As the Ford and AOL Latino partnership demonstrates, Spanish-language portals must partner with top offline entities to maintain a leadership role in the online Hispanic market. This partnership enables advertisers to achieve maximum results in reaching their target audience, and to deepen their relationship with consumers, thus increasing frequent and loyal customers.
Just one week ago, Yahoo! en Español – the Spanish-language Internet, communications, commerce and media service -- partnered with Fox Pan American Sports (FPAS) -- one of the world's largest Spanish-language sports television companies -- to form a co-branded Spanish-language sports site. They created the co-branded site to be the premier online Spanish-language sports destination, not only for U.S. Hispanic Internet users but for the Spanish-speaking Latin American market as well.
David Sternberg, general manager of Fox Sports en Español and Fox Sports Latin America believes the convergence of offline and online media in reaching the Hispanic market is the wave of the future.
"There are 13.6 million U.S. Hispanics online," Sternberg says, "and these users are indexing broadband at the same rate as the general market. This opens up many opportunities when it comes to rich media, and consequently the ability to grow reach through a combination of TV and Internet programming is extremely attractive for advertisers and consumers alike."
This convergence of offline and online seems like a mutually-beneficial relationship for both the Hispanic market and advertisers alike.
Jorge Consuegra, general manager of Yahoo! En Español, says, "Fox is the largest provider of sports programming for the U.S. Hispanic community and Yahoo! is the largest destination for U.S. Hispanics. Together, they make for a powerful partnership that not only helps us grow each other's audience, but also provides a unique interactive experience for our combined users."
On the Hispanic user side, the partnership gives Spanish-speaking sports fans a unique sports experience – exclusive streaming video of marquee soccer competitions, such as the Copa Toyota Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, for example -- as well as comprehensive sports coverage, and real time, on-demand statistics and sports news. Users also can personalize their home page, selecting results and information from their favorite leagues.
For advertisers, the convergence is a compelling and comprehensive way to reach this target. With Hispanic TV being the number one medium to reach the Hispanic market, and the Internet at a close second, it is no surprise that marketers are combining the vehicle. Fox Pan American Sports television services will work closely with Yahoo! en Español to develop integrated advertising packages encompassing both on-air and Internet components.
With both the online and on-air experience that Hispanic users can have through this partnership, how does this reposition Yahoo! en Español in the online Hispanic space?
"Since sports are one of the main attractions when it comes to the Internet, this particular site represents a very competitive product," Consuegra says. "We have brought together two strong brands, along with a comprehensive site that goes beyond informing to entertaining. This product is unique from other sports sites in terms of the exclusive streaming video footage content that is being offered, the breadth of news and personalization that is being offered and the reach that Yahoo! and Fox bring to the table."
"Our focus is to always provide the best user experience for U.S. Hispanics," Consuegra says.
And she says this partnership is a step toward Yahoo! en Español's goal to be a multimedia platform that provides Hispanic Internet users with the tools and services they need and want, while deepening relationships and promoting customer loyalty.
Elizabeth M. Lloyd is the director of corporate marketing for NetBlue, a provider of paying customers on the Internet. Previously, Elizabeth was the director of marketing for opt-in email provider NetCreations, Inc. in New York City. Prior to NetCreations, Elizabeth was responsible for the public relations department of ValueClick, Inc.