Results tagged ‘ Brewers On Deck ’
The following statement was issued today by Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio on behalf of the Milwaukee Brewers:
“In working through the logistics of this weekend’s Brewers On Deck event in Milwaukee with Ryan Braun—and knowing how much he enjoys interacting candidly with Brewers fans—we came to the conclusion that this is too sensitive of a time in the confidential process for him to attend this year.
“I speak for everyone at the Brewers, including Ryan, in thanking our fans for their understanding and patience.”
Earlier this month, John gave you a glimpse into his offseason life and now it’s my turn to give you one into mine.
First of all, I would argue that the offseason is actually a busier time than during the season in my world.
Yes, that’s right—offseason, schmoffseason!
In my role as Senior Manager of Advertising & Marketing, my job responsibilities include: leading and initiating all general market advertising and marketing projects; serving as the internal lead for social media strategy sessions; initiating brainstorming sessions to discuss concepts for upcoming and current Consumer Marketing projects; evaluating and researching new Club opportunities, promotions and marketing initiatives; preparing proposals, drafting contracts and writing sales, marketing and evaluation reports; and of, course, co-authoring this blog!
Our Consumer Marketing Department, headed up by Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Jim Bathey, is comprised of Ticket Sales (Season Tickets, Group Tickets, Suite Sales, and Ticket Operations) and Marketing/Advertising. Under that umbrella, we have an internal creative team, led by my boss, Kathy Schwab, Senior Director of Marketing, that works to produce all of the advertisements and collateral. In sum, the easiest way to tell you what we do is to say that basically anything that you, the consumer, sees has most likely passed our desks in some way, shape, or form.
While I don’t physically design the look (we’ve got Sr. Graphic Designer Jeff Harding and Graphic Designer Molly Arndt to thank for that!), I have a hand in most projects from a creative concepting and copywriting standpoint to scheduling the workflow and making sure our deadlines are met.
Here are just a few of the things that help keep us out of trouble from November through March:
DEPARTMENTAL MEETINGS: Our internal creative team operates like its own creative agency, serving our “clients,” or the other departments within our organization. At the end of the season, we like to sit down with each department individually to discuss their creative needs for the upcoming year so we can begin to think about new ideas, get their projects on a calendar and budget our time accordingly. We meet with everyone from Brewers Enterprises and Community Relations to Accounting and Stadium Operations to make sure that we are ready to help them produce any materials that they might need.
SEASON SEAT HOLDER RENEWAL PACKET: Our first big offseason project is always the Season Seat Holder Renewal Packet. After the season ends, our Season Seat Holders have the first priority to renew their seats for the following season. Putting this packet together means reflecting on the previous season, gathering the new schedule and pricing charts for the upcoming season and updating any new benefit information. Coming off of such a special 2011 Season, we wanted to do something extra special for our Season Seat Holders, so they each received this commemorative 8×10 collage as part of their packet this year:
HOLIDAY 4-PACKS: When the baseball season lasts until nearly Halloween, it’s easy for the rest of the holiday season to sneak up on you. That’s why we have to work ahead in order to be ready to launch our campaign for our ever-popular Holiday 4-Packs. Typically, these packages go on sale about two weeks before Thanksgiving. This year they are available until December 20. Our marketing team works hard to develop a fully-integrated campaign that includes direct mail and print, online, outdoor, radio and TV advertising.
CLUBHOUSE SALE: We’re also charged with advertising our Brewers Clubhouse Sale, which, coincidentally, takes place this Friday and Saturday in the Visitors’ Clubhouse here at Miller Park. You’ll definitely want to check back on Thursday, as John and I are planning on posting our annual Clubhouse Sale Preview!
NEW SEASON TICKET PACKAGES: After renewals and the holiday season, we shift our focus to selling our new season ticket packages. Again, we create advertising campaigns and sales collateral to support these efforts.
BREWERS ON DECK: In January, we’ve got our annual winter fan fest, Brewers On Deck to look forward to. This year, Brewers On Deck takes place on Sunday, January 29 from 10am to 5pm at the Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. Typically, our department will work on the advertising for this event and our outside agency, 2-Story Creative, steps in to assist with all of the banners, signage and decor for the event itself.
SPRING TRAINING & TV COMMERCIALS: Just when the weather in Wisconsin is at its nastiest, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to hop on a plane to Arizona where we work with the players to gather most of what we’ll need for our 2012 in-season advertising efforts. We try to limit our asks of the players once the season begins so that they can focus their efforts on the field; that means that we capture a lot of images—and shoot our TV commercials (with the help of 2-Story Creative)—before our Spring Training games even begin.
INDIVIDUAL ON-SALE (ARCTIC TAILGATE): We return from sunny Arizona to the Arctic…Tailgate, that is. As you know, the Arctic Tailgate, the date our individual tickets go on sale to the public, usually takes place in February. What does that mean for marketing? We have to produce the advertising around the event and create collateral pieces—the most important being the much-anticipated pocket schedule. Usually by that time of year, we’ll have most of our promotions set in place and then we can print our pocket schedules and get them in the hands, wallets and purses of eagerly-awaiting Brewers fans. For the next six months, that pocket schedule will also inadvertently serve as my day planner.
YOUR TICKETS, PARKING PASSES, ETC.: If you’re a Season Seat Holder, you know that the day your tickets arrive in the mail is a very special day. [I always think of this scene in the movie Fever Pitch and imagine many of our Brewers fans react the same way.] Well, did you ever think of the people behind those tickets? The ones who design them, print them, and make sure that your precise number of tickets with your exact seat location get delivered to you—along with your parking books and/or NYCE Club membership? All of those items in your packet have to be produced and that’s what we spend a lot of time on in February and March, making sure everyone is set for Opening Day.
Which brings us to… the start of the new season!
Eek! We’ve got a ton to accomplish in just 129 days! I better wrap this up.
Since the season ended, I get asked probably every other day, “So now what do you do?”
People ask me if I get the winter off, or do I work three hours a day, or if I come in four days a week—I have probably heard it all in seven years. Truth is, yes, things slow down a bit when compared to the regular season, but no, I do not get the entire winter off. I am able to take some more time off here and there, but by no means does that mean we have the winter off.
Cait started this series two before the 2010 season to give inside look at what goes on in the Brewers Front Office during the offseason. We realized that in interviewing others to see what their offseason is like; we never really talked about how we spend our offseason. Cait will tell you about her offseason later, I will fill you in on what goes on in Media Relations now. There is much truth to Cait’s title of “There’s No Offseason For…”
There are a number of important projects that the Media Relations Department works on during the offseason. The most important thing that the Media Relations Department does is make sure that the Brewers stay on the minds of fans throughout the year–no matter if we are on the field or off the field. There are obviously not games going on so baseball might not be on the minds of all of our fans, but our goal is to have people talking and thinking about Brewers baseball as much as possible.
So, after catching my breath following an enjoyable Postseason run, here are some of the main projects that I work on during the offseason:
“The” Media Guide – This is probably our biggest project and the one that takes the most time. At around 350 pages, the Brewers Media Guide is full with Brewers history, facts, news and other information. Myself, Mike Vassallo and Ken Spindler chip away at the project throughout the winter. I love the stats and especially the historical information contained in Media Guides, I grew up reading them and still love reading them.
We would like to have the completed books in hand by the first Spring Training game, so we work with a set of dates that allows us to reach that goal (proud to say that we are early every year, even with some snowstorm shipping delays!). It is a pretty big project as the media guide contains a lot of numbers and statistical information that must be 100% correct. It is quite the process, organizing, resizing and configuring photos; sorting, crunching and updating numbers and most importantly, designing the cover.
The Arizona Fall League – Last year I went down to the Arizona Fall League to write about some of our prospects for the blog. I will be going again this year next week to do the same. Stay tuned for some reports from the last week of the Arizona Fall League in Phoenix.
Brewers On Deck – Perhaps our biggest offseason event, Brewers On Deck—scheduled for Sunday, January 29 2012 at the Frontier Airlines Center in Downtown Milwaukee—is another huge offseason project that involves pretty much every department of the front office. The event requires a lot of planning and I work on a couple of different areas. I put together the Brewers Museum exhibit and work on promotion of the event through social media and traditional media. We also schedule press conferences and other media availability during the event. It is an event that fans look forward to every year and we are all excited to get going on the 2012 event.
The Winter Meetings – The Winter Meetings are an annual MLB event that encompasses a number of things. For one, it is where the Baseball Operations departments from all 30 MLB teams gather to strategize what they need for the upcoming season. Team representatives talk with other team representatives on trades and free agents meet with prospective teams.
As a PR staff, we are there to help the media with any player moves that might involve the Brewers. MLB also hosts a series of PR meetings that include sessions on what is going on in the industry. The Winter Meetings are held during the first week of December and this year will be in Dallas.
Spring Training – Spring Training signifies the end of the “offseason,” but is still part of the preparation process for the upcoming season. We bring our entire operation to Phoenix for about eight weeks where we prepare for the upcoming season with photo shoots, preview interviews, commercial shoots and, well yes, some baseball.
While there are other things that come up during the offseason, those are some of the main projects that I work on during the months without baseball. The games are one of my favorite things about my job, but the anticipation of the upcoming season is something I enjoy as well. Looking at this list, I think I have to get back to work. Until next time…
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.
I think the Brewers cleaned out all the Sharpies from area office supply stores in preparation for Sunday’s Brewers On Deck event at the Midwest Airlines Center. This picture was sent to me today by Drew Olsen of the Brewers Front Office.
Like a small army, these Sharpies and pens will be called into duty on Sunday at Brewers On Deck.
Baseball is a sport of numbers and stats. I love stats and information, so, to go with the 32 silver Sharpies, 36 black Sharpies and 36 black ballpoint pens that will be used for autographs on Sunday at Brewers On Deck, here are some other stats on the event:
188,695 square feet of activities (“So much room for activities!”)
30 current players
27 memorabilia vendors
10 sponsor tables
8 current coaches
7 Brewers alumni players
6 autograph stages
3 entertainment stages
We hope to see everyone at Brewers On Deck on Sunday. If you have any questions about the event, shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com.
The Brewers annual fan fest, Brewers On Deck, will take place this Sunday, January 31, but today, John and Cait have a sneak preview of all the fun that is in store for you! We are going to throw a lot at you in this preview and this map will help you plan your afternoon at the event.
First of all, this year’s Brewers On Deck is bigger and better than ever. The event has taken many forms since it first began at Brookfield Square Mall in 2004. Each year, we learn a little more and try to grow the event to make it bigger and better than even before. Brewers Senior Director of Entertainment and Broadcasting, Aleta Mercer has again been in charge of organizing this event that has really turned into something no Brewers fan will want to miss.
Last year was the first year that the event was held at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. This year, we’re returning to the same location, but we have two times the space to work with and more attractions to entertain fans once they get in the door.
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. There will be autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games and clinics for kids in the Associated Bank Kids Zone, Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters, the latest Brewers merchandise (including 40th Anniversary items), and much, much, more.
First of all, everybody loves autographs and the chance to rub elbows with players and coaches from the 2010 team.
With 30 players scheduled to sign at the event, you’ll have lots of choices. Welcome back some of your favorites, like Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun. Get a jumpstart on the 40th Anniversary Season by purchasing some of the new merchandise that will be available at the event and getting it signed by Brewers great and Hall of Famer Robin Yount. Or, take the opportunity to add new Brewers like Randy Wolf, Gregg Zaun, LaTroy Hawkins or Carlos Gomez to your autograph collection.
Autograph sessions will be staggered during the event, and autograph tickets–ranging from free to $25 each–will be available on the day of the event only. There will be 250 autograph coupons available for each player at the event, and coupons will be distributed one hour prior to each autograph session, so make sure you get there early!
Dave Bush signs autographs for fans at Brewers On Deck 2009.
The doors to the Midwest Airlines Center open at 10 a.m. and the first autograph sessions begin at 11 a.m. A good tip would be to buy your On Deck tickets in advance if you want to get in an autograph line early. Brewers coaches will be signing free autographs following their Q&A session with fans and select Brewers alumni will also sign free following clinics in the Little League diamond.
It is important to note that cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph area, so make sure you hit up an ATM on your way downtown (there will also be ATMs inside the Midwest Airlines Center). Proceeds from the autographs will go to Brewers Charities and other charitable causes. A full autograph schedule can be found here.
The photo sessions made available to fans are also a great way to capture a great memory with your favorite Brewer. A group of 33 Brewers players, alumni and coaches will appear at three photo stations scattered throughout the afternoon in half hour segments. The photos are free of charge. We would recommend bringing your own camera to take pictures. The first session will start at 11 a.m. and the last session will start at 3:30 p.m.
Mitch Stetter poses with fans at Brewers On Deck 2009 in the Photo Area.
Three stages will be set up throughout the convention hall, featuring programming and other activities for fans throughout the day.
The Brewers Main Stage will feature various question and answer sessions with top Brewers baseball executives, a pair of game shows featuring players and alumni (“Who Wants to Be A Brewer?” and “Brewers vs. Alumni Feud”), a fashion show showcasing the latest Brewers gear and a roundtable discussion with members of the Milwaukee media who cover the team on a regular basis. The game shows were definitely hits at last year’s “Bob Uecker’s Winter Warm Up” and there are some new surprises in store for 2010.
Fans and local media will be introduced to Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez and reintroduced to newly acquired lefty Doug Davis at a press conference scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on the Main Stage.
The Brewers Interactive Stage will feature the Brewers Anthem Challenge with fans vying for an opportunity to sing the National Anthem at Miller Park, so start practicing hitting those high notes! Also scheduled for the Brewers Interactive Stage is a Q&A session with the Brewers Player Development and Scouting staff as well as a live web chat on brewers.com with Gregg Zaun, Manny Parra and Carlos Villanueva.
The Newsradio 620 WTMJ stage will broadcast live from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will feature interviews with Brewers players and coaches. If you are a Brewers fan who cannot make Sunday’s event, the web chat and radio broadcast are two fantastic ways to interact and participate from home.
All proceeds from the event benefit Brewers Charities and other charitable causes, so make sure you stop by the Brewers Charities area at On Deck. This year, they’re hosting a Treasure Hunt, which will feature some hard to find Brewers items for sale. Additionally, Brewers Charities will be collecting food to be donated to the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. Collection barrels will be set up at the Brewers Charities area in the Midwest Airlines Center, so don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food items with you to On Deck.
Fans will also be able to take part in the Brewers On Deck Scavenger Hunt. If you can locate the four player photos placed strategically around the venue at different attractions, you will uncover a special promotional code that will allow you to purchase tickets online for select Brewers games at a special 50% savings.
To help celebrate the 40th Anniversary season in 2010, fans can visit the Brewers Museum at On Deck to relive some Brewers moments of the past. Watch some of the best plays in team history, check out every team photo in team history, read newspapers from some of the most historic moments in team history and check out some pretty neat artifacts from 1970 through today.
In addition to all of these activities, kids will also have a great time at the batting cages or speed pitch and will be able to stay active in the Home Run Fitness area. Fans can also visit with Brewers sponsors, check out sports memorabilia from collectors in the memorabilia area, purchase a Brewers Kids Club Membership Kit ($25), and pick up Season and Group Ticket information.
There will be so much to do on Sunday, it is hard to list everything. Some other interesting attractions that we want you to check out are displays from four of the Brewers minor league affiliates and the FS Wisconsin stage where fans are offered a chance to be a sports announcer at the FS Wisconsin Sports Desk.
We’re excited that the event is coming up so soon, not only because a great time will be had by all, but also because it means that the start of the baseball season is that much closer. Something comforting to think about on a cold, January day. If you cannot make the event, we will have a full review here and on brewers.com.
-John and Cait
Brewers On Deck will take place on Sunday, January 31 from 10am to 5pm at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. Advance tickets are just $15 for adults and $9 for kids.
Tickets purchased at the door on the day of the event will be $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under. Cash will be the only form of payment accepted on the day of the event.
Autograph sessions will be staggered throughout the day with autograph tickets ranging from free to $25 (available only at the event).Please note that cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph area. Proceeds from the autographs will go to Brewers Charities and other charitable causes.
There are a variety of parking structures and street lots surrounding the Midwest Airlines Center. For more parking information, please visit www.parkmilwaukee.com.
For an up-to-date schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, click here.
Well the rush of the Holiday Season is over and 2010 is here. I enjoyed my Holiday and I’m looking forward to getting back to a busy month of January. Yes, that’s right I said it. January will be a busy month here at Miller Park. I know it is hard to think about baseball when temperatures are barely reaching 20 degrees here in Milwaukee (this morning was pretty tough driving to work, my fingers and toes are finally thawing out), but things will really pick up here at Miller Park beginning today.
Here in the Media Relations Department, we are in full Media Guide mode. We are putting the final touches on the guide to ensure a delivery in time for the first Spring Training game. There are a lot of things that need to be tied up with the guide and it will consume much of our time this month. The Media Guide is one of the biggest projects our department works on every year. Mike Vassallo, Ken Spindler and I have been putting the pieces of the book together since the end of last season and are quite relieved when the finished product goes to press.
Plans are also coming together for Brewers On Deck on Sunday, January 31 at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. Many months of planning have gone into this event, led by Aleta Mercer, and it will all come together at the end of the month when we get to celebrate a wonderful day of Brewers activities. Check out brewers.com/ondeck for the latest information. This will be a day that no Brewers fan will want to miss. We will keep you updated here on the latest announcements regarding On Deck.
On the Baseball side, General Manager Doug Melvin and his crew will continue to make steps to improve the team on the field. The arbitration process will also heat up in the next couple of weeks and the finishing touches will be put on the roster will be made prior to Spring Training.
Finally, many of the ballpark improvement projects are well underway here at Miller Park. There are construction crews all around Miller Park working on a number of the improvement projects I wrote about here in November.
We will also have a couple of other announcements regarding ticket packages, season promotional items and other special announcements leading up to the 2010 season that will come in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned to this blog as well as brewers.com, although there is no baseball for the next two months, there will be plenty of other activity surrounding the team that will get fans ready for a great 2010 season. Until then, here is a list of some important dates leading up to Spring Training:
Tuesday, January 19 - Exchange Date for Arbitration Numbers
Sunday, January 31 – Brewers On Deck, Midwest Airlines Center, Downtown Milwaukee
Wednesday, February 10 – Equipment Truck is loaded and departs for Phoenix
Saturday, February 20 - Pitchers and Catchers Report to Spring Training
Friday, February 26 – Position Players Report to Spring Training
Thursday, March 4 – First Spring Training Game vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale Stadium
Wednesday, March 10 – Sunday, March 14 – Brewers Road Crew Spring Training Trip
The Marketing Department is currently working on advertising, programs and signage for our Brewers On Deck event, which takes place on Sunday, January 31 at the Midwest Airlines Center, so I thought who better to select for my next “There is No Offseason for” interview than the force behind it all, Brewers Senior Director of Entertainment and Broadcasting, Aleta Mercer.
Entering her 18th Season with the Club in 2010, Aleta has a myriad of responsibilities, from taking care of the talent and crews that work together to provide Brewers baseball on both radio and television (and the visiting talent and crews as well), to making sure that fans always find something enjoyable here at the ballpark, whether it is interactive games, entertainment on the video board, the music played between innings, the mascots, pre-game presentations or any of the hundreds of other attractions Miller Park has to offer.
Aleta is also the lady who schedules the ceremonial First Pitches and books the talent for the National Anthem. Over her time here, Aleta’s worked with a wide range of celebrities and even animals, but she’s been most impressed with local Wisconsin talent.
“At this point, 18 years down the road, I really wish I had taken copious notes so I could say ‘Oh, I remember that!’ but I think that more than having celebrities that are my absolute favorite, I think our local talent is just outstanding. They are more than supportive. Beyond being so talented, they love Brewers baseball. I can give you a list of names, but guaranteed, I’d leave somebody off and that would be horrible, but they know who they are and they are incredible,” Aleta said.
In addition, Aleta says, “We actually end up with a lot of celebrities in the ballpark who don’t perform for us. The Anthem is a very difficult song…. You would be more surprised, I would think, by the number of celebrities that say they would just love to come out to enjoy the game instead.”
Although there are not a lot of MLB rules that pertain to what Clubs can and cannot do in the pre-game ceremonies, the most important rule is that the game starts on time. Once we declare our starting time, then that is the time we are held to.
“It is kind of funny, though,” Aleta mused.
“As much as we plan everything to the minute, it is with the understanding that we can’t be entirely married to it. We understand it is still live entertainment and that anything could happen. You know, the dog that is assigned to run the first pitch ball out there could just decide to run in circles and yes — it’s happened. At that point, you just have to smile and go with it. It’s kind of fun.”
So you’re probably wondering what Aleta does in the offseason when there are no games to be broadcast, no Anthems to be sung and no crowds to entertain.
Well… see, that’s not exactly true.
“Right now our focus is on the Brewers On Deck program. It is kind of exciting and I would say it is very similar to what we do here at Miller Park in that when fans come to Miller Park, we know that primarily they are interested in the ball game. They are coming out to see baseball and our staff runs around and tries to figure out ways to bolster that, making sure that everybody has something fun and interesting to do.
Brewers On Deck is very similar in that we know that a lot of people who are going to the On Deck event want autographs and photographs, that sort of thing. We do our best to bolster that. We make sure that if you go to the event and you don’t end up with that one autograph that you wanted, that there is something else there that you will really enjoy.”
Aleta has a large team assembled to help run the Brewers On Deck event and that team spans across virtually every department from Consumer Marketing to Stadium Operations and Community Relations; from Corporate Marketing, Retail, Media Relations to Brewers Charities, Inc. and more.
The Brewers On Deck event has taken many forms since it first began at Brookfield Square Mall in 2004. Each year, we learn a little more and try to grow the event to make it bigger and better than even before. Last year was the first year that the event was held at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. This year, we’re returning to the same location, but we have even more space to work with and more attractions to entertain fans once they get in the door.
“Last year we had our Winter Warm-Up event that had limited access at the Riverside Theater. It was just met with wild acclaim and this year, we wanted to bring aspects of that program to On Deck, so we will have some of those same kind of programs — Game Shows, Fashion Shows — it will be a neat addition. We also have a Brewers Museum. It is just a fun way to look back on the history of Brewers baseball in Milwaukee,” Aleta said.
After On Deck, Aleta and her staff take a deep breath and immediately go to Arizona for Fantasy Camp, where they do a little video work with the participants and coaches. Brewers Fantasy Camp runs from January 31 through February 7. (Note: There is still time to sign up! For more information, click here.)
“It’s good fun to see fans enjoying their time as Major Leaguers,” said Aleta, who will return to Arizona just one week later for Spring Training.
“Part of what we do for Spring Training is we go down and ask players questions, we take video and we get to know players better so we can better present the players to our fans. Fantasy Camp is kind of a precursor to that because we do the same thing with those participants.”
When Aleta and her staff arrive at Spring Training, they do some headshot work, talk to the players and ask them questions about their likes and dislikes. Their goal is to get the players comfortable with seeing them and a camera so as her staff comes back to them during the year, the players will know that they are there to introduce them to the fans.
“This also gets us started on making plans for the season in terms of what we’re going to do on the video board, what we’re going to do between innings. February is when it really starts to come together,” said Aleta.
Aleta is not in charge of the Spring Training broadcast and entertainment — we’ll get to that in a another interview — and that’s just fine because once she has all of the player interaction her staff requires and she has met with broadcast partners and sponsors down in Maryvale, Arizona, it’s full steam ahead when she gets back to Milwaukee.
“When we get back, we are well into March. That leaves us with a couple of weeks to get ready for the season.That’s when we bring in the Brew Crew and start working on the activities we’re going to do between innings and some of the mascot events. That’s when we really start rehearsing,” Aleta said.
In fact, if you find yourself down at Friday’s Front Row for lunch in March, don’t be surprised if you see a random Sausage Race break out, hear music blasting over the sound system or see messaging on the LED boards. That’s just Aleta preparing for the season.
“The other way that we ‘practice’ is with the Exhibition Games that we’ll have at Miller Park this year,” Aleta said, referring to the games on Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3 vs. the Detroit Tigers.
“The Exhibition Games are our first and final real ‘rehearsal’ before the start of the season.”
As you can see, Aleta is another member of our Front Office who works tirelessly year round to enhance the fan experience. Next time you make it out to Miller Park, make sure you take note of all of the little details that make everything that much more fun for you — that’s Aleta and her staff hard at work.
Also, make sure you check out all of the fruits of our labor at Brewers On Deck on Sunday, January 31. Be on the lookout for the lady that is calm, cool, collected and in charge. That’s Aleta Mercer.
Brewers On Deck takes place on Sunday, January 31 from 10am to 5pm at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. Advance tickets are just $15 for adults and $9 for kids. Autograph sessions will be staggered throughout the day with autograph tickets ranging from free to $25 (available only at the event). A portion of the proceeds goes to Brewers Charities, Inc. To purchase tickets, click here.