Five Young Latino MLB Stars With Crossover Social Appeal For Brands

What: The Yankees' Gary Sanchez and Astros' Carlos Correa head the list of Latino players with the biggest Twitter growth.
Why it matters: As the social media presence of Latino stars soars, the opportunities for brands to connect increases, with Correa's Adidas deal a prime example.

As we near MLB Opening Day, the impact of Latino players who are active in social continues to grow, especially among the younger emerging stars who can drive brand value in both the Anglo and Spanish speaking communities. Who are the biggest and most impactful?

We asked social monitoring leader opendorse (@opendorseto give us the top five.

Opendorse analyzed historic Twitter data from the past year to find the five Latino MLB players with the most significant follower growth on the platform. By pairing success on the field with consistent, quality content, these players achieved massive growth of their social audiences and added value to their individual brands.

The list may not surprise you, but their impact will. Two Dodgers, Kenley Jansen (@kenleyjansen74and Enrique "KiKe" Hernandez (@kikehndezare near the top of the list, with the Yankees' Gary Sanchez (@ElGarySanchezand Astros' Carlos Correa (@TeamCJCorrea) making a huge impact. The Indians' Jose Ramirez (@MrLapararounds out the top five of budding Latino stars using social to grow awareness as well.

Baseball is a game where Latino brands, and brands that are looking to reach a Latino audience that also speak English, should thrive.

One of the most important ties between all five? On-field success. The group all play for teams with big expectations in 2018 coming off impressive 2017 seasons as well, so tying social growth to impact in the community and wins and losses is key for brands to succeed. Their share of voice continues to be amplified as the team rises in the standings, although that is not the only factor companies need to consider when engaging with athletes in the social space. The market is also key for business success, with Ramirez being the only one of the five not playing in a traditionally strong Spanish-speaking market to start the 2018 season.

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Gary Sanchez

Gary Sánchez (Flickr/Arturo Pardavila)

Of the five, Correa’s deal with Adidas remains the gold standard for young players crossing over into the Latino space. Sanchez will benefit from being around the lineup of Bronx Bombers that include Giancarlo Stanton as well, while the pair of Dodgers should be able to continue to thrive as kings of Southern California.

“Baseball is a game where Latino brands, and brands that are looking to reach a Latino audience that also speak English, should thrive,” added longtime baseball executive Ray Negron, who has worked with some of the biggest crossover stars during his career in the Yankees front office. “It is still a bit of a mystery as to why more brands aren’t deeply involved as they could be crossing over between the Latino and Anglo audiences, but these five guys are great examples of how you can make that effective jump and reach a new audience using social media.”

For brands looking to score in baseball this season, these five Latino stars are a great start.

Check out the stars of Portada's Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

Cover Image: Carlos Correa (courtesy Adidas)

Jerry Milani @gbpackjerry

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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