One of baseball’s most notable promotions is back in 2017, as the Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) have unveiled their Fresno Tacos uniforms.
To be worn on every Tuesday home game as part of Taco Tuesday, the uniforms expand on the zarape-print theme, which was introduced last season as a special uniform for Taco Truck Throwdown 6. The zarape-billed caps are returning along side new “tacos script” jerseys with the pattern trimmed on the sleeves.
In addition to unveiling the uniforms, the Grizzlies announced their purchase of the Taco Emoji. The transaction makes official that the taco emoji is secure as property of the Central Valley, a.k.a. the Taco Capital of the United States of America.
“This is another flag in the ground to pay homage to taco culture in the Central Valley, and cement Fresno as the Taco Capital of this country,” said Fresno Grizzlies/Fresno Tacos general manager Derek Franks. “We will be very good keepers of our newly adopted emoji- in fact, we encourage as many people as possible to use it. It’s available to borrow from us for free at all times, forever. We wouldn’t have been able to live with ourselves if Taco Bell had ended up adopting it. Now it’s home where it belongs in Fresno.”
The emoji was acquired with a tax-deductible donation of $5,000 to The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit 501(c)(3) which works to make modern software and computing systems accessible to people in all languages, worldwide. Says Unicode.org:
The Unicode Consortium enables people around the world to use computers in any language. Our freely-available specifications and data form the foundation for software internationalization in all major operating systems, search engines, applications, and the World Wide Web. An essential part of our mission is to educate and engage academic and scientific communities, and the general public.
Donations to The Unicode Consortium fund the development of fonts, keyboards and input methods for under-resourced languages, and the development of mobile applications in languages of developing countries with limited Internet access, bridging the digital divide. With the Grizzlies/Tacos adopting the taco emoji at the “Gold” level, their position as the top steward of the mark is permanent.
The taco emoji was first introduced in 2015 after Taco Bell began a petition to have it added in 2014. While the taco community is indebted to them for that effort, should Taco Bell or any other restaurant (Chipotle, Del Taco, etc.) wish to officially “own” the taco emoji, the Grizzlies have it listed at a re-sale price of $1 million dollars (think Dr. Evil from Austin Powers). The first $5,000 of the million would be spent on a wardrobe of ponchos and hats for Cilantro Gomez, mascot for the Fresno Tacos. The remaining $995,000 would be directed to local Central Valley charities, initiatives spearheaded by the Fresno Grizzlies Community Fund and The Unicode Consortium.
“We’re here in the taco capital, and the taco emoji looks like a legit taco truck taco now,” said Grizzlies director of marketing Sam Hansen. “While it’s thrilling to preserve the emoji for the Valley, if someone wants it back for a million bucks, we’d sure put that money to good use in the place that does tacos better than anywhere else on Earth.”
As an added bonus to fans, anyone who shows a tweet composed from their account containing “#FresnoTacos” and the taco emoji at the Fresno Grizzlies Team Store will earn 15% off each Fresno Tacos item they purchase. The discount also applies to any Grizzlies/Tacos emoji shirt or cap.