In an ambitious move to reinvent the perception of Leagues Cup, a soccer tournament between Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US and Liga MX in Mexico, organizers are channeling their efforts towards branding and reaching out to second-generation Latinos. Initiated in 2019, the Leagues Cup faced early skepticism with critiques terming it as “meaningless” and merely a “cash grab.”
Fast forward to this year, significant changes are evident. Now, the tournament hosts all teams from both leagues. The top three contenders get to advance to the Concacaf Champions Cup, positioning them closer to the FIFA Club World Cup, with a hefty prize pool surpassing $40 million. The commitment from both leagues is palpable as they halt their regular games, paving the way for daily Leagues Cup matches.
Camilo Durana from MLS emphasized the intent to embed the tournament within the global soccer framework, with a vision to make it profoundly meaningful. However, for this transformation to hold weight, a robust marketing strategy was paramount.
The focal point? Second-generation Latinos in the US. Valadez highlighted the untapped potential of this audience, who might lean more towards supporting an MLS team over Liga MX. To resonate with this group and broader fans, the marketing agency, Industry, orchestrated a tripartite rebranding campaign, echoing the message “our story begins” or its Spanish translation, “nuestra historia comienza.”
Valadez points out that the overarching narrative aims to be all-inclusive, yet specially tailored to allure this new target audience. The campaign leverages English, Spanish, and even Spanglish, symbolizing the merger of two soccer worlds and their underlying unity.
The Leagues Cup is taking proactive steps not just in the gameplay but in connecting with an audience that sits at the confluence of two cultures. By recognizing and targeting second-generation Latinos, they’re not just elevating the tournament’s profile but reshaping soccer’s cross-border narrative.