For this week’s blog post we were asked to look at how public relations professionals have successfully reached a diverse target audience. I found an article by Eric Diaz who interviewed Sinhue Mendoza, the current Latino marketing manager for Sporting Kansas City Soccer Club. The strategies Mendoza has developed for promoting the team within the Latino community has enabled the Sporting KC to lead the Major League Soccer market.
According to Diaz, Mendoza’s goal was to consistently communicate and engage with Hispanic audiences and keep them “interested, involved, and happy.” Mendoza knew that in order to reach this diverse market he had to do three things:
- Determine the best communication channels for this particular demographic.
- Use appropriate language and images in all communications and advertising materials.
- Tailor messages to directly speak to the Kansas City Hispanic population as a whole.
Mendoza realized the high number of Hispanics engaged in online media use. He decided to focus his branding and retail messaging through social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook
. The decision to avoid traditional media and create a conversation online with fans has paid off. “Sporting KC leads all MLS teams in fan counts on every major Spanish language social media channel.”
Mendoza may have found the best methods to communicate to his audience, but it was bringing Omar Bravo, a Mexican national, to the Sporting KC that created the largest impact. The combination of integrated social media messaging and Bravo’s presence has created an enormous fan base. The fans even have their own seating section, La Sección 99, in tribute to Bravo’s player number.
The Sporting KC has utilized Omar Bravo’s image as well to further gain team recognition within the Hispanic population. They placed cardboard cutouts of the player at panaderías, taquerías and other Hispanic establishments throughout the city.
Because of Mendoza’s strategic use of social media messaging and team imaging, the Sporting KC has developed a larger fan base than any other MLS team. Mendoza has shown us that by listening to your audience and determining where your messages will have the most value to them, you can reach any diverse audience and connect with them.