SBD/October 6, 2011/Events and Attractions

IMG Sports Marketing Symposium: Panelists Take A Look At The U.S. Hispanic Marketplace

Panel says companies need to focus on passion points to better market to Hispanics
One of the major business challenges discussed at the IMG Sports Marketing Symposium’s panel titled, “Futurecast: A Look at the U.S. Hispanic Marketplace and What the Explosive Population Growth Means for Sports Marketing,” was how companies can focus on Hispanics’ passion for sports to effectively promote their products. Coca-Cola North America Assistant VP/Hispanic Marketing Reinaldo Padua said, “It’s all about the passion points for the consumers. Once you have identified that passion point, you can connect your brand to consumers and have a more emotional connection.” Univision Deportes VP/Marketing Victoria Vitarelli: “If you’re not talking to them directly with a message that really resonates with them, you’re not delivering. Hispanics are going to seek out a message that really resonates with their culture, with their food and with their identity and with their language. Language is an important part of their identity that they’re very proud of.” Yankees Dir of Latino Affairs Manuel Garcia: “When I first started I saw a poll a media outlet had put together that showed close to 50% of Hispanics will try a new product or will buy a new product or will align themselves with a company if that company invests in something that is important to them, whether it is a sport or an event. And for Hispanics, that’s huge.” But MLS CMO Russ Findlay pointed out that tapping into that passion can be difficult. Findlay: “There is a risk sometimes that because of the expansiveness of what available media channels there are, there is the availability, especially for the Hispanic community, for consumers to maintain those passion points from their country of origin. So they may love soccer, but because there is more choice they can maintain their affiliation and they can consume media from outside the U.S. It doesn’t necessarily mean that just because they like soccer and they’re passionate about it, that they automatically like Major League Soccer.”

CUTTING CORNERS: The executives spoke about cutting corners in a marketing campaign. Vitarelli: “You can’t just take a commercial from XYZ country and adapt it. You’re cutting a corner and you’re not connecting with this multicultural Hispanic American person, which is very different from somebody from a Spanish-speaking country outside of the United States.” Findlay: “If the message isn’t right, then … you’ve lost your money and you’ve certainly lost an opportunity. And even worse than that, you have given an impression as to how you view your product vis-á-vis that consumer and so you’ve just communicated a lot, which is, ‘I don’t understand you and you don’t matter.’ No faster way to tank your brand than to do something like that.”

See a full agenda for the conference, and get highlights and updates from the sessions via SBJ/SBD's running blog and Twitter feed.
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