DANVILLE, VA - For the first time in almost three decades, baseball in Danville has its own unique identity: an identity formed by ideas from fans and community members and one that represents Danville and the Southside to the fullest extent. At a closed press conference hosted by Ballad Brewing earlier today, Danville Baseball announced that the Danville Otterbots will usher in the new era of baseball and entertainment at American Legion Post 325 Field beginning this summer.
“When we got to Danville in January, the first thing we did was speak with members of City Council, local business owners and operators, leaders of civic organizations and nonprofits and long-time fans of Danville Baseball. Those conversations made it very clear to us; the range of ideas for a new team identity was as wide as the Dan River and as far-reaching as the Appalachians,” general manager Austin Scher said. “From there we started a two-week name-the-team community submission contest, during which we received over 600 name suggestions. From traditional to modern, to outright wild and wacky--we saw the full spectrum of human imagination in those name submissions. Rather than choosing just one of those suggested names, we instead pulled several common themes and concepts to build an identity completely unique to Danville and the Southside.”
The name Otterbots was derived from two overwhelming themes the team heard in conversations with fans and saw in the name submission contest--the playfulness and symbolism of otters and the future of STEM education and new industry across the southside.
The Otterbots’ primary blue is designed to honor the Dan River and highlight the role it played in building the tobacco and textile industries that defined Danville for generations. The team’s secondary orange, featured in the otter’s eyes, is closely aligned with the color of the HOME sign, formerly above Dan River Fabrics, currently adorned in the River District on Main St. The tobacco industry, the mills and the HOME sign were three more recurring themes seen in name submissions.
The neon typeface, which will be proudly displayed on the team’s jerseys, is a tribute to two additional themes: the blur of the cars racing by at nearby speedways and race tracks and the bright lights of the casino that will soon call Danville home.
“We’re so grateful for the reception that we have received in Danville to this point, and are so pleased with the outcome from this community-driven process. Building an identity that involves so many different themes is truly remarkable,” team owner and president Ryan Keur said. “I’m so proud of Austin and know he’s going to continue to build a great team in Danville and further the mission of becoming a strong community steward.”
The Otterbots will reveal additional brand information in the coming weeks, including alternate logos, merchandise and the identity of the team’s mascot--all of which are derived from themes seen in fan-submitted names.
The community’s first chance to see the Otterbots in action will be Thursday, June 3, as the 2021 Appalachian League season kicks off in Danville. Constituted by some of the top collegiate athletes from across the country, the revamped Appalachian League powered by MLB and USA Baseball will see the Otterbots play 27 home games from June-August, featuring a game-day experience and levels of entertainment never seen before. The new era of baseball and entertainment for Danville and the Southside is highlighted by 21 of 27 home games on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday dates.