Gattis Loss the Latest in a ‘Really Difficult’ Time for the Braves

Atlanta Braves, Evan Gattis, trade, traded, trades, losing popular players, Jason Hayward, Upton, MLB, Major League Baseball

Say goodbye to Evan Gattis, Braves fans.

The day after the Braves traded popular slugger Evan Gattis to Houston, the team’s director of public relations acknowledged the challenges of the last few months.

“It’s been a really difficult off-season,” said Beth Marshall, in response to a question today at the Public Relations Society of America’s Georgia chapter luncheon in Buckhead.

The Gattis trade followed earlier swaps of other “fan favorites,” as she called them — including outfielder Jason Heyward and Justin Upton. Plus, plenty of fans (including this one) are still miffed about the move to Cobb County.

(The Gattis trade might be the last straw for me. Big hitter, nice guy, remarkable story… Come on, y’all. This is what we’re losing?)

Marshall, on a panel with three other sports PR pros, called the trades “a necessary process for a lot of different reasons.” She said they bring not only P.R. challenges, but marketing issues, as well, since fans can’t come to see some of their favorites anymore.

With so many new names on the roster, everyone within the Braves organization will have a lot to learn at Spring Training — so they can help educate the fans, in turn.

Other morsels from the panel, shared on the PRSA Twitter feed:

  • A British couple touring the College Football Hall of Fame were flummoxed. “Do people actually GO to these games?” they asked a tour guide. – from Traci Messier of the Jackson Spalding agency, which works with the Hall.
  • The Hall activated Kia sponsorship with tailgate exhibit featuring their vehicles. That’s a good example of how corporate sponsorships have to be directly relevant for the sponsor and the event.
  • Comparing launch successes, speakers pointed out that the Hall’s events and grand opening were spread out; the Braves held everything about their move secret until One Big Announcement.
  • Athletes’ social media posts can help build brand — or destroy it. Marshall tells players to not tweet anything they wouldn’t say on TV.

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