Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals have been named as the top promotional franchise in the Carolina League for the 2017 season, and thus a finalist for Minor League Baseball's Larry MacPhail Award. A top honor in Minor League Baseball, the MacPhail Award goes to the club that demonstrated the most outstanding and creative promotional effort throughout the season.
"I am so incredibly proud of our talented, forward-thinking front office staff who worked together to collaboratively execute the best promotional schedule in the Carolina League which we feel is also the premier promo slate in all of Minor League Baseball," said Potomac Nationals General Manager of Sales, Bryan Holland.
"Our staff has gone above and beyond in their pursuit of creative promotional excellence, and it's wonderful that our efforts have been recognized with such an honor."
In 2017, the P-Nats saw the third largest total attendance in franchise history, with more than 230,000 fans at The Pfitz throughout the season. With some type of promotion nearly every night during the campaign, not only was there always baseball to be played, but family fun entertainment.
"We are so humbled to be nominated for the Larry MacPhail Award. Larry MacPhail was a true trailblazing, trendsetting pioneer of the game, and it's amazing to be included among an exclusive class of club nominees for his namesake honor," said Holland.
"Like all club finalists for the Larry MacPhail Award, the Potomac Nationals' annual mission is to take the bull by the horns and run with our first-class creativity to engineer the best possible campaign of family entertainment for our fans, and with respect to our 40th season of Potomac Baseball, that mission was accomplished."
Above all else, the stacked bobblehead lineup continued to provide the foremost creative ideas in the 40-year history of the franchise. With unique ideas such as the Bryce Harper Gobblehead giveaway celebrating Pfitzgiving, and the Ode to Tommy John Surgery Statue with removable UCL, it was a noteworthy step up from what was already one of the most original promotional schedules set the past season. In all, seven bobbleheads/statues were given out during the season.
As has been the case for many years, the P-Nats went all out with a theme jersey slate that was second to none in the Carolina League. In addition to the normal quartet of jerseys worn throughout the season, The Red, White, & Blue mixed in nine theme jerseys over the 70-game home schedule. Accompanied by the Harper Gobblehead, the P-Nats wore Thanksgiving themed jerseys for Pfitzgiving, which were far from usual, as they featured a cartoon turkey. As opposed to going with a traditional character for the Star Wars Day jerseys, the P-Nats went out of the box and donned the jerseys with the Cantina Band from 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope. With a look back at the 1992 cult classic The Mighty Ducks, custom Mighty P-Nats jerseys graced the diamond in a full celebration of the 25th anniversary of the debut movie. Potomac also wore four "Flashback" theme jerseys, which highlighted specific teams in the franchise's 40-year history. The P-Nats sported jerseys in support of Autism Awareness as well as Military Appreciation jerseys, which raised funds for local military groups.
Other highlighted theme nights included the best Ode to George Costanza in the business, a celebration of the 25th anniversary of A League of Their Own, Back to the Future Night, and many more.
Three celebrities visited Pfitzner Stadium during the 2017 campaign, as Matt Doherty, AKA Lester Averman from The Mighty Ducks, graced The Pfitz for Mighty Ducks Night. Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams and MLB Cy Young Winner Doc Gooden also appeared in Woodbridge, VA for free autograph signings and a meet & greet.
Once again, Potomac promotions made their way on to the national stage, as ESPN Sportscenter, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, ESPN's Baseball Tonight, MASN-TV, and many other outlets picked up on the P-Nats' giveaways and seasonal highlights. The Ode to Tommy John Surgery Statue got a feature by Kenny Mayne on Sportscenter, the Anthony Rendon "Real Electric Hair" bobblehead appeared on a telecast of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, while the dual bobblehead of Dan Kolko and Jayson Werth garnered widespread attention, more than any other promotion in the 2017 campaign.
"Top-flight promotions are truly the lifeblood of Minor League Baseball franchises, and to be considered the best in the promotional business in the Carolina League is incredibly rewarding," said Potomac Nationals General Manager of Operations Aaron Johnson.
"The Potomac Nationals will once again raise the bar for promotional success as we prepare for the upcoming 2018 season in an effort to push the envelope on serving as an industry innovator in building one-of-a-kind promotions."
With so many other creative promotional teams in the Carolina League, the P-Nats knew that once again a new promo standard must be established, and the Carolina League nomination for the MacPhail Award validates that Potomac Baseball promotions and creativity are aligned with the best of the best in all of Minor League Baseball.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and nine CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats' 2018 season and beyond are available, as well as all-inclusive corporate outings to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. 2018 Potomac Nationals Season Tickets are now on sale. To purchase season tickets or for more information, please contact Alec Manriquez at 703-590-2311 ext. 221. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2018 tickets, group outings, and picnic packages, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals' Extreme Custom Collision Ticket Office at 703-590-2311.
-- Potomac Nationals --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.