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The Orlando Sentinel

Magic Hope To Attract Growing Demographic

By Rupen Fofaria

October 29, 2000
Copyright © 2000 The Orlando Sentinel. All Rights Reserved.

There's a new motto around the Orlando Magic camp these days.

Corazon y Esfuerzo.

Heart and Hustle have gone cultural. Beginning this season, the Magic have created an office dedicated to reaching Hispanic fans.

Heading up this venture is Puerto Rican native Ruben Navas.

"Due to the fact that the Hispanic community is booming -- especially in Central Florida -- we understand it`s time to start focusing on that market," Navas said. "They represent a large part of our fan base, but until now we have never specifically targeted them. It`s long past time that we started."

The changes will take place in three major areas: tickets, sponsorship and marketing.

In regards to tickets, the Magic have created pocket schedules, fliers and posters in Spanish. The items are identical to the English versions. "We want things to be consistent, but we want to show this fan base that we know they are out there and that we want them to keep coming to games," Navas said.

Ruben NavasPHOTO: Leading the charge. Ruben Navas, director of Hispanic affairs for the Orlando Magic, has been given the task of reaching out to the growing minority in Central Florida. Feedback for the radio broadcasts has been especially favorable. (George Skene/the Orlando Sentinel)

With sponsorship, the Magic are broadcasting every game in Spanish. Previously, only home games were, but now away games and a weekly Monday-night call-in show have been added to the format. The radio program can be heard on 1440 AM (WPRD) in Orlando, 1400 AM (WSDO) in Sanford and Oviedo, and 1220 AM (WOTS) in Kissimmee.

The Magic also have added a Spanish-language Web site, which received 679,000 hits last month.

"The goal is to continue finding innovative ways to create a better partnership between the Magic and the Hispanic community," Navas said.

The need for this focus on the Hispanic community is justified by the tremendous response the Magic have received, Navas said. Feedback from the radio broadcasts has been favorable.

"When we announced we were going to expand Spanish radio, there was a great response," he said. "The sponsors called and said it was what they needed and what people needed. Let`s face it: A lot of people in this community can`t go to the games, so this is a great way to experience it. They turn the TV on and turn the volume down and put the radio station on."

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