For Ian Locke, media relations for the Norfolk Tides is more than just a job. He joined them in 2004, and has been running public relations for the team since then. What he does is mostly behind the scenes, but he still manages to have fun. “If I was going to work in baseball,” he says, “I didn’t want to work for a team and not be able to watch the games.” As the Director of Media Relations, Locke handles press inquiries and media contact with the players. “If anyone wants to interview a player on the news, they come through me.”
Another part of his job is handling statistics for the players. “If someone is batting 300 with 10 home runs and 20 RBI’s, whatever it is, I keep track of that stuff,” he says.
Locke handles the website social media for the Tides, who have a strong online presence. Though the website is more informational, Locke says, he pushes the promotions for each game through it and social media. The Tides have game-specific promotions, like Christmas in July or Breast Cancer Awareness. But the Tides’ best incentives, he admits, “can be a sunny day on a Friday or Saturday night.”
While many attendees are baseball fans, he knows, it’s not always about the game itself. “People come to Tides games, they don’t necessarily care who wins.” But Locke describes the atmosphere around the game as “a fun environment that people want to go to.” And for him, it’s special too: “It can be long days, but at the same time you see little kids come up to the ballpark and they’re, ‘Oh my God, wow! No way!’ Then you go ‘Okay this is still a pretty cool job.’”