44SPORTS aims to make an impact in Liga MX

The Liga MX can benefit from consultants who have experience in the European market. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images)
The Liga MX can benefit from consultants who have experience in the European market. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images) /

Most people who have a working knowledge of the football industry in Latin America will agree that the landscape in the region is colorful, varied, and at times wild.

In Mexico, such knowledge is gradually becoming more accessible as the national leagues and governing bodies are slowly becoming more transparent and market savvy.

Still, gaining a clear insight into the local landscape can require patience, an exceptional network of personal contacts and a strong understanding of local culture and politics.

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Given the size of its market, Mexico catches the attention of all the big players in the sports industry, yet it remains an intriguing, and in some cases, frustrating market for business.

Recently, I had the chance to chat with the executives at 44SPORTS, a football consultancy that has been operating in Mexico since 2016. The group is led by Joel Tatton-Bennett, the managing director, and Alexander Mahoney, head of operations.

Briefly, what is 44SPORTS?

44SPORTS is a human-centric football consultancy based in Mexico City that aims to add value to the local football ecosystem by providing support to clubs, agencies and sports organizations looking for international expansion through brand visibility and the identification of commercial and sporting opportunities.

Similarly, we are well placed to support overseas clubs, agents and organizations looking to expand their presence, conduct business here or generally learn more about the region.

In essence, 44SPORTS is a safe pair of hands on the ground in the Americas ready to provide objective, professional, efficient and impartial services.

What specific expertise do you bring to the table?

We focus principally on two service lines: player transfers and football consultancy.

At present, we represent a few players, while also collaborating with selected international agencies to broker sporting opportunities via an extensive network of professional relationships.

In Mexico, we want to help Liga MX clubs improve their international presence, identify commercial opportunities and shop selected players to international markets.

Along with our consulting work, we use our expertise and network of professionals to implement best practices in tactical analysis, performance data, scouting, squad reviews, contract negotiations, commercial opportunities and international transfer policies.

Why the focus on Concacaf?

Although we are led by senior British executives, the Latin American business culture and mindset is ingrained in 44SPORTS’ DNA. Our founders have a combined total of 20+ years professional experience of international deal making and transactions throughout the region.

This is a unique time for soccer in The Americas, particularly as Mexico prepares for joint hosting the 2026 World Cup. Various large-scale infrastructure projects are under way or in the pipeline in designated host cities Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.

Moreover, the expected alignment of the MLS, CPL (Canadian Premier League) and Liga MX will also allow for the implementation of a more internationally focused framework across Mexican football. As such, more consistent alignment with Concacaf will likely encourage the ubiquitous use of new technology and modern business strategy across Mexican clubs.

Along with our Latin American experience, being based in Mexico City allows 44SPORTS to maintain essential engagement with key stakeholders in the MLS, USL and CPL. The cultural alignment and corporate mindset of US and Canadian clubs is highly beneficial and will no doubt have a huge positive influence on preparations for the 2026 World Cup as well as the planned joint ventures of the North American leagues.

What are your short-term goals within Liga MX and the larger Mexican soccer community?

In general, we want to have a long lasting, positive impact on clubs and players on several fronts. We aim to support clubs’ implementation of industry best practices both on and off the pitch through technology whilst consistently improving collaboration with international clubs.

Underpinning this is our focus on positive social impact for players and clubs alike. We are passionate in creating a platform for players to enable to reach their potential by drawing on a wide range of support services. We also strive to provide the tools they’ll need to have a positive impact on their community during and beyond their playing career.

How can a Liga MX team benefit from using what 44SPORTS offers?

As Mexico gears up for the 2026 World Cup as well as closer alignment with Canada and the US, 44SPORTS can help Liga MX teams better establish themselves within the international football community through player trading, sponsorships and other commercial deals.

Through our global network we are able to establish international brand credibility and implement a sustainable platform for successful player transfers abroad.

What are the principal differences between Europe and Concacaf?

In our opinion there are several key differences. The cultural difference in doing business can be highly detrimental to European clubs when trying to close deals in the region. We all know culture eats strategy for breakfast. There are numerous examples of player transfers, collaborations, club investments and acquisitions that have fallen through the cracks due to this.

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There is also a notable gap between Europe’s top leagues and Liga MX in terms of sophistication with regard to monitoring player performance. The implementation of tailored individualized programs based on player metrics is one example. One could say players are viewed as hired employees here, whereas European-based players are seen as athletes. As such, clubs facilitate a more holistic approach to conditioning, onboarding and welfare.