Rickie Ricardo, Tico Sports deliver the Águilas en Español
The Hispanic fan base is rapidly expanding thanks to the Spanish radio broadcasts.
By Jillian Oddo
Las Águilas translates to "the Eagles" in English. Las Águilas in Spanish means so much more to the Hispanic community and is a traditional name for Spanish sports teams.
"Whether it's in soccer or another sport around the Hispanic world, to be the Eagles, to be las Águilas is a symbol of a lot of pride, power, and significance," said Rickie Ricardo, Spanish radio play-by-play voice for the Philadelphia Eagles.
We know all Eagles fans wear their love for the team proudly on their chest; they don't keep it a secret. Fans are proud to be fans. Over the past decade, the growth of Hispanic Eagles fans has stretched across the globe. A huge contribution to that expansion is thanks to Tico Sports, a bilingual company producing Spanish language sports streams, and Ricardo. Bringing the electrifying energy from Lincoln Financial Field into Hispanic households, where English might not be their first language, allows families to fully embrace the sport and the Eagles.
"I carry the banner of having Hispanic blood. I'm proud to be a leader in the community and proud to be the bridge between the Hispanic community and the general market," said Ricardo, who has been the Spanish play-by-play announcer for the Eagles since 2011.
"One of the most important things about Latinos is that they're multi-generational households and many times it's a combination of English, Spanish, and Spanglish spoken in a household," explained CiCi Rojas, co-founder of Tico Sports. "It's also a unifier, it brings family and friends together. Many of them are familiar with Spanish soccer broadcasts and they're used to that energy level that you would hear in Spanish for soccer calls. You get that from football too. You get the same kind of enthusiasm from the sport with Spanish language broadcasts. It's that excitement and energetic broadcast that those fans enjoy."
Tico Sports partners with professional and collegiate sports teams to bring live game Spanish broadcasts to Latino audiences. Breaking into the business field, Tico Sports was founded by Rojas and her husband, Oscar Monterroso. In 2016, they signed their first contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
"One of the reasons we wanted to do this was because we felt like the Latino community deserved a quality broadcast, one that provided access throughout the season too, and not just on gameday. We wanted to capture behind-the-scenes video of something as simple as how the crews remove snow on a gameday," said Rojas, as they have a bilingual social media network to show their audience how hectic gamedays can be.
"Tico is a Hispanic company that is proving to the rest of the world that we can do a quality broadcast in Spanish. Tico has all the equipment, talent, and they have the drive," Ricardo added. "Everything is top-notch, nothing second class about them. They're a class organization. The NFL is so big, and Hispanics have really adopted the National Football League. Every year there are more and more Hispanic fans."
While Tico Sports focuses on producing quality broadcasts for the Latino community, oftentimes Spanish language livestreams are seen as mediocre compared to English language streams. Throughout the years, Tico Sports has shown how high quality its content is. On Thursday night, listen for yourself on PhiladelphiaEagles.com/liveradio anywhere in the United States on a desktop computer.