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Traffic Sports Win Marketing Rights to 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup

2012 December 1

Between the buzz and excitement of the MLS Cup Final, rumors of a new SSS being built in Tampa and the naming of a new commissioner for the North American Soccer League, a press release on Tuesday that may have been overlooked by many seems to hold some big implications.

Traffic Sports USA,who has been the primary financial supporter in the creation of the NASL and who own the Atlanta Silverbacks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and the Carolina RailHawks, announced on Tuesday that their parent company, Traffic Sports of Brazil, have won the commercial partnership rights to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2013/14 and 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League tournaments.

These were rights that were formerly owned by Major League Soccer arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM).

Under terms of the deal, Traffic Sports, whose core business over the last 32 years has been commercial rights to sporting events, acquires the right to package and market these CONCACAF properties globally with assets that include field of play branding, use of tournament marks, and hospitality. What that means in layman terms is that SUM no longer owns the commercial rights for things like sponsorship, signage on dasher boards, licensed merchandise and hospitality, but instead these rights have been awarded to Traffic Sports.

Those rights do not include TV, radio, streaming or ticketing. However, Traffic also acquired (with World Sport Group) the media rights outside of the CONCACAF region for Gold Cup and outside of the Americas for CONCACAF Champions League.  CONCACAF sells the media rights (TV, radio, streaming) in the CONCACAF region directly for Gold Cup and all of the Americas (Fox) for Champions League.

“We are honored to have been selected by CONCACAF to represent these prestigious competitions,” said Aaron Davidson, President of Traffic Sports USA. “Being based in South Florida over the past 21 years has been very strategic and advantageous for us. We are excited about the opportunities this decision will allow us to provide for the community we call home in the United States.”

Traffic has previously held these rights from 1991 all the way through 2003. Traffic also owns the hospitality rights in Brazil for the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup.

“The strategic alliance with Traffic is the result of a long assessment process that showcases the vast and growing interest in the market for our Confederation properties and tournaments,” said CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb. “The number and quality of interested parties are also a true testament to all of our Member Associations’ efforts to elevate the game in our region.”

The multi-year agreement was awarded to Traffic from CONCACAF after RFPs were submitted by companies across the globe. The decision was made by CONCACAF Evaluation Committee assigned to this bid, comprised of Mr. Pedro Chaluja, Panamanian Football Federation President, Mr. Dan Flynn, General Secretary of the United States Soccer Federation and Mr. Canover Watson, Treasurer of the Cayman Islands Football Association, who evaluated all bids submitted.

Just this summer former Traffic USA executive Enrique Sanz was appointed CONCACAF General Secretary, taking over for Chuck Blazer who had stepped down in January of 2012 after ethics questions arose about his involvement with FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam and former CONCACAF president Jack Warner both who were removed from their posts by FIFA.

Sanz has promised to develop the CONCACAF region into a more powerful soccer presence.

11 Responses
  1. Bart permalink
    December 1, 2012

    Traffic sure is becoming a major force here in the US. This new business agreement allows Traffic to continue to fund the bleed of NASL, and in the macro picture, is peanuts compared to the profit that Traffic makes on this business deal.

    It seems pretty clear here that SUM got out strategized in the bidding process and lost some pretty significant opportunity by a strong competitor.

    As NASL gets stronger and stronger, and as Traffic continues to suck bling from the coffers of MLS, it seems clear that a strong and mutually respectful partnership arrangement will emerge between the two competing factions.

    Now all Traffic has to do is beat out SUM for the rights here in the US. Traffic could establish a major foothold in the Americas, more so than it has now, and control the biggest entertainment market in the world by doing so.

    I am sure that Garber is proffering a fine Havana cigar to Davidson as he rolls out the red carpet to invite Traffic to share in the New York MLS offices.

  2. Fotbalist permalink
    December 1, 2012

    I saw the news elsewhere and I was very impressed. I’m glad you did a story on this, especially because this truly has the potential to affect the national soccer scene very positively. Additionally D2 in the USA/Canada has instantly become more valuable. The prominence of Traffic as a soccer related business will make every other of Traffic’s involvements more valuable. The NASL stands to gain. Thank you Traffic!

  3. Fotbalist permalink
    December 1, 2012

    @ Bart – I agree with all your points. I see them in a positive light.

  4. Deacon Joseph permalink
    December 1, 2012

    “I am sure that Garber is proffering a fine Havana cigar to Davidson as he rolls out the red carpet to invite Traffic to share in the New York MLS offices.”

    Why would he do that? With another NFL Europe guy running NASL he’s already got an inside track. Hope Traffic catches on– before it’s too late….

  5. Mike permalink
    December 1, 2012

    Okay, I’ll bite. Exactly how does this news have “potential to affect the national soccer scene very positively”, and make D2 in the USA/Canada instantly more valuable? Was the national soccer scene affected negatively when SUM was doing it? Could someone please ‘splain and save me a bloody scalp from excess head scratching? Much obliged.

    Anyway, the seeds have now been planted for promotion/relegation to fully blossom in North America. Garber strikes me as a low end Montecristo kind of guy.

  6. Fotbalist permalink
    December 1, 2012

    @ Mike – I love that you likened Garber to Montecristo. ;-)
    Although we in NA, don’t spend much time looking at the business side of the beautiful game in Europe and South America people pay attention to this. Traffic is a popular firm in the footballing world and clubs pay attention to them when they speak. The more popular they become, the more popular their ventures (or adventures) become. The NASL is such venture, or adventure depending on one’s inclination. SUM did a great job, but they really aren’t quite like Traffic beyond North America. Surely, you’ll agree that much of the dealings of the higher-ups is based on the relationships they form which can give each person a leg up. Traffic can do that.

    Some comments (here & elsewhere) were very critical of Traffic being the bank-rollers of the NASL. I think we can all say they’ve done quite well. MLS started in similar fashion and the MLS Cup Final between the Galaxy and the Dynamo was essentially an AEG derby; and it is quite successful.

    Naturally, nothing is every guaranteed but it’s definitely a step in our (the North American soccer community) advantage.

  7. December 1, 2012

    Mike: Bro, please tell me that you are just goofin’ us with more of the up&down talk right?

    No professional teams in any sport–including soccer–are moving up or down a level based on their on the field performance.

    Just. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

  8. December 1, 2012

    So now that Traffic has extended the footprint or imprint or whatever the marketing hipsters call it, does this mean that the NASL Minister of Information, aka “Special K” can hook a Brutha like me up with some primo type Gold Cup seats with a sweet discount?!?!

    I’m still waiting for my Traffic T-shirt.

    Or do I gotta holler at the AD to get that hook up?!?
    :)

  9. December 2, 2012

    Traffic understands football as in soccer.

  10. Bart permalink
    December 2, 2012

    @yankiboy

    And with your post, therein lies the problem. Always wanting to mooch out a steep discount or “freebie”. All you have to do is use your free Obama-phone to place a free call to the NASL office. :)

    We all have got to start paying a lot more in fees to NASL and their teams for the privilege of watching and cheering them on. NASL and the teams simply need more revenue to pay for all the entitlements.

    If we don’t, there is a possiblity of the NASL forcing the teams to a sequestering and all the free colas and hot dogs that the players are getting stand a serious chance of being cut in the budget.

  11. December 2, 2012

    @The great BARrisTER: Shut your mouth!! You are not only putting down me looking for a hookup but then you go so far as to suggest that I PAY for something that Traffic and the NASL have an abundance of.

    If YOU don’t like free then you can pass on it-don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

    Last time I checked, the Brazilian economy was doing pretty well. Why shouldn’t we expect to have a free or below market Gold Cup, second division tickets and swag (like a Traffic T-shirt).

    ;)

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