Brewers Group Sales: Giving Your Event a Little Zing, Boom, Tararrel!
Birthdays. Retirements. Bachelor/bachelorette parties. Company outings. Family reunions. Youth organizations, day camp and school field trips. Sorority/fraternity outings. Team celebrations. Church group outings. Club gatherings.
Whatever the occasion, Miller Park is the perfect place for your group outing and Brewers Director of Group Sales, Chris Barlow, and his staff are there to ensure that all of the details are handled. Your group just has to show up, enjoy the game and have fun!
As a Wisconsin native who grew up in Oconomowoc and Wauwatosa, Chris has always been a Brewers fan.
“When I was a little kid, if you had told me that when I was a grownup, I would be working for the Brewers for a really good chunk of my life, I would have said I will take it, I wouldn’t have even asked how much it paid,” Chris said.
In fact, Chris remembers his first Brewers game in 1972 when the Crew faced the Red Sox with Luis Tiant on the mound, and his first time at Opening Day in 1980 when Chris’ favorite player at the time, Sixto Lezcano, hit a walk-off grand slam in the ninth to win the game.
Those cherished times spent at County Stadium made Chris realize that he wanted to work in sports in some capacity. A UW-Eau Claire graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism, Chris spent his college years working at WKOW in La Crosse, producing a nightly sports cable TV show, writing for the Eau Claire Leader Telegram and the Spectator.
After graduation and a brief stint working as a reporter for Community Newspapers, Chris took a job with the Brewers as a Telephone Sales Representative (TSR).
Then, when Chris’ boss at the time left to take a position in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, he brought Chris along with him. There, Chris was responsible for helping create a sales force. While Chris enjoyed his time with the Sabres, he still felt that pull to return to his hometown team.
“When they put the shovel in the ground for Miller Park, I called [now VP-Consumer Marketing] Jim Bathey and said,’ Jim I want to come home!”
Jim offered Chris a job and he came back to the Crew in 1997. He’s been working here ever since.
“My original thought, way back when I was a TSR, was that I would get my foot in the door and then move into broadcasting or media relations, but all these years later, here I am, in Group Sales,” Chris said.
But Chris is definitely not unhappy with how his career has panned out. “I found out I was pretty good at it and that I enjoyed it,” he said.
“I love working at Miller Park and it still gives me goose bumps some days when I drive up,” he said.
While Chris’ career has evolved over the years, his current responsibilities include overseeing all of Group Sales, which includes group outings, the All-Inclusive Areas, the party suites and the tailgate facilities.
Chris’ staff includes Maggie Aliota, Group Event Coordinator and Jake Mentch, Group Account Executive, and the three of them are there to assist fans with planning their group outings every step of the way.
“Any group, any size, any event, any budget, and, with our retractable roof, any weather—we’ve got you covered,” Chris said.
And they are always coming up with new ideas to enhance the fan experience.
New for 2011, along with our Bonus Games, Chris and his staff have added Value Games and Super Bonus games, so fans have additional opportunities to save even more. This means that we now offer groups up to 83% savings to over half of our home games. Plus, your group can catch some of the hottest games against the rival Cubs, Cardinals and Twins at non-Marquee prices, exclusively for groups, saving up to 40% off individual ticket prices for select games.
Also new this season, fans have opportunity to purchase individual tickets in some of Miller Park’s All-Inclusive Areas for select dates at a special savings. As the name suggests, these areas are just that—all-inclusive. You get your game ticket, plus premium food and beverage options from your choice of several unique vantage points around the ballpark, such as the AirTran Airways Landing Zone, Gehl Club, Harley-Davidson Deck and Dew Deck. In the past, access to these areas has been limited to those purchasing in large groups, but now, the Group Sales Department is giving fans the chance to bring out smaller groups to sample the area.
Of the All-Inclusive Areas, Chris’ favorite is the Gehl Club, an upscale venue located on the PNC Club Level, down the left-field line.
“It is a great place to view a game from. You might not think that if you just looked at a stadium map, but when you go stand in there, it is stunning. I am a little biased but I think it is one of the best places to watch a game from anywhere in baseball and the food is excellent, too,” Chris said.
Group Cap Days are another new initiative that has added value to the group experience in the last two years. Groups that purchase 25 or more group tickets in select areas on certain dates throughout the season will receive a unique Brewers adjustable cap for everyone in the group. The 2011 Cap Days are May 20, July 8, July 29, August 12, September 9 and September 23.
Another Group Sales offering that fans may not be aware of is the Corporate Savings Program (CSP). Personally, I think it is the best kept secret around here…well, next to the recipe for Secret Stadium Sauce! Basically, all it takes is one main contact at a company or organization to sign up for the program. The Group Sales staff will then send that individual a link to special ticket offers, exclusive to CSP members. The contact only has to post and promote the information and then it allows others within the organization to buy the tickets directly online; there is no money to collect, there are no minimums to meet, and the Group Sales staff handles the rest! It’s a great, no-cost perk for companies to be able to offer to employees.
Chris’ staff does such a great job day in and day out that they have countless repeat customers who always plan on hosting their annual Brewers outing at Miller Park. Although 25 is the magic number to be considered as a group here, many of those repeat customers are very large groups, like sometimes in excess of 10,000 people large!
For example, we have Little League Night each year and there is a pre-game parade of over 10,000 Little Leaguers. This year’s event falls on Monday, June 20.
“That whole night is very special to me because of the kids involved and being able to see their faces light up as the walk around the warning track with their coaches. It is an incredible feeling. The folks that organize that event are people who truly only care about organizing a fun baseball activity for kids. It is very refreshing,” Chris said.
Other large group nights include Weather Day (April 7), Singles Night (April 25)), Military Appreciation Day (this Sunday, May 15), Racine Day (May 22), Stitch N’ Pitch Night (June 21) , La Crosse Day (June 22) and many more!
Like I said before, whatever the occasion, if you want to give your event a little zing, boom, tararrel, you’ll want to make sure your gang’s all here!
For more information on Group Outings at Miller Park, vist brewers.com/grouptickets or call (414) 902-GRPS (4777).