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Jalisco sports stars earning millions in state sponsorship

November 28, 2012

With the aim of promoting tourism in Jalisco, the state government has paid out over 401 million pesos (30 million dollars) in sponsorship deals since 2009.

Tapatio Formula One driver Sergio “Checo” Perez has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Jalisco Department of Tourism’s (Setujal) discretionary fund, earning 10.6 million pesos this year in performance-based payments.

The state paid Perez to wear a Jalisco logo on his racing overalls, yet the tiny font has barely been visible beside larger advertisements for brands such as Telcel and Telmex. Perez also received 6.9 million pesos in 2011 for a publicity stunt in which he raced his F1 car along the streets of Guadalajara.

Setujal has also helped fund Tapatio golfer Lorena Ochoa’s annual LPGA tournament, the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. The event received eight million pesos in state sponsorship in 2011 and another 7.5 million pesos this year.

In 2010, Setujal paid 9.8 million pesos to promote the fight between Tapatio boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Luciano Cuello; three million pesos for local soccer club Atlas to put the slogan “Jalisco es Mexico” on their shirts; and two million for the World Celebrities MotoCross series.

Other beneficiaries from the discretionary fund in recent years include Lucha Libre wrestling, the Mexico 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, and the Tianguis Turistico in Puerto Vallarta.

While the funds do not come from the official state budget, the government has way overspent on the amount allocated in the last three years. In 2009, Setujal spent just 48.5 million pesos of the 50 million allocated, but the following year it went 77 million pesos over budget, spending 127 million in total.

No allocation was revealed for 2011, when the total expenditure was 88 million pesos, but in 2012 – when the allocation was cut to just 20 million pesos – expenditure rose massively to 136 million. The government has set another allocation of 20 million pesos for 2013, although recent history suggests the figure has little bearing on how much will actually be spent.

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