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Trendsetters: Itau’s Andrea Cordeiro Changes the Rules for Sponsorship Marketing
Brazil’s Itau Unibanco may be Latin America’s largest bank, but it’s also quickly gaining a global reputation for smart marketing. The company’s CMO, Fernando Chacon, was named an Internationalist of the Year in 2014 for progressive views that are uncommon among bank marketers. His chapter in the book, The Reinvention of Marketing, outlines his strategy for achieving Itau’s vision to be the leading bank in sustainable performance and customer satisfaction.
And now Itau’s Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro, Director of Institutional and Wholesale Marketing, is also breaking the rules.
The bank has become the top sponsor of The Miami Open tennis tournament after six years as a second-tier sponsor. Held on Key Biscayne and known as the Fifth Grand Slam, The Miami Open has attracted numerous top sponsors, which resulted in a series of name changes. The tennis event has been known as the Lipton International Players Championships, the Ericsson Open, the NASDAQ-100 Open, and, most recently, the Sony Ericsson Open.
However, Ms. Cordeiro decided to boldly break with tradition and forego the naming rights entirely. Instead, she is handing over the brand to the city of Miami, which many consider as the rightful owner. For as long as Itau remains the official sponsor, the tournament will be known simply as The Miami Open.
"Itau doesn't want to be known as a tennis tournament," says Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro, but as a global Latin American bank that supports sports and one of the best tennis tournaments in the world." Itau also understands the power of the Miami brand. She adds, "Miami stands for cool, hip, exciting. We are better off associating ourselves with Miami's image, than trying to overshadow it with our own."
Miami is also home to the international headquarters of Itau Private Bank, whose clients hail from across the continent. This Miami division is a growing force in South Florida's private banking industry and is led by Frances Sevilla-Sacasa, one of few women who serves as a CEO in the private banking industry.
Despite its perspective on naming rights, Itau is very much involved with presenting a new image for the tournament. In another uncharacteristic move, the bank's in-house design department in São Paulo, created the new Miami Open logo, which can now be seen prominently throughout South Florida in anticipation of the Open which runs from March 23 to April 5, and also even designed the tournament trophies. Ms. Cordeiro commented, "We are especially proud of developing the tournament's new visual identity." Game, set and match to Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro.
Interestingly, Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro began her career as an intern in Banco Itau's marketing department. She then pursued an MBA at the Harvard Business School, and took on several marketing roles at Patagon do Brasil and Visa do Brasil before returning to Itau Unibanco in 2009.
Tennis has been an important platform for Itau and its connections with customers. The bank also supports the Rio Open, the only combined men’s and women’s event in South America. The Miami Open, similarly, is a combined event for top players on both the men’s and women’s tennis tours.