Portada interviewed Guillermo Méndez Córdova, Brand Manager of Olé, the largest circulation sports newspaper in Argentina with the highest number of unique users.
Since January, the paper’s website has increased its number of monthly unique users: it started the year with just over five million and increased it by 60% to more than 8 million by the end of June—making it the second news site in the country, behind only Clarin.com. According to Certifica, browsing time per session was 15 minutes at the beginning of the year and that figure has now risen to 18 minutes. At the same time, page views have also grown exponentially to 160 million, from 107 million earlier this year (up 50%). In June, the site had days in which it posted more than 1 million unique visitors, averaging 730,346 visitors daily with browsing sessions of 18 minutes.
Olé defines itself as a sports newspaper that reports the news in a different way, using a young and dynamic language that reflects the passion of its sports fans. Olé was established in 1996 and is part of the AGEA Group, which also owns the Clarín and La Razón newspapers.
Guillermo Méndez Córdova tells us in detail about Olé’s brand strategies, how it integrates its different media platforms, the important role played by mobile and social networks, how it produces content, and how it reaches its one million readers.
Portada: How do you structure your advertising opportunities for advertisers on the Olé site?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "Olé.com provides ample creative possibilities. It's a site with multiple sections that covers multiple topics. This opens a wide range of opportunities for all advertisers to find their space. It can be national news, international news, motor racing, rugby, games, tennis, basketball, multimedia and much more."
Portada: What are the dynamics of your newspaper advertising and your digital advertising, as well as your other media platforms?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "Our print and online advertising is integrated with mobile and social networks, creating a platform of great reach. Advertising can be segmented and targeted, thus achieving high coverage."
Portada: Who are your biggest advertisers and in what categories (industry or field, technology, retail, etc.)?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "Our biggest advertisers are brands looking to associate themselves with sports, young people and a mostly male segment. The main categories are sports clothing and shoes, mobile phones, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, banks, technology, cable TV, and credit cards."
Portada: How many unique users do you have and where are they from (Argentina, Spain, Latin America, U.S. Hispanic Market, etc.)?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "We had 8,176,125 unique users at the end of June, making us the second news site in the country, behind only Clarin.com. Eighty percent of our traffic comes from Argentina and the rest is mostly from the U.S., Spain, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay."
Portada: By what percentage did your user numbers increase as a result of Copa América?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "Copa América helped us maintain the high level of traffic we posted in June as a result of the historic fall of the River team. Thanks to this international tournament, we were able to register a high level of traffic in a month that didn’t have any local tournaments scheduled."
Portada: What is the circulation of your print edition?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "We currently have an average daily circulation of 50,000 copies."
Portada: What was your circulation increase percentage-wise during Copa América?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "Our circulation grew by 25%."
Portada: Could you describe the premise and operation of OléTeVé?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "OléTeVé combines entertainment and news in one place (infotainment). It offers a different way to get the news and caters to the specific way in which young people consume information: TV-format programs, series, humor, video, expert commentary and technological innovation. The slogan is "Television for the web sports fan."
Portada: How important are social networks in the newspaper’s communication strategy?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "Social networks are very important to Olé. They function as the perfect complement for a brand like ours. They drive clicks to the site and serve as a tool to "soften" the brand, showing a more user- friendly and accessible side. Twitter allows us to reach the user in a compact, dynamic and modern way. It serves as a complement to the site, making it accessible via mobile or web. We have 124,000 followers. Facebook is a bit different. Olé has more followers than any other newspaper in the country (223,000). People want to express their opinions when it comes to sports. Sports fans need an escape valve for their passion and Olé provides the space for it. Interaction is very high: 95% of fans actively participate."
Portada: What is your opinion about online video as a platform for advertising?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "It is a useful tool, as long as video does not become a mere excuse to show ads. We care about always making the content attractive to the reader."
Portada: You are the market leader for print and digital sports newspapers in Argentina. What sets Olé apart as a sports daily?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "Olé stands out from the rest mainly for its content. Being 100% sports-oriented, the paper guarantees the reader a moment of entertainment and diversion. The language used is in tune with the reader. The directness and quality of our journalists is highly valued. Olé is a part of sports."
Portada: How would you describe the paper’s readers and what is your strategy for communicating with them?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "Olé readers are mainly men under 45. They have a good socio-economic level, high spending power and a high level of consumption. We communicate through two different channels: tactical and strategic. The tactical mode is for everyday use and we use it to announce new launches and promotions. The strategic mode is more complex and is used for brand-building. We’ve been building on Olé’s values for years in order to expand our target and reach well beyond the heavy consumer of sports information, in order to access less participatory levels."
Portada: How do you produce the newspaper’s content? Do you have different editorial teams for each media platform?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "The print and online newsrooms work together but are separate. They work together in the same space but each platform has its own journalists. Each team uses a different ‘language’ and works with different dynamics. Olé.com is not only the migration of a print format to the web. Both platforms are constantly updating their news and providing attractive alternatives to keep their readers."
Portada: Are you planning to expand your focus to Latin America, for example by producing specific international content, and focusing on Brazil, Colombia and other Latin American countries?
Guillermo Méndez Córdova: "That is always on our agenda."
Guillermo Méndez Córdova – Brand Manager for Diario Olé. He joined AGEA in 2001 to develop ??trade marketing in the circulation department. In 2004, he moved to marketing management, in charge of products targeted to the youth segment. In 2006, he oversaw the incorporation of new brands Diarios Zonales, the iEco supplement, Pymes magazine and La Razón newspaper into the group. In 2011, Méndez Córdova became Olé Brands Manager, charged with overseeing the company’s newspaper, online, mobile, social networking, business risk and new projects.