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Mariachis take the top prize

Albuquerque Isotopes general manager John Traub poses with the trophy the organization won from Minor League Baseball for its Mariachis de Nuevo Mexico campaign for diversity.

An Albuquerque Isotopes alter ego has won a major award from Minor League Baseball. And, no, it’s not the Green Chile Cheeseburgers.

Yet, for the Isotopes organization, the selection of the Mariachis de Nuevo México as the winner of MiLB’s inaugural Copa de La Diversión (Fun Cup) event series is delicious in its own right.

Albuquerque, which adopted the moniker Mariachis de Nuevo México for the Latino-focused event series, won the vote from MiLB’s new Latinx (Latino/Latina) Advisory Committee composed of leaders in multicultural academia, media and marketing. The announcement was made Monday morning at the opening session of the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.

The cornerstone of MiLB’s Es Divertido Ser Un Fan (It’s Fun to be a Fan) Hispanic/Latino fan engagement initiative, Copa de la Diversión (“Copa”) established a new platform connecting MiLB teams with their diverse communities, embracing the culture and values that resonate most with Hispanics/Latinos nationwide. Thirty-three teams adopted culturally-relevant on-field personas and integrated more local flavor into their game-day experiences for designated games.

MiLB’s Latinx Advisory Committee was tasked to select the winner based on the team that best achieved the primary objectives of the Copa event series: increasing awareness, authentic engagements and attendance with U.S. Hispanics/Latinos in its local community; embracing U.S. Hispanic/Latino community and culture by updating its ballpark experience to match the values this specific fan segment cherishes most; creating and embracing culturally relevant on-field personas that authentically connect the team with its local U.S. Hispanic/Latino community; and amplifying MiLB’s continuous effort to diversify the game and business of baseball nationwide.

The Mariachis de Nuevo México demonstrated a dominant performance throughout the Copa event series by:

• Investing the most marketing dollars into its Copa-specific campaign amongst all participating Copa teams;

• Setting a single-game attendance record (16,975) for its first-ever Mariachis game on May 5, 2018;

• Leading all Copa-participating teams in most attendees gained per game, averaging 5,000 more attendees each Copa game compared to similar dates in 2017;

• Partnering with the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce and raising more than $7,500 for the Chamber’s Education Excellence Scholarship Program;

• Netting the largest net revenue gain from licensed product sales; and

• Generating the most commercial partnership revenue based solely on Copa programming

The other Copa finalists were: Monarcas de Eugene (Eugene Emeralds), Cucuys de San Bernardino (Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino), Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City (Oklahoma City Dodgers) and the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio (San Antonio Missions), as was announced in a press release last week. ​

In September, Minor League Baseball announced it is expanding Copa de la Diversión for the 2019 season to include 72 teams and more than 350 Copa-designated games. The new Copa identities will be unveiled in March 2019.

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