Here’s “What’s New at the Ballpark”

Media club reporters represent Central Penn at first-ever Phillies college media night, in Philadelphia

By Norman Geary

Knightly News Reporter

 PHILADELPHIA – Last month, two Knightly News Media Club reporters were among college journalists who attended a Philadelphia Phillies season preview presentation at the team’s field in the City of Brotherly Love.

Phillies spokesperson Lauren Testa said it was first such event for college reporters.

Norman Geary, former media club vice president, and reporter Keith Gudz, who handles club fundraisers and promotions, were on hand for the  “What’s New at the Ballpark,” hosted by the Phillies and the Aramark food-and-entertainment corporation, at Citizens Bank Park.

The event kicked off  at 6 p.m., with:

  • Master of ceremonies and Phillies radio host Jim Jackson
  • Former Phillies player Tommy Greene
  • The Phillies Phanatic mascot
  • The Phillies Ballgirls, women with softball experience who use their skill and baseball gloves to protect fans in lower-row seats from foul balls
  • Former National Football League defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, who played for the Eagles from 1996 to 2005

Event high points

The event also included ballpark food-and-wine sampling, and prizes.  Music was provided by 98.1 FM.

The event was invitation-only.  College media representatives were invited to interview any of the 150 attending.

Geary poses with a statue of Phillies' great Robin Roberts before the festivities.  Photo by Keith Gudz.

Geary poses with a statue of Phillies’ great Robin Roberts before the festivities. Photo by Keith Gudz.

People are talking

New food, fashion and fan-participation programs for the 2017 season were unveiled –and the team previewed its new college “lineup” of Phillies perks, including student discounts, specially themed night-game ticket offers and college Phillies caps.

Check out for more information.

Promoting fan access

“It’s strictly talking about the giveaways,” Scott Brandreth, Phillies merchandising director, said of team promotions.  “It’s a great way to get the merchandise out there. This is one thing we have been doing for years and years.  If you give free stuff to get people out to the ball game, sometimes they will get that free stuff and go to the ballpark, enjoy a game, and maybe they will come back again, and we get our logo and our stuff out there.”

Besides T-shirts and bobble head figurines, the Phillies will hold some demographic-specific theme days, such as a men’s 15-and-over for Father’s Day, a women’s tote-bag giveway for Mother’s Day and “a lot of kids’ giveaways,” Brandreth said.

 Benefits to college students

The Phillies held a Phillies College Night April 10 during the Mets game. It featured a special ticket discount, $1 hotdogs and a limited edition Phillies T-shirt in some school colors.

Gudz poses two front office employees during the event.  Photo by Norman Geary.

Gudz poses two front office employees during the event. Photo by Norman Geary.

 Turkey Hill – major Phillies sponsor

One vendor at the event was local-to-Central Penn dairy-foods provider Turkey Hill, based in Lancaster County.

“The new format — I love it!” Jean Noblie, Turkey Hill account executive, said of changes in the stadium that make it easier for fans to access food and beverages. “With the stage and the runway, it encourages people … to purchase (food) during the season. They come over to us to get drinks and dessert, so I get a chance to get them at the beginning, and I get a chance to get them at the end.  I think the event went very well from a marketing standpoint.  The Phillies organization makes sure they include all their vendors.  They say your name to the people, they get your name out there, and you get front and center with them, and get to interact with them.”

Exec highlights value of events

The Knightly News reporters met with Scott Nickle, director of corporate sales for the Phillies.

Nickle emphasized the importance of having “What’s New” events.

“This is a great event because it not only gives us an opportunity to engage with our fans, but it gives our corporate partners a chance to engage with the fans as well, for the fans to see what’s new and what we are offering this year, just to keep things fresh,” Nickle said. “It’s always nice to get people together and to get everybody in the baseball mood again.”


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Edited by club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.


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