Group Nine Media brings on Sylvia Banderas Coffinet to lead multicultural marketing

Former Hola! USA and People en Espanol exec will help the media company and its brand partners connect with multicultural audiences.

Group Nine, the media company that owns brands including Thrillist, PopSugar, The Dodo and NowThis, has hired Sylvia Banderas Coffinet as GM of multicultural brand partnerships and marketing.

Banderas Coffinet will lead the group’s strategy for reaching multicultural audiences across its publications and work with advertisers to create programs tailored for Group Nine’s diverse audiences. She will report to chief revenue officer Geoff Schiller.

Group Nine reaches roughly 53 million multicultural individuals in the U.S., making up 40% of its audience. It is the number one video publisher on mobile, according to Nielsen.

“That's important, because we are exactly where our multicultural audience expects us to be,” Banderas Coffinet said, adding that such cohorts tend to be eight to 10 years younger than the general population. “They over index on everything social, video and mobile.”

In addition to building on Group Nine’s strong foundation of Latinx brands, including El Dodo and PopSugar Latina, Banderas Coffinet will work closely with advertisers on custom content and executions built for multicultural audiences through Group Nine’s content studio, Brandshop.

Branded content is one of Group Nine’s strongest offerings for multicultural audiences, Schiller said. Last year, for example, the group launched a multi-layered branded series for Target that included podcasts, video and other digital content tailored to diverse audiences.

“We've been building a foundation with all these communities over the last four years.” he added. “You'll see more frequent activations with partners because of Sylvia’s leadership.”

Beyond social media, Group Nine also leans heavily into live events, often in partnership with brands. But with all things in-person on hold for the remainder of the year, Group Nine is pivoting to virtual events with high-value production. It’s hoping to phase in-person events back at some point next year.

Until then, Banderas Coffinet will focus on building new and deeper relationships with multicultural audiences on digital platforms. Group Nine has 220 million social media followers across its brands.

“Any smart, savvy business right now gets that it’s about future proofing their organization long term,” she said. “With every younger audience, the consumer becomes more polycultural, interethnic, and intersectional.”

But putting in the work around inclusiveness is an internal job too. In addition to covering topics that matter to multicultural audiences, Group Nine has launched resource groups for diverse employees and committed to diversity benchmarks in its hiring process. 

“This isn't something we just woke up and decided to do,” Schiller said. “Our content is grounded in optimism and a sense of hope for a better tomorrow, and that mission statement is now a rallying cry.”

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