I recently returned from the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communication's (NAMIC) 25th Annual Conference in New York, where I proudly accepted the 2011 Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Award (EMMA) for La Academia, one of our biggest U.S. Hispanic grassroots marketing initiatives.

Last year, Comcast launched La Academia, a multi-city grassroots initiative that took shape in a branded truck and pop-up experience that has made its way to major Hispanic community events and festivals across the U.S. The tour, which continued its run this year, engaged the Hispanic community with interactive games and activities, fostering a passion for sports, and also allowed the company to raise awareness of the multitude of sports programming available to customers in English and Spanish.

The tour also elated fans with special guest appearances by the Atlanta Falcons, Tony Gonzalez, internationally renowned soccer champion Jorge Campos, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Jorge Rivera among others. This outreach program has given us an opportunity to interact with our customers in a fun and unique way and encourages us to create new programming that will better serve our communities.

We are very honored that our efforts were recognized by NAMIC, the leading organization that educates, advocates and empowers multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry, and are excited to add the EMMA to our roster of awards. The EMMA award recognizes the cable industry's commitment to maintaining best practices, while developing creative, strategic and innovative approaches to ethnic-targeted marketing.

In case you didn't catch the La Academia truck at a city near you, you can check out the extensive media coverage garnered in Hispanic media outlets, such as Terra TV, as well as trade publications, including Sports Business Daily. We extend a special thanks to GMR Marketing who was behind the design and implementation of this program and H&M Communications for their public relations support.

Be on the lookout for the La Academia caravan as it continues touring around the United States.