Results tagged ‘ Arizona ’

Everyone Loves Hank: #BallparkPup Transcends Team Allegiances

As Brewers fans, you know the heartwarming “tail” well by now.

Hank, the little stray pup who wandered into Brewers Spring Training Camp in Phoenix, Arizona, on February 17, the day of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, quickly captured the hearts of Brewers fans, as well as pet-lovers across the world.

Hank’s story has blurred the lines of team allegiance, with fans of other teams tuning in for updates on the pup. And his story has even transcended the sport itself. We can’t tell you how many comments and letters we’ve received from people who say they don’t even follow baseball, but they love dogs, or pets in general, and can’t help but follow Hank.

Even players from other teams have fallen for Hank, as Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy tweeted this during Spring Training:

And Brandon has continued to follow Hank’s story into the season:

McCarthy Tweet

Brandon and his wife, Amanda, are dog lovers and have a 6-year-old Westie, a small white pup of their own, named Hobbes:

We can see a resemblance to Hank and why his story has caught their attention.

A series of tweets was exchanged between Brandon, Amanda and the Club…

Which led to arranging a meeting between Brandon and Hank today before batting practice at Miller Park:

“This dog is awesome. I get to meet a dog on the road, which is great anytime you have to leave your dog at home. There should be more dogs on the road, more dogs in public to play with, so having one on a baseball field combines some of my favorite things,” Brandon said.

Watch the full interview, here:

Yes, it was clear that Brandon and Hank enjoyed each other’s company, but don’t worry Brewers fans, it is clear where Hank’s allegiance rests.

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-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

“Fetcher” Reports to Spring Training; Tries to Walk On As Member of 2014 Brewers

Bernie, watch your back.

Move over, Brat, Polish, Italian, Hot Dog and Chorizo—there’s a new Top Dog in town.

We’re not sure where he came from, but a little stray pup is quickly becoming not just the Brewers unofficial Spring Training mascot, but a valued member of the team.

The pooch, who has since been named Hank (after who else but Hank Aaron?), wandered into Brewers camp two days ago looking a little grubby but ready for play. In no time, this little dog has stolen more hearts than Tommy Harper stole bases in 1969.

A staff member took Hank to the vet where he received his shots and a bath, but this little scrapper’s jersey will never be spotless. His white uniform looks to be permanently shaded a little on the gray side in places, but when you get to know this little fella’s personality, you see it’s a perfect fit.

Hank spends each day roaming offices and playing fields, visiting with everyone from Doug Melvin, Ron Roenicke, players and coaches to ticket office and concessions staff. Hank is going home with members of the organization each night to a warm bed, and he recently completed a day at the Team Store where he picked out his favorite styles from the latest Brewers pet gear.

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So, what’s the next chapter? Stay tuned. Hank is in good hands and we’ll keep you posted on our most devoted “tail”-gater in the coming days.

For more updates from Brewers Spring Training in Phoenix, Arizona, be sure to follow the #CactusCrew hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

2/20/14 “#BallparkPup”date:

After our posts yesterday, Hank has become a dog in demand! He spent the morning in the Clubhouse and did three TV interviews. He also took to the field for practice with his mentor, Yovani Gallardo.

Also, many of you are asking what is going to happen to Hank after Spring Training. Rest assured, Hank’s days as a stray are over, one way or another and he’ll continue to be well taken care of.

Here are some more photos from earlier today (How fitting is it that it’s “National Love Your Pet Day“?):

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Cheers!

Pitchers and Catchers Have Reported….Will You? #CACTUSCREW

Spring Training is finally upon us!

Are you headed to sunny, Phoenix, Arizona to see the Crew in Spring Training later this month or in March? Show us your favorite photo and you could be chosen to win a Brewers prize package!

Create an original photo from Spring Training in Phoenix, Arizona. Then, tweet your photo to us on Twitter  and/or post it to Instagram using hashtag #CACTUSCREW for your chance to win!

Spring Training

You’ll also want to make sure you follow the #CactusCrew hashtag for Spring Training news, updates and chatter!

And don’t forget! You can also upload your photo our Brewers Fans on the Fly  interactive map, presented by Southwest Airlines!

Spring Training tickets are available at brewers.com/springtraining.

If you’re not headed to AZ this year, don’t sweat it. You can listen to, and even watch, some of the Brewers Spring Training games: click here for the complete Spring Training broadcast schedule.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Bernie Brewer Arrives at Maryvale–Let the Spring Training Games Begin!

On Wednesday, I caught up with Bernie regarding his impending trip to Spring Training and today, I’m pleased to announce that not only have pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training, but Bernie has as well!

Yes, that’s right, this year, Bernie is joining the #CACTUSCREW by taking in some games down here in Phoenix, Arizona.

So many of you were wondering: Just how does Bernie Brewer fly? On Southwest Airlines, of course!  Here’s a little video on his travels:

And, if you weren’t following along on Bernie’s Twitter account or on our Facebook page, you can also check out our photo gallery, here:

There’s much more fun to be had during the games this weekend, so stay tuned for more Bernie and Brewers updates!

PS: Bernie also added his photo our new Brewers Fans on the Fly interactive map, presented by Southwest, which shows where Brewers fans are all over the globe!  Check it out and add your own!

Go Brewers!

-Cait

johnandcait@Brewers.com

Pitchers & Catchers are Reporting…Are You?

Spring Training is finally upon us!

Are you headed to sunny, Phoenix, Arizona to see the Crew in Spring Training later this month or in March? Show us your favorite photo and you could be of three people chosen to win a Brewers prize package!

Create an original photo from Spring Training in Phoenix, Arizona. Then, tweet your photo to @Bernie_Brewer on Twitter  and/or post it to Instagram using hashtag #CACTUSCREW for your chance to win! For more information and official rules, click here.

im_cactuscrew2_300x300

You’ll also want to make sure you follow the #CactusCrew hashtag for Spring Training news, updates and chatter!

And don’t forget! You can also upload your photo our Brewers Fans on the Fly  interactive map, presented by Southwest Airlines!

Spring Training tickets are available at brewers.com/springtraining.

If you’re not headed to AZ this year, don’t sweat it. You can listen to, and even watch, some of the Brewers Spring Training games: click here for the complete Spring Training broadcast schedule.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Brewers Spring Training Broadcast Schedule Released

Today we announced the 2013 Spring Training broadcast schedule, which includes 34 games to be broadcast on a combination of Newsradio 620 WTMJ and the statewide Brewers Radio Network, FOX Sports Wisconsin and Brewers.com.

Nothing will get you through the cold, wet snowy days like today like the sweet sound of Hall-of-Fame radio announcer Bob Uecker and his partner Joe Block, who will call 16 Spring Training games on Newsradio 620 WTMJ and the statewide Brewers Radio Network. 

Television announcers Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder will call three games to be carried by FOX Sports Wisconsin: Monday, March 11 vs. Los Angeles; Wednesday, March 13 at Arizona; and Friday, March 29 vs. Chicago-AL at Miller Park.  Two additional games – Tuesday, March 19 vs. LA of Anaheim and Sunday, March 24 at San Diego – will be produced by other FOX Sports regions (FS-West and FS-San Diego, respectively) but will be simulcast on FS-Wisconsin.  Anderson, Schroeder and Block will also team up for 17 Brewers.com webcasts throughout the spring. 

The Brewers open the 2013 Spring Training slate on Saturday, February 23 at Maryvale Baseball Park against the Oakland Athletics at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time.  Milwaukee will play a total of 35 Spring Training games this season, including 17 at Maryvale Baseball Park and two exhibition games at Miller Park.

All Brewers games played in the Cactus League are scheduled for 1:05 p.m. starts (Arizona time), except for Wednesday, March 13 at the Diamondbacks (7:10 p.m. local/9:10 p.m. CT).  The spring schedule closes out with a pair of exhibition games against the White Sox at Miller Park on March 29 (7:10 p.m.) and March 30 (1:10 p.m.).

Tickets for Brewers home Cactus League games are on sale at Brewers.com, by phone at 1-800-933-7890 and at the Miller Park and Maryvale Box Offices. Tickets are available in four seating areas: Field Box ($22), Infield Reserved ($16), Outfield Reserved ($13) and Lawn Seating ($8).  Information on Spring Training Season Tickets can be obtained by calling the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at 414-902-4000. 

Tickets for the two exhibition games at Miller Park will go on sale at a later date.  Please note that games and times are subject to change. For the complete Spring Training schedule, visit brewers.com/springtraining.

-Cait

Spring Training Games Are Right Around the Corner: There is No Offseason for Joe Zidanic

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.

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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.jpg

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
of Phoenix.

When Joe first came to the Brewers in April of
2003, his job was to work in the finance/accounting department as the
Club’s controller.

 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
Spring Training.

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!

cecil2.jpeg

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.

Thumbnail image for im_cerveceros_200.png

And just like in Milwaukee, there is even a special
tribute game. On March 22 vs. the San Diego Padres, there will be
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.

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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,
February 28.

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!

 -CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

And…ACTION! Brewers 2010 TV Spots to Debut Tomorrow

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to go down to Arizona with my boss, Senior Director of Marketing, Kathy Schwab and our Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Todd Taylor.

We weren’t there to scout out the team and I certainly didn’t have time to work on my tan. No, we were there on much more important business: to film our 2010 TV Spots, which will debut tomorrow.

The ads were developed in conjunction with our creative agency, 2-Story Creative of Milwaukee. Bill Yunker of Icarus Films directed the spots.

After much preparation, we spent two full days filming and came away with enough footage for five -what I think are humorous and hope you do, too- spots to start out the season.

Our TV spots in recent years have varied from featuring our players at Miller Park talking about the fan experience to spots that are predominantly highlight driven. Since I’ve been in the Consumer Marketing Department, the only two scripted spots that I’ve been involved with were a spot for the Hot Dog Bobble in 2006 (which had a cameo by former Brewers player Derrick Turnbow) and our current Holiday 4-Packs TV spots, which feature the Klement’s World Famous Racing Sausages.

This year, each of the spots features one or more of our players in non-baseball, more everyday life, type of situations.

Thus, being on set for the filming of these five spots was an eye-opening experience for this young marketer. Of course, I knew that there is a lot of work that happens behind the scenes to get everything to look just right, but I didn’t really know until I jumped in with both feet.

They were long days, but I enjoyed every minute and was happy to pitch in wherever and whenever I could. In fact, I think I may have a career as a gofer girl in Hollywood if this marketing thing doesn’t pan out.

Help Ellen Homb, President of 2-Story Creative, decorate the set? No problem! Scrounge up some last-minute props? Sign me up! Get the extras to fill out their paperwork? Sure thing!
 
“I’m always amazed at the magic behind the scenes,” said Todd Taylor. “A lot has to happen in a short amount of time. It takes a tremendous amount of teamwork and integration to pull it off.”

Because of the tight schedules in Spring Training with games, workouts, practices, etc., our time with the players was limited and we had to make the most of our opportunity.

Fortunately for us, all of the guys were great. I honestly don’t think we could have hired better actors to play their roles in the spots. And, call me crazy, but I think they all may have actually had fun in the process.

When we returned from Arizona, the hard work was just beginning. All of the footage we’d captured had to be edited down to our final product, five 15-second spots. Audio had to be mixed, special effects needed to be added if necessary, colors needed correcting…. There is a lot more that goes into it than just meets the eye – and that’s just for 15-second spots. I can’t imagine making a 2-hour movie!

When we  got to see the finished product, it was clear that all of the time and effort was worth it.

“I think it was a top-notch experience across the board, working with Ellen, Bill and their whole team and I’m very pleased with the outcome,” Todd said.

I don’t want to give away too much about the spots, since you’ll see them for yourself tomorrow, so here are some still photos to wet your whistle.

Shotgun.jpg

Darts.jpgAside: Funny story… I had my Flip Video camera and my still camera on set so I could capture scenes from the shoot to share with you here on the blog. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a veteran when it comes to all of this TV stuff and well, apparently my flash photography interfered with some of our takes. Here’s me, getting yelled at, for you, by our Director, Bill.

(I tried not to take it personally…the best creatives can get a little intense. :) )

Each of our 15-second spots will be paired with a back-end tag that will be switched out to promote upcoming games, giveaways, ticket offers and more. These spots will run primarily during our televised games on FS Wisconsin and WMLW.

I hope you like them and welcome your feedback here at John and Cait… Plus 9.

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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