New Castle News

Sports

August 16, 2012

That’s the ticket: Shenango grad reveling in Bucs’ success

NEW CASTLE — September usually is a tough time for Kiley Cauvel.

The 1994 Shenango High graduate has been with the Pittsburgh Pirates for seven seasons, most recently as director of advertising and creative services. In the past, as the team fell further out of contention and another year of futility became apparent, devising marketing ploys to attract fans to the stadium at the end of the season became a difficult task.

“Typically, September is weak for us,” said Cauvel, referring to attendance at PNC Park. “This year that will be different, and that’s something we have to keep in mind now that the nature of the team has changed.

“As we get into late August and September, with the team falling behind, fans would lose interest, but this year’s different.”

The surprising season has created all kinds of changes for the Pirates, including new challenges for the former Kiley Perdue.

Cauvel, who recently was inducted into the alumni hall of fame at Shenango, began working with the Pirates in 2005 and like most others following the team, isn’t used to a pennant race. In one regard, it’s made her job easier, as ticket sales have drastically increased, but similar to the Pirates on the field, who are in contention for a playoff berth and their first winning season in 19 years, the success also brought on another hurdle.

“It’s definitely added expectations and raised our goals,” said Cauvel, who leads the marketing department in designing ad campaigns with star players and stadium promotions that will appeal to the fan base. “I wouldn’t say it’s made my job any more difficult or easier. It’s a double-edged sword. In the past, our marketing has been focused on weekends, but we’re promoting weekdays and big matchups because weekend games are selling out in advance. I’ve never had to promote a series with the Reds that can decide the division before, so that’s different.”

The winning season added another wrinkle in what has been an evolving career for Cauvel.

The 36-year-old English major never envisioned herself as a marketing expert when she was attending classes at Grove City College in the late 1990s. She tried to follow her initial goal of working behind the scenes in New York City after graduation in 1998, even landing a job as a paid intern (known as a fellowship) at the “Judge Judy” show, but after a few months, she realized the big city wasn’t for her.

“I thought more arts management (when I was in college),” she said. “I was a singer in plays and I liked that kind of stuff, but I was too Type A to move to New York and make it. I always thought that being in the background was where I would make it.”

Cauvel moved back to the area not long after her fellowship in New York and earned a job in ticket sales at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. She was skeptical of working in sales at first, but she said it was gratifying to see people enjoy the entertainment she was selling and quickly began to settle in at her new position. After three years, she became the marketing manager and eventually the director of marketing at the Civic Arena and held that post until 2005. That’s when the Pirates came calling. Again, Cauvel questioned whether it was the right move.

“When I started with the Pirates, I was a little worried I would get bored with the same product all the time, but that’s really not the case,” she said. “We do a lot of ad campaigns within our overall brand — speaking with college kids, moms and dads and those that want to talk about values and family fun. We talk to a lot of little kids, and being able to speak to all the different targets puts a lot of variety in the day.”

Staying in marketing and communications has been a great move for Cauvel — and the Pirates.

The team was using an outside ad agency prior to Cauvel’s arrival. She said larger agencies have certain resources the Pirates don’t, but she helped the team build its assets, and the overall improvement allowed the Pirates to rid itself of other advertisement organizations.

“We’re really proud of having built up what we have,” she said.

A longtime Pirates fan (she even had presale tickets to the World Series in 1992, but “that didn’t work out”), Cauvel’s enjoying the Pirates’ recent surge as much as anyone — except for maybe her 3-year-old daughter, Juliet, who may have helped inspire a trend that’s been with the Pirates for most of the season.

“Even my 3-year-old makes a Z with her hands,” laughed Cauvel, referring to the “Z” that Pirates’ players and fans often make after a big hit, a sign that pertains to Zoltan from the movie “Dude, Where’s My Car?.” “It’s something small that has really turned out to be a lot of fun for the city, so we’re running with it.

“We evolve (with our campaigns). At this point of the season, everything has kind of blown up.”

The Pirates (64-53), who are mired in a mini-slump at the moment, still are selling out games on a regular basis. The buzz of baseball has returned to a city that’s been craving meaningful games in September for two decades. Cauvel, who lives in the Pittsburgh area but comes back to New Castle on a regular basis to visit her parents, said she couldn’t be happier to be a part of the resurgence — both personally and professionally.

“For the first time since I’ve been here, we’re working on a postseason campaign,” she said. “It’s really exciting. I’ve been there for seven years, but there are people who have been here for 20 and never experienced this, and it’s a whole different atmosphere in the office. I can only imagine how anxious they have been for the Pirates to be in this position.”

It’s been a long time coming for everyone in Pittsburgh.

(Email: j_simon@ncnewsonline.com).

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Magliocca.tiff 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees: Today, meet Linda Magliocca

    This is the first in a series of feature stories on the 2014 inductees into the Lawrence County Historical Society Sports Hall of Fame.
     

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 14

    The Neshannock High baseball team passed a big test last night. The host Lancers answered a late Laurel surge with a single run in the sixth inning to escape with a 6-4 win in WPIAL Section 5-AA action.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 12

    The Neshannock High softball team continued to roll Saturday. Madison Shaffer tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout to lift the Lady Lancers to a 6-0 WPIAL Section 4-A home win over Shenango.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • shen1.tiff Shenango baseball team knocks it out of the park with toy drive

    The Shenango High baseball team hit a home run with kids at Children’s Hospital. Led by Tyler Booher and Anthony Prestopine, the Wildcats spent the last two months conducting a toy drive to benefit the young patients of the Pittsburgh facility. They ended up with about 200 items.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 11

    Neshannock High baseball pitcher Frank Fraschetti was dominant on the hill yesterday. Fraschetti limited Riverside to four hits in a complete-game 4-1 WPIAL Section 5-AA home win.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 10

    The New Castle High baseball team found a way to pull out a win yesterday. The Red Hurricane scratched a run across in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 12-11 WPIAL Section 1-AAAA win over North Hills at Flaherty Field.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Serg.tiff Athlete of the Week: Meet Neshannock’s Rich Serignese

    Rich Serignese is no stranger to pressure on the baseball field. The Neshannock High sophomore twice defeated WPIAL Class AA champion and PIAA runner-up Beaver a year ago, so facing a team that put up eye-popping numbers the night before was a piece of cake.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 9

    Ellwood City Lincoln’s Dillon Horgan tossed a complete-game gem yesterday. Horgan scattered nine hits to lift the visiting Wolverines to a WPIAL Section 5-AA victory over Laurel, 6-2. Horgan (2-3) allowed two earned runs with three walks and six strikeouts to pick up the victory.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cooper.tiff Laurel hires Cooper as new football coach

    Laurel High has found its man. Brian Cooper replaces Pat Cuba at the helm of the Spartans football program. Cuba resigned last month after leading the Spartans to a 7-3 record and the program’s first playoff appearance since 2009.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 8

    Hitting was on display for the Neshannock High softball team yesterday. The Lady Lancers banged out 10 hits in a 14-8 WPIAL Section 4-A home win over South Side Beaver.

    April 9, 2014

AP BB Tourney Latest News2014
AP BB Tourney Poll 2014
House Ads
Shoot For 2
Photo of the Day