Best Buy has signed a deal with Major League Soccer player Cuauhtémoc Blanco, making him the first brand ambassador for the consumer electronics retailer.
In exchange, Best Buy will sponsor Chicago Fire Soccer, a Chicago-area professional soccer club, which Blanco is involved in. The deal includes making Best Buy the club’s official presenting sponsor and first jersey sponsor. It also makes the retailer a sponsor of FireWorks for Kids events, such as the Annual Season Kick-off Luncheon and the Annual Frank Klopas Golf Outing.
Under the three-year deal, Blanco will work with Best Buy in the U.S. as brand ambassador for the company’s new Hispanic shopper experience. He also will work with the retailer’s 45 Chicago-area stores to encourage learning through technology among young people, the company said.
“Cuauhtémoc is one of the biggest soccer stars in the world, and he’s a great addition to our team in Chicago,” said Glen Swanson, territory general manager for Best Buy, in a statement. “Our work with Cuauhtémoc will help us better connect with our customers in the community.”
The sponsorship is part of a larger effort by Best Buy to improve the shopping experience for Hispanic customers. In November, it launched a Spanish-language version of its Web site at http://www.espanol.bestbuy.com. It also has added
bilingual signage throughout the stores and will roll out a national advertising campaign created for Hispanic customers.
“Connecting with out Hispanic customers is a fundamental part of Best buy’s growth strategy,” said Teresa Iglesias-Solomon, Best Buy’s vice president of multicultural initiatives, in a statement. “ Our involvement with Cuauhtémoc and Chicago Fire Soccer will help us build long-lasting relationships with many new customers, especially those with a Hispanic background.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed,
The news comes as Best Buy’s fourth quarter net income dropped 3.4% and same stores sales dipped. For the quarter ended March 1, Best Buy reported net income of $737 million, compared to $763 million last year. The retailer’s fourth-quarter sales increased 4% to $13.4 billion, the smallest gain in at least nine years.
Increased sales of video gaming equipment, notebook computers, flat-panel televisions and global positioning system devices and the opening of 137 new stores helped offset declining sales from TVs, MP3 devices and DVDs, the company said.
Best Buy said its full-year sales would reach $43 billion to $44 billion.