With World Cup now completed, it’s baseball’s turn to show off its Latino stars in the All-Star Game and associated activities this week in Washington, D.C. Baseball’s Latino numbers are higher than ever, and companies are figuring out the best ways to transfer that star power to marketing strength.
Joe Favorito @joefav
A new study by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, as reported by the New York Times, notes that youth soccer participation is down 14%. It’s an alarming number, one of which soccer industry leaders are aware and are looking at ways to turn around; playing rather than just watching is a key element to long-term fandom.
Mitú has carved out a niche in the social space, helping brands leverage the World Cup to engage millennial Latinos. The example set by Mitú at World Cup can serve as a template or at least a starting point for brands to connect with Hispanics through grand-scale sporting events.
World Cup activations and partnerships have begun as the tournament kicked off last weekend. Companies are leveraging stars like Lionel Messi and Ronaldo while soccer interest is highest globally.
Wells Fargo’s campaign featuring Landon Donovan supporting Team Mexico in the World Cup has gained some attention amid some “controversy” regarding the spots. Marketers can use the window of Mexico’s success and popularity with an American figure who can transcend cultures and casual fans to draw needed awareness here.
Comcast this week announced a bilingual video experience integrating Fox and Telemundo World Cup coverage. This will be a great test for soccer fans who may have had to turn down the volume and follow their favorite brands when the language, especially Spanish, did not fit the household.
FIFA has reviewed (markedly different) bids from Morocco and North America for the 2026 World Cup. Initial signs point towards the United 2026 bid, and as that gains traction, marketers can plan for increased interest here.
David Villa’s production company Designated Player and Telemundo Deportes will create content during FIFA World Cup. In what can develop into a Spanish “Players’ Tribune,” leveraging World Cup content can be a big boost for DP.
Teams are finding ways to engage more authentically with their Latino fan bases. This growing demographic is critical to franchises and brands, and the more ingrained they are in the community, the more effective their marketing can be.
The Association soccer league has created a new, athletics-based way of networking in Los Angeles. Big brands like SpaceX and Beats by Dre are already on board in this opportunity for multicultural connections in the diverse Los Angeles market.
Panini’s Jason Howarth, Las Vegas Lights’ Steve Pastorino and the L.A. Galaxy’s Brendan Hannan weigh in on the importance of the Latino market at World Cup this summer. Resetting from a U.S.-Canada focus to Latino fandom is critical for brands with World Cup ties.
Dallas is a thriving soccer market, with a strong base of Spanish-speaking and bilingual fans. FC Dallas VP Gina Miller discussed some of the club’s strategies. As a team that plays in Dallas/Fort Worth, engaging the Latino and Spanish-speaking fan base is a daily focus for Miller and her team.
eSports and gaming are major topics of interest in sports business these days. As companies get used to doing more business in Latin America, the potential for growth in these areas is tremendous.
Former Golden State Warriors president and current Miami Marlins president of business operations Chip Bowers discussed the team’s challenges with Scout Sports managing partner Michael Neuman at Portada Miami last week. The Marlins are facing a huge rebuild, and have decided to look outside of baseball for a blueprint.
Players with Latin American ties are an increasing segment of the international growth of the NBA. With tens of millions of fans in the region, these and other player connections to their nations of origin will make marketing there even more desirable for brands.
At a breakfast hosted by CNN en Español and Portada in New York this week, marketers discussed how sports draws the Latino audience. The impact brands can have in sports is strong and still growing, in soccer in particular, especially with World Cup just weeks away.
South Florida based eSports leader Ben Spoont will speak at Portada Miami. The Miami Heat partner will discuss how eSports is bringing value to existing traditional professional sports teams.
NASCAR’s Chief International Officer Jim Cassidy discussed NASCAR’s strategy for Latin America. The Latino audience, both Spanish and English speaking, continues to grow; and the power of Latino Millennials to engage with brands and properties like NASCAR is also rising.
Fox Sports Latin America will air Spanish and Portuguese language coverage of races at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth this weekend. These broadcasts are part of NASCAR’s goal of engaging the growing number of Spanish speaking fans in the U.S. and abroad.
Argentina footballer Javier Mascherano’s deal with Latin American eSports agency eSports Planet reflects the growth of the competition’s growth in the region. Latin America has been a hotbed of elite gaming; partnering with a mainstream international sports star is a logical step in reeling in the casual fan base.