‘Cats honored, promo seminar recap & more!

The ValleyCats were honored by the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce at the Van Rensselaer Awards Dinner in late September. The ‘Cats were recognized for their contributions to the Capital Region community as the recipient of the Van Rensselaer Small Business Award.

Anders Thomson, President of Capital Bank presents Rick Murphy, ValleyCats VP/General Manager with the Van Rensselaer Small Business Award. (Photo by Joan Heffler, http://joanhefflerphotography.com)

This was a tremendous honor for our organization as they were joined by CAP COM Federal Credit Union and Neil Golub, Executive Chairman of the Board for the Golub Corporation, who also received awards for their commitment to improving the quality of life in the region.

Below are a few more photos from the event. Additional photos may be found at the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce Facebook page by clicking here.

SouthPaw with Hudson Valley Community College President, Drew Matonak.     (Photo by Joan Heffler, http://joanhefflerphotography.com)

Replica ValleyCats batting helmets and bags of Peanuts & Cracker Jacks used as decorations (and snacks!). (Photo by Joan Heffler, http://joanhefflerphotography.com)

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Community outreach was also a topic of discussion at the MiLB Promo Seminar in Reno as ‘Cats AGM, Matt Callahan, moderated a round table discussion about the importance of MiLB teams remaining active in their communities. Callahan shared details about the team (and BlueShield’s) Community Grounds Crew which was also a key to the ‘Cats Van Rensselaer Award.

The view from the seminar hotel looks out across Reno, the famous Golden Nugget Casino, and the mountains.

Each morning, attendees were welcomed to a Trade Show Breakfast with exhibitors displaying software solutions, promotional items, mascot costumes, and entertainment acts. This is a smaller scale than the Baseball Winter Meetings but still offers a good chance to learn about some of the new items/technology available to the industry.

Every club in Reno was asked to share their best promotion or theme night as part of the “Around the Horn” segment. This always produces some interesting ideas such as “Salute to Bacon Night” and a helicopter candy drop . . . some promotions are easier to implement than others.

The seminar also included smaller presentations by team executives or panels and clubs nominated for promotional awards had the opportunity to state their case prior to the winners being selected on Thursday morning.

The Reno Aces, Triple A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, were the host club and proudly showcased their ballpark with a reception for their peers on Thursday night. Aces Ballpark is a 6,500 fixed-seat stadium that was completed in 2009. Located in downtown Reno, the stadium is flanked by an active railroad and the beautiful Truckee River . . . both visible from the park’s 360 degree walkway.

Downtown buildings and mountains help frame the ballpark, which has several unique picnic areas , including this patio located above the wall in left field.

. . . and a sunken Dugout Club section located directly behind homeplate.

The Freight House District was added adjacent to suite level as “Phase II” in 2010. This area boasts several unique bars that are even open to the public on non-game days. MiLB Execs were treated to food, drinks, and entertainment in this area which was one of the social highlights of week.

Overall, the MiLB Promotional Seminar is an outstanding learning opportunity that allows clubs to discuss best practices as well as promotions or themes that fans may enjoy in their individual markets. It’s also a great chance to catch up with colleagues and friends following the MiLB season.

Speaking of promotions…that was a big topic of discussion at the ValleyCats annual strategic planning meetings last week. Tomorrow’s post will outline some new ideas discussed, and we’ll be asking for input on what you would like to see happen at “The Joe” in 2013!

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