The Reading Express wrapped up its Smokin' Hot Steam Team auditions this afternoon in Wyomissing. All candidates were put through an interview process with team Owners Ted & Lisa Lavender, General Manager Tim Glase and Director of Public Relations Brenda Mitchell.
In addition to the interview, the girls participated in a fun team-building opportunity. Teams were charged with creating a new brand of cereal and a top-line strategy for bringing the product to market. This exercise was a tough decision for Express staff. It's hard to completely discount popular humorist Erma Bombeck's advice: "Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public. It's too controversial."
It's a relief that there are no issues to report. In fact, the results were entertaining, to say the least. The new brand names included Express-alicious, CoGo, Bikini Bottoms Krunchies, Steam Flakes and Choo-Choo Puffs. Needless to say, the "fun" of it came from each team creating their cereal box cover. As you see in the accompanying photo, one team is presenting their new Express-alicious brand.
"While it was unarguably a fun exercise, we were serious about getting the candidates to think in terms of a brand," said Glase. "The Steam Team is representative of the Reading Express, and we need our entire team to understand and value our brand. We felt this exercise was a great way to begin the conversation about the Reading Express brand."
The Express have been undergoing a makeover of sorts in recent months, leaving the Smokin' Hot Steam Team with a new direction for 2011. The Steam Team is no longer a dance-intensive group. It is being refocused as a promotional and public relations team. We promise that this is a step forward. Details are still a little hush-hush, but Express fans can expect an exciting Steam Team effort next season that includes more fan engagement and charity involvement.
"We showed some of our cards to the candidates this morning," added Glase. "However, we still want to continue though the program development process before letting the cat out of the bag. Stay tuned."
That development process will likely include a second round of auditions to be held after program details are announced.
As previously reported, the dance portion of Express games will be filled by the new Junior Junction youth program, geared for kids 6-16.