SBJ/February 6-12, 2012/Franchises

Wolves see chance to court Hispanic fans

The Minnesota Timberwolves are ramping up their efforts to reach out to their Hispanic fans as they try to capitalize on the popularity of rookie point guard Ricky Rubio and free agent acquisition J.J. Barea.

Barea (left) and Rubio star on a new Spanish-language website.
The team on Tuesday unveiled an all-Spanish website, timberwolves.com/espanol, that will feature regular video and written features on Rubio and Barea from Wolves Spanish radio announcer Alfonso Fernandez. Rubio is from Spain; Barea is from Puerto Rico.

“With the popularity of both Ricky and J.J. Barea, our Spanish-language page will serve as a great resource for our fans in the Latino community to follow the Wolves and their two favorite stars,” Wolves Chief Marketing Officer Ted Johnson said in a statement.

The Wolves also announced they will host two Spanish heritage nights at Target Center this season, featuring pregame and halftime entertainment from Latino performers from the Twin Cities area. The first one will take place on Feb. 15 for the Wolves’ game against Charlotte; the second will be April 4, versus Golden State.

Those initiatives come on the heels of the Wolves’ recent announcement that the team will broadcast 12 games in Spanish this season on La Mera Buena (KBGY-F Twins hired Miguel Ramos as director of emerging markets M 107.5), double the number from last season.

The Wolves aren’t the only Minnesota team reaching out to Hispanics. The Minnesota Twins hired Miguel Ramos as director of emerging markets four years ago. His job is to build bridges between the ballclub and minority communities in the Upper Midwest.

John Vomhof Jr. writes for the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, an affiliated publication.

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