Conmebol seeking agency partner for competitions in next cycle
Conmebol, the South American soccer confederation, will next week launch a tender as it seeks a sports agency to market commercial rights to its competitions starting in 2019.
The move was approved at a meeting of the Conmebol council last week.
The confederation said on Monday that it is seeking an agency to handle consultancy, sales and after-sales of its commercial assets, including broadcasting, sponsorship and licensing rights, for club and national team competitions for a four-year period to 2022.
The invitation to tender will be published, with details in Spanish, on the Conmebol website at www.conmebol.com in the week beginning 10 July, with agencies requested to express their interest via email in order to receive further information.
Potential bidders will have four weeks to submit offers, with two weeks dedicated to a period of questions and answers.
Conmebol is launching the tender to maximise the value of the Copa America, South America’s historic national teams competition, plus the top-tier Copa Libertadores and second-tier Copa Sudamericana club competitions.
At its meeting last Tuesday, the Conmebol council backed the proposal to seek an agency that will be responsible for:
• Evaluation and optimisation of the competition formats at club level (Copa Libertadores, and all its modalities, and Copa Sudamericana) and for national teams (Copa America and all its modalities).
• A strategy for packaging audiovisual, sponsorship and licensing rights
• The structuring of a bidding format for the transparent sale of commercial rights
• Commercialisation of all rights
• After-sales service to guarantee the delivery of the acquired rights of each licensee
• Advising on audiovisual production of the competences for later delivery to TV licensees and social networks
A statement read: “The tender will be public and seek to promote a multitude of specialised bidders in order to promote a high quality contest.”
The process tallies with efforts by Alejandro Dominguez, the president of Conmebol, to boost the reputation and revenues of the confederation after his three predecessors – Juan Angel Napout, Eugenio Figueredo and Nicolas Leoz – were all implicated in the Fifa-gate corruption scandal.
Conmebol turned to Soccer United Marketing, the marketing arm of North America’s Major League Soccer, and IMG, the international sports agency, to handle the worldwide commercial rights to the 2016 Copa America Centenario, a special centenary edition of the tournament, held in USA and also involving teams from the Concacaf region.
Conmebol and Concacaf had taken the rights in-house after a settlement was reached with Datisa, the troubled agency that had previously held the rights, although the company defended its position as the “legitimate owner” of the media and commercial rights for the 2019 and 2023 editions, the first of which will take place in Brazil.
Datisa was formed by Brazil’s Traffic Sports and Argentinian agencies Torneos and Full Play, all of which were implicated in Fifa-gate, came to a head in 2015 and involved officials from across the Americas with links to soccer’s international governing body.
Fox International Channels, the international television business of 21st Century Fox, presently holds broadcasting rights to the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana in a deal running from 2016 to 2018.
However, this was only made possible by Conmebol unilaterally terminating a contract with T&T Sports Marketing, a Cayman Islands shell company 75-per-cent owned by Fox Sports Latin America, which had signed a deal with Traffic Sports to handle the rights to the clubs competitions.
Fox Sports Latin America denied any wrongdoing and the parent company has stressed that it had no operational control over any of the agencies involved Fifa-gate.
On the sponsorship front, IMG has been marketing rights for the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Copa Libertadores, while Synergy Sports, a Switzerland-based sports marketing agency set up by Patrick Murphy, formerly of Team Marketing, has a similar contract for the Copa Sudamericana.
In March, Murphy told Sportcal he was keen to work on a longer-term agreement with Conmebol for soccer in South America.