Mexican beer Tecate has stepped into the ring with ESPN's boxing telecasts.
Tecate, the cerveza con carácter, signed a multimedia sponsorship for ESPN's Spanish- and English-language boxing matches and attendant programming.
The one-year deal, terms of which were not disclosed, not only marks Tecate's initial connection with ESPN Deportes' boxing product, but the first time the beer brand had made a media buy on a general-market network to reach Hispanics, according to ESPN officials.
In addition, as a result of the ESPN-Tecate deal, Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions reached an agreement with ESPN for seven events with ESPN's Friday Night Fights, the first of which matches Ossie Duran vs. David Lopez on April 10 from Desert Diamond Casino in Las Vegas.
The agreement follows the KO of TeleFutura's Solo Boxeo show last year, which featured Tecate as a sponsor.
As part of the far-reaching sponsorship, Tecate gains the ring mat sponsorship for the Friday Night Fights telecasts on both ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Moreover, Tecate, beginning April 3, secured a schedule of 30-second ads in Spanish for all of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.
Other key elements include the title sponsorship of the Tecate Friday Night Fights Studio within the weekly Friday Night Fights telecasts on both services. Tecate will also run ads on ESPN Deportes' original production of Viernes de Combates.
Additional television exposure includes thepresenting sponsorship of ESPN Deportes' Golpe a Golpe, the network's weekly boxing studio show co-hosted by boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera and Jorge Eduardo Sánchez. The cerveza brand will also sponsor boxing updates on ESPN Classic and on ESPN Deportes' SportsCenter.
Online, Tecate will have a presence on ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com's boxing homepage, as well as a position on ESPN Deportes Radio's afternoon program, Zone ESPN.
"This is a landmark agreement for ESPN for many reasons," said ESPN Deportes general manager Lino Garcia in a statement. "Tecate's sponsorship illustrates the strength of the Hispanic market in driving sponsorship in the sports category. It's also gratifying because this deal allows us to collaborate with Tecate to offer our general-market and Hispanic viewers enhanced boxing programming across multiple platforms. We are also pleased to work with Golden Boy Promotions in an effort to continue showcasing some of the most promising fighters on the ring."
Noted Tecate brand director Carlos Boughton: "As an authentic Mexican cerveza that embodies the boldness and character of the sport, Tecate has built a strong relationship with adult boxing fans by sponsoring some of the biggest championship bouts in the last three years. We are confident that our relationship with ESPN will catapult Tecate's positioning as the leading brand in the sport."
ESPN officials said Tecate is strong match for its boxing fare, as more than 50% of the Hispanic audience watching boxing on ESPN2 is Mexican, the brand's target audience.
Covering six telecasts in the first quarter, Friday Night Fights on ESPN Deportes averaged a 1.3 Hispanic household coverage rating, translating into 78, 410 Hispanic viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Moreover, 10 Friday Night Fights telecasts on ESPN2 averaged a 0.8 Hispanic HH coverage rating, delivering 100,143 Hispanic viewers.
All told, ESPN2's presentation of Friday Night Fights rang up a 51% increase among Hispanic watchers in the first quarter, according to Nielsen.