Major League Baseball is finally waking up to the fact that a large number of its fans are Latino, and want to receive news of their favorite sport in-language. Accordingly, MLB has begun rolling out Spanish-language iterations of many teams’ websites.
So far it has launched 11 sites, the most popular of which is the New York Mets’ site, at http://www.losmets.com.
Ø Nearly 6.4 million Hispanics consider themselves MLB fans.
Ø MLB is the most popular professional sport among U.S. Hispanics.
Ø In 2006, MLB.com averaged 8.8 million unique visitors per month, of which 683,000 were Hispanic.
This swelling contingent of Latino fans is no coincidence. In the past 20 years, team rosters have been trending decidedly Hispanic. This is due to the immense popularity of the sport in places like the Dominican Republic, where virtually every MLB team has a training camp, and Puerto Rico, among others.
Over 80% of the foreign players in Major League Baseball are Latino, and between the Major Leagues and the Minor Leagues, Latinos account for a full 40% of the rosters.
Considering all of the above, it’s no wonder that MLB has spearheaded this campaign to accommodate “la pasion” that Latino fans feel for the sport. The wonder is that they haven’t done it sooner.