Fresno Beehive

Fresno Grizzlies acquire emoji that reinforces city’s status as taco capital of U.S.

When the Fresno Grizzlies hold a news conference, the media tends to pay attention because the team is likely doing something outrageously off-the-wall cool.

Such as adopting the Fresno Tacos as an alter-ego and playing under that name during Tuesday home games each season.

Or officially sponsoring an emoji, which probably wasn’t a thing anyone ever thought to do until the Grizzlies announced Tuesday they have acquired the taco emoji.

The emoji, popularly used when discussing tacos and taco-related news on social media and text messaging, was acquired through a tax-deductible donation of $5,000 to The Unicode Consortium.

“This is another flag in the ground to pay homage to taco culture in the Central Valley and cement Fresno as the Taco Capital of this country,” Fresno Grizzlies General Manager Derek Franks said in a news release. “We will be very good keepers of our newly adopted emoji. In fact, we encourage as many people as possible to use it.

“It’s available to borrow from us, for free, at all times, forever. We wouldn’t have been able to live with ourselves if Taco Bell had ended up adopting it. Now it’s home where it belongs in Fresno.”

Taco Bell originally petitioned to have the taco added as an emoji in 2014. In the name of fair play, the Grizzlies are making the emoji available to the company (or Chipotle or Del Taco) for a price of $1 million, $995,000 of which would be donated to Central Valley charities, initiatives spearheaded by the Fresno Grizzlies Community Fund and The Unicode Consortium. The rest would be spent on on a wardrobe for the Fresno Tacos mascot, according to the release.

In the meantime, anyone who can prove they tweeted using the hashtag “#FresnoTacos” and the emoji will get 15% off each Fresno Tacos item they buy at the Fresno Grizzlies Team Store, including Grizzlies/Tacos emoji shirts and caps.

Of course, the congratulations to the Grizzlies are rolling in.

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee