The inaugural campaign in 2018 far exceeded community impact, fan engagement and game attendance projections, earning numerous awards and recognitions for its authentic approach to engaging with Hispanic communities nationwide. In 2018, Copa de la Diversión games drew significantly larger crowds – 24.4 percent larger – than non-Copa games. Overall attendance for the Copa-designated games was 12.6 percent more than attendance for the same dates in 2017.
On Monday, Sports Business Journal unveiled its 2019 Sports Business Award nominees, naming Minor League Baseball: Copa de la Diversión one of four finalists for its “Sports Breakthrough of the Year” award, with winners to be announced at the Sports Business Awards on May 22 in New York City.
“We worked for more than three years researching and developing the Copa de la Diversión platform, and we knew that if we built an authentic, culturally-relevant campaign, our entire fan base – not just Hispanic fans – would embrace it,” said Kurt Hunzeker, Minor League Baseball’s vice president of marketing strategy and research. “The way Copa resonated with our communities almost immediately after we started unveiling the identities last year truly signaled that our focus, direction and execution was correct. The positive fan feedback coupled with the quantifiable increases in key metrics helped shape our strategy as we prepare for more ‘divertido’ this season.”
Building off the inaugural season’s successes, all 33 MiLB teams that participated in Copa last year are returning in 2019, joining 39 additional teams seeking to strengthen their connections with Hispanic fans in their respective communities. By the end of this week, all 72 participating Copa teams will have held unveiling events showcasing their culturally-relevant on-field personas honoring the local Hispanic community. Each participating team will adopt these new personas via on-field jerseys and caps during 397 Copa-designated games throughout the 2019 season.
MiLB also introduced a new, Copa-specific website featuring each participating team’s unique identity, the story behind its Hispanic on-field persona and links for fans to purchase tickets to the Copa ballpark events and order merchandise, including on-field caps, T-shirts and other branded apparel.
The participating MiLB teams unveiling Copa de la Diversión brand identities this week are listed below in alpha order. Teams listed in blue debuted in 2018, while those in red are identities new to the program in 2019.
The 397-game event series begins on April 5 with four games being played in Columbus, Ohio; Lexington, Kentucky; Richmond, Virginia; and Lancaster, California.
As a direct result of Copa’s immense success in 2018, MiLB announced an agreement with ECHO Incorporated making it the “Official Outdoor Power Tool of MiLB” and the “Official Outdoor Power Tool of Copa de la Diversión” (“Herramienta Oficial de la Copa de la Diversión”) last November. Additionally, MiLB announced in December a partnership with the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) to become an “Official Charity of MiLB Copa de la Diversión,” making it the first-ever philanthropic partner tied specifically to MiLB’s Hispanic fan engagement initiative.
About Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the United States, Canada, and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball® clubs through their farm systems. In 2018, Minor League Baseball attracted nearly 40.5 million fans to its ballparks to see baseball’s future stars and experience affordable family-friendly entertainment that has been a staple of Minor League Baseball since 1901. Visit www.MiLB.com, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Mary Marandi or Jeff Lantz, Minor League Baseball, Communications@MiLB.com
Chanel Zapata, Minor League Baseball, CZapata@MiLB.com
SOURCE Minor League Baseball
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