In what seems like an effort to court Latinos, the fastest-growing segment of the United States, the Los Angeles Lakers have just signed a 20-year contract with Timer Warner Cable to create a Spanish-language sports network heavily featuring the Lakers. The first of its kind network, set to launch at the start of the 2012-13 season, is the most recent attempt in a series of efforts by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Lakers to reach out to Latinos – the NBA launched éne-bé-a, an initiative including Spanish-language websites, ad campaigns, and specially branded merchandise. So does targeting a specific ethnic or racial group really do the trick in terms of marketing? Or could it come off as offensive to said group (or others)?
John Black, Vice President of Public Relations, Los Angeles Lakers
Saskia Sorrosa, Director of Hispanic marketing, National Basketball Association (NBA)