Cheetos Woos Soccer Fans and Hispanics with Los Cheetahs Futbol Team

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America’s interest in soccer continues to grow, as evidenced by the huge numbers of U.S. TV viewers for this year’s FIFA World Cup. Add to that the rapidly growing Hispanic market and influence in America, and it appears that Cheetos may be making a very smart move with the creation of its own soccer team, Los Cheetahs, and tournament.

As part of a new campaign, Los Cheetahs are scheduled to play their “rivals,” Los Jefes, in a series of games. The nationwide tour kicks off on Nov. 8 in Long Beach, CA, when Los Cheetahs will play their first game at a custom-built beachfront soccer stadium. After that, the teams will traverse the U.S. to showcase their fancy footwork—and the Cheetos brand, of course. 

Los Cheetahs, a name inspired by the brand’s Chester Cheetah character, won’t be giving the English Premier League or Major League Soccer any competition, however. This team is basically the Harlem Globetrotters of soccer with a slew of tricksters ready to juggle, trick shot, and get fans cheering throughout the game.[more]

“Soccer is certainly enjoying its moment in the spotlight,” said Ram Krishnan, senior marketing officer for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division, according to a company release. “We felt this was the perfect time to bring fans a new, fun and exciting way to interact with the Cheetos brand through a sport they already love.”

As an added incentive to the Hispanic market, the Cheetahs roster includes 48-year-old goalkeeper Jorge Campos. One of Mexico’s top players in the 1990s, he was popular among fans known for his self-designed goalie outfits and his ability to not just defend against goals but also score his own.

The Cheetos brand was rated sixth-highest on this year’s Smarty Pants list of top kids’ brands, falling behind the iPad, Hershey’s, Oreo, M&M’s, and Doritos, but just ahead of Skittles, Disney and YouTube, Mediapost reports. Can Los Cheetos pull the brand up to the podium?

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