What: After examining last year’s happenings throughout the vast realm of sports. Portada has identified the top Latino stars, poised to hit it big on the marketing side in 2019.
Why it matters: Standouts in various sports, at different stages of their careers, are attractive options for brands moving forward.

As we enter the deep freeze of winter, who are the Latino athletes plying their trade in the U.S. who brand marketers should be keeping an eye on? Here are six to watch:

1. Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo):
Canelo Alvarez

His sponsor list is growing, and includes deals with Under Armour (@UnderArmour), Tecate (@tecate), Hennessy (@HennessyUS) and Everlast (@Everlast_), bringing in more than seven figures outside his boxing and media deals. His exclusive deal with DAZN (@DAZN_USAhas put the streaming service’s marketing dollars behind him as well, and boxing, not just for the Latino community, remains smoking hot. His star keeps rising in the ring.


2. Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo):

Henry Cejudo

The Olympic wrestling and now UFC (@ufcflyweight champion took less money but scored big ratings growth for ESPN (@espnon Saturday night, when he defended his title with a TKO over T.J. Dillashaw (@TJDillashawat Barclays Center. The son of undocumented immigrants, Cejudo is the American Latino success story. With Modelo (@ModeloUSA) now on board as the “Official Beer,” and 7- Eleven (@7eleven) as “Official Convenience Store,” the UFC’s growth to attract casual fight fans through partnerships is in a great place, and Cejudo can help seed that market as a mature, bilingual and very relatable champion in MMA.




3. Sofia Huerta (@schuerta):

Sofia Huerta (Jamie Smed)

This is going to be a big year for women’s soccer, so one to watch is the 26 year old Mexican-American currently playing for Houston Dash (@HoustonDashof the National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL), and on loan to Australian club Sydney FC for the 2018–19 W-League season. Huerta played for the Mexican National team but is now on the rise with the U.S. Women’s National team and is in contention for World Cup eligibility later this year. Her style and background make her worth a follow.


…[W]herever [Machado] ends up he will take a massive Jordan Brand deal with him and his permanent home after his time in L.A. at the end of last year will make him very desirable for years to come.

4. Josef Martinez (@JosefMartinez17):

Josef Martinez (credit: Atlanta United)

MLS will be heading to training camp soon, and all signs are that their 25 year old MVP, who led Atlanta United (@ATLUTDto a record year, will be back in the fold for now. Personable, telegenic and the perfect face of a bilingual soccer culture, Martinez is tied to Adidas (@adidas), but should he stay in Atlanta, should be on pace for some marketing gold as the cleats go back on this spring.





Join us at PORTADA LOS ANGELES on March 15, 2019 at the Loews Beach Hotel Santa Monica, where we will dive deep into sports and soccer marketing’s preeminent topics. Speaking engagements include Tiago Pinto, Global Marketing Director, Gatorade who will provide answers to the question: “Will Corporate America jump on the soccer opportunity?”Attendees will also be able to benefit from Portada’s meet-up service of three-eight-minute meetings with top brand executives!


Manny Machado (Keith Allison)

5. Manny Machado:

Where will the All Star end up before spring training? The jury is still out, but wherever he ends up he will take a massive Jordan Brand deal with him and his permanent home after his time in L.A. at the end of last year will make him very desirable for years to come. Baseball brands like Rawlings, which markets a Machado model glove, will also be in the mix moving forward.




Mariano Rivera

6. Mariano Rivera:

Even in retirement, the iconic closer will become more valuable this week as “Hall of Fame” goes on his résumé. He earned $170 million in salary over 19 years, all with the Yankees, and has partnered with businesses like Bank of America (@BankofAmerica), The Hartford (@TheHartford) insurance and insole provider OrthoLite (@OrthoLite).

Subscribe to Portada’s weekly Sports Marketing Updates!





Cover Image: Sofia Huerta (credit: Jamie Smed)

What: Mariano Rivera of Panama and Edgar Martinez of Puerto Rico are among the Latinos on the 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot released this week.
Why it matters: Hall of Fame selection can boost the national and international profiles of these great stars outside of baseball, making them more attractive to business partners.

Reflecting the growth of Hispanic players on MLB (@MLBand Minor League Baseball (@MiLBrosters throughout the game over the past few decades, the 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame (@baseballhallballot, released this week, includes numerous players born in Latin American countries, both newcomers and returners among the potential selections for Baseball Writers’ Association of America (@officialBBWAAvoting members to ponder. The election results will be announced on Jan. 22.

The top name, and most likely honoree, is Mariano Rivera (@MarianoRivera), who would be the second native of Panama elected (Rod Carew, chosen in 1991 on his first ballot attempt with 91% of the vote, was the first). Some are saying Rivera, the game’s all-time saves leader with 652, five World Series titles and a minuscule 0.70 ERA in 141 post-season innings, may be the first unanimous selection, as his off-field demeanor, charity work and universal respect among peers and fans make him one of the best candidates ever to possibly reach that threshold (Ken Griffey Jr.‘s 99.3% in 2016 and Tom Seaver‘s 98.8% in 1992 are the closest anyone has come).

As this segment of the population continues to be more impactful in the business of sports, these are the guys who can make the biggest difference.

Rivera made nearly $170 million in salary in his 19-year career, all with the Yankees (@Yankees). And while his more reserved personality may not have led to flashy spokesman opportunities, astute businesses like Bank of America (@BankofAmerica), The Hartford (@TheHartfordinsurance and insole provider OrthoLite (@OrthoLitehave partnered with the all-time great, who turns 49 on November 29.

The other Latino who stands a strong chance of election is Edgar Martínez, in his 10th and final year on the BBWAA ballot. Born in New York but raised in Dorado, Puerto Rico, the 18-year member of the Seattle Mariners has steadily risen up the Hall of Fame voting, reaching 70.4% last year, a far cry from the 36.2% he received on his first ballot in 2010 and the low of 25.2% in 2014. Also known as a solid citizen and exemplary role model, the designated hitter/third baseman has been less in demand by national sponsors, something that could change with his Hall selection. Though he did do a fine job in this local Seattle hardware spot:

“The list of players who have impacted not just teams and the sport, but communities is really amazing this year,” said Ray Negron, longtime New York Yankees advisor who works with dozens of Latino athletes and celebrities. “As this segment of the population continues to be more impactful in the business of sports, these are the guys who can make the biggest difference, especially when you add on ‘Hall of Fame’ to their resume.”

The Portada Brand-Sports Summit in Los Angeles on March 15, 2019 (Hotel Loews Santa Monica) will provide a unique setting for brand marketers to learn about the opportunities sports and soccer content offers to engage consumers in the U.S. and Latin America.

Omar Vizquel of Venezuela (second year on the ballot), Sammy Sosa (seventh) and Manny Ramirez (third) of the Dominican Republic are the others born in Latin America returning to the ballot. While all considered to be long shots this time around (and with Sosa and Ramirez having the additional burden of past PED use on their respective resumes), business prospects for the three are not particularly strong.

Among the first-timers on the ballot, besides Rivera, are Freddy Garcia (Venezuela), Miguel Tejada and Placido Polanco (Dominican Republic), who all had solid careers but who will likely struggle to achieve the 5% of votes needed to remain on the ballot next year.

Several Latin Americans have earned selection in recent years, increasing their profiles. Vladimir Guerrero (2018), Ivan Rodriguez (2017) and Pedro Martínez (2015) all took their spots in Cooperstown to great acclaim. None have had landmark business partnerships though Martínez has remained highly visible in his analyst role on MLB Network, for which he has earned high marks.

Would enshrinement mean more partnership opportunities for Rivera and Edgar? Both are well-known within baseball, and Rivera’s New York connection and World Series success have given him a wider audience outside the game. But Martínez possesses a lot of the same traits, and the attention that Hall selection would afford could push brands to take a second look at this potential marketing standout.


Subscribe to Portada’s daily Sports Marketing Updates!

Cover image: credit Keith Allison

What: Three Puerto Rican standouts will receive the Munson Awards during the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, a fund-raising event that has taken place annually for 38 years.
Why It Matters: There will be a strong Hispanic presence at an event which is important because not only does it honor the most valuable baseball players, it also sheds light on their humanitarian efforts.

Annually, one of the biggest events of the baseball off-season is the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, remembering the great Yankees catcher. For 38 years, the dinner has raised funds for AHRC New York City Foundation and honors great New York area stars for success and inspiration on the fields of play, and community spirit off the field.

On February 6, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, three Puerto Rican standouts will be among the honorees, as Carlos Beltran, Jorge Posada and T.J. Rivera will receive the coveted Munson Awards.

Subscribe to Portada daily Sports Marketing Updates!

Both Posada and Beltran have spearheaded Hurricane Relief efforts for victims in their native Puerto Rico; the Jorge Posada Foundation assists those afflicted with Craniosynostosis, while the Carlos Beltran Foundation empowers young people to reach their dreams through sports and education. Rivera was the Mets nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for his community efforts, notably at his alma mater, Lehman H.S. in the Bronx.

Honoring Unparalleled Baseball Careers

Beltran had 10 years in New York, including seven in Mets Orange and Blue, when he swatted 149 home runs and swiped 100 bases, slashing .280/.369/.500 in 830 games. In all, he hit 435 home runs and drove in 1084 runs in a 20-year career that concluded with his retirement after winning his first World Series with Houston last year.

Posada’s 17-year career, all in Pinstripes, produced 275 home runs and 1064 RBI, along with five championships. One of the “Core Four,” Posada was a five-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger, hitting .273 in more than 1800 career games.

Both Posada and Beltran have spearheaded hurricane relief efforts for victims in their native Puerto Rico.

Rivera slashed .290/.330/.430 last year in 73 games split between third, first, second and left field for the Mets. He hit five home runs and drove in 27. The native New Yorker of Puerto Rican heritage has defied logic of an undrafted player climbing the ranks in the Mets organization to achieve MLB status.

Others to be honored that night include Yankees pitcher David Robertson and former Giants football standout Justin Tuck.

The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City.

For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188 or email jennifer@emgbenefits.com.

(Beltran photo credit: AHRC; Posada photo credit: Keith Allison; Rivera photo credit: MLB)



manso“Local is no longer a geographic term,” said Monique Manso, Publisher of People en Espanol who moderated the panel, “The Local Connection” at #PORTADA13 Regarding the Hispanic market, “passion points inform content and distribution channels.” It is important that brands entertain and provide service or consumers will curate content outside of their messaging streams.” Finally, she said that a “reflexive scale gives national efforts local legs, and local effort national impact.”

Social media drives the scale of live events, which can be significant.

In one case, a brand organized a local market event with national impact which became a national movement. A localized message can reverberate on a mass scale, Manso said.


Manso highlighted that now more than ever, brands are contributing value to consumers through tools like custom video content. In addition to traditional information such as articles, Hispanic consumers want video and behind the scene cover stories, which she characterized as “hidden content.” Historically, providing additional content was expensive. But with an in-house video department and partnerships, her company has succeeded in filling that market need. The print and online reach of Time Axcess was 136 million unduplicated users, including 34 million multi-cultural. Of that, 23.9 million were Hispanic.

The meaning of love…

barker“Is there anything more important in life than love,” asked Ryan Barker, EVP Marketing & Decision Analytics at Vision Critical, which studied 4000 brands across different categories. He said that in the Hispanic market, two out of three brands aren’t loved. An emotional connection to brands by consumers has implications at the local level.

Equating brand development within a certain segment with a love relationship, Barker said that brands that target the Hispanic community should ask: “what is your current relationship? What stage of development are you in?

Measure four critical ingredients: well-regarded, cognizance, competitive uniqueness, true meaning.

“What drives two thirds of brand values in the Hispanic community is competitive uniqueness and meaning” Brands that are perceived as competitively unique and who have a strong meaning within a community have a strong change of developing future bonds with that segment.

“Average emotional connection needs to be 2.3 times stronger for Hispanics than in the anglo-marketplace,” he said. In segment audiences on their stage of development, brands should ask: “what is the primary lever of dating that leads to love? Should pricing power be the same for Hispanic market as Anglo market? Nothing will ever replace a real time dialogue. You can have a real time dialogue with consumers, with Hispanics, with analytics on a real time basis.”

Strategies to reach the Hispanic Market

Regarding specific strategies for reaching the Hispanic market, each presenter’s approach varied according to brand.

barronAlejandra Barron, Senior Manager of Multi-Cultural Marketing at The Home Depot said “we look at different competitive mix by region markets and seasonality. We have dual targets: consumers and professionals, and the seasonality of their business.” Having a one-on-one relationship (through the use of tools like surveys) with customers was Home Depot’s strategy for understanding their customer base.

williams“With 2/3 of Hispanics living in six states, we look at our strategy like the elections,” said Lizette Williams, Senior Brand Manager of Multicultural Strategy at Kimberly Clark, “we have to win six states and we have category leadership.”

To market Huggies, “we look at births, where babies are being born. Fifteen hospitals in US drive most births in the US. Williams focuses her efforts on a miles radius around each hospital. In addition, her approach combines Hispanic and general market data. One study revealed that Hispanic Mothers were unhappy with the lack of spaces to changes their babies’ diapers. Huggies set up changing stations at local events, providing consumers with diapers. The consumers expressed their satisfaction on social media and digital, and the campaign was considered a success.

riveraChristopher Rivera, Associate Director of Brand Marketing Multi-Cultural, Kellogg Company, said that Kellogg built a data foundation in each of the most important US markets. He said that data allowed the brand to see important differences in each market and demographic. For marketing Special K cereal, a study of Hispanic women in LA, Chicago, Miami, and Houston revealed that women in different regions had different approaches to weight management. In Chicago, weight management was seasonal whereas in Miami, it was year-round. Understanding the nuances in the Hispanic market helped Kellogg position itself as one of the leading brands among Hispanics.


Regarding ROI, both presenters and participants lamented that ROI is inadequately measured in the Hispanic market.

Williams said, “ROI is like looking in the rearview mirror backwards. But we have to look to the future. Hispanic ROI’s are lower, but they’re inaccurately calculated because it’s based on the Spanish-speaking segment. It’s important to look at forecasts, at the population. We have look at authenticity and time.

Barker said that in studying the Hispanic market, brands should focus on psychographic or behavioral differences among consumers. “How do you justify brand contributions when you’re only looking at volumetrics?” Rivera added that “we’ve challenged our agency plans to think differently. What are we going to do differently? Be more visual with our packaging? How do you maintain it? We have a national partnership with Major League Baseball. We hired Latino legends for appearances. Now it’s a total market approach. Now it’s the number two brand with Hispanic households in the US. In New York, partnered with the New York Yankees and Bernie Williams.”

According to Barker, examples of brand excellence are Walmart, Best Buy, and Subway. “At the local level are their ability to adjust to seasonality, catering to regional tastes, and understanding underlying values and goals of their customers.” Barron added that “stores build the footrprint at the local level. Events like do-it-yourself workshops can be reflective of the composition of the local market.” The key is to build awareness and consciousness of the community. Manso concluded that “making the community inclusive is a key motivator for our audience.”