What: Comcast this week announced a bilingual video experience integrating Fox and Telemundo World Cup coverage.
Why it matters: This will be a great test for soccer fans who may have had to turn down the volume and follow their favorite brands when the language, especially Spanish, did not fit the household.

We inch closer to the World Cup starting June 14, and the power of the Multicultural audience in the U.S. as a driver continues to come into focus even more. Both the Spanish language and English first Latino sports consumer is going to be a key driver in ROI for a global event that is heavy on Latin American nations and short on countries like the U.S. and Canada, and while FOX maintains that the “melting pot” mentality, where the Anglo consumer will build an affinity around the country from where he or she ultimately immigrated from, will be key, it is clear that Latino engagement is essential for success.

Latest case in point came Wednesday, when Comcast’s Xfinity X1 (@Xfinitycable platform announced a bilingual FIFA World Cup viewing experience, with video features that integrate both Fox’s and Telemundo’s coverage of the June 14-July 15 tournament in Russia.

Screens, menus and voice commands will be available in both English and Spanish, with full-game replays, highlights, web video, real-time analytics and on-screen stats rounding out the experience. Also, Xfinity for the first time is adding sports notifications for TV and mobile. It will be a great test for fans of the sport who may have had to turn down the volume and follow their favorite brands when the language, especially Spanish, did not fit the household.

No matter what the language, quality live sports remain king, and platforms like this can unite audience numbers, rather than divide them.

Now of course we have had SAP as an element in broadcast across the U.S. for most events for years, but this integration is a new next step for those who want to dial back and forth and immerse either in their adopted or their native language. If it works, and brands find scale, it can roll out to other sports, especially MLB and the NBA, and it can be a new and important engagement for brands who have struggled to find the common ground with Latino sports engagement in a multilingual environment.

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Comcast Cable Exec Dir of Product Management Jason Angelides told Sports Business Daily that international events like the World Cup highlight the “changing demographics of TV viewing audiences — particularly underscoring the increasingly important and growing base of bicultural households in the U.S.” — and X1 allows the company to “build viewing experiences customized” for that population.

“We are moving more and more into a world where niche audience engagement matter more and more, and the World Cup is going to be a great showcase for broadcasters and brands who realize that a fast growing audience, the Latino market, is less niche and more mainstream and growing and powerful than ever before,” said Chris Lencheski, veteran marketer and professor at Columbia University. “No matter what the language, quality live sports remain king, and platforms like this can unite audience numbers, rather than divide them.”

Will this World Cup be the one that opens larger doors for the Latino audience and brands who have been risk averse to engage? The opportunity appears to be growing.

Cover Image: Wikimedia Commons/Danilo Borges-Portal da Copa

What: GlobalWebIndex and Publicis Media have published a dataset offering information about online behaviors, cultural preferences, and linguistic choices of Hispanic Americans.
Why it matters: Hispanics represent 18% of the U.S. population; this data will help brands understand the segment’s complexities according to linguistics, regions, and cultural affiliations.

Data technology firm GlobalWebIndex has partnered up with public relations and advertising agency Publicis Media to take a deep look into the online behaviors, cultural preferences, and linguistic choices of Hispanic Americans, who now account for 18% of the U.S. population.

The dataset, which has just made public, offers wide information that details consumer profiles and highlights the cultural nuances of this increasingly important segment. The data, which can be segmented between linguistic preferences, will allow brands to understand the complexities between Spanish-speaking Hispanics and bilingual Hispanics, and segmentation by state and region, as well as by country of origin with which consumers feel most affiliated, will provide companies with a better grasp of individual identities of consumers.

“This data allows marketers and brands to quantify perception as a source of intent for the Hispanic market for the very first time,” said Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer at GlobalWebIndex, in a press release. “Targeting Hispanic cultures appropriately has long been a challenge for marketers, but with this data, we can provide insights that can help create, segment and better address the behaviors, attitudes, and sentiment of this sector. The benefits of a data set like this are immeasurable.”


“Hispanic population growth continues to be the key driver of GDP and populations are projected to double — even triple — in certain markets,” added Tim Jones CEO, Publicis Media, Americas. “This dynamic audience tends to be more appreciative of and loyal to advertised brands. And for advertisers seeking new areas of growth, the Hispanic population presents the most scaled opportunity. Every advertiser in America should have a clear and representative picture of this audience and its powerful influence.”


Among the insights released in the dataset, GlobalWebIndex and Publicis Groupe found that almost 60% of Hispanic Americans are bilingual or Spanish-first at home, but 78% prefer English when using electronic devices, of which smartphones are the most important. While non-Hispanics spend less than two hours online via mobile, Hispanics average three hours on their phones, effectively leading the shift to mobile.

Spanish-first Hispanics showed in pink; bilingual in fuchsia; English-first in violet.

They also found that Spanish-first Hispanics are 3x as likely as English-first Hispanics to feel a connection to their Hispanic heritage via the sports they follow and the TV they watch. Interestingly, it is bilingual Hispanics who use Netflix the most, 85% as opposed to Spanish-first and English-first Hispanics, with 75% and 76% respectively.

Black shows Hispanics in average, while grey refers to non-Hispanics.


Bilingual Hispanics have a higher interest in music streaming as well. 78% of them use Spotify or Pandora, while only 56% of non-Hispanics access these sites. In terms of specific genres, it was found that Spanish-first Hispanics clearly prefer Latin music, while bilingual and English-first Hispanics have broad music taste.

Other findings, according to the press release, are that 24% of Hispanics believe the US economy will improve over the next six months while 50% think their personal finances will improve over the same period (compared to 43% of non-Hispanics). Also, Spanish-first Hispanics lead WhatsApp usage with the most visits within the past month (60%), compared to only 16.7% of all Americans in the same time period. Finally, 61% of Hispanics say they sometimes use Spanglish (words that are a combination of Spanish and English).


What: Miami’s “Vice City Rollers” are riding a wave of popularity in the sport of roller derby with a strong Latino fan base and team makeup.
Why it matters: The revival of roller derby over the past couple of decades has given rise to hundreds of teams and thousands of players, and is a fun way for brands to connect with this passionate fan base.

Roller derby has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years, with recreational and semi-professional leagues springing up all over the country and future Olympics inclusion becoming a real possibility. The sport gained a big following in the 1940’s and 1950’s, through the 1970’s with the “Roller Derby Stars,” which later found a new audience on Classic Sports Network, reviving names like “Skinny Minnie” Gwen Miller, Bad-girl Ann Calvello and hotshot Frankie Macedo, mixing athleticism with a healthy dose of not-quite-on-the level, WWE-style scripting.

Today the sport is flourishing, with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (@WFTDAboasting more than 400 full-member leagues in nearly 30 countries, including the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia. And USA Roller Sports, the official governing body that has sponsored amateur competitions for more than 80 years, is leading the charge for Olympism.

We relate to our local community in a way that only we can. We are well-versed in ‘Spanglish’ and communicate this through our media efforts.

Meanwhile, teams and leagues dot the country, finding fans across many demographics. In Miami, the Vice City Rollers (@MVCRollers), who began competing in 2012, are preparing for their season debut on March 24 vs. the Key West Derby Dames, and according to Jessica “Shakesfear” Giraldo (@ShakesFear1616), team standout and de facto marketing/PR maven, the Latino base is important to the team’s and league’s growth.

“Being based in a culturally diverse city, it is essential to be able to communicate our message to as many people as possible,” said Giraldo. “Having many bilingual players expands our social impact to the Latino population. We have also worked with Al Rojo Vivo, Telemundo, Univision and are working on a feature by ESPN’s Woman Latin America. A majority of our skaters are also bilingual and multi-racial.”

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Jessica “Shakesfear” Giraldo (credit: Eric Vicario)

Vice City’s main audience is 24-34-year-old females living in Miami, according to Giraldo. Having that Latino base of players with such monikers as Assaulty Peanut, Velociraptor, Powerpuff, Ivanna Pachanga and Lil Hellvana add to the fun—and marketability.

That has led to sponsorship by Sixpoint Brewing (@sixpoint), as well as partnerships with Miami Rescue Mission, local media partner 24/7 Miami radio and local businesses that Girardo notes are part of the team’s Vendor Village.

“We’ve also recently partnered with the Miami Heat’s Xtreme team,” added Girardo, “to bring the Heat dancers, mascot, announcer and DJ for our upcoming March 24th game.”

Being in Miami makes multicultural marketing natural. “We relate to our local community in a way that only we can,” said Girardo. “We are well-versed in ‘Spanglish’ and communicate this through our media efforts.”

And, Girardo told Portada, they’re not stopping there.

“Our plans for the future include taking over the world!” she exclaimed. “That’s actually Plan B. Plan A is to spread the word of Derby so much that it reaches any and every woman wanting to better herself in a unique, fun and empowering way! We would love to be a leg in spreading the universal sport of women’s flat track roller derby!”

Check out the stars of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

cover image credit: Pedro Rubio

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