Snack Food Giant Signs Sponsorship Agreement with U.S. Soccer Teams
Newman, Andrew Adam, International Herald Tribune
In a three-year deal that begins in 2014, Mondelez products will become the official snacks of the women's and men's U.S. national soccer teams as well as Chivas USA, a Major League Soccer team.
In what Mondelez International says is its largest investment ever in a multibrand marketing effort, the snack-food giant planned to announce Wednesday an expansive sponsorship deal with American soccer teams and players.
In a three-year deal that begins in 2014, Mondelez products will become the official snacks of the women's and men's U.S. national soccer teams as well as Chivas USA, a Major League Soccer team in Los Angeles. Mondelez is also making sponsorship deals with two Major League Soccer players, Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders and Omar Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Galaxy, signing both for one year.
Alex Morgan, an Olympic gold medalist who plays for the Portland Thorns in the National Women's Soccer League, signed a three-year deal with the brand.
Its agreements with the national teams, Chivas USA and the players call for it to be an exclusive sponsor in all four of its snack categories, meaning its brands will be their official cookie, cracker, candy and gum.
Mondelez brands, which were Kraft brands until Kraft Foods spun them off to form a separate snack-food company in 2012, include Oreo and Chips Ahoy cookies, Ritz and Wheat Thins crackers, Trident and Stride gums, and Sour Patch Kids and Cadbury candies. The company declined to reveal the financial details of the deal.
Mondelez says the timing for the deal is right: The men's national team has already qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014, the women's national team is competing to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada in 2015, and both teams are headed to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
"The U.S. men's and women's teams are sitting on rocket fuel," said Stephen Chriss, senior director of consumer engagement and marketing services for North America at Mondelez International. "The sport of soccer is at a tipping point and in our eyes is going to explode."
Americans who are not fans of the game sometimes say that in the United States soccer is the sport of the future -- and that it always will be. They point to soccer's television ratings, which pale in comparison with ratings for sports like football and basketball.
But Mondelez pitches its products primarily to mothers, including the well-chronicled soccer moms. …