SBJ/June 4 - 10, 2007/This Weeks News

SUM completes sponsor card for SuperLiga

Soccer United Marketing sold out of its sponsorship inventory for the inaugural SuperLiga soccer tournament last week, bringing in more than $8 million for eight categories.

The Los Angeles Galaxy will be
one of four MLS teams competing
in SuperLiga beginning July 24.

The sponsor list includes MLS partners Adidas, Budweiser, Pepsi and Burger King, as well as Mexican national team partner Cuervo and newcomers AT&T and State Farm. A national retail store, whose name was not available at press time, rounds out the group.

The companies see the new tournament, which pits four MLS teams against four Mexican league teams, as a means to reach the growing Latino population in the U.S. Their interest reflects an expanding appetite for Hispanic, non-MLS properties like the Mexican national team, Chivas de Guadalajara and Interliga, a Mexican club tournament in the U.S., which have become some of SUM’s most popular offerings.

The SuperLiga partnerships are all national and give partners the rights to the SuperLiga mark and brand, tickets and promotional rights.

Most partners made single-year commitments with an option to extend next year. Only Budweiser, Pepsi and Adidas committed for multiple years.

Because the tournament is new, SUM didn’t want to be locked into long-term deals, said SUM executive vice president Kathy Carter, feeling that such deals might undervalue the property in the future.

“We are comfortable doing single-year deals because we believe these assets are so valuable that we’re never going to have a problem being in a sold-out situation,” Carter said. “It’s one of those opportunities I think a lot of people are going to be saying, ‘Gosh, I wish I were involved in that.’”

SUM capped the number of partners at eight this year and began selling partnerships in February. It plans to expand to 10 partners next year and eventually max out at 12.

“We feel this is a property where less means more,” Carter said.

Partners are developing activation plans, but all plan to use the property to tap into the Latino community and the rivalry that has emerged between the Mexican and U.S. national soccer teams in the last decade.

“We think this tournament will help the sport become more and more important in this country, both to the Latino audience, who we’re primarily interested in, and a wider, more general audience,” said Bruce Hudson, director of international sports marketing for Anheuser-Busch.

The tournament features 15 games and begins July 24. David Beckham is expected to play in a minimum of three SuperLiga games for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The games will be broadcast exclusively by Univision. Partners were not required to buy media on the network under their agreements, but many have already made plans to advertise during the games

SuperLiga sponsors
Company Category
Adidas Apparel and equipment
Anheuser-Busch/Budweiser Beer
Pepsi/Sierra Mist Soft drink
Burger King Quick-service restaurant
Cuervo/Cuervo Tradicional Spirit
AT&T Telecommunications
State Farm Insurance
Note: The company filling the retail category had not been released last week.
Source: SUM

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