Results tagged ‘ Deron Anderson ’
This summer, VISIT Milwaukee, the city’s award-winning convention and visitors’ bureau, teamed up with film producer Jack Turner to produce “DearMKE,” a project they are describing as a “love letter to the city.”
“DearMKE started as a way for all of us to show others what we love about our city. It is growing into a film, twelve documentaries made by local filmmakers, and a citywide contest that lets all of us tell our story like only we can,” says the project’s website. “We all know what makes Milwaukee such a great place. Isn’t it time everyone else did too?”
Jack, who resided in Whitefish Bay as a teenager and boasts an impressive resume, is capturing the best of Milwaukee on film along with other local Milwaukee filmmakers, but they are also asking for the help of local businesses and residents:
“Every neighborhood in Milwaukee holds memories and promises. Surprises and longtime connections. Revolutionary ideas and reflections. Amazing people and places. Every city block, every corner bar, every park, every school, every brick in every church steeple holds a story. Which one will you share about our DearMKE?”
The project calls for submissions via a video, photo, or written work.
To participate in this project, we compiled a history on the team’s number one fan, our lovable, mustachioed mascot. It’s called: Bernie Brewer: Behind the Moustache. Think you know the whole story about Bernie Brewer? Think again!
A special thanks to Cory Wilson, Matt Morell and Deron Anderson for their help putting this together and Bernie, Bonnie, Bango, Robb Edwards, John Axford, Gorman Thomas and Mario Ziino for their time!
The trailer to this video resides on the project’s website, DearMKE.com, where you can also submit your own ideas, which could appear in Jack’s film, or be featured in one of twelve short documentaries.
Jack’s film will premier at the Milwaukee Film Festival later this month (more on that, including John Axford’s involvement, to come!) and each of the documentaries will premier once a month on the project’s website. You could also win a prize package featuring tickets and gift certificates from various Milwaukee attractions. Hurry, the deadline is October 12.
Today was an exciting day at Miller Park as we debuted both our new video board and TV spots at a media event this afternoon.
The scoreboard was designed, manufactured and installed by Daktronics, Inc. The new video board features a single screen, true 1080 display and is the fourth-largest scoreboard in Major League Baseball at 5,940 square feet. The only larger boards are in Kansas City, Phoenix and Houston.
Let me tell you– it is AMAZING.
I didn’t want to spoil your first impression of the board by posting a video and these photos are cool, but they don’t do it justice, so I’m sorry, but you’re just going to have to come out to Miller Park and see it for yourself to really get the full effect!
Your first chance to see the board in person is this Saturday’s Rising Stars Minor League Game, set for 3:10pm. [Psst! All tickets are just $10!] And, of course, next week when Brewers Baseball returns to Milwaukee for the 2011 Season!
[To learn more about the scoreboard, check out my interview with Deron Anderson, Director of A/V Production, from December, here.]
During the event, we also showcased our new 2011 TV spots on the new board for the first time. There are seven new spots this season. The first three are fan-centric and relate to the Miller Park experience, while the remaining four are centered around the players and have a similar theme to last year’s spots.
The fan-centric spots were filmed locally last summer and the player spots were recently filmed at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix and also, at Miller Park. [Read my post about the shoot in Spring Training, here.]
You can view the new spots by clicking on the links below. Then, make sure you come back here and vote on your favorite! Plus…click here for outtakes from the shoot!
Fireworks: The baseball’s better at Miller Park. And, as one group of fans discovers, so are the fireworks.
Yard Work: Yes, we have to cut the grass at Miller Park. But, as these backyard fans discover, not during the game.
Remote: Your chances of capturing the Miller Park experience at home? Pretty “remote,” as these fans find out.
Radio Control: Pitcher Shaun Marcum is all about control. On the mound. And all around the stadium.
Batting Cage: Who wants to face Prince Fielder in the batter’s box? No man. And certainly no machine.
Setting the Table: Rickie Weeks does a beautiful job setting the table for his teammates. On the field. And off.
Not Open: Reliever John Axford loves closing things. And it’s a lot more than just baseball games.
The new spots will air in game broadcasts beginning with Opening Day in Cincinnati, this Thursday (gosh it feels good to type that), March 31.
The readers have spoken!
Far and away the biggest request that came through was from readers wanting to hear about the new scoreboard: the installation, graphics, making the display ‘pop’, etc.
Well, there is a group of people working together on this effort and that group includes Rick Schlesinger, EVP-Business Operations, Teddy Werner, Sr. Director-Business Operations, Aleta Mercer, Vice President-Entertainment & Broadcasting, Cory Wilson, Coordinator-A/V Production, Kathy Schwab, Sr. Director of Marketing, Jeff Harding, Sr. Graphic Designer, and me.
There is also one more person in that group–a very important person as he is the guy who will be responsible for operating that new scoreboard.
Although you may not know him by name, Deron Anderson, our Director of A/V Production, has a hand in many other areas that directly impact your in-game experience, from highlight reels and music clips to the stats that are displayed and the replays that are shown.
Top: Deron Anderson, behind Miller Park’s old video board.
Bottom: Construction begins on the new scoreboard. The whole thing will be a video board!
As you can see from these photos, things are well underway with the installation of the new scoreboard, so I tracked Deron down to find out how this offseason compares to the others he’s weathered.
Deron was hired for Miller Park and thus began his career with the Brewers in January 2001. That means that Deron, like Miller Park, is coming up on his 10th Anniversary in 2011.
In addition to being a Brewers fan, Deron is highly involved in sports overall.
In his spare time, the father of three (Michael, 11, Natalie, 8, and Scott, 4) coaches Michael’s park and recreation basketball team, is the assistant coach for Michael’s Little League team and is also the assistant coach for Natalie’s soccer team. All of the running around to different practices keeps Deron and his wife, Lynnette, quite busy, but Deron also manages to play on a men’s 35 and over baseball team as well, when time allows.
Deron is also involved in the community. When I caught up with him, he had just returned from Audubon Middle School, where the students were participating in the Connect a Million Minds event, a town hall-type internet meeting hosted by Al Gore. Afterward, in conjunction with the meeting and the school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Program , Deron was part of a panel, speaking to the kids about the technology he uses in his career.
As Director of A/V Production, Deron’s primary focus is game production, and in that role, he certainly works with lots of different applications of technology.
The cameras Deron is referring to are separate from the television cameras. There are three static cameras on tripods, located in center field, high home and first base, along with one roving, wireless camera. In 2011, there will be a fourth static camera added, located at high third.
“The biggest questions I get are about replays and the music that is played,” Deron told me.
Deron and his staff must comply with Major League Baseball rules on a lot of what they do, following a set of scoreboard and audio system regulations known as “Bulletin D-12.” Among other things, Bulletin D-12 dictates which replays can and cannot be shown inside the ballpark.
Deron recalled an instance where this rule put him in a bind. Back in 2004, when Ben Sheets had his 18-strikeout game against the Atlanta Braves, Deron had an important call to make.
Deron noted that television does not have any restrictions on what they can show, so if you’re at a game and you’re wishing a play would be shown again on the scoreboard, if you’re near a television or in the concourse, you can always look up and see if you can catch it again.
“I like my music, but I know most people don’t,” Deron joked. “We look at what songs the local radio stations are playing, what the top songs are on iTunes and sometimes the players request songs. Most players request their own at bat music.”
“At one time, he had truck sound effects. Another time he had an air raid siren. I give him credit, some of the things he comes up with are really cool,” Deron said.
Although many of Deron’s main and most highly visible responsibilities are during the season, like the rest of us, Deron has a busy offseason ahead of him, with this one probably being the busiest of all.
Here is an example of a video that Deron put together for the end of the 2010 season.
They assist the marketing department in radio production, create highlight videos for sales staff, take care of any gameday staff hiring and scheduling and work on our two big offseason events: Brewers On Deck and Arctic Tailgate.
This offseason, however, with the installation of the new scoreboard, things are a little different.
The new scoreboard, designed by Daktronics, Inc., will be massive. The new video board features a single screen, pure 1080p high-definition display, and will be the fourth-largest scoreboard in Major League Baseball at 5,940 square feet (110 ft wide x 54 ft. high). The only larger boards in Major League Baseball are at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium (8,900 square feet), Houston’s Minute Maid Park (planned for 7,000 square feet), and Phoenix’s Chase Field (6,200 square feet). The new video board will replace the existing 1,296 square foot video board (48 ft. wide x 27 ft. high) and the 2,432 square foot matrix board. In terms of pixels, it is 2184 wide x 1080 high.
Deron and Cory will have to learn how to use the new board, as well as what will work on the larger display and what won’t. They’ve interviewed numerous animation companies and are getting set to create the new look for the board.
“There will be a lot more 3D animation,” Deron said.
“No, that just means that from a look perspective, the images will not just be flat. They will have more depth to them. So, no, you won’t have to wear the glasses. That’s stereoscopic imaging, with the glasses,” Deron clarified.
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.