Mustangs Ramp Up Promotions Prior to Season

Published 05/22 2013 07:05PM

Updated 05/22 2013 07:42PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) When Mustangs manager Matt Johnson dons his uniform, his focus is to win that night's game, but the rest of the staff at Phil Welch Stadium has a different mindset.

"To make sure that everyone who comes through the gate has a good time, enjoys themselves, and wants to come back even if they don't like baseball," Ky Turner said.

Turner is the man in charge of getting fans back to the stadium, and has been given the title "Director of Fun" for St. Joe.

"He's got a little bit of a screw loose, which is perfect for that role," Mustangs general manager Rick Muntean said.

Turner spearheads all of the Mustangs in-house promotions at games, but this year they have expanded into the off-season with social media contests, door-to-door giveaways and a reading program for elementary students.

"There's a reason we do those things," Muntean said. "You try to stand out from the crowd."

"That's what we realized going into our fifth year now," Turner said, "is that you can have a lot of fun outside of Phil Welch as well as."

And the community is taking notice of their work.

"I was just out delivering tickets yesterday and (a client) said, 'Hey, you were just at my mom's house the other day. She heard you were in her neighborhood and she was actually going to chase you down in her car for some free tickets.' A lot of people know we're out there and we're met mostly with smiles," Turner said.

It's all an effort to raise the quality of service in the bleachers to the quality of baseball on the field.

"We always have to continuously improve whether it's a new suite to sit in or it's a new game on the field. We look at the smallest details and we see what we can do to make everyone have a better overall experience no matter if you're coming with a group of 500 or a group of five."

The work Turner and the staff at Phil Welch are doing is showing in ticket sales. Muntean expects better attendance in 2013 than the previous four seasons.

"We've sold more of the chair backs than we ever have going into the season," Muntean said. "We've sold more groups than we ever had."

It has only just begun for the Mustangs with more to be unveiled once the season begins.

"There's going to be some stuff this year that people are going to go 'Holy cow. Where in the heck did that come from,'" Muntean said. "It came from the expanse that is inside the brain of Ky Turner."

St. Joe's first game is May 31st at Phil Welch Stadium against Rossville.

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