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SBD Global/November 14, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

With Close to $600M On The Line, Mexico Moves A Step Closer To World Cup Qualification

Mexico's Rafael Marquez view for the ball during Wednesday's World Cup qualifier.
When Mexico took the pitch at Azteca stadium in Mexico City Wednesday against New Zealand, there was an estimated $600M at stake, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN. That is because "major players like Univision and adidas have invested so heavily in what they believed would be a sure bet, but turned into a huge gamble." Mexico moved a step closer to qualification for the 2014 World Cup with a 5-1 win. The win meant "just as much on the bottom line." There is TV Azteca, which paid $100M for the TV rights to "broadcast the 2010 and 2014 World Cups in Mexico." There is Univision, which paid $325M for the "Spanish language rights to broadcast the same games" in the U.S. And sponsors like Coca-Cola, Banamex, Movistar and adidas pay roughly $300M for "a four-year sponsor package" sold by Mexico's national football federation. Sports marketing firm DreaMatch Solutions Dir Rogelio Roa said, "I would say that the atmosphere between all the stakeholders and sponsors, it’s about doubts, it’s about uncertainty and it’s about questions. No one would have suspected that, at this point, Mexico wouldn't have a spot in the World Cup." The sponsor "with the most on the line is unquestionably adidas, which sold 1.2 million El Tri jerseys" in '10, more than "any of its other teams including the eventual champion, Spain." Adidas North America Head of Soccer Ernesto Bruce said, "Mexico is our prize possession." Officials with Coca-Cola in Mexico, which has sponsored the Mexican team for 40 years, said that its plans to "activate their sponsorship would be the same 'in spite of the results of each country.'" But one could "safely assume that the marketing wouldn't be nearly as effective if El Tri weren't playing in the World Cup." Ad agency Marketing Deportivo General Dir of Business Hussein Forzan said, "The least affected party would be the football federation because they've already gotten paid. Television is the most exposed, followed by the sponsors who have been involved by this World Cup cycle" (ESPN, 11/1). In Madrid, Rubén Rodríguez reported Mexico's "possible World Cup absence" would cause a loss of  nearly $50M. Based on calculations by Helio Silva Filho, the Secretary of Economy, Finance and Sports at the Brazilian embassy in Mexico, "more than 50,000 Mexicans will visit Brazil during the World Cup, with an average spending of at least $1,000 per person" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 11/13).
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