SBD/Issue 163/Franchises

Chivas USA Reaching Out To Community To Grow Fan Base

Chivas USA Reaching Out To
Community To Grow Fan Base
What MLS Chivas USA President & CEO Shawn Hunter and his employees are hearing from the Latino community is “painfully obvious, but not easily deliverable under the MLS structure,” according to Lisa Dillman of the L.A. TIMES. Hunter: “They want players from Mexico that are young, that are exciting on the field. If I could wave a magic wand, they’d say, ‘Well, next month bring us (Omar) Bravo, (Ramon) Morales, (Oswaldo) Sanchez.’ And then you’re a smart guy.” Hunter, who joined the club in September, said of Chivas USA, “Some of the mistakes they made on the field, frustrated what should be the fan base. They alienated a lot of Hispanic fans and because they didn’t market at all to non-Hispanics, it left a big hole in the middle. That’s what we’re here to do: be relevant with the Hispanic community and also be welcoming to the general market.” Dillman notes Chivas USA after three home games this season at The Home Depot Center is averaging 12,805 fans, 10th in MLS. The club last month held its first community practice in April. Hunter: ‘The mistake was made four years ago, assuming that we had a built-in fan base, that it was going to be there. We’ve got to go hand-to-hand, building these relationships, not only with the Hispanic community but with the non-Hispanic community, making sure they feel welcome and part of the family” (L.A. TIMES, 5/14).

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