Last week we attended the Sports Marketing track on Marketing to the Latino audience at Portada in New York City. While the diversity in the half day event was impressive, as well as many of the new faces, what came across clearly is both the opportunity and the challenge of marketing to a multicultural Latino audience in the US. Whether you are boxing, soccer or the NBA, one size, and one tone does not fit all.
Event with that, the Spanish language market for sport in the United States remains one of the most loyal and one of the most elusive for the Anglo world. Issues trying to understand the differences in cultures, Mexican vs. Puerto Rican vs. Brazilian vs. Spanish, can sometimes make the mastering of a very brand loyal and fast growing part of the population difficult to embrace, and while some brands like Verizon have done great activation programs, many are still struggling to show ROI. Then there is another part of the audience, the Latino and Latina culture which embraces its heritage but wants to engage in their more comfortable English language, still full of the cultural traditions that they were raised on here in North America.
Several websites, including Fox Sports Latino and Latino Sports, have tried to embrace that demo, conversing in English about topics the audience wants to be involved with about the games, a and the athletes that resonate culturally and socially with them. Recently a local New York radio station, ESPN Deportes, has offered up two weekend shows not in Spanish but in English, talking about sports and lifestyle with multilingual hosts familiar to the fan base.
Then last week we found La Vida Baseball. Along the same lines as the radio show, the platform embraces all forms of baseball culture, young and old, as it ties to the Latin community. Launched early in 2017 under the editorial guidance of longtime sports media personality Clemson Muniz, La Vida Baseball has found a growing niche of just over 10 million visitors a month in a very short time. They have launched partnerships with the Baseball Hall of Fame and others, and are serving a growing audience that is still very loyal to the sport of baseball, its traditions and its new faces 24/7. The stories play to the grassroots as well as the Major Leagues and will expand into more audio and video down the line as well.
It is a great pathway to teach young people about the tradition as well as engage with a slightly older crowd that loves the passion of Latinos around baseball, but has English as his or her first or only language.
As we hit Hispanic Heritage Month, La Vida Baseball is a welcome and growing addition to the good work done across cultures in the digital space; one that should be celebrated and will be embraced by fans and brands looking for a different twist around the diamond.
Good storytelling never gets lost in translation.