We’ll see a pretty cool what-if promo from the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) on June 10, as the team will take the field at Southwest University Park as the El Paso Desert Gators.
What-if promos have soared in popularity in recent years, as teams reach into the archives to the time when fans were asked to weigh in on their favorite monikers. Now, there’s no doubt that Chihuahuas was the right name for El Paso, but bringing back Desert Gators for a one-night run (and probably longer in the team store) is a fun move for fans. GM Brad Taylor was instrumental in launching what-if nights when he was GM of the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Low A; Midwest League): in 2009 the team made news when they took the field as the Cave Shrimp, a finalist in the Hot Rod’s name the team contest.
“This is all about having fun with an alternate reality,” Taylor said. “For a night, fans can know ‘What Could Have Been’ as we embrace the Desert Gators.”
The search for El Paso Triple-A Baseball’s team name began with a community-wide effort, allowing the region’s fans to submit names through the El Paso Triple-A website. The short list of finalists included Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Chihuahuas, Desert Gators, and Sun Dogs. The list was narrowed based on creativity, marketability, fun, relevance to El Paso’s unique character and the ability to trademark the name.
Since their debut more than two years ago, the Chihuahuas have had more than 1-million fans walk through the Southwest University Park gates; sold merchandise in all 50 states and over 10 countries; rank first in Minor League Baseball on social media on Facebook with 129,000 followers, more than 46,000 followers on Twitter and 30,000 followers on Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube combined; have contributed more than 1,100 community service hours; Chico, the brand’s mascot has made more than 1,000 community appearances; and have given more than $500,000 in charitable donations including jersey auctions.
“By living the brand, we have been able to do many positive things with our amazing community partners and fans,” said Taylor. “The love this town shows its team is unparalleled.”