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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Houston Cougars Men's and Women's Basketball to Face Kansas in Mexico City in December 2024
POSTED: June 8, 2023 -- 11:24 a.m. CT
Today, the Big 12 Conference announced the launch of Big 12 Mexico, the Conference's first international extension that will see Big 12 men's and women's basketball, women's soccer and baseball games held in Mexico. Big 12 Mexico's first contest will be a men's and women's basketball matchup between Kansas and Houston, held in Mexico City at Arena CDMX in December of 2024. Following the launch of Big 12 basketball in Mexico, Big 12 women's soccer and baseball will participate in exhibitions against clubs from the region.
Additionally, the Big 12 will explore establishing a football bowl game in Monterrey, starting in 2026. This would be the first bowl game ever held in Mexico.
“Mexico is a natural extension to the Big 12 footprint, and I'm thrilled to introduce Big 12 Mexico as the Conference's first-ever international presence,” said Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark. “Through Big 12 Mexico, our student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete in an international setting, and our Conference will have the chance to showcase our brand across Mexico.”
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Leading up to the launch of Big 12 Mexico and throughout 2023, FOX Sports and ESPN will help seed the Big 12 product across Mexico and Spanish-speaking communities through their ESPN Deportes (U.S – based), ESPN Mexico and ESPN on Star+ (Mexico – based channels and OTT service) and FOX Deportes (U.S. – based) channels, which will air select Big 12 football and basketball games. Additionally, the Big 12 will look to secure for the first time Spanish radio broadcasts for Big 12 Football and Basketball Championships in 2023-24 and beyond and will implement a robust Mexico digital strategy.
The Big 12 Conference will team up with Mexico City-based live entertainment agency Zignia as a co-promotional partner. Zignia will support with marketing and sales of Big 12 Mexico events, as well as provide the Conference with their depth of resources. Additionally, On Location, an Endeavor-owned company, will assist with all school travel and VIP packages, while Endeavor will assist the Conference in all facets of its international digital strategy. The Big 12 Business Advisory Board will also continue to provide key insights and counsel as the Conference grows its presence in Mexico.
Beyond hosting Conference games across multiple sports, Big 12 Mexico will see the Conference execute a variety of community outreach programming, commercial partnerships, merchandise and activations. This includes the Conference partnering with notable musicians and artists and launching an influencer marketing campaign in the region.
Five current and future Big 12 Conference campuses – Baylor, Houston, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech - are located less than 400 miles away from Mexico, while the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University have campus extensions in Mexico. Mexico City – the largest city in North America with a greater area population of over 22 million – has played host to MLB, NBA, NFL, and is home to the G League's Capitanes de Ciudad de México.
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