The first presenter at the Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum, #PORTADA13, in New York on Wednesday was AC&M Group CEO and Founder Jamie Cardenas, who described a week-old study of the US Hispanic soccer market, conducted by his agency in partnership with Giltedge and Sports Endeavors.
The study of 3100 respondents included 1900 foreign-born Hispanics and 600 US-born Hispanics. At the forum, Cardenas focused on the research of 600 US-born Hispanic soccer fans, which included 87% males with an average age of 23, five years higher than the average age of the US-born Hispanic. In addition, 62% were single and 67% lived in a household with children.
Cardenas said that Hispanics are a “a challenging group to target and very elusive.” Of the 50 million Hispanics in the US, 64% are US-born. Cardenas said that “every thirty seconds, a Hispanic turns 18,” making them the fastest growing population. Foreignborn Hispanics and US-born Hispanics have cultural similarities between first generation and second generations but not media consumption. US-born Hispanics are much more similar in media consumption to the general market.
Understanding how to reach Hispanics may be the marketer’s greatest challenge and soccer may be the answer.
Soccer is very important to Hispanics, said Cardenas, because many grew up in “soccerloving households.” Moreover, he said “soccer is global and global is cool.” Third, most Hispanics “grew up playing and watching soccer” at home. In fact, most Hispanics begin watching soccer between the age of five and ten, while only 23% non-Hispanics do so.
What makes Hispanics different than the general market is how they express their passion for the sport. On a scale of 1 to 10, Hispanic soccer fans rated their love of soccer at 9.6. Additionally, Hispanic soccer fans are avid consumers of soccer-related products such as jerseys and cleats, and they enjoy documenting their experience about their purchases online on sites such as YouTube where Cardenas said thousands of fans uploaded videos describing their soccer-related products in detail. In a clip Cardenas shared at the forum, the fan also described brand sponsors.
Regarding team preferences, 41% of the respondents said they followed the teams of both the US and their country of origin, while 20% said they followed the US all the time, 12% only cheered for their country of origin, and 28% enjoyed watching other countries.
According to the research, television still reigns among US-born Hispanics as the most watched medium for soccer content. For “hyper media users,” 7% listened to the radio, 9% used Facebook, 10% used print, 37% used tablets, 88% used mobile, and 99% still watched soccer on television. For soccer content, Facebook still rules social media with 46%, while 46% used YouTube and 37% used Instagram. (That last figure is growing.)
Regarding language preferences, 3% of US-born answered the survey in Spanish, 95% of US-born considered themselves bilingual, 44% of foreign-born Hispanics answered in Spanish, and 7% preferred Spanish.
When it comes to watching soccer, Spanish is the preferred language. In the study, 20% of Hispanics said they preferred English while 37% preferred Spanish, and 43% chose either. 32% only watched Spanish TV for soccer and a whopping 84% spent more than half of their time on Spanish TV watching soccer.
In the sample, foreign-born Hispanics follow the same trends as US-born Hispanics among a variety of sports. The study revealed that both foreign-born and US-born Hispanics showed a greater preference for boxing and less interest in hockey. With other sports like major league football and baseball, US-born Hispanics are similar as the general market.
For US-born Hispanics, European soccer is popular, while foreign-born Hispanics follow Latin-American soccer, and non-Hispanics follow both International and MLS. Barcelona and Real Madrid are the top teams that both US-born and foreign-born Hispanics follow.
Cardenas emphasized that “what soccer brings is an extra dimension” with a variety of leagues that can appeal directly to the Hispanic market. “Soccer shouldn’t be considered the alternative for the hispanic market,” he said, adding that “companies are missing an opportunity to use soccer for both US born and foreign-born Hispanics.
Read the full coverage of the Hispanic Sport Marketing Forum:
At #PORTADA13: Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum: “Bloggers as Players in the New Landscape”
At #PORTADA 13: Hispanics Sports Marketing Forum: “Slices in the Soccer Pie
At #PORTADA13:Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum: “Digital: Same Meaning in Both Languages”