AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Months of anticipation and marketing strategies led Amarillo Professional Baseball to one finalist for the team’s name: the Sod Poodles.
"They have done a phenomenal job of building up to this final day, the announcement of the team name and for better or for worse, they've managed to get a lot of attention, not just locally, but around the entire country,” said Nicholas Gerlich, a marketing professor at WTAMU.
Gerlich says the home run for the team's marketing was the use of 21st-century technology like social media.
"Probably the best thing they did was utilize social media,” said Gerlich. “We didn't have these tools 15-20 years ago and now we do, so you can take a campaign and literally go viral with it in seconds."
The team not only used social media to get the word out there, but to also get community input on the team's name.
"Social media is so amazing in so many ways,” said Shane Philipps, Director of Public Relations for Amarillo Professional Baseball. “It's a way to communicate directly with our community very easily but at the same time, any information we want to put out there right now with the click of a button we can get out there."
The hype surrounding the potential names even spread to local businesses with renamed menu items, shirts, signs and more popping up in store fronts and markets.
"Crowdsourcing public support like this has a lot of benefits because you've got other small businesses in town who have already gotten behind it and have made t-shirts and other products bearing this name, showing their support for it,” said Gerlich.
Philipps says the team's effect on local businesses came entirely from the community.
"All of that was all natural. That was organic,” said Philipps. “We didn't do anything to push that. All we did was put out five finalists and the rest was history."
Gerlich and WTAMU has also made a survey about Amarillo’s new baseball team and its name that you can take part in.
As for what’s next for the team, Philipps has some ideas.
"We have a few tricks up our sleeves. We still have our uniform unveil … We're going to see a mascot in our near future, probably in the new year,” said Philipps. "It's going to be fast-forward from here. It's going to go really quickly."
Fast-forward to April 2019 where the Sod Poodles hope to hit this one out of the park.