Sports Franchises Score Big With U.S. Hispanics

With a combined purchasing power of $1.4 trillion in 2016 — which will reach $1.7 trillion by 2020 — brands can’t afford to fumble their opportunity to reach U.S. Hispanic customers. 

But how can your brand fast-track the process of learning best practices to engage Spanish-speaking Hispanics? Companies can learn a lot about multilingual, multicultural marketing from the world of professional sports.

A Win for Sports Franchises

How are sports organizations leading the way in creating authentic engagement with U.S. Hispanics? 

“The NBA really did a lot of homework and research, and (realized) its sweet spot was going to be the more bicultural and acculturated Hispanic consumer,” explains Heidi Pellerano of Wasserman Media Group in an NPR post. The organization’s effort shows, for example, at “Noche Latina” events, where teams wear special jerseys identifying them as “El Heat” and “Los Lakers.”  



Major League Soccer targeted the Hispanic community by understanding not just the language, but the culture, according to an article in The Guardian. MLS players hail from 59 countries, and the league has built an impressive, diverse online presence. Its social media strategy, delivered in both English and Spanish, appeals to fans from all cultures, not just Hispanics. 

Learning from the Pros

How can brands replicate sports franchises’ success at scoring big with U.S. Hispanics? Major takeaways center on demonstrating commitment to the demographic.

Commit to year-round engagement: When it comes to building trust and loyalty with Hispanic audiences, there is no offseason. One-off campaigns come across as insincere and forced. Hispanic-focused events with the Miami Heat and L.A. Lakers have been highly successful because the teams build credibility with their fans, engaging them with Spanish-language content year-round. 

Engage the community: Cultural understanding is critical for brands marketing to U.S. Hispanics. Be aware of community events, trends and news that U.S. Hispanics are interested in. Understanding what’s important to these consumers — and demonstrating that your brand cares about their values — will dramatically improve engagement.

Use the right channels: Sports teams employ sophisticated multichannel strategies to reach fans. They often provide two-screen game experiences and allow fans to participate in real-time Twitter conversations during games, in their language of choice.

Univision reports that two-thirds of Hispanic millennials pay attention to ads on mobile devices, and almost half are smartphone “power users,” spending 25% more time on their phones than the general population. 

Providing creative content and campaigns that appeal to Hispanic audiences via their preferred channels is crucial to successful engagement.

Hit a Home Run with U.S. Hispanics

Brands that learn from sports franchises about how to engage U.S. Hispanics in multicultural, multilingual marketing campaigns can drive success within their own industries. Consistent, authentic engagement builds connections with U.S. Hispanic customers, building affinity, driving home brand messages and gaining loyal fans in the process. 

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