All Hispanics Don’t Like Soccer…

Posted: Apr 20 2014

Soccer season in the U.S. officially started last month (the Major League Soccer schedule). I was reading up about the latest blitzes targeting Hispanics. Everything I’d been reading was about “Hispanic soccer viewing numbers up for soccer”, “soccer unifies Hispanics”, “soccer is the wave of the future for U.S. Hispanics”. And honestly much of the soccer viewership numbers do look good…but the key here is we’d say “good” for 1st generation Hispanics living in the U.S. or for Latin American Hispanics. For 1stgeneration Hispanics, soccer viewership is the number one sport of record, we will not quibble with that.

Looking at 2nd or 3rd generation Hispanics, the numbers for soccer viewership/participation fall – and fall dramatically. According to one study, viewership of soccer for U.S. born Hispanics is far less – putting it as the 6th favorite sport far under favorites such as the NBA/NFL/MLB for example (2009 study). In fact among 2nd or 3rd generation Latinos, approximately half of them prefer the NFL above any other sport. According to a Nielsen study the 2010 World Cup match between Argentina and Mexico reached 7.9 million Hispanics, just slightly more than the 7.3 million who watched the Super Bowl. Following from our earlier stats, the Super Bowl would have drawn a greater proportion of U.S. born Hispanics. The World Cup would have drawn a greater mix of Latin American Hispanics, and 1st generation U.S. Hispanics.

I looked online and it’s interesting that entire companies promoting Hispanic soccer marketing or even new cable networks are promoting soccer as the way to “connect” with Hispanics. While I certainly support their Hispanic targeting efforts, it’s important for companies/people wanting to connect with Latinos to understand who they will be talking to. Not all Hispanics love soccer equally

Now excuse me – I’m off to check the score on my favorite sport –pro basketball. (Go Spurs!)

-Zee Diaz
Hispanic.com staff

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