The profile of the NFL continues to expand across the globe. Nearly all 32 teams have made an appearance in London, and in 2016 the NFL introduced an annual game to the passionate fanbase in Mexico.
With that in mind, the Jaguars recently teamed up with the NFL to host an NFL PLAY 60 Character Camp at the Dream Finders Homes Flex Field at Daily's Place. Attending the camp were 300 Hispanic youth, ages 9-13, who were preselected by local nonprofit organizations as well as Duval County Public Schools.
"The landscape of fandom in the NFL is increasingly growing global, and I am excited to see that reach the Hispanic community," said Adriel Rocha, Jaguars manager of community relations and the organizer of the event. "My parents were both born in Durango, Mexico, so to be able to introduce my love of football to hundreds of youth who share my Hispanic heritage is an opportunity I cherish and look forward to continuing here in Jacksonville."
The camp, which featured an appearance by Jaguars WR Keelan Cole, is one of a series of NFL PLAY 60 camps taking place this summer and fall as part of the NFL's year-round Hispanic outreach initiative. The NFL has partnered with Hall of Fame OT Anthony Munoz on this outreach program. The mission of the camp was to make a positive impact on today's youth through teaching football skills, emphasizing exercise, and reinforcing the importance of character in athletics and life, which coincides with the character values that are core to the Anthony Muñoz Foundation.
Right here in Northeast Florida, the Hispanic population is experiencing an annual growth rate upwards of 3 percent. In an effort to reach that growing fan base, the Jaguars announced earlier this year a partnership with Tico Sports to provide a Spanish language radio broadcast for all games in 2018. Representatives from Tico were on hand at the camp to introduce themselves to the newest Jaguars fans.
"Tico Sports is honored to have been a part of Jaguars Play60 Character Camp community activation," said Leo Prieto, vice president of Tico Sports. "What a great opportunity to introduce the game of football to the Hispanic youth and the next generation of fans, while teaching the importance of staying active and life skills. This is a great win for Jacksonville's emerging Latino market."
The NFL PLAY 60 Character program works in collaboration with USA Football and its NFL FLAG curriculum, which introduces participants to be physically active through non-contact, continuous action while learning the fundamentals of football, lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship. NFL PLAY 60 is the league's youth health and fitness campaign, aimed at getting kids active for 60 minutes a day.