Thursday, November 12, 2009

NBA launches comprehensive Hispanic marketing initiative

Last week, the NFL refs announced penalties in Spanish for the benefit of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at the Miami Dolphins-New York Jets Monday Night Football game at Land Shark Stadium. The stadium took on a decidedly Latin flavor with a Calle Dolphins tailgating area; Gloria Estefan and Hank Williams Jr. singing a bilingual “Are you ready for some football?” in the MNF theme video; and Marc Anthony performing the national anthem.

Sports leagues certainly recognize the power of marketing to Hispanics. Today, the NBA announced its most comprehensive Hispanic marketing effort that encompasses all of its previous efforts, which have included Spanish-language radio broadcasts in 11 markets and Spanish language team Web sites, and new ones, including advertising, broadcasting and online components.

The league’s effort is called “éne•bé•a,” – or the Spanish pronunciation of ‘NBA,’ – and includes a dedicated Web site at, which currently features a story about the Miami Heat signing guard Carlos Arroyo (who is from Puerto Rico); advertising that features Heat guard Dwyane Wade along with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol on Spanish networks; and content on Spanish language social networking sites. There will also be special merchandise. NBA TV even broadcast the NBA Mexico game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns in Spanish on Sunday.

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