The Growing Influence of Hispanic MLB Fans

baseball fans

Right now, MLB fans of all different backgrounds are hanging on to the edge of their seats waiting to see which teams clinch the NLCS and ALCS pennants to face-off in the World Series. Among those fans sits a large portion of Hispanic MLB enthusiasts. Similar to how different baseball is from any other sport - the ball doesn’t have to be present in order to score, coaches are allowed on the field, and there is no time limit or clock to be watched – engagement levels vary greatly between Hispanic and non-Hispanic MLB fans. In order to more efficiently target the Hispanic MLB fan, marketers need to understand how the segment engages with baseball, and how they fit into the Sports Fan world.

Just like MLB teams change their roster from season to season, marketers need to take into account how engagement levels have shifted from the last MLB season to the current MLB season. According to Simmons’ Sports Fan and Engagement Study, Hispanic MLB fans are 1.3x more likely to be more engaged this season, while non-Hispanic MLB fans are 4% less likely to be more engaged this year. Clearly, the Hispanic fans are getting involved more with the MLB, but this finding begs the question - why are they so much more engaged this year?

The answer to this question is a complex one, as there are many different reasons for this increase in engagement. However, three crucial explanations stood out:

1) Tickets to MLB Games Have Become More Affordable

Hispanic MLB fans are 2.2x more likely to state that they are more engaged this season due to game tickets being more affordable. That’s not to say they don’t have the wherewithal to cover it; 40% of Hispanic MLB fans annual income is $75K or more. But it exactly how much are they spending on these tickets and how does this compare to other MLB fans?

As you can see in the chart above, Hispanic fans have almost double the likelihood of shelling out more than $500 per year on live sporting event tickets than others. Perhaps these findings should motivate marketers to create messaging around attending the game live when targeting the Hispanic MLB fan segment.

2) They Saw More MLB Coverage On Social Media

Hispanic MLB fans are 1.8x more likely to say they are more engaged this season because they saw more MLB coverage on social media. For Hispanic MLB fans, social media is not just a platform they're using to see what’s going on with the MLB; it’s a place that provides them with a way to connect with baseball on a more meaningful level.

The charts above tell us that over one-third of Hispanic MLB fans say that connecting on social media during the game provides them with a sense of community, and they are 1.6x more likely to show their support by getting season updates via social media. Essentially, the Hispanic MLB fan segment turns to social media to feel like they are part of the game and, more importantly, a part of something bigger than themselves.

3) They Saw More Advertising for MLB Games

Hispanic MLB fans are 1.4x more likely to be more engaged this season because they saw more advertising for MLB Games. This finding seems to point out that advertisers have done much better this year in reaching Hispanic MLB fans, but exactly what type of ads are attracting Hispanic fans and which types are missing the mark?

As you can see, the most influential ad types among the group are commercials shown during sports TV broadcasts and ads on a team or league website, while the least influential ad type among the segment are ads within sports-related video games. This leads us to believe that advertisers hit the mark with traditional ads when trying to reach the segment and less so with non-traditional ones.

In conclusion, Hispanic MLB Fans are more engaged this season than last season due to better ticket prices, an uptick in social media coverage, and an increased amount of advertising for MLB games.

To learn more about the Simmons Sports Fan and Engagement Study, register for our webinar on October 25th.

Allison Lyttle
Allison Lyttle
Allison Lyttle is the Marketing Manager at Simmons Research. She has an array of experience working in the market research industry. She enjoys digging through data to find interesting consumer stories.