Digitally Activated: Sports Centered

A Look at Online Sports Activations

A Vision for Univision

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Hispanic male consumers age 18-49 –  A targeted demographic for marketers, and an emerging consumer base for properties.  The interests of both intersect with Univision.

Univision has positioned itself as the preeminent network for Spanish language sports.  The large audiences which the network attracted for its World Cup broadcasts thrust the network into the forefront of sports media stories throughout the summer; however, its acquisition of the United States broadcast rights to  Mexican National Team matches leading up to the 2014 World Cup may have been the network’s most significant achievement of 2010. 

The Mexico vs. Ecuador match on September 4th attracted 2.7 million viewers, helping the network become the most viewed channel amongst 18-49 year-olds for the week.  This was the first time a Spanish language network had beat out its English counterparts in this significant demographic.  The match broadcast may have not been the primary reason for the network winning the ratings battle; however, the ratings bump which the network received on a Saturday night was of critical importance.    Furthermore, Univision’s exclusive rights to MNT matches enables the channel to drive its business interests with multi-platform content.

Prior to the Ecuador match, Univision announced a partnership with AT&T to deliver MNT matches to AT&T Mobile TV subscribers.  This deal was made possible due to AT&T’s existing relationship with the MNT through Soccer United Marketing, and Univision’s broadcast agreement with the MNT, highlighting the complexity of the digital sports landscape.  Additionally, the AT&T deal is a manifestation of the adept leadership at the network. 

Univision was able to secure the Mobile TV rights in addition to its broadcast rights.  Mobile TV rights have been the providence of governing bodies in the United States.   The network’s ability to procure these rights from the FMF was not only a coup for the network’s bottom line, but I believe its reputation amongst the three major sports leagues in the United States.   Univision’s partnership with the NFL to launch demonstrates the increasing importance the network will have on the future domestic growth of the NFL, NBA and MLB. 

Whether you are considered to be a general market property (NFL) or a Hispanic focused property (MNT/MLS), Univision’s hegemony of the Spanish-speaking audience in the United States is a necessity.    The networks youthful audience (55.2% 18-49 compared to CBS’ 31.5%) is in concert with the Hispanic population’s demographic (49.5% between 18-49 compared to the non-Hispanics 44.8%), providing properties a forum to generate sustainable domestic growth. 

We continue to wait for Versus to evolve into a legitimate challenger to ESPN’s crown – which may very well happen if Congress ever approves the Comcast / NBC Universal merger – and continue to neglect an over-the-air network that delivers a premium audience to advertisers.  Don’t keep the blinders on too long, because there’s a horse gaining ground down the stretch.


2 Responses

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  1. Peter,

    The Hispanic male consumer demographic is a huge target for advertisers. I only wish the US Soccer fans would show even 75% of the support to the US National teams as the Hispanic community does when the countries they support come to play international friendlies in the U.S.

    What can USSOCCER, MLS, and WPS learn from the way Univision markets to their top demographic?


    October 19, 2010 at 5:34 AM

    • Chris,

      Thank you for the comment. US Soccer has a very loyal and passionate fan base which over time could come to rival the Mexican National Team’s; however, for this to occur, the performance of the national team must improve in order to drive interest at the national level and MLS clubs must develop their brands to resonate within their community.
      Additionally, I encourage you to look into the rationale behind MLS youth academies. It is expected that by the end of this decade more than 4,000 participants will be playing under the supervision of MLS club technical advisors. This will provide MLS clubs and the Men’s National Team with a more experienced and talented player pool. The success of these academies will be the driving force behind increase interest in the sport of soccer. The added interest will enable the domestic leagues and USSF to appeal to a passion point of its consumers.

      Peter Amador

      October 19, 2010 at 8:05 PM

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