Myrtle Beach Pelicans prepare for game under national television spotlight

mmckinnon@thesunnews.comJuly 1, 2014 

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are expected to get added exposure this week as Thursday’s game against the Winston-Salem Dash is scheduled to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

BY JANET BLACKMON MORGAN — jblackmon@thesunnews.com Buy Photo

  • If you watch

    Who | Winston-Salem Dash at Myrtle Beach Pelicans

    What | MiLB Game of the Week

    When | 8 p.m. Thursday

    TV | CBS Sports Network (Time Warner digital channel 315, HTC digital channel 96)

Now that the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are set to be broadcast on national television, the only thing left is getting ready for it all.

On Thursday, the Pelicans will host the Winston-Salem Dash in Minor League Baseball’s Game of the Week on CBS Sports Network, marking the first time in Myrtle Beach’s history that the team will have a game broadcast on live national television.

First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. and gates will open at 6 p.m. However, the extra preparation by the Pelicans’ staff has already begun.

“The biggest thing has been trying to juggle what they need from an equipment and production space standpoint and making sure we have everything ready for them,” Pelicans Vice President and General Manager Andy Milovich said. “But from a game operation standpoint it will kind of be Pelicans baseball as normal. There shouldn’t be a whole lot of change to what we need to do in terms of selling tickets and creating a memorable fan experience.”

Milovich said MiLB and Project Brand, a marketing arm of MiLB, decided to reach out to the rest of Minor League Baseball after exclusively broadcasting Triple-A games in April and May. Upon hearing the news, the Pelicans jumped at the opportunity.

“After April and May, featuring all Triple-A teams, they reached out to gauge the interest level of the rest of Minor League Baseball and we submitted our interest and lobbied hard and we were fortunate enough to get the July 3 game,” Milovich said.

Milovich said the exposure will also be a win-win for the Pelicans and the Grand Strand alike.

“The exposure is great for the Pelicans but more importantly it’s great for Myrtle Beach,” he said. “We consider ourselves an integral part of the visitor experience for those that come and enjoy a Pelicans game. It’s [also] a chance to kind of share what Pelicans baseball is all about as well as feature some cut-away shots of Myrtle Beach and everything we have to offer. [It] really gives us a chance to promote tourism and the Grand Strand as a destination.”

However, the Pelicans have just one shot to make it work this season. Should the game be rained out, Myrtle Beach will not get another chance this season to be broadcast nationally.

As of Tuesday night, weather.com’s forecast included thunderstorms and a 60 percent chance of rain.

“Unfortunately if it gets rained out, I suspect they’ll have alternate programming and it won’t be rescheduled,” said Milovich, who is in his second year with the Pelicans. “They have the rest of the summer booked up. From the looks of things we may get some rain during the day and I think it will clear up during the evening and have a chance to play; hopefully it will cooperate.”

Milovich hopes the opportunity will open more doors for the franchise in the future.

“I think we have a great product, [not just us] but Minor League Baseball as a whole. So the first opportunity to have a nationally broadcasted game of the week is certainly a plus for the industry,” he said. “We have as compelling of a story to tell as anybody so if we can continue to grow the national interest in audience then certainly we’ll be positioned well to be a part of it.”

Contact MAX McKINNON at 626-0302.

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