NBA Looks to Score More Hispanic Fans

To further embrace the Hispanic community, the National Basketball Association is launching a new marketing campaign entitled “éne•bé•a.”

The “éne•bé•a” campaign will highlight the NBA’s Latino players. TV spots starring players like Carlos Arroyo, Pau Gasol and others will run on ESPN, ABC, TNT, Telemundo, ESPN Deportes and others. At www.nba.com/enebea, these players will be featured in Webisodes, photo galleries and feature stories. Ads will also air during Spanish-language game broadcasts on the radio.

Music is a big factor for the effort. The campaign is kicking off with a samba soundtrack for a high-energy start, said Saskia Sorrosa, the NBA’s senior director of U.S. Hispanic Marketing. “We wanted to create a connection between our game and Hispanic culture, so we used music which is so important to Hispanics, to create a rhythm to the sport.” Bromley Communications is the agency.

Spanish-language content on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Quepasa.com and MySpace Latino is also in the mix. The NBA is also launching new éne•bé•a merchandise and organizing grassroots events and programs for predominantly Hispanic communities. We want to be involved in the communities in which we operate with a brand reference that’s culturally relevant to show that we care about their interests,” Sorrosa said. Current initiatives include building and renovating basketball courts in Hispanic neighborhoods and organizing literacy programs led by Latino players.

Fifteen percent of NBA fans are Hispanic, according to the NBA. U.S. Hispanic teens play more basketball than any other team sport. “With a combined spending power of over 860 billion dollars, we see the Hispanic market as a major emerging world market, it’s in the U.S., but it’s a global market,” Sorrosa said. “This is not the first time we’re targeting Hispanics, but we decided to launch a brand under NBA to further connect with and emotionally engage this group, and continue to build their passion for the sport long term.”