It’s not just soccer. From NASCAR to the NFL Draft, growth in Hispanic sports viewership is climbing significantly. At the same time, sports advertising as a whole continues its steady jump, according to Nielsen.
In February, an average of 73,000 Spanish speakers watched the Daytona 500, up 55% from 2011. In April, an average of 492,000 Hispanics watched the NFL Draft, up almost 100% since 2008.
Also, for the recent NBA regular season, Hispanics accounted for 12% of the total viewers, a 20% bump from the year before. NBA games that were part of a Noche Latina (Latin Night) program saw increased viewership, highlighted by the March 5 game on ABC between Los Lakers (Los Angeles Lakers) and El Heat (Miami Heat), where Hispanics made up 15% of the audience.
Hispanic sports fans may be younger than the general population. Nielsen says in a new sports report that 6.9 million Hispanics watched at least part of March Madness this year. Median age was 39, lower than 44 for African Americans and 48 for whites.
In the first quarter of 2012, national network and cable sports generated $3 billion-plus in ad spending, a 9% increase from the same period last year.
Back at the Daytona 500 on Fox, Nielsen said brand recall for the full audience was up, with some of the most-recalled ads from Mountain Dew, Toyota and Sprint.
In baseball, Nielsen says social-media conversation in the first quarter leading up to opening day had the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox dominating the conversation, using a metric tracking Twitter and Facebook posts, message boards and other outlets.
The Yankees had 9.4% share of voice with the Red Sox at 6.3%. The Detroit Tigers, which signed free agent first baseman Prince Fielder to a massive deal, came in third at 4.9%. Surprisingly, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim did not make the top 10 as interest surrounded the signing of star Albert Pujols.