Not content with its place as
the biggest U.S. sporting event of the year, the National Football League wants to make the
Super Bowl the most-watched sports event among Hispanics.
The NFL is gearing up to
launch a series of Latino-targeted marketing efforts around Feb. 7's Super Bowl
XLIV with music and sports events featuring Latin celebrities, and educational
and informative programs at the grass-roots level. CBS will televise this
year's game from Miami's Dolphin Stadium.
At stake is a growing
viewership and a potential gold mine derived from Hispanic-targeted events,
sponsorships and advertising.
The NFL is gaining momentum
among Hispanic fans: according to the league, 2009 regular-season game
telecasts averaged 1.1 million Hispanic viewers, the largest audience since
2003. (That year, NFL games averaged 780,000 Hispanic viewers.)
In addition, Hispanic viewers
accounted for 6.7% of the NFL's total viewing audience, with five games averaging
more than 2 million Hispanic viewers, the most ever for one season.
"We are thrilled with the way
this season has been going from a Hispanic fan perspective," said NFL vice
president of fan strategy and marketing Peter O'Reilly. "But the growth is not
limited to TV. We are seen growing engagement across all platforms, including
online, radio and print."
Also according to the NFL,
overall traffic to NFLatino.com, a site powered by Univision.com, has grown 80%
this season over the 2008-09.
In anticipation of this year's
Super Bowl, the NFL has renewed its partnership with Telemundo Network (now in
its fourth year) to launch the Tazon
Latino IV, a nationally televised game between former NFL players and
Latino celebrities. Tazon Latino will
take place Feb. 3 at the Tazon Latino Field in Miami's Lummus Park and will air on Telemundo Network on Saturday, Feb. 7,
at 3:30 p.m.
Former NFL players taking part
will include Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Rocket Ismail, Fuad Reveiz and Vinny
Testaverde. Latino celebrities include Jencarlos Canela, Angeline Moncayo and
Also returning this year is the
Pepsi Musica Super Bowl Fan Jam, a
Feb. 5 concert that will also air on Telemundo and will feature Latin
sensations Nelly Furtado, Paulina Rubio and Miami rapper Pitbull.
At the grass-roots level, the
NFL this year is launching the NFL Youth Football Super Bowl Clinics, enrolling
children from the community to learn football fundamentals and teamwork from
current and former NFL players and coaches. These clinics will take place at
the clinic fields, adjacent to Dolphin Stadium and will be open for
pre-selected kids throughout Super Bowl Week, starting Feb. 4. The effort is
similar to the one launched in October - also in South Florida - to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
on the advertising front, major NFL sponsors including Pepsi, Coors Light and
Procter & Gamble have all expanded their relationship with the league to
include Hispanic marketing messages in Spanish. It is not yet clear if
marketers will venture into Spanish-language ads during the actual game on Feb.
7, as has happened in the past.