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

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

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Chicharito Soccer Activation

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

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

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

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

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

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