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Isotopes step up game for Mariachis de Nuevo México

Albuquerque Isotopes mascot Orbit, left, poses next to an oversized Mariachi de Nuevo México bobblehead on Monday.

Envision a parade of low riders rolling into Isotopes Park one night.

How about a Selena look-a-like contest on a different night at the place nicknamed “the Lab,” that transforms into “the Plaza?”

On another night, the first 3,000 fans receive a Ballet Folklorico Bobblehead, which features a dancer in a Día de los Muertos theme that will have a bobble-dress.

These are among the events and items the Albuquerque Isotopes are offering to step up their marketing game for the Mariachis de Nuevo México that was so successful last year.

On Monday, John Traub, the Isotopes general manager, introduced the media and others to the Mariachis de Nuevo México new look and promotions for the upcoming season.

“What are we doing to make things bigger and better?” Traub asked. “That is always a challenge for us.”

Last year, the Mariachis de Nuevo México won the inaugural Copa de la Diversíon, “Fun Cup,” because they were the best among 33 minor league teams to achieve the objectives of increasing awareness, authentic engagements and attendance with U.S. Hispanics and Latinos in its local communities.

The Mariachis de Nuevo México had four games last year at Isotopes Park, averaging nearly 14,000 fans per contest. They drew a single-game attendance record crowd of 16,975 for its first Mariachis game on May 5.

This year, they will not have a Cinco de Mayo home game, but there will be five contests when the Isotopes will become the Mariachis.

Their new look? That consists of adding turqoise, the color of the New Mexico state gem, to its logo.

They will have a give-away for four of the five home games for the Mariachis de Nuevo México — fleece blanket on April 6; piñata on June 25; adult jersey on July 19; and the Ballet Folklórico Bobblehead on Aug. 11. There will be a fireworks show after the game on May 18.

That Selena look-a-like contest takes place on July 19, and the low riders are expected to be taking over Isotopes Park on Aug. 11.

Last year’s Mariachis bobblehead was well received. The organization responded with an oversized bobblehead that will be on the concourse for picture taking.

For the second straight year, the Mariachis are partnering with the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce. Last year, the Isotopes/Mariachis raised $7,500 for the chamber’s scholarship program.

Ernie C’ de Baca, the Hispano chamber president, who was in attendance at Monday’s press conference, said the chamber will present a scholarship in the Isotopes/Mariachis name during a banquet on April 27.

C’ de Baca said he wanted to be the first to purchase the Mariachis de Nuevo México five-pack ticket special of $70 for a box seat at each of the games. He also wanted to be the first to apply for and receive a Rio Grande Credit Union credit card with the Mariachis de Nuevo México logo on it.

C’ de Baca said the Mariachis games can be, “a huge event every year,” and he commended the Isotopes for acknowledging diversity while celebrating the Hispanic culture in winning the Copa de la Diversíon.

Last year’s success of Mariachis and the other “Copa” clubs led to the series being expanded to 72 teams this season. Next year, 25 more teams are expected to join.