Today’s guest columnist is Claudia Chagui, senior vice president of marketing and creative, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.
We have all heard it for years: It’s the fastest-growing demo, the youngest demo, the most culturally diverse demo, and so on. Yet so far, marketers’ engagement with the Hispanic consumer has missed the mark, especially in sports.
But hopefully, not for much longer. As we head into the biggest sporting event on the planet this fall—the FIFA World Cup—there is no better time to fully embrace and engage the Hispanic sports fan. As revealed by a study we commissioned recently, “The Future Is Fútbol,” the opportunities are meaningful for any business. Here are some key highlights:
- The World Cup is everything:
- More than half (57%) of Hispanic enthusiasts say they have reshuffled their priorities to watch an important game, including skipping family or friend events, taking off work, spending money they did not have, or traveling miles to watch an important match.
- Soccer gatherings are momentous among Hispanic enthusiasts, who rank the World Cup second only to Christmas, more significant than Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
- The World Cup is all the time and everywhere:
- This year’s World Cup is expected to be the world’s biggest multiplatform sports event ever. The incremental viewership from live streaming helped make the 2018 World Cup the biggest multiplatform sports event in Spanish-language history.
- 67% of Hispanic viewers plan to watch the World Cup on broadcast TV, and 42% plan to stream the matches. Many seek a flexible experience—watching World Cup matches across platforms and screens.
- Television is the preferred device for Hispanics to watch the World Cup (90%), followed by smartphone (34%) and computer (17%).
- The World Cup is better in Spanish:
- Spanish is not exclusive to Hispanics: 17% of non-Latino tournament viewers said they would watch some of the matches in Spanish, an increase of 12% over 2018.
- Latinas are a critical demo:
- 76% of Hispanic mothers who view the tournament encourage their kids to follow the World Cup and professional fútbol.
- Hispanic females are passionate fans, comprising 17 million Spanish-network FIFA World Cup viewers in 2018, making the tournament the most-watched Latina sporting event in Spanish-language history.
- World Cup viewing is a family affair, with 70% of Hispanic parent World Cup viewers saying it’s important to watch the event in Spanish with their kids.
Hispanics are not a monolith, and engagement with a Latino base is not one-size-fits-all. For example, Mexican fans may over-index in sports like soccer and boxing, Puerto Ricans may tend to follow baseball and basketball, and Argentines may migrate to soccer and tennis. As marketers, it is our job to understand our consumers, their culture and what drives their behavior. This is no different than knowing how to effectively engage with a college football fan in Alabama vs. a hockey fan in Buffalo.
Although the millions of consumers in this diverse Hispanic fan base may have different nuances, they all speak the language of sport. And now we can re-confirm the vastness of the numbers tied to the World Cup and how the engagement, passion and buying patterns are intensified around this big event.
Your brand and business activation doesn’t happen in a cultural vacuum. Latino consumers are smart—they watch and engage with everything, regardless of the spoken language, but they migrate to the events and messaging that connect them to their culture. And they do so in bigger numbers than any other group.
We see this time and again: When brands believe and invest in Hispanic audiences, they see growth and engagement. And when marketers lean into language and into culture, that connection is deeper and results in a greater impact. For example, one of the key sponsors we worked with in the 2018 World Cup, a telecom brand, drove a double digit increase (+13%) in the share of new Hispanic subscribers in the four weeks of their presenting sponsorship of the tournament.
And it’s not just in soccer. This year Telemundo was the first-ever Spanish-language broadcast to air the Super Bowl and in doing so averaged 1.9 million viewers, by far the most-watched NFL game in U.S. Spanish-language history.
So what does this mean for brands wanting to engage with the demo? It means you are going to miss the opportunity if you don’t connect now. This audience wants you to be part of their culture, of their traditions, of their multigenerational experiences. They want to share the passion of the moment in sports, and your brand can be at the center of that.
With the World Cup just over a month away, the time is now.
A veteran marketer and media professional, Chagui leads the strategic development and execution of all marketing and creative initiatives across NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, including campaigns for entertainment, news and sports brands.