El Sporting KC: Focus on Social Media (Part 2 of 2)

December 14th, 2011 by Eric Diaz Leave a reply »

Lo prometido es deuda (A Promise Delivered)

As we promised you, here is part two of Sporting KC’s Hispanic reach through sales, marketing and, as you will learn today, social media.

If you haven’t read the story “Prepárate: Marketing to Latinos Major League (Soccer) Style,” here’s the quick recap.

Many sports teams have been trying to reach Hispanic consumers and talk to them through sales teams, but not many were thinking about speaking with their audience. Sporting KC brings in the brilliant Latino Marketing Manager Sinhue Mendoza, who puts several marketing plans in place to connect with his Hispanic audience. With small budgets, and insights on Hispanics and social media use, he utilizes mostly social media to reach out and connect. He turns Sporting KC to one of the most successful teams reaching to Hispanics, as well as turning those potential fans into diehard fans, by leveraging local hero, #99 Omar Bravo.

Facebook El Sporting KC - Omar Bravo Latino of the Year

High engagement on a recent post from El Sporting KC about Omar Bravo being selected Latino of the Year

But what exactly is “successful?”

First, let’s look at the numbers as of date written on 12/10/2011 and note that all growth has been organic so far. Sporting KC has 364 fans on Twitter, 834 fans on Facebook and 1,607 views on YouTube.  The Facebook and Twitter channels have existed since early 2011 and the Youtube channel was created in October of 2011.   But we all know that numbers in social media can mean a whole lot of nothing, so we are also inviting you to see their interaction with fans first hand.

El Sporting KC Official Twitter
El Sporting KC Official Facebook
El Sporting KC Official YouTube

These numbers may seem humble (even when you consider that Kansas City has a total of only 42,000 Hispanics1), but they are growing fast, and the team is working around the clock to make sure everyone interacting with the team is addressed – even during the off season.

“We live tweet every game and interact with people following us or following the game on their own,” Mr. Mendoza said. “Now, we are expanding and posting videos from Latino players, as well as Latino related news released by the MLS.

Still people post mostly about Bravo, lots of likes and comments,” he added.

Although Mendoza has used social media as a great tool to spread his message and content, he says that keeping your official website up is still as important as ever.

“Our growth strategy has centered around awareness through our website,” Mendoza said. “We also cross promote links on our English Facebook page, since some of our fans are part of both.”

As we mentioned in our first story, Mendoza is also utilizing traditional media and partnerships. As Sporting KC partners with both Kansas City local Spanish radio and newspapers, Mr. Mendoza will cross promote Sporting KC events on their pages to get additional awareness.  He says, “Our (Kansas City) Spanish radio and newspaper have lots of fans.” By cross promoting on these two mediums, Mendoza is helping to make the brand look and sound more legitimate.

When game day approaches he uses all those media ad buys, post reminders and @mentions to sell more tickets directly to their fans. He feels that all the cross promotion really enhances the chances of his audience being reminded about the games and makes them feel part of the team, which then leads to ticket sales.

¿Y ahora qué? (Now what?)

Now, Mendoza is looking towards the future. He’s creating stronger relationships with local Hispanic radio stations, and he’s even working on a strategic text driven campaign, which is still in the works. He says next year they will be even better at reaching out to their audience and using social media to their advantage.

The year will not be without challenges as Mexican star Omar Bravo was dealt to Cruz Azul (Mexico) on December 12th around the same of time of this article being published.

“Although I recognize that a player like Omar Bravo helped tremendously when marketing to Latinos in Kansas City and we may lose some interest in our club from some new fans, I am prepared for the challenge and have already began strategizing for this change.”

Livestrong Park MLS Sporting KC

Upcoming Semifinals and Finals matches for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers at LIVESTRONG Sport Park will likely bring fans of Mexico and other Central American teams

Sporting KC also has a tremendous opportunity to gain new fans this spring as the semifinals and Finals for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers will be at their own LIVESTRONG Sport Park.  Potentially, the Mexican national team may come to town as well as the Honduran and Salvadorian team which will peak interest with Kansas City’s growing central American population.

Mendoza has some strong thoughts for those teams (and brands) falling by the wayside “not engaging their audiences.”

“Technology has made that (engaging with audiences) possible, especially with the constant upgrade of better mobile devices and expanding social media networks,” Mendoza said. “But what used to be used as a teenage hangout, is now a legitimate business platform with key players really going after engaging and positive experience for their audiences.

We cannot fall asleep. We need to be ready and adapt to create better brands and positive sales,” Mendoza concluded.

Connect with Us

Here at Social Media Spanish, we have been leading the conversation with the Hispanic audiences for several years now. And it is very exciting to see many brands finally doing what works for their audiences. We invite you to connect with us, if you are in need of research, strategic planning, communication management or any other social media assistance, consulting or services, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic.   If you enjoy these articles, please subscribe with your email address above or become a fan of DK Web Consulting on Facebook or Twitter.

1 - Source: 2010 US Census Statistics: http://factfinder2.census.gov/main.html

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  • L. H.

    This is nothing new or some new grand idea, there are a lot of MLS teams that have been doing this for quite some time. Along with cross promoting with other amateur soccer leagues and businesses such as state farm and western union among others.

    But still, this is great for them.