Marketer Interview – Tecate: “Boxing is our main platform and we’ll be supporting it in 2011”

Last week Tecate launched “Tecate Knockout Month”, a marketing initiative aimed to connect with Hispanics at Boxing Events. Tecate is doing a month-long national grassroots campaign that includes mail-in rebates, ticket upgrades, boxing-themed giveaways and promotional events at local retail sites.

We spoke with Felix Palau, VP of Marketing for Tecate Equity about this initiative, the plans for next year and the 2010 US Census.

Portada: What promotional vehicles are you using during the events (box fights)?

Felix Palau: “To help create awareness surrounding “Tecate Knockout Month” and the big name fights that the brand is supporting, we are deploying a national grassroots campaign that uses many different promotional vehicles and tactics. In Las Vegas during the first week of November, consumers had the chance to visit Tecate’s Museo de Boxeo, a mobile boxing museum that traveled to multiple retails locations showcasing rare and unique boxing memorabilia. For the main event in Dallas on November 13 featuring Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito, consumers nationwide who are 21-and older can redeem mail-in-rebates towards the HBO Pay-Per-View live fight. And for the Thanksgiving Day matchup with Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis, consumers can take advantage of rebates that offer two free months of HBO Premium cable to view the fight and enjoy their favorite shows.
For weeks now we’ve been painting the country red to communicate these boxing campaigns and sponsored matches with 1000’s of out-of-home advertisements, radio spots, point-of-sale displays and interactive events at retail locations.”

Portada: Why have you decided that boxing events are a good place to connect with Hispanics?

Felix Palau: “The only other sport that captivates U.S. Hispanics and Mexicans like soccer does is boxing; in fact, we know that 54 percent are watching boxing, according to an ESPN poll. This November, to support the Hispanic boxing enthusiast, we created “Tecate Knockout Month” that brings the fan closer to eight separate boxing events across the country featuring headlining marquee fighters, championship bouts and the best from up-and-coming stars of the sport.”

Portada: In which other sport events are you advertising? In which sport events are you planning to advertise in 2011: Copa América, etc.?

Felix Palau: “While boxing is clearly our main platform which we will continue supporting in 2011, Tecate also advertises in places that are popular to the brand’s primary consumer like Futbol Liga Mexicana.”


Portada: Considering the upcoming figures of the Census:

– What light do you expect the 2010 Census to shed on the particular audience segment your company targets?

Felix Palau: “Through reading preliminary reports on expected Census figures, we know that the Hispanic population in the U.S. is rapidly increasing. However, the primary growth is not coming from new immigrants, but rather from second generation Hispanics. Historically, we have leveraged Tecate Light product to communicate with this consumer, but perhaps there is an opportunity for Tecate as well.”

– How do you try to convince your company’s leadership to increase multicultural marketing budgets?

Felix Palau: “Fortunately for us, Heineken USA (which now owns Tecate and Tecate Light) not only understands the importance of U.S. Hispanics, but is aware of the population’s nuances. Tecate primarily targets newcomer consumers (those who have been in the U.S. for less than five years), while other brands in the portfolio speak to a different Hispanic demographic… For example, Heineken is a long-time sponsor of the Latin Grammy’s and supports this sponsorship with various events that connect Hispanics with one of their key passion points: music.”


Portada: In a previous interview with us, Carlos Boughton mentions newcomers from Mexico as the targeted consumer:

How do you manage to deliver a consistent message to “newcomers from Mexico” and, at the same time, reach US Hispanics from other countries and US Hispanics that have been in the country for years?

Felix Palau: “There is one thing that all men have in common regardless of their acculturation level, and that is character. Tecate’s con carácter positioning resonates with consumers regardless of their situation and as a brand we bring this messaging to life through our boxing platform which includes sponsorship of marquee events, weekly televised bouts on TeleFutura, Fox Sports and ESPN Deportes.”

Portada: Could you tell which is the difference in the consumer’s profile of Tecate and Tecate Light? How is that difference translated into the marketing strategies?

Felix Palau: “As previously mentioned, Tecate targets newcomer consumers; those who have been in the U.S. for less than five years and have not acculturated to life in the U.S. On the other hand, Tecate Light speaks to the second generation adult consumers, who we refer to as deep roots. These consumers lead an American way of life, with a Hispanic soul. A way that this translates in to different marketing strategies is the language in which we communicate. Tailoring the language of out-of-home, radio and television advertisements in Spanish for the newcomer helps Tecate connect on familiarity level and vice versus for the acculturated demographic that’s been in the U.S. for some time now and consumes media in English as much as in Spanish.”