It’s a repeat for the Albuquerque Isotopes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), whose adopted Mariachis de Nuevo México branding has won Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión for the second-straight season. The announcement was made this morning at the Baseball Winter Meetings Opening Session.
The cornerstone of MiLB’s Es Divertido Ser Un Fan (It’s Fun to be A Fan) Hispanic fan engagement initiative, Copa de la Diversión (“Copa”) established an innovative new platform authentically connecting MiLB teams with their diverse communities, embracing the culture and values that resonate most with U.S. Hispanics nationwide. A total of 72 MiLB teams participated in Copa in 2019 – up from 33 in 2018 – with the program expanding to 92 teams in 2020.
MiLB’s Hispanic Leadership and Community Growth Council, comprised of leaders in multicultural academia, media and marketing, selected the winner based on the team that best achieved the primary objectives of the Copa event series. Those objectives included increasing awareness, engagements and attendance with U.S. Hispanics in its local community; embracing the U.S. Hispanic culture that is passionate about baseball, family and fun by updating its ballpark experience and community outreach to reflect the values this specific fan segment values most; creating and embracing culturally-relevant on-field personas that authentically connect the team with its local U.S. Hispanic community; and amplifying MiLB’s continuous effort to diversify the game and business of baseball.
According to the team’s brand story, “Mariachi bands, like baseball, provide the colorful soundtrack of peoples’ lives. Mariachis represent celebrations and shared experiences for family and friends; the very fabric of Minor League Baseball. By re-branding to the Mariachis, the team honors the function of these musicians, celebrates their heritage, and provides a communal bonding experience over dance, attire and music.”
To claim their back-to-back campeones of Copa de la Diversión status, the Mariachis de Nuevo México excelled across several business units throughout the Copa event series, including:
- Contributing more than $200,000 to local Hispanic organizations, while partnering with a dozen local Hispanic community organizations;
- Experiencing notable attendance increases; a nearly 15% YOY increase in attendance for Copa- designated games compared to the same day part in 2018, while average attendance for Copa games were 55% larger than the average attendance for non-Copa games in 2019;
- Netting the largest retail revenue generated from licensed products (in-park and online);
- Remaining in the top two participating teams with the highest commercial partnership revenue; and
- Investing the most marketing dollars into its Copa-specific campaign amongst all participating teams
The other Copa finalists were: Veleros de Columbus (Columbus Clippers) Monarcas de Eugene (Eugene Emeralds), Reyes de Plata de Las Vegas (Las Vegas Aviators), and Toros de Visalia (Visalia Rawhide).
“All 72 participating teams did the impossible of raising the bar across all facets to authentically engage with the local Hispanic communities, inside and outside the ballpark, while creating a healthy competition between teams,” said Cory Bernstine, director of marketing strategy & research for Minor League Baseball. “The task of selecting one winner was not an easy one, yet the Mariachis de Nuevo Mexico demonstrated how Copa has been a breakthrough initiative that impacts many people throughout the Albuquerque community.”
Currently, Minor League Baseball has two commercial partners tied to Copa, ECHO Incorporated and Nationwide, as well as a philanthropic partner in the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA).