As they prepare for the 2019 season, the Rocky Mountain Vibes (Rookie; Pioneer League) appear poised to refresh the Minor League Baseball experience in Colorado Springs.
Over the offseason, the Elmore Sports Group completed a series of franchise shifts that involved moving the former Helena Brewers to replace the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). The Sky Sox franchise relocated to San Antonio and assumed the San Antonio Missions name and branding, while the former Class AA Texas League Missions moved to Amarillo and rebranded as the Amarillo Sod Poodles—opening a new ballpark last month.
Obviously the moves carry implications for all three markets, but there will be significant changes in Colorado Springs this season. While the market will now field a lower level of baseball, the Vibes branding–first unveiled in November–is one that the team’s front office feels brings considerable potential. The new branding, along with a schedule that is more favorable to the climate in Colorado Springs, a revamped concessions lineup, and other changes to the ballpark (which will soon be rebranded from Security Service Field), is part of an offseason that has brought a sense of excitement for Vibes president and general manager Chris Phillips and the rest of the front office. More from The Tribune:
“We were sick of doing the same things year after year,” Phillips said. “It wasn’t because of complacency, but it was because we were just kind of limited with what we could do with that Sky Sox brand. So now it has totally re-energized us. Now we can kind of do whatever we want.”
That energy was apparent in the Vibes’ offices from both Phillips and Kyle Fritzke, the Vibes’ director of marketing who helped spearhead the rebrand.
“We’re not ever going to shy away from the history and the greatness that was the Sky Sox,” Fritzke said. “But it just didn’t really have that story to build behind it. What does it really mean to Colorado? (The Vibes branding) just lends itself so much more to the region … and now you create a story behind the brand.”
The Vibes begin their season on June 14, when they visit the Orem Owlz to kick off a six-game road trip. Their home opener is set for June 21, featuring a matchup against their in-state rival, the Grand Junction Rockies.
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