In cased you missed it yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat at home by a score of 93-83. It was an exciting game that saw two of the National Basketball Association’s premier teams duke it out on national television.
But what caught our eye wasn’t Kobe Bryant or his above-human level of play. It was what he, his teammates, and the Miami Heat were wearing across their chests:
Yep, it’s time for the NBA’s annual “Noche Latina,” a marketing campaign in which several NBA teams–Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, Chicago and New York– don Spanglishized jerseys to honor their Latino fan base (and a chance for the league to sell you, the Latino fanatico, their merchandise).
If our tone comes across as cynical, that’s because it is. The league’s plan to reach Latinos is as follows:
To further honor Hispanic fans and players during Noche Latina games, participating teams will host in-arena Latin-themed activities, including music, performances, and giveaways. As the league’s marquee program under the éne•bé•a platform, Noche Latina events will also be supported with television and radio advertising on both English- and Spanish-language media across the country as well as on the league’s Spanish-language Web site, enebea.com, and social media pages.
In essence, they’re employing the same strategy the NFL used to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. Throw some mariachi and salsa dancers on the court, have the PA system play some “La Cucaracha” during time out breaks, and call it a day. Mission accomplished.
Look, we get it that the NBA is trying to court the ever-growing Latino demographic. But their current course of action is reductive of Latin American culture and history, condescending, and even absurd. And we’re not the ones who think that either. The image below is a screen grab from The Onion that perfectly encapsulates the inanity of the league’s campaign:
via The Onion
The NBA’s marketing department should be in contention for Latino Rebels‘ #NoMames award. But instead of just writing and complaining about it, we’re taking a more productive approach. That’s why we’re creating an online petition to get the NBA to stop their current “Noche Latina” outreach campaign. Let the league know that not only do you not care for this dumb P.R. stunt, but that you find it counterproductive to their mission by signing our petition below.