Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Breaking In The New Meadowlands

By Oumar Ganame (SMBA '11)

I once again had the opportunity to work with Soccer United Marketing (SUM) at one of their Mexican National Team events. This time the venue was the brand new stadium in the Meadowlands of New Jersey (home to the Giants and Jets) and currently known as New Meadowlands Stadium while they work to land a Stadium Naming Rights deal. This was the first event at the new stadium to be open on all levels and it did not disappoint. The sold-out event drew more than 77,000 fans and ran smoothly, despite the adjustment to the new stadium.
The event was very interesting from a marketing standpoint. New Meadowlands stadium has sponsorship deals with a number of companies and nearly all of them conflict with the sponsors of the Mexican National team. The event went off without a hitch though and Futbol Fiesta was as strong as ever, featuring impressive setups from Coca-Cola, AT&T, Bud Light, NAPA Autoparts, Extra, Home Depot, Makita, Castrol, Cacique, Bimbo, Castrol, Telemundo, Degree, Adidas, The New York Red Bulls, and Panini.

For the second straight event the game ended with a scoreless tie, but that did not dampen the excitement of the tens of thousands of fans in attendance. Futbol Fiesta was a huge hit, as usual, and the venues that have hosted it have marveled at the level of success it has seen. Some have even looked into ways that they can duplicate the level of excitement at their regular stadium events. With the tour wrapping up this week, the team is now looking toward their World Cup appearance in Group A. The Mexican National Team kicks of the tournament against host South Africa in Johannesburg on June 11.

On a related note, SUM recently signed an extension with the Mexican National team through the 2014 season. The deal includes an Olympic tour in 2012 and a South American tour before the 2014 World Cup. The agreement is a huge win for SUM and ensures that the company will be heavily involved in the North American International soccer scene for years to come.

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