Drive Recognized with Multiple South Atlantic League Awards
Greenville, SC - The South Atlantic League and president Eric Krupa announced its annual league award winners, and the Greenville Drive have been selected as the as the recipient of three of the league's awards.
The Drive received the Excellence in Marketing Award for the sixth straight season and seventh time overall. Drive Vice President of Operations & Grounds Greg Burgess was named the Sports Turf Manager of the Year for the fifth time, while the organization received the Best Playing Field Award for the sixth time.
"We are extremely honored to be recognized by the South Atlantic League with these prestigious awards," said Craig Brown, the Drive's Owner and Team President. "The Drive organization is committed to excellence year in and year out, and receiving these awards is tangible proof of the measurable impact we are making on the Upstate community, as well as the dedication and commitment of our front office to making the Drive the premier organization in all of professional sports."
The Drive received the Excellence in Marketing Award in each of the past five seasons (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014), as well as 2010, and they continue to be one of the most innovative and marketing savvy organizations in all of professional sports.
The Drive's 2019 marketing campaign ("Together We Win") was built and executed by Drive agency-of-record BRIGHT+CO and celebrated how the Drive & baseball have and continue to be a rallying cry and a way for the community to come together. Since Fluor Field at the West End opened in 2006, it has been a place where people of all ages and all walks of life can enjoy a ballgame in a fun, family-friendly environment. "Together We Win" also encapsulates the Drive's commitment to the community and partnering with community leaders to make Greenville a great place for all.
"We're so proud of the positioning the Drive have carved out in the community the past 14 years," said Jeff Brown, the Drive's Vice President of Marketing. "We always want Fluor Field to be a place where the entire Upstate can come together, have fun, celebrate, and put aside differences. We wanted to spotlight and celebrate that notion with this year's campaign."
As the Excellence in Marketing recipient, the Drive will represent the South Atlantic League as a nominee for the Larry MacPhail Award. This prestigious honor will be given at the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, California from December 8-12. The Larry MacPhail Award has been presented since 1966 to the franchise as a symbol of the top marketing effort in all of Minor League Baseball.
Burgess is being recognized by the South Atlantic League for the fifth time, as he previously received Sports Turf Manager of the Year in 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2008. He also received the Groundskeeper of the Year Award from the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) in 2010. Each head groundskeeper is graded in several different categories including pregame field preparation, overall playability of the surface, professionalism of the crew and more.
The playing surface at Fluor Field is being rewarded as the best in the South Atlantic League for the sixth time, as it previously was recognized in 2016, 2013, 2010, 2008 and 2007. In addition, Fluor Field was selected as the 2012 STMA Professional Baseball Field of the Year.
The Greenville Drive and its home of Fluor Field have always sought to deliver a "major league" experience for its players. Prior to the 2019 season, the playing surface was completely rebuilt, reflecting the Drive's commitment to create a top-notch experience for the players. The care and maintenance of the field has been a top priority of the Drive from inception, showcased by the countless hours of hard work put in by Burgess and assistant groundskeeper Zack Pagans to make it one of the best in all of Minor League Baseball.
"The most important relationship that the Greenville Drive has, is with our Major League affiliate, the Boston Red Sox," said Eric Jarinko, the Drive's General Manager. "It is vital to our players' development that they have the best resources available to them when they are a member of the Drive. The playing surface at Fluor Field is such an important asset, and we are extremely proud of the attention to detail and professionalism that Greg, Zack, and the entire grounds crew team, display in making sure that we have the best playing surface not only in the South Atlantic League, but in all of Minor League Baseball."
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