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.