I honestly don’t spend much time watching sports, except for when the University of Texas is involved, hook ’em! But the other night I was flipping through channels and happened to come across the Spurs playing on ESPN. As I glanced at the score and surveyed the action of the game I noticed something odd. The jerseys that the players were wearing seemed different. After taking a hard look I saw that the team names on the jerseys were in Spanish. I had no clue as to why the jerseys had been changed, so I did some research to explain the name change.
So this is what I found out. This was part of Noche Latina, a marketing initiative launched by the NBA to expand its Hispanic Market. Noche Latina, first launched during the 2006-07 NBA season, features uniforms that display the team name as spoken by the Latin population. The Miami Heat, for example, is called “El Heat”; the San Antonio Spurs are referred to as “Los Spurs.” But there is more to Noche Latina than just a wardrobe change, during Noche Latina games, participating teams will host in-arena Latin-themed activities, including music, performances, and giveaways.
So how did I not know that the NBA did this?! I should probably watch more sports. I think this is such a creative and fun way to market to the Hispanic population. Although I was previously clueless, once my television turned to the Noche Latina ball game I was instantly intrigued and amused. I think that the NBA is really taking a look at their viewers and capitalizing on huge opportunities. Way to go NBA, or should I say éne•bé•a! This marketing initiative is smart and entertaining. I know that I will be tuning into more of these Noche Latina games, maybe I will even buy a Noche Latina jersey.