ESPN Deportes Pitches Icon Off-Season

ESPN's Spanish-language network has turned to a Hall of Fame pitcher to give its coverage of off-season baseball added sizzle.

Dominican Juan Marichal lends his voice to a TV and radio campaign where he serves as the "captain" of a flight to his home country, a winter baseball hub. A tagline is translated as "During winter, baseball travels to the Caribbean."

The animated TV spots aired on the Telemundo and Univision stations in New York and Miami. Radio is in those markets, as well as Tampa and Orlando.

ESPN Deportes newspaper ad Newspaper ads are in all four markets.

Deportes is covering games from the Dominican Republic over the next month, in addition to the Caribbean Series in February. Marichal is an analyst on the sports broadcasts.

In addition to the 72-year-old great, known for a high leg kick during his playing days, the TV and radio spots also have the voices of two Deportes on-air personalities.

Deportes and agency LatinWorks did the production.

On a more grassroots level, Deportes hired a street team that worked to build interest in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. The members rode Segways with women in flight attendant uniforms and men with Dominican baseball uniforms.

Deportes is in some 4.5 million U.S. Hispanic homes, out of an estimated total of 13 million. The network is expecting a viewership bump next year when Mexico and Honduras compete in the World Cup.

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