The National Football League will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) with a new Spanish-language TV campaign and unprecedented festivities at games across the country, the league announced.
Many teams will designate home games in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and display special "Fútbol Americano - Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month" banners in their stadiums. NFL players such as the Chicago Bears' ROBERTO GARZA will salute the month with local community outreach.
- Five-time Grammy Award-winner GLORIA ESTEFAN will sing the national anthem live on NBC. Estefan's first single, "No Llores," from her new Spanish-language album, "90 Millas," already has topped the Latin Billboard chart, marking her 20th No. 1 hit. "It's always an honor for me to represent my culture in every aspect of life," says Estefan of her participation in the NFL's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. "90 Millas" was released on Sept. 18.
- Grammy Award-winning OZOMATLI will perform at halftime. The band is known for its wide array of musical styles and its dedication to addressing social justice issues - a hallmark of the band's work since they formed in 1995. Ozomatli has won two Grammy awards, a Latin Grammy, two Billboard Latin Awards and an Alma Award.
- In addition to airing Estefan's performance, NBC also will telecast part of Ozomatli's halftime performance. NBC's spots promoting the Cowboys-Bears match-up will air in Spanish on NBC Universal's Spanish-language network Telemundo and cable network Mun2. Telemundo also will feature special coverage of Estefan's and Ozomatli's performances, highlighting the NFL's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in its programming.
- The Bears' Garza visited the Rauner Family YMCA on Sept. 18. This Y is in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood and serves primarily Hispanic children and families. Garza was recognized by the Rauner Family YMCA at its 2006 Sporting Festival for his support and involvement with the children of the community. Children from the Rauner Y will hold the American flag on the field during Estefan's anthem performance at the game.
"One of the distinguishing characteristics of football is the way it brings diverse groups of people together," says Lisa Baird, NFL senior vice president of marketing. "We're excited to honor our Hispanic players, coaches, front-office personnel and our fans this month. We are constantly working to better serve our fans."
Additionally, the NFL is launching a new Spanish-language TV campaign, entitled "We are fans!", as the nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with spots airing on CBS, FOX, ESPN and NBC, as well as Spanish-language networks Telemundo and ESPN Deportes. The spots will air with English subtitles during NFL games on general market programming.
The NFL is reaching its Spanish-speaking fans in many ways:
- NFL Monday Night Football games are aired in Spanish on ESPN Deportes with ESPN's two-time Spanish-language Emmy-nominated ÁLVARO MARTÍN and former NFL kicker RAÚL ALLEGRE.
- NBC Sunday Night Football games are available in Spanish via SAP (Secondary Audio Programming) with Telemundo's renowned sportscasters RENE GIRALDO and EDGAR LOPEZ.
- NFLatino.com brings Spanish-speaking fans the latest NFL and team news, video content, expert analysis, fantasy football and Hispanic player diaries.