Dorados, a giant cemented by regionalism

Dorados de Sinaloa is a young team that has clung to regionalism to strengthen itself. He stays close to his settlers, works with a young fan base, in addition to bringing Maradona himself to the town. Everything has come together in its international recognition, despite the ups and downs.

The team was founded in August 2003, but approximately eight years ago, when Grupo Caliente took over 60% of the property, ‘El Pez’, which is now a member of the Expansion League, decided that it was going to concentrate its efforts on the Young fans, in this way opened their ‘fish tanks’ or academies for children, who can also enter the games for free; that is why his fans have grown together with the club.

Professional soccer arrived late in Sinaloa, so a space has had to be made between more traditional sports such as baseball or amateur soccer. And although Culiacán fans were used to celebrating the home runs and races of the Tomateros, a dominant team of the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), the Dorados opened the field from the closeness with the fans, as explained to The Economist Javier Llausás, marketing director at Dorados.

“It was a hobby that was not used to seeing their team go down or that there were these defeats, but little by little the team has taken root,” he said.

In addition to schools for children, the club gives its supporters a voice by sharing their stories and through social responsibility initiatives.

Despite having baseball as a rival, Dorados has also benefited from the traditions of the King of Sports through a hobby that is very willing to buy tickets. According to data provided by the marketing director, between 2015 and 2016, when the team was in the First Division, ‘El pez’ had 60% subscribers, more than teams like Atlas or Cruz Azul.

“It is something that we were able to capitalize on quickly. In that 2016 (the leaders in) the average attendance were Tigres, Rayados, Xolos and Dorados, in a season in which we lost seven times in a row ”.

According to the manager’s statements, Dorados was the team that sold the most T-shirts in the Liga de Ascenso in 2017 and 2018 and particularly in 2017, before the final against Lobos BUAP, it was also the team that sold the highest number of season tickets.

Los Dorados accepted the titanic mission of challenging the big projects in order to become a giant in their own league and in 18 years their growth has been meteoric: they won four championships in the Promotion League, they were promoted to the First League twice. Division and now, under the new Expansion League format, it is the third season that they have positioned themselves as super leaders after a year out of the top 8.

But go up, down, win or lose, in the fans there is always a reason to go see the team play, like the model player or franchise coach who reached his peak with Diego Armando Maradona.

“In 2015 he ascended, in 2016 he descended but came out champion, in 2017 he lost the final due to the Promotion, in 2018 Maradona arrived and played a final, in 2019 he reached another final, we did not achieve the Promotion and another very dark stage came with the covid -19 and in 2021 we are entering the doors of Liguilla with a leadership ”, said Llausás.

Despite being a niche team, having a franchise player, such as Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Sebartián Abreu, Pep Guardiola or coach Diego Armando Maradona, has allowed the team to have an international presence and be recognized in countries such as States. States, Argentina and Italy. Although according to Llausás, the number of followers abroad is not representative, but is mainly concentrated in Mexico and Sinaloa.

What’s Dorados’ next big marketing hit?

“It will come as long as we can reorganize ourselves, to be able to aspire to promotion again. Right now we are very focused on being a team with a community spirit, which is something that will not be complicated because people know it, whenever they have needed it, Dorados has been there ”.

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