Chance the Rapper Close to Becoming a Club Ambassador for the Chicago White Sox
As one of the brightest young stars in Chicago, Chance the Rapper is constantly putting on for his city and giving back any way that he can. The young star is on the cusp of representing one of the city's home teams as ESPN is reporting that the Chicago White Sox are "close to signing Chance to a club ambassador deal that will pay him to be part of club activities aimed at helping to market the team to a younger audience."
The Acid Rap MC and the pro ball club have developed a relationship over the years and Chance has been a special guest of the club at numerous games. In May 2014, Chano threw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to a White Sox home game against the San Diego Padres. On Friday, April 8, Chance will once again throw out the first pitch as part of the club's Opening Day festivities. He is also part of the team's introduction video that will play on the big screen before games this season.
"For anyone over 28 years old, they're thrilled that [former White Sox player] Frank Thomas is back with us [as a special consultant]," Brooks Boyer, the team's SVP of sales and marketing, told ESPN. "But we want to talk to those who are even younger, to develop interest from the Hispanic and the African-American markets. Chance resonates with them."
Chance's influence is already being felt around the ballpark. Yesterday (April 6), New Era revealed that they worked with Chance to design three new White Sox hats. The hats will be available in a limited quantity (2,000) at the team's opener.
For years Major League Baseball has struggled with its image. Many have criticized the sport of being too old-school, slow-paced and white. The league has been making headway in lower-income, predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the RBI initiative and is starting to market its sport as a better alternative to professional football. The league is pushing the allure of longer careers, bigger contracts and less injury risk -- especially with concussions on the rise in the NFL -- to kids around the country. Having Chance come on as an official employee could pay huge dividends for the sport as it tries to attract more African-American and Latino players from the United States.
If the deal becomes official, Chance would join Drake as the only other rapper to be officially employed by a professional sports franchise. Drizzy has been an ambassador for the Toronto Raptors for the past two and a half years and has helped raise the profile of the NBA franchise. Winning, of course, has helped the Raptors exponentially but Drake's influence has been felt in uniform and court designs and has helped their star players land on the cover of SLAM Magazine.
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