By Barry Janoff
October 10, 2013: If you start to see more Oreos, Chips Ahoy!, Ritz, Wheat Thins and Trident along the sidelines of soccer games next season, you'll have Mondelez to thank.
Snacking and gum giant Mondelez International, whose top brands also include Mallomars, Dentyne, Honey Maid, Tang, Cheese Nips and Sour Patch Kids, is bringing its roster to soccer via a bevy of deals.
The key players include the U.S. Soccer Federation, soccer stars Clint Dempsey and Alex Morgan and Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas), one of the most popular clubs in Mexico, when the team plays in the U.S.
Mondelez said this would be the company's largest multi-brand program to date. it comes just over a year after Kraft Foods Inc. became Mondelēz International, Inc. after spinning-off its North American grocery business
Financial terms of the multi-year deals were not released.
Mondelez said that in 2014 "a fully integrated marketing campaign [would launch] to help kick up the growing passion for soccer in North America heading into the most anticipated stretch in the sport's history."
Among other major events, the FIFA World Cup will be held in 2014 in Brazil — also site of the 2016 Summer Olympics — and the FIFA Women's World Cup will be played in Canada in 2015.
The deals naming the company's products as the official snacks of U.S. Soccer and Club Deportivo Guadalajara includes the cookie, candy, cracker and gum categories and are "inclusive of a series of globally-recognized brands operated by Mondelez International."
Mondelez said that support would feature "all forms of media, retail, shopper marketing, consumer promotions, grassroots, PR and social media," with a major push toward Hispanic consumers.
"This is so much more than a business deal — it's the start of a movement to help our great brands connect soccer, community and snacking in a way that makes consumers stand up and cheer." — Stephen Chriss, Mondelez International
The pact also includes rights to align with coaches, legends of the game and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy."
Other USSF marketing partners include Allstate, AT&T, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Chevy, Gatorade, Marriott, McDonald's, Nike, Panasonic, Pepsi and Visa.
Alliances with Dempsey, Morgan and Omar Gonzalez of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy will encompass multi-media marketing, consumer outreach and on-site experiential activations.
Dempsey is a member of the U.S. National Team and MLS Seattle Sounders; Morgan is a member of the U.S. Women's National Team and Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League.
"This is so much more than a business deal — it's the start of a movement to help our great brands connect soccer, community and snacking in a way that makes consumers stand up and cheer," Stephen Chriss, senior director, North America Consumer Engagement and Marketing Services for Mondelez International, said in a statement. "We're so excited to have the opportunity to partner with these great athletes and organizations just as U.S. love for the sport is about to reach a fever pitch."
According to Sunil Gulati, president of USSF, "We are looking forward to our new partnership with Mondelez as the official snacks of U.S. Soccer. With a large number of name brand products, we are excited to work with Mondelez to expand our reach to consumers at the international, national and grassroots level."
In addition to the previously mentioned brands, Mondelez International's roster includes Newtons, Stride, Cadbury, Chiclets, Halls, Nilla and Certs.
The deals were negotiated by CAA Sports Consulting (on behalf of Mondelez International) and Soccer United Marketing, the marketing and licensing division of Major League Soccer.
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