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Latino Daily News

Thursday February 3, 2011

Hispanics and the NFL: A Budding Love Affair (VIDEO)

Hispanics and the NFL: A Budding Love Affair (VIDEO)

Photo: Rivalry between the "hinchas" of "Los Vaqueros" and "Los Acereros."

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In the Latino sports world a spicy rivalry is brewing, and this one might be one of such epic proportions as the rivalries between say the Mexican América VS Chivas, or the Argentine Boca Juniors versus River Plate, or the feud between Real Madrid and the great Barça in Spain.

This brewing rivalry is between the “hinchas” of “Los Vaqueros” and those of “Los Acereros.” From Dallas, TX and Pittsburgh, PA respectively.

Indeed, it seems that the Latino audiences in the US and México are straying from Fútbol and tuning in, faces painted, charro suits on and chanting in Spanish, to the NFL.

“The rivalry between the Cowboys and Steelers is spicing it up,” said Geraldine Gonzalez, public relations and sponsor manager for the NFL-Mexico.

The Steelers have consolidated a faithful fan base by broadcasting their games in México (wonder if narrators there go Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumbleeeeeeeeee, or Toooooooooooochdowwwwwwnnnn), something that the Cowboys have done since the mid-1960s.

The NFL opened its Mexico City offices in 1998, and since about five years ago have been doubling its efforts to lure Latino audiences in México and the US.

Their lure seems to be working. There was a 12 percent increase in viewership last year over the previous year for the Súper Tazón in Mexico. In the U.S., there was a 9 percent increase in viewership among Hispanics, according to the Nielsen Co., whose independent measures fuel rates charged by corporations for commercials.

The Hispanic NFL website boasts that Hispanic NFL fans spend nearly 15 hours engaged with the NFL each week during the regular season. Last year’s Super Bowl was the most watched English-language program ever among Hispanics.

At Meza Sports in Ciudad de México, more than 300 “Súper Tazón” fans have paid between $4,500 and $13,000 for a package to attend the biggest game of the year, often paying extra for perks such as 50- yard line seating.

So be prepared. And be warned, because Latinos, we like to bring as much fanfare as humanly possible to the stadium to support our “equipos.” We like to walk out of the stadium voiceless from screaming victory, or sore for the loss beginning at the throat.