Keys Staff Feature – Brandon Apter
How did you end up with the Keys and what previous sports experience brought you here?
I studied Sport Administration at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and secured a game day internship with the Reading Phillies (Double-A Phillies) in the summer of 2009. There, I was involved in selling group tickets, being on the R-Phils street team and participating in other marketing efforts. During games, I worked their prize wheel, acted as my own stadium character Brando the Bando and helped run the kids club program. I enjoyed it so much that I got a nine-month position as the Marketing Assistant with the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Advanced-A Royals) in Delaware. My duties their consisted of managing a group of 40 college interns, designing website media walls and stadium banners and pretty much made sure all of the on-field promotions were sharp when they went on field. After my time there, I interviewed with some teams and ended up in Frederick and have enjoyed my time here thus far. I also spent some time working with a company in Hatboro, PA called the Sports Network. It is a sports wire service that serves clients across the nation and I did a lot of box score entry and in-game computer play-by-play.
What is your position with the Keys and what is your regular day in the office entail?
I am the Promotions Manager for the Keys. No day is really too similar when it comes to the marketing department here but when it comes to office duties, I am in charge of sending out charitable donations, in charge of Keys Baseball Camps, the college internship program and anything involving community relations like mascot and player appearances. I also help plan out the promotional schedule and theme nights. The big program that I enjoy running is Keys for Reading because getting kids excited about reading and baseball is one of the more rewarding aspects of the job.
What duties do you have on game days and what do you enjoy the most about them?
My game day responsibilities start by making the game scripts each day. The scripts run through the entire pregame timeline by the minute and also what goes on in between innings, whether it is an on-field promotion or a video. I work closely with Marketing & Sponsorship Assistant Bridget McCabe and Creative Production Manager Matt Houston on the scripts so I know if any sponsors get special reads during the game or if there are any special first pitches. When gates open, I am on-field for the pre-game stuff and make sure all of the ceremonial first pitches go smoothly. Finding players to catch the first pitch is the tough part! After those, I get the thumbs up from manager Orlando Gomez when the team is ready to take the field and radio up to Matt Houston to roll the open video. When the game begins, I juggle being one of the two on-field emcees for the night and managing a group of 6-9 interns per game. The thing I enjoy the most is the fan interaction. I can’t really sit around in one spot for a long period of time so running around the stadium doing promotions, dressing up as Frank Key or the hot dog is something I live for when it comes to games, because it all adds to the atmosphere. Working game days and seeing kids and families take in their first games is so rewarding so I always try to treat every night like Opening Night, because you never know who may be at the Grove for the first time.
What is your dream job to achieve in the sporting world and how long do you think it will take you to get there?
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t partially living my dream now. Having a job in marketing in minor league baseball is a dream come true in itself. Long term I would love to become the General Manager for a minor league team or possibly the Director of Community Relations for an MLB team. I would like to achieve one of those two in the next 5-7 years.
If there was one thing you could say to the Keys fans about their support over the years, what would you say?
There is so much to say about the Frederick fans because I get to interact with all of them so much during games. Keep up the support because without the fans, there would be some Atlantic League team no one cares about in town. The whole situation with the lease last year and the fan support speaks so much to the character of the people in this city and I love it. I guess I can just say, thanks for being you and keep it up!…and Shake Those Keys!