• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

Celebrating Latino Culture, La Vida Baseball Caters to an Underserved Fanbase

We are in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long celebration of Hispanic and Latino history and culture. From a sports perspective, few are better positioned to celebrate this month than baseball, a community whose Hispanic and Latino presence is undeniable.

Currently, over a quarter of Major League Baseball’s players hail from Latin America and a significant number are American-born with Latino descent. Yet, until recently, this population has been largely ignored by the mainstream sports media. That’s where La Vida Baseball comes in.

Just over a year old, La Vida “celebrates the past, present and future of Latino baseball through [its] own lens and voice.” Its content features a mixture of written and video pieces focusing more on culture than on what happens on the field.

SEE MORE: Bleacher Report Gets Into Sports Betting With New Show

“We’re not asking about the home run or the strikeout at the end of the game last night,” explained Jay Sharman, the CEO of TeamWorks Media, a purpose-driven media company that owns La Vida. “We’re going up and talking about [players’] favorite Mexican restaurants in Chicago or their thoughts on the Hurricane in Puerto Rico.”

To La Vida, discussing passion areas with people who have shared experiences in culture is more important than trying to get in the overcrowded traditional sports reporting space.

This approach has been successful with MLB’s Latino players who quickly warmed up to the publication.

“The receptivity we had from the day we announced it was great. We’ve got a bilingual staff that goes out, meets with and develops relationships with the players and gets stories. The players, regardless of how big a name they were, just were open arms because we’re meeting players on their own terms to talk about their stories,” said Sharman.

One of the earliest stories that took off was a story involving Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli who wanted to talk about the political situation in Venezuela and how he was wrestling with that.

SEE MORE: Exploring Fan Experience Trends and Opportunities

“We immediately were able to strike a chord with the players and earn trust from them that we were providing a voice for the Latino fan, which they loved,” explained Sharman.

Disseminating content they have created has been “a little bit of a wild ride,” according to Sharman as La Vida, like many publishers, has been navigating the changing Facebook algorithm.

Year One has been filled with experimentation and figuring out how to position content on each platform in a way that connects with readers. Today, they are regularly reaching about six million people and focusing on measuring content success through engagement.

“We have a very, very high engagement rate with our content on the platforms that we’re on, especially relative to the size of the social media following. So that’s how we really measure success is the percentage of engagement.”

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

Its social strategy differs from platform to platform, with Facebook focusing more on fan engagement and Instagram skewing more towards players. As it continues to grow, Sharman says the plan is to figure out how to connect the dots to boost engagements across all platforms.

Across all platforms, language is an ongoing discussion. La Vida’s staff aids in translating Spanish interviews to the site, which is entirely in English. Videos differ and interviews are conducted in whatever language is preferred by the interviewee with subtitles applied if necessary.

SEE MORE: Inside The Athletic’s Live Event Strategy

Sharman admits translation and captioning are things that La Vida is still experimenting with as the platform continues how to determine the best way to connect with its audience.

One thing Sharman knows that lands well with the platform’s audience, across all ages, is content celebrating the impact of baseball’s historic Latino players. Roberto Clemente is a strong example. Despite passing away before a significant portion of La Vida’s audience was born, content regarding his impact on baseball resonates significantly with the audience, according to Sharman.

This ties in well with the platform’s partnership with the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, an organization that was trying to determine how to best connect with the sport’s largely represented, but immensely underserved, Latino community before the birth of La Vida.  

The alliance has served La Vida as well, leading to a franchise called Stories From Inside the Hall, which takes an artifact from Cooperstown and generates context about it in video form.

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

While Hispanic Heritage Month wraps up in mid-October, La Vida will continue to celebrate Latino culture on its site, honoring the sport’s past, present, and future and the commonalities that bring its multicultural fans together.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

K.C. Current’s Stadium Success Highlights Chiefs’ and Royals’ Failures

The NWSL club is spending more money on a stadium development project.

Everything You Need To Know About the Legal Attempts To Kill the ACC

Four lawsuits involving the conference, Clemson, and FSU could determine the future.

A Bare-Knuckle Fighter Won His Pro Debut. The Far Right Scored a Marketing Win

With Proud Boys sponsoring him, experts say extremist groups will use his success to elevate their ideologies and recruit new believers.
Dec 27, 2023; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Kyron Hudson (10) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at Petco Park.

Hearings Have Concluded in the Pivotal USC Athlete Employment Case. What’s Next?

The potentially landmark labor case could end the NCAA amateurism model.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Randy Johnson, Bird Savior


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

Caitlin Clark and the Fever to Receive Even More TV Coverage

The WNBA team is placing 17 games on over-the-air stations in the Indianapolis area.
April 22, 2024

‘Give Them the Real’: Why Dawn Staley ‘Spoiled’ Local South Carolina Reporters

Staley’s love for the local media leads to more coverage and passionate fans.
April 22, 2024

Two Superstars Are Dominating Professional Golf. Will Viewers Follow?

Scheffler and Korda have been nearly unbeatable on their respective tours.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 22, 2024

Apple Reportedly Close To Winning Broadcast Rights for Club World Cup

Apple’s deal would be FIFA’s first single worldwide broadcast contract.
April 21, 2024

NBA’s Media Rights Are Set to Expire: Who’s Got Next?

The league’s exclusive negotiating window with ESPN and TNT is expiring.
April 19, 2024

No Subscription Totals? Netflix’s Decision Could Impact Sports Plans

The streaming giant says a focus on subscriber totals doesn’t reflect the full state of the company.
April 18, 2024

Diamond Sports Group Is About to Survive Bankruptcy. Will It Matter?

The bankrupt company faces key questions relating to both programming and distribution.