Opening Day is an exciting time for everyone. Not just the fans, but for the staff as well. Ready or not, all of the preparation done during six and a half months of offseason is put to the test. The months leading up to Opening Day are some of the busiest as staff members are selling group packages, sponsorships, creating material for the website and videoboard and ironing out what promotions will take place. What goes into game day preparation you ask? Let’s take a look at what needs to get done for the fan experience to be at its best all day, every day for the Keys marketing team.
Everything begins with presentation. The first thing people do when they sit in their seats is to check out what is happeining on the videoboard. Two days after media day, Keys Creative Production Manager Matt Houston is busy making headshot slates for the team coming to town and for the Keys. Last year, media day and Opening Day took place over a week apart. Once headshots are done, making images for all of the sponsored inning promotions takes place. Each sponsor gets their logo on the board for their in-game to promote their business. These images are created for each and every promotion that happens throughout the season. Finishing touches on the Keys Open Video and Welcome to Harry Grove Stadium are made and ready to go for the night.
While everything is getting worked on graphically, the rest of the marketing staff is making sure that all of the promotional props, public-address reads and game scripts are taken care of before gates open. Each game, the PA announcer has a binder filled with all of his reads for the upcoming game. Each part of the binder, put together by Marketing & Sponsorship Assistant Bridget McCabe, is separated by inning so it is organized and not confusing once game time hits.
In-game & on-field promotions run either for full season (70 games) or half season (35 games). Each night, Promotions Manager Brandon Apter, makes sure that every sponsored in-game is accounted for and that full season games are always included. Apter plans out what will go on pre-game and in-between each and every inning for all 70 games of the season.
Now that everything is taken care of promotionally, there are still the broadcasters. Assistant GM Adam Pohl and Public Relations assistant, Derek LeComte, spend most of their game days getting stat packages, game notes, lineups and transactions together so that all of the media that attends has the appropriate material that they need. They both partake in on-field emcee duty, so getting stats together is an integral part to how their night goes.
As you can tell, there are plenty of aspects that go into game day preparation and it takes an entire staff to execute it well. We hope to give you some more insight on how things work behind the scenes here at the Keys, so stay tuned!