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Multicultural Sports Marketing

Hispanic NBA Players a Hit with Latino Fans

By September 28, 2012December 17th, 20149 Comments

Top Hispanic NBA Players Rake in Conversations Between Seasons

Who knew Hispanic basketball players were still a major topic of conversation in the off-season? It seems that even when they’re not on the court, NBA players such as the Gasol brothers and Carmelo Anthony are still filling up Twitter streams generating Likes and trending in the blogosphere. Recently, our Social Media Spanish team endeavored to explore the trend by analyzing online conversations about the 23 currently active, NBA players who are from Spain, Latin America or are US born Latinos.1 The analysis took place during a 30 day stretch of the off-season this summer. Using advanced online listening software, we were able to source conversations to determine which players generated the most buzz and what got users talking on the whole.  This blog presents a sample of the data and the whole complementary report can be requested following the instructions below.

Top 7 Hispanic NBA Players by Volume of Online Mentions

Top 7 Hispanic NBA Players by Volume of Online Mentions

The Big Three of Hispanic Conversation

The Hispanic players that generated the most conversations were Pau Gasol (56%), Carmelo Anthony (19%), and Marc Gasol (5%) respectively.  Combined these three represented 80% of the overall conversation about Hispanic players.  For those that don’t know, the Gasols are from Barcelona while Carmelo is a US born Latino as his father is Puerto Rican.

Because Anthony and Pau Gasol belong to two of the biggest, highest-grossing teams in the league, there is a lot said about memorabilia and/or gear they endorse. Below, a fan of Anthony tweets his excitement over his new New York Knicks jersey. Pau Gasol generates excitement from fans on both coasts as well as abroad, as fans from his home country of Spain show allegiance via social mediums.

Basketball fans clamor for official gear from their favorite athletes.

Basketball fans clamor for official gear from their favorite athletes.

Conversation Topics – Not All Basketball

Anthony raked in the most mentions about celebrity. Likely due to his marriage to former MTV VJ Lala Vazquez, Anthony is often talked about for his looks and TV appearances. To that end, Anthony was among the few players who were both popular with followers of the NBA and non-sports fans. Both Gasols receive similar attention, though more for being internationally recognized and for their appearance rather than for their personal life. Interestingly, when it comes to conversations from non-sports fans, appearance trumps most subject matter.

The remaining athletes outside of the big three mentioned above were responsible for approximately 20 percent of the total volume of conversations. Conversations about the players were generally related to performance, news about each of their respective teams and memorabilia, as well as some sporadic statements about the players’ celebrity status. With no real games or stats to discuss, fans find other reasons to tweet about their favorite Hispanic NBA athletes.  But as the beginning of the season nears, conversations will likely shift to players, future placements, trading and projections for the upcoming year.

Want the Full Report?

Due to size restrictions, we only cover several of the highlights of the report here. If you would like the full complimentary report please provide your name and email to “info(at)“ and you will receive it by email.

1 – Source: Éne•bé•a list of Hispanic players:


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