October 23, 2007 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach, SC - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Advanced Class-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, today announced that the club has received the Carolina League\'s nomination for one of Minor League Baseball\'s top honors. The Pelicans have been nominated for the prestigious Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy, which is awarded annually to just one team from across the United States and Canada which displays extraordinary promotional efforts, both on and off the field. The winner will be announced within the next month and the award will be officially presented at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, TN on December 6.
The Larry MacPhail trophy was established in 1966 and is presented to one team in Minor League Baseball that has distinguished itself through on-field and off-field promotions, community involvement, fan attendance and overall operation. The Pelicans\' sister franchise, the Altoona (PA) Curve of the Double-A Eastern League, which is also operated by Greensons Baseball, won the 2004 Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy.
"The Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy is widely recognized throughout our industry as one of the most prestigious honors any Minor League Baseball franchise can earn and any one associated with the Pelicans, whether it be as a member of our front office staff or as one of our dedicated fans, should be proud to have earned a nomination for this award," said Pelicans\' General Manager North Johnson. "From our brand-new beach party area and videoboard to our enhanced schedule of ballpark activities and promotions to our innovative community and tourist marketing programs, the 2007 season marked the \'New Era\' of Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball and we are very excited and honored to be recognized for our hard work."
The 2007 season was the first season of the "New Era" of Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball, as fans enjoyed an unparalleled experience at BB&T Coastal Field. In the first full season under the guidance of President & Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg, G.E.R.T. Todd Parnell and General Manager North Johnson, the Pelicans witnessed a remarkable increase in attendance as over 215,000 fans marched through the ballpark gates. There were also a number of improvements made to BB&T Coastal Field prior to the 2007 season as part of a more than $2 million renovation project, including a one-of-a-kind beach party area to accommodate groups at the ballpark and the installation of a brand-new, state-of-the-art videoboard, which greatly enhanced the fan experience during each game.
In addition to improving attendance figures, the Pelicans community involvement during the 2007 season reached record levels. The team held numerous fundraising events throughout the season to raise money for worthwhile causes, including the American Red Cross and the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund, which raised funds for the family of a minor league coach who was tragically killed in an on-field accident during a Texas League game in July 2007. Perhaps the most successful charitable night of the season was the Pelicans\' Second Annual Pink Ribbon Night, which totaled over $17,000 for Breast Cancer research. In addition to the tens of thousands of dollars raised for charity, the Pelicans hosted Dinger\'s Home Run Reading Club for the sixth straight season in conjunction with the Horry County School District. This program, which included school visits by the Pelicans\' unofficial mascot, "Dinger the Home Run Dog", rewards students for reaching educational goals throughout the season.
The Pelicans have also become synonymous with innovative in-game and nightly promotions at BB&T Coastal Field. Each Pelicans\' home game in 2007 featured either a fan giveaway item, post-game fireworks show, national entertainment act or celebrity appearance. In fact, some of the ballpark visits made national headlines. On Opening Day 2007, the Pelicans welcomed 2008 Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani to the ballpark to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the season. As the year continued, the stars continued to roll through BB&T Coastal Field thanks to the franchise\'s First Annual "Retro Celebrity Series". The original "Batman" Adam West, Dawn Wells, who played the role of "Mary Ann" on Gilligan\'s Island, and Sherman Helmsley, who rose to stardom as "George Jefferson" on the 1970s hit sitcom The Jeffersons, were some of the stars who made the season-long series a success.
Creative event marketing is another area where the Pelicans rose above many other minor league teams this past season. The club made a strong push to promote specific Pelicans\' games and the fan, friendly ballpark experience to the millions of tourists who spent all or part of their summer enjoying life in Myrtle Beach. Among the new ideas created to market Pelicans baseball to Myrtle Beach\'s myriad of visitors included the "Beach Bums", which was a group of enthusiastic college students dressed in Pelicans\' t-shirts and other beach attire who went out on the beautiful beaches along the Grand Strand and personally handed out team pocket schedules and special ticket vouchers. Another creative idea aimed at drawing tourists to BB&T Coastal Field was the use of banner airplanes, which cruised up and down the beaches from Little River to Murrells Inlet displaying a banner that prominently displayed the Pelicans\' and Atlanta Braves\' logo along with a message announcing that the team had a home game that evening. Other new ideas, such as sending mascots and other team employs out to the heavily-trafficked Broadway at the Beach helped get the Pelicans out in front of millions of potential new fans.
For Pelicans\' 2008 season ticket and mini-plan information fans can call the Pelicans box office at (843) 918-6000 or visit MyrtleBeachPelicans.com. The 2008 home opener is set for Friday, April 11th against the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles) at BB&T Coastal Field. The Pelicans are also set to be the proud hosts of the 2008 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, which will be played on June 24th at BB&T Coastal Field. A full schedule of exciting, fan-friendly events will surround the All-Star Game, which is currently being prepared by the Pelicans front office staff, and will be announced in the coming weeks.