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    Multicultural Retail 360 Celebrates Poly Ethnic Focus

    Strategies for dealing with an increasingly multicultural world

    By Debby Garbato, Stagnito Business Information

    This year, the Multicultural Retail 360 Summit took a new turn as specialists in African American and Asian marketing joined the conference’s cadre of Hispanic experts. Presenting companies included such market leaders as Nielsen, Walmart, Walgreens, the NFL, Brookshire’s and Kroger.

    More than 50 speakers discussed subjects ranging from cultural relevancy beyond language and the importance of independent grocers gaining a better understanding of black consumers. Topics were so popular that, by the morning of Thursday, Aug. 13, the conference had become a leading trend topic in Southern California on Twitter.

    Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo were title sponsors of the 11th annual event, which was formerly titled the Hispanic Retail 360 Summit. McIIhenny Company, maker of Tabasco Sauce, sponsored the Cultural Immersion bus tour. Held Aug. 12-15 in Anaheim, the Summit was presented by Stagnito Business Information, publishers of Progressive Grocer, Convenience Store News, Retail Leader, Store Brands and a host of other leading retail business magazines. Total attendance exceeded 450 retailers, suppliers and other marketers that target multicultural consumers.

    The growth and significance of the multicultural market were reflected by the National Football League, which is committed to growing its Latino fan base. Already, 26 million Hispanics follow the sport and 63 percent of all Latinos like football more than other sports, said Marissa Fernandez, director fan strategy and marketing, NFL, and the Summit’s keynote speaker. These consumers represent 14.2 percent of the 188 million NFL fans nationwide.

    The NFL is pairing culturally relevant messages with its all-American image. One Spanish language ad shows kids playing football; a voiceover discusses their hopes for the future. “The NFL represents both the American culture and the American dream,” said Fernandez.

    The NFL is also looking to increase Spanish TV football viewership by building Hispanic fans’ understanding of the game. On ESPN Deportes, it provides both in-depth game analysis for veteran fans and “how to” explanations for more novice viewers.

    To reach Hispanic women, the NFL ran ads featuring Dominican-born actress Diane Ramirez in Vogue and People en Español during 2014. This year’s ads will star Dascha Polanco, another Dominican actress. At the grass roots level, the NFL is targeting underdeveloped markets with youth participation programs designed to foster lifetime enjoyment of football.

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    By Debby Garbato, Stagnito Business Information
    • About Debby Garbato Debby Garbato is the content editor for Stagnito Business Information’s Multicultural Retail 360 conference and is a regular contributor to the company’s various publications. She has 25 years of experience as a retail business writer and research analyst.

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