PRESS RELEASE – On November 12, 2009, 450 elementary school children in Walla Walla helped usher in the return of baseball to the Blue Mountain Region. On November 7, 2010, The Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast League were recognized by the Summer Ball Conference 2010 for their inaugural season. The club was awarded the Best Marketing Campaign for the 2010 launch and season at the SBC ’10 Awards Gala presented by Baseball America.
The conference, hosted by the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League, is an annual event that gathers many of the top franchises in collegiate wood-bat baseball to discuss methods for improving business operations, baseball development and fan experience. The award was voted on by peers and represents one of the most successful launches of a franchise in collegiate wood-bat baseball history. General Manager Zachary Fraser was on hand at the Gala in Madison to receive the award on behalf of the organization.
“We are grateful and humbled to have received this recognition,” said Fraser. “To be in the presence of franchises that have truly established the industry and to have received the award based on their vote means a lot. I wish that our staff was able to be here to participate, because they are the people responsible that created, refined and executed the plan to launch the franchise. They are to be recognized for their efforts.”
The Sweets, who introduced their award-winning brand a year ago this week to a gym full of excited schoolchildren at Sharpstein Elementary, was a name voted on by Walla Walla fans in the fall of 2009 and a brand designed by the renowned Studio Simon of Louisville, KY. Among the accomplishments that garnered the recognition was the fact that the Sweets finished #23 in the country in average attendance (and #1 among expansion franchises), averaging 1,451 fans at historic Borleske Stadium (capacity 1600). The franchise was also the subject of a feature article on ESPN.com by baseball feature columnist Jim Caple as he highlighted the various levels of chasing the Major League dream in the state of Washington, starting with the Sweets in Walla Walla.
Categories at the Gala included Best Marketing Campaign (Walla Walla Sweets), Best Community Project (Okotok Dawgs – WMBL), Best Non-Traditional Revenue Vehicle (Marysville Gold Sox – Independent), Best Promotion (Gastonia Grizzlies – Coastal Plains League), Best Ticket Sales Campaign (Madison Mallards – Northwoods League), Attendance Growth (Brazos Valley Bombers – Texas Collegiate League), and Top Franchise as awarded by Perfect Game Crosschecker USA (Eau Claire Express – Northwoods League).
The 2011 WCL season starts for the Sweets on Friday, June 3, 2011 against the Corvallis Knights. The club will play 33 home games in 2011, and season tickets are currently on sale for the Second Season campaign. Tickets are available by calling 509.522.BALL (2255), by visiting the Sweets Shoppe at 109 E. Main Street in historic downtown Walla Walla, or online at www.wallawallasweets.com.
About the Walla Walla Sweets:
Walla Walla Sweets is a professionally operated baseball club in the West Coast League. It is led by a group of civic-minded individuals with strong ties to the Walla Walla region and to the game of baseball. The Walla Walla Sweets will strive to provide their fans, sponsors, business partners, and investors with the very best in competitive baseball and entertainment, including atmosphere, comfort, food & beverage, safety, competition, fun and value. For more information, please visit www.wallawallasweets.com.