Cilantro Gomez

Cilantro Gomez, one of the Grizzlies' new mascots, takes the podium during a recent press conference. Photo via Grizzlies Facebook page

published on June 13, 2017 - 9:44 AM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

What a difference a taco makes.

Minor League Baseball has named the Fresno Grizzlies among the top 25 teams for licensed merchandise sales last year.

Powered by the team’s marketing alter ego — the Fresno Tacos — the Grizzlies have set new merchandise records each of the last three years. The team expected to crack the $700,000 mark for merchandise sales in 2016, topping $500,000 in 2015.

“Since we began the ‘Growlifornia’ campaign in 2015, we’ve seen the Fresno Grizzlies and Fresno Tacos brands grow exponentially, in large part to the support of our great fans. Not only are the brands popular here in the Central Valley, but we’ve also shipped Fresno Tacos merchandise to all 50 states, and several countries,” said Derek Franks, Grizzlies general manager, in a statement. “We are certainly thrilled to have cracked the top 25 in Minor League Baseball merchandise sales; it speaks volumes to how much the Grizzlies brand resonates as cutting edge and cool, and how great our authentic merchandise looks on the field of play. It is truly an honor to stand beside 24 other top-level organizations.”

The top 25 includes fellow Pacific Coast League teams the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Nashville Sounds, Sacramento River Cats and Salt Lake Bees. All 160 Minor League Baseball teams had combined merchandise sales of more than $68.3 million for 2016 — up more than 5 percent from 2015.

The Grizzlies are gearing up for their biggest event of the year, Taco Truck Throwdown 7, which will be expanded to two days this year — July 28-29 — at Chukchansi Park.

Related story: Grizzlies enjoy record-setting $700,000 in merchandise sales

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