Colombian bombshell Sofia Vergara is laughing all the way to the bank.
According to Forbes magazine, Vergara is the highest paid woman on television. She made $ 19 million over the past 12 months thanks to her clothing line at K-Mart, endorsement deals, and her role in Emmy Award-winning ABC sitcom “Modern Family.” But don’t be fooled: she is not doing it alone.
For the past 16 years, the sassy actress and her business partner, Luis Balaguer, have built a Miami licensing, marketing, production and new-media powerhouse called Latin World Entertainment.
A source inside the firm says that the 2011 revenue alone was at $27 million, reported Forbes. The clients include Disney and Paramount; their YouTube channel, called NuevOn, which sold out inventory to Procter &Gamble through 2013; and many others.
“The truth is out that we’re in this country and we’re taking over,” said Vergara to Forbes. “To see people paying attention to the cultural changes that Luis and I have seen coming for a long time is fantastic.”
After the 2010 census, marketers and media companies began to realize the tremendous cultural change the country has been having and will have in the future. The Latino demographic commands an estimated $1 trillion in spending power.
“Because they have the relationship with a tremendous amount of talent within the Latin space, they’ve become a comprehensive partner that allows us to achieve a scale in the Hispanic market,” Amy Spiridakis, the director of marketing for Diet Pepsi, told Forbes.
Vergara’s immense success will not stop there. Her company is planning a new venture: an e-commerce platform. They are teaming up with Univision to connect fans with TV talent, which is anticipated to boost Latin World Entertainment’s revenue in 2012.
K-Mart also paid Vergara a $ 7 million advance for her clothing line, which tells a lot about Kmart’s interest to reach the Hispanic market.
The starlet is sure enjoying her success, as she flew in her 108 family and friends, including her Modern Family co-stars, to a fun in the sun 40th birthday celebration in Mexico.
Vergara is a social media guru; she is a very active tweeter and always gives an inside scoop of her life to her 2 million followers. The actress also uses her YouTube page, NuevOn, as a way to connect with her fans. Recently she posted an exclusive video of her birthday celebration on the site.
Even though Vergara is now on top, she had humble beginnings and worked her way up to get to where she is. In 1995, Vergara traveled from Colombia to host Univision’s “Fuera de Serie,” and from then on began her long career in the states.
“In the 1990s there was a lot of Hispanic talent working for Univision but nobody to represent us,” says Vergara.
Vergara had a hard time finding a manager, so she paid an intern to help her out while she searched for a representative. But, in 1996, Vergara met veteran talent-manager Balaguer and their long-term business partnership began.
The actress has also managed to become a crossover sensation as she represents her Latino roots in Hollywood as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in ABC’s “Modern Family.”
“I can’t think of anyone on U.S. television with such a thick accent since Ricky Ricardo,” Vergara told Forbes with a big smile.
Eva Longoria is also on the list of highest paid TV actresses, trailing behind in third place, with an average of $15 million for her role on ABC’s Desperate Housewives. She also has $5 million endorsement deals with L’Oreal and Pepsi Next. Her cookbook, two fragrances, and small movie roles will sure add up for her 2012 earnings.
Latina stars are starting to get noticed and media empires are running to get a piece of the success.