The Soccer World Cup is one of the best ways for Hispanics to connect with their heritage. For four weeks every four years, Hispanics often become more identified with their country of origin than with the U.S. And, of course, they also cheer for “el equipo de todos”, or “everyone’s team” (the U.S. team). Enrique Dussan, VP Director Communications at Wing in Miami, says that for “the Hispanic market the World Cup is without a doubt the largest and most comprehensive initiative available.” Corporate America knows it and many companies have already bought media around 2010 Soccer World Cup content. Univision has already secured partnerships with Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, T-Mobile and Verizon. Hispanic media players look at the World Cup 2010 as an opportunity to grow advertising in important categories. “Growth” is a word that has not been heard much of lately, but the 2010 World Cup may put in back in vogue. “We are seeing most of our RFP’s from companies in the telecommunications and financial sectors”, says Greg Anthony, SVP of Alloy Access. He adds that advertisers are more interested in BTL marketing (Below the Line) than they were for the last World Cup (Germany 2006). Enrique Dussan of Wing says that an event such as the 2010 World Cup presents huge opportunities for BTL Marketing like grassroots initiatives and events.
According to Felix Sencion, publisher of Fútbol Mundial, the categories with most growth potential are “wireless, beer, automotive afterparts and armed forces”. Alexandra Zanic, Marketing Manager at Maya Publishing Group, which publishes the weekly soccer magazine Récord, sees a particularlylarge growth potential in packaged goods and male targeted products such as deodorants. Wing’s Dussan says that the companies he buys media for (which include Goya and the telecommunications firm IDT) have not yet planned to sponsor the World Cup. “This doesn't mean that they won’t participate; particularly IDT who is interested in this segment and sports fits their strategy very well.” Multiplatform Dussan advises media properties to adopt a multiplatform or 360 strategy. For broadcast media, and increasingly for online media properties, the ownership of broadcast (live-streaming) rights is a very important factor: Univision and its cable units TeleFutura and Galavision have secured the rights to broadcast the 2010 World Cup in the U.S. Univision’s president Cesar Conde, tells Portada that “Univision Communications will be transformed into the U.S. World Cup destination, allowing U.S. audiences to have unprecedented access to the biggest sporting event in the world. We will be leveraging all of our assets – Univision, TeleFutura, Galavisión, Univision.com, and Univision Móvil – to deliver a oneof-a-kind experience for our audiences.
We know that the World Cup resonates with our audiences in a very special way because the sport is far and away #1 among Hispanics; but there are a great number of soccer fans who prefer to listen to the coverage in Spanish because it's more exciting. For example, the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament on Univision's three networks reached an estimated 50 million viewers (reach is based on a 1-minute qualifier).” Other TV channels which do not have live transmission rights of course are also planning for the World Cup. This is the case of soccer cable network GolTV which broadcasts over 1,500 games per year in both English and Spanish. Ivan Perez, VP Network Sales, tells Portada that the 2010 Soccer World Cup has actually already kicked off on GolTV with exclusive qualifying match coverage. “We have been following reigning champions Italy, as well as other world-renowned national teams from Germany, Spain and the CONCACAF region in the race for the World Cup. For more World Cuprelated soccer, GolTV also offers 2010 Report, a new program providing a recap and in-depth analysis of the most important international qualifying matches, as well as interviews with soccer stars and coaches.”
Another network, ESPN Deportes, will provide 6-7 hours of live programming a day with news and analysis. In English ESPN has the broadcast rights as well as for the Portuguese feed for Brazilian and Portuguese-Americans. Newspapers and magazines allow to follow the World Cup experience indepth and also are long shelf collectors items, therefore allowing brands that advertise in them to remain connected to soccer fans long after the World Cup has concluded. Niche magazines, such as sports magazines, and newspapers, particularly community newspapers, also have a very special connection with their audience. Hoy Chicago, a daily Spanish-language newspaper that belongs to Tribune, will offer several new sections and opportunities including a print and online countdown to the World Cup and weekly features that will start several months before the event. Fútbol Mundial, a magazine with a circulation of 975,000 that is inserted in major Hispanic newspapers nationwide, is also planning a multiplatform strategy with a grassroots component. Felix Sencion, publisher of Fútbol Mundial, tells Portada that there will be significant changes vs. the way the 2006 World Cup was covered: “We will be bringing print features to life with a customized solutions approach: more digital, more integration with non-compete third party networks and partners.”
Another magazine specifically targeting Hispanic soccer fans is Récord, published by Maya Publishing Group, the U.S. Hispanic unit of Mexican publishing house, Notmusa. A weekly magazine (circ. 50,000, Spanish) developed and designed for Hispanic soccer fans in the USA. The magazine is distributed over subscriptions and newsstands and seeks to attract U.S. based soccer lovers. The publication has a great brand equity among Mexican Americans because of the fact that Récord Semanario de Fútbol is a daily sports newspaper in Mexico. The content of the U.S. edition is very similar to the Mexican edition with some added content about Major League Soccer. Gearing up to the Soccer World Cup next June, each Récord includes a special section called Record Special “Camino al Mundial”, with special world cup coverage in every issue.
US Hispanic online destinations are the fastest growing sector of the market. The U.S. Hispanic Internet population grew by more than 10% between August 2009 and the same month of 2008. Online destinations reaching Hispanics have invested heavily to improve the user experience and sports content targeting Hispanics. Telemundo owns the rights to broadcast all the soccer matches of the Mexican National Team, including the qualification matches to the World Cup, excepting those that take place in the final round of the World Cup in South Africa. It recently extended a deal with Terra to live stream matches on the website http://www.terra.com/ futbol_estelar/ to 2011. Last Summer, the World Cup qualifying match U.S. versus Mexico, sponsored by Sprint, had more than 400,000 streams of which more than 50% were live. During the game there were over 2,500 users connected in over 60 chat rooms discussing every angle of the action. Upon the conclusion of the game and extending to the day after, there were an additional 144,000 streams of related content. Another cable network Fox Sports en español partners with portal MSN Latino and provides content for the MSN Latino sports channel.
…and its ability to geotarget.
Digital media properties also have the ability to geotarget advertising to particular audiences. This is a particularly interesting functionality in the Hispanic market: Many Latin American websites get a lot of visitors from U.S. Hispanic websites. Without a doubt this is also the case for sports and soccer websites. One such example is Mexico’s Grupo Editorial Expansion’s Mediotiempo.com, a website exclusively devoted to soccer. The site had 1.922,000 unique visits and 434,000 unique visitors coming from the U.S. during August 2009, according to Google analytics. Of thosem visitors 95% were Mexican American, 94% men (34% in California, 25% in Texas, 7% in Illinois, 3% in New York). Other Latin American sites which have a lot to gain by selling their US. Hispanic soccer audiences to advertisers include Televisa Deportes, Azteca Deportes in Mexico, Spain’s sports newspaper Marca, and Argentinean sites TVyCSports.com and Canchallena.com