Today, I caught up with one of our first winners in our FanTastic 40 promotion: Mark Stinebrink from Lake Geneva, WI.
If you don’t know Mark, you will soon. That’s because, for one game during the 2013 season, Mark’s photo is going to be printed on a Brewers season ticket!
Mark showed up at our offices this afternoon ready for the shoot. He was greeted with quite the entourage– Jeff Harding, our Senior Graphic Designer, who will be designing the tickets; Brittany Luznicky, our Marketing & Promotions Coordinator was on hand to supply props (a cap, a bat, etc.); Jason Massopust, his Account Executive; Billy Friess, Senior Director of Ticket Sales, and me, covering the shoot for the blog, as we escorted him to his shoot with Scott Paulus, our team photographer.
Mark has been a Season Seat Holder on his own since 1998 and has been coming to games well before that. His seats are on the Field Level near the Visitors’ dugout..
The shoot lasted about 20 minutes and Mark was a great sport. It was great to see this prize going to such a loyal Brewers fan.
“I think this is a really neat prize,” he said. ”Everyone says, how come you are so lucky? I say, ‘I’m not lucky, I’m just blessed.’”
Season Seat Holders can look forward to seeing Mark’s finished ticket when their tickets arrive in late March. He’s chosen Sunday, July 21 as the date that he would like his image to appear on the ticket. That date, we’ll be hosting the Miami Marlins at 1:10pm.
Mark said he picked that date because that was a convenient date for his family and friends to come out and celebrate together.
While we know that July 21 is too early to be a date that the Brewers might do something like clinch the division (that’s what happened on the date the 2011 winner chose!), with baseball, you never know what might happen, so let’s hope that ticket is another keepsake for our fans! I know it will be for at least one no matter what.
And the FanTastic 40 promotion–40 Days, 40 drawings, 40 unique prizes and experiences, all for our Season Seat Holders–is just beginning!
There’s still time to get in the game and, the sooner you get in, the more scoring opportunities you’ll have. So visit brewers.com/fan40 for more information, including complete rules and regulations!
Today, I caught up with one of our first winners in our FanTastic 40 promotion: Bob Sarsfield.
If you don’t know Bob, you will soon. That’s because, for one game during the 2012 season, Bob’s photo is going to be printed on a Brewers season ticket!
Bob showed up at our offices this afternoon ready for the shoot. He was greeted with quite the entourage– Jeff
Harding, our Senior Graphic Designer, who will be designing the tickets; Kelly Candotti, our Marketing & Promotions Coordinator was on hand to supply props (a cap, a bat, etc.); Jason Massopust, his Account Executive; Billy Friess, Senior Director of Ticket Sales, me, covering the shoot for the blog, and cameras from several local television stations–as we escorted him to his shoot with Scott Paulus, our team photographer.
Bob has been a Season Seat Holder on his own since 1989, but he has been a fan and had tickets with friends long before that. In fact, since the Brewers have been in Milwaukee, Bob has only missed one Opening Day: Tuesday, April 10, 1973. The reason he remembers it so clearly is because April 10 is his birthday, and that year, the game against the Boston Red Sox was snowed out, the result of a snowstorm of 13 inches the night prior. In fact, the snowstorm was so bad that the team didn’t end up opening their season at home until that Friday, April 13, winning 2-0 over the Baltimore Orioles.
You never know what might happen when you go to a baseball game and Bob’s witnessed many other memorable moments over the years. Some of those highlights include:
Rickey Henderson breaking Lou Brock’s single-season stolen base record at County Stadium on August 27, 1982
Nolan Ryan’s 300th win at County Stadium on July 31, 1990
Robin Yount’s 3000th hit at County Stadium on September 9, 1992
Trevor Hoffman’s 600th save at Miller Park on September 7, 2010
The Brewers clinching their first-ever National League Central Division Title on September 23, 2011 at Miller Park
And much, much more!
The shoot lasted about 25 minutes and Bob was a great sport. It was great to see this prize going to such a loyal Brewers fan.
“I’m very excited, this was completely out of the blue,” he said.
Season Seat Holders can look forward to seeing Bob’s finished ticket when their tickets arrive in late March. He’s chosen Sunday, July 15 as the date that he would like his image to appear on the ticket. That date, we’ll be hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:10pm.
Bob said he picked that date because it is his sister’s birthday and Jennie’s a big Brewers fan, just like him.
While we know that July 15 is too early to be a date that the Brewers might do something like clinch the division (that’s what happened on the date last year’s winner chose!), with baseball, you never know what might happen, so let’s hope that ticket is another keepsake for our fans! I know it will be for at least one no matter what.
And the FanTastic 40 promotion–40 Days, 40 drawings, 40 unique prizes and experiences, all for our Season Seat Holders–is just beginning!
There’s still time to get in the game and, the sooner you get in, the more scoring opportunities you’ll have. So visit brewers.com/fan40 for more information, including complete rules and regulations!
Today was a big day for Brewers fans!
Greetings from my desk in cold, snowy Milwaukee!
As I noted in an earlier post, I was down in Arizona last week for the filming of our 2011 TV commercials. We wrapped up our shoot on Thursday evening and I left warm and sunny Phoenix, Arizona yesterday, getting home just in time for our Brewers Arctic Tailgate event.
Hearty Brewers fans were camping out when I swung by the ballpark on my way home from the airport last night, waiting anxiously to purchase individual game tickets, which went on sale at 9am this morning.
[The first 2,000 fans received a free t-shirt, Klement's hot dog and a Pepsi. Plus, they also received special one-day only ticket offers that weren't available anywhere else. If you missed out on the event, you can still purchase tickets and guarantee your place in the crowd to the best games this season, by calling our Box Office at (414) 902-4000, or logging on to brewers.com.]
So, yeah! Individual tickets are on sale now, Spring Training games start on Monday… Brewers Baseball will be back in Milwaukee before you know it!
Look for our spots to debut during the first games of the season, beginning with Opening Day in Cincinnati on Thursday, March 31.
And, while I can’t give away what this year’s spots are going to be about, I can tell you that they will have the same type of theme as last year’s spots and we’re bringing some new guys into the mix, including closer John Axford.
On Thursday, John showed up on set to star in one of the spots, but he could have just as easily been directing them if life had taken him down a different path.
That’s because John graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Film in 2005 and even began attending Canisius College to start working on his Master’s of Science in Sports Administration before he signed with the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 2006 and began his career in professional baseball.
What’s John doing? You will have to wait until our spots air this season to find out!
As we waited for the crew from Icarus Films and the representatives from our agency, 2-Story Creative, to set up between shots, John told me all about his film classes at Notre Dame.
“I did a 16-milimeter black-and-white film my junior year,” he said. “I still have the hard copy with all of the edits and cuts and everything, because the way we cut it was actually the old-school way. We actually cut the film and taped it together. We didn’t do it digitally. That came later. It was only 12 minutes long, maybe a little less. We got 400 feet of film, which is about 11 minutes and you had a partner, so each person had their own roll.”
“It was pretty cool, the old Steenbeck machine, you had to get the rolls on there and line them up and press play and then fast forward it through and stop it on a certain part where you wanted it. You go frame-by-frame and then cut it and bring in the other roll, hold it down flat and tape it. I really I liked it,” he continued.
When I asked what the film was about, John said, “It’s rather depressing. That’s what I found out about myself while doing film classes. I like the depressing, dark movies. Mine was essentially about spousal neglect and suicide.”
And it is true, he does gravitate toward the darker films–most of John’s favorite movies in recent years have been heavier foreign films and films such as Children of Men and the Oscar-nominated Black Swan.
“I really like open-ended movies,” he said. “Black Swan, I absolutely loved. I would like for that to win Best Picture, but I know it won’t. Just because it is artistic and dark, that is what I would want to win I guess.”
When it comes to music, John also gravitates toward the dark, heavier side of the spectrum.
“I listen to almost anything, but mostly hard rock, something a little heavier. I really got into hard rock by listening to Brazilian metal, John said. “Now, I have branched out a lot further. It used to be just metal, but now it is pretty much everything,” John said.
Speaking of music, one of the only Brewers players who is active in social media, John is currently letting his fans select his entrance song for 2011 on his Facebook Page.
“There are 15 songs for fans to vote on,” John said.
“There are eight newer songs because everyone uses older rock–songs by AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and stuff like that–so I wanted to add some new stuff and try something different. There are also a lot of older songs on there, like Rush and Led Zeppelin. I also included Omen, a metal band– everyone kept telling me I needed to have them because they have a song called ‘The Axeman’.”
“Then I have a couple of theme songs…I have the Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme song, which I thought would be fun. There is also a song people will recognize from Kill Bill, but it is actually from a western from the ’60s. I also added some fun ones and some songs that were used last year for me, just to see what people think.”
For the complete list, and/or to vote, click here.
John was a good sport during our shoot and interview, as I donned a prop from our spot that may or may not make the final cut…
The tall, mustached right-hander was extremely easy-going and fun to talk to on the set and, although his movie and film choices may be dark, he was nice as can be and his future only looks bright.
This will be a big season for John, on and off the field. Not only will John star in one of our spots this year, but he and his wife, Nicole, are also expecting a baby boy this June.
“We’re very excited.” John said.
John also has his own bobble head, sponsored by Palermo’s Pizza/ Piggly Wiggly on Sunday, April 24 when the Brewers take on the Houston Astros at 1:10pm.
“I just saw pictures of it and it looks really, really cool,” John said.
This is one bobble you’ll want to make sure you add to your ‘stache! Individual tickets went on sale today, so you can get tickets for John Axford Bobble Head Day now!
I enjoyed talking to John and I just know that the spot he’s in will turn out great, as will the other spots we shot this week. Stay tuned, boys and girls–we’re “closing” in on baseball season!
Tony Migliaccio sure knows his way around the clubhouse.
And he should. He’s the Director of Clubhouse Operations and the
Equipment Manager for the Club and he’s played an integral role in the
clubhouse since Opening Day of 1978, when he started as a batboy and
clubhouse attendant for the visiting side of things.
“It was Paul Molitor‘s first game for the Brewers. I always look back
and kind of laugh that at the time, Molitor made the team and started
the season as shortstop, nobody had really heard of him. Robin [Yount] had some
health issues so he didn’t start on Opening Day, but Molitor did. There
was a picture in the paper back then of Molitor making a play and there
I was, the ball boy down the left-field line, just sitting there, you
know? His first day and mine,” Tony recalls.
third from the left in the bottom row. Paul Molitor is second from the
right in the fourth row.
The next season, Tony switched over to the home clubhouse, where he was a
batboy and a clubhouse attendant three more years before he became the
clubhouse assistant to then Equipment Manager, Bob Sullivan for
approximately four years. When Bob passed away, Tony was given the head
job as Director of Clubhouse Operations and Equipment Manager and he’s
had that ever since.
Tony describes his role as having dual responsibilities:
“You work as the Equipment Manager and in that role, you order all the
equipment the players need to play the game–bats, balls, shoes, clothes, etc. On the
other side of it, we manage and operate the clubhouse, running the
day-to-day operations of that.That part of the job entails clothing
them and providing another service by feeding them breakfast, lunch and
dinner. We do what we can to get them on the field. Everyone has a role.
The trainers’ role is to keep them healthy on the field, the coaches’
job is to teach. Here, we keep a nice house, clothe them, feed them and
make sure they’re happy, play the game and have a good time.” he
“I think everyday is unique. That’s kind of the neat part of it. You can
come in here and every day there is a different challenge or need. Our
role is to make the guys as comfortable as possible. They have enough
hurdles in the game, on the field, and so many other things going on
around them in their lives that we try to make it as comfortable for
them as we can and to create an enjoyable environment.”
Tony and I talked about the change in the uniforms over the years. As
time has progressed, the uniform specifications have gotten a little
more complicated, keeping Tony and his staff on their toes.
“You look at the guys on the field now and compare it to the late 1980s,
where it was all just cookie cutter- you know, 34″ waist pants and a
44″ jersey. Now we’ve got many options, for example, pants can be open
bottom, or more tapered. Some players may wear things bigger,
looser…The marketing of the game has changed as such that there is a
lot more variety–a couple of different jackets, a couple different
Tony told me that the team never had BP tops in the 80s, they just wore
game jerseys. Now in essence, there are six different jerseys and each
player has to have more than one as a backup in case something happens.
When you multiply that times a 25-man roster, plus a few guys that Tony
knows will move up and down in the organization due to injuries,
pitching, etc. that he’ll also need to carry uniforms and equipment for,
you can see he has quite a bit to handle and monitor for inventory.
And, when it comes to Spring Training when a team has such a large roster, you can imagine that Tony is a very busy man.
“In Spring Training you are doing a lot of the same things as you would
during the regular season, but you have twice as many players. We have
53 players here now and we’ll leave here with 25. So that’s the
difference with Spring Training, the magnitude, more people to take care
of, more to feed, more to clothe, more equipment to provide,” Tony
Tony remembers years ago when it seemed like Spring Training was looked
upon as the time that players would use to get in shape. They’d come
down to camp, play 20 games and then go back ready to start the season.
It was much lower key and the days were shorter.
“Now,” Tony said, “Players come down in shape, we play 30 games and
there are more services required. Sometimes, there are two games a day.
It is a little more intense than it used to be.”
“I have been fortunate that I’ve worked in all three facilities that
we’ve been in: Sun City, Chandler and here in Maryvale.You look at the
progression, even just in our area, at the space we’ve had and what
we’ve provided. In Sun City, we had a very tiny equipment room, but you
made it work, you adjusted things. We didn’t provide as much stuff for
the guys. Then we moved to Chandler and it was a little bigger, but now
we have this space, which is twice as big and we’ve already outgrown it
into renting storage facilities to house a lot of the equipment,” Tony
Just like the rest of us, there is no offseason for Tony Migliaccio and
Starting in January, trucks will leave Milwaukee bringing
everything down to set up for camp. Tony and his staff will arrive, help
take part in the Brewers Fantasy Camp, work through Spring Training and
then travel back to Milwaukee for Opening Day and play through the
summer. Then when all the games are done, while their hours are a little
more regular and they have weekends free, they still have to prepare
for the following year, taking inventory, working on the budget, and
Tony also travels with the team.
“I do 90% of the travel. I made every trip for probably about 15 or 16
years and then, 10 to12 years ago, we started breaking up the trips a
little bit so Visiting Clubhouse Manager Phil Rozewicz or Home Clubhouse
Assistant Jason Shawger will make a trip or two. Out of Spring
Training, I will pretty much stay with the team throughout the first
month of April and wait until the middle or end of May to take a trip
off to stay at home, catch up in the office and at home,” Tony said.
In his job, Tony also has to be prepared for anything.
“When we travel throughout the year, part of our extra equipment stock
is carrying blank jerseys and numbers, everything you need to make a
jersey. In each city, we have a reciprocal relationship with the
visiting clubhouse staff that take care of us. They have a seamstress on
hand that they work with so if we get into San Diego late one night and
Vice President-Assistant General Manager Gord Ash calls and says ‘Hey,
we’re bringing up so-and-so,’ I can get to the park early that morning,
pull out everything I need, call our contact, have them come out and put
our jersey together within a couple hours,” he explained.
“Knock on wood, we’ve always got it there in time. I have heard there
have been situations with some teams where they make a move so quickly
that they have to have a player wear a jersey with another name on the
back just to get out there on the field. We’ve been lucky where its
worked out. That’s one great thing about Majestic Athletic being the
licensee and having all of the team for uniforms–they have a good bank
of knowledge as to everyone’s sizes.”
Tony takes extra precautions to be prepared and make sure he’s ready for
anything. When it became likely that we would make the trade for CC
Sabathia in 2008, it was Fourth of July weekend and he knew that
Majestic shuts down for the holidays. Knowing CC’s size and that he had
such unique specs on his gear, Tony took the initiative to order his
uniforms the week before, to have them on hand just in case.
“I figured hey, you know what, if we don’t make the trade, it will be a collector’s item. It all worked out,” he recalled.
Speaking of 2008, making the Postseason that year ranks in the top 10 of Tony’s favorite memories in his time with the Club.
“It pretty neat, the way it came down to the last day.The way it played out was pretty cool,” he said.
“I was also fortunate to be around during the World Series in the early
’80s. I was a young kid then,” Tony said. “Molitor’s 39-game hitting
streak was pretty neat, Robin’s 3000th hit, 1987, that whole start of
winning 13 in a row, Nieves throwing a no-hitter. That was a pretty
unique thing, to start off that hot,” he said.
It was great catching up with Tony and taking a tour of his world, but
with his phone buzzing during our interview and guys stopping him along
the way, I knew I had to let him get back to work.
Here’s to hoping the 2011 season makes Tony’s list of favorite memories!
Greetings from Arizona!
I’m happy to inform you that pitchers, catchers and Cait have all reported to Spring Training!
This week, we’ll be shooting our new TV spots for 2011 down here, but today was an off day for me.
I understand we’re getting some snow back in
Milwaukee, but don’t be too jealous of me–it’s about 50 degrees and
raining here as I write.
I figured that since it isn’t pool or golfing weather, I might as well do some work, so I
headed over to the ballpark to talk with some folks for the blog.
Clouds looking ominous over Maryvale Baseball Park today. It will be 70 and sunny by the time you get here, I promise!
My first stop was to meet with “Mr. Spring Training” himself, Joe Zidanic, our VP-Controller, who moonlights as our director of Spring Training.
Joe Zidanic: VP-Controller & “Mr. Spring Training”
That means that, in addition to his finance
responsibilities in Milwaukee, Joe is pretty much responsible for all of
the business operations in Maryvale: ticket sales,
sponsorship sales (along with Tom Hecht, our VP-Corporate
Marketing), advertising (which he works with our department on), hiring
staff, running the games and serving as the main liaison with the City
When Joe first came to the Brewers in April of
2003, his job was to work in the finance/accounting department as the
So then, how did he get this gig where he flocks to Arizona during two of Wisconsin’s coldest months while getting paid for it?
“In December 2004, I was handed the assignment to
come down here and run Spring Training for the months of February and
March,” Joe said.
“Prior to 2005, which was my first season running
things down here, Spring Training had really been kind of under the
radar so my job was to go in, document everything, develop policies and
procedures and create checklists. I did a good
job and I’m still doing it,” he explained.
I can’t imagine having to balance two separate
jobs, much less essentially relocate for two months of the year, so I
asked Joe how he does it.
“Luckily, I have a great staff in Milwaukee to
handle things and it’s a slower time of the year for us. We’ve already
published our financials, closed the fiscal year-end, closed the
calendar year-end for W-2′s and 1099′s
and have made progress in filing our taxes. It is kind of a nice, slower time for me to break away from the Milwaukee area.”
As far as relocation, Joe will settle into a room
in an extended stay hotel near the Glendale area for the duration of
I had enough trouble packing for just this week and I’m
probably going to end up paying extra for my luggage on the return
flight due to the great shopping down here (don’t worry, Joe, I won’t
try to expense that), so I had to ask: “How on earth do you pack for something like this?”
“Well, that’s a good question,” Joe said. “The
equipment truck leaves in January every year, so I just go to the closet
and get all my short sleeve shirts and shorts and throw them in a bag
and ship them down with everything else,” he said.
Joe’s Spring Training job doesn’t start just when
steps off the plane in Phoenix. He’s got to prepare in advance for those
games, just like we do for our regular season.
There are tickets to sell, promotions to plan, sponsorships to sell and more.
“As far as ticket promotions go, I work with our
ticket office here and back in Milwaukee to try and generate excitement
and ticket sales,” Joe said.
“Last year, we averaged about 4,500 to 5,000 fans
per game. We’re expecting that to be around the same this year, but it
really varies. Attendance will be slower in the beginning and then there
are some peak games in the middle where we’ll
almost reach capacity. It really depends on the week and things like
when Spring Break happens for the colleges in the Phoenix area and
around the United States. Generally, the most popular times are the
second and third weeks in March.”
Joe tells me that the most popular games are also,
not surprisingly, those against the Cubs (March 2 this year) and also,
the Diamondbacks (March 12) because of their local fan base.
“We did a survey out here a couple of years ago and
we’ll get about 50% of the fans coming from Wisconsin. The rest of the
fans will either be fans of the visiting team or local Phoenicians who
are down here,” Joe tells me.
That makes me proud–Brewers fans have always been good travelers!
So, what can you expect if you’re traveling down here this year?
Well, lots of fun and excitement, of course!
Just like our games in Milwaukee, there are giveaways and in-game promotions to entice fans.
“For giveaways, we work with Tom Hecht and his
group in Corporate Marketing. If there are leftover bobble heads from
the prior season, we will use those in the following season’s Spring
Training camp so that we don’t let anything go to
waste and we’re also picking up room in the warehouse back at Miller
Park,” Joe said.
So, if you missed out on your Robin Yount
(March 5), Cecil Cooper (March 8), Hank Aaron (March 21) or Italian
Sausage (March 26) Bobbles at Miller Park, there’s a second chance for you to get them
at Maryvale Baseball Park!
During the games, Joe’s crew will also run popular promotions such as: the
Junior Announcer, which is similar to what we have at Miller Park,
where a child will announce batters during an inning of the game; Jimmy
Buffet’s Margaritaville‘s “Name that
Jimmy Buffet Song”, which is always a fan favorite; the City of Phoenix
golf promotion where a lucky fan who buys a game program that has a
Bernie Brewer autograph on the City’s golf ad will receive a coupon for
free golf at a local City of Phoenix golf course;
and a Hooters promotion where a lucky row is chosen to receive coupons for free wings at the local Hooters restaurant.
Another popular promotion down here is the Miller Lite Thirsty Thursdays, which means that on Thursdays, you can get a game ticket, a beer and visor for just $20. There are three
Thirsty Thursdays this year–March 3 vs. the A’s, March 10 vs. the Rockies and March 17 vs. the White Sox.
In addition to the Miller Lite Thirsty Thursday promotion on
St. Patrick’s Day, the players will be also be wearing a special green
hat, which will eventually be auctioned off to fans.
And just like in Milwaukee, there is even a special
tribute game. On March 22 vs. the San Diego Padres, there will be
a Cerveceros Day in Maryvale, paying tribute to Hispanics in baseball. The Brewers will wear
special Cerveceros jerseys, which is the Spanish translation of ‘Brewers.’ (Note: Our regular-season Cerveceros Day is slated for June 11 vs. the Cardinals at Miller Park.)
“Cerveceros Day is popular down here,” Joe said. “We will use our electronic billboard campaign to promote it. Maryvale is a largely Hispanic area, so we try and reach out to the community and have special things
there. We have had a Mariachi band in years past and we’ll try and do that again this year.”
All in all, there are 17 home games played at Maryvale
and if you make a trip of it, you can catch the Brewers on the road,
too, at one of the other nine Spring Training facilities in the Cactus League, which are all
within an hour of each other.
As you can see, there are lots of things to look forward to if you’re planning on making it down here.
As for Joe, with two jobs in the organization, he
certainly has a lot on his plate, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a
little fun while he’s down in Arizona. When I was talking with him this
morning, I couldn’t help but notice this photo,
hanging in his office.
Turns out that yesterday, Joe, who is also a huge sportsman, went on a javelina hunt where, as you can see, he was successful!
That’s great that Joe had some time to himself his
weekend, because things are really ramping up now and he’ll hit the
ground running next week, starting with the first game on Monday,
Do any of you have any plans to come down to
Arizona? Post your stories of this year’s trip or from years past in the
comment field below. We’d love to hear from you!
If you don’t have plans yet, make some! Click here to get your tickets now!
If you’ve been to an Admirals game lately, you’ve probably noticed that the Admirals sport our “ball and glove” logo on their game jerseys. That’s because the Brewers are the exclusive jersey sponsor of the team.?
The Brewers sponsorship includes being the Admirals’ official jersey sponsor, as pictured here on left wing, Linus Klasen.
We have had a great partnership with the Milwaukee Admirals have over the years. Announcements during the game, dasherboard signage at the Bradley Center, radio spots during broadcasts, special Brewers giveaways and a combo ticket package are also part of the relationship between our two Clubs.
This Friday, February 18, marks the first of our two “Brewers Nights” with the Admirals this season, featuring a Brewers/Admirals Bob Uecker Bobble Head for the first 5,000 fans in attendance. [Some of you may remember Bob Uecker as the plaid-jacket sporting Admirals spokesman in the mid 1990s (again, another crossover between the clubs).] This Friday’s Uecker Bobble Head is one of four bobble heads that the Admirals are giving away this season.
The second game is Friday, April 1, where the first 2,500 fans will receive a Brewers/Admirals Seat Cushion.
Both of these games are available as part of our “2-Man Advantage” ticket package, which is a great deal. For just $16, you’ll get one ticket to one of these Admirals home games and one Terrace Reserved ticket to your choice of the Friday, April 22 Brewers vs. Astros game or the Friday, May 20 Brewers vs. Rockies game this season.
In honor of our first Brewers night of the season, I visited the Admirals during practice last week to conduct a fun photo shoot with the photographer both of our teams share, Scott Paulus, and Kelly Candotti, our Marketing & Promotions Coordinator.
The guys had lots of fun and were great sports as we set up different shots that mixed baseball and hockey for this story and future promotional collateral surrounding our partnership. Note: The “ball and glove” logo is not shown on the jerseys in the photos seen here, as they were taken during a practice session.
I also had the chance to sit down with the very talented-and very busy- Milwaukee Admirals center and former UW-Madison star, Blake Geoffrion, to discuss his personal success, the Admirals’ success, the Admirals-Brewers partnership and his love for both hockey and baseball.
This past year has been a whirlwind for the 23-year-old. Winning the 2010 Hobey Baker award. Joining the Admirals during their 2010 Calder Cup Playoff run. Throwing out a first pitch at Miller Park. Scoring 10 goals and 23 assists so far this season. Becoming a bobble head.
The Plantation, Florida native actually played both baseball and hockey growing up and, if things had gone differently, we might have been seeing Blake in a Brewers uniform instead of wearing the Brewers logo patch on his Admirals jersey.
A good-hitting catcher in high school, Blake could have accepted a scholarship with a Division I school, but instead choose to play hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Blake comes from a hockey family and is a fourth-generation hockey player, so it is no surprise he decided to skate his way to success.
Blake’s great-grandfather, Howie Morenz, played for the Montreal Canadiens, the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers, winning the Stanley Cup three times with the Canadiens. His grandfather, Bernie “Boom-Boom” Geoffrion, also played for the Canadiens and the Rangers and won the Stanley Cup six times with the Canadiens. Both were also elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. In addition, his father, Dan Geoffrion, played in the NHL with the Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques.
So how did Blake decide to become a Badger?
“For me personally, it was kind of a gut feeling thing. I looked at bunch of other universities, but I fell in love with the campus as soon as I stepped on it and there was no question about it, that’s where I wanted to go.”
As a forward at UW-Madison, Blake was named the 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award recipient during his senior year. Wisconsin has had 10 top-10 finalists, but Blake is the first Badger to take home college hockey’s top individual honor.
“It was incredible. I always tell people the best way to describe it was, I was so happy I blacked out during my whole speech. I don’t remember one word of it. I had to re-watch it to see what I said. It was an incredible feeling and I’m very thankful for all the people that helped me get to that point and my teammates, obviously, as well,” Blake said of the honor.
Criteria for the award include strength of character on and off the ice, displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
Shortly after receiving the award, Blake was introduced to both Admirals and the Brewers.
Blake joined the Admirals during the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs and also got to the throw out the first pitch before a game at Miller Park when the UW-Athletic Department was honored during a pre-game ceremony last June.
It’s easy to tell that he is proud to be here.
“I love playing for the Admirals. I love eating on State Street. I love golfing up in Kohler. I love watching the Green Bay Packers and Badgers sports,” Blake said.
“I love going to Brewers games. I’ve been to a bunch of MLB stadiums and I think the Brewers have the nicest stadium I’ve ever been to, for sure. This summer, I’ll probably be around a little bit more than I have been in the past and I definitely plan on going to more Brewers games. I love Fielder, that’s my boy.“
This season, Blake has played well for the Admirals and recently became the first AHL player in more than 16 years to be named Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks. Blake was also honored with his own bobble head on February 4. That night, he put up a four-point performance, scoring the game-winning goal and assisting on three others to lead Milwaukee to a 4-2 win over Rockford.
The Admirals are currently tied for second place with the Peoria Rivermen in the West Division, one point behind the Houston Aeros, the opponent that they face this Friday night.
“The team has been playing some really exciting hockey lately, so I encourage everyone to come out,” Blake said, “Plus, you get the Bob Uecker Bobble Head, which I really think looks just like him!”
I caught up with another winner in our FanTastic
40 promotion: Derrick Iseler of Security Insurance Services.
If you don’t know Derrick, you will soon. That’s because, for one
game during the 2011 season, Derrick’s photo is going to be printed on a
Brewers season ticket!
Derrick showed up at our offices this afternoon, decked out in his
Brewers gear for the shoot. He was greeted with quite the entourage– Jeff
Harding, our Graphic Designer, who will be designing the tickets; Kelly
Candotti, our Marketing & Promotions Coordinator was on hand to supply
props (a cap, a bat, etc.); Nate Hardwick, his Account Executive; Billy
Friess, Director of Season Tickets and me, covering the shoot for
the blog–as we escorted him to his shoot with Scott Paulus, our team
Derrick’s company, Security Insurance Services, has been a
Season Seat Holder since 1979. Before Derrick was a Season Seat
Holder through his business, he was one of the Brewers original Season Seat
Holders, signing on with the Club in 1970. It was great to see this prize
going to such a loyal Brewers fan who has been with us through thick and thin!
Note: I’ve deliberately obscured Derrick’s image here–you’re going to have to get your hands on a season ticket to the Brewers vs. Marlins game on September 23 to see the final result!
The shoot lasted about 15 minutes and Derrick was a great sport.
When it was over, we asked him if there was a specific game date that he’d like
to have his photo on.
“Hmmm…I don’t know.” Derrick said.
“When’s your birthday? Is it during the season?” Kelly suggested.
It is, but we’re not home that day.
“What about your anniversary? When is that?” she tried again.
“Now you’re testing me!” Derrick joked. “No, it’s September 23.”
On Friday, September 23, we are playing at home against the
Florida Marlins, the date of his 33rd wedding anniversary to his
wife, Cyndi. It was settled. The perfect date for his photo to grace the
“That works out great, we’ll celebrate at the ballpark,” Derrick
said, “and the Brewers will be leading the division then, or they’ll be right
You heard it here, folks. Let’s hope Derrick and his wife have a
very happy anniversary!
Although we’re over halfway
through, there is still time to get in on our FanTastic 40 promotion–40 Days, 40 drawings, 40
unique prizes and experiences, all for our Season Seat Holders!
The sooner you get in, the
more scoring opportunities you’ll have. You can’t score if you’re not in the
game, so visit brewers.com/fan40 for more information, including complete rules
Happy Super Bowl Sunday, Wisconsin sports fans!
At this point in the winter, I just want it to end and I’m sure Brewers fans feel the same way. I’m sick of the cold and the cloudy skies. I hate my dirty car and the snow everywhere. Brewers On Deck makes us all forget about the ills of winter and that baseball season and sunny days are right around the corner.
It’s been a busy day here at Miller Park today as we put the finishing touches on Brewers On Deck, scheduled for 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. It is really shaping up to be a big event and we are all really excited about it. From Aleta Mercer’s planning at the top all the way down to our many valuable interns and a special thanks to our friends at Time Warner Cable for presenting, everyone has really chipped in on what is going to be a great day.
Catching up with the players, coaches and media and seeing the excitement in everyone’s eyes are my favorite things about Brewers On Deck.
I’m going to try and give you a complete preview of the event so you don’t miss a thing, there is a lot going on and I recommend getting there early and making a day out of it. First of all, on Sunday, the doors to the facility will open at 7 a.m., however the doors to the event will not open until 10 a.m.
There has been some talk and confusion about the new coupon distribution system for select player autographs. I will try to make it clear as autographs are one of the most popular attractions at the event every year.
For autographs of Bob Uecker, Robin Yount, Ryan Braun, Yovanni Gallardo, Zack Greinke and Corey Hart, you will need to use your admission ticket to receive a numbered coupon to be entered into the system for the random selection process. Each admission ticket enters you into one of the six drawings. Getting to the event at 7 a.m. won’t give anyone a better chance of getting an autograph for these six players than arriving when the event actually begins at 10 a.m.
Each of those six players will sign autographs for the winning 250 numbers for $25 each. The numbers will be announced throughout the event and @Bernie_Brewer will be tweeting them. For staff and players not included in the random selection process, each will be signing 250 autographs. Those will either be $10 or free. Also, please remember that cash is the only accepted form of payment.
Another hit of Brewers on Deck are the game shows and player interaction opportunities at the Main Stage. This year four press-style events are scheduled along with three game shows. Obviously, working in media relations, the press conferences always interest me and I always enjoy seeing what kind of questions the fans ask the players and coaches when in a situation with the media.
The Who Wants to be a Brewer game show is a take on the popular trivia game show once in which our very own Cory Provus will make his best Regis Philbin impersonation. Name That Hit, scheduled for 1:45 p.m. will probably be pretty popular as well with Mr. Baseball himself, Bob Uecker serving as host.
The Brewers Community Foundation will also have a strong presence at Sunday’s event. Their Treasure Hunt will help Brewers fans find some one-of-a-kind game-used Brewers items as well as some old bobbleheads and other giveaway items.
They will also hold two 50/50 Raffles during the event and host a live auction at 3:30 p.m. on the Interactive Stage. The live auction has some great opportunities like a change to throw out the first pitch and an autographed and framed Paul Molitor jersey.
As a part of the ongoing Brewers Create a Concession Contest, fans will have the opportunity to taste the final four items–Chicken Parmesan Sandwich, sent in by Chris Fifarek of Wauwatosa; Klement’s Famous Racing Sausage Kabobs, sent in by Courtney Ring of Sauk City; Poutine with Cheese Curds, sent in by Chris Stoa of Milwaukee; and Tilapia Fish Tacos, sent in by Tim Tracz of Hales Corners. I have had all four and I will hold back from commenting on my favorite until voting is complete!
The Brewers Team Store by Majestic will have a presence at the event as well and earlier today, Jill Aronoff gave me some inside access to the retail warehouse here at Miller Park as they were unpacking boxes of brand new Brewers merchandise.
The Brewers will sport new batting practice tops for 2011 by Majestic. You can get yours first at Brewers On Deck.
The first thing I said when I saw this was, “Do they make this for adults?” adidas did a great job with this simple track suit for the little Brewers fan in your life. Maybe one day they will make one for adults!
These items just came in today and the first opportunity Brewers fans will have to purchase is Sunday at Brewers On Deck.
My personal favorite part of Brewers On Deck is the Brewers Museum. I made some additions and improvements to the museum from last year and if you follow @BrewersHistory on twitter, you might have seen a sneak peak of some of the items. I also added some rare photos from Borchert Field and the early days of Baseball in Milwaukee. I really enjoy history and baseball history is something that has always interested me, so I took a lot of pride in setting up this area.
I’m sure there are things that I am leaving out, but if you are a Brewers fan, this is the place to be as there is something for everyone. We have clinics for the kids, a sports memorabilia collector’s show, a live Brewers.com webchat with Casey McGehee, LaTroy Hawkins and Ron Roenicke, photo opportunities with players and coaches. It is going to be a great time.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know. If you want to find me to say hello at the event, I will probably be around the Museum area most of the day and I will be taking care of the webchat at the Interactive Stage at 2 p.m. I’m looking forward to a great day!
For the latest news on Brewers On Deck, click here.