Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. I don’t care if I never get back. Bringing a new era of baseball back to Danville our local team, the Otterbots, may have just arrived in January 2021, but they’ve already hit one out of the park by involving themselves in our community. Find out more why we want to root, root, root for this home team!
What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know?
Our business is year round! The baseball season may only run through the summer, but our presence at the ballpark and in the community is every bit of annual. The Otterbots’ commitment to enriching the lives of those who live in our community, increasing educational opportunities available to our youth, and playing an active role in the change in workforce and industry throughout Southern Virginia does not take a break! Our partnership with Danville Public Schools, our staff’s involvement with the SPTC, the United Way of Danville-Pittsylvania County, Rotary, the DPS Education Foundation, the YMCA, and local youth sports keep us visible in the fall and winter months; and a diverse slate of offseason events at the ballpark keep us at the center of the incredible quality of life enjoyed by members of our community. We made a commitment to be much more than ‘just’ the baseball team, and part of that commitment is our 24/7, 365-day approach. Come by and see us some time–we’ll be at the ballpark!
Why did you become involved in the SPTC?
When we got to Danville in January 2021 as a new business and new members of the community, we did not know what our rebranded team would be called. Could we have chosen a name ourselves and hoped for the best? Surely–but would that been responsible? Would that have provided an opportunity to connect to the community we just became a part of? Probably not. Instead, we turned to our fans and our community for name ideas, and received over 1000 suggestions in just under two weeks. From “Danville River Otters” to “Danville Woodboogers” and “River City Battle Bots,” names of all sorts were submitted from folks who wanted to be a part of what is being built in the Dan River Region. The recurring themes of increased educational opportunities in STEM fields for our students–and new technology companies and high-tech industries coming into the region–were overwhelming among submissions, and could not be ignored. The Otterbots brand is built on a similar foundation as the SPTC, and our commitment to our community as an organization is deep-rooted. Being involved with the SPTC is not an option, it’s a necessity.
How does being a member of the SPTC help you?
Having a seat at the table with industry leaders and innovators is an invaluable benefit of being a member of the SPTC. Being able to attend events, network, share ideas, and learn from experts in their fields not only benefits our organization and business practices, but ever
y member of our staff. The value of being a member of an organization that keeps us updated on how technology and innovation are changing the way we live our lives and conduct business as a community organization cannot be overstated.
What positive impact have you witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic?
As our manager liked to tell the team after they had a bad night on the field: “tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” Through all of the negative, through all the loss, through all the pain, and through all the change, we saw people and communities come together in new and creative ways to help each other. We saw businesses get creative to adapt to the “new normal.” We saw industry develop in ways that had never before been thought about. We saw technology evolve to fit the world’s new needs, and we saw it connect the world at a time when people were confined to the walls of their homes. While it was easy to only see the negative of COVID-19 and it’s impact, the individuals, organizations, and industries that have made the best of the opportunity to change have provided overwhelming positives.