SBD/December 7, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tecate Exec Discusses Company's Strategy Of Reaching Hispanics Through Boxing

Palau says boxing sponsorship is part of long-term brand positioning
Tecate is a “rare brand -- beer or otherwise -- whose sports involvement is limited entirely to boxing,” and the company has used the sport in “reaching out to all Hispanics in the U.S.,” according to Karl Greenberg of MEDIA POST. The company's four-year-old boxing activities “are via relationships with the top boxing promotional organizations in the U.S.: Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank.” The company “activates at retail with limited-edition packaging, pay-per-view rebate deals with purchase, advertising, and a huge brand presence in major fights.” Tecate VP/Marketing Felix Palau recently discussed the company's marketing strategy. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Q: The first obvious question is why just boxing? Isn't soccer a bigger draw?
Palau: I think the most important point is that we really felt that we could be a significant player in this arena. It's about a long-term positioning for the brand. Instead of diluting our resources towards soccer, baseball or any other sport -- we'd love to but don't have those resources -- we align with boxing where we think we can be a significant player. But we need to be consistent and really disciplined in how we integrate here and in Mexico.

Q: How do you track ROI from boxing activities?
Palau: It's actually hard to track because it varies a lot by state. We look at it from a sales standpoint. There's a lot of money involved in promoting the fights in terms of media, the pay per views and even all of the specific tailored communications around all five big PPV events we sponsored this year. At the end of the day, we want to build positioning for Tecate that is all around character.

Q: Have you seen sales spike because of retail activities around PPV?
Palau: We see from 15% to 17% growth in sales, specifically in markets or outlets in which we activate. That's very hard data, a very clear wave. But it also has a halo effect for us as well in other markets, in on-premises accounts, and grocery stores, even where we don't necessarily promote the fights. We find (even there) that consumers tend to increase consideration.

Q: What programs would you like to add around boxing going forward? 
Palau: We may bring to the U.S. a boxing road show that we have had in Mexico for the past two years. It's a big event in fight markets over two or three days, in a large space, with consumer events, autograph signings, music, three to four months per year (MEDIAPOST.com, 12/5).
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