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Can Mark Sanchez do for the NFL what Tiger did for the PGA?

I realize that the title of this post is pretty provocative but this is a big deal for the NFL.

In their quest to tap into the Hispanic market, a population base which is the fastest growing in the United States...The NFL wants to use Mark Sanchez to tap into that fan base.


The NFL has spent a lot of time and money taking mighty swings at the multi-billion dollar Hispanic market. The result? It's been as if the league has been blindfolded, spun around in circles, and told to hit a piñata with one-hand tied behind its collective back.

Arriba, Mark Sanchez.

Not since Yao Ming, perhaps, has one player been so important to a league's effort at expanding and entrenching itself into virtually un-mined gold. Indeed, this is one of those rare exceptions when the potential value of a player on the field is exceeded only by his value off of it.

Of course, it is huge pressure to heap onto Sanchez' shoulders. And, of course, Sanchez must produce for the New York Jets. He must play well, put up the numbers and win. But if he can handle both demands, put it this way: New York would be only the second-largest market Sanchez would conquer. And it would be a distant second at that.

I would agree that there is a lot of money to be earned by getting that fan base interested in the NFL.

All professional sports leagues want to increase their viewership. They all want to reach new audiences. One good example of that was the NBA. They embraced the hip-hop crowd in their attempt to go after a whole new group of fans. I think many have shown just how risky that type of a move was.

The Hispanic fan base is a little more of a discerning customer. Soccer and baseball are the two sports that Hispanics keep an eye on and soccer is far ahead of baseball. American football on the other hand is not a sport that the fan base follows religiously on any major level.

Its not like the NFL hasn't had hispanic players in the league before...

The NFL has had numerous big-time Hispanic players over the years, including Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Munoz, All Pro tight end Tony Gonzalez and defensive stars Luis Castillo and Tony Casillas.

Sanchez though, comes into the league while the NFL is riding high. He is also in one of the biggest media markets in the world and he is a QB, The NFL's Glamor position. There websites, blogs and a million different TV shows on ESPN and on the NFL Network not to mention all the local shows each team has in their individual markets.

There is a lot riding on Mark's success. Obviously for the Jets but also for the NFL. His demeanor and personality will go a long way to breaking those barriers down...especially here in the NYC area with a huge Dominican and Puerto Rican population.

Based on what we have all seen in the past in how he has handled the spotlight I see no reason why he can't be a positive role model for a new and emerging hispanic fan base.

The NFL is good hands...