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Guadalajara has put his name at the top of the sport in the last year with Checo Pérez, ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, the Atlas club and is also looking to achieve it in baseball with the charros from Jalisco. The ninth Guadalajara team managed to qualify for the 2022 Mexican Pacific League Final Series and has done so with the push of its new owners, the González Íñigo family, who are trying to implement the experience gained in their club house businesses.

This family, owner of the Sesajal agro-industrial emporium, which has connections in 25 countries, is living its first year at the head of the administration of Charros de Jalisco, where they own 89.5% ownership. Their lineage is steeped in baseball with roots from Hermosillo, Sonora, and, in addition to their business vision, they have also sought to inject their vision as fans to offer a competitive and profitable product. The remaining 10.5% is distributed among the Valenzuela Cadena, Plasencia and Gómez Flores families.

“We have big projects in mind. At the end of the season, we are going to convene strategic planning exercises, we are going to hire external agents (advisors) to put together a plan of how and where we want to see Charros in a three to five year plan, no more because the world is so changeable that we would waste efforts. The reference is to see what the valuations of the soccer and baseball teams in Mexico are, which right now are between eight or 10 times more (referring to the value of a soccer team against a baseball team), a dream is that five years those valuations are reduced to five to one”, explains Íñigo González Covarrubias, executive president of Charros de Jalisco, in an interview with El Economista.

The González Íñigos entered as partners at the invitation of the government of the state of Jalisco, after the problems that Charros had had among the previous leaders, led by Salvador Quirarte, Armando Navarro and nine other partners who owned 73% of the shares, in addition to a complaint for handling 73 million pesos between 2018 and 2019.

The new majority partners officially entered the night of October 5, 2021, when the opening game of the 2021-22 season was played. In just over three months, they managed to get the team to their third final since they returned to the Mexican Pacific League in 2014, counting on their current roster with elements such as Roberto Osuna, Japhet Amador and José Aguilar.

He explains that the franchise comes from two difficult economic years due to the pandemic, to the extent that in the last season before the arrival of his family, the partners had to put their own money for operations. Currently, the financial projections are different.

“This year it could be profitable, we are between 60 and 70% of what we projected, but it is incredible because compared to other sports, this club does not have to put money into its operation, only in the initial investment and we believe that we will recover that in four or five years. We don’t live from this, but as businessmen we don’t intend to put it in, we believe that it can give us great satisfaction, that it is an interesting business for our group because the working capital is practically nil, we don’t have to be putting resources into it to operate, the same season we give those resources.

Los Charros have a long-standing baseball history, founded in 1949 and winning two titles (1967 and 1971) in the summer league. Therefore, for the González Íñigo family, the bet to buy the team “for the highest amount of a Mexican baseball team (they did not specify how much for confidentiality reasons)” has a long-term vision in which they intend to exploit the business to other borders and other profitability variables.

“We got on a moving locomotive. We respect the path that this locomotive takes, we understand what it is doing, seeing what the variables are and now comes the best, we are convinced that part of what we pay for this club is because behind it there is a brand with which there is a lot to do . We have the square, the city and the sleeping fans (referring to the fact that it has not been as exploited in baseball as in soccer)”, highlights the executive president of the Guadalajara club.

The Guadalajara institution also has business projection internally and externally. In the first category, they are planning merchandising stores in international airports such as those in Los Angeles and Chicago, since the González Íñigo family has just received all the brand rights of the club to be able to exploit them without legal revolts. They also say they plan to create player trade links with international leagues in the United States, Colombia, Japan, China and South Korea.

Externally, the vision is to work together with the other nine teams and with the LMP in general to create an expansion of teams in border cities in the southern United States and others in the Mexican Pacific.

— How would you describe this first year of your management at the head of Charros?

“I would describe it as a diamond in the rough because of everything that still needs to be done. It has been a very pleasant experience, it has brought us a great balance and this is only the beginning, Charros is already generating a whole agenda in the family and that generates a lot of emotion for us”, says Íñigo González Covarrubias.

Jalisco finished as the third best team of the season with a winning percentage of .537, behind Mayos de Navojoa (.588) and Algodoneros de Guasave (.544). To reach the final, he left out other historical franchises such as Águilas de Mexicali and Sultanes de Monterrey. Inside the team, the board has been in charge of putting two psychologists at the disposal of the roster, an innovation that has borne fruit because at least 10 players have attended sessions.

“When we make decisions we think like fans, what bothered us and what we liked, that is the philosophy we have had. We seek how to translate the perspective of the fan who goes to the park into professional and profound decisions, the players are extraordinary athletes and humans, we work that human amalgam professionally, not paternalistically, with knowledge. It is a business vision, if something fails you you must have a replacement immediately, we are always ready to make these decisions”, adds Juan Carlos González Íñigo, adviser to the presidency of the Charros.

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