It’s a Man’s World: Sports, Sex and Automobiles
It’s what men talk about at work and at parties; it’s what men dream about at night and look forward to on the weekends. Sports content is a huge passion point among Latino men, and a major driver of online traffic. Hispanic media properties and advertisers are taking advantage of it: JumpTV, an online destination that until recently had provided online access to a host of different national and international TV channels, recently recalibrated its strategy to focus exclusively on sports content and Latino-related programming. “It is the intersection of these two strategies which will allow us to leverage both the sports and Hispanic audiences and related content to cross sell, up-sell and broaden our current audience," said Jordan Banks, chief executive officer of JumpTV.
In late January, the company acquired the exclusive North American online and mobile rights for the 70 remaining matches of the FIFA 2010 World Cup South American qualifying matches from SCP Worldwide. JumpTV paid approximately $3.5 million for a minority stake in the rights for all broadcast platforms, including DTH, cable, terrestrial, Internet and mobile. As part of the transaction, JumpTV will exclusively carry the live games online and will sub-license on-demand highlights to other potential online partners. JumpTV and SCP will also select and sub-license to mobile partners. According to Bill Stephen, Head of Global Ad sale for JumpTV, the advertising offering will be very robust, with pre-rolls, overlays, custom integration, mobile and VOD opportunities.
ESPN Deportes la Revista (55,000, 10x Year, Spanish) began publishing three years ago under the Televisa banner, targeting the coveted 18-34 year old Hispanic male. “In actuality, our audience is skewed more toward the 25-34 audience,” says Director and Publisher Sam Pagan. “It’s a highly-desirable demographic from and advertisers perspective, as younger consumers are trend-setters and establishing a relationship with them early-on can reap benefits for years thereafter.” Pagan estimates that between 88%-90% of his magazine’s readership is male. He also notes that while most of his magazine’s audience is Spanish-dominant, there are also a fair amount of bilingual readers. ESPN Deportes has its own staff of writers that work independently from the general market magazine, although they sometimes use content generated by the English-language magazine and adapt it for their Spanish-speaking audience. “Oftentimes, though, they’ll come to us for soccer coverage,” says Pagan.
In terms of advertising, the magazine is actively pursuing companies that are present in general market sports publications: “We’re trying to get endemic sports advertisers to advertise with us. Companies like Nike, Under Armor and Adidas are all big advertisers in the general market, but not yet in Hispanic.” Pagan sees enlisting these advertisers as an industry-wide challenge that all Hispanic sports magazines must meet in order for any of them to really succeed. At the moment, though, the magazine’s biggest ad category is automotive. Other ad categories include the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as some fashion, fast food and wireless.
Speaking to why print is a good vehicle to serve sports fans and advertisers, Pagan says this: “Although the Internet is hot, and broadcast has its own merits, magazines continue to be a vehicle of convenience. You can bring it with you anywhere, and pass it on to friends,” says Pagan, noting that the magazine has 3.9 readers per copy. He does acknowledge that there are some challenges to contend with when it comes to wooing advertisers, saying that “print has the challenge of being a hip, cool medium again.”
Fox Sports en Español Publisher Jeffrey Duque comments: “I think our readers demand content that takes their passion points into account. When it comes to sports in the Hispanic market the foundation is Fútbol and Beisbol, hence our two distinct versions, that go beyond just changes in the cover, with each version having customized sections. That said, we also find that our readers are very passionate about a cross-section of multiple sports such as Formula 1, Boxing, Tennis, NASCAR, even professional wrestling—amongst others. I think the key to our editorial success has been working with editors, contributors and art directors who live and breathe the passion of sports relevant to the Hispanic male.” Fox Sports’ publications have a 750,000 circulation, distributed 10 times a year via Spanish-language newspapers in Miami, NY, Chicago, LA, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and most recently, San Francisco. The company’s core demo is Hispanic Men 18-49, HH Income $45K, 80% + male, 63% married, 51% Mexican, 20% Caribbean Hispanic, 29% South & Central American.
Also taking advantage of Hispanic men’s affinity for Futbol and Beisbol is Sencion Marketing Creatives, which publishes Futbol Mundial and Beisbol Mundial. Futbol Mundial even achieved cross-over success by launching Futbol Mundial US, an English-language version of its magazine, in 2006. Just as ESPN Deportes is consulted by its general market counterpart for some of its soccer coverage, Futbol Mundial also ventured into the general market with its expertise. Particularly for soccer coverage, it seems that the Hispanic media market is the general authority.
The old adage holds as true as ever. Today, sex-themed men’s magazines are proliferating as never before, in direct proportion—if possible—to the amount of demand that exists for such content. When Hugh Heffner printed the first issue of playboy magazine in 1953, it’s unlikely that he conceived of the floodgate he was opening. What’s surprising is that the surge didn’t really occur until the mid-to-late nineties when magazines like Maxim and Stuff came to the fore.
Following that Maxim En Español has an un-audited circulation of 50,000 monthly copies, with 61% of those copies being sold at newsstands and the remainder going out to subscribers. The magazine’s core demo is 18-44 year-old males who are Spanish-dominant and have a average household income of $53,000. The average reader is a 32 year-old single male. “This is a hugely important demographic for many advertisers, as this group over-indexes in key categories like alcohol, automotive, fashion, and technology,” says Guillermo Plehn, ad-sales and marketing Director for Televisa Publishing. Plehn says that the magazine’s content is very much in-line with the ad-categories represented, and thus features auto coverage, tips on mixing cocktails, technology reviews, etc, and, of course, drop-dead gorgeous and scantily-clad females gracing its pages.
Speaking to why readers are served well by having this content in print as opposed to other vehicles, Plehn says, “Since this is an audience that spends and consumes, print is a better vehicle because it targets more educated and affluent people.” Plehn also contends that there has been an awakening among certain advertisers regarding the intrinsic value of print media: “I think advertisers believed for a long time that they could reach all Hispanic males through TV,” says Plehn. “The launch of sports and men's titles in the market in the last 2-3 years has helped advertisers see that TV is not enough and they need to use print when targeting specific male products. Also, advertisers have long-believed that Hispanic males did not read; but this has changed with the success of titles reaching this segment.” Maxim en Español has a range of advertisers that include: General Motors, Anheuser-Busch, Toyota, Chrysler, Verizon Communications and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, among others. Among its more creative options that it offers advertisers beyond basic ROP are calendars, events, cover parties, model sweepstakes and contests.
Another player in the Latino Men’s magazine market that relies on sultry females to sell copies is Maya Magazines, which is an offshoot of the well-established Mexican publisher Notmusa. Based in Miami Beach, Maya publishes titles like H para Hombres, which is similar to Maxim, and H Extremo which features racier material. The company has a good picture of its readership: Latino men between the ages of 18-34; 53.3% have a HH income between $60,000/$95,000; 54.8% are single and 29.2% married; 55% are employed full-time; 42.4% have 2+ children; 39% are from the U.S., while 48% are from Mexico. Maya describes their readers as young and progressive early product adopters who love technology and like to be informed of US trends and fashions.
Maya’s Marketing Manager Alexandra Zanic says “Our mission is to provide relevant information and entertainment to our readers. They demand sex, sports and gadgets, as well as beautiful women to admire and stimulate their senses. They also demand top quality editorial, trends and the most beautiful and admired celebrities who are exposed like they’ve never been seen before.” Maya’s premier men’s title, H, has a monthly circulation of 50,000, with an estimated pass-along rate of 4.5. Ms. Zanic says that U.S. Hispanic males have been underserved by print media, with fewer titles relative to the general market. She says that the magazine tries to differentiate itself from the competition with high editorial quality, a strong circulation, and well-known Hispanic celebrities on the cover. Among H’s advertising offerings are customized partnership opportunities, events and promotions.
Life in the Fast Lane…
Asking men about their long-standing fascination with cars is as useful as asking women about their passion for shoes—which is to say, it’s something that defies explanation. It just is. And it seems that this passion for all things automotive is even more intense among Latino males.
Published by Miami-based Megazines, Sobre Ruedas is perhaps the best-known magazine of its kind in the U.S. Like Fox Sports’ publications it too is distributed as an insert in top audited newspapers nationwide(La Opinion, Los Angeles; Fronteras, Bay Area; Al Dia, Phoenix; Al Dia, Dallas; La Voz, Houston; La Raza, Chicago; El Diario, New York; El Nuevo Herald, Miami). With a rate-base guarantee of 620,000 copies, the magazine’s primary target is Hispanic males, aged 25-49. VP of sales Roberto Sroka says cites Hispanic males aged 18-34 as secondary targets, and Hispanic females aged 25-49 as key influencers.
Sroka says that Sobre Ruedas readers read the magazine for information on product benefits and brand choices. “They use our magazine as a guide for trends and new vehicle models. They also like to see purchase recommendations and the latest information about technology and gadgets, the world of entertainment, tourism and motor sports. Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of advertising comes from the automotive industry. Insurance companies, consumer packaged goods (CPGs) and liquor advertisers are also present. “With the emergence of new technologies, advertisers are looking to reach consumers with multiplatform solutions,” says Sroka. “We offer a multimedia approach that includes the magazine, advertorials, newspaper columns, online content and mentions in our radio program on ESPN Radio Deportes.” Sroka says that the main distinction between Sobre Ruedas and its competitors is that it is the only audited Spanish-language automotive magazine in the U.S.
Men’s Content Online…
While men’s content might have started off-line, it has certainly found a home in cyberspace. Michele Azan, director of sales for the Terra Networks, notes that sports is a highly popular feature on Terra, consistently ranking in the top five channels each month. “The Auto channel is also a highly popular channel, ranking in the top 10 each month. Males account for 85% of the audience in Sports and 84% in Autos,” says Azan. Our male audience is largely 18-49, with a significant proportion of that in the 18-34 segment. Our audience is largely bilingual/English-preferred, with a very tiny segment that is Spanish-only preferred. Azan says that the online vehicle holds certain advantages over print in terms of delivering compelling male content. These include: up-to-the-minute sports scores, video highlights from partners like GolTV, Azteca America, CONCACAF, Auto services with partners like Cars.com for make/model searches, Kelly Blue Book, etc.
Sobre Ruedas is available online through Batanga’s auto channel, which it powers with original content. The magazine also produces newspaper columns, TV capsules, and can be accessed through web-enabled mobile phones.
Televisa is developing an online site for auto enthusiasts, at myautomovil.com. The site is a joint venture with general market auto content producer Motor Presse. Under the deal, Televisa will repurpose the premium auto content for Hispanic distribution. “It’s going to be a stand-alone Spanish-language auto site dedicated more to content than brokering leads to dealerships, which is common among some other Hispanic auto sites,” says Jacques Hart, commercial director for Televisa Digital. In contrast, this is going to be a peer content and advertising-based model,” says Hart. The site is currently in Beta, but plans to launch in March.
Whether it is online, through broadcast or in print, the demand for Hispanic men’s content is growing ever more, as the number of Hispanic males demanding such content continues to grow. While consumer demand is clear, it is also true that some publishers are finding it harder than expected to make the case to advertisers. This is due to a common belief that many Latinos are reached by mainstream media. Barry Edison, Senior VP Director of Media Insights at Southfield, MI-based Doner, a general market agency, has a more nuanced view on this: “I do not issue ad buys as much as develop targets,” Edison tells Portada. “We look at growth in sales and whether one of the larger groups to come into the market is Hispanic. If it is, then we go after it.” While focusing solely on sales is an understandable approach from a general market media buyer, those who deal more intimately with the Hispanic market realize that there are factors beyond sales, such as reader engagement and brand-affinity, which are high-value propositions to the marketer that can successfully tap them, and which are often only accessible through an in-language vehicle.
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