‘Absolute Thrill!’ Kent State PR Graduate in the Middle of Washington Nationals Historic Run to World Series
As the champagne flowed Oct. 15 in the clubhouse of the National League Champion Washington Nationals, there was a Kent State University connection in the middle of the frenzy that capped the team’s first trip to the World Series.
“It’s just an unbelievable time, and I’m so grateful I’m here,” said Dan Armelli less than 24 hours after being doused with bubbly while doing his job as the team’s manager of new media.
“Ever since I knew I wanted to work in social media for a pro sports team, the dream was to win a championship with a group of players that were fun and (who) recognized what my role was and were able to play to that,” he said. “That’s exactly what’s happening with this team.”
The Mentor, Ohio, native earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Kent State in 2017, and after honing his skills as an intern with the Cleveland Indians, Armelli left last fall for a new challenge with a full-time job with the Nationals.
“Even as someone who’s very much a homebody, I’d grown into someone who was looking forward to the challenge of moving away and working for a team I hadn’t really followed,” Armelli said. “I was also looking forward to the chance to the possibility of working with Bryce Harper, who obviously eventually left. I knew we still had a good team heading into the season, but with that star power gone, I wasn’t sure how the season would go for me specifically. Things only got even shakier once we started the season 19-31 and fourth place in our division.”
That’s when the Nationals caught fire and lit up the league for the remainder of the season, capping their September push with a three-game sweep of Armelli’s former team, Cleveland, while clinching home field for the National League Wild Card game.
“Ever since then, if you’ve been following our Twitter account, we’ve literally been the best team in baseball,” he said.
Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the social media world are where Armelli spends his time sharing the inside story of a team of players who have become one of the best sports stories of 2019.
“I want everyone’s eyes on our accounts,” Armelli said. “It feels good that whenever I go to post something on Twitter or Instagram that it matters. The best part is being able to entertain people with our content and having positive interactions with fans. It’s what keeps me going working 24/7.”
Shortly after 11 p.m. Oct. 15, the Nationals recorded the final out, and Armelli posted a tweet to the team’s 725,000 followers – a magical message he will always remember.
“People here have literally never experienced this before, and it’s my job to help capture and deliver this content that these people have never seen,” he said. “It can be daunting, but for someone in my position, you could not ask for a better situation – clinching a Wild Card berth, the first-ever NLCS berth in team history and now the World Series. It’s just crazy to see where this team has come.”
Preparing for the World Series, Armelli’s days are busy to say the least, but he is making sure that he slows down to enjoy the ride.
“I try to cherish every day when I wake up in the morning, go to work, step on the field, stick my phone in players’ faces and get doused in the clubhouse with champagne,” he said. “It’s an absolute thrill.”
To learn more about the accounts Armelli manages, visit www.mlb.com/nationals/social.