Article Sports

On the Ground at the Sports Marketing Symposium

Oct 23, 2014

I recently sat on a panel at Sports Business Journal’s Marketing Symposium and shared the results of a new, nationwide study conducted by Univision in partnership with Vital Findings on Hispanic sports “fanaticos.”   In short, we discovered that Hispanic sports fans consume more sports, engage in more sports celebrations and conversations and spend more money overall. “A few years ago, you would’ve seen a lot of golf in the AT&T marketing portfolio.  These days, it’s a lot of soccer.”  That’s what AT&T’s VP of Diversity Markets Jennifer Jones said during the panel.

The comment elicited laughs from the audience, but it also provided a very real portrait of where big brands are shifting their sports dollars.  It’s because they know success with Hispanics means success for their businesses, and soccer is a major way to connect.  In fact, our new sports research shows that 84% of all Hispanic sports fans follow soccer vs. 47% of non-Hispanic fans.  Now, let’s break that down to a team level.  One out of every two Hispanic sports fans follow the Mexican National Team, specifically, and more than one-third of fans say they watch most/every game.  That’s the nerve center of passion, and something I’m sure marketers want their brands to be surrounded by. I said it during the panel at the Symposium, and I’ll say it again now.  The intersection of sports and Hispanic is where the money is for brands.  Here’s some of what was said by my fellow panelists:

  • “Multicultural marketing is just marketing.  We have money to spend, but you need to invite us to your party.”  Mark Strachan, VP of brand marketing, Diageo.
  • “We are marketing to fans.  We are marketing to the U.S., and the U.S. is diverse.”  Kenny Mitchell, managing director of Brand and Consumer Marketing, NASCAR.
  • “It’s time to move past the inertia of the ‘way things have always been done.’”  AT&T’s Jones.

Thanks to Sports Business Journal for inviting us to participate in the event and pen an article on our new research in its October 13th issue.  Here’s also a summary of our findings in a visual format.  Reach out to us via @Hispanic411 if you’d like to hear more about the “More Sports Consumer.”  There’s a reason that Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin shared at the event that one of his next big moves is to hire a Diversity executive.  He was clear about where he believes some of his team’s biggest opportunities lie: multicultural consumers.

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