HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s no secret Alabamians love their football. So much, Auburn and Alabama quarterbacks often become household names. What the rest of the country might not know about the Heart of Dixie is the state’s love of America’s Pasttime.
In early June, residents from across the Tennessee Valley submitted a total of 3,352 entries into the “Name The Team” contest for the new Madison Southern League Team.
Since then, Ralph Nelson, Managing Partner and CEO of BallCorps, LLC and his team joined forces with Brandiose, a boutique branding and design company. Experts from Brandiose spent this week in Madison conducting a number of focus groups with government officials, city council members, Mayor Paul Finley, as well as meeting with local residents from all across the region.
“It was just a fascinating process,” said Nelson, of choosing the new Madison baseball team’s name. “(Brandious wants) a team name that fits the community. They also want a team name that’s going to sell a lot of merchandise that people are going to like.”
Brandious is no stranger to the Minor League Baseball world, their company has worked to find names and logos for the New Orleans Baby Cakes, Akron Rubber Ducks, El Paso Chihuahuas, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, among others.
Each of the teams Brandiose has worked with is now one of the league's top teams in merchandise sales.
Of the 3,352 entries, Brandiose found 890 unique submissions then worked with BallCorps to cut the number down to 10 names. The names are now in St. Petersburg, Florida - the Minor League offices - while the office conducts trademark checks on each one.
Nelson said he hopes to have the names back within two to three weeks. The team will then post the finalists on NorthAlabamaBaseball.com where the community will be encouraged to vote – and vote often!
New team president, Roger Wexelberg, shares his enthusiasm for days to come.
“Getting to create something from ground zero,” Wexelberg said. “You don’t get to do that every day. It’s almost like your baby! You see it grow from just a hole in the ground to a stadium to eventually a full stadium on opening day. To get to do that type of thing in a market like Huntsville is tremendously exciting.”
Minor League Baseball President and CEO, Pat O’Conner, recently told Wexelberg he typically sees around 500 fans at groundbreaking ceremonies. The new Madison baseball stadium groundbreaking event had more than 2,000 fans attending.
Beginning on July 16th, fans who want more information about tickets, advertising and suites will have the opportunity to visit the new BallCorp office, which will be located on 8121 Madison Boulevard, Suite 210. The office will give a front row seat to the on-going construction which allows fans and employees an up-close look at the progress.