President & CEO of Pinta, a leading multicultural marketing firm with clients including Amex, Dr. Seuss,Heineken, Microsoft, NFL & T-Mobile.
Hispanics exude passion, and there’s nothing we get more passionate about than sports. As the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, sports represent one of the many industries temporarily on hold but charting a new path to normalcy.
The NBA is entering a postseason played entirely in Orlando. MLB is playing a truncated, 60-game season for the first time in its 150-year history. The NFL is actively exploring options to ensure fans hungry for football action have a season to cheer on their favorite team. One glimmer of hope in this unrecognizable landscape is the sheer force of the Latino fan base.
There remains a potent market for sports organizations. A 2019 study commissioned by Turnkey, Sports Business Journal and Telemundo found that Latino sports fans are significantly more likely (54%) than non-Latino counterparts (48%) to support companies that sponsor their teams or leagues, by subsequently purchasing their products for the first time.
Furthermore, according to findings (paywall) from Telemundo rival Univision, Latino sports fans are 33% more likely than non-Hispanics to purchase products based on the commercials they view in between programs, and in the past few years, viewership among this population grew by more than 25%.
As the owner of a full-service Hispanic agency, I am laser-focused on helping big brands better cater to their Hispanic audiences. Sports leagues, teams, brands and marketing agencies would be wise to double down on this burgeoning market. But before doing so, here a few key points to keep in mind.
Every Sport Is Relevant
Hispanic players needn’t be represented on the field in order to make the games entertaining and meaningful for the fan. The NBA created a program called Ene-Be-A (the phonetic spelling of the league acronym in Spanish), which includes translated team names on apparel and dedicated Latino fan appreciation nights in arenas across the country.
The NFL has spent years creating campaigns in culture, engaging Latino influencers and heavily promoting its games on Spanish-language broadcast networks, along with the online and social channels in-language. (Full disclosure: The NFL is a client of the author’s company.)
It’s not just a matter of Hispanics watching traditional American sports, but also the more commonly known Latino sports growing in popularity with the rest of the country. The most recent Women’s World Cup drew 20 million viewers for the final match and set a record for online streaming. The match delivered an average minute audience of 289,000 online viewers for the Fox network — up 402% from the 2015 Women’s World Cup — making it the most-streamed sports final (men’s or women’s) in the U.S.
Marketers should, therefore, think beyond the stereotypical sports, and develop different approaches. Campaigns can resonate authentically if marketers understand that Latinos have permeated every facet of American society.
For any demographic segment, personalities help humanize the experience and create a greater sense of loyalty. This will only grow in importance in the future, as young Hispanics are 46% more likely than older Hispanics to discover brands based on celebrity endorsements.
Brands should, therefore, think carefully about their influencer strategy, curating a list of well-known and well-respected athletes who resonate with the Latin audience, embody ethical behavior and exhibit synergies with the brand’s core attributes. Take the time to cultivate campaigns that thrive on personality and align with your values and mission.
Lead With Digital
According to a study conducted by ESPN, Hispanics spend 90 hours per month online with 75% of that time on a mobile device. As Hispanics are known to over-index on digital usage, it’s no surprise that the demographic leans toward multiple media channels, devices and platforms.
This may be because Hispanic fans follow a greater variety of sports (including more niche sports, such as auto racing) and are thus more apt to seek out information across different platforms, including those that may have more in-depth coverage of nontraditional sports.
With this in mind, marketers should ensure all of their productions are mobile-first (not just mobile-friendly), and all content should be flexible to be adapted in various formats. For example, if shooting a TV spot or commercial, the concept should be editable into 15-second ads for digital and bite-sized capsules for social.
A Unifying Theme
Sports have long represented a coalescing force in our lives, helping people from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, ages and even political affiliations come together in shared spirit.
Executives in the sports world would be wise to engage Latinos in their marketing campaigns and truly embody the spirit of unity this country has always exemplified. It makes sense for our collective community, as well as their bottom line.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Go to Source
Author: Mike Valdes-Fauli, Forbes Councils Member