It’s opening day of the Cactus League spring training season. Visitors from all across the country and the world will enjoy Arizona sunshine and baseball from now until the first week of April. It’s truly an economic force for the Grand Canyon State.
Economic impact studies estimate spring training teams and the ballparks they play in now annually generate more than $809 million in economic impact for the state. Included in that number is more than $544 million that results from out-of-state Cactus League fans attending games at 10 Phoenix-area ballparks.
Ten of the 15 teams hail from cities represented by some of our North American Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) partners:
(Arizona Diamondbacks) HMA Public Relations
Scott Hanson, president: “Throughout Arizona, the D-Backs have the community buzzing. Not only have they made some key off-season player-acquisitions, but they are heavyweights in the community and boast one of the most dynamic club presidents in pro sports, Derrick Hall.”
Matt Kasik, account executive: “In Chicago, the Cubs carry an image of the loveable losers who always think this could be the year! (But this year, it is!)”
Nicho Campos, media specialist: “In Chicago, the White Sox represent the South Side and are adored by the blue-collar population who still celebrates the team winning the 2005 World Series.”
Shelby Ray, account executive, HMA Public Relations: "Growing up in central Illinois, it's always been a city divided between Chicago Cubs fans and St. Louis Cardinals fans since each beloved city is in equal distance, and Cubs have always hailed over the White Sox. But, this girl cheers for the Cards!"
Ed Stevens, chairman and CEO: ”In Cleveland, the Indians are our best chance at a championship next to the Cavaliers. We are fortunate to have two professional teams poised as legitimate contenders. Then there are our dear Browns, just one QB away. Watch the Tribe starters this year. Our young arms are pitching for a great manager and a city on a rebound.”
Leeza Hoyt, president: “In Los Angeles, we rally around the Dodgers and Angels – could be because we simply don’t have a football team, and our basketball teams are, well, lackluster -- so we’re all about baseball. Mike Trout is the current magnet for the Angels – who else could get a five-yeat- old to wear a fish hat? Now that’s passion."
David Landis, president and CEO: “In San Francisco, the Giants are as much a part of the fabric of our community as cable cars, sourdough bread and the Golden Gate Bridge. AT&T Park – situated with a magnificent view of San Francisco Bay - is a source of pride; the Giants continue to support numerous charitable efforts; and – best of all – they’re World Series Champions (several times over). Their impact on the city and the region is enormous.”
Nick Singer, account coordinator: “In Oakland, the Athletics are known for giving up their best players for Moneyball and having (at most) a quarter-filled stadium throughout the year. While they do embody the feistiness and grittiness of Oakland, they always find a way to disappoint the fans.”
Christi Chesner, director of client service: “In North Texas, baseball season means hot dogs, home runs, cold drinks and quality time with friends and family. Baseball gives us an excuse to get together, but the Texas Rangers give us a reason to keep coming back for more.”
Aaron Blank, president and CEO: “In Seattle, we’re still wishing that the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl to make-up for our loss to the Patriots in 2015. Seriously. We’re not ready to think about baseball. And when we’re ready, the season will be over because the Mariners haven’t made the playoffs in a dozen years. Yes, we’re hopeful with our new GM in place but… in Seattle, baseball is second to football. That is until we get into the playoffs.”
Are you ready to play ball with this all-star lineup?