SAN ANTONIO – The Big 12 Conference on Thursday announced the creation of Big 12 Mexico, an “international extension” that will attempt to showcase men’s and women’s basketball games, along with both women’s soccer and baseball games in the bordering country.
Big 12 officials said in addition to the games, they are also trying to create a football bowl game in Monterrey, a game that would begin in 2026. It would be the first bowl game 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 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.”
The Big 12 first games will be a men’s and women’s basketball matchup between the University of Kansas and the University of Houston, set to be played in Mexico City at Arena CDMX in December of 2024. The conferences’ women’s soccer teams and baseball teams will then play exhibitions against club teams in the area.
The conference said in addition to the games, Big 12 Mexico will offer a variety of community outreach programming and commercial partnerships, using notable musicians and artists while launching an influencer campaign in the region. It will team up with Mexico City-based live entertainment agency Zignia as a co-promotional partner.
The press release said 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 already have campus extensions located in Mexico.
Throughout 2023, ESPN and FOX Sports will air select Big 12 football and basketball games in 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 on FOX Deportes (U.S. – based) channels.
Mexico City is the largest city in North America, with a greater area population of over 22 million.