Baseball’s New Lucha Libre Star!
¡Señoras y señores, niños y niñas, ponen sus manos juntas para el juego más emocionante, contundente de béisbol que jamás verás! ¡Y vamos a estar listos para la pelea!
With its proximity to the border, the D-backs would do well to recruit fans from those South of it. And what better way to pander to that fairly untapped base than with one of Mexico’s most famous forms of entertainment: Lucha Libre!
Now, I don’t know much about “free fighting”, other than that the wrestlers wear really cool masks and fight like they’re in the former WCW. But that’s not the point of this blog post.
The point is that this is a brilliant form of marketing by the Arizona team and could well be a turning point in Major League Baseball. Sure, the prevalence of Spanish-speaking players and stars has been around for a while. But other than drafting talented athletes from the Dominican or Venezuela, there has been little—if any—direct and visible marketing to the wider Spanish-speaking audience.
By appointing a character with cultural ties to Mexico (not to mention other Central and South American countries), the D-backs are aiming to create popular interest among that large and growing population. This, my friends, is genius, especially considering the immigration reform currently rolling around Congress that could open the doors to countless more people who will see Luchador (that’s the mascot’s name) and identify themselves with him and thus his club, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This puts butts in the seats, ups merchandise sales, and creates enormous interest in general for the team who is currently ranked first in the National League West.
And quite frankly, I’m happy that the D-Backs are taking this route. It is a major way of recognizing the shifting demographics of the United States, not to mention a way of recognizing a major demographic of baseball itself. It is after all America’s national past time. So why not celebrate this?
As for Luchador, when he hits a home run, the bases walk around him. That’s reason enough to celebrate, mis amigos.
Will we see more Luchador-like mascots in baseball—or other sports, for that matter—in the future? What do you think about it? Post your thoughts in the comments below!