Ever since Latino USA produced its very popular baseball show last year, a core team at the Futuro Media Group (Michael Simon Johnson, Ted Canova, Marea Chaveco and me) was tasked with ways to expand our sports coverage, particularly at how sports intersects with culture and identity. Earlier this year, when an ESPN web story about the Carolina Panthers’ Spanish-language radio team resonated with our online community, our instincts were confirmed.
What other sports stories were out there and how can we as a creative group produce more of these stories, whether in audio or video format?
Enter our friends at ESPN. A core team from ESPN Deportes and ESPN One Nación was also looking at ways to tell similar stories that go beyond the box scores and the requisite player profiles. So we all decided to meet, and soon enough, we were co-producing a video segment, featuring Mets closer Jeurys Familia and a new “Somos Familia” (“We Are Family”) bachata entrance song that Familia created with Zacarías Ferreíra, one of the top bacheteros in the world. In the following video piece, reported by ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Familia talks about why bachata is just as important in the Dominican Republic as baseball, and why this song means so much to him. So far, Familia has notched 10 saves in 15 games. (LINK TO VIDEO HERE)
And because Rivera —a veteran baseball writer who knows almost every Latino ballplayer in MLB— asked Familia bilingual questions, we were able to create two versions with the same video. Here is the Spanish-language one (LINK):
Stay tuned for a longer audio version that will premiere on ESPN Radio. We’ll keep you posted.