News Column

Hispanic Athletes Star in New Sports Brand

July 17, 2013

Staff -- HispanicBusiness

Javier Hernández
Javier Hernández

TheSportingNation.com will fill a gap in the sports Internet landscape by highlighting Hispanic athletes, its founders say.

TheSportingNation.com, launched last week, is a bicultural sports brand that will create original content aimed at the U.S. Hispanic audience and showcase Latino athletes such as Joe Capp, Lee Trevino, Miguel Cabrera, Nancy Lopez, Javier Hernández "Chicharito" Balcázar, Chad Ortiz, Marlen Esparza, Amy Rodriguez and Joe Corona.

The sport website was founded by Robert Rodriguez, a former Fox Deportes digital employee, who teamed with Mario Flores, a co-founder of public relations agency Sportivo, and Jose Romero, a veteran sports writer, who will serve as the site's managing editor.

"It's one of our core values to tell sports stories from a Latino point of view or Latino perspective to go beyond the lines on the field," Mr. Rodriguez said. "We are also focused on writer development and providing opportunities to young emerging talent. This is a key part to ensuring that the future of sports has a diverse writer base to tell stories about the players that play the games."

Aside from the three founding partners, TheSportingNation has recruited three writers – Lisa Blanco, Anthony Monzon and Alex Gimenez – and plans to add more as the company grows. According to TheSportingNation.com's research, 87 percent of English-dominant Hispanics ages 16 and older go online, compared with 77 percent of Hispanics who are bilingual. This share drops to only 35 percent for Spanish-dominant Hispanics.

"I think it has a lot to do with the fact that so much of the content early on that was of interest to Latinos was in English," Mr. Flores said. "But beyond that, if you look at the growth of Latinos in the U.S. as a result of births in this country, not immigration, it makes sense that English becomes the preferred language."

The reception to the concept has been positive, according to Mr. Flores, and the team is holding conversations with marketers, leagues and brands. They have yet to pitch the site to potential advertisers.

"We are focused on refining the product and the editorial voice," Mr. Rodriguez said. "Of course advertisers are on our roadmap. We have just not reached out to the marketplace in full force quite yet."

They are invested in the social media sector with Twitter and Facebook accounts, however.

"Social media is a key driver for awareness and access to our content," Mr. Rodriguez said. "Our goals with social media is to engage and keep our fans up to date on the newsmakers and events from around the sports space."

Because Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Flores and Mr. Romero all have a sports background, it was a no-brainer to tackle that landscape. Furthermore, the connection between Hispanics and their passion for sports represents "hope," according to Rodriguez.

"For many young Latinos, sports provides an opportunity to achieve or reach for something more -- whether that be riches, education, a place to connect with friends and family, a sense of community," he said. "Sports is a space where anyone can succeed -- it is an equal playing field where it is possible to out-work the person next to you.

"I believe these are ideals that are at the core of many U.S. Latino families," he added.



Source: HispanicBusiness.com (c) 2013. All rights reserved.