Home to many of the world's most talented soccer players and teams, Latin America lives its flagship sport with great passion and engagement. From small local matches to international championships, every time the ball starts rolling millions of fans all over the continent share the excitement of the game.
Latin American soccer is thus a goldmine for brands and sponsors, who have made billion-dollar investments in the sport during the past season, breaking all types of records along the way.
A new study by IEG finds sponsorship spending on Latin America-based soccer teams, events and sanctioning bodies totaled US$ 1.1 billion in the 2014-2015 season, up 11% from the year-earlier period.
Including the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the Copa America, sponsorship spending on Latin American soccer totaled US$ 1.4 billion in the season. US$ 254 million were spent for the FIFA World Cup and US$ 50 million for the Copa America.
Illustrating soccer's growing popularity in the region, the increase is more than double the projected 4.8% increase in 2015 sports spending (US$ 3.2 billion) and the overall sponsorship spending (US$ 4.3 billion) in Central and South America.
"Soccer represents an unrivaled marketing platform for engaging consumers in Latin America," said William Chipps, Senior Editor of the IEG Sponsorship report.
BRANDS AND SPONSORS
Sports apparel and equipment is the most active category sponsoring Latin American soccer. Companies in the category are 7.2 times more likely to sponsor Latin American soccer than the average of all sponsors.
Non-alcoholic beverages (6.2), telecom service providers (3.7), banks (3.6) and beer (3.2) round out the top five most active categories, followed by food (2.8), retail (2.4), automotive (2.1), insurance (1.8) and technology (1.6).
The Coca-Cola Co. is the most active sponsor with 33% of properties with a sponsor in the non-alcoholic beverage category reporting a partnership with the company. Anheuser-Busch is the second most active sponsor (26%) followed by PepsiCo in third (18%).
Adidas (15%), Nike (13%), America Movil (11%), Kering (10%) and Telecom Italia (11%) round up the ranking.