This news was inevitable, but the Texas Rangers have finalized their purchase of the new High-A Carolina League franchise in Kinston.
Ever since it was announced in August that Kinston would receive a team as part of the California/Carolina League alignment, the Rangers have been working to get their operations up and running. Earlier this month, the team appointed Wade Howell as the general manager and then revealed the finalists for a name the team contest. Additionally, renovations to Grainger Stadium have been approved.
With the sale now complete, the Rangers are announcing a few other details. The team has agreed to a 12-year lease with the City of Kinston, and has also revealed a new corporate partnership and additional front office staff appointments.
It was announced that the new franchise has entered into a five-year partnership with the Minges Bottling Group to make Pepsi its Official Soft Drink. The agreement gives Pepsi exclusive pouring rights for carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, bottled water, isotonic sports drinks, energy drinks, and vitamin enhanced waters.
“Being a part of a first class baseball organization is exactly the partnership we welcome,” said Jeff Minges, CEO of Minges Bottling Group. “What has been most rewarding for our company is creating a win-win partnership with the new ownership. They have great leadership in their management team and I feel strongly this will transcend to an enjoyable experience at historic Grainger Stadium. We are so happy they have chosen Pepsi, born right here in Eastern North Carolina, to be their official soft drink.”
“We are excited to enter into this long-term partnership with Pepsi and the Minges Bottling Group,” said Wade Howell, Kinston Baseball LLC General Manager. “This is a great local company who will help us enhance the ballpark fan experience. We are happy they are on board.”
Howell also announced the appointments of Jon Clemmons as Director of Sales, Janell Bullock as Director of Operations, and Donta Lewis as Coordinator of Operations for the new franchise.
Clemmons has spent the last six seasons with the South Atlantic League’s Asheville Tourists, serving as Assistant General Manager since 2014. Bullock, who was previously the Assistant General Manager for the Kinston Indians from 2008-11, was the Merchandise Manager for the Carolina Mudcats the last three years after two seasons in the same capacity with the Pacific Coast League’s Nashville Sounds. Lewis comes to Kinston from the Rangers’ South Atlantic League affiliate in Hickory, where he was the Stadium Operations Manager in 2016.