Author:Almanza, Lorenzo

The National Football League (NFL) continues taking major steps towards their engagement with the Hispanic Community. While the number of Hispanic viewers who watch football has increased, so have the efforts of engagement.

Presently, the NFL has built conjoined relationships with Hispanics all over by hosting games in their native countries and expanding TV coverage to fit Spanish language speakers.

The league continues to build its reputation with the Hispanic community by connecting with Hispanic leaders, programs and networks worldwide.

One of the organizations already set in place is the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards. Over the past seven years, the NFL along with the Hispanic Heritage Fund (HHF) has held the award ceremony in light of recognizing the hard work of Hispanic pioneers within the community who have gone above and beyond for their football city.

Selected winners of the Leadership award are recognized at their local NFL game or an event correlated with the city and team. The victors handpick an organization that best suits the Hispanic market and donate $2,000 dollars towards the selected group.

Thus far, 200 Hispanic leaders have been acknowledged for their contributions to their neighborhoods and the innovators of the community have donated over $400,000 to non-profit organizations.

Past winners have included Jorge Castillo, the President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Maryland and Andres Chaparro, the president and general manager of Telemundo 25, the network station in Denver.

Other medalists have included local heroes such as Awilda Diaz-Cruz, a breast cancer survivor and advocate for the deadly disease.

One area where the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards made its imprint is during the NFL's Hispanic Heritage month. During the month, the NFL celebrates the mark the Hispanic Community has left on their sport: Narratives are told from former and current Hispanic players, as well as local teams collaborate within their community to assist with any outreach that is needed.

Last year, the NFL used the theme "Feel the Orgullo" to help promote the value of Hispanic heritage. The week leading up to their NFL game in Mexico, New England Patriot players Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola used their time by taking in activities such as visiting local restaurants and attending a Mexican wrestling match.

While the NFL has taken pride in their Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards, they have decided to take things a step...

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