The Coastal Plain League has announced the duo of Sarah Wagner and Elizabeth Stone as the 2021 Most “Viral” Performers, an award given to the league’s multimedia correspondents who provide the most engaging content throughout the summer. This is the fifth season of the multimedia internship program.
“This program grows in talent every single year and our 2021 class was top to bottom the most creative and quality class we have had yet,” said CPL Director of Content Development & Baseball Admin Shelby Hilliard. “It is always tough to single out a winner for this award but at the heart of it is creating wide-reaching “viral” content and it was hard to argue with what both Sarah and Elizabeth contributed to in those regards this season.”
The CPL places members of the multimedia program at each of its 15 stadiums, Wagner and Stone were both placed in Holly Springs to cover all Salamander games. They were two of 15 multimedia interns spread about the league who worked diligently to share real-time, behind-the-scenes content with CPL fans via the CPL’s social media platforms, most predominantly featured on the league’s Instagram and Facebook stories as well as on TikTok (@CPLBaseball.) These interns also collected video and pictures of players throughout the year that were used in other promotional materials, as well as being archived for use down the road as players continue their journey to professional baseball.
While the two contributed numerous bits of far-reaching content, one post in particular really took off – reaching almost 9-million people to date on TikTok.
“It was really neat to see the content captured in the moment go viral and reach audiences from all over,” said Stone. “I noticed the bullpen presented an opportunity to engage younger fans with content that enabled them to fully experience the CPL atmosphere.”
Some of the best moments come from the most unexpected places and soon somehow the bullpen turned into the main attraction for many kids at the ballpark.
“The kids wanted baseballs and the baseball players wanted was some good food,” explained Wagner. “It was a win-win for both sides. Once we had that original video we decided to spend some more time out by the bullpen and that is when we got lucky with the other bullpen videos. It’s still crazy to see how many views it got!”
When they weren’t capturing moments like these between fans and players, the two were capturing the action on the field and allowing fans an inside look at both the games and the players themselves. It’s not often the CPL is able to place two interns at the same location but this was a pairing that worked out beautifully.
“It was great getting to work with Lizzie [Elizabeth] this summer at Ting,” said Wagner. “We both have different academic backgrounds so I think that also helped because we both had different views on how to capture content, and different ideas of good content to capture.”
While they both have the ability to write, capture video, handle photography duties, etc., they each took the time to dive into the areas they most enjoyed outside of their required duties. Stone spent time writing feature stories on different players from around the league, while Wagner displayed some of the best photography work amongst the entire multimedia class.
Stone graduated from North Carolina State University in May 2021 with a B.A. in Communication, she will be attending graduate school at NC State this fall to obtain a M.S. in Technical Communication while working with NC State Athletics – Pack Productions.
“I enjoyed being able to share and connect with an entire class of creative individuals all while working and promoting a sport I love,” said Stone in regards to her biggest takeaway from this experience. “I’m very appreciative and excited to have had the opportunity as a multimedia intern to engage diverse audiences and enhance the digital presence of the CPL.”
Wagner recently graduated with a B.A. degree in Graphic Design from Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland. Her current plans are moving to Raleigh, N.C. and find a job in graphic design or social media. After her experience this summer she would ultimately love to work full-time with a sports team.
“My biggest takeaway would probably be that even the small moments can have such a big impact,” said Wagner. “Always film and get photos, you never know what you will catch. We were constantly filming to catch content, and something that we don’t think is that big of a moment became such a huge video on TikTok this summer. ”
It would be a mistake not to recognize the rest of the immensely talented 2021 CPL Multimedia Class, the interns joining Wagner and Stone in providing content for fans all season long were as follows: Zach Engler, Victoria Eppstein, Mollie Mitchell, Kelly Couse, Zach Puglisi, Faith Montgomery, Charlotte Gallagher, Blake Waldron, Jenna Arend, Sara Deaton, Charles Thomas, Kari Hodges and Jayme Bailey.
For students interested in taking part in this program for the 2022 season please email a resume to [email protected].
About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League, brought to you by FloSports, is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 25th season in 2021, the CPL features 15 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,700 alumni drafted and 152 alums make their Major League debut – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok @CPLBaseball.