NFL partners with Victor Cruz for ‘Por La Cultura’ campaign
Victor Cruz won the Super Bowl with the NY Giants in 2012, and will now link up with the NFL for a campaign celebrating Latinx Heritage Month.
To coincide with, and to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, the NFL is partnering with former NY Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz and Grammy Award-winning artist Ozuna for the launching of the “Por La Cultura” campaign.
NFL Cultural Marketing Strategist Javier Farfan described the goals of the initiative in a Zoom call with FanSided on Sept. 10.
“Por La Cultura is a campaign that we’re starting in the beginning of the 2021 season,” Farfan said. “We’re here to support Latino youth, we’re basically integrating into the season music, fashion, sport and giving back to the community.”
In addition to Farfan’s statement, the NFL is also teaming up with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to award Latinx youth with grants in support of their college education and/or to enhance community service efforts they may be a part of.
"“The NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) have partnered to support this year’s Youth Award in the Sports & Fitness category,” the NFL said in a press release Wednesday. “Founded in 1998 by the HHF, the Youth Awards honor Latino high school seniors who excel in the classroom and community for their excellence in various categories.”"
Winners of the grants will be announced later in the NFL season and celebrated early in 2022. To learn more about the initiative, or to apply to potentially receive a grant, visit NFL.com/PorLaCultura.
As for Cruz and Ozuna, they will act as faces of the campaign, working to promote and shine a light on it. Cruz said he believes they were selected for the job because of how they each exemplify what the campaign is all about.
“[Ozuna and I are] two Latinos that have a clear understanding on what it takes to get to the pinnacle of our respective careers and continue to push forward, and continue to help the community,” Cruz tells FanSided. “I think that’s what they saw in both of us, and we want to continue to relay that message out to the youth and provide a platform for them to better, and be great, and to channel all the good things that they do, with the NFL leading the way.”
Embracing his culture has long been important to Cruz, dating back to his days of growing up in Paterson, NJ.
He attributes the love he has for his Hispanic background to his upbringing in a household with a heavy Puerto Rican presence.
“For me, [my culture] was everything. I grew up in a household with my grandparents and my mom, all Puerto Rican. [It was a] very Puerto Rican household [I] grew up in every single day,” Cruz said. “Learning every dance in the book every morning, it just was a part of my blood, it was a part of everything that I did, it’s a part of everything I do now moving forward.
“Just having that mindset of never fearing anything and never backing down from anything, because you need to have that tough layer of skin playing football. You have to be tough, you have to understand what you need to get through the next phase, even at the professional level. Having that Hispanic background really taught me to be tough and have thick skin.”
Cruz tallied a number of accomplishments in his career with the Giants, racking up 4,549 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns over the span of 70 games. He also played an instrumental role in the 2011-12 Super Bowl run, his breakout season.