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.
– Sports Feature
Roberto Rodriguez of Guaynabo became the first Puerto Rican player to win an AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour event on Sunday at the San Francisco Open. Rodriguez’s title can be the spark to reinvigorate beach volleyball in Puerto Rico, where the indoor game has reigned supreme for years, as it would be an ideal location for players and partners.
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.
Lizzie Seedhouse, SVP of Digital for USL, and Josh Keller, VP of Business Development for the USL, talked to Portada about the relevance of video to connect with fans and leverage brands’ sponsorships.
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.
Telemundo may have benefited from the U.S. not qualifying for FIFA World Cup, reportedly selling 90% of its inventory to date. At least some of those sales are from companies that might have gone with Fox Sports’ English-language broadcasts.
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.
Soccer star Neymar Jr. has begun his two-year term as Global Sports Ambassador for TV and small appliance manufacturer TCL. TCL is increasing its presence in the U.S. and Latin America, in particular in 4K/HDR television sets, and connecting with Neymar Jr. is helping introduce the brand to a younger audience there.
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.
Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez is keeping in the public eye with some well-placed endorsements. Hernandez is not just staying relevant during the quadrennial period between Olympic games, she is smartly aligning with brands that maintain her strong All-American image.
Former Red Sox Star David Ortiz maintains a large presence in Boston, home of his greatest achievements on and off the field. The Santo Domingo native remains one of most significant stars in Boston as well as a prized partner for brands in and out of the sports world.
Both Gerard Piqué and Alex Rodriguez have been in the news lately for bold and successful business ventures. These athletes are paving the way for other Latin and Hispanic athletes to recognize that they too can find financial success outside of their sport both during and after their playing days.
Major League Baseball released demographics of this year’s Opening Day. This year’s numbers have set a record for players from outside the United States, including a strong contingent from Latin American countries.
After signing Landon Donovan, Liga MX soccer team Leon is still missing on generating content in English to communicate with US-native fans.
The Miami Open, one of the five largest tennis tournaments in the world, has a strong roster of Latino partners led by Presenting Sponsor Itaú. Situated in a strong Hispanic market and moving even deeper into a dense Hispanic population next year, the event is an increasingly valuable property for marketers.
The Reading Fightin Phils minor league baseball team’s retirement of Roberto Clemente’s #21 highlights a season full of Latino-themed promotions across MiLB. Teams are connecting with fans through these Heritage nights, encouraging local companies and businesses to partner with them to reach the Hispanic communities.
Coca-Cola, Sprint, Volkswagen, BuzzFeed and VICE are among the international partners for Telemundo Deportes’ coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018. Power brands providing sponsorship and Spanish-language content across multimedia platforms, even without a U.S. team presence in Russia, demonstrates the desire to connect with this audience.
Veteran industry insider Mario Flores talks about some of the trends in the industry vis a vis Latinos. Flores has worked with some of the biggest brands on the planet and offers some of his thoughts on the state of Latino sports.
The NASL (North American Soccer League), US Soccer’s third division, has canceled the 2018 season. The league has several teams with strong Latin fan bases that are now in jeopardy but could also transition to more MLS and USL support.