeLaHoya) Golden Boy Promotion (@GoldenBoyBoxing) banner, Hispanics are making an impact on the sport of MMA, in 2018.

Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez headlined UFC Fight Night 139 against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) 25th Anniversary show.

Since Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) won the UFC Heavyweight championship in 2010, MMA’s popularity has continued to increase in the Hispanic market. A 2017 Washington Post-UMass Lowell poll shows that 31 percent of Hispanics polled identified as MMA fans. Those latest numbers show a huge increase in the sport’s popularity, compared to the results of a 2011 Pew Hispanic Center (@PewHispanic) study, where MMA polled at 6.8 percent.

One of the companies capitalizing on the rising popularity of MMA among Hispanic fans is Combate Américas (@combateamericas). Founded by UFC co-founder Campbell McLaren (@campbellcombate), Combate Américas has evolved from a mun2 (@NBCUniversoreality show — that featured “King of Reggaetón” Latin Grammy award-winner Daddy Yankee (@daddy_yankee) as the show’s first commissioner, Venezuelan Latin Grammy award-winning pop duo Chino y Nacho (@ChinoyNacho ‏) as hosts and SiriusXM host El Piolin (@ElshowdePiolin) as color commentator; and gave 10 fighters in two weight classes a chance to win Combate Américas contracts — to a thriving MMA organization that is launching the careers of fighters coming out the U.S., Mexico, and South America.

“The Hispanic community has been vastly underserved in MMA, even though there are around 600 million Spanish speakers worldwide,” said McClaren to Portada-Online (@portada_online), back in March. “That is why we exist, and we want this community to feel impacted and empowered by Combate Américas. To say we are a ‘niche’ when we are serving an audience of this size, one that is about a third larger than the number of English speakers worldwide, wouldn’t be accurate. What began as a mission to serve the U.S. Hispanic audience is now a platform serving Spanish speakers worldwide.”

McClaren has built on the company’s success, increasing Combate Américas’ exposure this year by signing a 13-fight-per-year streaming agreement with DAZN (@DAZN_USA) for the U.S. English-language broadcast rights, as well as having dealt the U.S. Spanish-language broadcast rights to Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports). Univision will air a total of 16 cards on their linear platform, with preliminary bouts streaming on UnivisionDeportes.com.

“A year ago when we began approaching television networks to air our events, we were getting in the door but not taken seriously. Some of them didn’t understand how strong our product was going to be, especially around millennials,” said McLaren. “To be able to secure this new partnership with Univision Deportes, a sports media brand that is home to the No. 1 Spanish-language sports network and has the best lineup of sports and entertainment programming, shows the immense growth that we’ve experienced within the past couple of years.”

That’s very big that they have a deal with Univision because they are reaching a huge demographic that is not exposed to MMA, that are not necessarily watching Fox Sports or ESPN
Cain Velazquez (credit: The Doppelganger at English Wikipedia)

Known more for their soccer programming, Univision Deportes’ venture with Combate Américas is their first foray into the MMA world. Univision’s immense presence in the Hispanic market has been key in helping Combate Américas expand their brand, as the fledgling MMA company continues to come into its own.

Combate Américas drew a combined 764,000 viewers on Univision and Univision Deportes for their April 13 Combate 20: Estrellas I card, compared to 403,000 viewers Bellator 197 (@BellatorMMA) drew between the Paramount Network (@paramountnet) and CMT (@CMT) network, according to Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma), MMA columnist for Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports).

“As far as exposure, they are on national TV, they are on Univision. That’s huge, Univision is one of the biggest channels out there,” said MMAFighting.com‘s Danny Segura (@dannyseguratv). “That’s very big that they have a deal with Univision because they are reaching a huge demographic that is not exposed to MMA, that are not necessarily watching Fox Sports (@FOXSports) or ESPN (@espn).”

As producer of The MMAHour, Segura has gotten an Octagon-side view of the evolution of the sport in the Hispanic market. Born in Bogota, Colombia, and raised in Florida, Segura became a fan of the sport after watching the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.

“I was first exposed to [MMA] when I first moved to the U.S. with my family. I was in middle school and that was when the first season of The Ultimate Fighter came on,” said Segura. “We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, we didn’t really have any cable or anything like that. But in the city that we lived in, in Florida, within the water bill came a small cable package, and within that package, there were a few channels and one of them was Spike, so I would just watch The Ultimate Fighter all the time.”

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Contemplating between a career in engineering or journalism, Segura started his own website while attending Florida International University (@FIU), paying his dues covering local MMA shows and interviewing champions such as Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight). Segura’s work caught the attention of MMAFighting.com’s Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) and earned a part-time job working for the website while he finished school.

“I was thinking about doing engineering and I was taking some math classes, while I was doing my media stuff on the side, on my free time,” said Segura. “I had to make a decision whether I wanted to continue with engineering or do media. I had already done a few things, I don’t want to call them big but I felt like they were significant work, and I was really enjoying it and I was finding purpose in it.”

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!

Segura left for New York City after he graduated, covering different areas of the sport for MMAFighting, working his way up from part-time to full-time, eventually becoming producer for the MMAHour and a panelist of The MMA Beat.

Santiago Ponzinibbio (UFC.com)

Having seen different angles of the sport over the years, both as a fight fan and as an MMA journalist, Segura has an understanding of the Hispanic market. Segura believes that while the sport has made great strides in tapping into the market, failure to find a crossover international star that draws casual fans is a missing ingredient that is stunting growth.

The development of talents such as Rodriguez and Ponzinibbio can only help MMA in the South American market. The 26-year-old Rodriguez, fighting out of Chihuahua, Mexico, was The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America winner and has a unique, entertaining fighting style helped him defeat two-time UFC champion B.J. Penn (@bjpenndotcom) as well as aided him in putting on a “Fight of the Year” performance against “The Korean Zombie,” this month.

Ponzinibbio, the 32-year old from La Plata, Argentina who is currently on a seven-fight winning streak, headlined the UFC’s first ever show in Buenos Aires and climbed to number seven in the UFC welterweight rankings after defeating Magny in front of 10,245 fans who came to support their countryman at Parque Roca Arena.

Both fighters hope to reach the success and heights of popularity as Velasquez, the Mexican-American wrestling standout from Arizona State University (@ASUWrestling) who captured the UFC Heavyweight title on two occasions, after beat Brock Lesnar (@BrockLesnar) in 2010 and Junior dos Santos (@junior_cigano) in 2012. Velazquez became a marketable Hispanic star for the UFC, headlining UFC 188 in Mexico City, and drawing 21,036 fans to the Mexico City Arena.

But different factors, including recurring injuries, prevented Velazquez from capturing the hearts, minds and dollars of Hispanic fight fans, in the same manner that Irish MMA fans travel to Conor McGregor when he enters the Octagon, as Segura points out.

“We’re missing that one guy that can combine everything, both talent-wise, and as well as know how to promote his or herself, and has what they call in the fight game as the ‘it’ factor,” said Segura. “This sports is driven by names, by fighters. So if you got the next big thing coming out of Brazil, like Paolo Acosta who is just destroying everyone in his path, of course you are going to cater to that market, of course you are going to use him as a vehicle to get those Brazilian fans, and I don’t think we have had that yet in the Hispanic market.”

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

  • Matchroom BoxingDAZN a new eight-year deal with sports events promotion company Matchroom Boxing to broadcast 16 live fight nights. The programming will be exclusively available to DAZN users in Canada. The first fight to be streamed as part of the deal will be the Jessie Vargas v. Thomas Dulorme bout on Oct. 6 in Chicago.

 

  • The Houston Rockets has named AntPool, a Chinese bitcoin company, as the official sponsor for the 2018/19 season. AntPool claims to be the second-largest bitcoin mining operation in the world and is a subsidiary of Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies.

 

  • UFC has announced a new multi-year licensing agreement with jeweler brand Bixler. The partnership gives Bixler the rights to manufacture and distribute UFC and MMA athlete-inspired jewelry in the United States and Canada, as well as globally via UFC Store.com. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

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  • ABB Formula EFormula E has announced a five-year extension of its broadcast partnership with Mediaset. The agreement will see the Italian free-to-air broadcaster continue to show coverage of the global electric racing series through to season nine. “The results Mediaset has shown – along with their extensive programming of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship – is a testament to their ongoing commitment and we look forward to bringing all the action live to fans across Italy for a further five seasons,” stated Ali Russell, media and business development officer at Formula E.

 

  • Headphones brand AfterShokz has signed NASCAR drivers Bubba Wallace and Chase Elliott as endorsers in a deal that includes social media promotions and personal appearances. According to 2011 data, 20% of NASCAR’s followers are multicultural fans, 9% were Hispanic and 8% African-American.

 

  • The MLB Players Association announced a partnership with UMG Media Corp. to launch the first-ever esports series of competitions for Major League Baseball players. Both active and retired players will compete against each other in esports play. According to hispanicgamers.com Hispanics expressed more interest in watching others play video games compared to Non-Hispanics.

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

  • PBCPremier Boxing Champions has inked a broadcasting deal with FOX. The fights will appear on both the broadcast network and FS1, including an annual boxing budget that tops $60 million. The deal will kick off in December and calls for 10 championship-level fights on FOX, with at least another 12 shows on FS1.

 

  • UFC announced a new, multi-year global marketing partnership with Nemiroff to become the first-ever “Official Vodka” Partner. Nemiroff will have a branded presence inside the Octagon at all UFC events, including UFC’s remaining Pay-Per-View events in 2018. Partnership activations will include other promotional opportunities, outside the octagon. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

 

  • La Vida Baseball reported reaching more than six million English-preferred Latinos per month and generating more than 1.2 million monthly video views across all digital platforms. In addition, La Vida Baseball partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and The Hispanic Heritage Foundation to host a special event discussing philanthropy through the lens of Latino baseball.

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  • https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/926822334773653505/C1QObiyZ_400x400.jpgThe Dallas Cowboys have announced a partnership with Winstar World Casino and Resort. By doing so, the NFL has become the first American football team to partner with a casino. NFL viewership among Hispanics has increased 28% from 2011 to 2016, according to a 2016 Nielsen report.

 

  • CBS has revealed its plans to stream this season’s NFL Super Bowl for free ‘across more platforms than ever’. Fans will be able to watch the big game without a sign-in through CBS Sports’ website and mobile apps, while the game will also be available on the CBS All Access subscription service.  According to  Forbes, between 2005 and 2015, the total number of NFL Hispanic fans doubled from 750,000 to 1.5 million.

 

  • The Arizona Cardinals announced an 18-year stadium naming rights deal with insurance firm State Farm. It was not revealed whether the deal with State Farm would earn the Cardinals more than the annual US$7.7 million they received from their agreement with the University of Phoenix, which is staying on as an official education partner of the franchise.

What: Henry Cejudo last weekend became the first Olympic champion to win a UFC title.
Why it matters: The new flyweight champion is also the only Hispanic Olympic gold medalist, with a huge personality that is an ideal crossover hit for marketers.

He is an Olympic wrestling champion, the only Latino athlete to take home gold for the United States in the Beijing Olympics in any sport. The son of undocumented immigrants who worked hard to give him a better life, Henry Cejudo’s (@HenryCejudonarrative got all that much better last Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, when he defeated Demetrious Johnson for the UFC Flyweight Championship title.

Following the win, Cejudo, who last year narrowly escaped death in one of the Northern California wildfires, jumping out a hotel window to safety, was immediately hailed as the next breakthrough face of the UFC (@ufc). His size, at only 5 foot 4, his personality—there is a book and a play about his life story already—and his seemingly reckless style which has earned him “Match of the Night” during numerous fights, all bode well for the Mexican-American California resident.

With the UFC in a bit of a plateau, and looking to attract a larger audience of first timers from the Latino ranks, could Cejudo’s rise be great for the Endeavor-owned MMA Venture? It seems so. With Modelo (@ModeloUSAnow on board as the “Official Beer,” and 7- Eleven (@7elevenas “Official Convenience Store,” the UFC’s growth to attract casual fight fans through partnerships is in a great place, and Cejudo can help seed that market now as a champion.

His story should be noticed by brands as an authentic opportunity to connect with Latinos. It’s really a no brainer.

And while Cejudo’s story was attractive even without a UFC belt, his success in the Octagon, coupled with some of the new partners who have come along, could really pay some very timely dividends.

“Being a champion or the best at any sport is always an important milestone for an athlete, and can typically lead to new opportunities. We see this across just about any sport. Add UFC’s brand popularity into this mix, especially among young men, Henry has positioned himself for great possibilities,” said Mario Flores, Managing Partner at Sportivo.  “This win for Henry adds to his already incredible journey: from an immigrant to Olympic champion to UFC champ. His story should be noticed by brands as an authentic opportunity to connect with Latinos. It’s really a no brainer.”

While fighters pimping out signage with body art and on shorts in the Octagon is much more uniform and controlled these days, any host of brands who are fight and training sport savvy and looking for the feel good Latino engagement probably doesn’t need to look much further than Cejudo.

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That could include everyone from mobile partners to financial services, along with the regulars looking to engage in the space like health and wellness brands. And although shoes and apparel are rarely high on the list for MMA  athletes, disruptive brands that score high in the Latino demo may find a home with the UFC’s latest Olympian turned champion.

Now of course the challenge to retain a belt in MMA is just as difficult as the rise to be a champion, but that dual Olympic-UFC narrative is certainly rare, and one that can live on for quite a long time. Cejudo has always been sponsor friendly and his narrative is robust for fight sports as well.

Will it translate into not just personal dollars but a solid bump in awareness for the UFC? Time will tell, but a great stage was set this weekend, once that can be a win for all.

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

  • ESPN is bringing back ESPN8. “The Ocho” will take the place of ESPN2 on Aug. 8, offering 24 hours of off-beat programming. KFC will sponsor all 24 hours of programming in a series of vignettes that will run throughout the day. Within the lineup will be the 2018 Dodgeball World Cup, the US Open Ultimate Championships, the Spikeball East Tour Series, Major League Eating, the Cornhole: ACL Pro Invitational, and the World Championship of Ping Pong.

 

  • Van HeusenVan Heusen has become UFC’s first-ever “Official Men’s Dress Furnishings Provider,” with UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson starring in a new commercial highlighting the Van Heusen Flex collection of men’s shirts and pants. The commercial and campaign creative will be placed across national and local cable television, and display ads on select retailer sites. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

 

  • OTT DAZN is planning on creating original lifestyle content including documentaries, talk shows and podcasts as part of its international expansion. “In a market like the US where we’re very strong in combat sports rights but don’t have much else, we need original content,” said DAZN chief executive James Rushton, to Digiday. “Part of our challenge is, we have to turn these boxers back into superstars.” The platform is set to launch in September with only boxing and martial arts rights and will be supplementing that coverage with an original daily news show offering an inside look at what fighters get up to outside the ring.

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  • Top Rank BoxingBoxing promotion company Top Rank signed a new seven-year partnership with ESPN. As part of the deal, ESPN will provide live coverage of 54 boxing events per year, as well as delivering previews and post-fight analysis programmes, archive and studio content and new shows.

 

  • UFC confirmed its first-ever event in Beijing, China, taking place at the Cadillac Arena on Nov. 24. “China is the next frontier for the growth of UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts, and this market is paramount to our success internationally,” UFC Vice President of Asia-Pacific Kevin Chang said. UFC will be working together with Endeavor China to deliver the live event.

 

  • Clemson University locked in a 10-year contract extension with Nike, that will run through the 2027-28 academic year and grant the athletic department more than $58 million in apparel allowances, direct cash payouts, and royalties. “Nike is one of the premier brands in the world and we’re excited to build upon our relationship,” said Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics, Clemson University.

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  • FedExFedEx expanded its partnership with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies to become the franchise’s first-ever jersey sponsor. The FedEx logo will be integrated into the team’s newly designed Nike uniforms for the 2018/19 season.

 

  • Major League Baseball and ESPN announced that the 2018 MLB Postseason will begin exclusively on ESPN on Oct. 2. The National League Wild Card Game presented by Hankook will also be available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and the ESPN App. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

 

  • UFC signed a multi-year marketing partnership with meal delivery service Trifecta Nutrition. The agreement represents a brand-new sponsorship category for UFC. In return, Trifecta will have a branded presence at the UFC Performance Institute and an activation presence at UFC’s live events. Trifecta will use UFC branding to create custom delivery boxes and to promote national sweepstakes for UFC events.

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

  • OTT streaming service DAZN has detailed its expansion into the US, following parent company PerformGroup’s $1 billion joint venture with Matchroom Boxing and a nine-figure multiyear global distribution agreement with Bellator MMA. The first-ever fight night will be headlined by heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua and Alexander “The Russian Warrior” Povetkin, on Sept. 22 live from Wembley Stadium in London.

 

  • AngelsThrough the first half of the 2018 MLB season, viewership of Los Angeles Angels telecasts on FOX Sports West has delivered the highest year-over-year ratings increase of any MLB team, according to the network. At the All-Star Break, current local-market household ratings on FOX Sports West are up 79% in comparison to last season.

 

  • Activision Blizzard has agreed to a multi-year broadcast rights deal with Disney to televise the eSports Overwatch League across ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney XD, ABC, and all related streaming services. “ESPN is invested in the growth of the NBA and now we hope they are invested in the growth of our league. That’s what makes it a significant moment,” stated Pete Vlastelica, president and chief executive of Activision Blizzard esports leagues. Hispanics expressed more interest in watching others play video games compared to Non-Hispanics, according to a 2014 Think Now Research study.

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  • Amazon is expanding its cloud computing deal with MLB, with a new set of real-time statistics and graphics for live baseball games. The deal makes use of Amazon Web Services’ artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, follows a similar deal with the National Football League in November. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

 

  • Pizza HutPizza Hut announced a sponsorship deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, to mark the second official NFL team partnership for the brand, following the Seattle Seahawks. “Few franchises in sports are as revered as the Pittsburgh Steelers, so it is with great pride that we enter into a partnership with one of the most iconic teams in the NFL,” said Zipporah Allen, CMO, Pizza Hut.

 

  • Mercedes-Benz is partnering with ProGaming Italia and Sony Interactive Entertainment Italy to launch the Gran Turismo Sports E-Cup by Mercedes. A total 12 racers will compete for the championship on Oct. 7, the last day of Milan Games Week. 

 

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill has been named the presenting sponsor of the US Lacrosse Nationals, the national governing body’s signature youth tournament running Aug. 2-5, 2018, in Frederica, Del. “Chipotle has been one of our organization’s most supportive partners, and we are thrilled to evolve that partnership to include Chipotle as the presenting sponsor of our premier youth event,” said Brett Hurwitz, VP of marketing and communications at US Lacrosse.

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  • UFC Fight Pass will now live-stream events from the new Karate Combat promotion, beginning with next Saturday’s event out of Athens, Greece. Karate Combat features elite level karateka using full contact rules. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

 

  • GEICOGEICO is planning to launch the GEICO Gaming Ambassador program, tapping four influencers who reflect “the best values the gaming and esports communities can offer. Brian Kibler and Pokimane are the first two names announced for the initiative. They will be doing posts, commentary, and answering questions on Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch about it.

 

  • ESPN Deportes will present more than 600 hours of coverage of the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games from Barranquilla, Colombia, across ESPN Deportes and the ESPN App. The coverage includes highlights of all the competitions including, gymnastics, swimming, boxing, volleyball, women’s and men’s soccer, women’s and men’s basketball, among others.

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

  • UFCUFC and Parimatch have locked in a new, multi-year partnership that makes Parimatch the “Official Betting and Wagering Partner of UFC” across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, excluding the United Kingdom and Ireland. Parimatch will be UFC’s first-ever marketing partner from the Commonwealth of Independent States region.

 

  • The annual esports Evolution Championship Series (EVO), which will take place in Las Vegas from Aug. 3-5, locked in a sponsorship deal with Nissin Cup Noodles. Hispanics expressed more interest in watching others play video games compared to Non-Hispanics, According to a 2014 Think Now Research study.

 

  • FS1 and NASCAR Productions launched the fourth season of the documentary series Beyond the Wheel on NASCAR Race Hub. According to 2011 data, 20% of NASCAR’s followers are multicultural fans, 9% were Hispanic and 8% African-American.

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  • Charlotte Motor SpeedwayCharlotte Motor Speedway locked in its race name and distance for its NASCAR playoff race weekend (the first ever) for the Sept. 28-30 Bank of America ROVAL 400 race weekend. “This is history in the making, and it marks the next chapter in our legacy of providing innovative, show-stopping entertainment that’s never been seen before,” said Marcus Smith, the president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.

 

  • Minor League Baseball signed a long-term agreement with data company ISM Connect, to improve MiLB teams’ connection with, partners and fans across the country. ISM Connect will provide some MiLB stadiums with innovative technology and data capabilities.

 

  • MLB and other organizations are ending their partnership, at least temporarily, with Papa John’s, after company founder John Schnatter admitted that he used the n-word. Teams severing ties include the Nationals, Yankees, Marlins, Royals, Mariners, and, Orioles. Schnatter announced his resignation as the company’s chairman late Wednesday night.

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

  • Telemundo announced that it will bring Exatlon to the channel on July 16. This will represent the debut of the sports-reality format that pits two teams against each other to test their physical, mental and competitive skills with participants that include celebrities, Olympic medalists, world champions, and amateur athletes. Erasmo Provenza hosts and joins Jessica Cediel, who will present highlights, updates and exclusive content.
  • PUMAPUMA has locked a new multi-year partnership with The Basketball Tournament, as the exclusive footwear and apparel partner. PUMA will receive promotional rights to all TBT games, including a presence on-site as well during all ESPN broadcasts. In addition, PUMA is offering an official endorsement deal to any player who competes in TBT and then signs on with an NBA team the following season. “TBT is a unique concept and a perfect tournament for us to get involved with as we kick off our re-entry into basketball,” stated Adam Petrick, Global Director of Brand and Marketing for PUMA. “We want to shake things up within the sport, and this tournament does that and more by providing opportunities for previously unrecognized talent, and giving fans new ways to experience the game.”

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  • Dak PrescottCowboys quarterback Dak Prescott signed a multi-year deal as the ambassador for Campbell’s. He’ll promote Chunky MAXX through 2020. He’s the first NFL QB to lock a multi-year deal with the brand since Donovan McNabb.
  • UFC and AirAsia announced that current “OnePride MMA Pro Never Quit” women’s strawweight champion of Indonesia, Linda Darrow has been selected as the first-ever student to be admitted into its UFC Scholarship program. As part of the program, Darrow will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the United States to train at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.

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

  • The Kraken RumELEAGUE and The Kraken Black Spiced Rum inked a new partnership. The rum brand will become the first Official Distilled Spirits Partner of ELEAGUE. The partnership includes all ELEAGUE owned and operated platforms on television, digital and social. As part of the agreement, ELEAGUE also introduced the “ELEAGUE KRAKEN Boss Battle,” a feature where pro players and fans can compete against one another in front of a live audience.
  • UFC locked a partnership with Black Rifle Coffee Company as the “Official Coffee” of Season Two of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Black Rifle Coffee will work with UFC to provide social content about the series and promote a national campaign with prizes and exclusive UFC experiences. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.
  • Westgate Resorts reached a multiyear agreement to serve as title sponsor of Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s September NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. This is Westgate Resorts’ first title sponsorship in NASCAR. According to 2011 data, 20% of NASCAR’s followers are multicultural fans, 9% were Hispanic and 8% African-American.

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  • BudweiserBudweiser signed a multiyear deal as the official domestic beer partner of the White Sox. Activations include a long-term presence at Guaranteed Rate Field, the logo on the video boards, game-day event sponsorships and being able to put use their logo on home game giveaways. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.
  • The Players’ Tribune and SELF are partnering to create a series of original content focused on women across a wide range of sports. Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was the first Muslim-American to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics, will serve as executive producer of the multi-episode video series. Content will include video and personal essays celebrating the triumphs and struggles of women in sports. Titled The Playing Field, the program will premiere this fall on SELF’s and The Player’s Tribune’s channels.
  • ESPN DeportesSpanish-language broadcast of the NBA Finals has become the most-watched NBA Finals in network history, according to ESPN. Viewership of the fourth-consecutive encounter between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, was up 12%, producing 162,000 impressions, making it the most-viewed since ESPN Deportes started airing the NBA Finals in 2013.

What: Jacqueline Hernandez, formerly of NBCUniversal, has been named President of Combate Americas.
Why it matters: The addition of Hernandez, one of the most prominent Latinas in sports media, is a clear indicator that Combate Americas, targeting the Hispanic fan base, is continuing its rise among MMA promotions.

We’ve chronicled some of the rise of Combate Americas (@combateamericas), which has carved out a solid niche in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by focusing on the sport’s growing Hispanic base, both in the U.S. and Latin America. This week, Combate took another big step in defining who it is as a company by landing NBCUniversal executive Jacqueline Hernandez (@JSHernandezNYCas its President.

Hernandez, one of the most prominent Latinas in sports media today, will be based in New York and will work with CEO Campbell McLaren on overseeing Combate Americas’s entire business as the company plans its expansion with the Hispanic fan base at its core.

The addition of Hernandez, a proven leader in the business, is a clear indicator that McLaren is trying to position Combate atop all the non-UFC promotions in the sport.

“Jackie is well-positioned to take Combate Americas into a rapidly changing media landscape,” said McLaren in a statement. “She is the undisputed champion of Hispanic millennials and Gen-Z marketing. Her leadership skills are world-class. It is a true honor to welcome her.”

In addition to her tenure at NBCUniversal, Hernandez has extensive experience at global companies like Telemundo Enterprises, People en Español and Teen People, and most recently was the founder of strategic consulting firm M²Z Group, where she worked with Combate Americas as her first client.

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“The intersection of cultures and new identities around the world —including the US— has propelled today’s young generations to be rule breakers, culture benders and trendsetters,” said Hernandez. “I’m excited and honored to join Campbell and the Combate Americas team because we are committed to ensuring new generations see themselves reflected in its fandom. Our audiences and the heroes who bring our franchise to life are the spirit of Combate.”

Combate Americas isn’t the only MMA outfit looking to capitalize on the Hispanic market for the sport. But it’s the one that has taken it the furthest, beginning with an eponymous reality show—similar to The Ultimate Fighter series which helped push the UFC into the mainstream more than a decade ago. The addition of Hernandez, a proven leader in the business, is a clear indicator that McLaren is trying to position Combate atop all the non-UFC promotions in the sport. Last month’s deal between the UFC and ESPN shows that key broadcasters have high interest in MMA programming; Hernandez seems the right fit for growth on that important front.

Combate Americas currently has media agreements with Univision, Azteca 7, ESPN LATAM and Gol, and plans to announce its next round of events soon.

Cover Image: courtesy Combate Americas

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

  • NestleWatersNANestle Waters North America and WWE presented a joint campaign to encourage consumers to live a healthy lifestyle and “choose water.” Additionally to the campaign, WWE and Nestle will release custom, co-branded, digital videos, featuring WWE Superstars Charlotte Flai®, Natalya, The New Day, Sin Cara and Titus O’Neil.
  • AXS TV will carry New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Special in San Francisco on July 7 at 8p. “As New Japan Pro Wrestling continues their U.S. expansion, we are proud to provide a platform for NJPW and TV Asahi to bring their electrifying events to as many fans as possible through our live, primetime broadcasts,” said AXS TV Fights CEO Andrew Simon.
  • AirAsia made a deal with UFC, as a sponsor of UFC Fight Night Singapore, which meets Cowboy vs. Edwards on June 23. This will be the first UFC-branded AirAsia Airbus A330-300. “This exemplary partnership between UFC and AirAsia is a testament to the passion behind these two inspiring brands,” stated UFC Vice President, International Marketing Partnerships, Rene Valencia. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

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  • Turtle Beach announced a new multi-year partnership to outfit esports Overwatch League, the Houston Outlaws. The team will use Turtle Beach’s Elite gear during training, streams, and practice, and the two organizations will collaborate to bring Outlaws fans closer to the pro players with behind the scenes content and activations. According to a 2014 Think Now Research study Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to buy and wear video game branded apparel.
  • WWEWWE and Mexico’s newest national broadcast television network, Imagen Television, made a new agreement to broadcast WWE’s flagship programs Raw and SmackDown on free-to-air television in Mexico.
  • Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment (VWSE) and Jersey Mike’s Subs announced the title sponsorship of the 2018 Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic, an annual pre-season college basketball tournament, to be held in Montego Bay. The newest NCAA basketball MTE tournament for college teams and their fans will be held November 16-18, 2018, in one of the most iconic destinations in the Caribbean.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill announced a partnership with TSM, as the team’s first-ever TSM Fortnite House sponsor. This partnership will feature multiple integrations, streaming exposure, and other activations.
  • Riot Games is planning on consolidating its existing pro leagues in Latin America under one banner.  The combined league will be played out of Santiago, Chile, with the move designed to improve the competitive level offered by the region.

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

  • Minor League BaseballMinor League Baseball (MiLB) extended its official partnership with technology and payment service provider FIS Global, as the preferred payment and loyalty technology provider through 2022.
  • For the third time, Taco Bell’s “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion is officially back for the NBA Finals. When a road team “steals” a win from the local team during finals, fans can get a free Doritos Locos Taco throughout the country. “The NBA Finals and Taco Bell are the perfect matchups, and we can’t wait to once again raise the stakes of an already fierce competition by putting free Doritos Locos Tacos for America on the line,” said Marisa Thalberg, Global Chief Brand Officer, Taco Bell Corp.
  • UFC confirmed its first fight in Russia, to be held on Sept. 15, at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow for UFC Fight Night Moscow. “Russia is a key part of UFC’s international expansion strategy,” stated David Shaw, Senior Vice President, UFC International, and Content. “The demand from our fans to bring a live event to Russia has been overwhelming, and with the vast potential this market holds for us, we knew this was the perfect time to bring UFC Fight Night to Moscow.” Andre Gromkovski has been appointed as Vice President, UFC Russia.

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  • MiLB, together with Satisfi Labs, has launched bilingual computer assistant bots, both in Spanish and English. The computer system will run through Facebook Messenger and will answer fans’ questions regarding routine details like ticketing, parking, and stadium amenities, as well as more important facts about the teams themselves. The bot is designed to be fluent in both English and Spanish. Some of the teams that are already using this technology are Hillsboro Hops and the Hillsboro Lúpulos.
  • R Λ Z Ξ RRazer signed an official two-year sponsorship deal with Overwatch League squad Los Angeles Valiant, as part of a wider deal with the Immortals global esports organization. “Team Razer is committed to fostering a roster of passionate and truly ambitious esports players,” stated Min-Liang Tan, Razer Co-Founder, and CEO. On average, Hispanics play video games more often than Non-Hispanics (12 hours per week vs. 9 hours for Non-Hispanics), according to a 2014 Think Now Research study.
  • Sports Illustrated TV and Major League Baseball announced a new licensing and original content agreement. Through the arrangement, SI TV will have access to MLB’s library of games, documentaries, and shows, as well as a co-production deal for two original long-form documentaries. The alliance also includes a co-production deal that will partner MLB and SI TV on two original baseball documentaries. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

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

  • Call of Duty esportsThe Call of Duty World League inked a deal with TV brand TCL. Now, TCL will be featured in tournament broadcasts, and have branding in original Call of Duty World League programming, and more. According to a 2014 Think Now Research study, Hispanics expressed more interest in watching others play video games compared to Non-Hispanics.
  • The NBA and Intel Capital announced a new technology innovation collaboration by the name of “NBA + Intel Capital Emerging Technology Initiative.” The multiyear deal will foster the identification, formation, and growth of technology companies that have the potential to impact the future of the NBA, sports, and entertainment. “With this new initiative, the NBA and Intel Capital aim to bring extensive human and technology resources into companies we believe will lead the next wave of transformation in sports and entertainment,” said Wendell Brooks, senior vice president of Intel Corporation and president of Intel Capital.

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  • Emirates AirlineEmirates Airline, F1 Global Partner since 2013, renewed and expanded its partnership with Formula 1 until the end of 2022. Emirates will now have an expanded branding and consumer activation presence at over 15 races on the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar spanning Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America, in addition to Emirates being the Title Sponsor of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and for the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim.
  • The NBA, the International Basketball Federation and the Basketball Federation of India announced that Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Asia 2018 would be held from May 30 to June 2 at The NBA Academy India in Delhi National Capital Region. BWB Asia 2018 brings together the top male and female players ages 17 and under from throughout the Asia-Pacific region to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends, and coaches and to compete against other young players from the region.
  • UFCUFC made a multi-year media rights agreement with The Walt Disney Company’s new Direct-To-Consumer & International segment, that will see exclusive live UFC content run on ESPN+, as well as across a variety of ESPN’s television, social and digital platforms, in English and Spanish, starting January 2019.
  • Williams Racing has launched an official esports team, which will now run competitions for gamers to earn their place on the Williams eSports roster. There are already three drivers signed to the Williams eSports roster: Javier Perez, Jani Vitsaniemi, and Bernardo Perez. As part of its activity in 2018, the team will contest the second season of the Formula 1 eSports Pro Series. On average, Hispanics play video games more often than Non-Hispanics (12 hours per week vs. 9 hours for Non-Hispanics), according to hispanicgamers.com.

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What: Combate Americas drew strong ratings on its two live April broadcasts, “Combate Estrellas I” and “Combate Estrellas II” on Univision and Univision Deportes, as well as in Mexico on Azteca 7.
Why it matters: Combate Americas is positioning itself as a premier destination for Hispanic MMA fans, and advertisers have followed.

Combate Americas (@combateamericas), which bills itself as the premier Hispanic mixed martial arts franchise, last week announced the ratings for its first two, live 2018 events, which aired on consecutive Fridays, April 13 (Combate Estrellas I) and April 20 (Combate Estrellas II), in the U.S. and Mexico. Showing the early strength of the new brand and growth of the sport in the Latino community in general, Combate CEO Campbell McLaren (@campbellcombatewas pleased with the numbers.

“The amazing growth of our TV ratings confirms we are the hottest MMA promotion in the world,” McLaren said in a statement. Portada featured McLaren and Combate in an exclusive Q&A last month heading into the events.

According to its release, “Combate Estrellas I,” airing on Univision (@Univision) and simulcast on Univision Deportes Network, drew 583,000 viewers, including a strong 296,000 in the 18-49 demo in the U.S., while garnering more than 4,000,000 pairs of eyeballs on Mexican powerhouse broadcaster Azteca 7.

Combates Estrella II, exclusively broadcasted on UDN, had 200,000 viewers.

In the Hispanic world, Combate Americas has taken the most focused steps, and advertisers have taken notice.

MMA, which began to find a more mainstream audience in the last decade in the U.S. through UFC and other promotions’ agreements with Fox, CBS, AXS TV and others, continues to be a hit with a Latino community steeped in the boxing world. What was one more of a “Wild West” has trimmed somewhat to a more manageable roster of promoters, each finding a niche in the sport.

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In the Hispanic world, Combate Americas has taken the most focused steps, and advertisers have taken notice. Anheuser-Busch’s Estrella Jalisco (@EstrellaJalisco), Advance Auto Parts (@AdvanceAuto), Double Cross Vodka (), HOT 6 Energy Drink and Battle Boom Gaming were all partners for Combate Estrellas II, with fighters from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Argentina among the athletes competing on the cards.

Combates Estrella III, featuring some of the preliminary bouts not shown in the first two events, aired on UDN this past Friday. The next broadcast is set for May 11, live from Sacramento, in Combate Mexico vs. USA.

Cover Image: Credit Combate Americas

What: Modelo Especial has become the official import beer of the MLS’s LA Galaxy, strengthening its deep connection in the sport.
Why it matters: Combined with official beer status with the UFC, Constellation Brands has positioned Modelo well within two sports (MMA and soccer) that resonate strongly with Latino fans.

Constellation Brands (@cbrands) has announced it has extended and expanded its partnership with the MLS L.A. Galaxy (@LAGalaxyand StubHub Center, making Modelo Especial (@ModeloUSAthe official import beer of the club and stadium. The multiyear deal also includes building a Modelo-branded area atop the west terrace. Modelo will also be a lead marketing partner of the team, which will include co-branding marketing materials, fan merchandise, consumer promotions and fan engagements.

Previously the Modelo Especial brand was the exclusive import beer sponsor of both the LA Galaxy and their StubHub Center home. Given that the San Diego Chargers are also playing in the StubHub Center these days, is more Modelo in the offing for sports marketing?

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With the expansion of soccer, Modelo can continue to tie to a pair of sports, fight sports and soccer, that are truly aligned with Latino culture in the U.S.

In addition to their soccer spends, which also includes a partnership that runs until 2020 with CONCACAF (@Concacafand their events from the the Gold Cup, the Women’s World Cup Qualifying Championship, Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, the Futsal Championship, the Beach Soccer Championship and club soccer’s CONCACAF Champions League, the brand is now tied closely to the UFC (@ufc).

Modelo became the official beer of the UFC at the start of 2018, replacing Bud Light, which had served in the role since 2008. Its “Fighting Spirit” tagline fits well with the MMA culture, and Modelo’s build out for consumer and athlete partnerships is just beginning. With the expansion of soccer, Modelo can continue to tie to a pair of sports, fight sports and soccer, that are truly aligned with Latino culture in the U.S., and their brand loyalty build should continue to escalate as they expand marketshare.

Check out the stars of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

cover image courtesy LA Galaxy