Welcome back to Crawdads Corner! My name is Ashley Salinas and I am the Director of Creative Services and Media Relations for the Crawdads. I joined the Crawdads’ front office nearly two years ago (Oct. 30 will mark my two-year anniversary with the club) and am excited to already be assisting in planning a 2020 season that (spoiler alert) will have a lot of exciting new promotions that are unlike any we have ever done. As of Sunday, we are officially a month into the offseason. Like many of you, we in the front office are still having baseball withdrawals but we are also adjusting to the calmer life in the offseason. For me, the next six months will be filled with planning, learning and working to get ahead for the 2020 season.
One of the things that I am most excited to be working on over the next few months is preparing all the designs for the upcoming season. I like to keep everything fresh from year to year so we aren’t just rolling out the same content. Unfortunately for graphic designers everywhere, things have a way of looking dated quickly. Today’s software allows us to do so much more with design than ever before, and we need to stay with the trends to keep people engaged. For example, we now have multiple handheld cameras and a green screen along with the technology to utilize them together to create videos that previously had only been possible with professional grade equipment that cost thousands of dollars. Now, we can film a video of a player against the green background and in a matter of minutes, have them standing anywhere we want and ready to show on our HD videoboard. Video elements are becoming an increasingly important way to tell a brand story and I am editing footage we already collected and making lists of what I envision us using over the next year so we can plan on how to capture those moments. In the coming weeks, I will also create a 2020 brand look that will be recognizable across our materials for the year such as social media, pocket schedules, poster schedules, magnet schedules and other various graphics produced. Next season, the program will be freshened up a bit to get away from the same content that had been running year after year.
The offseason is also a time for reflecting and analyzing what went well and what didn’t. As a staff, we block off time to meet and discuss ways to improve and go bigger on some of the more subjective things such as theme nights and daily promotions. I spend a lot of time pouring over the various numbers I have collected from all our social media platforms to find trends and the most popular content. The hundreds of posts on each medium are sorted by time, day of the week and engagement rate and put through several regression analyses to find hidden patterns. The point of all this is to see what I am posting that fans do and don’t want to see. I dig deeper than just the number of likes or favorites because maybe we had content that was posted at the wrong time on a bad day that would’ve been popular had it been posted at a different point in time. The knowledge gained from the many spreadsheets I create will guide the content calendar going forward.
While I am working on various bigger projects throughout the winter, I also have various day-to-day things to keep up with as well. I am slowly switching over the website for the 2020 season as we set dates for things such as scout nights. Once the season ended, I got to work preparing personalized recaps for our corporate partners. As our corporate team sets meetings, I help create proposals for them to take with them. Some of our partners don’t have their own graphics department and I have already begun collaborating with them on new billboards and program ads for 2020.
The Crawdads will be hosting our second annual Trunk-Or-Treat on Monday, Oct. 28, at LP Frans Stadium. The free event will take place from 6-8 p.m. and will feature games, a movie on the videoboard, inflatables, a costume contest and a family-friendly place for kids to trick-or-treat.