The Hanover Insurance Company and Worcester (Mass.) Professional Baseball, LLC, today announced that they have reached an agreement for Hanover to be the primary sponsor for the Worcester Tornadoes.
The Tornadoes are the first professional baseball team to call Worcester home in 71 years and the newest member of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball, an independent professional baseball minor league.
Hanover’s sponsorship agreement extends for three years, beginning with the Tornadoes’ inaugural season in 2005 and continuing through the 2007 season.
“As a property and casualty insurer, we generally try to keep a distance from tornadoes,” joked Frederick H. Eppinger, president and chief executive officer of Allmerica Financial Corporation, parent company to Hanover Insurance. “But, in this case, we are happy to make an exception and excited to be the primary sponsor of the Tornadoes, welcoming professional baseball back to Worcester. Our relationship with the Tornadoes is in keeping with the Allmerica and Hanover tradition of teamwork and collaboration to make our community a better place for families to live and work.”
Hanover’s agreement with the team includes naming rights to the
extensively renovated ballpark at Fitton Field, on the campus of The College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, where the Tornadoes will play their 52 home games. The stadium, which is being expanded to accommodate 3,000 seats, will be renamed Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field in time for the team’s home opener on Monday, June 6, vs. the Brockton Rox.
In addition to signage at the renamed stadium, the Hanover name and logo also will appear on Tornadoes players’ uniforms, in program advertising, at the official Tornadoes Web site and on some team souvenirs. Hanover also will have use of a “branded” hospitality tent where the company plans to host community groups and guests at interactive events, such as player autograph signings.
A group of 100 designated seats also will be used by Allmerica and Hanover to benefit agencies and organizations that provide services to local youth. Allmerica and Hanover employees, and Hanover agents also will benefit through discounted tickets and special employee events.
Hanover and the Tornadoes have agreed to work together throughout the calendar year–not only during the baseball season–to create new
opportunities for families and children to connect with their schools, with the team and with the community.
“Hanover and the Tornadoes will work together to leverage the popularity and visibility of the team,” said Eppinger. “We will be out in the schools and neighborhoods, talking to children about the importance of teamwork, commitment and community.”
In February, Worcester Professional Baseball introduced Rich Gedman as the team’s first manager. Gedman, a Worcester native, is best known as an All-Star catcher with the Boston Red Sox from 1980 to 1990. He concluded his 13-year major league career with the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Tornadoes will play in the South Division of the Can-Am League,
together with teams from Elmira, New Haven and New Jersey. Teams in the North Division are from Bangor, Brockton, Lynn and Quebec.
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