The Next Big Thing

Hey guys,

Today I wanted to talk about something that ANY and EVERY team should be doing. This is something that is some what of an investment in the future.  That something is focusing on the kids and making memories for them at the games.  The Richmond Flying Squirrels does this in many, many ways but I will talk briefly about three of the major ones; the Field of Dreams, Kids Run the Bases, and Catch on the Field.

The Field of Dreams is a great name, not only because it is from an amazing movie, but because it is doing exactly what the name states.  The Field of Dreams is a coach of a Little League team’s way of getting them out on the field.  The kids get an opportunity to go on to the field with the home players for the National Anthem.

Kids Run the Bases is something most minor league teams and almost all do.  At the Flying Squirrels, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there is a game, kids fourteen and under are allowed to run around the same base pads that the players played on.

Finally, Catch on the Field is as simple as the name.  Every Sunday day game, kids are allowed to play catch on the field with their friends and family.  Although the time limit for catch is not very long and they are only allowed to play in the outfield, they are still on the same field as the professionals.

Simple things like those three events can bring amazing memories for a little boy or little girl.  How often do they get to say they got to stand by professional players during the National Anthem?  Or how often do they get to run the same base pads that future Major League players run?  Or how often can they play catch on the same field as professionals play on every home game?  Memories like that last a lifetime and it is very important for the front offices of those organizations to take advantage of this opportunity.  If they are successful, the child could potentially grow up as a bigger fan than he or she normally would.  That would also lead to more sale with tickets, group outings, possible corporate advertising opportunities, and merchandise from that team.

Many times I have seen a child with the biggest smile during and after one of those three events.  Each time that has happened, they came away with some kind of merchandise that very same game.  I hope you all enjoyed the read, and if you have a child, I hope you bring them out to your local ball club to enjoy some memory making!

– Donovan

More Boom for your Bat

Hey Guys,

As the Summer is now beginning with all of the local high schools out for break, the baseball season is in full swing and almost half way done. Yet to come are two major events that are high points for any baseball front office operations, the fourth of July and the All-Star race. These two events are additional ways you can market your team and, ultimately, gain ticket sales.

I asked the question “What is more American than going to a baseball game?” and I did not think there was an answer until now. There is nothing more American than going to a baseball game on the Fourth of July with your family and watching the fireworks show after the game. This is also a front office’s dream, having a home game on the nation’s birthday with fireworks. The game not only sells itself but it also gives you an opportunity to add things that you could not do on a regular basis. The Richmond Flying Squirrels are offering either a tailgate option or a picnic option. Those both include an all you can eat buffet before or during the game with a field level seat. From a business prospective, people tend to spend more money on things that are related to holidays. Any kind of additional give-a-way or package that can be created will be created.

About the same time, or shortly after the Fourth of July, each league has their All-Star game. This gives the fans a say in who they want to see play together. This is also the front office’s chance to better interact with their fan base through Social Media. Teams should provide links to voting site, gather information from the fans on who their favorite players are, and create a theme for a home game before the All-Star game to create buzz.

Being active through social media is key for both of these events. This is a great way for the front office of an organization to gain more money in multiple areas. It is also a great way to show the fan base that they are a part of the organization.

I hope you all enjoyed.

– Donovan

VIP Appearances

Hey guys,

For this blog I wanted to talk about celebrity appearances and rehab stints of formal Major League All-Stars.  Getting celebrities to come throw out a first pitch and have a meet and greet at your stadium is another way to encourage the surrounding community to join the fan base of your local team.  The front office is tasked with getting several celebrities to make appearances with meet and greets with only a small budget, so doing this task is hard.

So how do you market those celebrities that are able to come visit your ballpark?  From what I have learned in my short time as an intern is that you have to get the information out to as many people as possible.  You start with creating a specific flyer for the date of the game (you do this for any themed night as well).  Once that is created you try to reach out to the local fan clubs or people that would have an interest in seeing the celebrity at your location.  Social media and email lists play a big role in marketing this type of event.  Strategically using a social media blast through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, your information will be able to get out to your fan base in a hurry.  You would also be able to find those fan pages of the celebrities on Facebook as well.  You would be able to connect with them and ask them to place your flyer on their page to generate interest.

Having an All-Star injured is not what you want for your Major League affiliate but it does bring about a chance for a rehab stint for your club.  The Richmond Flying Squirrels are lucky to have former San Francisco Giant All-Star, Matt Cain, come to the Diamond to start in a rehab situation on Tuesday night.  One of the goals of the front office is to do a media blast to get that information out there and generate interest in the community about the star.   This is a short notice operation and it takes everyone to try to make it a success.

Things like these can be a blessing for your club to gain attendance.  As an organization you try to maximize the amount of people coming to the stadium as quick as you can.  The more you post and find places to place ads, the better the attendance will be.  Hope you have enjoyed this blog, until next time.

– Donovan

Take Me Out to the Crowd

Hey guys,

One of the major things that companies engage in is the community outreach program.  This gains interest in the surrounding the communities to get more fans out to the games.  Two of the major things that the Richmond Flying Squirrels do is Nutzy appearances and different community themed nights.

Nutzy appearances are pretty simple, the mascot goes to different community events and walks around or does something special for the fans.  What is good for the Flying Squirrels is that there are four or five Nutzy costumes at the Diamond.  This allows the interns and full time staff to do multiple events on any certain day.  One of the Nutzy events that I did was play wheelchair basketball.  Doing that is hard in itself but with a mascot costume on makes it even harder.  We gave out pocket schedules and convinced people to come out to the games.  A few of the fans actually called my line this week to get information on group tickets because the mascot came to the event that they were at.  I am actually about to go to another mascot appearance right now and participate some how in a pageant.

Community themed nights are ways that the Richmond Flying Squirrels connect the surrounding areas, no matter how far away they are.  I am helping with Fredericksburg night on August 25th.  Fredericksburg is roughly an hour from Richmond but we are the only sports team around so we want to include them in our fan base.  These community nights also include different college nights as well.  Last year Virginia Tech night had assistant coach Shane Beamer to throw out the first pitch and this year we are lucky to have Bud Foster come to do the same.  Additionally to that we are having a Radford Night next Saturday, June 13th.  I believe the Radford University baseball team is coming to the game and will have a special shout out. (This is where I tell you to come out to the game!)

These are just little things that they do to help community relations.  Obviously there is more they do before and throughout the season.  One of the main goals that a sports team should have is to bring the community together and the Richmond Flying Squirrels are doing a great job at that.

Hope you all enjoyed this blog!  Have FUNN, Go Nutz!

– Donovan

Operation Sell-Out

Hey guys,

On July 19, 2015 the Richmond Flying Squirrels are having a front office competition called Operation Sell Out.  Yesterday the entire front office staff (this includes departments that do not directly sell tickets), including interns, was divided into seven teams.  The goal is to sell out on a Tuesday night game, which is incredibly hard for the middle of the season.  We have some things working for the staff though in the form of a give-a-way and a special appearance.  The give-a-way is a Joe Panik Button.  It is a giant red button with former Richmond Flying Squirrel, and current defending World Series Champion, Joe Panik’s portrait on the top of it.  The special appearance is last year’s World Series trophy!  Our goal is to show the San Francisco Giants that the city of Richmond is a great place to have one of their Minor League teams.

My team consists of one director and 4 full time interns.  We have the Director of Promotions on our sides.  She has already created flyers and gathered a bunch of ideas for in game announcements to contact our team for sales.  I am one of two interns who’s main job is to sell tickets, so that is our advantage.  We have one intern that is utilizing his corporate sales contacts to ask if they want to utilize a company outing with the squirrels.

We are generating ideas to place flyers around and contacting several of our resources for this game (not going to list all of our tricks because some other teams follow my social accounts and we want to keep a competitive advantage).  The reason why I thought it was important to blog about this was the management’s ability to motivate the employees by competition.  We are in the sports industry and competition is in our blood.  By creating this competition, it brings people out of their comfort zones and helps us one step closer to our attendance and monetary goals as an organization.

So if you are in the area of Richmond on July 21st and want to come to a game, please contact me through my email at donovan.faloney@squirrelsbaseball.com or through my direct line (which you can get if you contact me).  I hope to see you all at the Diamond! Have Funn, Go Nutz!

I hope you enjoyed.

– Donovan

Rain Rain Go Away

Hey guys,

One of the craziest times during a baseball game is when rain comes in the picture.  Whether it is just a light drizzle that the players and field play through or a storm that delays the game, things can get crazy pretty quickly.  In honor of last night’s rain delay (and my first rain delay of the season), I want to talk about what the front office staff normally goes through in preparation for a rain delay and during the rain delay.

Obviously, there is an official from the team constantly looking at the weather.  When there is a chance of rain, everyone is prepared to do what they are supposed to do.  When “Tarp” is called, everyone who can is supposed to run on to the field and push the tarp out and cover the field in the rain.  This usually happens pretty quickly.  After it is cleared again, the people who are free are supposed to go back out and remove it from the field.  If you have ever seen this happen, you would agree it is a pretty fascinating thing with the amount of people doing it and the speed that it all happens.

What happens to all of the fans during the tarp pulls and rain delays?  What do the other staff do during this time? Of course all of the fans go for cover underneath the seats of the stadium, but guess who is also there? That’s right, the staff.  Once the tarp is on the field, they run up to the concourse to guest relate and make sure the fans remain happy.  One of the cooler things that happens is that the staff clears an area so them and the guest can dance for entertainment.  The stadium plays different dance songs and the staff grabs kids, parents, and anyone else who is willing to dance to join them.

All of this happens pretty quickly.  You have to be ready at any time and always have a smile on your face.  You are in the customer service industry and when the fans are happy, management is happy.  Stay tuned next time to learn more about what happens in the front office when there is not a game that night.

I hope you all enjoyed this addition to my blog!

– Donovan

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Hey guys,

What does every little kid look forward to every year (besides Christmas)?  Their birthday, of course, and where would be a better place to have a birthday memory than the ball park?  If the kid enjoys going to baseball games and loves the sport like most kids do, this would be something they would never forget.  For us at the Richmond Flying Squirrels, we have specific packages for groups like this, as well as other type of group outings (and this is the section where I was hired this summer for the full time internship).

The birthday package with the Richmond Flying Squirrels cost a minimum of $176.  I know you are probably thinking that is a lot but you get quite a bit for your money.  You have an hour long celebration in the Little Caesars Party Pavilion, field level seating during the game, visit from all of the mascots, a free round of mini golf at the field, three pizzas and cookies, a Flying Squirrels baseball, first pitch honors for the birthday person, and opportunity to join Nutzy on the dugout to sing Happy Birthday to you. Along with that you receive eight tickets (you can purchase more for $11 each).  This is a pretty great deal if you ask me when you usually have extreme prices at some other places.

Now what was stated above is what the Richmond Flying Squirrels do, but I am sure that other ball parks do the same.  The staff is hired for full time attention to this section so, as the person setting up the birthday celebration, you do not have to do too much, just invite your guests, tell us how many people will be attending, and pay for the package and extra tickets if necessary. We take care of you and your group to the full extent.  If you have any questions or concerns about set up, the employees will get back to you within a few hours.

The greatest part about this is that it is available for ALL AGES.  This would be a great experience for everyone involved and it would definitely would be one to remember.  So if you are looking for a place to have a birthday celebration and you guest of honor is a baseball fan, look no further and take them out to the ballgame!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and, always, have funn go nutz.

– Donovan