Austin Scher named Appalachian League Executive of the Year
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Appalachian League announced that Danville Otterbots general manager Austin Scher is the Executive of the Year. The award is presented to the executive who has made the most valuable contributions to their club and the league in the estimate of their peers. Under Scher's leadership,
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Appalachian League announced that Danville Otterbots general manager Austin Scher is the Executive of the Year. The award is presented to the executive who has made the most valuable contributions to their club and the league in the estimate of their peers.
Under Scher's leadership, the Otterbots saw sizable increases in attendance and sales, groundbreaking community programming recognition and a wide array of inclusivity measures and promotions have been cornerstones of the growth. From 2021 to 2022, the Otterbots have increased average attendance from 990 to 1,202 fans per game, a 34 percent increase. Total contracted sales rose 61 percent, including a 225 percent increase in group sales and a 35 percent increase in corporate partnership sales.
“I am beyond honored and humbled to have been voted 2022 Appalachian League Executive of the Year," said Scher. "The success of the Otterbots this season is a testament to the tireless efforts of my incredible full-time staff, our 2022 intern class and the best game day staff in all of baseball. We made it our mission to become a true Community Champion, and I cannot thank our incredible fan base enough for their support.”
Under Scher, the Otterbots unveiled the Appalachian League's first sensory room, Luca's Place. The room was designed to welcome those, especially children, with sensory sensitivities to the ballpark. The club improved "The Wreck," the ballpark bar, added to the kids zone and unveiled a History of Danville Baseball concourse mural featuring the logos of the Danville Braves, Danville 97s, Danville Leafs and Danville All-Stars. Otterbots promotional theme nights focused on inclusivity, hosting their second annual Pride Night, Juneteenth Celebration, Sensory Night, Cancer Awareness Night, Foster Parent Appreciation Night, Military Appreciation Night and First Responders Night.
Beginning in the fall of 2021, the Otterbots implemented the Fun at Bat program in all Danville Public Schools elementary schools. The Otterbots then began discussions with Danville Parks & Recreation leaders about re-starting a city little league program. In the Spring of 2022, the Otterbots started the #BOTS Read Around the Bases summer reading program, encouraging students to read 360 total minutes between school years to help prevent a "summer slide."
“As a lifelong baseball fan from North Carolina and 2015 intern for the Burlington Royals, my respect and admiration of the Appalachian League is long-standing," Scher added. "I am forever grateful to Ryan and Brittany Keur, my coworkers and the entire Southern Virginia region for allowing me to work towards making the Otterbots and city of Danville household names across the country.”
Under Scher's leadership, the Otterbots were voted Danville's "Favorite Family Fun Spot" by Showcase Magazine Readers and recognized for "Exceptional Community Involvement" by Evince Magazine. Scher sits on the board of the newly formed Danville Reading Cohort, the Danville Public Schools Education Foundation board and served as the 2021-22 Danville-Pittsylvania County United Way campaign chair.