Heritage Night, Goya Partnership Key NYCFC Hispanic Marketing

What: NYCFC strengthened its ties to its important Latino fan base with Hispanic Heritage Night and a renewed partnership commitment from Goya.
Why it matters: As the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S., Goya's support leads MLS team efforts to connect with the community.

Ronald Matarrita

September hasn't been the best for NYCFC (@NYCFCon the pitch, with two losses and two draws stalling the Bronx booters' Eastern Conference push. And while the largely revamped 2018 squad still has time to right the ship over the next month, the franchise's commitment to the Hispanic community in one of the most prominent Latino markets in the country continues, with a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Night on Sept. 8 and last week's expansion of its three-year partnership with Goya Foods (@GoyaFoods), headquartered in nearby Jersey City, N.J.

Players like recent signee Colombian-born Daniel Bedoya, Argentina's Valentin Castellanos and Maximilano Moralez, Yangel Herrera of Venezuela, Ronald Matarrita () of Costa Rica, Alexander Callens of Peru, Jesus Medina of Paraguay and Spanish star David Villa () make up a solid portion of the club's roster, making outreach to the city's Latino base even more critical. Hispanic Heritage Night was a great manifestation of that, with tickets donated to at-risk local kids, music, special t-shirts commemorating the event, flag face painting, and some GOYA-inspired culinary goodness including the "Shakechata" milkshake, GOYA maria cookies and other recipes prepared by GOYA's Chef Fernando Desa.

In addition to Hispanic Heritage Night, the partnership includes other key elements like additional youth clinics and the digital campaign #MyGoyaDish .

The night was a prelude to the renewal of the team's multi-year partnership with the largest Hispanic owned food company in the U.S., which was launched wth a youth soccer clinic in the Bronx featuring Matarrita on September 19.

“We look forward to a great multi-year partnership with New York City FC and the thousands of soccer fans who have supported the team from the very beginning," said Goya Senior Vice President of Goya Foods Joe Perez, in a statement. "Goya has always believed in providing families with healthy food and supporting initiatives that will benefit the overall wellness of our communities. We believe this partnership is an ideal fit to help teach our children healthy habits and to build a foundation for a healthier future.”

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Chef Fernando Desa

In addition to Hispanic Heritage Night, the partnership includes other key elements like additional youth clinics and the digital campaign #MyGoyaDish which gives fans a chance to be part of a cook-off with Desa at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan.

“We are pleased to extend our partnership with Goya. They have been a terrific Club partner and ambassador for our sport," said New York City FC President Jon Patricof. "Through our partnership, Goya has helped us to bring unique experiences to our fans and promote healthy lifestyles in the multicultural communities that we are proud to represent by bringing together healthy food and soccer.”

Goya's ties to the region and status as an authentic brand for Hispanics, as well as its reach to the non-Hispanic community, is a natural for NYCAC and a model for other MLS (@MLSteams in markets with large Latino populations. The Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls), across the Hudson River in Harrison, N.J., includes Avion Tequila on its sponsor list, the L.A. Galaxy (@LAGalaxycounts El Super, Modelo and San Manuel Casino among its partners, while the Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamoalso works with Goya along with El Jimador, local law firm Heriberto Ramos and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Cover Image: courtesy NYCFC

Jerry Milani @gbpackjerry

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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