Fans savor every crack of the bat at the Phoenix Cactus League
Last year, almost 2 million people came out to share in the excitement of Major League Baseball’s Cactus League Spring Training in Phoenix, Ariz.
And while fans are there for the baseball – there are more than 250 games in the area in just a few weeks – quite a few make sure to stop in at Whataburger.
Brian Clute grew to love Whataburger when he was a college student in Arizona, where his dad still lives.
Now, he and his son, Thomas, live in Camas, Wash. – without a Whataburger in sight. So when they came down to Arizona for Spring Training and a visit with Thomas' grandfather this year, Brian made sure all three generations stopped in for some Whataburger.
“I’m here with my dad and my son to watch some Spring Training and eat some Whataburgers,” he says.
Whataburger has been part of the Phoenix landscape since 1962, and there is a restaurant less than a mile from Tempe Diablo stadium, which means the store is often jammed with baseball-hat-wearing fans enjoying a meal together before or after a game – not to mention players who stop in to fuel up.
Sometimes the Family Members working at the restaurant get a little star struck – and sometimes their own families do. “We have the players coming in before and after they play,” says Deatrice Burden, who works at the restaurant by the stadium. “My son, Isiah, thinks it’s cool. He’s 10, and he’s like ‘Can I come to work with you today to see the baseball players?’ “
At the Game
On the field, Whataburger is part of the excitement too, sponsoring teams and setting up booths at games to pass out coupons and share in the fun with fans.
“It’s great for us to be a part of it all,” says Haley Proulx, a brand development coordinator for Whataburger. “We’re baseball fans too, so being out at the games – connecting with our fans there – it’s such an important way for us to be able to give back to the community.”
Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dobson gave his restaurant a name he hoped to hear customers say every time they took a bite of his made-to-order burgers: “What a burger!” Within the first week, people lined up around the block for his 25 cent, 100 percent beef burgers served on five-inch buns. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 820 locations in 10 states with sales of more than $2 billion annually. Visit www.whataburger.com for more information.