Yard Goats Partner With The Latino Way

The Hartford Yard Goats are making a pronounced effort this season to reach out to their community’s sizable Latino population. As part of that effort, the team announced on Monday their new partnership with The Latino Way, a marketing and advertising agency based in Hartford, to help with the team’s outreach.

“I think it’s very important that we reach our entire community, a significant number of which are Latino,” Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon said, noting that Hartford’s Latino population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, is 43.4 percent.  “We are pursuing a number of initiative to ensure that we engage the Latino community with Yard Goats baseball. . . . (Hartford’s Latino community) deserves to hear our broadcasts and deserves to be actively engaged in what we’re doing with team and the city.”

Yard Goats games will be broadcast on 1120-AM WPRX in Hartford, and will be called by a father-son duo of Danny and Derek Rodriguez. The Yard Goats join the Corpus Christi Hooks and Charlotte Knights as the only teams in the minor leagues to have all of their home games broadcast in Spanish as well as English.

In addition to their radio broadcasts, The Latino Way is also helping the Yard Goats produce and distribute copies of their pocket schedules written in Spanish.

“We are thrilled to help build excitement for the upcoming baseball season, the Yard Goats and the Dunkin’ Donuts Park,” said Maria Lino, founder and principal at The Latino Way. “Baseball is part of the Latino culture as is evident in the major leagues. We have many reasons to celebrate baseball’s arrival in Hartford.”  

Additionally, the club will honor Roberto Clemente on Aug. 18 by retiring his No. 21. Clemente will join Jackie Robinson as the only players without ties to Hartford or the franchise to be honored this way.

“Nobody will ever wear Clemente’s number as a Yard Goat, that’s for certain,” Solomon said.

The Latino Way will also help recruit children from the Hartford community to be a part of the team’s ambassador program, which helps train kids in the offseason to help them land a job in baseball. Participants in this program learn with the club in the offseason and then receive a stipend in summer and a job with the team itself.

“It highlights all of the things that kids can do in baseball,” Solomon said. “Not everybody can play the game like some of the superstars, but there are a whole host of careers in baseball where you don’t have to swing a bat. Whether it be a radio broadcaster or a writer, there are a whole host of different things. So one of the ways we’re going to engage Latino way is to ensure that we’re able to engage those students in our programs.”

This program fits with a goal Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner mentioned at this past Winter Meetings. Specifically, he wanted the makeup of minor league staffs to more accurately reflect their communities.

“Your club has to look from the inside out like the marketplace looks at you. Your market is different than my market. You don’t have to hire to my market specs, you have to hire to yours. We give every club what their demographics are and suggest to them that this is what their community is made of,” O’Conner said.

“If you want to penetrate your community 100 percent, it would behoove you to look like that from the inside out so when you interface with your community you’re speaking to them and communicating with them and interacting with them in a way that they’re familiar with. It’s comfortable for them because it’s like them and not unlike them.”

After construction delays forced the Yard Goats on the road for all of 2016, Solomon is confident that Dunkin’ Donuts Park will be ready to open its gates on April 13. When that happens, fans who speak English and Spanish will be able to listen in on the fun.

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