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Volume 20 No. 46
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Allstate adds to soccer commitments

Seeing the groundswell for soccer firsthand, Allstate has decided to further invest in the sport, adding a new sponsorship as well as increasing its activation spend.

Allstate has signed a four-year partnership with CONCACAF to become its official insurance sponsor. It has also signed a four-year renewal with both MLS and the Mexican national team’s U.S. tour, and holds an option for a fifth year. The company has been a sponsor of MLS since 2011 and Mexico’s football federation since 2007.

Allstate will look to sign three to five sponsorships with MLS clubs this season, with the goal to increase that number in the following year, focusing on local relationships between its regional and state-based agents.

Allstate started in soccer with the Mexican national team.

Dan Keats, director of product marketing for Allstate, said the company originally moved into soccer sponsorships alongside the Mexican national team to reach the Hispanic consumer. However, as it started to discuss its renewals with MLS and the Mexican federation, the company quickly came to the conclusion it would invest more resources into the sport.

“We took a step back, and really started to see where soccer is going,” Keats said. “When you look at MLS, its strength is really in its growing support around its clubs, whether it’s the new expansion clubs or in Portland or Seattle — that’s where we want to take a step forward.”

As part of the renewal, Allstate made a commitment to participate more locally, Keats said. While the company is still working through how that will look, Keats said it will start by focusing around CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, which will be played in the U.S. this summer, and marquee MLS matches.

Allstate also plans to roll out a new advertising campaign that will include television, digital and social spots, Keats said. Akin to what it has done for its college football platform by sponsoring the field goal nets, Allstate will look to focus its campaign around the goalies and making saves, as well as with a more lighthearted campaign around protecting fans from being over-passionate.

Keats declined to comment on the overall sponsorship expenditure, but said the company would significantly increase its activation budget as part of the renewals, as well as its media buys.

Per the terms of the deal, Allstate will continue its multichannel approach to the partnerships, which include brand integration across television, digital platforms, social media, in-stadium exposure and on-site activations at key events for each of the properties. In addition to Gold Cup, its deal with CONCACAF will include the full range of men’s and women’s national team championships and World Cup qualifying events that the federation hosts, as well as its club team competitions. It will receive category exclusivity as well.

Allstate has worked with marketing agency Lapiz around its Mexican national team sponsorship, and IMG consulted on the renewals and negotiations. Octagon serves as its activation agency. SUM represented CONCACAF, MLS and the Mexican federation in negotiations.