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Archive for March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019 — A widening promotion

Yesterday, the group of leagues forming Minor League Baseball announced that it had gotten 72 of its teams — about a quarter of teams with a professional development agreement with a major league team — to go along with targeted marketing to Latinx peoples in the United States.

The Copa de la Diversion involves the rebranding of these 72 teams into Spanish-language names from Bradenton, Fla. to Eugene, Ore. Some are direct translations of their English monikers, such as the Kane County Cougars and the Trenton Thunder (or, in Spanish, El Trueno).

The uniforms and nicknames are colorful and could be slightly controversial. There’s the appropriation of imagery from Mexican culture, like the sugar skull, and there’s the outright rebranding of one team, the Lansing Lugnuts, as “The Crazies.”

I also find it interesting that two of the teams — the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Florida Fire Frogs — have adopted the Puerto Rican tree frog, the Coqui, as their mascots.

But, given the fact that you’re seeing an entire generation of young people not taking up baseball, especially Latinx kids taking up soccer, this is something that was bound to happen.