Conmebol seeks commercial agency partner for 2019 Copa America
Conmebol, the South American soccer confederation, is inviting bids from agencies interested in marketing the commercial rights to next year’s Copa America, the continent’s established national teams competition, to be held in Brazil.
Conmebol launched the formal invitation to tender on Monday, and has set a deadline of 8.30am on 13 March for interested parties to submit their offers at the governing body’s headquarters in Luque near the Paraguayan capital Asunción.
The period for submitting questions on the tender runs from 26 February to 2 March inclusive, while the response period extends to 7 March.
The winning agency will be responsible for providing professional and specialist consulting services and the commercialisation of the rights to the 2019 Copa America.
Conmebol has appointed the Argentinian arm of EY, the international consulting firm, to oversee the bidding process.
The tender document costs $10,000 and all communication will be managed by EY through the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further details are available here.
Last September, Conmebol agreed a deal with IMG, the international sports agency, and Perform, the digital sports and content media group, to sell broadcast and sponsorship rights to its club competitions, including the top-tier Copa Libertadores, from 2019 to 2022, after the pair offered a minimum guarantee of $1.4 billion, or $350 million per season.
However, there were hurdles to cross before the governing body could launch a new bidding process for the Copa America, notably an existing contract with Datisa, the joint venture that was mandated to distribute the rights to the 2019 and 2023 competitions, but subsequently became embroiled in a major corruption scandal.
It was announced last November that Conmebol, whose own leaders had been implicated in the same scandal, had officially terminated the contract.
In a statement on Monday, Alejandro Dominguez, the president of Conmebol, who has sought to lead the confederation into a new era of good governance and transparency, said: “This tender marks another great step in the new direction of Conmebol. Through a professional and competitive process, based on merit, we will select a specialist company to perform consulting services and manage the sale and after-sales of the Rights for the Copa America Brazil 2019, in order to fulfil our institutional mission to project South American football to a new level and optimise resources to boost its development throughout the country.”
Datisa was formed by Traffic Sports, the Brazil-based international sports rights agency, and Argentinian agencies Torneos y Competencias and Full Play and was awarded commercial and media rights to three editions of the Copa America, starting with the 2015 edition, plus the 2016 Copa America Centenario, a special event held in USA to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Conmebol and its national teams tournament.
However, it emerged in 2015 that senior figures at all three agencies had been implicated in the Fifa-gate scandal that erupted on the back of a US Department of Justice investigation centred on the payment of bribes and kickbacks totalling around $200 million to soccer officials relating to media and marketing rights to tournaments across the Americas.
It was alleged that Datisa executives had agreed to pay more than $100 million in kickbacks to senior Conmebol officials to acquire rights to tournaments between 2013 and 2023.
Soccer United Marketing, the marketing arm of North America’s Major League Soccer, and IMG, were appointed to replace Datisa as the commercial rights-holders for the Copa America Centenario, which went ahead last June, and was won by Chile.
Conmebol and Concacaf, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, had reclaimed the rights to the tournament following a settlement with Datisa, which continued to defend its position as the “legitimate owner” of the commercial and media rights to the 2019 and 2023 Copa Americas.
The 2023 competition is due to take place in Ecuador.