SBD/Issue 213/Events & Attractions

Denver CART Race Organizers Are Targeting Hispanic Market

While CART Shell Grand Prix organizers "will blitz Denver with advertising the next five weeks" in hopes of drawing 75,000 fans to the Labor Day weekend event, a "separate marketing campaign aims to charm" the Spanish-speaking community, according to Kelly Pate of the DENVER POST. Organizers are targeting Hispanics from Mexico, or with strong ties to Mexico. Denver-based marketing exec Jessica Ferrufino said Mexican CART driver Adrian Fernandez "draws 100,000 fans to races in (Mexico). He's sort of the favorite son." Kroenke Sports Exec VP David Erlich said, "We can't afford to ignore 30 percent of the population. We have to embrace it." Census figures indicate that Hispanics are 31% of Denver and 17% of CO residents. Race organizers are hosting pre-race events at markets "shopped by 'Spanish-dominant' Hispanics, those who choose to speak Spanish even if they're bilingual, and who retain the culture of their birthplace in Mexico, Central or South America." Marketing execs Ferrufino and Larry Martinez both said that "face-to-face marketing is key to selling to this audience." Pate adds that the weekend events "center around a mercado, or outdoor market, selling Mexican foods, T-shirts and other items. There's Latin music and a CART exhibition race car." In addition to the neighborhood events, ads "will go into a dozen Hispanic media outlets, including La Voz newspaper, Univision TV and KDVO radio, and marketers are pushing those media outlets to feature stories about Hispanics involved" with the Shell Grand Prix (DENVER POST, 7/26).

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