This will be the event center’s first globally branded sports and entertainment event for the regional community. This event fulfills the commitment we made when we first dreamed of building this facility, and having the Harlem Globetrotters here is an exciting way to tip off that tradition.”
President Tracy Fitzsimmons
Doors open at 6 p.m., and the event starts at 7 p.m. Those who purchase a Magic Pass can take advantage of a pre-event function at 5:30 p.m. The pass allows attendees to learn tricks, shoot hoops and get autographs and photos with the Harlem Globetrotters. Doors for Magic Pass holders open at 5 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now, with approximately 2,000 seats available overall. Reserved seating is available, as well as pre-show Magic Pass tickets. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com.
Canned and boxed food collected at the door will benefit the non-profit organization Bright Futures-Frederick/Winchester, which helps address local K-12 student needs.
Russ Potts Productions, Inc. (RPPI) is the organizer of the event.
Our team at RPPI is very excited to work with Shenandoah University to bring the legendary Harlem Globetrotters to our community as the first major regional sports event at the beautiful new James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center. November 5 will provide us an opportunity to come together and be entertained by a global brand, all while having the chance to support our local school children and their families through our Bright Futures food drive.”
Zach Franz | Senior vice president of RPPI
The Globetrotters perform more than 450 live events worldwide annually. They were founded in 1926 and have played more than 26,000 games in 122 countries/territories. Known worldwide as the Ambassadors of Goodwill, the Harlem Globetrotters present The ABCs of Bullying Prevention to children six to 12 years old. While in Winchester, they visited Frederick County and Daniel Morgan middle schools.
We can’t wait to bring amazing feats of basketball to Shenandoah University. We are thrilled to play at the brand new James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center. I’m sure there will be a heightened level of excitement in the air, as the Globetrotters create memories for fans in the new facility.”
Harlem Globetrotters star Handles Franklin
The Student Government Association and Sport Business Association will be integrally involved with this event as a learning experience. It will allow students to gain valuable experience in the areas of event management, marketing, sponsorships, advertisements, public relations, sales, facility management and other critical areas that will enhance their career skill sets.
Led by founder and president Russ Potts, RPPI has organized more than 850 major events nationwide, including college and professional sports and entertainment events. RPPI was involved in organizing the Battle at Bristol college football game at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, which set the all-time college football attendance record. Potts has been a pioneer in sports marketing since his time at the University of Maryland as the first sports marketing director in college athletics, then becoming director of athletics at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Potts also served as vice president of the Chicago White Sox before becoming a four-term (16 years) state senator in Virginia.
In addition to sports marketing, promotion, and event organization, RPPI also provides business development, sports facility consulting, fundraising and corporate sponsorship services.
The James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center is a 77,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility that serves the university’s 21 athletics teams, the entire university community and the local and regional communities. The facility includes batting/throwing cages for baseball and softball, hitting cages for SU’s golf teams, and is an indoor practice/conditioning space for outdoor sports during inclement weather. The Wilkins Athletics & Events Center is also a place for hosting major lectures, concerts, sit-down dinners, indoor graduations, festivals, and more.
Building on an Existing Relationship with the Harlem Globetrotters
Four students from the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business and the Sport Business Club (Michael Nguyen, Jared Lowry, Isaac Schrantz and Steven Pironti) and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Sport Management Fritz Polite, Ph.D., traveled to Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 9, for a uniquely up-close view of the Harlem Globetrotters‘ operation. The group met with the famed exhibition team’s tour manager and coach, as well as Globetrotter players, and other arena staff members and officials. The students saw, first-hand, the processes involved in putting on a major entertainment event. Following the game, the Shenandoah group stood on the court while players signed autographs for the fans. The students gained great insight into how a company develops and maintains a brand over an extended period of time, and learned about strategies for continued success, which they can apply in their own future careers.