Ornelas’ Goal: Light Burn’s Fire

Stepping up efforts to reach its core fan base, Major League Soccer franchise the Dallas Burn has contracted Ornelas & Associates here to front its first Hispanic-targeted marketing effort.
The Burn, which previously worked with Levenson & Hill in Dallas, selected Ornelas after an undisclosed review of area Hispanic specialists. Billings are estimated at less than $1 million.
“In 1997, our attendance [average] was 10,900, as opposed to 16,000 in 1996. The biggest drop-off was with Hispanics,” said Andy Swift, director of the professional soccer team’s newly formed Hispanic marketing and community development department.
Ornelas has been assigned broadcast, print and promotional creative work, and will be involved in strategic planning with Swift and new vice president of sales and marketing John Beck. The agency has also landed a general market assignment in the design of the team’s 1998 media guide.
“They said they’re very open to ideas,” said Ornelas president Victor Ornelas, including work to add more corporate tie-ins and sponsorships for the club. Ornelas’ experience with major corporations like Bank One, Mobil and Taco Bell played into the Burn’s decision, said Swift.
The work will be independent of the league’s own efforts to build its brand in the Latino community, through new lead agency Dieste & Partners, also Dallas [Adweek, Jan. 26]. Dieste also performs general market duties for MLS.