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Latino push helps At Bat app top North American charts

MLB teams up with LatinWorks on diversity effort to help better reach Latino fans At Bat has been dominating North America since its big update over the weekend, topping app store rankings in the U.S. and Canada as the highest grossing sports app on both iPhone and iPad entering Tuesday's first day of Spring Training games between Major League clubs. The app's new bilingual feature also has it on top of the charts in Mexico, part of a larger effort by Major League Baseball to expand its relationship with Latino fans.

To further that effort, MLB announced that it has named LatinWorks, the award-winning full-service cultural branding firm, as the league's creative agency to reach Latino fans. LatinWorks will direct MLB's national campaign to emphasize its multicultural diversity and connect with its Latino fans more directly and extensively. There were 193 foreign-born Latino Major League players -- 22.6 percent of the league -- on Opening Day rosters last season, playing alongside many U.S.-born players of Latino descent.

"We are committed to reaching fans across different cultures and backgrounds reflecting the significant cultural diversity of Major League Baseball rosters," said Tony Petitti, MLB chief operating officer. "With multiple recommendations from MLB partners and an expertise in reaching the Latino audience, LatinWorks will help MLB continue to connect with this important and growing fan base."

"Our partnership with MLB is a marriage of a unique vision for the future of both the country and its pastime -- one that has been at the core of our agency's philosophy for many years," LatinWorks CEO Manny Flores said. "We couldn't be more excited to work with the league on its national campaign reaching the Latino fan."

LatinWorks' creative for MLB will incorporate a multiplatform national campaign for the upcoming season, as well as strategic brand activations surrounding MLB jewel events including Opening Day, the All-Star Game and Hispanic Heritage Month. The agency's marketing campaign will be unveiled nationally later this month.

Millions of Spanish-speaking fans around the world will have access to a fully native language experience in At Bat, including news articles, app navigation labels, video highlight descriptions, standings, customized team pages, available live audio broadcasts and the Gameday pitch-tracking feature, among other capabilities to be rolled out this season.

There are nine games scheduled for Tuesday, including five between Major League clubs and another four between MLB clubs and college teams in their hometowns. To start using the At Bat app in Spanish, just go to Settings on your device and change the language.

In addition to At Bat and its comprehensive bilingual accessibility, Latino fans also will have extensive Spanish-language access to all 30 MLB clubs through MLB.TV, which will introduce a new audio option in 2015. This technology will give MLB.TV subscribers the ability to switch the live audio feed from the television to Spanish-language radio announcers without disrupting the live video broadcast.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Read and join other baseball fans on his community blog.