Latin America Reports

Comex, Frazee play ball with Chivas USA

By Charles W. Thurston | July 26, 2007

Comex and its subsidiary, Frazee Paint, look to increase exposure as the new sponsor for the Chivas USA major league soccer team.

Mexico's largest paint producer, Consorcio Comex, and its U.S. West Coast subsidiary, Frazee Paint, have recently signed a multi-million-dollar deal to sponsor the Chivas USA major league soccer team, based in Carson, within Los Angeles county California, for three years, according to Brian Martin, the international liaison for Comex Group.

As part of the deal, the Comex brand name will appear exclusively on the soccer jersey fronts, and the team's $10 million home stadium-the Bell Gardens Sports Center-will be renamed the Frazee Bell Gardens Sports Center. The Chivas USA team is a spin-off the Guadalajara Chivas team, Mexico's most popular; Las Chivas means "the goats" in Spanish.

"The intention is co-branding. Frazee is the local sponsor for Chivas, and will do TV, radio, in-stadium and in-store promos, so this is more about Frazee than about Comex," said Martin. "There is a very large and growing Hispanic population in California, Arizona and Nevada, and clearly this includes retail consumers and professional painters."

At the announcement of the deal, Martin said, "Comex Group is proud to team up with Chivas USA to bring the color and passion of our brand to major league soccer. We hope that, through our alliance with Chivas USA, consumers in the U.S. who are familiar with our family of brands will also come to recognize the Comex brand name. Comex Group is a precise and fast moving company, constantly innovating in order to conquer a market that requires a change in posture to tackle its challenges."

For Frazee's three-state area of activity, the Latino population is over 15 million. The Latin population in California is 12.8 million, representing 35.2% of the 36.5 million total population, compared with a total U.S. Latino population of 43.2 million, representing 14.4% out of the total population of close to 300 million. In Arizona, there are 1.7 million Latinos, or 28.5% out of a total population of 6.1 million, and in Nevada, there are over half a million Latinos, or 23.5% out of a total population of 2.5 million, according to 2005 Census data.

"In Mexico, Comex is a major sponsor of soccer and wrestling, and does TV advertising. Our largest sponsorships are in Mexico and the U.S. but we also do smaller sponsorships in Central America," Martin said. "We expect to invest more in marketing in the coming years, but it will be a gradual increase; there is a very strong focus on brand equity."

Comex is the fourth largest architectural paint manufacturer in North America with over 3,000 locations from Canada to Panama. Comex acquired Frazee in 2004 through the purchase of Professional Paint Inc. Frazee, like the other U.S. regional companies that make up PPI, is known for its localized climactic formulations for paint and coatings, including the Envirokote line of zero-VOC products.

Paint contractors make up approximately 85% of all PPI paint sales. Based in San Diego, Frazee has approximately 115 locations, including all areas of California. Frazee produces an estimated 17 million gallons a year, including architectural, commercial, industrial and government specification coatings. Frazee's export destinations include China, Guam and Mexico. "There is a bit of Comex and Frazee product that crosses the (U.S.-Mexico) border in each direction, but not much," said Martin.