Like any offseason in pro sports, MLB’s offseason feels seemingly slower in the month prior to spring training (or training camp, as referred to in other pro sports leagues). To combat the slow news cycle for their organization, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Community Relations and Communications departments launched the 2017 #DodgersLoveLA Community Tour prior to their annual Dodgers FanFest that takes place every winter.
Earlier this week, the Dodgers began publicizing their players’ visits to local community organizations, stores and parks. To kick off the #DodgersLoveLA community tour, the team designated Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig as well as star third baseman Justin Turner to a local Coffee Bean to surprise patrons as their baristas that morning. Both players wore their Dodgers jersey and spent time interacting with fans and patrons alike. Most notably, Puig was seen taking pictures and signing autographs for local guests. This event was not only promoted by the Dodgers’ various social media accounts, but was also picked up by various news outlets such as Yahoo and TMZ. Not to mention, MLB publicized the event as well by posting a short video on its website.
A few days later, the Dodgers sent Puerto Rican utility player Kiké Hernández and outfielder Rob Segedin to a local fire station. Hernández and Segedin explored the fire station and interacted with the local firemen. While this outreach appearance was more private–as a testament to the firefighters–the Dodgers still promoted the appearance on its social media accounts.
The next day, which was the day prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers FanFest, the team planned an all-day community outreach initiative that took place all over Los Angeles County. Mexican pitcher Julio Urias and Cuban catcher Yasmani Grandal also participated in the daylong event. The players alternated between various community service projects and special appearances at various locations. Besides visiting community organizations, Universal Studios and the Westfield Topanga Mall, the players also visited “Extra” host Mario Lopez on set at Universal Studios. Lopez posted a video in Spanish on his Twitter of himself joking with Puig, Grandal, Corey Seager and Ross Stripling. The official Twitter account for “Extra” retweeted Lopez’ video while also posting a picture of the host with the players.
Overall, the Dodgers #DodgersLoveLA 2017 Community Tour should be deemed a success for the organization and their partners. Evidently, the Dodgers’ Community Relations department spent some time planning this weeklong initiative. Furthermore, the collaborative effort between the Community Relations and Communications departments was exceptional. The Dodgers’ 2017 FanFest was more popular than ever thanks to the community outreach initiative and the inclusivity of all members of the greater Los Angeles community.