Carlos Padilla
View from the Top

Athlete Development Provides Social, Economic Benefits

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 14:30

Q: How does COM support Mexican athletes?

A: COM supports the development and preparation of Mexican athletes and helps with the necessary economic resources to ensure their professional growth inside and outside the country. We strive to provide all our athletes with the support and competencies necessary to prepare for events like the Central American and Caribbean Games, the Pan-American Games and the Olympic Games, bolstering their chances for success. This includes providing food, transportation, lodging and other necessities. More importantly, COM helps its athletes develop professional careers outside of sports. We want our athletes to have at least a bachelor’s degree so at the end of their athletic career they can continue growing.

Q: How does COM work with sponsors and what benefits derive from these relationships?

A: Sponsors are a fundamental element of the sports movement because they help provide the economic resources to support athletes and contribute to their improvement. Our marketing department promotes COM to attract sponsorship resources but companies and marketing firms also reach out to us. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is in charge of managing top contracts with companies like Coca-Cola, Atos, Bridgestone, Dow, Intel, Omega, Panasonic, Toyota, Alibaba, Samsung, General Electric and P&G. COM’s National Olympic Committee (CON) branch can sign individual contracts with sponsors like Li-Lining and SisNova that do not overlap with our top sponsors.

Q: Tijuana, Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey are considered potential Olympics hosts. What makes these cities attractive and what challenges do host cities face?

A: These cities have the necessary hotel, sports and mobility infrastructure, as well as the social stability and security to host the Olympic Games. There is an ongoing effort to lower the requirements for Olympic venues to avoid cases such as that in Brazil, where the conclusion of the Games gave rise to social, political and economic problems in the country. IOC is aware of this and it is expected that the requirements for future venues will be much more flexible. For example, the Olympic Charter already establishes the possibility of allowing binational venues. To this end, we have a co-hosting proposal between San Diego and Tijuana. The proposal has not been consolidated but is very well-prepared. One main issue we are contending with is finding a quick and less bureaucratic way for participants to cross the US-Mexico border, such as a preferential lane or another mechanism to facilitate the mobility of athletes.

Q: In Mexico, soccer is king, even among big sponsors. What should top brands and big corporations know about investing in Mexico’s Olympic athletes?

A: It is true that soccer is the most popular sport in Mexico but baseball, basketball and others also have solid sponsorship agreements. In general, sponsors are mostly attracted to sports that perform well and have good administration. COM’s relationship with its sponsors includes the sports federations that can most benefit from that sponsor, such as the Mexican Federation of Athletics Associations, Mexican Boxing Federation, Mexican Cycling Federation, Mexican Judo Federation and Mexican Equestrian Federation.

Q: Some people say Olympics success is only measured in medals. Beyond that, what is the ROI of investing in athletes?

A: Mexico’s young athletes are the most important ROI for sports federations, sponsors and the country itself because their effort and professional preparation benefit society and bolster the image of Mexico abroad. Because of their training, athletes develop important skills that will later help them perform to high standards in society, a company or an institution. Throughout their athletic career, they learn to work with discipline, commitment, long-term vision and in teams — all necessary qualities in a professional working environment. This is an important ROI because it guarantees that the athletes companies sponsor today will later become part of the professional workforce that pushes not only the sports industry but also Mexico’s social and economic development.