LAS VEGAS -- Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today announced a partnership with the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) to become an Official Partner of MiLB Copa de la Diversión™ ("Copa"). The LFA will be the first-ever philanthropic partner tied specifically to MiLB's Hispanic/Latinx fan engagement initiative.
The new partnership will expand the LFA's reach, and help raise awareness of lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation, pain and damage to any part of the body. Hispanics are two-to-three times more likely to develop lupus, making this outreach even more crucial. The LFA and its national network of advocates will work closely with MiLB teams to help promote increased lupus awareness and advance the fight to find a cure.
Participating Copa teams will support the partnership through public address announcements, in-game promotions and distribution of LFA resources during select Copa games. Advocates from the Foundation will make an appearance at various Copa games to distribute lupus resources and educate people about clinical trial participation. The Lupus Foundation of America will also be featured on MiLB's digital network through the new Copa-specific site, as well as on each participating team's Copa-focused site.
Lupus is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, a challenge to treat and is potentially fatal. Hispanics tend to develop the disease at a younger age, have more symptoms at diagnosis and experience more problems with lupus than others. Through their comprehensive programs, the LFA is focused on reducing the time to diagnosis, expanding direct services, and ensuring people with lupus have access to safe and effective treatments.
"The goal of Copa is and always has been to engage authentically with our Hispanic/Latinx fans in MiLB communities across the country," said Kurt Hunzeker, Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Research for Minor League Baseball. "Our new partnership with the Lupus Foundation of America will aid in those efforts by providing new, life-improving educational tools to our ballparks and bringing a better understanding of lupus to our fans."
"We are excited and grateful to have Minor League Baseball joining us in the fight against lupus," said Stevan W. Gibson, president and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America. "This partnership will provide us with an opportunity to engage with a population that is disproportionately impacted by lupus, and expands our ability to deliver needed information and resources to all people with lupus in order to help them navigate the challenges of this complex and devastating disease."
The Lupus Foundation of America begins its outreach in MiLB this week as an exhibitor at the Baseball Trade Show, a feature of the annual Baseball Winter Meetings, in Las Vegas.
About Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the United States, Canada and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball® clubs through their farm systems. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2017, Minor League Baseball attracted 41.8 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information visit MiLB.com.
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About the Lupus Foundation of America
The Lupus Foundation of America is the national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus. Learn more about the Lupus Foundation of America at lupus.org. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.