The Carolina Panthers have announced a partnership with Norsan Multimedia's WOLS/106.1 FM La Raza to broadcast all games of the 2010 season in Spanish.
"Our goal is to serve the entire fan base of the Carolina Panthers," said Panthers President Danny Morrison. "As the local and regional Hispanic populations have continued to grow, it is great to now have the opportunity to add our Spanish flagship station - 106.1 La Raza - to the broadcast."
Since 1990 North Carolina and South Carolina have consistently ranked as two of the fastest-growing states in the country in Hispanic population growth, and research shows the NFL to be extremely popular among both the local and national Hispanic communities.
"Everyone at Norsan Multimedia is proud to be associated with the Carolina Panthers. We look forward to a successful season that will be shared by the many football fans in the local Hispanic community, who will now experience first-hand the excitement of this great sport. We've had many inquiries from customers and listeners about broadcasting the Panthers' games. Now we'll be able to fulfill their request," said Norberto Sanchez, Norsan Multimedia's CEO. "Our staff is passionate about sports, and we are pleased to transmit our elation to our audience."
The addition of WOLS/106.1 FM La Raza broadcasts continues a Panthers and NFL community relations iniative that has included NFL Hispanic Heritage Month, Football 101 for Latinos, youth flag football, and a goodwill trip by the TopCats to Mexico during Super Bowl XLIV. The Panthers are the 15th NFL team to provide a Spanish speaking broadcast.
Sales and marketing efforts will be handled jointly by the team and Norsan media. In addition to the flagship station, the Panthers aim to build a radio network of Spanish language affiliates across the Carolinas. Discussions with stations in multiple markets are ongoing.
Play-by-play for Carolina Panthers Spanish radio broadcasts will be handled by Jaime Moreno. During his 18-year local radio sports broadcasting career, he has covered the NFL and Panthers in particular. Joining him will be color analyst Luis Moreno Jr., who has seven years of local sports broadcasting experience, including coverage of the NFL as well as other sports leagues on local Spanish-speaking stations. Jaime and Luis will anchor a four-hour game day broadcast for all 20 Panthers preseason and regular-season games in 2010, including half-hour pre-game and post-game shows.
"We have been closely monitoring the Carolinas' rapidly-expanding Latino demographic for a few years while looking for the right media outlet. With their strong stable of Spanish radio stations along with local Spanish-language newspaper, Mi Gente, and the Spanish language web site, DescubreCharlotte.com, Norsan Multimedia has earned a strong and trusted relationship with the area's Latino population, making them the ideal media partner," said Henry Thomas, the Panthers director of broadcasting and new media.
Norsan Multimedia owns and operates 10 radio stations in the Southeast with three different formats. Four stations are located in Charlotte, N.C. (La Raza WOLS 106.1 FM, Radio Formula WGSP 1310 AM, Alfa WXNC 1060 AM and Latina WGSP 102.3 FM), four in Jacksonville, Fla. (WNNR 970 AM, WVOJ 1570 AM, WSOS 1170 AM and WEWC 1160 AM), and one each in Columbia, S.C. (WCEO 940 AM) and Knoxville, Tenn. (WKGN 1340 AM).
Norsan was founded in 1987 as a group of companies that includes restaurant, catering and food distribution divisions. Apart from the food industry, in 2004 Norsan Group created a new division - Norsan Multimedia, a Spanish Language communications company that includes a two Hispanic newspapers: Mi Gente in Charlotte and Hola Noticias in Jacksonville. Norsan Group is listed as the 69th largest Hispanic-owned company in the United States, according to Hispanic Business Magazine June 2009.