The NBA and the NFL have taken steps to create marketing campaigns that focus on their Hispanic viewers. The NBA’s fully integrated Hispanic marketing campaign, éne bé a, is the organization’s initiative to grow the game of basketball throughout the expanding US Hispanic market. The campaign utilizes media, events, grassroots and merchandising programs. Part of éne bé a is Noche Latina (Latin Night). One of the most noticeable tactics for Noche Latina the NBA uses is Spanish jerseys. Various teams take part in the campaign by wearing the jerseys.
Senior Director of Hispanic Marketing, Saskia Sorrosa, for the NBA recognizes that Hispanics comprise of 15% of their fan base. Sorrosa says, “We have a responsibility to connect with them in meaningful ways. Noche Latina is an opportunity for us to thank the Hispanic community for their support and showcase how their pride and passion impact our teams and players.”
I think the special jerseys are a great way for the NBA to recognize their Hispanic viewers as well as their Hispanic players. Five US-born Latino players and 18 players from Spain and Latin America were on the 2009-2010 rosters.
The NFL is also taking notice to their Hispanic viewers. This year’s Super Bowl will take place in Arlington, Texas at Cowboy Stadium. An article by Media Post states that more and more NFL teams are courting the Latino market in effort to tap into an aggressive fan base ready to shell out dollars.
In 2005, the NFL played its first regular-season game outside of the US in Mexico City. The game drew over 100,000 people, which is impressive in a heavily dominated soccer or fútbol country. In the years since the Mexico City game, the NFL has tried to tap into the rapidly growing Hispanic market. This season saw one of the most aggressive positioning strategies by the organization as more than half of the teams celebrated Mexican Hispanic Heritage events at various stadiums. In celebration of the heritage month, ESPN Deportes launched Fanatico Latino, an integrated marketing campaign honoring the character and diversity of the Latino Sports Fans. Univision and the NFL also paired to launch NFL.com/Espanol site. In September, the NFL delivered two of the most watched season opening games among Hispanics that included the “Sunday Night Football” game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. The games were also broad casted in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
This year’s Hispanic NFL viewership has skyrocketed, according to the Nielsen Company, up over 12% from last season. Ratings are up by 7% over the same time period. Super Bowl XLV offers a unique position by being located in Dallas. Although the overall US population grew just 9.7% over the last decade (slowest since the Great Depression), Texas grew more than twice as fast as the nation, thanks in part to Mexican Hispanics. Dallas has the 5th largest US Hispanic population of Mexican descent. Even though the climate in Dallas is a great place to host the Super Bowl, Dallas makes sense because it’s a great place to captivate the Mexican Hispanic market.
Lastly, the article makes a strong point about the importance of Hispanic viewership. According to Nielson, last year’s Super Bowl ranks as the most-watched American television program ever with an average audience of 106.5 million viewers. NFLHispanic.com states over 3 million more Hispanics on average watched last year’s Super Bowl XLIV than the World Cup Final.