RL Forms Latino Sports-Marketing Group

LOS ANGELES RL Public Relations + Marketing has launched Sportivo, a Latino sports-marketing group, the agency said.

The group is led by Roxana Lissa, partner and co-founder of Sportivo and CEO of RL PR + Marketing, and partner and managing director Mario Flores, previously a freelance consultant. Sportivo’s name was derived from the word “sports,” as well as the Hispanic word for sports, which is “deportivo,” said Flores.

Sportivo aims to provide clients with access to Latino sports consumers in the U.S. and Latin America through its headquarters in Century City, Calif., and its offices in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Its capabilities include media and community relations, brand marketing and sponsorships, sports and special events, and professional-athlete publicity.

The group is currently working with an undisclosed sports-apparel company, said Flores. It will draw support from RL’s 12 employees, he said, and will pursue opportunities with RL’s existing clients and new-business prospects, he said. RL’s current clients include Nike, Sears, Cover Girl and the California Milk Processor Board.

The unit is meant to capitalize on the shop’s experience with Latino and sports PR, said Flores. He has led Latino sports campaigns for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Coca-Cola and the Brazilian National Soccer Team, while Lissa has experience with sports such as soccer, motor sports, and boxing through campaigns for Nike, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Lite and Marlboro Team Penske Racing.

“We feel there is a lot of untapped potential,” said Flores, adding that the line between “Latino” and “Anglo” sports is blurring. In addition to traditional Latino sports like soccer, boxing and baseball, more Latinos are becoming involved in sports such as basketball and golf, he said.