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Counselor Commentary: Don’t Miss This Opportunity

(6/5/2014)

The most-watched sporting event in the world begins next week. It’s The World Cup, soccer’s equivalent of the Super Bowl, except it builds up the anticipation and excitement like a skyscraper arising from the ground because it takes place only once every four years. Oh, and it’s nationalistic too, as 32 countries across the globe vie for soccer’s preeminent trophy.

Here in the United States, marketers are also jumping into the World Cup with two advertising feet, as they try to capitalize on the massive three-week-long opportunity. And while live sports have become a huge draw for marketers of all sizes and in every industry, there’s another reason why marketers are investing so heavily into this World Cup: The fast growth of the Hispanic market. The 2014 World Cup is the first to be played since the release of the 2010 U.S. Census, which showed a seismic shift in the United States relating to the Hispanic population. Not only has it already grown significantly, but a 2012 Nielsen report based on the Census says that “Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic segment, expected to grow 167% from 2010 to 2050, compared to 42% for the total population.”

And guess what? Soccer is by far the most popular sport (if not, hobby) of this demographic. That is why companies like Volkswagen of America will be all over your televisions, radios, websites, and mobile phones with marketing messages surrounding the World Cup. “We’re advertising in every single game,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president for marketing at Volkswagen of America, as part of “an integrated campaign across the World Cup.”

Smart move. What are you and your clients doing right now not just to take advantage of the upcoming World Cup, but to generally target the Hispanic market? It’s a segment of the population that’s increasing in influence and buying power, and to ignore it would be the missed opportunity of a lifetime. A recent AdAge report says that all of beverage marketers’ growth will come from the Hispanic market, and auto sales will grow twice as fast as sales to non-Hispanics.

“Latinos are emerging as a powerhouse of economic influence, presenting marketers an increasingly influential consumer group that can translate into business impact,” said Monica Gill, senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for research firm Nielsen. “The key is to recognize that today’s modern Latino is ‘ambicultural’ with the ability to seamlessly pivot between English and Spanish languages and to embrace two distinct cultures.”

Now is the time to talk to clients about the Hispanic opportunity that currently exists. Any company you talk to that uses live events, cultural campaigns, or any type of consumer-related promotion needs to understand and recognize the buying power of the Hispanic sector – before it passes them by.



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