Crown Imports


What: Portada talked to John Alvarado, Crown Imports Senior Director of Brand Marketing, and a member of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board, about how his company’s brands target young U.S. sports fan.
Why it matters: As the owner of the Corona brand, the top-selling import beer in the U.S., Crown Imports uses sport sponsorships to engage millennial audiences.

John Alvarado“Brands are being challenged when trying to reach their consumers, and sports marketing has historically been a good platform to find a captive audience. However, the challenge right now is the segmentation in the sports world. There are so many sports properties, so many sporting events and the engagement level of the millennial consumer is not the same as it historically has been”, explains John Alvarado, Crown Imports Senior Director of Brand Marketing, and a member of Portada’s sports marketing board.


Brands are being challenged when trying to reach their consumers, and sports marketing has historically been a good platform to find a captive audience.

According to Alvarado, “A young Hispanic millennial in the U.S., for example, could be watching a soccer game on TV, at the same time he is tweeting about it, sharing information with his friends, and watching what is going on in other sports. This happens all at the same time.”

¿How can a Brand Reach the Younger Consumer through All Touch Points?

What has worked best for Crown Imports, owner of the Corona brand, the top-selling import in the U.S., and other beer brands like Modelo Especial, Victoria, and Pacífico, is a 360 degrees strategy. Doing this means having a great knowledge of the targeted market’s habits, and preferences, to know where to be, and when to be there.

Corona“We have found it very successful to leverage various media platforms and innovating points versus just trying to be at one place. Multiple 360 holistic approaches have allowed Corona to really connect with consumers across multiple touch points around sports. Because consumers are engaging with their sports teams or sports properties in different ways”, adds Alvarado.

Leveraging multiple 360 holistic approaches has allowed Corona to really connect with consumers across multiple touch points around sports.

Although traditional TV advertising still is key for the company, to really cover all possible touch points Crown Imports has chosen a strategic multiplatform approach with a presence on mobile, tablets, and computers, with emphasis on social media. All of this, without forgetting the offline experience.

“First of all, we need to do research in terms of understanding how consumers are interacting with different sports properties and sports events. After that we need to find a way to make sense for our brands to engage with them around those different touch points”, explains Alvarado.

We need to do our research in terms of understanding how consumers are interacting with different sports properties and sports events.

There is one thing about sports marketing that won’t change: the passion that a sport awakens in a fan is the emotion brands want to connect their consumers with. The challenge is to stick out, among all the brands which are using the same connection. To do so, Alvarado sees one option: link the brand to experiences.

Also read Crown Imports’ John Alvarado: “The Latinization of America is a great opportunity to tap the Hispanic consumer”

“In boxing, for example, around a week before the fight, the audience wants to live a meaningful experience, inside of the boxers. They want to know about boxing strategies or information that is little available. Once you get closer to the day of the event, you can upgrade the experience of seeing the boxing belt, that is something very simple but the multicultural millennial consumer really likes to share this on its social channels, and let everyone know what he is experiencing”, says Alvarado.

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This is Alvarado’s three-step strategy to reach young, multicultural, sports fans

  1. Identify the property or sports platform that engages your target consumer. It doesn’t have to be for every consumer out there. Be thoughtful of who you really are trying to engage, and find that property that will allow you to do so.
  2. Find out how consumers are engaging around that property and think about it weeks before of the day of the game. Don’t just wait until the last day. This way, you can maximize your engagement for consumers, but also your investment.
  3. Fans are looking for meaningful and authentic experiences. Multicultural and millennial consumers are used to being advertised to, and they recognize when they are and they are fine with that. Find out how you can bring the brand’s assets to life, in a way that is meaningful to them.

CHECK OUT: Coca Cola’s Alban Dechelotte: “It’s Natural to Celebrate eSports Fans no differently than any other Passion Point.”

We are thrilled to present Portada Sports Marketing Board, which will feature 12 brand marketing and agency luminaries. This announcement underscores our new commitment to serving the vibrant sports and soccer marketing sectors.As members of the Sports Marketing Board, these leaders and innovators will participate in Portada’s marquee events and provide thought leadership to Portada writers and researchers.

Portada Sports Marketing Board Members

    • John Alvarado, VP Brand Marketing, Crown Imports
    • Analia Benedetti, Director of Shopper Marketing and Multicultural, Kellogg
    • Ed Carias, Sr. Brand Manager el Jimador Tequila – North American Region, Brown-Forman
    • Ramiro Crespo, Multicultural Channel Strategy, Sprint
    • Jeff Garrant, Senior Partner, Director Sports & Entertainment Marketing, Maxus
    • Jorge Inda Meza, Marketing Director Region West, Anheuser Busch
    • Daniel Keats, Director Sports and Sponsorships, Consumer Marketing Allstate Insurance
    • Michael Neuman, EVP, Managing Partner, Scout Sports and Entertainment
    • Felix Palau, VP Tecate, Heineken
    • Mike Tasevsky, SVP U.S. Sponsorship, MasterCard
    • Ivonne Kinser, AFM ‎Director Digital Strategy & Innovation, Avocados From Mexico
    • Kymber Umana, ‎Hispanic Marketing Manager, Sprint

Meet the Board

Subscribe to Portada daily Sports Marketing Updates!

Creating a space to learn from each other

As members of the Sports Marketing Board, these leaders and innovators will participate in Portada’s marquee events and provide thought leadership to Portada writers and researchers.
“Sports offer the opportunity to establish a meaningful, authentic connection with our consumers and create (and deliver) great content, and successful shopper programs. I personally love Portada’s initiative: by putting this board together, Portada is creating a great space for us to learn from each other, share best practices and bounce ideas,” says Analia Benedetti, Director of Shopper Marketing and Multicultural.

Daniel Keats, the Director of Sports and Sponsorships for consumer marketing at Allstate Insurance, notes that “sports are a major passion point impacting consumers across all segments,” and that t is important to have a specific focus on unique content, programming, and market intelligence when engaging consumers through this powerful medium.”
“It is a real privilege to have the backing of this outstanding group of brand marketing and agency executives. This sports marketing board will be essential to our efforts to produce high-quality events and provide value for our partners and sponsors,” says Marcos Baer, the publisher of Portada. “Due to their rapidly growing popularity among overall U.S. and multicultural audiences, we are substantially increasing our coverage of soccer and sports marketing,” Baer adds.

Portada Sports Marketing Programming

March 22: Launch of Portada’s Sports Marketing site in Beta
April-May 2017: The 2018 Soccer World Cup Golazo Marketing Pitch Contest
June 7, 2017: The Portada Sports Marketing Platform Launch Party and Webinar at the PortadaLat conference, Miami
September 13,2017: The Portada Sports Marketing Forum, NYC, part of Portada17 (September 13-14)

For information on sponsorship opportunities and other creative ways to align your brand with Portada’s Sports Marketing Platform, please reach out to Sales/Marketing Director Kelley Eberhardt at kelley@portada-online.com

Crown Imports is introducing The Modelo Especial Chelada brand, which will be made available at retail locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Chicago in October. Modelo Especial Chelada is scheduled for national release in the first quarter of 2014. We talked to Jim Sabia, Chief Marketing Officer at Crown Imports about the marketing implications of the launch. A Portada exclusive.

Portada: Why is Modelo Especial Chelada being introduced at this point in time?

Jim Sabia, CMO, Crown Imports
Jim Sabia, CMO, Crown Imports

Jim Sabia, CMO, Crown Imports: Crown Imports continuously looks to provide the best offerings for its consumers through new and relevant products. The ready-made Chelada segment is growing rapidly across all retail channels with Chelada category volume sales having increased 16.9% in the latest 52-weeks nationally (Source: Symphony IRI Group, Multi-Outlet + Convenience, Rolling 52 weeks ending 5-19-13). As the only Chelada made Especial, this ”cerveza preparada” brings an authentic Mexican recipe to our important Hispanic consumer and provides a new, exciting beer flavor profile to our general market customers.

In some cities across the U.S., Hispanics make up over 50% of Crown sales.

The beer is introduced now in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Chicago. Why are you choosing these markets for the initial introduction. (Is the fact that Hispanics have a high ratio in those states population related to the fact?)
J.S.:”The locations where Modelo Especial Chelada is being made available first represent a high concentration of current Chelada drinkers and drinkers of Modelo Especial. These locations also make up a large portion of the Hispanic population in the U.S. The Hispanic consumer is critical to our business. In fact, in some cities across the U.S., Hispanics make up over 50% of Crown sales. We anticipate Modelo Especial Chelada will be very popular among this consumer based on initial testing and the fact that as the only Chelada made Especial, Modelo Especial Chelada is bringing an authentic Mexican recipe to the U.S. market.”

What marketing strategy is going to be done to support the launch?
J.S.:“The launch of Modelo Especial Chelada will be supported with a full arsenal of marketing support tools including national Spanish-language television spots, trade ads, point of sale and social media. Our communication will focus on the refreshing flavors of tomato, salt and lime that have been brewed with Modelo Especial to deliver the taste of a true Mexican Chelada.”

Any mobile marketing for the launch of this new brand? (If not please explain how mobile marketing/advertising is used for other Modelo brands).
J.S.: “Not currently. However, as part of the overall National Hispanic digital buy for Modelo Especial, mobile plays a key component of our digital mix as our Hispanic consumer continues to over-index in their usage of mobile and digital platforms.”

What paid media strategy is going to be used, what will the media mix be?
Modelo Especial CheladaJ.S.: “Modelo Especial Chelada will be supported by National Spanish-language TV which has already begun airing on targeted Hispanic networks in a mix of entertainment and sports programming, including broadcasts of the MLB World Series on Fox Deportes. In our top markets, Spanish Language radio tags will also air. In the fall, trade print ads will also be running to help build awareness with our retail and trade partners.”

Is Modelo Especial Chelada going to have sports/marketing/soccer specific campaigns?
J.S.: “There aren’t any marketing campaigns directly tied to sports or soccer for Modelo Especial Chelada at this time. However, Modelo Especial Chelada is perfect for broad range of occasions from kick-starting your evening, savoring at a BBQ or while relaxing at home with friends watching sports.While this is the introductory phase for Modelo Especial Chelada, Crown Imports always seeks out the best opportunities to authentically connect our brands with our customers.”

A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the Hispanic market and/or targeting Hispanic consumers right now.

      • Human Care HSP
        Two agencies are partnering to introduce a Pharma Marketing unit. McCann  Human Care and sister agency Casanova Pendrill  (both owned by Interpublic)  are introducing HumanCareHSP. HumanCare claims to be very  knowledgeable about the regulatory environment associated with pharma advertising.  Advertisers have often found regulatory hurdles to the  efficient deployment of Hispanic pharma advertising (including issues such as  the translation of indications).


      • Walmart
        Wal-Mart Stores plans to focus more on reaching the Hispanic consumer, the Citywire reports. Stephen Quinn, executive vice president of marketing for Wal-Mart, told suppliers at the beginning year meeting 10 days ago in Orlando that the retailer’s marketing focus this year is in step with the merchandising goals of localization, being more competitive locally and more keenly focused on Hispanic shoppers. The retailer said last year it planned to ramp up that investment by 100% in the next year or so.The majority of Wal-Mart’s Hispanic stores are concentrated in 8 states including 171 in Texas, 126 in California, 50 in Florida, 36 in Arizona and 33 in New Mexico. More than 800 Walmart Stores across the United States are deemed Hispanic.


      • Rooms to Go
        Rooms To Go has entered into a multi-year licensing agreement with Hispanic actress and businesswoman Sofia Vergara and plans to launch a home furnishings collection in her name in late fall. According to Furniture Today,  the 130-store Top 100 company plans to start “smallish,” said CEO Jeff Seaman. While he declined to disclose the number of pieces or SKUs in the contemporary line, he said it will include living room, bedroom and dining room furniture along with accessories.Seaman said the line should appeal to shoppers across many cultures, not just Hispanic consumers.Terms of the deal were not disclosed.”True to the retailer’s strategy, the Sofia Vergara Collection will be merchandised and displayed in complete room groupings designed to provide customers with inspiration, affordability and ease of shopping,” RTG said in a statement.Vergara will be appearing in RTG’s commercials and other marketing material as well as visiting stores, Seaman said. The retailer – with dual headquarters in Seffner, Fla., and Atlanta and estimated 2012 sales of $1.61 billion – hasn’t chosen all the suppliers for the collection yet, something Seaman said it wants to accomplish at the April High Point Market.


      • American Honda Motors
        American Honda Motors has concluded its Media Review which began in December.  MediaVest was selected as the media agency serving both brands, with  RPA selected as the creative agency for the Honda automobile brand and  Mullen as the creative agency for the Acura brand.  La Agencia de  Orci & Asociados will continue to be Honda’s Hispanic creative agency.


        • Bashas
          As part of Bashas’ Family of Stores’ ongoing restructuring efforts and to position the company for rapid growth, the company has named Edward Basha III as president, CEO and chairman of the company. Jim Vaughn, who recently served as a division president of Albertsons, is joining the company as senior vice president of procurement and marketing.


      • Amigo United Supermarket
        The Amigo’s United Supermarket franchise is adding a new location in Hereford, Texas, its fourth in the Lone Star State. The new location will bring 125 new jobs to the area when completed by 2014.Amigo’s also has stores in Lubbock, Plainview, and Amarillo, Texas, according to ConnectAmarillo.com.”We know two things. Number one, the population of the state of Texas is growing. Number two, the fastest growing part of that population is the Hispanic population, and that’s especially true in West Texas,” said Amigo’s United Director of Communications Eddie Owens.


      • Kia
        Kia Motors wants to become the number one brand among North American Hispanics. To achieve that goal, the firm is increasing its presence in Latino media, Kia’s U.S. marketing director, Tim Chaney, said in an interview with Efe. One sign of this is the recent agreement with Univision to sponsor the beauty competition program “Nuestra belleza latina,” one of the most successful reality shows on Hispanic television in the United States. Chaney told Efe that the South Korean manufacturer is fully immersed in the process of revamping its multicultural communications strategy and emphasized the importance Kia places on the Hispanic community in North America.“The Univision agreement is part of the plan to invest much more money and effort in Hispanic media,” Chaney said. “There’s a great growth opportunity. You can’t be part of the current predominant cultural trend if you don’t invest in the Hispanic market,” he added.


      • Target
        Rick GomezRick Gomez is Target Corporation’s new senior vice president of brand and category marketing. In 2011, Target ranked 29th among the 50 largest advertisers in Hispanic media, spending $45.6 million, according to Advertising Age.  The retailer recently partnered with music produce Emilio Estefan to curate a special selection of movies, music, and books called “Emilio Estefan’s Picks.” Target also tasked Estefan with signing exclusive partnerships with Latin music artists.Gomez used to run marketing at beer giant MillerCoors.


      • Crown Imports
        Crown Imports toasted another year of strong growth as it outlined its 2013 sales and marketing plans to its U.S. distributor network and select retailers at the Gold Network Summit, its recent annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.Last year proved to be a good year for the company, which saw 4.7 percent growth. Its flagship brand Corona Extra increased 2 percent and exceeded annual sales of 100 million cases. Modelo Especial broke the 40-million case mark, up 20.6 percent, and Pacifico was up 8.5 percent, according to the company. The stability and long-term line of sight that our 2012 performance gives our business is exactly what we’ve worked so hard to achieve. And, very importantly, it provides a far clearer roadmap to guide us on our march to fulfill our vision — to capture 20-percent dollar share of the U.S. beer business,” said Bill Hackett, president of Crown Imports.On tap for 2013, the importer will launch new creative campaigns for all the Crown brands, including new Corona Extra “Find Your Beach” TV ads, new creative for Corona Light, and new general and Hispanic market TV ads for Modelo Especial. Pacifico and Negra Modelo will see new TV advertisements in 2013 as well, the company added. (Read our Interview with John Alvarado, Senior Director of Marketing at Crown Imports)


    • Phoenix Suns
      The Phoenix Suns  have launched a Spanish-language website aimed at Hispanics fans. The site features translated content from the English-language Suns.com website.Market estimates show Hispanic fans make up as much as 30 percent of Suns supporters as well as the fan bases of the Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks.“We have received an incredible amount of support from our Spanish-speaking fan base over the years,” said Suns President Jason Rowley. “The new website offers our loyal fans a new channel and a new way to follow the team, in addition to providing our marketing partners a platform to connect with the Hispanic community here in the Valley.”


GET ALL THE LEADS YOU NEED WITH PORTADA’S INTERACTIVE DIRECTORY OF CORPORATE MARKETERS AND MEDIA BUYERS! For detailed contact information on Hispanic Corporate Marketers at these companies and the decision makers at their Advertising Agencies, get access to Portada’s Interactive Directory of Corporate Marketers and Agencies targeting Hispanics of more than 3,000 Leading Agency and Marketing/Advertising Directors who are targeting Hispanics. (Downloadable into an Excel Spreadsheet for seamless integration into your own database!). If you are a Subscriber to the Directory login and access the Directory.

Learn more about the enormous role Online Video can play in the Latin (Latin America and U.S. Hispanic) marketing space. Book now for our Latin Online Video Forum, a required event for any marketing professional.

Crown Imports outlined its 2013 sales and marketing plans to its U.S. distributor network and select retailers at the Gold Network Summit, its recent annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. 2012 was a good year for Crown Imports,  which saw 4.7% growth. Its flagship brand Corona Extra grew 2% and exceeded annual sales of 100 million cases. Modelo Especial  broke the 40-million case mark, up 20.6%, and Pacifico was up 8.5%. Portada spoke to John Alvarado, Crown Imports Senior Director of Brand Marketing, based out of Chicago. Alvarado is responsible for the marketing behind Modelo Especial, the number 3 U.S. Import brand.
Alvarado has helped the growth of Modelo Especial by launching new campaigns, including the  brand’s first ever general market ad campaign and by introducing new packages to garner more consumer occasions. “Modelo Especial’s strategy is a total marketing strategy”, Alvarado says. “We target  Hispanics and non – Hispanics with 360 activation in both English and Spanish. Historically, we  John Alvarado, Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Crown Importsstarted our  efforts with Spanish-language media buys, but are now enhancing them with English-language communications.”
Alvarado and his team have done research that shows that both Hispanics and non-Hispanics are similar in the  things they like about the Modelo Especial brand. “One similarity between the Total Market and the Hispanic market is that they have a “show not tell” philosophy. They want to see communications that are true to who they are.”

The 2013 Media Buy

Modelo Especial’s long-term goal is to be the number 2 Import Beer in the U.S. and  reach 100 million cases. In order to reach that goal it has developed a Total Market approach.  Modelo Especial general market campaign is being aired in six markets up from two last year.  The Hispanic portion of the campaign, developed by Miami’s La Comunidad and planned and bought by Horizon Media is 360 and includes Spanish-language TV, out of home, radio as well as digital media. “There is local print in some markets, e.g. in markets where we want to promote events,  but no national buy,” says Alvarado.
As a whole, the “2013 total market campaign is inclusive of the Hispanic market. In fact, we have seen that Hispanics love the English-language ads and are motivated to purchase.” On the sports marketing side, Modelo Especial has a 5 year strategy tied to International Soccer, Alvarado notes.  Brand ambassadors include U.S. National Team player Clint Dempsey as well as the Mexican soccer player Gerardo Torrado.

We have seen that Hispanics love the English-language ads.

Advice for fellow Marketers

Modelo EspecialPrior to joining Crown Imports LLC, John was with Miller Brewing Company and Jim Beam Brands. While at Miller, he led the Hispanic marketing efforts behind Miller Genuine Draft. At Jim Beam, he served as the Brand Manager on DeKuyper Cordials and he developed the multicultural strategy to grow the company’s brands among Hispanic, African-American, and Gay/Lesbian consumers. With his vast Hispanic and general market experience. Alvarado has interesting advice for fellow brand marketers who are interested in entering the Hispanic market:

1.  ” The Latinization of America is a great opportunity to tap into the Hispanic consumer segment. It’s a very important segment. Not only in terms of  business volume but also because of its influence on the overall marketplace. Hispanics are great brand advocates.”

2. ” Spend time to do the research, because when discussing investments you need to make sure that it works.”

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