April 17, 2014
By Darren Heitner
Soccer is the most effective marketing platform to reach the growing and complex Hispanic Millennial market segment. That is the main finding in a newly released report from Octagon Access (a division of sports agency Octagon), which helps leading global brands leverage sports marketing to reach multicultural and millennial consumers. The report titled, Dos a Cero, supports its conclusion by stating that 31% of Hispanic Millennials are soccer fans (more than two times than the general population) and 75% of Hispanic Millennials are actively using social media . Thus, it is believed that Hispanic Millennials are driving the growth of both the online soccer conversation and the stadium experience.
The Dos a Cero report is a particularly insightful read for brands seeking to exploit the forthcoming FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil and either create or maintain a marketing relationship associated with Major League Soccer. With The Masters golf tournament completed, many in the United States have shifted their focus to the NBA and NHL playoffs. Upon the conclusion of the NBA and NHL postseasons, there will be ample time for brands to blast soccer fans with World Cup related messages. According to Octagon Access, roughly 66% of Hispanic Millennials are born in the U.S.; more than any other sport, soccer gives them the opportunity to connect to their past and forge their future. Brands seeking to market to this particular demographic need take notice.
“Soccer provides that seamless platform between a sport Hispanic Millennials claim as their own and also one that can now lead them to think bigger and bolder in the U.S.,” said Octagon Access Director Aldo Kafie. ”For brands, there is value in finding the right balance between communicating a tip of the cap to their heritage while also pushing a fresh perspective they can identify with.”
Marketers are always looking for opportunities to discover deep, authentic and long-lasting emotional connections with a variety of demographics, including the group of individuals labeled as Hispanic Millennials. Soccer appears to be at least one key to open the door to said demographic, with 20.6% of Hispanic Millennials watching soccer on TV (84% higher than the average population) and 29.2% of the demographic surveyed indicating that they have played soccer in the past 12 months (232% higher than the average population).
“However, brands should be wary of marketing to this group the same way they have to their parents,” says the Dos a Cero report. ”Given this segment’s bi-cultural status, and generational separation to their ‘homeland’, they are less emotionally invested in their parents’ teams and more likely to be connected to [soccer] from a participatory standpoint.” Interestingly, this demographic is not only cheering on the team(s) of choice of their ancestors; they are also taking pride in supporting American teams. It may not only be a promising sign for brands seeking to market their products and services around the World Cup, but also surrounding Major League Soccer in the foreseeable future.
Octagon presents the following marketing implications from its study: (1) Bet big on soccer as a viable marketing platform; (2) Create platforms that allow for interactivity and share of voice; (3) Develop programs that allow Hispanic Millennials to accomplish their goals; and (4) Strike the perfect balance between heritage and their new identity.