Minor League Baseball's "Copa de la Diversión" Hispanic Fan Engagement Initiative Expands to 72 Teams for 2019
"Copa"-specific game attendance increased 12.6 percent during inaugural 33-team campaign
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today revealed an expanded roster of 72 teams set to participate in its "Copa de la Diversión," or "Fun Cup," a season-long event series in 2019. The cornerstone of MiLB's U.S. Hispanic/Latino fan engagement initiative, "Copa de la Diversión" established an innovative new platform authentically connecting MiLB teams with their diverse communities, embracing the culture and values that resonate most with Hispanics/Latinos nationwide.
From adopting culturally-relevant on-field personas – such as the Albuquerque Isotopes transforming into the "Mariachis de Nuevo México," and the San Antonio Missions celebrating sandal-wielding matriarchs as the "Flying Chanclas de San Antonio" – to integrating more local flavor into their gameday experiences, the 33 teams who dedicated 167 games as "Copa de la Diversión"-designated events reported a 12.6 percent attendance increase compared to similar game dates in 2017.
Retail sales of "Copa"-specific licensed merchandise via MiLB ballparks' team stores and MiLB teams' online stores far exceeded participating teams' preseason goals, with current sales projected to be more than 500 percent higher than pre-campaign estimates. MiLB will report final "Copa de la Diversión" results at the Baseball Winter Meetings™ in Las Vegas this December.
"The initial 'Copa de la Diversión' results and overwhelmingly positive feedback suggest that our fans are embracing the passion and commitment our teams have poured into this transformative campaign," said Kurt Hunzeker, MiLB's Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Research. "We listened and learned from fans what we could do better next year, and those insights will help frame how our expanded 'Copa' teams plan, prepare and activate fan engagement and marketing efforts celebrating their communities in 2019."
All 33 teams who participated in the inaugural 2018 campaign will return for the expanded 2019 edition. The new "Copa de la Diversión" teams will bring the total number of states represented to 29 and includes a diverse mix of market sizes and community demographics. The teams are: the Arkansas Travelers, Bradenton Marauders, Carolina Mudcats, Charleston RiverDogs, Chattanooga Lookouts, Clinton LumberKings, Columbia Fireflies, Columbus Clippers, Delmarva Shorebirds, Down East Wood Ducks, Erie SeaWolves, Florida Fire Frogs, Fresno Grizzlies, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Gwinnett Stripers, Hickory Crawdads, Iowa Cubs, Lake County Captains, Lakewood BlueClaws, Lancaster JetHawks, Lansing Lugnuts, Lexington Legends, Louisville Bats, Midland RockHounds, Modesto Nuts, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Nashville Sounds, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Norfolk Tides, Reading Fightin Phils, Reno Aces, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Salem Red Sox, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Tacoma Rainiers, Trenton Thunder, Tri-City Dust Devils, West Michigan Whitecaps and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
All new culturally-relevant "Copa de la Diversión" on-field brands will be unveiled in March 2019. For more information on "Copa de la Diversión," visit MiLB.com/Copa.
About Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, 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. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2018, Minor League Baseball attracted nearly 40.5 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information, visit www.MiLB.com.
TO COMMEMORATE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE STONEWALL UPRISING;
YANKEES TO CELEBRATE LGBTQ PRIDE IN 2019
The New York Yankees today announced the creation of the Yankees-Stonewall Scholars Initiative to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising and celebrate the achievements of New York City Public School graduating seniors who have demonstrated academic achievement, a commitment to equality and impactful support for the LGBTQ community.
The Yankees-Stonewall initiative will provide $50,000 worth of scholarships through five $10,000 college scholarships to be presented to one student from each of the five boroughs of New York City. The scholarships are intended to allow these students the resources to fulfill their educational and career goals. The selection process will be conducted by the New York City Department of Education with public high schools being able to nominate one graduating senior from each school for selection. Further details regarding the nomination process will be announced by the N.Y.C. Department of Education at a later date.
The implementation of the Yankees-Stonewall Scholars Initiative is a result of a collaboration between the New York Yankees, Stonewall Inn, N.Y.C. Department of Education and N.Y.C. Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
“Through this initiative we are proud to recognize the profound historical impact of Stonewall and celebrate the many meaningful contributions of the LGBTQ community,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “The Yankees wholeheartedly support equality for all individuals and applaud any efforts which make our society more inclusive and tolerant. It is our hope that this scholarship program will serve as a springboard for young LGBTQ student community members and advocates as they continue the pursuit of their dreams, ambitions and livelihoods.”
“The Stonewall Inn represents the very place where gay pride began, and we are extremely excited that the New York Yankees will be an official partner of ours and the upcoming 50th anniversary of Stonewall,” said Stacy Lentz, co-owner of the Stonewall Inn and Founder of the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative. “Their support of the Stonewall legacy is a historic step and we look forward to continuing our work together to elevate awareness and support for full LGBTQ equality.”
The recipients of the awards will be celebrated at a game at Yankee Stadium during the Yankees' homestand from June 17-26, 2019. Events at Yankee Stadium will include representatives from the LGBTQ community, New York City Department of Education, New York City government and Stonewall Inn.
“This tremendous show of support by the New York Yankees is going to have an incredible impact for students who have given so much to their schools and communities,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “I look forward to meeting these exceptional students in June.”
During 2019, the Yankees will hold other LGBTQ community-themed commemorations, the details of which will be announced during the 2019 season.
“The Stonewall Inn here in New York City is the home of the LGBTQ Civil Rights Movement, and it is heartwarming to see the New York Yankees support the next generation of LGBTQ civil rights leaders,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “The Yankees-Stonewall Initiative is a beautiful way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and another demonstration of the Yankees’ commitment to the LGBTQ community. No matter which team you root for, you have to cheer for this move by the New York Yankees.”
Each summer, New York City hosts NYC Pride, which includes its famed Pride March. In 2019, New York will simultaneously be the home of WorldPride 2019, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. This sixth edition of WorldPride will be the first held in the United States and the second held in North America. The event, also branded "Stonewall50," is headlined by the theme "Millions of Moments of Pride," representing the invaluable and countless experiences every person encounters during annual celebrations and commemorations around the world.
A Series of New Commercials Show the Lengths Players Will Go for the Perfect Touchdown Celebrations
NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Football League (NFL) premieres a new multi-platform ad campaign "Get Ready to Celebrate" to kick off the new season on Sunday Night Football's heated matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys on 9/16.
The campaign, created by Grey New York, hones in on the popularity and creativity of the touchdown celebrations sweeping the league. With the pressure on to shine, players reach out to high-powered celebrity coaches from Hollywood and elsewhere to polish up their end zone prowess.
In Sunday's debut spot, one unlikely coach, Andy Garcia, the Oscar-nominated actor from "The Godfather Part III," is enlisted by Toddy Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams. Garcia channels his inner tough guy, complete with mysterious burner phone, and provides unexpected musical advice for the running back's touchdown performance. (Burner Phone :30).
In a second spot, J.B. Smoove, the comedian best known for HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "SNL," teams up with Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers. In a fast-talking monologue he advises the running back to unleash his best Panther animal magnetism during the touchdown dance. (Catwalk :30) The commercial airs online and ingame later in the season.
Sam Howard, Director of NFL Advertising, said, "Celebrations have become something our fans look forward to, something new to savor after a score."
New commercials will feature even more celebrity coaches helping players crack their celebrations as the season unfolds. The integrated campaign, part of a broader League and media effort focusing on the joy of touchdown celebrations, includes online video, social media, public relations and team activations as well as network television.
A teaser ad, already airing, is a light-hearted tribute to players who use their precious free time to up their celebration game (Get Ready To Celebrate). The spot features Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Eagles), Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers), Todd Gurley(Los Angeles Rams) and DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans). Their competitive spirit makes up for what they lack in dance skills.
Last season set the bar high for touchdown celebrations as immortalized by the NFL's "Dirty Dancing" parody starring Odell Beckham, Jr. and Eli Manning. The commercial, which aired on Super Bowl LII, became one of the big game's most famous commercials ever (Super Bowl LII Touchdown Celebration)
New Era Cap lanza la segunda edición anual de la Hispanic Heritage Collection en honor del Mes de la Herencia Hispana
20 universidades lanzarán la línea el 15 de septiembre
INDIANAPOLIS, 14 de septiembre de 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Learfield Licensing Partners, una agencia de gestión de marcas comerciales que se especializa en licencias y marcas, anuncia, junto con New Era Cap, la vuelta de la Hispanic Heritage Collection en honor del Mes de la Herencia Hispana. El segundo año de esta colaboración ha añadido más que tres veces más universidades, incluyendo la Universidad de Texas y la Universidad del Sur de California, y tres artistas adicionales de todo el país. Además de la nueva línea de sombreros, New Era Cap y 289c han añadido prendas de vestir para cada artista.
"Tuvimos una respuesta tan increíble de nuestros socios y sus aficionados el año pasado que fue una progresión natural expandirnos a nuevas universidades, ciudades y artistas talentosos adicionales", dijo Ben Emmons, vicepresidente de marketing en Learfield Licensing Partners. "Este programa no se trata solo de aumentar las regalías, sino hacer crecer las marcas de nuestros socios y aprovechar la conexión a sus estudiantes y aficionados diversos, y fortalecer al mismo tiempo las relaciones con las comunidades locales".
Al desarrollar la línea, cada artista tenía total independencia creativa con el arte, la construcción y las telas. Los sombreros inspirados en shorts de baño de ABSTRK de Miami, los sombreros de tinta reflectante para murales ciclistas nocturnos de Los Otros, y el "sombrero vaquero moderno" de Federico son ejemplos de la línea inspirada por los artistas.
El marketing minorista y activaciones están previstos durante el mes para destacar la colección única e involucrar a la comunidad. Eventos recientes para la Hispanic Heritage Collection:
Una fiesta de lanzamiento en SprATX en Austin, Texas, con el artista Federico Archuleta - video
La instalación de un mural fuera del estadio de la Universidad de Houston con los artistas Daniel Anguilu y Nacho durante el partido de fútbol contra Arizona el 8 de septiembre de 2018 - video
Nuevos artistas que se unen a la Hispanic Heritage Collection de 2018:
ABSTRK -- un cubanoamericano nacido en Miami conocido por su grafiti y obras de bellas artes tradicionales. El trabajo de ABSTRK consiste en formas extraídas de los contornos y la estructura de las letras, así como las bellas artes tradicionales.
Federico Archuleta – criado en la ciudad fronteriza de El Paso y actualmente un residente de Austin, Texas, su trabajo está influido por culturas de ambos lados de la frontera que se ha descrito acertadamente como 'graffiti western'.
Ignacio Sanchez "Nacho" – de Houston, Texas, el arte de Nacho se extiende a través de paredes y otros medios.
De regreso de la colección aclamada del año pasado serán Mister Cartoon, David Flores, Los Otros y Daniel Anguilu. Para obtener más información sobre los artistas con videos y para ver la línea completa, visite http://bit.ly/HH_artists.
La colección estará disponible en Fanatics, Follett, Barnes & Noble, LIDS, Academy, las librerías en las universidades respectivas, mistercartoon.com, SprATX, y otros minoristas del nicho.
Las escuelas que participan en la Hispanic Heritage Collection
Universidad de California, Berkeley
Universidad de California, Irvine
Universidad Estatal de California, Long Beach
Universidad Estatal de California, San Bernardino
Universidad Florida Atlantic
Universidad de Houston
Universidad de Nevada, Las Vegas
Universidad de Nuevo México
Universidad Nova Southeastern
Universidad Estatal Sam Houston
Universidad Estatal de San Diego
Universidad Estatal de San Francisco
Universidad Estatal de San José
Universidad Estatal de Texas
Universidad del Sur de California
Universidad de Texas, Arlington
Universidad de Texas, Austin
Universidad de Texas, El Paso
Universidad de Texas, Río Grande
Universidad de Texas, San Antonio
Acerca de Learfield Licensing Partners
Learfield Licensing Partners es una empresa de licencias de clase mundial cuyos servicios y éxito coinciden perfectamente con la historia, la fortaleza y la reputación de Learfield. Con tecnología líder de la industria y un dinámico equipo de expertos en licencias y marcas, proporcionamos la mejores prácticas y estrategias para proteger y promover apropiadamente las marcas de nuestros clientes, y construir asociaciones que ayuden a nuestros clientes a prosperar, con recursos y estrategias para el crecimiento de Learfield.
Learfield, que tiene una profunda presencia en el panorama del atletismo universitario, gestiona los derechos sobre contenidos multimedios y patrocinios para más de 125 instituciones universitarias, conferencias y estadios, y apoya los departamentos de atletismo a todos los niveles competitivos como patrocinador titular de la Learfield Directors' Cup. Durante más de cuatro décadas, Learfield ha conectado marcas a la emoción, pasión, tradición, diversión y los aficionados de los deportes universitarios y ahora aprovecha múltiples plataformas y asociaciones a través de distintas ofertas por medio de sus compañías filiales.
Acerca de New Era Cap
New Era Cap Co., Inc. es una marca internacional de estilo de vida con un auténtico patrimonio deportivo que remonta a más de 90 años. Mejor conocida por ser la gorra oficial en el campo de juego de las Grandes Ligas de Beisbol y la Liga Nacional de Fútbol, New Era Cap es la marca preferida no solo por su colección de sombreros, sino también por sus accesorios y líneas de ropa para hombres, mujeres y jóvenes. La marca es usada como un símbolo de la autoexpresión por atletas, artistas y algunas de las personas más interesantes del mundo. New Era Cap alienta a las personas a expresar verdaderamente su estilo personal e individualidad a través de sus productos. La empresa tiene su sede en Búfalo, Nueva York, y opera instalaciones en Canadá, Europa, Brasil, Japón y Hong Kong. Para más información, visite www.neweracap.com.
MLB CELEBRATES HISPANIC AND LATINO CULTURE & CONTRIBUTIONS THROUGHOUT SEPTEMBER IN RECOGNITION OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
Month-Long Salute Includes New Stickball Tournament, Creative Campaign Highlighting the Journey of “Ponle Acento,” First Ever ‘PLAY BALL’ Activation in Panama, Pregame and In-Game Celebrations & Special MLB Network Programming
MLB Players, Coaches Will Wear Special “Ponle Acento”
T-Shirts During Batting Practice
Major League Baseball will once again commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month with an array of events and efforts to spotlight the contributions to baseball by Hispanic and Latino players throughout the month of September. Initiatives include “The Bronx Stickball Classic” - a new youth-focused Stickball tournament in the shadow of Yankee Stadium - special MLB Network vignettes highlighting Latino stars in the game today, social and digital content across MLB’s bilingual platforms, and in-park Club celebrations around the league.
The increased activity surrounding Hispanic Heritage Month is an extension of the league’s “Ponle Acento” (“Put an Accent on It”) campaign, launched in 2016 to highlight the distinctive mark that Hispanic and Latino players and fans leave on the sport. On Wednesday, September 5th, MLB commemorated “Roberto Clemente Day,” an annual celebration of the Puerto Rican player’s life and legacy. Though the official dates for Hispanic Heritage Month are Saturday, September 15th until Monday, October 15th, MLB Clubs are invited to celebrate throughout the month of September. As part of the league-wide initiative, MLB players will wear a “Ponle Acento” t-shirt during batting practice prior to a selected game in September. To date, more than 170 MLB players and coaches have changed their name presentation to include diacritics (e.g. accent, tilde, etc.) as a result of the efforts of the #PonleAcento campaign. On Opening Day 2018, 258 players - almost 30 percent of the league - were of Latino descent.
Below are some of MLB’s efforts in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month:
NEW MLB CREATIVE HIGHLIGHTING JOURNEY OF “PONLE ACENTO”
The new broadcast spot will debut this month that feature Los Angeles Dodgers star Kiké Hernández and follow the step-by-step journey a “Ponle Acento” accented jersey takes from conception to utilization on the field. The spot is complemented by short animated films for social media highlighting both the history and heritage of Hispanic contributions to MLB and the impact of past and present players on the game.
The spot will air in national assets across FOX, FS1, ESPN, TBS, MLBN, ESPN Deportes, FOX Deportes as well as on MLB digital and social assets. The Spanish version will air on CNN En Español, ESPN Deportes, FOX Deportes and LasMayores.com, MLB’s official Spanish-language website.
“THE BRONX STICKBALL CLASSIC”
Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees — in partnership with the New York Emperors Stickball League (NYESL) and the 161st Street Business Improvement District — will host “The Bronx Stickball Classic” on River Avenue between 158th and 161st Streets in the Bronx, featuring youth participants from the New York Emperors Stickball League and other local youth organizations. The event will feature competition between eight 14U Stickball teams, with preliminaries being held on Saturday, September 15th and semifinal & championship rounds on Saturday, September 22nd. The winners of the championship round will be recognized in a pregame ceremony prior to the Yankees’ 4:05 p.m. game vs. Baltimore on the latter date. Stickball, a modified game of baseball played with a broom stick and rubber ball, is a prominent street game within the Hispanic and Latino communities.
“PLAY BALL” VISITS PANAMA FOR FIRST TIME
Major League Baseball hosted a special three-city ‘PLAY BALL’ tour in Panama from Wednesday, September 5th to Friday, September 7th. The tour, which included appearances by former Major Leaguers Bruce Chen, Carlos Lee and Olmedo Saenz, marked the first time the ‘PLAY BALL’ initiative visited Panama. ‘PLAY BALL’ has made stops in other Latin American regions, such as Puerto Rico and Mexico.
In 2018, MLB’s official Spanish-language social media presence, @LasMayores, will once again be the leading voice of “Ponle Acento” across social media. With live content from nearly a dozen MLB ballparks throughout the month of September, @LasMayores will showcase the strength of Hispanic culture throughout the league.
MLB has also debuted new media platforms designed to provide real-time, quality content to the Spanish-speaking Hispanic and Latino audience, including @Corte4 and Corte4.com – the Spanish-Language counterparts of the very popular ‘Cut4.’
Events and special programming planned includes:
• A special visit to Pittsburgh on “Roberto Clemente Day” (September 5) that included a tour of The Clemente Museum with players of Puerto Rican heritage, and coverage of events to honor the great Roberto Clemente and his lasting impact on Pittsburgh and the game of baseball.
• Exclusive content featuring players from across the league as they “put the mark on” on images in their home ballparks using large, physical accent marks.
• A look at the game of stickball and its impact in Latino communities in New York and beyond during the Bronx Stickball Classic on September 15 and 22 in the shadows of Yankee Stadium.
• Participation from social influencers as they push the message of “Ponle Acento” and showcase their proud heritage and MLB fandom.
Clubs will celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture through a series of in-park activities throughout Hispanic Heritage Month. Activations include pregame ceremonies, theme nights at ballparks, alternate uniforms and unique food options. While all Clubs will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by wearing “Ponle Acento” BP shirts on a date of their Club’s choice in the month of September, the following are Clubs specifically hosting Hispanic Heritage theme nights in September:
Below are more details on Clubs celebrations around the League:
Atlanta Braves: The Braves are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with an extensive number of activations throughout September, including their Los Bravos Reading Event, Dominican Heritage Day, Saborea Atlanta, hosting with the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce the 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia, Los Bravos Business of Baseball and Los Bravos Youth Baseball Clinic. All of these events culminate with Los Bravos Day on Sunday, September 16th at SunTrust Park. The day will be a cultural immersion at SunTrust Park that encompasses Latin food, music, and fun while cheering on the Braves as they take the field in their Los Bravos jerseys. As part of the festivities, there will be Latin band performances, Latin country flags hanging from Atlanta Braves bridge and a Facebook Live pregame show with Telemundo starting at 12:30 p.m. Prior to first pitch, there will be a pregame flag presentation by the Latin players’ home countries and starting lineups will be introduced in Spanish. Fans who purchased the Los Bravos Day ticket package will also receive a free Los Bravos flag that feature the native countries of our Braves players.
· Arizona Diamondbacks: In addition to wearing “Los D-Backs” jerseys – which they will wear five more times this season – the Diamondbacks honored Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of activities inside and outside of Chase Field on Saturday, September 8th. The Diamondbacks hosted a street festival with live music, authentic Latin food, a beer garden, and the presence of the Mexican Pacific Baseball League and their mascots. Inside the stadium in La Terraza, the Club had piñatas, face painters and authentic food and drink options. Other activities included Lindsay Casinelli from Univisión hosting a meet-and-greet, Hispanic-themed music and live performances from mariachi and ballet folklórico dancers and the presentation of the Los D-backs Pete García Hispanic Leadership Award during pregame ceremonies.
· Chicago Cubs: To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the Cubs are hosting Hispanic Heritage Night at the Friendly Confines. On Monday, September 24th, fans can join the celebration by purchasing specially priced tickets to see the Cubs take on the Pirates at Wrigley Field. In addition to a ticket to the game, fans who purchase a ticket through this special offer will receive a "Los Cubs" T-shirt.
· Chicago White Sox: The White Sox will celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture all month long through events, activities and a special exhibit. On Friday, September 7th, the White Sox held Hispanic Heritage Night and Fireworks at Guaranteed Rate Field. Pregame activities featured live Latino music, dancing by Tierra Colombiana Dance Ensemble, a special performance of the national anthem by White Sox community partner, Mariachi Monumental de Mexico, as well as a ceremonial first pitch by former Chicago Bears offensive lineman and member of the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame Roberto Garza. In addition, fans explored the connection between Hispanic culture and the history of the Negro Leagues through Negro Leagues Béisbol exhibit, a traveling collection from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum dedicated in memory of White Sox legend Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso (1925-2015). The exhibit will be on display in the Chicago Sports Depot, located near Gate 5 at the ballpark, through September 26th.
· Cincinnati Reds: The Reds will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with “Fiesta Rojos” on Friday, September 28th, featuring ceremonies and activities in the community and at the ballpark. For the fourth year in a row, students from local schools will visit the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy for a Q&A session with Latino players and interactive stations including pitching and hitting plus salsa dancing. In celebration of Fiesta Rojos, players will wear the “Ponle Acento” shirts during batting practice and Los Rojos jerseys for that evening’s game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates. Activations around Great American Ball Park include a live band and DJ, Honor Guard with flags from Latin countries, Hispanic Community Advocate Award winner and a postgame fireworks show with a soundtrack selected by Latino players.
· Colorado Rockies: In 2018, the Colorado Rockies are celebrating their 16th annual Hispanic Heritage Month at Coors Field throughout September. In addition to individually honoring the Leadership Award finalists for their work in the Hispanic community September 3-5, the Rockies also designated Sunday, September 9th as Día de Los Rockies, a celebration of all Latin cultures. The first 10,000 fans through the gates received a Los Rockies Jersey, and were treated to a pregame concert at the Rooftop by Denver-based band iZCALLi. Pregame ceremonies featured a Latin country flag presentation with youth and player participation, as well as the announcement of the overall winner of the 16th Annual Adult Leadership Award. During the game, the Rockies Spanish radio broadcasters announced Rockies batters, some players used Latin music for their walk-up songs, and a bilingual game host led the in-between-inning features with fans. Additionally, Rockies players and coaches will wear “Ponle Acento” shirts during batting practice on Saturday, September 29 to support and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
· Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers’ Hispanic Heritage Month celebration will be highlighted by ‘La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers’ on Saturday, September 22nd. The festival is the culmination of the club’s season-long ‘Viva Los Dodgers’ events and will include live entertainment, prizes and autograph sessions with broadcasters and current and former players. The team will also hold its second annual Dia De Los Dodgers on Wednesday, September 19th, complete with a Dodger-themed altar, similar to those used on Día De Los Muertos, behind the Right Field Pavilion where fans can share their baseball memories.
· Miami Marlins: The Marlins celebrated Miami's culture, Comunidad 305, by inviting all nationalities to Marlins Park when the Marlins take on the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, September 22nd. The night features a pre- and postgame fiesta at The 5thBase with live performances. The heritage night celebrates the diverse Hispanic community in Miami. On September 23rd, the Marlins hosts Mexican Heritage Celebration, the club’s eighth and final Hispanic heritage celebration of the season. Fans who purchase the ticket package received an exclusive Marlins Mexican heritage jersey. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket package will go to support the Mexican American Council.
· Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers hosted Cerveceros Day on Saturday, July 7th at Miller Park. Now in its 13th year, the celebration honored the heritage and importance of Latin American culture to the great game of baseball. Miller Park took on a Latin American flair all day with scoreboard features and special plaza performances from the Dance Academy of Mexico. On the field, Brewers players and coaches wore jerseys with the traditional “Brewers” script replaced by the Spanish translation “Cerveceros.” The national anthem was performed by Nueva Generacíon Performers of Milwaukee. Also during pregame, a special honor guard ceremony celebrated the Latino heritage of Brewers players throughout the organization with flags representing their home countries on display.
· New York Mets: On Wednesday, September 26th, the Mets will honor Ozzie Virgil Sr., the first Dominican-born Major League Baseball player. Virgil Sr. will throw out the first pitch on that night’s contest against the Atlanta Braves. He will also remain in the dugout throughout the game as an honorary coach.
· New York Yankees: As part of a number of themed activities and festivities at Yankee Stadium, singer Toby Love will perform a pregame concert. Alianza Dominicana will offer free dance lessons at Yankee Stadium prior to a game for ticket-holding fans, and discounted tickets will be offered during the month for all Spanish-language Yankee Stadium tours. For the third consecutive year, a special Hispanic Heritage Month supplement in Spanish has been included in the September edition of Yankees Magazine, the club’s official game-day program. Yankee Stadium’s food service provider, Legends Hospitality, will offer two new items throughout September. “Fiesta de Leche,” a Latin-inspired shake that includes tres leches cake, condensed milk, cinnamon and horchata, rimmed with puffed rice and topped by a churro. Additionally, tostones sliders will be available at Frank’s RedHot Terrace.
· Oakland Athletics: The A’s hosted Hispanic Heritage Day at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday, Sept. 9. The festive day included Luchadores wrestling matches, a pregame performance on the field by Ballet Hispanico Mexico Danza, and a sugar skull bobblehead giveaway for fans. The Oakland A’s Spanish-language broadcaster Amaury Pi-Gonzalez served as the club’s public address announcer, calling several innings in Spanish.
· Philadelphia Phillies: As part of Roberto Clemente Night on Monday, September 10th, the Phillies will host 500+ fans from six different Latino community organizations at that night’s game. Then on Tuesday, September 18th, the Phillies will host a private Naturalization Ceremony at Citizens Bank Park for approximately 20 candidates, in conjunction with the Mayors Office of Immigrant Affairs and the USCIS. The newly-naturalized citizens will be recognized onfield following the ceremony. The Phillies will also host their inaugural Dominican Night on Wednesday, September 19th, which includes a pregame ceremony honoring Dominican players and their contributions to Major League Baseball. Highlights include live Dominican music and a giveaway of a trip to the Dominican Republic to a lucky fan. The above-mentioned events are in addition to the team’s Latino Family Celebration, which took place on August 16th, as well as various other community appearances scheduled throughout September.
· San Diego Padres: The Padres will dedicate a weekend to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. The festivities will begin with “Fiesta in the Park” where fans can enjoy traditional Hispanic and Latin foods and drink specials at Park in the Park, on Friday, September 14th at Petco Park. The club will also recognize Roberto Clemente Day during that night’s pregame ceremony. The celebration will continue on Saturday, September 15th, when the Padres award recipients of the seventh annual Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Awards – an award honoring community leaders or organizations that have made significant contributions to the region’s Hispanic community – during a pregame ceremony that will also feature dance performances. The Padres will also celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day on Sunday, September 16th, featuring a variety of entertainment elements and food and drink specials. On the same day, Mexican Little League teams within the region will attend the game and participate in a postgame Q&A session with a Spanish-speaking Padre player. A special limited-edition Padres-themed sugar skull bobblehead will also be available throughout the weekend with a purchase of a Hispanic Heritage Weekend theme game package.
· Seattle Mariners: On Saturday, September 8th, the Mariners donned special "Marineros" uniforms, with the special jerseys auctioned by Mariners Care to benefit on-going relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Former Mariners outfielder, and fan favorite, Franklin Gutierrez will throw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch.
· St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals will be hosting their third annual Fiesta Cardenales Theme Night on Sunday, September 16th. With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive a one-of-a-kind Cardenales cap. Plus, a portion of each ticket sold will benefit the Hispanic Education Cultural & Scholarship Foundation. There will also be a pregame event featuring current Cardinals players and music in the Budweiser Terrace. By the end of the 2018 season, the Cardinals will have broadcasted 39 of their games in Spanish (every Friday-Sunday home game), more than double the amount of Spanish language radio broadcasts in 2017.
· Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays will officially launch Hispanic Heritage Month with an extensive celebration on Saturday, September 15th, when they will also be hosting their own Roberto Clemente Day. During the special day, the Club will decorate Tropicana Field with flags representing the home countries of their Hispanic and Latino players, and honor Hispanic community leaders at the ballpark, including those who helped with the Rays efforts to aid Ponce, Puerto Rico following last year’s hurricanes. Pregame ceremonies will honor the Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc., Hispanic Woman and Man of the Year and Feeding Tampa Bay, the largest food rescue and distribution organization in its community. The team, working with National Puerto Rican Leadership Council Education Fund, will host 200 families displaced to Central Florida following Hurricanes Maria and Irma. They will also host a number of Latino baseball and softball teams from the community. Honoring Roberto Clemente, front office and employees will wear special t-shirts commemorating the Puerto Rican player.
· Texas Rangers: The Rangers will host Hispanic Heritage Night on Saturday, September 22nd, with the Mariners in town. The first 1,000 fans to purchase their ticketwill receive a custom El Rancho Texas Rangers soccer jersey. Other in-park celebrations include a pregame presentation and video and performances by a Mariachi band and folkloric dancers.
· Washington Nationals: On September 5th, the Nationals honored the contributions of the Hispanic community to baseball and society by hosting Hispanic-themed entertainment throughout the evening. The celebration included music, as well as a pregame flag presentation featuring Nationals players. Additionally, Nationals players and coaches wore “Ponle Acento” shirts during batting practice. Throughout the game, fans also enjoyed video tributes which honored Hispanic athletes who have made significant contributions to baseball.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT ON MLB NETWORK
MLB Network will produce several new vignettes to air on the network and on its social media platforms throughout the month, each focusing on a current Hispanic MLB player, including Ronald Acuña Jr., José Altuve, Miguel Andújar, Javier Báez, Johan Camargo, Maikel Franco, Francisco Lindor, Yasiel Puig and José Ramirez.
All Clubs have developed both Spanish-Language Facebook and Twitter accounts to further engage Hispanic and Latino audiences. MLB.com, Las Mayores and all of MLB’s Spanish-Language platforms will celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latino players past and present putting special emphasis during Hispanic Heritage Month.
MLB’s commitment to embracing Hispanic and Latino culture continues beyond Hispanic Heritage Month. In April of this year, the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins played a two-game series in Puerto Rico, marking the first regular season series in San Juan since 2004, when the Montreal Expos played a portion of their home schedule at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. In May, the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers met for a three-game series at Estadio de Beisbol in Monterrey, Mexico. The games marked the third regular season series to be played in Monterrey, and the first since the Padres and the Colorado Rockies played in MLB's first-ever international Opening Day in 1999. MLB will stage three different events in Monterrey, Mexico during the 2019 season, totaling six games and all featuring division rivals.
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LA TEMPORADA DE LA NFL 2018 COMIENZA CON EL FIN DE SEMANA INAUGURAL
La NFL regresa esta semana y es hora de voltear la mirada al fútbol americano. El fin de semana inaugural señala el inicio de un viaje de 256 partidos, con la promesa de esperanza para cada uno de los 32 equipos de la liga, cuyos ojos están podados en el Super Bowl LIII, que se celebrará el domingo 3 de febrero de 2019 en el estadio Mercedes-Benz de Atlanta, Georgia.
Algo es cierto: la temporada 2018 estará repleta de momentos memorables, con jugadores jóvenes emergiendo en escena, caras familiares continuando con su ascenso en el libro de marcas y equipos procurando dejar su huella en la postemporada.
La 99ª temporada de NFL arranca el jueves por la noche (NBC, 8:20 PM, hora de New York), cuando los campeones del Super Bowl, los PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, reciben a los ATLANTA FALCONS en el Lincoln Financial Field en una batalla entret los dos últimos representantes de la NFC en el Super Bowl. El de los Eagles, que terminó últimos en la NFC Este con registro de 7-9 en 2016, se convirtió en el segundo equipo desde 2003 en ir de “peor a primero” en su camino a una victoria en el Super Bowl, uniéndose a los 2009 New Orleans Saints.
Cada equipo llega a la temporada 2018 con esperanza y un viaje a Atlanta para el Super Bowl LIII en mente. Debajo están las razones.
· TODO ESTÁ ABIERTO. Cinco de las ocho divisiones en 2017 fueron ganadas por un equipo que terminó en tercero o cuarto puesto en la división la temporada anterior: Jacksonville (AFC Sur), los Los Angeles Rams (NFC Oeste), Minnesota (NFC Norte), New Orleans (NFC Sur) y Philadelphia (NFC Este).
Desde que el formato de postemporada de 12 equipos fue adoptado en 1990, al menos cuatro equipos han clasificado a la postemporada en cada temporada sin haber estado presentes en la del año anterior. Ocho equipos que no llegaron a pasar el corte en 2016 –Buffalo (9-7), Carolina (11-5), Jacksonville (10-6), Los Angeles Rams (11-5), Minnesota (13-3), New Orleans (11-5), Philadelphia (13-3) y Tennessee (9-7)– lograron tal hazaña en 2017, empatando con la temporada 2003 en mayor cantidad de tales equipos desde 1990.
· ¿PODRÁN LOS EAGLES REPETIR COMO CAMPEONES DEL SUPER BOWL? Estrenando su primer título de campeones del Super Bowl en la historia de la franquicia, los Eagles comienzan su intento por repetir el título en el estadio Mercedes-Benz de Atlanta para el Super Bowl LIII. Apenas ocho equipos repitieron como campeones desde los primeros Super Bowl, en 1967, siendo los Patriots de 2004 (Super Bowls XXXVIII y XXXIX) el último club en lograr tal hazaña.
· MARCAS AL ALCANCE. El mariscal de campo de New Orleans DREW BREES (70,445) necesita 1,496 yardas aéreas para superar a PEYTON MANNING (71,940) como líder en yardas aéreas en la historia de la NFL. Brees (6,222) puede también sobrepasar al miembro del Salón de la Fama BRETT FAVRE (6,300) en mayor cantidad de pases completos en la historia de la NFL…El mariscal de campo de New England TOM BRADY (559) necesita 21 pases anotadores para superar a Manning (579) en mayor cantidad en la historia de la NFL (incluyendo postemporada). Brady (488) y Brees (488) pueden sumarse a Manning (539) y a Favre (508) como los únicos jugadores en los anales de la liga en alcanzar los 500 pases anotadores en temporada regular en una carrera…El corredor de Miami FRANK GORE (14,026) puede convertirse en el cuarto jugador en la historia de la NFL en alcanzar las 15,000 yardas por tierra en su carrera, uniéndose a los miembros del Salón de la Fama EMMITT SMITH (18,355), WALTER PAYTON (16,726) y BARRY SANDERS (15,269)…El receptor de Arizona LARRY FITZGERALD (1,234) necesita 92 recepciones para superar a TONY GONZÁLEZ (1,325) en el segundo puesto en recepciones en la historia de la NFL. Fitzgerald (15,545) necesita 390 yardas recibiendo para superar al miembro del Salón de la Fama TERRELL OWENS (15,934) en la segunda mayor cantidad de yardas recibiendo en la historia de la liga…El ala defensiva de Carolina JULIUS PEPPERS (154.5) puede superar al miembro del Salón de la Fama KEVIN GREENE (160) en la tercera mayor cantidad de capturas en la historia de la liga desde que la captura se convirtió en estadística oficial, en 1982…El pateador de Indianapolis ADAM VINATIERI (2,487) necesita 58 puntos para superar al miembro del Salón de la Fama MORTEN ANDERSEN (2,544) en la mayor cantidad en la historia de la NFL.
· ROSTROS FAMILIARES EN NUEVOS SITIOS. Siete equipos llegan a la temporada 2018 con nuevo entrenador en jefe: STEVE WILKS en Arizona, MATT NAGY en Chicago, MATT PATRICIA en Detroit, FRANK REICH en Indianapolis, PAT SHURMUR con los New York Giants, JON GRUDEN en Oakland y MIKE VRABEL en Tennessee.
KIRK COUSINS (Minnesota), CASE KEENUM (Denver), ALEX SMITH (Washington) y TYROD TAYLOR(Cleveland); los corredores LE GARRETTE BLOUNT (Detroit), CARLOS HYDE (Cleveland) y DION LEWIS (Tennessee); los receptores BRANDIN COOKS (Los Angeles Rams), MICHAEL CRABTREE(Baltimore), JARVIS LANDRY (Cleveland) y JORDY NELSON (Oakland); el ala cerrada JIMMY GRAHAM(Green Bay); el guardia ANDREW NORWELL (Jacksonville); el tackle NATE SOLDER (New York Giants); el ala defensiva ROBERT QUINN (Miami); los tackles defensivos DONTARI POE (Carolina), SHELDON RICHARDSON (Minnesota), NDAMUKONG SUH (Los Angeles Rams) y MUHAMMAD WILKERSON (Green Bay); el apoyador KHALIL MACK (Chicago); los esquineros MALCOLM BUTLER (Tennessee), MARCUS PETERS (Los Angeles Rams), RICHARD SHERMAN (San Francisco) y AQIB TALIB (Los Angeles Rams); y el profundo TYRANN MATHIEU (Houston).
· ESTRELLAS JÓVENES SUBEN AL ESCENARIO. La temporada pasada, cuatro novatos –el de Arizona BUDDA BAKER, el de Kansas City KAREEM HUNT y los de New Orleans ALVIN KAMARA y MARSHON LATTIMORE– fueron convocados para el Pro Bowl en sus respectivas primeras temporadas. ¿Quién podría lograr tal hazaña en 2018?
Cinco mariscales de campo –BAKER MAYFIELD (Nº 1 total, Cleveland), SAM DARNOLD (Nº 3, New York Jets), JOSH ALLEN (Nº 7, Buffalo), JOSH ROSEN (Nº 10, Arizona) y LAMAR JACKSON (Nº 32, Baltimore)– fueron seleccionados en la primera vuelta del Sorteo Universitario de la NFL 2018, marcando la tercera vez que al menos cinco mariscales de campo fueron seleccionados en la vuelta inicial desde la incepción del sorteo común, en 1967. Al menos un mariscal de campo novato titularizó en la primera semana en 10 temporadas consecutivas, la racha más larga en la NFL desde al menos 1950.
En cada una de las últimas dos temporadas, un corredor novato lideró la NFL en yardas por tierra: el de Dallas EZEKIEL ELLIOTT (1,631) en 2016 y Hunt (1,327) en 2017. Tres corredores –SAQUON BARKLEY (Nº 2 total, New York Giants), RASHAAD PENNY (Nº 27, Seattle) y SONY MICHEL(Nº 31, New England)– fueron seleccionados en la primera vuelta del Sorteo Universitario de la NFL 2018.