Starting with tonight’s game, the Miami Heat is being prominently featured in this season's NBA’s “éne•bé•a” “Noche Latina” tribute to Latin heritage.
The Heat isn’t pulling out the “El Heat” jerseys again until next week’s games at AmericanAirlines Arena – on Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs and Thursday against the Orlando Magic – but the Chicago Bulls will be “Los Bulls” at AA Arena tonight.
The NBA launched a comprehensive Hispanic marketing initiative last fall with the creation of “éne•bé•a,” – the Spanish pronunciation of NBA. This month’s Hispanic Heritage/Noche Latina celebration is aimed at celebrating the league’s Latin players and more than 16 million Hispanic fans across the country.
Celebrations are taking place at games this month in nine NBA markets – Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, New York and Orlando. Noche Latina was first held during the 2006-07 season.
The special nights include the uniforms with team names in Spanish, musical performances, giveaways and other activities. The uniforms and other products with the teams’ Spanish names are for sale at the NBA store in Manhattan, Champs stores, NBAStore.com and at the in-arena stores for the participating teams. The Miami Hoops Gear store sells a variety of El Heat items.
Meanwhile, the Florida Marlins this season are dubbing Friday night home games at Sun Life Stadium as “Fiesta Fridays” replacing “Fish Fridays.” Fiesta Fridays will have a heavy Latin flare, says Sean Flynn, the team’s vice president of marketing.
Hispanic baseball legends will sign autographs and salsa and pleneros bands will perform before games. And with the exception of Opening Night on April 9, the Marlins will be known as “Los Marlins” at Friday home games and will wear a Los Marlins patch on their uniforms.