SBJ/February 28 - March 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tecate turns out lights on 'Friday Night Fights' deal

While viewers will find Tecate across most U.S. boxing telecasts, be they on HBO, Showtime or Spanish-language cable, they no longer will see the otherwise ubiquitous beer logo on the mat of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights.”

Tecate did not renew with the series this year, choosing instead to sponsor more cards on Spanish-language channels Telefutura and Fox Deportes. Tecate began sponsoring “Friday Night Fights” in 2009, when Telefutura canceled its once popular “Solo Boxeo” series. When Golden Boy Promotions revived “Solo Boxeo” last May, it landed Tecate as the presenting sponsor. Top Rank Promotions also landed Tecate as sponsor of a show it launched last year on Fox Deportes and Fox Sports Net.

“We had to make a very, very hard choice on how we were going to source the funds for a full year of ‘Solo Boxeo,’” said Carlos Boughton, brand director for Tecate. “We ended up deciding to exit ‘Friday Night Fights.’ Nothing to do with performance. Nothing to do with budget reductions. It was mostly a fund allocation decision.”

Along with delivering more programming than ESPN, the two promoters also have worked with Tecate to put the fights in locales and venues that allow the brewer to build local retail promotions and entertain customers at the events, Boughton said.
— Bill King

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