Reaching U.S. Hispanics is important to many brands today. Brands like State Farm, Fifth Third Bank, and 7UP have targeted efforts to develop deeper relationships with their Hispanic customers. A recent survey from Experian Simmons and Univision Communications highlights that Hispanics shop more than non-Hispanics and are more willing to buy from advertisers than non-Hispanics. If this holds true for Hispanic youth, advertisers will need to find ways to reach them on campus too. So, where should a brand start?
There are many great schools in the U.S. with strong Hispanic populations. This list of campuses was compiled using a combination of enrollment data and demographic info, but they were also chosen for the marketing possibilities that exist on campus through student activities, the campus community, and unique traditions.
The University of New Mexico – This campus located in Albuquerque has 18,000-plus undergrads. Homecoming around this campus with sororities and fraternities is said to be a blast, and the school also has tons of organizations dedicated to its Hispanic students. Greek tradition and folklore run deep with The Estufa, an old structure on the campus grounds where Alpha Alpha Alpha met. Secrecy here prevails. Apparently, no woman has ever stepped foot inside of it. Strange reports of things mysteriously disappearing in the Estufa also build on its legend.
University of Texas at Austin – This is a great campus for recruiting Hispanic business major students because it hosts two active organizations that assist students: the Hispanic Graduate Business Association and Mexican Business Association. For marketers that want a tie-in to campus sports, “Lighting the Tower” is a tradition where the main building at the center of campus is lit in orange for significant athletic victories. It’s also lit for special occasions such as holidays and graduation.
Cal State Northridge – This is a public school in a suburban setting with approximately 23,000 students. This school has a lot of clubs to offer its rich Latino population. Tap into its great events, concerts, and art shows. “The Big Show” is a concert held every year that hosts large national music acts. Sports marketers might want to check out “The Bull Pit” – a group of students who show their team spirit by standing during the entire game and heckling the opposing team nonstop.
The University of Texas-Pan American – This school enrolls the highest number and highest percentage of Hispanics (86.3%) among Texas public universities and educates the most Mexican-American students in the nation. The university has a busy student union with a variety of fun events for students such as outdoor movies, Guitar Hero tournaments, and arts programs. Marketers can count on the school’s student event calendar being full of up-to-date info about what’s what on campus.
The University of Texas at El Paso – With a 20,000-plus enrollment commuter campus in a bilingual community, brands looking to reach Hispanic students in a vibrant community need look no further. Located in El Paso, just a stone’s-throw from Mexico, students mill about the Miner Village student housing complex, read their student newspaper and Minero magazine, attend concerts and events, and tailgate outside Sun Bowl Stadium.
The University of Texas at San Antonio – This public four-year university with about 28,000 enrolled students (38% of them are Hispanic) has lots of great programs and traditions to get behind. Freshmen get acclimated to their new school by participating in a two-day “Roadrunner Camp.” This retreat is held the week before the fall semester begins. Marketers looking to tap into the entire student body can choose from two annual campus fiestas: BestFest or Fiesta UTSA.
Florida International University – This school has a 39,000-plus enrollment with a 59% Hispanic student population. It has 33 fraternities and sororities and 300 student clubs and organizations to align your brand with. “Trail of the Torch” is a traditional pep rally held during the start of fall semester in the Housing Quad with music, food, giveaways, and dancing. There is also a large cube in front of Deuxieme Maison on campus that is said to give good luck on exams and tests, and thus is spun by hundreds of students every semester.
The University of Houston – Besides being the setting for such movies as “Any Given Sunday” and “Tin Cup,” this school typically ranks as one of the most diverse national universities in the nation. A marketer should look at The Frontier Fiesta, a student-run event featuring free live concerts, variety shows by student organizations, carnival booths, multicultural performances, and a world-class BBQ cook-off. You can also check out the UH Student Video Network – a closed-circuit television station showcasing movies and student-produced shows.
Arizona State University – This urban public university located in Tempe has a mind-boggling 53,000 undergrads. Students stay engaged with more than 600 clubs and organizations, student media that includes two radio stations, and the Memorial Union for getting food and meeting up. Savvy marketers might want to dig deeper into Hoodlums Record Shop, A-Mountain, or the most popular spring break location for ASU students – Lake Havasu.
San Diego State University – Well known for having a great social scene, this campus of 34,000 students has a diverse Hispanic student body with lots of activities geared toward them. If you are a brand that is all about the party, this campus can’t be ignored. Be sure to check out AzFest, “The Zoo” at Zura Hall (known for its crazy partying), and the Gaslamp District near campus where all the bars and restaurants are located.