The folks at Tico Sports broadcast every game in Spanish on the radio Matt McMullen
The phrase booms over the airwaves, foreign in language but undeniably clear in meaning. The Kansas City Chiefs have just found the end zone, and while dozens of broadcasters and journalists describe the play to the masses, this particular call is meant exclusively for those who wish to hear the action in Spanish.
This is the mission of Tico Sports, the organization responsible for translating the euphoria of professional football to the Spanish-speaking community over the radio. It’s one thing to follow the game, but it’s another to feel fully immersed in the hysteria that is an NFL game day, and that’s exactly what Tico is striving to achieve with some of the Chiefs’ newest fans on a daily basis.
“What we want to provide is a good experience for the Spanish-speaking audience here in Kansas City and anywhere that Chiefs’ fans are,” said Oscar Monterroso, the Founder of Tico Sports and color commentator on game day. “Most importantly, we want to provide it in their own language.”
Monterroso, who’s been calling Chiefs’ games on the radio since 2010, founded Tico back in 2016 and has seen it grow substantially in the time since. In fact, the company now brings the action to life across the country for three NFL teams and two college programs.
There’s clearly a market for what Monterroso and his team are doing here in Kansas City, which is providing a service that chooses not to simply translate English broadcasts but rather deliver it in an authentic way that mirrors the enthusiasm present in Spanish broadcasts of soccer games.
“It’s important to bring the game to them in their native language because there’s a lot that can be lost in translation. We call the game as it happens – we’re not translating from English – and with that, we’re able to add more of a unique flavor in our description,” Monterroso explained. “Growing up, soccer was our sport, and when you listen to those games, the way they describe every play and how they use their words is so precise that it’s like listening to a poem. That’s the beauty of it and it truly embraces the Spanish language.”
Monterroso brings that same energy to Chiefs’ broadcasts every Sunday alongside a team that includes play-by-play announcer Kike Morales – the man responsible for belting “anotacion” – sideline reporter Hannah Bassham and a host of behind-the-scenes folks who produce, take photos, and run social media.
It’s a tremendous crew who channels their collective passion for football into each and every broadcast, and it shows.
“We have such a great team here and we just want to share the energy and the passion that we have in the booth. We feed off of it,” Monterroso said. “As soon as the game starts, we’re going at it and we’re just waiting for the great plays and touchdowns that we can describe to our audience. We really get into the game.”
That energy has been a trademark of Monterroso’s throughout his career and dates all the way back to the initial demo that landed him a spot on the radio waves in the first place 11 years ago. That demo – which featured Monterroso calling big moments underneath game footage on YouTube – landed him a job that’s grown into a national brand and has sent him to multiple Super Bowls.
It’s truly a realization of the American Dream, and as Tico Sports continues to grow in what it can achieve for an entirely new demographic of fans, Monterroso is enjoying every second of the ride.
“When I was a little kid in Costa Rica, if you told me I’d be at the Super Bowl doing color commentary on the radio, I’d say you’re crazy. Keep dreaming,” Monterroso said. “No, it happened, and we’re looking forward to going back.”
Catch Tico Sports’ broadcasts on KRPS 103.3 FM, the Chiefs Mobile App, via NFL Game Pass or at Tico-Sports.com/ChiefsEspanol.