MarketScale’s Best of 2018: MarketScale Original Series: Welcome to the Show

MarketScale is proud to present our favorite stories from 2018. Every day from today through the end of the year, we will release a new story. Be sure to follow our social media accounts to catch up on all of our top stories!

Original publish date: July 16

Nothing says summer in America like our National Pastime.

Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones) may have said it best in the classic baseball movie Field of Dreams:

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.” 

And while baseball is a part of our past, the game faces challenges. In an accelerating world, a slowing pace of game is losing the attention of younger and older fans alike. If baseball is to retain its crown as the national pastime, it’s going to need new energy and increased engagement with its fans.

Enter the Savannah Bananas.

Owner Jesse Cole is making people fall in love with the game of baseball again one inning at a time with promotions not found anywhere else in the sport, delivering one sell-out after another. Summer nights at the Bananas’ Grayson Stadium are nothing short of magical, with the perfect fusion of good college baseball, and unmatched ‘fans first’ experiences.

But not without the challenges of running the organization, staying creative and for Jesse, delegating responsibility to his new Director of Fun, Tyler Gray.

MarketScale’s original series “Welcome to the Show” goes behind the scenes with the Bananas as they prepare for the 2018 home opener.

Three days before another summer of amateur baseball, the Savannah Bananas roster is just arriving at Grayson Stadium for the first time. Unlike most summer ball teams, the Bananas have different priorities than just shagging fly ball, taking batting practice and impressing scouts on day one. In this organization, it’s all about the show.

In just over 24 hours, the team will welcome 4,000 fans through the turnstiles just to watch practice, or “Fan Fest” as it’s called. First impressions are everything for the Bananas, and Fan Fest is the first impression of the summer for a team that cannot afford to play in front of sparse crowds.

In Tyler Gray’s debut, the team expects its entertainment to be bigger and bolder than ever before. But with a newcomer leading the way, this is easier said than done. Gray is taking the master of ceremonies reigns from Cole who, with a young family, is choosing to step back and delegate minute-by-minute operations to his staff.

Director of First Impressions Keke Coles begins a new season with dozens of new interns and volunteers as well. Few have ever experienced the pressure of putting on an entertaining experience that includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, zany promotions and plenty of chances to interact with the team.

Leading the players is new manager Tyler Gillum, who must not only coach the team to another winning season, but must also adapt to an environment where his roster is required to participate in off-field entertainment during games.

Episode Two of “Welcome To The Show” is now available! Opening Day has not come for the Savannah Bananas quite yet, but for the front office and staff, the season has already begun. Just minutes before gates open for Fan Fest, the first major event of the year, questions remain to be answered.

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