sports (8)


The Indy 500, held every Memorial Day weekend, is draped in Americana. Thousands of fans attend the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” decked out in stars and stripes attire. They stand tall when the the colors are presented, take off their hats for the National Anthem and cheer when a colossal American flag makes a lap around the track on a flatbed.

But the quintessentially American Indy 500 also is a showcase and celebration of international racing talent. In the 101st Indy 500 held Sunday, 21 of the 33 drivers who raced in the event were from countries other than the U.S., including six Latino drivers. READ MORE AT NBC NEWS

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As the demographic makeup of the United States continues to change, so too does the key target for marketers. Rising to the forefront are Hispanic sports fans.

"With growing consumer clout, Hispanic audiences represent a huge opportunity for the sports industry in the U.S.," said Stephen Master, senior vice president of sports at Nielsen. "Considering that 94 percent of Hispanic males say they're sports fans and 56 percent of Hispanic males consider themselves avid fans, we felt the need to look more closely at Hispanic audiences."

A recent Nielsen study looked deeper into the Hispanic sports fan and found that they're highly engaged, perpetually connected and enjoy buying sports-related merchandise. Key highlights from the study include... READ MORE

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Responsible Sports, a philanthropic program of insurance company Liberty Mutual, is accepting applications from youth sports organizations in the United States to participate in its Responsible Sports Community Grant program. Teams and organizations compete in one of three categories for a Responsible Sports grant: large division (two hundred or more players), small division (under two hundred players), and educational groups (school athletic programs). To be eligible for the program, league administrators must first register their youth sports organization at the Responsible Sports Web site. Then, coaches, parents, administrators, and youth sports supporters can participate in the Responsible Sports Parenting and/or Responsible Coaching coursework. Participants who pass the ten-question Responsible Sport Parenting quiz or Responsible Coaching quiz can credit the successfully passed quiz to their favorite youth sports league. Twenty organizations with the most credited certifications will each earn a $2,500 Responsible Sports Community Grant to help fund their team, league, or school program. To be eligible, organizations must be registered nonprofit youth sport organizations recognized by the governing bodies of their sport(s). Organizations must serve the community at large and must be open to the general public. See the Responsible Sports Web site for complete program information. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RESPONSIBLE SPORTS BY LIBERTY MUTUAL WEBSITE
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Golden Boy Steps out of the Limelight

With his gleaming fluoride smile and billion-dollar business interests, Oscar De La Hoya is far removed from the image of grizzled Mexican road warriors who have sustained that fighting nation's fistic heritage. The face-first fury of legends like Pipino Cuevas, Ruben Olivares and Julio Cesar Chavez created an insatiable requirement amongst Hispanic boxing supporters for blood and guts to go with their glory. To those weaned on such uncompromising styles, De La Hoya was anathema: a fighter who refused to surrender to their appetite for bloodlust; who put his face and his finances first and left the rest to paint their looks across the canvas. "They like fighters, not boxers," said De La Hoya's former trainer, the respected Freddie Roach, as Roach was preparing the Filipino firebrand Manny Pacquiao to end the in-ring career of the 'Golden Boy' in Las Vegas last year. READ FULL STORY
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The Marketing of Mark Sanchez to Hispanic Fans

Mark Sanchez could be a double threat. He could help the Jets win and win over new fans, particularly among Hispanics. He may even be able to sell a few personal-seat licenses for Woody Johnson. But winning is the best advertising, so how much time and effort should the Jets and Sanchez expend on wooing Hispanic fans? The Jets have said “they don’t have to do anything contrived” — they can just let it happen. READ FULL STORY
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Pan-American, Ibero-American, USA National Weightlifting Championships taking place in Chicago June 4-7 CHICAGO-(June 3, 2009)-World Sport Chicago, the living legacy of Chicago 2016, is hosting more than 270 male and female athletes from 20 countries for the Pan-American, Ibero-American and USA National Weightlifting Championships taking place in Chicago from June 4-7 at the UIC Forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The event will help determine the athletes that go on to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and marks the first time the three federations have hosted championships together in one city. "It is incredibly exciting that these three weightlifting federations are hosting their championships at once, and we're honored to host this international event in Chicago," said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. "With its cultural diversity and proud tradition of world-class athletics, Chicago is a perfect setting for the Pan-American championships." World Sport Chicago partnered with the Pan-American Weightlifting Federation to bring Olympic, World and Pan-American champions to Chicago for the events. Athletes from Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United States and Venezuela will compete for the Pan-Am, Ibero and US National titles. For a complete list of participants and competition schedule, visit Results and photos will be posted to the website daily. The weightlifting competition will take place Thursday, June 4, through Sunday, June 7. Competition will begin at 9 a.m. each day, and a medal ceremony and media availability will take place after every session (every two hours). The event is free and open to the general public. According to event directors, there are nearly as many unique back-stories as there are athletes themselves. American competitors include a 4-foot-8-inch former college volleyball player, a super heavyweight shot putter, and a 2010 Olympic bobsled team contender. The weightlifting championships are especially exciting for Cuba, whose relatively new women's team has rarely competed on an international stage. Colombia, proud to call weightlifting its national sport, will be showcasing many athletes who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In fact, a large percentage of the Colombian delegation in Beijing consisted of weightlifters. In addition to the weightlifting championships, World Sport Chicago will host a variety of interactive clinics and activities geared toward kids throughout the four days of competition, including: * June 4: Performance tips from strength and conditioning coaches from UIC and Northwestern University * June 5: An NBC Fitness Team event and power lifting demonstrations by three-time Paralympian Mary Stack * June 6 and June 7: Nutrition, sports medicine and sports psychology clinics led by local doctors and nutritionists For a complete schedule of clinics and activities, visit From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, children are invited to test their strength, endurance and flexibility at the interactive World Sport Chicago Fitness Zone station. According to event organizers, nearly 200 students from various Chicago Public Schools will attend, and community organizations such as UNO, Erie Neighborhood House and the Elliott Donnelley Youth Center will bring children and families to the events. "We are delighted that local students will have the opportunity to be a part of this event," said honorary event chairman Gery Chico. "As event organizers, it's important to us that the Pan-American, Ibero-American and USA National Weightlifting Championships leaves a lasting legacy for young athletes long after the final medal ceremony on Sunday." World Sport Chicago is an Illinois not-for-profit working to enhance the image, awareness and participation in Olympic sports across Chicago and to extend Chicago's international outreach through and for sport and youth. "In bringing world champion weightlifters and other international events to Chicago over the past few years, it's been our hope to engage Chicagoans in Olympic and Paralympic sports," said Bill Scherr, chairman of World Sport Chicago. "We hope that these visiting athletes can serve as an inspiration to children and adults alike, and encourage people of all ages to be active." Chicago is one of four Candidate Cities along with Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Madrid vying for the honor to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 2016 Host City will be named on October 2, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. # # #

About World Sport Chicago World Sport Chicago (WSC) is an Illinois not-for-profit working to enhance the image, awareness and participation in Olympic sports across Chicago and to extend Chicago's international outreach through and for sport and youth. Focused on promoting the development of recreational and competitive sport to the area's youth, WSC works closely with Chicago 2016 and Chicago's 2016's Athlete Advisory Counsel (AAC) to provide sport expertise and athlete insight to the execution of these sporting events. WSC intends to aid Chicago in developing a sustainable, international sporting legacy as a real agent of social change for the city. William Scherr, an Olympic medalist in wrestling, is chairman of the board and Scott Myers serves as the executive director.
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Even with Tiger at No. 1, golf still mostly white

William Lewis started playing golf with nothing but a 9-iron and he never stopped swinging, even when his favorite sport doled out a racist hazing. Now a graying golfer, he spreads that same passion to dozens of kids from a predominantly black neighborhood in Martin Luther King Jr.'s hometown. Somewhere in the nearly 50-year span of his career, he thought it would get easier. But there's just that one role model. Tiger Woods. "It really is surprising," said Lewis, who teaches the sport to inner-city youths at The First Tee Atlanta. So many expected Woods' historic victory in the 1997 Masters — and the 13 majors since then — to inspire other African-Americans to follow him into a game that was reserved for whites over more than a century.
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Latinos make major adjustment

Edinson Volquez ate lots of fast food while working his way from the Dominican Republic to Major League Baseball, and not just because he had little money. "In the minor leagues we always went to McDonald's, Subway," the Reds right-hander said. "You point at the number for what you want. You try to talk, but you're scared because somebody may be laughing at you." Volquez, like most Latin Americans in the major leagues, arrived in the United States speaking little or no English. The language and cultural barriers, an afterthought to most U.S. baseball fans, are something Spanish-speaking players face throughout their careers. READ FULL STORY
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