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Move over Fútbol, the NFL Scores Big with Latinos

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By Richie Matthews, Managing Director of DIÁLOGO for Fox News Latino

More than 33 million Hispanics have watched professional football so far this season, making it the most-watched NFL season among Latinos. Professional football, not fútbol, delivered two of the most-watched professional sporting games in 2011 among Hispanics.

Generation Ñ

As a group, Hispanic children are growing faster than any other. History suggests today’s Latino kids eventually will become the parents of fully Americanized descendants whose only link to their cultural heritage is a surname, religious practice or holiday, said Hernán Ramírez, a sociologist at Florida State University who specializes in Hispanic assimilation tells the Tampa Tribune.

More and more NFL teams are courting the lucrative Latino market in attempt to tap into an aggressive and young fan base ready to shell out consumer dollars. Since Hispanic football fans spend nearly 15 hours engaged with the NFL each week during the regular season and because more Latinos watched the Super Bowl than the World Cup Final, it is easy to understand why the NFL’s strategic marketing efforts for this season’s big game should enable them to make unparalleled inroads with young Americans of Hispanic descent.

“There is a prevailing sense of ‘family’ in football,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Muñoz said in an interview with the web site USA Football. “You get that in the Hispanic community, and that’s what you want in a football team.”

According to the NFLHispanic.com, last year’s Super Bowl was the most watched TV program ever among Hispanics, averaging ten million Hispanic viewers.

Latino Influenced Super Bowls

The NFL played its first regular-season game outside the United States in 2005 and drew over 100,000 people in Mexico City. Over the last five years, the NFL has aggressively sought to connect with Hispanics, a fan base that is large and growing at rapid pitch. The 2011 season saw one of the most aggressive positioning strategies by NFL members as more than half of the teams celebrated Hispanic heritage events at various stadiums.

The NFL vamped its push towards U.S. Hispanics in recent years. Last year’s big game in Dallas offered a definitive Latino flair. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Texas grew more than twice as fast as the nation, thanks largely to a surge among Mexican Hispanics. Dallas has the fifth largest U.S. Hispanic population that are from Mexican decent and over 1.5 million Mexicans in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex are the third largest foreign born Mexican population in the U.S. per Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

There is a prevailing sense of ‘family’ in football. You get that in the Hispanic community, and that’s what you want in a football team.

- Anthony Muñoz, Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle

On one level, the choice to host the game in Dallas was rational–the weather is ideal, the atmosphere is fun and the tourist industry can accommodate the crowd. On another and most likely more influential level, the choice is strategic. What better way to captivate the Hispanic market than to bring the game to the famed Latino football hotspot?

In an interview with the Phoenix Business Journal, Victor Villalba, head of Spanish language broadcasting for the Dallas Cowboys, stated “most games are on Sunday, which meshes with traditional Latino family get-togethers and social gatherings.”

Super Bowl XLVI will showcase a full on attempt to captivate Hispanic audiences. The NFL is pushing its NFLHispanic.com website even more than ever. This site is designed as a tool to attract potential marketers to buy into their 360-degree platform approach to reach the Hispanic demographic. This approach allows brands to reach the segment at every angle from television, online, radio, print, calendar events to grass-roots efforts. Viewers can expect a markedly overt Hispanic overtone for this year’s championship game.

‘Show Me the Money’

The big push toward Hispanic consumers is in part due to the quality of fanship. Latinos tend to be ardent fans with strong home team convictions. High levels of extreme revelry coupled with abundant consumer dollars have motivated sports leagues to seriously re-evaluate their efforts toward the Hispanic population.

Hispanics in the United States tend to be predominantly male, on average younger that the non-Hispanic population, and tend to have higher viewership of sports. Marketing, advertising, and sponsorship dollars as well as innovative grassroots public relations initiatives have all been cultivated with the new target demographic in mind.

With the average cost for a 30-second commercial in the U.S. during the last World Cup costing $250,000 versus $3 million for the last Super bowl, professional football is an arena that marketers and media heavyweights are investing big in.

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Latinos of Mexican Descent Score Big with the NFL

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Texas will host Super Bowl XLV, the most watched event in American sports as the AFC and NFC go head-to-head for the right to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and make an unprecedented attempt to appeal to Americans of Mexican descent.

Written by Richie and Lucia Matthews for Poder Hispanic Magazine

Cowboy Stadium will host Super Bowl XLV, the first time that the Super Bowl will be held in the Dallas–Fort Worth area and only the third time it will be held in Texas.  The game, to be played on February 6, 2011, will pit the champions of the AFC and the NFC and for marketers focused on U.S. Hispanics of Mexican descent, the game pits professional football against fútbol.

More and more NFL teams are courting the lucrative Latino market in attempt to tap into an aggressive fan base ready to shell out consumer dollars.  The NFL’s strategic positioning and marketing efforts for this season’s big game will allow them to do just that.

In October 2005, the NFL played its first regular-season game outside the United States.  It drew over 100,000 people in Mexico City.  Over the last four years, the NFL has aggressively sought to connect with U.S. Latinos of Mexican descent, a fan base that is large and growing at rapid pitch.  The 2010 season saw one of the most aggressive positioning strategies by NFL members as more than half of the teams celebrated Mexican Hispanic Heritage events at various stadiums.

News Media heavyweights also invested big in Hispanic markets in 2010, and followed the NFL’s culturally relevant approach to reaching and activating Mexican Latinos.  In celebration of last year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, ESPN Deportes launched Fanático Latino, an integrated marketing campaign honoring the character and diversity of the Latino Sports Fans.  Univision Interactive Media and the NFL also went on the offense by jointly launching NFL.Com/Español Site.  In September 2010, professional football, not fútbol, delivered two of the most-watched season opening games among Hispanics.  That week’s top English-language program among Hispanics was NBC’s September 12 “Sunday Night Football” game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

Almost every U.S. professional sports league has joined the mad dash to reach Mexican Latino populations.  Whereas traditionally boxing and soccer thrived on Latino fandom, other leagues are now vying for a chunk of the pie.  The NBA launched large-scale marketing efforts including Spanish-language radio broadcasts and team websites and community-engaging events.  The MLB, NHL and even NASCAR have similar campaigns underway.

According to the Nielsen Company, Hispanic NFL viewership has skyrocketed, up over 12 percent from last season.  Ratings are up over that same time period too, by 7 percent, the media ratings company said.  This is up from last year’s Super Bowl between, which averaged 7.8 million Latino viewers in the U.S., and a huge increase from the 2003 season’s average of 780,000 Hispanic viewers per regular season game.  Increased growth is especially critical in the down economy that has forced the NFL to downsize its workforce.

The NFL vamped its push towards U.S. Hispanics in recent years.  Marketing, advertising and sponsorship dollars as well as innovative grassroots initiatives have all been cultivated with the new target demographic in mind.

Dallas offers a definitive Mexican Latino flair to this year’s Super Bowl.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the U.S. population now stands at 308,745,538, up just 9.7 percent over the last decade – the slowest growth rate since the Great Depression.  However, Texas grew more than twice as fast as the nation, thanks largely to a surge among Mexican Hispanics.  Dallas has the fifth largest U.S. Hispanic population that are from Mexican decent and over 1.5 million Mexicans in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex are the third largest foreign born Mexican population in the U.S. per Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

On one level, the choice to host the game in Dallas is rational–the weather is ideal, the atmosphere is fun and the tourist industry can accommodate the crowd.  On another and most likely more influential level, the choice is strategic.  What better way to captivate the Mexican Hispanic market than to bring the game to the famed Latino football hotspot.

The big push towards Hispanic consumers is in part due to the quality of fanship they offer.  Latinos tend to be ardent fans with strong home team convictions.  Simply look at the level of dedication Hispanics have for their beloved fútbol teams and it is easy to understand what has U.S. professional sports leagues salivating.

High levels of extreme fandom coupled with abundant consumer dollars have motivated sports leagues to seriously re-evaluate their efforts towards the Hispanic population.

Super Bowl XLV will showcase a full on attempt to captivate Hispanic audiences.  The NFL is pushing its NFLHispanic.com website even more than ever.  This site is designed as a tool to attract potential marketers to buy into their 360-degree platform approach to reach the Hispanic demographic.  This approach allows brands to reach the segment at every angle from television, online, radio, print, calendar events to grass-roots efforts.  Viewers can expect a markedly overt Hispanic overtone for this year’s championship game.

The key to success when communicating with Hispanics is to appeal to the segment through dialogue rather than target them using a monologue.  Messaging should resonate with the diverse peoples who identify as being Hispanic in order to truly grab their attention.  According to Nielson, last year’s Super Bowl ranks as the most-watched American television program ever with an average audience of 106.5 million viewers.  NFLHispanic.com states over 3 million more Hispanics on average watched last year’s Super Bowl XLIV than the World Cup Final.  Perhaps the league already has the field of cultural marketing figured out.

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DIÁLOGO wins the Best Mid-Size Business of the Year Award, from the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

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Posted September 26th, 2010 in Events, Hispanic Marketing, News, Public Relations, Technology

DIÁLOGO, San Diego’s largest Hispanic-focused public relations firm has won the 2010 San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Best Mid-Size Business of the Year Award at the chamber’s annual gala which was held on Saturday, September 18.

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DIÁLOGO Wins Best California PR Agency Using Social Media to Reach Latinos Award

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Posted September 26th, 2010 in Events, Hispanic Marketing, News, Public Relations, Technology

DIÁLOGO, the fastest growing Hispanic-focused public relations firm in California has won the Latino in Social Media (LATISM) Best California Public Relations Agency Using Social Media to Reach Latinos award at LATISM’s gala on Saturday, September 18.  The four other finalists were Axis, Edelman Digital, RLPR and VPE PR.

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Melding The Business World With Hispanic Audiences

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Posted September 3rd, 2010 in Events

The growing impact of the Hispanic community online is an area requiring enhanced corporate attention.

By Richie Matthews and Alice Gomez, for PODER Hispanic Magazine.

More businesses are incorporating online communities and social networks within their corporate strategy.  As these domains increasingly become a fundamental component for professional success, organizations should look to experts on the forefront of this industry to understand the extent of the benefits Web 2.0 tactics have to offer.

The growing impact of the Hispanic community online is another area requiring enhanced corporate attention.  This consumer segment’s purchasing power is expecting to reach $1 trillion this year in the U.S. alone.  That is a number worth targeting.  The considerably young, up-and-coming Hispanic population has been dubbed media mavens for their avid technology and internet usage and thus can be successfully reached through online strategies.

Entrepreneurs such as Fernando Espuelas have been aware of the vitality of communicating with Latinos through technology for years.  Espuelas has built his career around empowering people through media, technology, and information particularly among Hispanics.  Recognized as one of the Internet’s pioneers by the New York Times, Harvard University and media across the world, Espuelas has been at the forefront of online communities and social networks.

With a professional portfolio that boasts a number of lucrative tech savvy ventures, Espuelas offers a lot of insight to the intricacies of this developing field.  His endeavors include serving as the host and managing editor of Café Espuelas, the number 1 rated Spanish language AM station in Los Angeles, part of the Univision Radio Network.

Espuelas also founded StarMedia, the first multi-platform digital media company for Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking people worldwide.  StarMedia transcended national barriers, becoming the most recognized pan-Latin new media brand, eventually serving 25 million people per month.

The rise of the company was chronicled in the Harvard University Business School case called “StarMedia: Launching a Latin American Revolution.”  StarMedia’s market capitalization reached $3.8 billion dollars and is today France Telecom’s market leading Internet operation in the Spanish-speaking world.

Espuelas’ pioneering development of the Latin Internet earned him worldwide recognition.  Time magazine honored him as one of the “Leaders of the Millennium,” and he was named a “2000 All-Star” business leader by Crain’s New York Business magazine.  The World Economic Forum includes him among its “Global Leaders of Tomorrow,” and he was also a recipient of Latin Trade Magazine’s Bravo award for CEO of the Year.  In 2007, he was named a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Espuelas will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce’s 2010 Hispanic Business Showcase to be held at the San Diego Convention Center Sept. 10-11.  The Hispanic Business Showcase will provide a venue for businesses to enhance their relationships, research the market for leading products and services and learn about the latest best business practices.  Espuelas’ expertise will provide attendees with increased competencies for the tapping into the vast potential that exists in communicating with Hispanics through technological innovation.

Hispanics will continue to be an important part of the economic system.  Their affinity for technologies that ease communicating across geographic boundaries, allow interaction, build communities for like-minded individuals and provide entertainment will affect the way organizations approach business.  Experts with established working models for communicating with Hispanics through technologies can guide the corporate world over the threshold into the new age of technological advancements.

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