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The Cultural Connection: Why Fútbol is King with Hispanics

This summer’s Copa América Centenario on Univision Deportes reached 47.7 million viewers and averaged 2.9 million total viewers 2+ per match, outperforming the 2014 World Cup. From a viewership perspective, the tournament was beyond successful, and the key to why hinges on two major factors: culture and connection.

During Copa América Centenario, U.S. Hispanics made up 74% of the total viewership across Univision and Fox properties combined. You’ve likely heard that in Hispanic culture, soccer, or rather fútbol, is king. And it’s true.

Look at the numbers: A whopping 84% of Hispanics follow the sport, compared to 47% of non-Hispanics. In fact, the average Hispanic sports fan watches nearly 3x as much soccer as non-Hispanic fans. Soccer, like food and music, is one of Hispanics’ most beloved passion points, intrinsic to the culture and part of nearly every Hispanic child’s upbringing.

Bigger picture, soccer is important to Hispanics because sports are important to Hispanics. Fun fact: More Hispanics watch sports every day (41%) than non-Hispanics (34%). Enjoying sports, by its very nature, activates several other cultural touchpoints for Hispanics. It’s an excuse to gather with friends and family around food and drink, to celebrate the home team, and to engender a sense of pride in the next generation.

Using soccer to bridge the generational divide, 76% percent of kids and teens who watched Copa América Centenario on Univision did so with an adult, learning young from tías and abuelos the family soccer traditions. Co-viewing of soccer not only passes along the love of the game, it reinforces a connection to the family’s home country for U.S. born Hispanics.

In fact, based on census data, approximately 75% of U.S. Hispanics will find their countries of origin represented by one of the teams playing in next summer’s Gold Cup. By keeping U.S. Hispanics connected to their culture and their home country through tournaments that take place in the U.S.—like the 2016 Copa América Centenario and 2017 Gold Cup—soccer allows them to acknowledge and thrive in their duality.

Next summer, at the 2017 Gold Cup, Univision Deportes is poised to deliver what U.S. Hispanics crave : Teams that resonate and games in primetime on U.S. soil, all during July’s premier sporting event for fanáticos. It’s the best place for marketers to reach Hispanics next summer, and it’s not too late to tap into both culture and connection to do so.

Source: Nielsen, NPM, L+SD data, Npower R&F w/ 6 min qualifier; Simmons NCS/NHCS Spring 2015, A18+; Univision’s 2014 Sports Study “Capturing the Spirit of the Hispanic Sports Fan” in partnership with Vital Findings; 2010 U.S. Census.

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