The Philadelphia Union have announced a partnership with UniMás affiliate WFPA to broadcast four home games in Spanish: the match this weekend against the Montreal Impact, the June 2 match against Minnesota United FC, the September 29 match against the Columbus Crew SC and the October 6 match against New York City FC.
This will be the first Spanish language local broadcast for the Union in club history, and the importance of this should not be understated.
In Philadelphia alone there were almost 152,000 Spanish speakers according to the 2010 Census. In the 13 counties across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware that make up the Philadelphia region, there are just under 472,000 Spanish speakers who can now watch their local soccer team in their native language.
“As we look to expand our fanbase and our footprint within the Delaware Valley, it was important for us to have a Spanish-language broadcast,” Union Chief Business Officer Tim McDermott stated in a news release. “This partnership with UniMás is a great first step as we continue to grow the Union here at home. Philadelphia’s Spanish-speaking population is an important and growing demographic and it’s vital for us to continue to reach out to them. We look forward to the beginning of our relationship with UniMás and further growth together.”
McDermott also said in a roundtable meeting with fans this past Tuesday that the team would also look to market Mexico National Team midfielder Marco Fabián more and revive the team’s Spanish-language Twitter account, which has been dormant since August of 2016. The Sons of Ben have also revived their once dormant Spanish language Twitter account.
While the Union has taken some deserved heat for doing so little to reach those who speak the country’s de facto second language, there’s never a bad time to start and that they are finally doing so is praiseworthy.