On Tuesday, March 20, the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) revealed the on-field identities of the 33 teams participating in its new “Copa de la Diversión” (“Fun Cup”) season-long event series this season. “Copa de la Diversión” serves as a key component of MiLB’s “Es Divertido Ser Un Fan” (“It’s Fun to be A Fan”) Hispanic fan engagement initiative.
I must admit, I thought it was pretty ironic that the acronym for the Minor League is MiLB, because I certainly read it in Spanish (Mi = My).
And some of the names are pretty catchy, while others are not impressive. However, I’m happy the MiLB consulted with civic organizations to create these culturally–relevant on–field personas that honor their respective U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities.
Example team names include:
- Daytona Tortugas (Tortugas de Daytona)
- Sacramento River Cats (Sacramento Dorados)
- San Antonio Missions (San Antonio Flying Chanclas)
MiLB also introduced a new, “Copa”-specific website – MiLB.com/Copa – featuring each participating team’s unique identity and the story behind its selected on-field persona, and links for fans to purchase and pre-order any of the on-field caps, branded apparel and tickets to the “Copa” ballpark events.
“Sports teams symbolize their respective community’s uniqueness, often adopting nicknames and logos depicting these special traits,” said Kurt Hunzeker, MiLB’s Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Research. “MiLB and the participating teams embraced this creative approach when developing the ‘Copa de la Diversión’ brand identities, and the final designs reflect the unique characteristics of each team’s fan base while staying true to MiLB’s one-of-a-kind brand of fan-centric fun.”
I actually would love to see the MLB do this nationwide. And now that I’m thinking more about this, I’ve seen the NBA teams wear Spanish-language jerseys once or twice on the court. Kudos to the MiLB not announcing this during Hispanic Heritage Month, because it seems as though that’s the only time national organizations announce any Hispanic/Latino initiative.