Posts

Trash Pandas to Reveal Jerseys, Offer an Experience for Fans

MADISON — When it comes to baseball, particularly the Rocket City Trash Pandas, Ralph Nelson believes in going big.

In fact, there’s nothing minor about the baseball team that set all sorts of Minor League Baseball merchandise records and recently passed the $1 million mark in sales.

And the Trash Pandas don’t even play until next April.

In the meantime, the team will unveil its five – yes, five – inaugural season uniforms and offer fans the chance to take the field in official, personalized jerseys.

The uniform reveal will be Thursday night in a big bash at Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville. It all starts at 6 p.m. and local television personalities will model the full official uniforms, including the Salute to Military Sunday/Holiday uniform, modeled by Redstone Arsenal Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Counts.

“We are going to tip our hats to the military every Sunday,” said Nelson, the team’s CEO and managing partner. “If we have games on Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, we’ll wear them then, too.”

Replica jerseys will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at the Trash Pandas Emporium in the Bridge Street Town Centre, next to the Apple Store.

Also in Thursday’s lineup are food trucks, music, “bouncy houses,” T-shirt giveaways …  and more, as Nelson hits another home run.

Nelson and his staff engineered a ground-breaking ceremony last year that drew hundreds of people, a team name release party that packed a local craft brewery and a logo/team colors celebration-fireworks gala that packed Madison’s Dublin Park.

So, naturally, this isn’t going to be your standard uniform unveiling – if there is such a thing.

“We decided to turn it into an ‘experience,’” he said. “It’s also another chance for us to integrate with the community.”

So, continuing its mission of fan involvement, the team is offering fans a chance to purchase authentic inaugural season jerseys and take part in the Authentic Jersey Experience.

“We are really excited about the Authentic Jersey Experience,” Nelson said. “The fans who take part will get their jerseys (next March) in the team locker room and go out onto the field before the players do.

“If you’re a baseball fan, this is what it’s all about.”

The package includes a Rawlings authentic Trash Pandas jersey and a ballpark/locker room experience featuring the use of a player’s locker, batting practice on the field, and a post-game “spread” in the players’ lounge, all courtesy of the Trash Pandas clubhouse manager. The jerseys will be custom made for each fan, including size, name and number.

The Experience will be available for purchase for $199 Thursday night through June 30. It can be purchased online or at the Trash Pandas Emporium after Thursday’s event. On July 1, the cost goes up to $249 and wraps up at the end of the year.

“Rather than just box up the jerseys (for the fans who bought them), we decided to offer them this experience,” Nelson said.

Yep, imagine that, Nelson thinking outside the box.

Grand Reopening: Trash Pandas’ Renovated Emporium Includes Season Ticket Center

It’s time once again to start talking Trash.

That’s right. Trash with a capital “T” – as in Trash Pandas.

The Rocket City Trash Pandas are holding a grand reopening of the team’s Emporium and Season Ticket Center on Friday. Doors open at the newly renovated store at Bridge Street Town Centre at 10 a.m.

Fresh on the heels of record-setting sales, the Trash Pandas will be selling never-before-available team apparel and novelty items. The first 250 fans who make a purchase of $25 or more will receive a commemorative “Stadium Groundbreaking” baseball.

“As most people know, our original plan was for a ‘pop-up’ store to stay open only through the
holidays,” said Trash Pandas Executive Vice President Jenny Askins. “But, the demand for our
products from throughout North Alabama was so intense that we complied with our fans’ wishes and will keep the store open at least until we move into the new stadium.

“Our customers were very specific as to the types of merchandise they prefer, and we have restocked and added new items based on their requests.”

The restocked Emporium will feature all sizes of the most popular Trash Pandas merchandise that could not be kept in stock during the holidays, including the ultra-popular New Era 59FIFTY authentic fitted cap; the one worn by all Minor League Baseball players.

Among the new merchandise available Friday will be tank tops, sleeveless tee shirts, and new colors and styles of infant “onesies.” Coming soon will be items such as pop sockets, pennants, wall art, pet supplies, and new styles of hats from New Era.

The store will host the official Trash Pandas Season Ticket Center. There will be seating samples from the ballpark for three premium areas: Home Plate Luxury Field Boxes, Legacy (drink rail) seating and High Tops. A new feature will enable potential seat holders to view the field from any seat in the ballpark.

While two sections of the new stadium have already sold out for the first three seasons (Reserved Seating Stadium Club memberships and the half-moon shaped Four Tops), new reduced-price Stadium Club memberships that do not guarantee an outside seat will be available.

“I continue to be amazed at how this community has accepted and become excited by our team,” said
Trash Pandas’ CEO Ralph Nelson. “Our industry measures brand acceptance by merchandise sales,
and it’s hard to go very far in North Alabama or southern Tennessee without seeing folks in Trash
Pandas apparel. Our fans told us what they like and we think the new items to be introduced this spring are going to start a whole new wave of excitement.

“It made all the sense in the world to keep the store open so that the Trash Pandas Nation will just continue to grow.”

Trash Pandas to reopen store Feb. 1

After shattering every known Minor League Baseball record for brand popularity in 2018, the Rocket City Trash Pandas have temporarily closed the Trash Pandas Emporium at Bridge Street Town Center.

However, the team will reopen the store Feb. 1 as a combined merchandise and ticket center. The grand reopening will feature previously unavailable, but high-in-demand merchandise, along with updated information on ticket packages and seating options.

Since the Emporium opened Nov. 12, the team has sold more than 32,000 items at the Bridge Street location. This is combined with 3,470 online orders, most for multiple items, from around the world since Oct. 27. This is a record amount of online sales, shattering the mark of 1,022 for three months, set by the El Paso Chihuahuas.

“North Alabama not only chose a nickname that numerous national publications have called the best in sports, but our community has come out in record numbers to support their brand,” said BallCorps Managing Partner and Trash Pandas’ CEO Ralph Nelson. “It is amazing and unprecedented to see this level of support more than 16 months before the first pitch. Our team store at Bridge Street (was) always full and … fans donning Trash Panda apparel can be seen everywhere in the region.

” Our fans have been clear that they’d like the store to stay open and have requested great new merchandise items – we are happy to comply.”

Although the Emporium is closed this month, merchandise is available online at TrashPandas.milbstore.com. Season ticket information is available on the Trash Pandas website www.TrashPandasBaseball.com or by calling 256-325-1403.

Trash Pandas Emporium Grand Opening Saturday Features Apparel Sales and Season Ticket Orders

The Trash Pandas will hold the grand opening of their store at Bridge Street Town Centre on Saturday. (Photo by Steve Babin)

“If you build it, they will come” is a well-known line from the movie “Field of Dreams.”

Well, in the case of Monday’s “soft opening” of the Rocket City Trash Pandas Emporium – “If you sell it, they will come.”

The area’s new minor league baseball team hasn’t played an inning. Heck, it doesn’t even have a ballpark.

But that didn’t deter fans from showing up and buying merchandise Monday.

The grand opening for the store at Bridge Street Town Centre is set for 9 a.m. Saturday.

The team will also be taking deposits for season tickets – the fee is $250 per seat. There will be brochures available so fans can see the seating for the new ballpark – which is expected to be finished by the end of next year. 

The Trash Pandas officially begin play April 15, 2020; meanwhile, the team is still the Mobile BayBears through next season.

Monday’s activity, though, was supposed to be a “soft opening” for the store.

The key phrase is “was supposed to be …”

“It’s been steady,” said Jennie Askins, the team’s vice president of corporate and community partnerships. “We didn’t promote this. This was to give our Trash Pandas Ambassadors (sales staff) a chance to learn and talk to people.

“And a chance to work out any kinks.”

Things were running pretty kink-free Monday as the steady flow of fans made their choices of apparel – ranging from jackets to caps to hoodies and T-shirts.

“The store will be open everyday through Dec. 30,” Askins said. “Then all sales will be online (trashpandas.milb.com).”