NEW YORK Sorpresa!, the Spanish-language children's network, is gearing up to launch a multi-platform campaign with Major League Soccer.
Given the popularity of the sport within the Latino community, the network and the league aim to promote exercise and healthy habits for kids, while giving them a platform to become fans of MLS, specifically, from a young age.
"This is a great way to interact with the Hispanic youth in our country. The Hispanic communities are very important for our sport and our league and we're very excited about conducting this effort with Sorpresa! to reach that audience," said Marco Liceaga, director of marketing for MLS.
"It's the first time we are partnering with them -- and we are very excited to partner with an entity like MLS to create a campaign," said Maria Badillo, vp of programming for the network.
Sorpresa! is shown in more than 1 million Hispanic cable homes and is offered through all of the major cable operators in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Sorpresa! content is also available through third-party platforms including MobiTV, which provides Spanish-language video services to phone companies such as Alltel Wireless, AT&T and Sprint.
The eight-month campaign has three main components, two of which are user-generated, said Badillo. "Reporterito" will seek an active kid who wants to represent Sorpresa! and MLS at soccer events like the MLS All-Star game and the MLS Cup. To participate, kids will go through casting via a dedicated Web site. In "Juega Como un MLS Pro," or "Play Like an MLS Pro," kids will ask MLS soccer players how to perform a certain skill on the field. "At the end of the campaign, we will do an original production where the pro talks to kids and answers those types of questions," said Badillo.
Bonsai3 has handled much of the creative for the campaign. That content will be branded, though Badillo declined to elaborate, saying only that the network is currently in talks with advertisers.
To promote it, the partners will utilize traditional and nontraditional media. Sorpresa! would also be present at MLS' grass-roots community events.
The campaign launches May 10 at MLS Futbolito, a 14-day Hispanic soccer tournament in Los Angeles.
Badillo added that the network is working with its cable distribution partners to provide marketing and local video-on-demand opportunities and is exploring other market-specific media including print and radio.