In the 4th minute of Saturday night’s game against DC United, Omar Bravo of Sporting KC was anxious to take the shot. Sporting KC, who had been in last place as recently as June had a chance to lock up first place in the Eastern Conference and a solid opportunity at a berth in the MLS Cup. And while Bravo’s shot missed the goal, Sporting KC went on to win the game and complete the turnaround securing home field advantage in the playoffs.
But playing good soccer is not all that Mexican international Bravo and Sporting KC does well. They also have proven to be the savviest MLS team when it comes to reaching out to Spanish speaking Hispanics.
As we reviewed the MLS team websites we had in mind that the MLS, being a soccer league with teams in major Hispanic markets such as New York, LA, and Chicago, would definitely have a huge presence of Spanish language media forums. We were surprised after reviewing all 19 MLS teams that only 3, (including Sporting KC), had Spanish language social media presence, while 4 US based teams had no Spanish online presence at all. Below is our complete review divided in 3 sections:
A. We Habla Español (Spanish website and social media.)
B. We Habla Poquito Español (Spanish website only.)
C. We Don’t Habla Español (No Spanish website or social media.)
We Habla Español
1. The MLS
Spanish online presence: The MLS has launched an often updated Spanish news blog on its site. It publishes several articles per day in Spanish on current MLS topics, as well as the Latino de la Jornada (Latino Player of the Week). Additionally, the MLS has a very active Spanish Twitter page with over 5,400 followers.
2. Sporting Kansas City
Spanish online presence: El Sporting KC has the most socially interactive Spanish media of all MLS teams. They are active on both Twitter and Facebook in Spanish, and have 750+ fans and 300+ followers respectively. Every website section in Spanish is updated regularly including ticket, sponsor, league, and contact information.
3. FC Dallas
Spanish online presence: The team has a Spanish news blog that is updated occasionally. They also have a Spanish language Facebook page that is updated frequently during the season. They have gained 499 fans to date.
4. Portland Timbers
Spanish online presence: Although in only its first season, the Portland Timbers have a deep Spanish website compared to the other teams. Website contains sections on news, sponsors, events, clubs and contact information in Spanish. In social media, there is a semi-active Facebook page, however it seems to be unofficial at this point. The Twitter page looks to be official, however, they have not tweeted yet.
Facebook: has unofficial fan page–http://www.facebook.com/portlandtimbers#!/somostimbers
We Habla Poquito Español
1. Columbus Crew
Spanish online presence: The Crew has a Spanish language news blog as well as event, club, sponsor, and news information in Spanish. While no official Spanish social media, they do have an informal presence in Spanish on Facebook.
Facebook: a Spanish language fan club tracks them: http://www.facebook.com/columbuscrew#!/TurbinaAmarilla?sk=info
2. Chicago Fire
Spanish online presence: Provides several Spanish language news articles per week.
3. Chivas USA
Spanish online presence: While sharing the same owner as the Mexican Chivas Club out of Guadalajara, Mexico, Chivas USA is limited to only Spanish news on its website.
4. D.C. United
Spanish online presence: The team keeps a regularly updated Spanish news blog.
5. Houston Dynamo
Spanish online presence: The Dynamo maintain a well-updated Spanish news blog.
6. Los Angeles Galaxy
Spanish online presence: The team seldom updates their Spanish news blog.
7. New York Red Bulls
Spanish presence: The team seldom updates their Spanish news blog.
8. Philadelphia Union
Spanish online presence: The Union have an FAQ section, ticket information, stadium info as well as an occasionally updated Spanish news blog.
9. Seattle Sounders FC
Spanish online presence: The Sounders have a frequently updated Spanish language news blog.
We Don’t Habla Español
The remaining MLS teams do not have known Spanish websites nor social media profiles. Interesting as several of the teams (Colorado, New England, San Jose) are in major Hispanic markets. Expansion Montreal has a French version of the site, of course.
1. Colorado Rapids
2. Impact Montreal
3. New England Revolution
4. Real Salt Lake
5. San Jose Earthquake
6. Toronto FC
7. Vancouver Whitecaps
What do you think? Do you think more teams will launch Spanish language social media like Sporting KC has? Should other teams in larger Hispanic markets expect to gain even more fans on a Spanish social media forum? Do you think most Hispanics would be satisfied with the ample English language social media? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.