By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Gary Pollard’s first year as director of marketing and promotions for the West Virginia Miners has been a valued learning experience. He wants area residents to share in his enthusiasm for what Linda K. Epling Stadium has to offer.
“What we’ve got for (fans) is the chance to get acquainted with, of course, the game of baseball and to get acquainted with the whole operation of the stadium,” he said. “It gets you acquainted also with our sponsors.”
As with any summer baseball franchise, either on the Minor League Baseball system or, like the Miners, on the collegiate level, promotions are an integral part of the whole fan experience. But Pollard said there is also a special relationship created at Epling Stadium.
“You get a chance to meet the players and get autographs, and we really want our fans to get in contact with our sponsors, because we want to network everybody,” Pollard said. “That’s pretty much what I do here. I want to network our community with our sponsors and get them acquainted.”
Promotions are planned throughout the summer, with many nights themed toward specific groups. For instance, July 3 will be Military Night, with various military vehicles present. Boy and Girl Scouts Night is set for July 8, Emergency Response Night on Aug. 1 and Merchants Night on Aug. 2.
Starting next week, every Tuesday is Two for Tuesday Night. Anyone who purchases a ticket will get a second ticket for free. Baseball Bingo is also played every Tuesday.
“There’s always giveaways and always a chance to win something,” Pollard said.
At the July 3 game, tickets for the Kenny Chesney concert on the Fourth of July at The Greenbrier Classic will be given away.
Other prizes will be up for grabs throughout the season, including gas/charcoal combination grills and Wal-Mart gift cards.
Fireworks, of course, are always an Epling Stadium tradition. There will be a postgame fireworks show after the July 3 game against Butler. The Aug. 3 game against Richmond will be Fan Appreciation Night, punctuated by the final fireworks show of the summer.
“We’ve got a lot of giveaways and promotions coming up,” Pollard said. “We just want the city of Beckley and the surrounding areas to know that we are going to provide the best entertainment in town.”
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