LA Rams


What: Any Los Angeles market strategy should have the Hispanic fan at the forefront. For major league teams such as LAFC and the LA Rams, the challenge is to truly connect emotionally with Latinos through shared values.
Why it matters: Rather than attempting a mass market strategy, teams like the LA Rams, which were away for 25 years, need to go back to the communities roots.

By Ryan Orvis, Portada contributor.

Portada Los Angeles hosted a panel discussion titled ‘Major League Teams Bet Big on the Hispanic Market’, focusing on how major league sports teams approach the Hispanic market. Univision anchor Leon Krauze spoke with Rich Orosco, EVP of Brand and Community at LAFC, and Ronalee Zarate- Bayani, CMO for the L.A. Rams.

As major sports brands targeting Hispanic and Latino communities in Los Angeles, both LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) and the Los Angeles Rams are in unique positions. Founded in 2014, the LAFC is a relatively new attempt to connect with futbol-loving Angelenos, while the recently-returned Rams have a long history with L.A. Latino fans.

Key takeaways from the discussion included the necessity of having the Hispanic fan at the forefront of any Los Angeles market strategy, and the importance of authentically connecting through shared values.

Ronalee explained how the Rams faced the challenge of earning back the trust of Angelenos after 25 years away. They particularly needed to consider the Hispanic community, which had provided a loyal grounding for the Rams fanbase. “Our shared values are around family, community, and tradition. So how do we use those shared values to connect on a deeper level so that the fandom is real?”

Rather than attempt a mass market strategy, she tapped back into the team’s community roots. One example included the creation of a Dia de Diablo-themed Rams T-shirt that showed community support during a confluence of tragedies in L.A. and Mexico City.

For Rich, the goal was to focus on authenticity rather than chasing or attempting to buy the Latino market. “We knew that Latinos would come to football. You don’t have to teach a Latino about football.” Thus, the organization became the Los Angeles Football Club – no mention of soccer. They also hired Mexican superstar Carlos Vela, which didn’t hurt their street cred. From there, they rolled out a risky “street by street, block by block, one by one” strategy that paid off with local communities.

“This is what we mean when we say we want to do it authentically,” said Ronalee. “We don’t want to force it, we don’t want to commercialize it. We want to honor the traditions and bring it to life.”


Major League teams are betting big on the Hispanic market as the importance of the Hispanic consumer to the success of sports franchises in Los Angeles cannot be understated. Marketers will be able to learn this firsthand next Friday March 15 at Portada Los Angeles in a session featuring Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, CMO, LA Rams, Rich Orosco, EVP Brand & Community, LAFC and  Univision’s news anchor Leon Krauze. Make sure to get your tickets which include 3 (three)-8-(eight) minute meetings to select from a list of brand and media agency executives.

We are announcing two major additions to a star-studded roster of brand marketing stars at Portada Los Angeles next week:  Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, CMO of the LA Rams and Rich Orosco, EVP for Brand and Community at the LAFC will be providing crucial insights on the importance of the Hispanic consumer for Los Angeles sports franchises. The panel will be moderated by Univision’s news anchor Leon Krauze.

Ronalee Zarate Bayani, CMO, LA Rams
Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, CMO, LA Rams

Zarate-Bayani’s  career path includes stints at Taco Bell and Visa, before working her way up at Hershey, eventually becoming the head of global integrated marketing. In 2016, the St. Louis Rams moved backed to Los Angeles, and a year later the team hired Zarate-Bayani to be the  franchise’s CMO.

Rich Orosco, EVP Brand & Community, LAFC
Rich Orosco, EVP Brand & Community, LAFC


The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) is a relative newcomer to Major League Soccer.  The club was founded in 2014. One of LAFC’s first moves — before it had chosen a coach, signed a player or picked a site for its stadium — was to hire Rich Orosco as it’s executive vice president for brand and community. The decision reflects the emphasis the LAFC places on fan development as it is the supporter groups who create and define a soccer club’s culture.

Leon Krauze, News Anchor, Univision
Leon Krauze, News Anchor, Univision


León Rodrigo Krauze, who will moderate the panel, is an award-winning Mexican journalist, author, and news anchor. Krauze began his career as a sports journalist, focusing on soccer. That passion led him to become not only an expert and official chronicler of the Mexico national team but also a highly regarded historian: he has written four books and eighty documentaries on the history of “fútbol” in Mexico.


Get our e-letters packed with news and intelligence!