The San Francisco 49ers announced on Friday current team partners Levi's® and United Airlines as the first brands to take advantage of the NFL's new International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) program and extend their sponsorship rights to the 49ers to Mexico and the United Kingdom. The NFL's IHMA initiative, which saw the 49ers as one of only six teams granted rights in multiple markets, is a first-time opportunity for new and existing corporate partners to activate their partnerships around their 49ers affiliation beyond the team's Northern California home market.
"Gaining rights in Mexico and the UK presents an abundance of new opportunities not just for our marketing and community initiatives, but for our corporate partners as well," said Brent Schoeb, 49ers Chief Revenue Officer. "Being aligned with Levi's and United as valued partners, we look forward to collaborating with them to activate our partnerships in these markets in exciting ways that can serve as templates for what we can do with other global brands and those local to the Mexico and UK markets."
International opportunities for 49ers partners will include digital and physical activations in Mexico and the UK beginning on January 1, 2022. Partnerships will be available for community outreach and youth initiatives, content series, fan engagement efforts, and much more that will be detailed in the coming months heading into the 2022 NFL season. In the face of the pandemic, the 49ers corporate partnership team heads into the IHMA marketplace having achieved an all-time high in partnership revenue in 2021. Having developed innovative customizable partnership activation plans for new and existing partners during this time, the 49ers have achieved their highest partnership renewal rate in the last 10 years.
Ranking among the top quartile of most popular NFL teams in both markets, the 49ers have established footholds as one of the most promising NFL franchises as the IHMA rights program begins. In the UK, the 49ers have familiarity with the market's passionate sports fan base from their minority ownership of English Premier League side Leeds United. The 49ers also employ one of the most comprehensive Spanish-language digital content strategies in the NFL, proving their ability to develop successful marketing initiatives for Spanish-speaking fans. Furthermore, the organization is employing the help of two best-in-class sports industry agencies in Elevate Sports Ventures and Wasserman to support on-the-ground activations in the UK and Mexico, respectively.
With a global fanbase of nearly 10 million Faithful, firsthand experience in the U.K. and Mexico, and the support of two internationally renowned sports consulting agencies, the 49ers are one of the most promising NFL organizations heading into 2022 and the global effort to grow the game of American football. The franchise welcomes additional partners who wish to capitalize on the IHMA program and the 49ers marketing strategies in the U.K. and Mexico.