MP & Silva lands 2019 Copa America rights
MP & Silva, the international sports marketing agency, is to market the commercial rights to the 2019 Copa America, the continent’s established national teams competition, after Conmebol, the South American soccer confederation, accepted the agency’s offer following an invitation to tender.
MP & Silva will be in charge of the consulting, rights sales and after-sales services for the tournament, which is being held in Brazil.
The agency will set up a dedicated team in Brazil that will work exclusively on the project in coordination with the local organising committee for the tournament.
Conmebol launched the formal invitation to tender last month and had set a deadline of 13 March for interested parties to submit their offers.
The tender was overseen by Ernst & Young, the professional services company.
In a statement, Alejandro Dominguez, president of Conmebol, praised the agreement with the agency, saying: "With immense satisfaction, we announce the result of another professional process, transparent and with clear rules. MP & Silva is a well-known firm specialising in the marketing of sports rights and working with major events such as Roland Garros, NFL, Serie A and Premier League. This decision taken by the Council marks a milestone in the fulfilment of the strategic promise of generating greater value to reinvest in the development of football.”
Frank Uddo, president of Americas at MP & Silva, added: “We are proud to be awarded the opportunity to work with Conmebol on such a globally popular football tournament as Copa America. We look forward to working closely with them to deliver new and exciting opportunities for global fans to experience some of the best and most competitive football in the world.”The deal marks a coup for MP & Silva since it lost out on rights to Conmebol’s club competitions to rivals IMG, the international sports agency, and Perform, the digital sports and content media group, last year.
Last September, Conmebol agreed a deal with IMG and Perform 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.
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 organised with Concacaf, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America, 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.
Conmebol and Concacaf 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.
MP & Silva recently brokered a deal with Fanatiz, the over-the-top streaming platform showing Latin American soccer, for the internet rights in US and Canada to this year’s Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. MP & Silva acquired the internet rights from Fox Networks Group, the international broadcaster which has held broadcasting rights to the competitions internationally since 2016.