October 30, 2014
By Bobby Burch
Led by one of the world's most prominent Hispanic executives, Sprint Corp. needs staff who can speak English and Spanish.
Although mostly in sales or retail positions, the Overland Park-based carrier (NYSE: S) is looking for dozens of bilingual staff to fill jobs throughout the U.S. With a majority located in California, Texas and Florida, Sprint hopes to fill nearly 90 bilingual jobs, according to a search on the company's career site.
In conjunction with the hiring effort, Sprint also has been ramping up marketing to Hispanic consumers. Spanish advertising is nothing new for Sprint, but the company has produced at least seven new TV ads since new CEO Marcelo Claure arrived in August. Like those running in English, the ads focus on Sprint's new family and data plans, which Claure introduced in his first few weeks as the head honcho.
"Our plans, they are right at the Latino community," Claure told Fox News Latino. "We believe that we know the Hispanic community, and we are going to market to them the way that we do with a differentiated offering."
The emphasis makes sense, given recent trends in the U.S. among Hispanic consumers, who have an annual buying power of $1.4 trillion.
Pew Research found that Hispanics are as connected as other Americans when it comes to owning a smartphone and even more so when surfing online from a mobile device.
Hispanic Internet users are more likely than white users to reach the Web using a mobile device — 76 percent versus 60 percent, according to the research group's report on technology adoption by Hispanics. Also, Hispanic adults are just as likely as white or black consumers to own a smartphone — 49 percent versus 46 percent and 50 percent, respectively. In 2012, 86 percent of Latinos said they owned a cellphone, up from 76 percent in 2009.
The moves also play to a strength of Sprint's leader. A native of Bolivia, Claure is something of a rock star in the Hispanic business world. The 43-year-old owns a Bolivian soccer team, singer Jennifer Lopez performed at his 40th birthday, and he's close friends with singer Marc Anthony. Claure also was called an "iconic" leader by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. USHCC President Javier Palomarez said Claure has "a demonstrably effective ability to court America's Hispanic consumer segment."
Claure built Florida-based Brightstar Corp. into the world's largest wireless distributor and a leading provider of services to the wireless industry, with a presence in about 50 countries and customers in 125 countries. In October, Sprint parent SoftBank Corp. agreed to pay $1.26 billion for a 57 percent stake in Brightstar — giving the company a total value of $2.2 billion.
Brightstar had $10.5 billion in gross revenue in 2013 and was the largest Hispanic-owned company in U.S. history.
Sprint has not yet responded to questions for comment on this story.
Source: Kansas City Business Journal