NFL Hispanic Leaders Alliance
Story By: Lorenzo Almanza
The National Football League (NFL) continues taking major steps towards their engagement with the Hispanic Community. While the number of Hispanic viewers who watch football has increased, so have the efforts of engagement.
Presently, the NFL has built conjoined relationships with Hispanics all over by hosting games in their native countries and expanding TV coverage to fit Spanish language speakers.
The league continues to build its reputation with the Hispanic community by connecting with Hispanic leaders, programs and networks worldwide.
One of the organizations already set in place is the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards. Over the past seven years, the NFL along with the Hispanic Heritage Fund (HHF) has held the award ceremony in light of recognizing the hard work of Hispanic pioneers within the community who have gone above and beyond for their football city.
Selected winners of the Leadership award are recognized at their local NFL game or an event correlated with the city and team. The victors handpick an organization that best suits the Hispanic market and donate $2,000 dollars towards the selected group.
Thus far, 200 Hispanic leaders have been acknowledged for their contributions to their neighborhoods and the innovators of the community have donated over $400,000 to non-profit organizations.
Past winners have included Jorge Castillo, the President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Maryland and Andres Chaparro, the president and general manager of Telemundo 25, the network station in Denver.
Other medalists have included local heroes such as Awilda Diaz-Cruz, a breast cancer survivor and advocate for the deadly disease.
One area where the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards made its imprint is during the NFL’s Hispanic Heritage month. During the month, the NFL celebrates the mark the Hispanic Community has left on their sport: Narratives are told from former and current Hispanic players, as well as local teams collaborate within their community to assist with any outreach that is needed.
Last year, the NFL used the theme “Feel the Orgullo” to help promote the value of Hispanic heritage. The week leading up to their NFL game in Mexico, New England Patriot players Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola used their time by taking in activities such as visiting local restaurants and attending a Mexican wrestling match.
While the NFL has taken pride in their Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards, they have decided to take things a step further in their Hispanic networking endeavors by forming the NFL Hispanic Leaders Alliance. “The launch of the Hispanic Leaders Alliance signifies a continued commitment by the NFL, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and Nationwide to connect with and serve Latino communities across the country,” said Dawn Hudson, NFL Chief Marketing Officer.
The goal of The Leadership Alliance is to help form a strong bond between the NFL and Hispanic community by using webinars, events and dialogues to connect the two franchises.
Formation of the NFL Hispanic Leaders Alliance would not be possible if it were not for the support and assistance of powerful institutions such as the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and Nationwide Insurance.
Both networks have been behind the powerhouse relationship between the NFL and Latino community.
“We are proud to partner with the NFL and Nationwide to create the NFL Hispanic Leaders Alliance,” said Antonio Tijerino, President & CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.
HHF’s mission is to help link and motivate Latinos in school, work and within their own district. The Latino organization takes pride in the hard work that is being done around the area and advocates for the betterment of the people.
A top Fortune 100 company, Nationwide already maintains partnerships with other Hispanic organizations such as the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA).
The insurance company first joined the NFL and HHF efforts in 2017 in hopes of finding a group that shares the same incentives and goals of: “partnering with organizations that share our values of improving the lives of others and giving back to their communities.”
“Nationwide is honored to partner with the NFL and Hispanic Heritage Foundation to support this newly-formed Hispanic Leaders Alliance,” said Mike Boyd, Senior Vice- President of Marketing at Nationwide.
With the support of amazing organizations, the NFL Hispanic Leaders goal is to connect with the Hispanic community.
It’s important we not only celebrate these leaders, but we connect them to each other so they can continue their development, share ideas, and be a part of a network that will make an even greater impact on our community across the country,” said Tijerino.
The vision of the NFL Hispanic Leaders Alliance goes hand in hand with the goals and aspirations set forth by HHF and Nationwide.
“We are excited to connect with this network of leaders year after year and continue to impact the local communities,” Hudson said.