SBJ/20100913/SBJ In Depth

Digital sports content takes aim at demo

An iPhone app for ESPN Deportes Radio (left) and a relaunched
beisbol.net are part of the push to provide more digital sports content
to Hispanic consumers.

A marked increase in online and mobile media consumption by Hispanics is sparking a significant wave of new digital sports programming targeted to that audience.

Research conducted by various groups has consistently and increasingly found that Hispanics overindex in their use of digital platforms compared with the overall population, and are early adopters of new technology. Simmons NCS/NHCS, for example, found that Hispanics outpace non-Hispanics downloading music, watching online video and playing video games (see chart).

Similarly, the Pew Hispanic Center late last year reported that Internet use among Hispanic adults rose 10 percentage points — 54 percent to 64 percent — between 2006 and 2008, more than twice the growth rate of whites in that time frame and five times the growth rate for blacks. And Forrester Research found earlier this year that Hispanics have also become disproportionately more engaged in social media.

Internet use
Hispanics outpace non-Hispanics in Internet use. For example,
32 percent of Hispanics download music online, which is 45
percent greater (Par=100) than the overall population.

The net result from the vibrant growth of the Hispanic population and their embrace of digital platforms has been an aggressive push among many media entities, teams and leagues to embrace and capitalize upon that growth.

Among the more prominent recent moves:

The Mundial Sports Network, formerly known as the Mundial Group and publisher of several Spanish-language sports magazines, earlier this year launched a digital marketing division under its new corporate name. The outfit now produces digital versions of its magazines, with further entries into mobile content planned.

Celeritas Management, owners of the Spanish Béisbol Network, this summer relaunched its online baseball hub, beisbol.net, to include an array of new, exclusive content and social media functionality.

Fox Sports en Español is planning a rebranding next month to Fox Deportes, with the switch to include a continuation of its extensive digital programming. The network’s biggest rival, ESPN Deportes, continued its always-aggressive multiplatform proliferation with the release last month of an iPhone application for ESPN Deportes Radio.

Top sports programming advertisers on Spanish
language television in the U.S.
Most popular websites

And Univision Interactive Media, the digital wing of the dominant brand in U.S. Hispanic broadcasting, earlier this year created a digital channel devoted exclusively to soccer with online and mobile components, separate from its existing Deportes destinations. UnivisionFutbol.com saw significant traffic spikes during this summer’s FIFA World Cup, as did many other online sports destinations, but the site is devoted to aggressive year-round coverage of the sport.

Univision also operates NFLatino.com and is implementing the wide array of video, social media and mobile enhancements also being introduced this season on the English-language NFL.com. The broadcaster additionally has struck a new partnership with the NBA to operate a co-branded Spanish-language site devoted to basketball.

“We’re sort of at this incredible and unique moment in time where we’re able to combine our audience’s incredible passion for sports with the proliferation of interactive media,” said Kevin Conroy, Univision Interactive Media president. “Right along with that, the general marketplace is now better understanding the true significance, power and reach of our audience and passion.”

Largest Hispanic populations among major sports markets
Fastest-growing Hispanic populations among major sports markets
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