Long before Las Vegas got an NHL team, I suggested that it made sure to reach out to the city’s large Latino community and have a Spanish radio broadcast of the games.
Fortunately, Kerry Bubolz listened. And last year, selected home games were on ESPN Deportes (1460 AM).
This year, all the home games are being broadcast. Hopefully in the future, all games, home and away, will be broadcast, assuming it’s financially feasible.
But the announcement Monday by the team that it was expanding its social media reach to Spanish was an excellent move. Obviously, the hope is to grow the fan base and attract younger followers. Social media has proven to be the right medium to accomplish both.
I admit, my Spanish is extremely limited. I took French in high school and I would need help if I tried to conduct an interview with Marc-Andre Fleury or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare or Jonathan Marchessault in French.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the importance of what the Knights are doing by reaching out to the Latino community of Las Vegas. My question is: “What took them so long?”
Here’s a quick Q&A I conducted via email with Brian Killingsworth, the team’s chief marketing officer:
Q: Why do this now? Why not wait until next year? Better yet, why not have done it before this season?
A: “Our efforts to reach the Hispanic communities are always on-going. This was a concept that we wanted to do right in an authentic and intentional way. In order to do it right, we had to have the resources and strategy in place so we felt that now was the appropriate time.
“We are really pleased to have it launched and we are excited to continue to build on this and other initiatives the rest of this regular season, hopefully into the playoffs should we qualify, offseason and into next year. This is going to be a sustainable outreach.”
Q: How many Twitter followers are there for your English account? What is the projection for Spanish Twitter?
A: “Currently, we have just over 430,000 followers on Twitter. For @LosVGK, to corner ourselves on an actual projection is not prudent. “There is not a lot of baselines to measure this on as we are the first team in the NHL to have active accounts of this nature. We will reevaluate this as the content is produced and as we progress.”
Q: Are there plans to travel the radio guys next year or through this year’s playoffs? Or will the broadcast on ESPN Deportes remain strictly a home-only situation?
A: “This is something we will continue to evaluate. We would like to have as many games broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes as possible. ESPN Deportes is an important part of our broadcasting assets.”