Crawdads Corner: Takeaways from My First Year as Creative Services Specialist

From Videoboard to Theme Nights, the Payoff Worth the Months of Planning

By Ashley Salinas / Hickory Crawdads | September 19, 2018 9:20 AM

Welcome back to Crawdads Corner! My name is Ashley and I am the creative services specialist for the team. I am responsible for all our graphic design, marketing, and media relations. I grew up in San Francisco and went to San Diego State University where I majored in Marketing and Quantitative Economics. I just wrapped up my first season with the Crawdads after joining the team in November. This week I wanted to reflect on the season and some of the takeaways I had.


This was my second season working in minor league baseball and first as a full-time staff member. Before this season, I hadn't realized just how much work goes into the getting ready for our 70 home games each year. While some parts of the offseason are more fast-paced than others, the whole front office starts preparing for the next season in September. It was really cool to see ideas we worked on in December come to life in front of thousands of fans on a game day. We can talk all we want in the conference room about a theme night but seeing a smiling family walk through the gates dressed for that theme made the months leading up to that night worth it.


A key element of my job this year was the privilege of overseeing our brand-new video board. The board definitely had it's challenges (when it would decide to go blank in the middle of a game or when the speed pitch would suddenly stop working) but overall I really enjoyed working with it. I loved creating content for theme nights and watching the crowd chant along to Daniel Bryan's yes video every time the Crawdads hit a homerun. The board wasn't installed until March so this is my first full offseason with the board and I have a list of projects to work on over the next several months to make the fan experience even better. That means more videos, animations, and new designs are on their way for 2019. Over the course of the season I picked up a lot of tricks to make the board run smoother and am excited about what is to come.


Another aspect of my job is creating content for and overseeing the 'Dads social media accounts (with assistance from our Director of Promotions and Community Relations, Chris Dillon). Each platform has different audiences that we try to cater to and track by analyzing the number of impressions and reactions each post gets. A clever caption with a sharp picture of Crawdads players in action is always a solid bet to be a top performing post. We made it a point of emphasis this year to have more fun with our social media and it paid off. Some of our top posts this year were our fake news stories such as the infamous Crawmoms announcement and when we announced back in November that MLB slugger Giancarlo Stanton was being traded to Hickory (the Instagram post had more than five times the number of impressions than our second best post). Our job with social media is to inform and entertain so we plan on continuing to infuse humor in our timelines and hopefully some of the content that we come up with will make you laugh.


Over the next several months, I'll be working on designs and getting everything ready for another season of Crawdads baseball. The 2018 season was extremely educational for me and I plan on using everything I learned to help make next season even better. We'll see you back here in two weeks for another Crawdads Corner!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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