Beyond The World Cup: The Power Of Hispanic Sports Fans

31 August 2010 No Comment

It’s hardly a secret that Hispanic sports fans in the U.S. love soccer. In some cities, the word “love” may be an understatement.

Fervent, fanatical fútbol lovers have been the target of many a Chief Marketing Officer, working on behalf of a brand, product or service seeking to maximize its potential for growth in the U.S. Hispanic market.

From beer to home improvement retailers to electronics companies and wireless service providers, teaming up with a sports league, favored team or top talent has emerged as a powerful way to get a brand recognized.

Yet many marketers stop at the most obvious of opportunities — soccer. Some are simply unaware — or perhaps ignorant — of the additional opportunities for sales growth, activations and that all-important ROI those in the C-Suite hold as their ultimate sign of success.

Soccer is by far the No. 1 sport among all Hispanics in the U.S. But not all Latinos are alike, and from region to region across the nation savvy marketers have already noticed — and responded.

For Hispanics whose heritage is tied to the Caribbean or Venezuela, baseball rules. Among Latinos across the American West, the Los Angeles Lakers and team superstar Kobe Bryant hold court like few other sports properties. In Miami, a typical tailgate party ahead of a Dolphins home game features churrasco, salchicha and a cacophony of car stereos blaring salsa and reggaetón tunes. Additionally, boxing and UFC mixed martial arts telecasts have become major events for thousands of Hispanic males in their 20s and 30s.

Other sports have started the process of luring Latino fans. NASCAR, thanks to the presence of Juan Pablo Montoya, has gained in popularity among Hispanics. There’s even a hockey community in Mexico, although visibility and participation have each experienced challenges due to cost and accessibility.

That being said, soccer was the principal topic of discussion among the Hispanic media and advertising executives contacted for the first Hispanic Sports Overview, set for release on Wednesday, September 1 by and, the exclusive distribution partner in the U.S. Hispanic market.

Let the recently concluded 2010 FIFA World Cup serve as not only a wake-up call for marketers to start targeting Latino soccer fans, but for them to consider other sports with strong passion levels across an important and ever-growing consumer group.

With coverage of this year’s World Cup setting new Nielsen and Arbitron audience records for both television and radio, chatter of the 2014 World Cup has already been started among marketers.

Why wait? We believe the opportunity to activate Latino sports fans can start today. All it takes is a little knowledge, a good pitch and a clear goal.