SBD/February 7, 2017/Media

Social Studies: Univision Exec Talks Live Video, Appealing To English-Language Hispanics

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Univision Senior Dir of Digital Sports Juan Pablo Convers (@UnivisionSports) has only been with the Miami-based outfit for a year now, but the Colombia native can already see the big change generated by live video on social media. Convers: "When I landed here, live wasn’t as big. It was something that we were starting to work with on Twitter and Facebook." Now the former marketing exec is looking toward the network's efforts around the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. He said the company has "many surprises" in store for the biennial soccer tournament, which will be played in 14 host cities around the U.S. in July.

Changes in how Univision presents itself on social media

SOCIAL SNAPSHOT
Must-follow: I love Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s doing very interesting things.
Favorite App: If you want to know what’s going on in sports and where social is going, you have to dedicate some hours per day to Instagram.
Average time per day on social media: More than my wife likes. I try to dedicate 1-2 hours in the morning and a couple hours in the evening. But it’s always on.


Our coverage last year of Copa America Centenario and the role that Facebook Live played there was a big game changer. Video has become a much more important inside our social media strategy. Facebook remains our No. 1 platform, with Instagram and Snapchat having important growth in the last 12 months. From a play-by-play perspective, we use a lot of Twitter. The video parts of Snapchat and Instagram also are going to become more important.

Difference in appealing to U.S. and Latin American audiences:
It’s very similar. If you see the whole sports market and you go to specific teams, tournaments or leagues, the way the audience consumes -- or the type of content they want -- is very similar. Sometimes it’s different in how they consume and where they consume the content. The Hispanic audience is much more social in how they consume content -- families and friends become an integral part of watching and living the event experience. The difference is how you use each of the platforms for the overall storytelling. You have to understand all those platforms are for different moments and different content. You can’t just copy and paste.

Trying to distinguish itself with coverage for Spanish-speaking and bilingual consumers:
We have a clear strategy that our audience in the U.S. wants content in Spanish. That’s our focus right now, and it’s been our historic focus. It’s something we are evaluating and highlighted in the last months of generating English-language content. But for now, the strategy is the same as it has been since the beginning.

Percentage of Univision content that is in English:
It’s very small. Right now, I don’t think it would reach the 1% mark. We’re doing things on social or with a specific note. In sports, it’s one-shots that we’re doing around specific events. It will get bigger. We will be launching an interesting initiative around Liga MX in a couple of weeks for English-language Hispanics, which will be a first step toward that strategy.

Differences between working in the U.S. and Colombia:
It’s been a big change. The first thing that really hits you is the scale of everything. When you talk about sports and audience, it’s very similar. But the numbers are really different from what I’ve managed before. Also, having the variable of two languages -- you can reach the Hispanic audience with Spanish or English or with a mix of Spanglish -- that’s something you have to get used to. 

Presentation of U.S. sports:
That’s one of the things we have changed in the last year. When you go to the NBA or NFL, our audience wants more water cooler talk than stats, scores and in-depth analysis. We’ve gone more toward telling the big stories and interesting facts. When viewers want more information to go to work or to sit down and chat with their friends on weekends and be sports-educated, they have a great solution with us.

Space for Spanish-language Players Tribune-type publications:
Why not. It’s a good opportunity. The thing with content is I don’t give importance to if it is short, medium or long. It’s quality. If you give great quality, and you package it and you distribute it, people are willing to sit down 10, 12, 15 minutes and watch a video, or they’ll dedicate 10-15 minutes to read a good story.



If you know anyone who should be featured for their use of social media, send their name to us at jperez@sportsbusinessdaily.com.
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