Mustangs Announce New GM

Martinsville Mustangs New Logo 2013PRESS RELEASE – The Martinsville Mustangs will introduce their new general manager to the public today at Hooker Field as part of the team’s Pi Day celebrations.

Shea Maple will become the third general manager for the organization in as many years. He brings a load of front office experience to the franchise, having served in front-office roles at all levels of minor league baseball. But Maple believes there is more to success than what happens on the field.

Martinsville Mustangs Hire Maple as GM“I believe in this community, and that’s what it’s all about,” Maple said. “I’ve been able to create friendships through baseball, and what other industry do you create lasting friendships through work? I’ve got friends and people I know in the area, and I feel like this is a community I can feel comfortable in and one I’m really excited to join.”

Maple, who was born in South Carolina, said that to build long-lasting relationships with businesses, individuals and families in the area, he needs to be involved for more than one year.

“I think in order for us to be really successful, I think continuity is important,” he said. “We need that to grow, and I’m really excited about changing some things up, but keeping a lot of things the same. We’re going to have a lot of fun, not just this year, but in many years to come. Hopefully we can turn some heads and impress some people.”

Maple has experience at multiple minor league levels. From 2010-2013, he worked with the Salem Red Sox as a sales coordinator and director of corporate partnerships. Before that, he worked with the Tennessee Smokies (Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) and the Nashville Sounds (Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers). Most recently, Maple spent the winter months in Australia as the assistant GM of the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.

“We are extremely excited to introduce Shea to the Martinsville community as our new GM,” Mustangs President Jesse Cole said. “Shea brings a tremendous amount of experience to the Mustangs. His enthusiasm and energy is second to none, and we are lucky to have him, and I know the community will feel the same way.”

Maple hit the ground running Thursday, his first on the job. He set up sponsor deals and got used to the area.

He officially will be introduced as part of the team’s Pi Day celebration to kick off the 2014 season. All tickets will be sold for $3.14 today, while merchandise with be 31.4 percent off. March 14 is Pi Day in honor of the number Pi, which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. The number is rounded to 3.14. Season tickets and other team merchandise will be released as part of today’s celebrations with that number in mind.

Maple plans to spend the day getting to know the fans. “I’m just going to meet people. I’m going to walk around and talk to fans and find out what they like and what attracts them to coming to the game,” Maple said. “I want to develop relationships, and during games want to meet people and ask them how are they enjoying the game and collect feedback.
“It’s all about listening and accepting feedback,” Maple added. “What are we doing well, what can we do better.”
Maple wants residents of Martinsville-Henry County to support and rally around the team, which had a 22-31 record last season.
“I think it’s really important to get involved with the chamber groups and the social groups that are in the community,” Maple said. “I think that’s going to help me more than anything in this role: my ability to meet people, and it’s what I want to do. Schedule meetings, knock on doors and say, ‘Hey, come out to a ball game.’”

Both Maple and Cole want to build on the attendance the Mustangs had last year, a record-setting season. The total home game attendance for the Mustangs last season was 43,239, about 7,500 more than the 2012 season. An average of 1,600 fans attended each game, according to Ballpark Digest.
This season, the Cole and Maple are expecting sellouts to certain games and another record-setting attendance mark at the end of the summer.

“The opportunity to join this family and incorporate some of the things I’ve seen in my experiences is great,” Maple said. “I know we’re off to a good start, and that’s what’s really attractive about being here. I just want to build on the success the Mustangs had last year, and we’ll continue to find ways to do that and try to improve our product.”

The Mustangs will begin their 2014 schedule against Gastonia on May 23rd.

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