Verizon teams with Jennifer Lopez to target Latinos

Verizon teams with Jennifer Lopez to target Latinos

22 MAY 2013

LIVE FROM CTIA 13, LAS VEGAS: US number one operator Verizon Wireless is teaming up with actress and musician Jennifer Lopez to launch a service dedicated to the huge Latino community living in the US.

The first Viva Móvil store will open in New York on June 15, offering what is claimed to be a dedicated retail service that will embrace Latino culture. Around 15 other stores will be launched by the end of the year in cities such as Miami and Los Angeles.

“Right now there’s no place that really caters for Latinos,” said Lopez at a press conference this morning. Reflecting cultural factors behind how Latinos purchase products, Lopez said the stores will be family-friendly, will recruit bi-lingual staff and will offer the latest LTE smartphones and tablets.

Verizon Wireless’ COO Marni Walden said the stores won’t offer any new specific devices or plans, but are more focused on providing an enhanced “shopping experience” for Latinos. Walden noted that the operator could end up implementing some of the successful initiatives from Viva Móvil in its own-brand stores.

Puerto Rican Lopez is the majority shareholder in the venture, while Verizon does not have a financial stake. “18 months ago Marni challenged me to find a way to improve the shopping experience for the Latino market,” said Lopez. “I see Viva Móvil as part of a cultural revolution that is currently taking place for the modern Latino.”

Data seems to suggest that the venture has a big potential market. According to a report published earlier this year by Nielsen, 63 per cent of Americans own smartphones, and that number is even higher for Latinos. Seventy-five per cent of Latinos in the US own smartphones, making the demographic an important customer base for the wireless industry. Latinos also make up 67 per cent of overall population growth, driving purchasing power of $1.2 trillion. “That’s an unbelievable opportunity to create a unique shopping experience,” said Lopez.

With 26 million Latinos active on Facebook, the venture will also enable consumers on the social network’s Viva Móvil page to obtain personalised recommendations, shop with their friends, comment on devices and share what device or accessory they purchased. Lopez claims it’s the first time consumers have been able to buy mobile services direct from a Facebook page.

Other partners in the initiative include global distributor Brightstar and Moorehead Communications, Verizon Wireless’ largest premium retailer.

For Verizon, it gives the US operator an opportunity to broaden its customer reach. Rival players T-Mobile and Cricket have strong Spanish-language marketing in cities such as San Francisco, so the deal with Lopez will see Verizon strengthening competition in this area.


Justin Springham

Justin manages the editorial content for the Mobile World Live portal and award-winning Mobile World Live TV service. In the last few years Justin has launched and grown a portfolio of premier media products, which include the Mobile World Congress...

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