GOL, GOL, GOL, GOOOOOOOOL!!! How the World Cup Fits Into the Hispanic Community.

June 5, 2014 Author: Roy Eduardo Kokoyachuk

Did you know that the soccer World Cup starts on June 12th?! Are you talking about it in your social groups? Are you planning on watching any of it?

If you’re Hispanic, then the answer to those questions is very likely ‘Yes!’ And for non-Hispanics, well… ‘maybe’.

Next to the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup is the largest, most all-encompassing sporting event in the world, with nearly 200 countries trying to qualify for the chance to be one of the final 32 moving on to Brazil for this year’s tournament.

To help get inside the mind of soccer fans in the U.S., we recently conducted a nationwide study of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic adults (18-64 years old). What we found might really surprise you.

Are You a Fan?

When asked if they were even aware that the World Cup was taking place, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Hispanics said they were… compared to just 43% of non-Hispanics. While the Hispanic stats were pretty consistent across gender and age, things really started to diverge when viewed in relation to language preference and acculturation.

  • 78% of Spanish-dominant Hispanics were aware of the World Cup, compared to just 43% for English-dominant.
  • Similarly, 86% of low-acculturated Hispanics were aware of the event, compared to 39% of those highly-acculturated.

Is that a result of those Hispanics becoming “Americanized,” with Americans generally not being a country of soccer fans?

Watching patterns followed a similar trend… 85% of Hispanics stated that they would be watching [at least] some of the World Cup, compared to 71% (honestly, a little higher than we would have thought) for non-Hispanics. Within those groups though, 41% of Hispanics said they would watch all or most of the games, dropping to 25% for non-Hispanics.

U-S-A… U-S-A… U-S-A!

So, which countries/teams do these World Cup viewers root for? For both Hispanics and non-Hispanics, it’s the USA at #1, with 57% and 65% rooting respectively. After that, it changes a little though…


  1. USA (57%)
  2. Mexico (50%)
  3. Brazil (47%)
  4. Spain (39%)


  1. USA (65%)
  2. Brazil (27%)
  3. England (27%)
  4. Germany (25%)

For many Americans, watching [American] football on Sundays is a big social occasion. It looks like that same tradition applies to Hispanics and the World Cup. In fact, 85% of Hispanics said they would be watching the games with others, compared to 42% of non-Hispanics who prefer to watch alone. Furthermore, 47% of Hispanics said they would be hosting World Cup viewing parties.

And what else is going on at those parties? Perhaps a little friendly wagering… with 50% of Hispanics saying they would be participating in some kind of ‘pool.’

When asked in which language they would be watching the games, the answers were not all that surprising… with ‘Spanish’ (29%) and ‘Both English & Spanish’ (56%) paralleling their language preferences and acculturation levels.

Finally, while nearly everyone planned on watching the event on TV, as many as 37% of Hispanics said they would also go online for more content. The top sites?


Big Picture

So, in the scope of people’s interest in sports, where does the World Cup rank in importance, compared to other sporting events? Like most other aspects of this survey, it depends on who you ask…


  1. World Cup (59%)
  2. Super Bowl/playoffs (14%)
  3. Summer Olympics (9%)


  1. Super Bowl/playoffs (32%)
  2. World Cup (28%)
  3. Summer Olympics (16%)

By far, in the Hispanic community, the World Cup is easily the sporting event that they care about the most. But you have to wonder… the longer Hispanics are in this country and becoming more acculturated, will the Super Bowl ever be #1 for them, too? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

A Business Perspective

As an ad agency or advertiser, are you interested in putting your marketing message into the hands of Hispanics? With more than 50 million Hispanics in the U.S., who wouldn’t be? Then for you, advertising during the World Cup or creating World Cup-related promotions MUST be on your radar. It’s an event that the vast majority of Hispanics will connect with at some level and one that brings together Hispanics for social and community time.

While it might be too late for 2014 (unless your marketing team is really, really fast!), putting the 2018 World Cup on your calendar could be a very smart thing to do!

We are pleased to offer free of charge the full contents of the report referenced in this blog entry. Please click the link below to get your copy now.

Download this study.