Soccer United Marketing, Major League Soccer’s commercial arm, has expanded its relationship with the Mexican national team.
SUM will continue to act as the Mexican Football Federation’s sole intermediary in the United States for the next six years. Negotiating commercial partnerships and sponsorships, as well as promoting and operating the team’s lucrative US tours, are all part of the job. The partnership will extend beyond the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar to the 2026 event, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The extension comes almost exactly one year after SUM lost a high-profile client: US Soccer announced last May that it was taking its commercial rights in-house after working with SUM for 20 years.
That collaboration was frequently criticized as a conflict of interest. The terms of the extension with the Mexican federation have not been disclosed. These agreements typically include a set amount of guaranteed revenue.
The Mexican men’s national team, nicknamed “El Tri” after the tri-color national flag, is extremely popular in the United States, which is home to approximately 36 million people of Mexican descent. According to president Yon de Luisa, the United States generates roughly one-third of the Mexican soccer federation’s revenue through matchday revenue, TV rights, and sponsorship deals.
“The United States market is part of our home market for us because we have about 40 million people in the United States,” de Luisa explained in an interview.
“And in terms of purchasing power, you can expect the 40 million in the United States to have far greater purchasing power than the 120 million in Mexico.”
In America, the Mexican team’s jersey outsells the American team’s jersey, and its televised games draw more viewers. Since 2003, the team’s home games in the United States have averaged more than 50,000 spectators, including a record 90,526 in Los Angeles against New Zealand in 2010.
Companies pay a lot of money to be a part of that community as well. SUM has worked with a variety of partners, including Adidas, AT & T (NYSE: T), Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD), General Mills (NYSE: GIS), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), and Home Depot (NYSE: HD). (The Mexican team’s media rights are sold by the federation rather than SUM.)
Moving forward, SUM and the Mexican federation intend to expand their collaboration with the women’s and youth national teams, including the men’s youth team, which won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Summer Games, as well as expand other programming centered on U.S. tours, such as concerts and immersive shows.
While the majority of the current schedule revolves around the handful of games that the Mexican senior men’s team plays north of the border, the goal is to give the Mexican teams a commercial presence in the United States 365 days a year.