Latino boxer fights for a good cause

NephCure Foundation hired Vida Communications to help reach Latino audiences after professional boxer Luis Collazo, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, agreed to serve as spokesperson and advocate for the cause.

Client: The NephCure Foundation (Berwyn, Pennsylvania)
Agency
: Vida Communications (Queens, New York)
Campaign
: Latino boxing champion fights for a noble cause
Duration
: January 1 – May 3
Budget
: about $12,000

NephCure Foundation is a nonprofit that supports research into kidney diseases (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and nephrotic syndrome).

The foundation hired Vida Communications early this year to help reach Latino audiences after professional boxer Luis Collazo, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, agreed to serve as spokesperson and advocate for the cause.

Collazo met Allie Genatt, a kidney transplant patient who is the daughter of the co-chairman of the foundation’s annual fundraiser, at a gym where he trains. The two became friends, and Genatt inspired Collazo to get involved.

"Reaching patient populations and their families is a critical mission for us," explains the foundation’s director of PR Steve Griffith. "We hadn’t done any outreach to Latino populations. Luis’ involvement was our opportunity to take that step because he could generate the attention we needed to start messaging to that audience."

Strategy
Collazo wore "NephCure.org" on his robe and trunks during his fight against Victor Ortiz on January 30 in Brooklyn and during his May 3 fight in Las Vegas against Amir Khan. He also filmed two short videos promoting the foundation. 

The agency, the foundation, and Golden Boy Promotions, which was working with Collazo, drove messaging through media relations and social media outreach.

Tactics
Ahead of the Collazo / Ortiz bout, agency principal Carlos Giron worked with Golden Boy Promotions on two press conferences for sports outlets, boxing niche outlets, and Hispanic news outlets held at venues where Collazo trains in Brooklyn.

Collazo also spoke about the foundation at an April press conference in New York City before the Khan fight.

Pitches targeting Hispanic media highlighted Collazo’s heartfelt interest in the cause and his bond with Genatt.

Collazo filmed two PSA-style videos in English that helped drive traffic to the foundation’s website. The videos were pitched to Hispanic broadcast outlets and Hispanic bloggers focused on sports.

NephCure and Golden Boy promoted the videos on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Collazo tweeted about his involvement.  

Media coverage, photos, and the videos were featured on NephCure.org.

Results
The fights were seen by a combined audience of nearly 2.9 million.

Unique visitors to NephCure.org increased from an average of about 25,000 per month to more than 40,000 between January 27 and February 8. The site had about 30,000 unique visitors between February 10 and March 3.

The campaign garnered approximately 53,500 impressions on Facebook and Twitter combined.

The foundation has gained about 1,000 new Facebook likes and about 500 new Twitter followers since Collazo became involved with the cause.

Twenty-seven earned stories (500,000 Spanish language impressions and 700,000 English language impressions) ran in outlets such as El Diario, New York Newsday, El Correo de Queens, and ProBoxingFans.com.

Future
The foundation plans to look for additional opportunities to work with the agency and connect with Hispanic audiences.

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