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Executive Voice: Oscar Ramos – Learn How ESPN Commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month With Five Tentpole Projects

Singer J Balvin, MLB star Francisco Lindor, Olympians Mónica Puig and Marlén Esparza are among those interviewed in "Somos" features exploring Latinos' contributions to sports

Singer J Balvin (L) discusses his love of sneakers and his signature Air Jordan shoes in ESPN’s Sneaker Culture. (Ricardo Zúniga/ESPN)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Oscar Ramos is the Senior Director of ESPN Deportes content. In this Executive Voice post, he outlines ESPN’s multi-platform content for Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15).

Starting today, through Oct. 15, ESPN platforms will feature a full slate of original content and programming built around the theme “Somos” (We Are) to highlight the contributions of Latinos in sports.

When the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee came together several months ago under the leadership of Gustavo Coletti senior managing producer, our vision was simple – to highlight – not what sets us apart – but what Hispanics and the rest of the U.S. population already enjoy in unison.

To tell those stories, the committee focused on producing content around five tentpole projects — Mexican Fighting Style; Sneaker Culture; United States of LaLiga; Somos Afrolatinos; and Image. As part of the initiative, ESPN platforms will feature a different piece of content representing these themes every week for the duration of the month-long celebration.

Today we begin with a focus on Mexican Fighting Style (Sept. 15-18) exploring how Mexican culture has influenced one of the most recognized styles in combat sports. One of the pieces airing this week, includes a conversation between Tijuana-natives Brandon Moreno, the first Mexican-born UFC champion, and boxing legend Érik Morales.

During Week 2 (Sept. 19-25), Sneaker Culture focuses on the booming sneaker culture amongst Hispanic athletes and celebrities, including a conversation with Colombian superstar singer J Balvin, who shares his love for sneakers and the significance of landing his own signature Air Jordan 1 kicks. Week 2 will also feature an interview with New York Mets Francisco Lindor, the only current Latinx athlete in the U.S. with his own signature shoe.

Over the past four months, it has been a rewarding experience to see how our colleagues from across the company have come together to ideate and ultimately bring to life one of our most robust Hispanic Heritage Month-themed content offerings.
– Oscar Ramos, Senior Director, ESPN Deportes content

In Week 3 (Sept. 26-Oct. 2), United States of LaLiga looks at how players from Latin America have influenced LaLiga on and off the pitch. One of the feature content pieces includes a “21 Under 21” ranking of the best 21 players under 21 years of age in the league.

During Week 4 (Oct. 3-9), Somos Afrolatinos will examine the intersection of sports, race, and the Latino culture, with a feature titled “Pelo,” a look at Afrolatina athletes’ relationship with their natural hair.

For Week 5 (Oct. 10-15), Image brings together Olympic gold medalist and professional tennis player Mónica Puig, Paralympic gold medalist Nicky Nieves, Olympic bronze medalist and professional boxer Marlén Esparza, gymnast Luisa Blanco, and UFC bantamweight Joselyne Edwards for an intimate conversation about beauty standards and the pressures they face as professional athletes. Moderated by ESPN Deportes Katia Castorena and shot at a hair salon in New York City, Beauty, this feature was produced by an all-female crew.

Over the past four months, it has been a rewarding experience to see how our colleagues from across the company have come together to ideate and ultimately bring to life one of our most robust Hispanic Heritage Month-themed content offerings. I have always believed that great companies are made of great people, and this project exemplifies that belief. Our company-wide celebration is a demonstration of the power of ESPN and the strength of our collective assets when directed behind a single message.

For Week 5, “Image” brings together several professional athletes for an intimate conversation about beauty standards and the pressures they face. (Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)
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