Sprint’s Latino Genesis

Planning to bolster its marketing efforts to the U.S. Latino community, Sprint PCS in Kansas City, Mo., has begun contacting undisclosed Hispanic agencies about handling regional ad accounts, the client said last week.
While its Hispanic marketing has been restricted to Florida’s Dade County, Sprint PCS wants to expand into Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and possibly Denver.
The decision hinged on recent Spanish-language TV, print and radio ads that “have been a hit” in South Florida, according to the client’s Paul McAfee. As Southeast vice president of sales and marketing, McAfee–in Boca Raton, Fla.–was tapped to lead Sprint PCS’ Hispanic marketing nationally.
CreatAbility in Coral Gables, Fla., is responsible for the successful ads. The shop is now working on the client’s first national Hispanic campaign for the telecom’s new prepaid wireless phone product. The print and radio effort will break by the end of the year.
McAfee said CreatAbility will be “first in line” to present to the other regions during a market-by-market review process he expects to wrap up in the first quarter of 1998.
The shops selected will work closely with the telecom’s national agency, Hal Riney & Partners in San Francisco, McAfee said.
Regional budgets are undisclosed, though McAfee said they will be “relatively proportional” to the Hispanic population in each market. From January through July 1997, Sprint PCS’ overall media spending jumped to $7.5 million from less than $1 million in 1996, per Competitive Media Reporting.