American Airlines plays soccer to court Hispanic consumers

FORT WORTH, TX: American Airlines launched an online soccer game September 24 as a way to interact with soccer fans and especially the Hispanic community.

FORT WORTH, TX: American Airlines launched an online soccer game on September 24 as a way to interact with soccer fans and especially the Hispanic community. The goal of the campaign is "to continue our platform of soccer and Major League Soccer activation, and to get people more engaged in the AAdvantage program," said Billy Sanez, director of corporate communications for American Airlines.

"The Penalty Challenge" game is narrated by Spanish-language sportscaster Fernando Fiore, can be played in English or Spanish, and offers players discounts on American Airlines flights. Additionally, it is in line with the airline's partnership with Major League Soccer, as well as several individual teams including DC United and Chicago Fire.

In June, American Airlines announced its intentions to court Hispanic consumers with advertising, PR, and social media through the end of 2009, particularly focusing on the AAdvantage program. For the overall outreach and this campaign, American is working with Hispanic PR AOR Axis Agency, while AC&M is the agency that created the online game and helps the airline with its soccer activation.

"We're using both social media and standard PR strategy, relying a little more on the social media site because it has the viral component," Sanez said of the PR around the game. Communicating with consumers via social media such as Twitter and Facebook, American is also reaching out to Spanish-language media outlets to spread the word of the game.

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