Verizon partners with Jennifer Lopez-backed Viva Movil

Viva Movil will cater to the Latino community, with its own stores that have an bilingual staff

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
May 22, 2013
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(Updated to reflect comment from Verizon)

If you watch the news, or pay attention to politics at all, you already know that Latinos are the fastest growing population in the United States. And that fact is already starting to affect how businesses reach out to the Latino community. Simply put, it is only going to become more and more important for companies that want to be able to compete to cater to the Latino popular going forward.

So no surprise that a company like Verizon would partner with Viva Movil, a new mobile carrier from Jennifer Lopez, to specifically appeal to that demographic.

The partnership was announced at the CTIA trade show in Las Vegas, where Lopez appeared at a press conference with Verizon.

"This new company is here to revolutionize the entire mobile experience for Latinos," Lopez said. "There's no specific place for Latinos to be specifically catered to. We will continuously evolve the wireless shopping experience with Verizon Wireless's guidance and support."

According to a pledge made on Viva Movil's website, the company, which will have its own stores, will have a bilingual staff that speaks both English and Spanish, as well as kid friendly areas in each storeto make shopping more fun for them. 

In addition, the company will also allow customer to shop for service, phones and accessories online, and on social networks like Facebook. And it will give customers the ability to have hands-on time with devices before they buy them.

The company wants to change how people shop for their phones and accessories, but it will not be changing what Verizon sells. Devices currently listed on the site are the same as you would expect to find in any Verizon store: iPhones, Samsung Galaxies and the Blackberry Z10. The plans are also what would typically be offered by Verizon, including shared data plans, contract and no-contract plans.

Viva Movil's first store will open in New York City on June 15. And then it plans to open 15 more stores in several other cities in 2013, including in Miami and Los Angeles.

Viva Movil is the result of a partnership between Brightstar and Moorhead Communications. Lopez is its co-founder and Chief Creative Officer. Though Verizon is the exclusive wireless provider for Viva Movil, it does not own a stake in the company. 

"Verizon Wireless is committed to serving consumers and communities with world-class services, devices and other programs.  Viva Móvil by Jennifer Lopez helps expand Verizon Wireless’ reach and gives consumers another option to purchase the latest wireless smartphones and tablets on its 4G LTE network in a unique and culturally relevant environment," a spokesperson for Verizon told VatorNews.

There are roughly 52 million Latinos living in the U.S., according to a study from the Pew Hispanic Center in February. That means that they now make up 17% of the population of the United States, up from 13% in 2000. Between 2000 and 2011, the Hispanic population grew 48%. 

The population is growing so fast, in fact, that in 30 years the country will no longer be majority Caucasian, the first time that will ever be the case.

With numbers like that, the purchasing power of the Latino population will only increase over time.  It's pretty simple: more people equals more business, so business need to make sure that they court them early.

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