Written by Luis Sung | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
In the Miami Dade County area, there are many Hispanics who enjoy sports, but from my experience they're usually only relegated to baseball and what they call "Fútbol" which is known to non-Hispanics as soccer.
However, last night the Miami Dolphins organization made an effort to change that, holding their third annual "Football Fiesta" at Dolphin Mall to try and interact with their Hispanic fan base.
There were many Hispanics at the event, all enjoying the fun and taking pictures with the Dolphins cheerleaders and players who were brought in to the event, and the organization is really happy about being able to put it all together.
"You know we're really, really excited about it, there's a team of people that make it happen in the organization." said Senior Vice President-Chief Marketing officer Claudia Lezcano, "Sergio and I kind of had this idea about three years ago and now we're three years in, and really it's across all of our departments to make sure this is something fun for our fans; especially for the Hispanic fans in Dade County."
Claudia was inspired to start this event three years ago after noticing how few Hispanics are actually into American Football, and she's also Hispanic herself.
"Well I was born and raised here in Miami, I'm Hispanic; my mom's Mexican and my dad's Cuban, I grew up with the Dolphins 'cause I was born here." she said. "But there are a lot of Hispanic fans here in South Florida that grew up with Soccer from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, so we really saw an opportunity to connect with all of our fans, including the Hispanic fans that might love soccer right now but we also want them to love American football. So the Football Fiesta is a way to connect with newer Hispanic fans but also all of our fans here at the event."
The players who were there also enjoyed seeing all the Hispanic fans coming out to see them, especially since Hispanics are usually more into soccer or baseball.
"You know it's definitely great to come and see that transformation," said rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry, "it's definitely great to see the Hispanic fans kinda buy into these American sports and support this Miami team and support the Dolphins and come out and get the autographs and have their pictures taken with us."
Landry also stated how happy he was to be a part of this event that saw so many Hispanics coming out to learn about American Football.
"I think it's a great event, it's a great event. It gives the fans opportunities to interact with the players hands-on. I'm happy and I'm honored and I'm excited to be a part of this."
Will Davis was there as well, and he was seen with a huge smile on his face as he interacted with all the fans who brought their children as well as themselves.
"Yeah, it was fun you know? It's a good experience and yeah I had a blast, it's fun seeing people, seeing their smiles, seeing them happy." Davis said, "I mean it was fun, know what I'm saying? Just coming here, it was my first time at Dolphin Mall and at the same time seeing the excitement in the fans." "You know next Sunday is the week one home opener, you know, makes you excited, just like 'been waiting for it' and it's almost here, it's football season and you can feel the spirit and all that stuff."
Between dancing cheerleaders, football players signing autographs and game shows where new fans can learn about football and do their best touchdown dance on stage, the Miami Dolphins have done a great job reaching out to their Hispanic fan base, and it will surely help fill the stadium as more and more people in South Florida get educated on just how much fun American football is.