Zapopan.-Jalisco is considered one of the business benchmarks in Mexico, with more than 288,000 companies as of December 2020, according to a report by the Institute of Statistical and Geographic Information of said state (IIEG). One of the lines that companies have tried to exploit in recent years is their relationship with sport, with objectives ranging from increasing sales to positioning.
From this point of view, the Zapopan Tennis Open (WTA 250) has become an exhibition showcase with an international scope (it reaches more than 111 countries) that local brands are trying to take advantage of with more and more resources and strategies. For the 2022 edition of the tournament, of the 15 official sponsors, 33% are brands born or established in Jalisco: Akron (which has the naming right), Red Cola, Ford Jalisco Motors, Jaloma and Tucané.
In an interview with El Economista, directors of Aga (Red Cola), Ford Jalisco Motors and Jaloma expressed the importance of being sponsors of this tournament due to the visibility it gives them nationally and internationally. They say that it is difficult to have a return on investment in the short term, but the essential thing is to position their names.
“That the Zapopan Open has local sponsors is super good because that way we open more market, people know more about the brands, it is a showcase. We are working on positioning the name and that is achieved by supporting this type of tournament for teams and other entities”, mentions Jaloma’s marketing director, Cristina Romero.
Jaloma was born in Guadalajara 82 years ago and is currently the national leader in the sale of first-aid kits and body oils (its three lines of business are healing, personal care and baby products). His participation in the Zapopan Open consists of providing antiseptic gels, multipurpose disinfectant cleaners and more than 6,000 face masks that are also worn by players and coaches.
To be a sponsor of the Open, they made an investment of more than one million pesos, says their director of marketing, which is “one of the strongest” in all their relationships with sports, since they are also in soccer with Atlas and Leones Negros, in basketball with the Astros, while in baseball with the Mexican Pacific League (LMP) and the Central Baseball League. They are also in renowned shopping malls and schools.
“Our strategy with sport is at an international level. They did not know us as such as Jaloma, we did a study and in every home in Mexico there is a Jaloma product, but they did not distinguish us as such with that name, so that is why we are going with this strategy. In Guatemala we are supporting a women’s league of between 30 and 35 teams, while in the United States we are with a university soccer team and thus we have expanded with the branding part to support the sport.”
For the Aga bottler, the Zapopan Open is its second participation in tennis after the WTA Finals 2021. Marcelo García Arce, the company’s marketing manager, tells this newspaper that its investment in this tournament is one of its top 3 within their links in sports, since they also have sponsorship relationships in soccer (Atlas, Leones Negros, Tecos and Alteños), baseball (Mariachis and Charros), basketball (Astros), boxing (amateur and professional), as well as activities with the state sports institute (CODE Jalisco).
“We have already been about five years since we bet on sports as a company, we started with the Charros and little by little we have been investing resources and time (…) For us, sporting events are quite important, they are one of our pillars to strengthen ourselves as brand and compete against transnationals, because sport is a very important means of communicating with people and getting closer to them. Today it is our most important means of marketing, we are grabbing all the teams we can from the region and we want to be at all the events, that is a very easy way to identify and relate to people”, explains García Arce.
Although the bottler was born in Guadalajara, they currently sell their products in 17 states and have three coordinating teams at the national level (west, center and north-south). Its projection is to reach 32 entities and sport is being one of its main platforms; They have a signed sponsorship contract with the Zapopan Open until 2026.
What expectations do you have regarding the return on investment with the Zapopan Open?
“It is a very complicated issue because it has many aspects and edges to analyze, not only can you see how much I sold, but how much my image cost and how much impact it had on people and that is seen in sales but after a long time . At least I’m not going to see a significant return on investment in image and sales for another two years, but for now we want people to identify us and try our products”, replies Aga’s marketing manager.
For its part, Ford Motors Jalisco is collaborating with the transfer of players, coaching staff, staff and press from their hotels to the stadium. They have loaned 17 luxury units that can move up to 18 people. Their presence in the state is more than 50 years old and they have managed to become leaders in the sale of pick-ups and vans, in addition to their statistics that position them among the best three distributors of the Ford brand in Mexico.
His link with sports was born 12 years ago, when he collaborated in transfers with the state government. With the Zapopan Open they were in the 2019 and 2021 editions, although they could not be in the Finals because the transfer was coordinated there by the WTA with one of its main sponsors, Porsche.
“Sport is very important because, to begin with, they are world-class events that are seen everywhere, it is a healthy way to make ourselves known. We want to be a top of mind, position the brand more, the tournament is a reminder of the brand and the satisfaction is seeing our cars rolling, because right now we look for inventory more than making sales, there are no cars worldwide, so right now more than selling we want to buy cars to be able to satisfy the needs of our customers,” says Mario Gutiérrez, sales manager of Ford Motors Jalisco.
The brand has also participated in transfers in swimming, cycling and marathon events, although the impulse that tennis gives them is different, with a figure like Emma Raducanu traveling to destinations in Guadalajara with a Lincoln Navigator. After this participation, the 17 units will be sold as a demo.
“The Ford brand is very significant in the country, we are the best-selling commercial vehicle and truck brand and it is important that people remember us by seeing the oval and the brand’s values. When the players go to a restaurant or take them to an event, all our clients talk to us, they even send us photos, it is more than anything a strategy to have a brand reminder that supports us a lot because it is also reflected in the media”.
Other local brands that have had a sales space within the facilities of the Zapopan Pan American Tennis Center are Danny Yo, Just Fries, Marquesitas Las Originales, Sport Solutions, Don Miguelón taquería, Italia Mía pizzeria, Smash Town and Le Garraf.