NFL in Mexico, the guarantee of the value of your brand

With 22 million followers, Mexico is the second largest market for the NFL, and first abroad, by the number of fans, after the United States.

NFL leaders maintained hope and that created confidence in fans who pay for a ticket and brands seeking exposure.
NFL leaders maintained hope and that created confidence in fans who pay for a ticket and brands seeking exposure.

A year has passed and the impact of the news with the relocation of the match is already an anecdote. The market, fans, and sponsorships are fertile ground that the NFL does not want to let go and so, given last year's economic losses and the international echo that signaled the neglect of grass conditions in the stadium, one of the most global sports leagues continues to plant its flag in Mexico.

"We're going to continue to grow American football in Mexico," said commissioner Roger Goodell in January, while the reaction of Mark Waller, the League's international executive vice president, was: "It's not a day-to-day, week-to-week proposition. I assume that in the next 20 years the Mexican economy will grow. Therefore, it is important for us to be part of that long-term future.

Waller also stressed an encouraging fact for business plans in our country: "Only five cities in the United States have more NFL fans than in Mexico, where as host of two of the last three seasons (2016 and 2017) has attracted more than 76,000 fans.

According to figures from the Ernst & Young study, taken up by the president of the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism of Mexico City, Nathan Poplawsky, the loss of the game in the Azteca in 2018 hit its media value, estimated at $250 million dollars.

Even so, the 25 sponsors and commercial partners of the NFL in Mexico were kept on the boat, among which some are also present in the U.S. and others are local. In figures on television exposure, according to data from HR Media, in the game of the NFL in 2016 were announced 26 brands in open television with 76 commercial insertions (56 spots and 16 commercial curtains). A number that does not exceed 120 brands that were advertised in Super Bowl 2017 on open and pay-TV, according to the same source.

Banorte, who has been working for seven years with the League, also did not leave his interest in the public of the NFL.

"It's the only time that has happened to us (that there was no match) and we continue with the League. It didn't affect us. The customer is smarter than we think, the customer knows that Banorte is not responsible for the place, or the grass. The customers who bought tickets for 2018 were the ones who bought back for this edition. More than 80% of the fans who bought tickets responded that they wanted to continue. We will be with the NFL for as long as it wants to be in Mexico and it seems like an interesting market," Carla Juan Chelala, general director of marketing at Grupo Financiero Banorte, told El Economista.

The exposure is the driving force behind the NFL games outside the U.S. The NFL has played in London since 2007, and the League has held regular season and pre-season games in Canada. It has also discussed the scheduling of clashes in China and Germany in the future.

Five games were included in this year's NFL global plan: four in London and one in Mexico City. In this case, neither the Chargers (who moved from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2017) nor the Chiefs are considered among the top 10 most popular teams in the United States. According to the Fandom Report 2019 survey conducted by Emory Goizueta University School of Business. Of the 32 teams, Kansas and Los Angeles rank 31 and 26, respectively.

In our country, having a regular season game means a boost. According to League data, the Chargers have their captive audience in the state of Baja California.

The market that drives the NFL is an opportunity for brands to get closer to their customers.

"The relationship we have with the NFL is an exchange of experiences and products for the benefit of our customers and football fans, a good will rather than a sponsorship. We have the right to use the brand for the sale of articles. The online sale of sporting goods represents about 8% of the total sales of the sports division," said Jose Rafael Jimenez, director of Sports at Liverpool.

The office of Operations and Coordination of NFL Mexico reported that on November 21, 2016, the first date of the current contract that will end in 2021, Raiders vs Texans had more than 25 million spectators in the U.S. via ESPN and 6 million in Mexico by Televisa. Mexico left a good taste in the mouth by organizing the first Monday night game outside the U.S.

This market activates the interest of Visa, a global sponsor since 1995, which seeks to strengthen itself in our country.

"We are a company with more than 3,000 million cardholders and we need channels to reach people. In Mexico, the NFL is extremely popular, we have some fan profiles identified by age groups, geographical area and is more marked popularity in the north and center of the country, in 55% men and 45% women," commented Sergio de Anda, executive director of Marketing at Visa Mexico.

The brands occupy the platform of the NFL to stay with an audience that waited a year to live the experience again.

Source: El Economista