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

  • Visa and Canada’s TSN, host to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, locked a partnership through which the network will produce custom content airing throughout the tournament, as well as digital and social media executions featuring Canadian Women’s National Team captain and Team Visa athlete Christine Sinclair.

 

  • Bill FoleyBill Foley, owner of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Vegas Golden Knights, confirmed interest in leading a bid to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise to Las Vegas, to play at a renovated Cashman Field, home of the United Soccer League’s (USL) Las Vegas Lights. “I’m very interested in this and we are working on making it happen,” Foley told the Review-Journal. “I think soccer is the new football for many parents who don’t want their children playing [tackle football]. I think we could be just as successful with soccer as we have been with hockey. We have all the infrastructure in place to make it very successful.

 

  • FOX Sports broadcast all 52 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France matches in 4k. This is the first time 4K content to be offered in the FOX Sports App.

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  • Following the 2019 Women’s World Cup Fifa, Fifa confirmed its means to negotiate increased prize money for women’s national soccer teams. The news comes after the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) called on Fifa to offer the same amount of prize money for teams at the Women’s World Cup as it does in the men’s tournament.

 

  • Orlando City SCMLS team Orlando City has signed a deal with timeshare and holiday rental company Exploria Resorts, to become the franchise’s first naming rights partner for their home stadium. The 25,500-seat seat arena, also home to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side the Orlando Pride, will now be called the Exploria Stadium and sees the company secure signage, banners, kiosks, and booths throughout the venue. Financial details of the partnership have not been disclosed.

 

  • FOX Sports’ FIFA Women’s World Cup Now will live stream on Twitter, co-hosted by Karina LeBlanc and Aaron West. The company said each match will have its own dedicated page, featuring multiple timelines for top commentary and the latest tweets, as well as live video from publishers covering every, shot, save, and goal.

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  • Women’s soccer fandom is mainly driven by Hispanics, with more than half (58%) describing themselves as fans of women’s soccer compared to 39% of non-Hispanics, shows a new “La Ola de la FIFA” study commissioned by NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises in a partnership with Horowitz Research. NBCUniversalstates that. 24% of Hispanics consider themselves as die-hard fans compared to just 6% of non-Hispanics. 51%of Hispanics and 35% of non-Hispanics (and 35%, feel that in the next five years, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be equally as popular as the Men’s FIFA World Cup.

 

  • Grey Argentina partnered with Telemundo on a campaign centered around the slogan: “If they fought so hard to get here, watch what they’ll do to win the Cup,” in the context of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. “We are extremely proud of the work we did for the joint campaign we developed with Grey.  It has allowed us not only to promote the FIFA Women’s World Cup but also to show our audience the reality behind many of the players we see excel on the field,” stated Karen Barroeta, Senior Vice President for Marketing and Creativity at Telemundo Networks

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

  • Spanish Atlético de Madrid will face the best in MLS in the 2019 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, played at Orlando City Stadium on July 31and televised domestically on FS1 and UniMás in the U.S., on TSN and TVA Sports in Canada, and in more than 170 countries around the world. “The atmosphere in Orlando will be intense and memorable when Atlético de Madrid takes on the MLS All-Stars,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.  “Atlético de Madrid joins the list of the many prominent clubs in global soccer to play in our midseason showcase, and we know the passionate supporters that make up The Wall and the rest of Orlando City Stadium will provide a distinctive home-field advantage for the MLS All-Stars.”

 

  • VisaVisa presented its global marketing campaign for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. The campaign is titled “One Moment Can Change the Game” and designed to amplify “the meaningful moments women are creating on and off the pitch, whether it be inspiring athletic greatness on the field, influencing business outcomes in the boardroom or driving economic impact at home and across industries.”

 

  • England’s women’s national soccer team locked deals in the past few months with sports drink giant Lucozade, beer brand Budweiser and health and beauty retailer Boots UK, and Lewis. England’s Lionesses got more interest from publishers and brands for this summer’s Fifa Women’s World Cup than the men’s team received for the male equivalent in Russia, according to Georgina Lewis, head of marketing at the Football Association (FA).

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  • HBO got hold of the exclusive US television and streaming rights to the feature-length film Diego Maradona. Drawing on more than 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from the Argentine icon’s personal archives, the documentary debuts Sept. 24 at 8p. Asif Kapadia will be executive producer and director.

 

  • Univision DeportesUnivision Deportes announced a rebrand, evolving its multi-platform sports brand and cable network into ‘TUDN’. Under the TUDN brand, “Univision will continue to deliver more live soccer than any other U.S. media company while offering a richer and more engaging experience through new world-class programming, all-star talent and enhanced production capabilities,” according to the announcement, debuting this summer and debuting in Mexico simultaneously as part of a collaboration between the sports divisions of Univision and Grupo Televisa.

 

  • beIN SPORTS USA and HC2 Network announced a partnership with Azteca America, to represent media sales under one unified force in the United States. This marks a television network milestone as Azteca America leads media sales for beIN’s English and Spanish-language TV channels to cover advertisers and clients under one umbrella on an exclusive basis – including beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Español, and beIN SPORTS CONNECT, the live streaming platform.

 

  • Allstate has recognized 100 of the top high school soccer players in the country for their on-field achievements, naming them as 2019 Allstate All-Americans. These players will join the 150 standout teens previously named to the list after the fall soccer season. These final 100 players will complete the full list of 250 players representative of every state in the country.

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  • Ramón Loarte, Sevilla’s chief marketing officer explained the Spanish league was late to recognize the value of marketing to an international audience but is now focusing on growing its audience around the world. “Honestly, I think we all have been very lazy understanding that the Spanish league is worldwide,” Loarte said Tuesday, comparing La Liga with England’s Premier League.

 

  • AXAEnglish soccer team Liverpool and AXA have extended their partnership, which makes AXA the team’s official training kit partner from the 2019/20 season. The Premier League club initially struck a four-year deal with AXA in 2018 which saw the insurance firm become a global partner, with the expanded contract covering three years until the end of the 2021/22 season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

 

  • Patrick Lowe has become La Liga’s new North American head of sales. Lowe will lead on all commercial efforts in the US and Canada across a variety of properties, including digital and social content, experiential and events, and sporting development projects. Before this announcement, Lowe worked at La Liga’s headquarters in Madrid as the global partnerships sales manager.

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

  • Minnesota United FCMinnesota United have signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with PepsiCo, making Pepsi the official soft drink partner of the team. The new deal makes PepsiCo the exclusive beverage provider at the club’s new Allianz Field. “We are excited to be partnering with such an iconic brand like Pepsi as we enter a new stage in Minnesota United history,” stated Minnesota United chief executive, Chris Wright. “This partnership is an important foundation to the exceptional food and beverage experience we are striving to create for all guests of Allianz Field.”

 

  • The Seattle Sounders have extended their relationship with healthcare provider CHI Franciscan to make it their official training jersey partner through 2020. “CHI Franciscan is excited to further our partnership with Seattle Sounders and together engage thousands of fans about the importance of living an active and healthy lifestyle,” stated Ketul J Patel, chief executive of CHI Franciscan. “The Sounders are role models in our communities and have been exceptional partners in health.”

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  • Victor MontaglianiVictor Montagliani will continue working as president of Concacaf during four more years, until 2023. “Football has become our total priority and that’s thanks to our togetherness as one Concacaf,” said Montagliani. “Thank you for your support to serve as president for the next four years.”

 

  • US nutritional foods manufacturer Luna Bar has donated US$718,750 to the US women’s national soccer team (USWNT) to compensate for the pay-gap between the country’s male and female professional players. “It’s ironic that one of the most popular sports in the world is still experiencing pay inequalities between women and men,” said Kit Crawford, co-chief executive of Luna Bar’s parent company, Clif Bar.

What: We talked to Jim Zabel, Marketing VP at Volkswagen about the brand’s integrated partnership with U.S. Soccer, making VW the presenting automotive partner to the Federation through 2022.
Why it matters: Volkswagen has committed to help U.S. Soccer with the league’s mission to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States by increasing participation, developing world-class players, coaches, and referees, and increasing fan engagement with the sport.

Some time back, U.S. Soccer announced its goal to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States. In mid-January 2019, the national soccer organization announced that Volkswagen of America (VW) would be key to making this happen with its commitment as the official presenting-automotive partner to the Federation through 2022.

How are they planning to make this happen? By increasing participation, developing world-class players, coaches, and referees; and increasing fan engagement around the sport.

As part of this historic partnership, Volkswagen branding will be put on training tops for all U.S. Soccer National Teams, including the Men’s and Women’s National Teams; all Youth National Teams; the Football 7-a-side, Beach, and Futsal National Teams; and training tops used by the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

We talked to Jim Zabel, Vice President of Marketing at VW, about the recent partnership and VW’s marketing expectations.

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Volkswagen USAPortada: Why is U.S. Soccer the right fit for such a big partnership?

Jim Zabel: Volkswagen is a proudly American brand and we would like to use the U.S. national team partnership to broaden our appeal and showcase our SUVs to families all over the U.S.

Portada: Why is now the right moment for this deal? 

JZ: The US Women’s team is defending its World Cup championship. And the men are in a rebuilding phase. Soccer is the third largest participatory sport in the U.S., with many young families spending their weekends involved in the sport.

Also, soccer aligns with where we want to go as a brand: 32-percent of U.S. soccer fans are more likely to purchase an SUV in the next 12 months compared to the general population, and 32-percent are more likely to have participated in a carpool in the past seven days. Finally, soccer fans are affluent, digitally native, and millennial, and they represent a strongly diversified audience.

32-percent of U.S. soccer fans are more likely to purchase an SUV in the next 12 months compared to the general population.

Portada: How will VW leverage this partnership?

JZ: We get exposure from the logo being placed on all U.S. national team training apparel, at U.S. team events and with child escorts for the players. We can use soccer events for vehicle activations, ride & drives, and dealer opportunities. Volkswagen marks will be integrated into U.S. Soccer controlled marketing, social media, digital, and mobile; and we can leverage using a variety of platforms.

Portada: Which platforms will you use? 

JZ: All the usual ones: broadcast, digital and social media, along with broadcast media integration; grassroots and stadium events; ride and drives at the grassroots levels; and PR events, by using players and launch support.

The Portada Los Angeles Summit 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.

U.S. SoccerPortada: Where does soccer stand right now in the U.S. in terms of how attractive it is for brands to make marketing partnerships with it? 

JZ: VW owners have a very strong affinity for soccer. Soccer’s fan base is at least 10 years younger than fans of the NFL, MLB, and NHL, as well as college football audiences, and soccer is also the third largest participatory sport in the U.S.

Soccer’s fan base is at least 10 years younger than fans of the NFL, MLB, and NHL.

Portada: How will VW help U.S. soccer become the preeminent sport in the United States? 

JZ: The goal is to be the most-played, most-engaged, most-beloved, and most-respected sport. Volkswagen plans to help accomplish this by creating awareness to drive increased participation at the grassroots level (youth and adult); the brand’s support will go towards programs for developing players, coaches, and referees; and finally Volkswagen’s strong brand reach will capture more potential fans across the U.S.

Volkswagen’s strong brand reach will capture more potential fans across the U.S.

 

What: Portada New York included two sports marketing panels, featuring Portada Sports Marketing Board member and Allstate Director Consumer Marketing-Sponsorships, Daniel Keats, Comcast’s Hispanic Marketing Director Alejandro Solorio, Michael Neuman, EVP, Managing Partner, Scout Sports and Entertainment and Jon Patricof, president of the New York City Football Club.
Why it matters: Even though soccer is yet growing in the United States, marketers need to take advantage of the sports business potential of the event; the #PortadaNY panels offered interesting insights on the opportunities to look out for.

Tuesday may have been a dark and rainy day in New York, but it was filled with several bright moments around the business of soccer and engagement, especially with the Latino community.
Portada New York included a morning session centered on this past summer’s World Cup and the various ways brands, whether they were official partners or not, found ways to both engage and grow their soccer involvement. Portada Sports Marketing board member and Allstate (@AllstateDirector of Sports Marketing Daniel Keats and Comcast’s (@comcastHispanic Marketing Director Alejandro Solorio offered their thoughts in a great discussion.

Some key takeaways

Mexico fans at World Cup 2018 Credit: Soccer.ru

The passion of soccer in the U,S, is still evolving; you didn’t have to be a World Cup brand to realize the sports business potential of the event. We were not, yet we were able to find ways through our work with the Mexican National Team to take advantage of their success and expand our reach. We believe our programs are going to yield great benefits over time as we build the fan and consumer for life.” – Daniel Keats, Director Consumer Marketing-Sponsorships, Allstate Insurance

“Our investment in soccer is for the long-term, starting at the grassroots with programs like LIGA MX and Alianza de futbol, which creates professional and college opportunities for young Latino players. We think this is the right way to engage the Latino consumer, especially the family, over an extended period and will see our return over time.” – Daniel Keats, Director Consumer Marketing-Sponsorships, Allstate Insurance

All in all the message was clear for the morning: brands and media companies have found a path that works for them…

Solorio talked at length about Comcast’s technical innovations using video and data in the mobile space during the World Cup to provide custom viewing experiences for fans, but more importantly he was adamant that investing in the sport means establishing touch points not just around one massive event, but throughout the year.

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.

Soccer needs to be seen as a strategy not a tactic, you have to be immersed in the sport if you want to be seen as authentic, whether you are speaking to an Anglo or Latino consumer.” – Alejandro Solorio, Hispanic Marketing Director, Comcast Corporation

All in all the message was clear for the morning: brands and media companies have found a path that works for them, and it takes them right to the heart of the fastest growing demo in the U.S., the increasingly affluent and always engaged Latino consumer.

NYCFC grows its brand proactively

In a discussion between NYCFC President Jon Patricof and Michael Neuman, EVP, Managing Partner at Scout Sports and Entertainment, a division of Horizon Media (and Portada Sports Marketing Board member), the growth of NYCFC as a property in the crowded marketplace was quite evident. Not only is the club growing as it again heads towards the MLS Playoffs, but it is being a proactive leader in soccer in North America.

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Some key thoughts from Patricof:

Michael Neuman and Jon Patricof

The idea of relegation is somewhat overblown. If you look at the success of teams in the USL,  the teams that do well are getting the chance to move up to MLS which is the most important thing if you are a brand that is looking for growth.”

“We know that there are four million soccer fans in the New York area. Of the four million, only 280,000 we have identified as fans of NYCFC. Our job is to help convert the rest of that audience to engage with our team and brand. Once we have them at our matches at Yankee Stadium, we can convert them, but that takes time.”

“Soccer is at a very dynamic moment in time with regard to access. What the NFL, the NBA and other leagues have done is give the media and fans access to learn about the personalities of their Teams. That has not traditionally been done with our sport. As part of City Football, we are changing that. We create great content and events that tell the stories of our players and we give access to fans. It’s the best way to convert savvy soccer fans to join us, and we know that once they get that access they will stay for life.”

Are there still challenges ahead for all those who spoke on Tuesday? For sure, The uncertainty of where US Soccer is going, even with a World Cup coming to North America in 2026, as well as the continued fluidity of MLS (@MLS) (especially as NYCFC (@NYCFCstills searches  for a permanent home), as well as the increased presence of elite European clubs om the business environment in the US present some dark clouds for all, but for the most part, soccer remains a growth property in the U.S., and the ways brands, teams, media companies and even leagues will find ways to engage is still on the upswing. And provided some great learning experiences for all in attendance at Portada New York.

 

What: Carlos Cordeiro has been elected president of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Why it matters: Can Cordeiro point U.S. Soccer back in the right direction, and will his Hispanic background influence the organization’s marketing efforts moving forward?

The U.S. Soccer Federation has a new president: Carlos Cordeiro, a longtime soccer “insider” of Colombian-Portuguese-Indian heritage, won a contentious election on Saturday in Orlando. Cordeiro, a 61 year old, the oldest of the finalists for the position, arrived in the U.S. when he was 15 years old with his widowed mother. The majority of his business career was spent with Goldman Sachs and he served as Vice-Chairman Asia. He continues to be associated with the company through a position as an honorary advisor.

Cordeiro takes over the position from longtime president Sunil Gulati amidst a business crossroads for American soccer. The men’s national team did not make the World Cup, and a joint bid with Canada and Mexico is coming together for the 2026 World Cup, which many see as essential for the continued growth of the game on all levels.

“My campaign was all about being more collaborative, inclusive, working on teams,” Cordeiro said of the style he will use as federation president, the chair of the board of directors, on Saturday. “You will see a very different leadership going forward.”

The new president will also be under the watchful eye of brands looking to engage in the game.

Cordeiro admits he is not a soccer expert, having never played the game past the age of 15, but wants to use his business acumen to build consensus for the future of the sport in the U.S. part of which is the continued power of the Latino audience and brands that are looking to engage in soccer. Liga MX continues to post the largest audiences in the U.S. in terms of broadcast numbers, and the continued growth of MLS from an audience and sponsorship side, working with USSF is vital. Soccer in the U.S. is also a key development point for a growing number of elite soccer clubs around the globe, with LaLiga now having an office in the States and other clubs looking to better engage with an American fan base directly. That may be competition for USSF, which is why unity throughout the fractured governance is going to be key for his regime.

Under Cordeiro, who has served as the federation’s vice president for the last two years and as an independent board member for nine years before that, the federation president will have less power than Gulati did. While other candidates were spending more time speaking to the media, Cordeiro kept a lower media profile and focused more on traveling to spend time with the voters.

On the business side, Cordeiro wants to appoint an independent board member to oversee the awarding of future commercial rights contracts. He also said he will seek to make the game more affordable for players and coaches by increasing scholarships and grants around the country, something which could have a large positive impact on the children of Latino immigrants, who love and embrace soccer and its culture but may still find issues with the structure of USSF’s elite system.

The new president will also be under the watchful eye of brands looking to engage in the game. Should they put their time and effort into a unified USSF and all its components, or look to the growing audiences of other leagues like the Bundesliga and the Premier League as they get an added promotional push from partners like FOX and NBC. There is no doubt the soccer and the business around it, is at a positive but careful crossroads in the U.S. Where the newly elected head will lead the sport is one we will watch carefully.

Far removed from their height in popularity during the Pelé years of 1975, ’76 and ’77, the New York Cosmos have enjoyed a huge resurgence lately, but are at risk of becoming defunct unless the North American Soccer League scores a major assist.

Since a rebirth in 2010, and just as they were in the 1970s and 80s, the Cosmos are a mainstay of the NASL. Their imprint on the pitch and in the soccer community is widespread.

Considered by many as a force in the NASL, the Cosmos have won the championship three out of the previous five seasons — 2013, 2015, 2016.

And after a four-year stint on the campus of Long Island’s Hofstra University, the 2017 club relocated to the more intimate setting of MCU Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The move not only helped expand its fan base and brand recognition to Brooklynites, but it also catapulted them to their third consecutive championship game.

They ultimately fell short to the San Francisco Deltas, yet in the losing effort, the Cosmos positioned themselves for an exciting 2018 campaign.But, that’s assuming that there will be a 2018 season.

On a conference call with the media in late September, NASL legal counsel Jeffrey Kessler stressed the importance of the league’s upcoming appeal on December 15: “In order for the NASL to continue in 2018, and to grow and to survive, it needs to obtain a preliminary injunction from the court to retain its Division II status,” said Kessler.

NASL interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal confirmed last month that they remain confident about regaining their Division II status, which had been rescinded by the U.S. Soccer Federation. Also part of Sehgal’s announcement was that the defending champion Deltas and FC Edmonton would not return next season.

Despite the hearing quickly approaching, Sehgal has been buoyed by the number of expansion candidates that have expressed interest in joining the NASL.

As the fate of the NASL rests with the court’s decision on Friday, an injunction would benefit the Cosmos the most, as they would like to get back to the business of winning.

The Chelsea Premier League Football Club from England is making significant efforts to grow the sport of soccer in the United States and engage young players in new and exciting ways. Chelsea is one of an array of  European clubs (e.g. Bayern Munich, Barcelona) that are investing in their U.S. expansion.

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On Tuesday, November 28th, the Chelsea Premier League Football Club from England made their way to the Frederick Douglass Academy for grades 6-12 in Harlem. Their goal was simple: Promote soccer in the United States and engage young players in new and exciting ways. But, the trip had an even bigger unveiling. The Club was breaking ground on a brand-new, multi-million dollar covered outdoor soccer facility for the youth players of Harlem. On top of that, the day would include appearances from Chelsea FC legends Ashley Cole and Michael Essien. The state of the art facility, due to be completed in Fall 2018, would host a variety of soccer programs for many different ages of players. Once construction is complete, thousands of young soccer players in the greater Harlem area will be able to play soccer year round.

When asked about the long-term goals of the programs and new facility, Ian Woodroffe, the Head of International Coaching Development for Chelsea FC, had this to say:

“Taking kids and giving them additional enrichment and opportunities to aspire to be better citizens and go on to bigger and better things. Some will get scholarships, and are looking to develop as players. But, it’s also about getting ready for adult life and giving them the skills and additional support beyond the program. That’s why FC Harlem has been doing well for a number of years, and we wanted to continue that support.”

Investment in Youth Soccer

It is clear that Chelsea FC is making significant efforts to grow the sport of soccer in the United States. By their investment in youth soccer in Harlem, they are laying the foundation for future years of success and growth for the community. In the end, Chelsea is also going to see a large following coming from the Harlem area and beyond thanks to the new facility and its programs.

It was exciting to see two of the best Premier League players of their time in person. Once they entered the gym, there was a new buzz and sense of energy. Almost immediately, the students at the academy starting running drills with Chelsea staff along with Cole and Essien. For the next 30 minutes, the gym became a flurry of different moves and soccer balls skidding along the floor.

FC investment in youth soccer in Harlem, is laying the foundation for future years of success and growth for the community.

The entire event was a blast for everyone involved. There were various media outlets scattered throughout the gym filming the session. The kids were playing with two of the most accomplished premier league players in the last 25 years, and their excitement showed that. I was able to capture some great clips of Ashley Cole performing moves that looked like magic tricks.

Once the training session was over, the kids, staff, and players talked for a bit and then took pictures with the 2016/2017 Premier League Trophy Chelsea won last season. After that, the Chelsea staff, media, and the group traveled to the site of the future soccer facility just a few minutes away. Once we arrived, we walked down onto the site and had another opportunity to take more pictures with the players, staff, and trophy.

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What: Johnson & Johnson announced a multi-year extension of its sponsorship as official healthcare partner of MLS and US Soccer.
Why It Matters: The sponsorship was first activated in 2015 and this is the second time the consumer brand renews its sponsorship.

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. announced a multi-year renewal of its soccer marketing partnerships with the MLS and US Soccer, the official governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States. J&J will be both leagues’ official healthcare sponsor.

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Brands will be integrated throughout different platforms including digital, broadcast and video content, as well as in-stadium exposure. Johnson & Johnson will also continue to create on-site activations during relevant MLS events, such as the All-Star Game, which is presented by Target and the MLS Cup.

Nominate your candidates! Call for Entries: 2018 Golazo Soccer World Cup Campaign Award!

For the US Soccer partnership, the healthcare company will sponsor both male and female senior and youth national teams.

Johnson & Johnson will use its partnership to expose many of its different brands on the field. It will also integrate it into its marketing strategies, including the Johnson & Johnson Donate a Photo app, through which people can connect with causes that they care about and other key platforms and partners.

What: Major League Soccer (MLS) and U.S. Soccer have closed an 8-year agreement with sports and entertainment powerhouse IMG to market and distribute international media rights.
Why it matters:The deal includes both MLS and U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches played on American soil, as well as qualifying games for two World Cup cycles but leaves out media rights of MLS, U.S. Soccer in the United States and Canada. IMG will market the rights across all platforms including digital and gaming.

mlsMajor League Soccer (MLS) and U.S. Soccer have partnered with sports and entertainment powerhouse IMG to market and distribute international media rights for the two soccer organizations for the next eight years. The deal was closed between IMG and Soccer United Marketing (SUM), which represents MLS and U.S. Soccer’s commercial rights.

The long-term agreement, from 2015-2022, includes both MLS and U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches played on American soil, as well as qualifying games for two World Cup cycles. It does not affect the media rights of MLS, U.S. Soccer in the United States and Canada. The rights to MLS and U.S. Soccer matches were already picked up by ESPN, Fox, and Univision through a deal early this year.

IMG, a company that specializes in events and media licensing, will market the rights across all platforms including digital and gaming. Since 1999, the IMG Academy has become a factory for developing quality MLS and US Soccer players under the program “Project 2010.” Despite Project 2010 no longer exists, the IMG Academy is still used to house U.S. U-17 residency program as well as provide the training grounds for Generation Adidas.

“With two new expansion clubs in New York and Orlando, global stars like David Villa, Frank Lampard and Kaka set to join the league, and players representing almost 60 countries, 2015 will be an exciting year for MLS. IMG’s expertise and unique position in the global marketplace make them the right partner for us and together we’ll grow the league’s global footprint.” said Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director, MLS Business Ventures.

Ioris Francini, President of IMG Events and Media, said: “Football in the U.S. is very much on an upward curve following the U.S. Men’s National Team’s excellent showing in the World Cup in Brazil and the continued expansion and development of MLS.MLS is experiencing vast growth in attendance, investment, stadia infrastructure, TV audience and domestic and international player transfers. This is unlike any other league today.”

Longtime partners

This is not the MLS and US Soccer’s first partnership. The organizatons are tied since the MLS’ formation in 1994 for developing both club football and the National Team. This partnership was recently brought up by MLS Commissioner when criticizing U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.Currently the MLS regular season runs from March to October with 19 teams – 16 from the U.S. and three from Canada – taking part in the Eastern and Western Conferences. The top ten teams compete in the post-season MLS Cup Playoffs in November, culminating in the championship game, MLS Cup, in December.

In 2015, the league will increase to 21 clubs with New York City FC and Orlando City SC joining MLS. Both teams have announced marquee signings with Chelsea’s record goal scorer Frank Lampard and Spain’s leading marksman David Villa joining NYCFC, and Brazilian Ballon’Dor winner Kaka signing for Orlando City. In 2017, Atlanta will take the number of clubs to 22.

 

What: Major League Soccer (MLS) and U.S. Soccer have closed an 8-year agreement with sports and entertainment powerhouse IMG to market and distribute international media rights.
Why it matters:The deal includes both MLS and U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches played on American soil, as well as qualifying games for two World Cup cycles but leaves out media rights of MLS, U.S. Soccer in the United States and Canada. IMG will market the rights across all platforms including digital and gaming.

mlsMajor League Soccer (MLS) and U.S. Soccer have partnered with sports and entertainment powerhouse IMG to market and distribute international media rights for the two soccer organizations for the next eight years. The deal was closed between IMG and Soccer United Marketing (SUM), which represents MLS and U.S. Soccer’s commercial rights.

The long-term agreement, from 2015-2022, includes both MLS and U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches played on American soil, as well as qualifying games for two World Cup cycles. It does not affect the media rights of MLS, U.S. Soccer in the United States and Canada. The rights to MLS and U.S. Soccer matches were already picked up by ESPN, Fox, and Univision through a deal early this year.

IMG, a company that specializes in events and media licensing, will market the rights across all platforms including digital and gaming. Since 1999, the IMG Academy has become a factory for developing quality MLS and US Soccer players under the program “Project 2010.” Despite Project 2010 no longer exists, the IMG Academy is still used to house U.S. U-17 residency program as well as provide the training grounds for Generation Adidas.

“With two new expansion clubs in New York and Orlando, global stars like David Villa, Frank Lampard and Kaka set to join the league, and players representing almost 60 countries, 2015 will be an exciting year for MLS. IMG’s expertise and unique position in the global marketplace make them the right partner for us and together we’ll grow the league’s global footprint.” said Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director, MLS Business Ventures.

Ioris Francini, President of IMG Events and Media, said: “Football in the U.S. is very much on an upward curve following the U.S. Men’s National Team’s excellent showing in the World Cup in Brazil and the continued expansion and development of MLS.MLS is experiencing vast growth in attendance, investment, stadia infrastructure, TV audience and domestic and international player transfers. This is unlike any other league today.”

Longtime partners

This is not the MLS and US Soccer’s first partnership. The organizatons are tied since the MLS’ formation in 1994 for developing both club football and the National Team. This partnership was recently brought up by MLS Commissioner when criticizing U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.Currently the MLS regular season runs from March to October with 19 teams – 16 from the U.S. and three from Canada – taking part in the Eastern and Western Conferences. The top ten teams compete in the post-season MLS Cup Playoffs in November, culminating in the championship game, MLS Cup, in December.

In 2015, the league will increase to 21 clubs with New York City FC and Orlando City SC joining MLS. Both teams have announced marquee signings with Chelsea’s record goal scorer Frank Lampard and Spain’s leading marksman David Villa joining NYCFC, and Brazilian Ballon’Dor winner Kaka signing for Orlando City. In 2017, Atlanta will take the number of clubs to 22.

 

What? Mondelez has signed sponsorship deals with the U.S. national soccer leagues for both men and women. In addition, with star players Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders and Omar Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Alex Morgan, an Olympic gold medalist who plays for the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League, also signed a three-year deal with the brand. Mondelez also has signed a sponsorship deal with Las Chivas Guadalajara soccer team.
Why it matters: It’s the largest multibrand marketing effort to date for 1-year-old Mondelez and underlines the importance of soccer as a sponsorship vehicle and its cross cultural appeal.

mondelez.logoMondelez International Inc. has signed a sponsorship deal to become the official snacks partner of U.S. Soccer and announced three individual endorsement deals with the organization’s star players. The company also will be the official snacks sponsor of Club Deportivo Guadalajara, a team in Mexico, when the team plays in the United States.

The  snacks giant will be a marketing partner of the US Soccer League where it will promote its cookie, candy, cracker and gum products such as Oreo, Ritz, Trident and Sour Patch Kids, among others.

A company spokesman would not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

“It’s the start of a movement to help our great brands connect soccer, community and snacking in a way that makes consumers stand up and cheer,” Stephen Chriss, senior director of North America Consumer Engagement and Marketing Services at Mondelez, said in a news release. Mondelez also announced a three-year sponsorship deal with popular Mexican soccer team Club Deportivo Guadalajara — better known as Chivas — for games played in the U.S.

The brands will also promote their relationship with soccer prominently on social media, Mr. Chriss said. Oreo has 34.4 million followers on Facebook, the equivalent of almost 11 percent of the United States’ population. How much the players and soccer team will be featured in traditional advertising has yet to be determined, according to Mondelez.

The deal also could help the company reach the growing ranks of Hispanic consumers, whose interest in soccer is high, according to the NYT.

Among Hispanic men, 14 percent reported frequently watching World Cup soccer matches on television, compared with 7 percent of white men, and 9 percent of Hispanic men reported watching other soccer league matches, compared with 3 percent of white men, according to a 2012 report by Mintel, a research firm.

 

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