Marketers Need to Play Local, Cultural to Grow Sports Demo

Changing social nature of sports requires more personal connections, says Dick Kalt

SAN DIEGO, March 12, 2014 — It’s a fine line between developing sound strategies to increase Hispanic and female engagement in on-air sports properties and using overtly commercial and intolerable tactics which drive away that very audience.

So said Dick Kalt, Executive Vice President of New Haven, CT-based radio marketing company CRN International, speaking on a panel at this week’s Radio Ink Sports Radio Conference in San Diego.

Kalt said one key strategy is to “connect through the proper local communities, inviting into the experience not just team fans but their friends and families as well.”

He noted, “We’ve seen a change in the social nature of sports to the more personal connection with athletes, through both their talent and their nationality. This fuels the strong cultural identity Hispanics have with their heroes, as well as an emerging interest in those same athletes by females, in part through their use of social media.”

Kalt referenced CRN’s work with Major League Baseball’s World Baseball Classic, a marketing effort that penetrated local neighborhoods and communities to tie into fan interest and their national identity and pride for specific teams and players. The WBC campaign landed CRN as one of three finalists for Radio Ink’s Medillas de Cortes Award for Spanish-language radio Marketer of the Year, which was presented here at the co-located Hispanic Radio Conference.

The panel, entitled “Tips for Growing Your Sports Brand across Emerging Demographics,” delved into how shifting demographics and exploding ethnic trends point toward a more culturally diverse audience for sports programming and open the door to new listening audience acquisition and advertising opportunities. The session, moderated by Charles Sislen, President of Research Director Inc., addressed what it takes to get inside the heads of the new core listeners and the unique selling proposition of Spanish-language sports radio.

Other panelists included: Julia B. Aponte Jr., Senior Vice President, Hispanic Initiatives, Sun Broadcast Group; Bob Agnew, Program Director, KLAA/Angels Radio Network; and Kathleen Bohan, Senior Vice President/Research, Univision Radio.

Each year, CRN works with thousands of radio stations, produces hundreds of shows, manages countless endorsements, and creates thousands of contests, events and other promotions. In 2013 alone, the company generated more than 4.4 billion broadcast impressions on behalf of its clients.

About CRN International

CRN International ( is a leading, full-service radio marketing company recognized for innovation, effectively using radio in non-traditional ways, and delivering measurable results. Celebrating its 40th year in business, CRN’s marketing solutions provide award-winning programming and promotional campaigns for major consumer brands. CRN International is based in New Haven, CT, and has offices in New York; Minneapolis; Detroit; Houston; and Hershey, PA.