This is becoming a trend. Minor League teams that rename themselves for one day or for several specific days during the season. The Fresno Grizzlies started it as they adopted the name Fresno Tacos for several days per season in 2015. Now the Charlotte Knights are following this trend. The AAA (Internatinal League) farm team of the Chicago White Sox will adopt a quirky name related to their BBQ promotion on July 15.
During a Carolina BBQ Battle Royale Night at BB&T Ballpark, the Knights will become the Charlotte Pitmasters. During a theme night that honors the delicious BBQ history of the City of Charlotte, the Knights will wear a new uniform design, including an on-field cap, jersey, and merchandise at a press conference held at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday in front of hundreds of season ticket holders.
Knights GM of baseball operations, Rob Egan stated: “We’ll always be proud to be the Charlotte Knights. But for one night this season, we’re thrilled to honor BBQ lovers all across the Carolinas with this unique new brand. We hope that our fans enjoy the new design and get behind this special theme night. We will have plenty of delicious BBQ fare that night as well.”
The Pitmasters will wear a uniform that contains BBQ Sauce Brown (burnt orange on the crown of the cap), Pulled Pork Brown (brown color in the logos), Sandwich Orange (orange on top half of the bun), and Sandwich Gold (gold on the bottom of the bun). The cornerstone of the Pitmasters brand is a pulled pork sandwich character named “Smokey”, who is calling his shot. The entire logo set was designed by Charlotte Knights vice president of entertainment, David Ruckman.
On July 15th, part of the ballpark menu for the evening will feature a sampler plate consisting of three BBQ sandwiches. Fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite BBQ sandwich that night, which will later become a BB&T Ballpark dish.
Promotions like this seem to be a goldmine for MiLB clubs. Fans love it. When the Fresno Grizzlies started with their Fresno Taco “rebranding” in 2015, the club could only hope for success. But they did not know that the special caps and jerseys would be a best seller.
Other clubs have seen this success and they are following the example.