Debates on immigration and assimilation certainly won’t be fading any time soon. But while politicians fight it out the fact remains that the growing Hispanic populations have increasing buying power. And companies are making sure to reach out to these markets. The question is: What’s the best strategy? The answer: Keep it real—as in authentic.
It takes more than just speaking the language to make a connection. Companies are tapping into consumers’ passions by creating events that engage people on their own turf.
The Hispanic market is becoming more and more lucrative and companies are paying close attention and tapping into some of its favorite pastimes—like soccer.
Glidden paint has successfully connected with the Hispanic market by leveraging its sponsorship of Major League Soccer’s Futbolito—a traveling soccer tournament that runs spring and summer now in its sixth year which is very popular in Hispanic markets.
“A large percentage of painters are members of the Hispanic community and we use our sponsorship to speak to them more directly ” says Deena Cave pro customer marketing manager at Glidden. “Our MLS strategy is important to us because it helps us address consumers in a more personal way about something they are passionate about.”
On event day Glidden sets up two giant inflatable slides on tournament grounds topped with two branded cans that can be spotted for miles. The slides have been a big hit with kids who line up all day long for a try. For moms and dads Glidden sets up an interactive tent where it holds juggling contests. Participants get to juggle full-size soccer balls. Last man standing receives a Glidden branded soccer ball.
Futbolito also gives local Glidden vendors an opportunity to reward their key customers by creating its own tournament within the tournament (MLSfutbolito.com). The company gets 16 sponsor slots in four major markets. All the teams in Futbolito pay to enter the tournament so Glidden leverages its sponsorship to pay for its Hispanic painter customers to enter. It sponsors Gliddenbranded teams that play each other in a round-robin format with the winners actually playing in the competition.
Glidden local vendors help select the team members. Each vendor pulls in key customers to form their own team of seven. Those team members are eligible to receive brand exclusive prizes as well as Futbolito prizes (Agency: X! Promos Irvine CA).
“Futbolito gives us an opportunity to provide our existing customers with a unique experience through team sponsorship ” says Cave. “Futbolito and our MLS partnership as a whole fit perfectly with what the Glidden brand stands for: family and community.”
Marketing to minority groups is hardly new but companies’ commitment to creating programs that don’t treat these communities like afterthoughts is growing stronger. You can see it in the number of companies with sub-divisions within their multicultural marketing departments that cater to each specific demographic.
Wachovia Bank for example has a sub-division for Hispanics African-Americans women and in the works Asians.
To connect with the Hispanic market Wachovia hit the road with Wachovia On Wheels. The mobile tour traveled to soccer games and festivals hitting Hispanic heavy markets from north to south.
They paired up with local Spanish-language radio stations and brought out some big-name djs. In Atlanta Wachovia leveraged existing events like Car Wash Wednesday via La Raza 102.3 FM a local radio station.
“Entertainment and community are a big part of this market’s life and we want to reach out to them in a way that is relevant ” says Cecilia Perez senior marketing consultant Wachovia Hispanic segment. “They get to learn what we have to offer and we get to show them we’re committed to their community by spending dollars to go to the places where they live to bring them fun.”
Wachovia also partnered with local dealerships to use their trucks to pull its branded trailer that was used as a mobile billboard. On site Wachovia set up a branded tent with information tables organized soccer games for adults and children and did lots of giveaways to draw folks to local branches (Agency: ROJO Marketing Charlotte NC).
Sprint also went the entertainment route leveraging the release of Latin Grammy Award winner Juanes’ new album to connect with the Hispanic market. The partnership kicked off in September with TV ads that led to videos posted on Sprint video-enabled phones.
Sprint followed up by hosting private Juanes’ concerts in New York City and Chicago exclusive to its customers. In New York Sprint lit up the room as its logo appeared in a laser show that kicked off the performance. The concerts were held in intimate venues holding up to 1 000 guests. Tickets were only available via Spanish-language radio stations and Sprint stores driving the message that “Only Sprint brings you closer to Juanes.”
At the concerts Sprint peppered the venues with posters and banners and gave away branded merchandise.
“Music remains a passion point for Hispanics and Juanes is an internationally renowned and respected artist ” says Isaac Mizrahi director-Sprint multicultural marketing. “These experiences demonstrate our commitment to the Hispanic community. It is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of a Latin artist and give fans access to him.”
Sprint is adding to the program in 2008 through a sweepstakes where fans submit two-minute videos explaining why they deserve a chance to meet the singer. The contest will be promoted via national Spanish language TV.