Results tagged ‘ Jeff Harding ’
Today, I was fortunate enough to play in the Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Tournament at the beautiful Irish Course at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.
This was the seventh year of Davey’s tournament, and the third year that it’s been at the Irish Course (in previous years, it’s also been played at Blackwolf Run). I was excited for the chance to be up there this week because the Irish Course is just adjacent to Whistling Straits, the site of the 2015 PGA Championship. We’re just about six weeks out from the tournament, which will take place August 10-16 and we could see they were already preparing, building the stands, hospitality and merchandise tents.
Upon check-in, participants were provided with assorted goodies, including a pullover, golf balls, a drawstring bag and beef jerky.
Then, the morning started off with golf pros walking the line at the driving range and a putting contest, along with a buffet brunch.
Each foursome in the tournament was paired with a celebrity golfer to make up a five-person team. Team play consisted of a Scramble Format with team prizes awarded to the top finishers.
Among the many celebrities in the tournament were: Jay Aldrich, Don August, Sal Bando, Mike Caldwell, Craig Coshun, Jim Gantner, Telly Hughes, Chris Jacke, Daniel Lee Martin, Greg Matzek, Randall McDaniel, Greg Meyer, Damian Miller, Charlie Moore, Willie Mueller, Wes Obermueller, Ken Sanders, Tony Smith, Gorman Thomas, Greg Vaughn, Paul Wagner, Steve Woodard and Robin Yount.
My group consisted of our celebrity, former Brewers pitcher Jay Aldrich, Tom Hecht, our VP-Corporate Marketing, Jeff Harding, our Director of Creative Design & Strategy, and John Creighton from Johnson Controls, Inc.
The tournament was a shotgun start, so our group began on hole 11 a par three. We got off to a decent start, but it wasn’t until the front nine that things really began to click.
But, we had a ton of fun, which is the most important thing! A highlight was running into a flock of sheep, which help maintain the courses up at Whistling Straits:
We finished the day at -9 (62), which was good, but not good enough to win the tournament.
Each hole also consisted of different challenges with opportunities to win various prizes for things like longest drive, longest putt, or closest to the hole.
It was a terrific day– wonderful weather, the chance to play a beautiful championship course and, most importantly, we were helping a great cause: Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa and Brewers Community Foundation. Open Arms is a non-profit organization that provides shelter, clothing, protection and basic healthcare for what is now home to many children orphaned due to the Aids epidemic in South Africa. Davey has served as Board of Director for over four years.
Following golf, there was a reception and silent auction, followed by a live auction.
During dinner, we learned more about Open Arms and heard stories about the children whose lives we were helping, all by taking a day off of work to play golf.
The entire presentation was very touching and moving and I’m so happy that this event has been able to raise money to support the organization, which Davey and many others have dedicated a lot of time and energy into making a success.
For more information on Open Arms, please visit the website at http://www.openarmshome.com.
Here are some more photos from the day and I hope to see you out at the tournament next year!
BREWERS RECEIVE NATIONAL SPORTS FORUM ADCHIEVEMENT OVERALL AWARD OF ADVERTISING EXCELLENCE FOR FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW
Greetings from Cincinnati, where I’m in town for the National Sports Forum, the largest annual cross gathering of the top sports marketing, sales, promotions and event entertainment executives from throughout the broad spectrum of teams and leagues, (i.e. MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS Minor Leagues, Racing, Colleges, etc.) in North America.
I’m pleased to tell you that today, we were selected as the recipient of the 2015 National Sports Forum ADchievement Overall Award of Excellence.
The NSF ADchievement Awards recognize the year’s most outstanding advertising campaigns in sports. The competition brings in hundreds of submissions from the top teams, agencies, leagues and collegiate athletics across the industry. This marks the fourth consecutive season that the Brewers have received this award.
In addition to the NSF ADchievement Overall Award of Excellence, the Milwaukee Brewers and Brewers Community Foundation were finalists in seven of eight categories, winning one of those categories: Best Social/Mobile Media.
We’re very honored to be the recipients of these awards, especially among the stiff competition from the best and brightest minds in the sports business. It is definitely a testament to our marketing team, so congrats to Teddy Werner, Kathy Schwab, Jeff Harding, Molly Arndt, Drew Alexander, Evan Entler and Brittany Luznicky for continuing to not only set, but raise the bar.
Today we announced the promotions of three front office staff members to director-level positions in the organization. Individuals promoted include Jeff Harding, Chris Kimball and Tai Pauls.
“Jeff Harding, Chris Kimball and Tai Pauls are all key members of our business operations team,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “Jeff has played an important role in many design elements that are part of the Brewers brand, while Chris has been a key contributor to our sales efforts that have averaged over 2.8 million tickets sold over the last eight years. Tai has been instrumental in managing Miller Park activities, including concerts, marathons and special events through Brewers Enterprises. We congratulate each of them on their promotions.”
Harding, who is entering his eighth season with the Brewers in 2015, has been promoted to director – creative design and strategy. He joined the organization in 2008 as graphic designer and most recently held the position of senior graphic designer.
A native of Neenah, Harding graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in art with a concentration in graphic design. He is actively involved with the Boys’ & Girls’ Brigade youth organization in Neenah as a volunteer leader and camp director at Camp Onaway in Waupaca. Jeff resides in Waukesha with his wife, Kristin.
Kimball, who enters his 15th season with the organization, has been promoted to director – group ticket sales. He previously served as senior account executive – ticket sales (2001-10) and senior manager – ticket sales (2010-14).
Kimball graduated from St. Norbert College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. A native of Wausau, he currently resides in West Allis.
Pauls has been promoted to director of Brewers Enterprises. Pauls, who joined the organization as a stadium operations intern in 2005, worked full-time in the ticket sales department in 2006 and then transitioned into the suites department as manager of suite services. She joined Brewers Enterprises in 2008 as manager of special events.
Pauls graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with degrees in sports management and fine arts. A native of Milwaukee, she currently resides on the East Side of Milwaukee with her husband, Andrew, who works for the Brewers as senior director of corporate marketing.
Today, we announced that we have formed the “Brewers Creative Council,” a team of young professionals who will work with the organization to collectively evaluate and create new promotional ideas and marketing strategies for the organization.
A key focus of the council is to target a younger demographic of Brewers fans and potential Brewers fans.
“The best ideas sometimes come from outside sources,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “The Brewers Creative Council will give us the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of fans as we continue to enhance the Miller Park experience.”
I’m proud to tell you that I am heading up this group of talented individuals who will meet regularly to share ideas that will be developed into new concepts. They are:
Josh Derouin, Manager of Marketing Systems at PKWARE; Joel Tilleson, Associate Attorney at Falk Legal Group; Kathryn Reinardy, Digital Communications Manager at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Andy Nelson, Public Relations Director at Pabst Theater Group; Lauren Hill, Director of Telefund at UW-Milwaukee; David Cohn, Director of Member Services and Communications at Wisconsin State Golf Association; Tarik Moody, Digital/Online Community Manager and Music Host at 88Nine RadioMilwaukee; and Arthur Ircink, Owner/Executive Producer of Wisconsin Foodie.
This Sunday, May 11, the Brewers take on the New York Yankees at 1:10pm and all-fans in attendance will receive our second all-fan giveaway of the season: the Kyle Lohse bobblehead, presented by Toyota.
The bobblehead is posed in his windup and features Lohse’s signature goatee…but not his signature tattoo, as he and his teammates were quick to point out.
Kyle Lohse has a large, distinctive tattoo that runs the length of right forearm up to his elbow, the site of a scar he has from forearm surgery he had in 2010.
Kyle told me that the feathered wing represents “a prayer for power and health,” while the baseball peeling back to reveal a globe underneath it is to remind him “that there is more to life than baseball.”
And so, while none of the Brewers bobbleheads feature any tattoos (for numerous reasons, as I am sure you can understand), this felt like a special case.
So, I enlisted the help of our extremely talented Senior Graphic Designer, Jeff Harding.
“So, ah, Jeff…how hard do you think it would be to draw a tattoo on a bobblehead?” I asked him casually.
“Pretty difficult,” he said. And, knowing me very well after working together for over six years, he followed that up with a suspicious look and a, “Why…what are you thinking?”
And so I explained.
“I’d need a photo of the tattoo,” he countered.
I showed him the photo I had already taken.
Jeff shook his head in defeat. “Okay, but no promises,” he warned.
But boy, did he deliver:
When I presented Kyle with the bobble today, I think he was pretty stoked:
He showed it to a couple of the other guys who thought it was a sticker. Nope. That’s ink, mirroring Kyle’s.
And sorry fans, that’s a special 1/1 limited edition bobble. All of the others to be given away this Sunday feature Kyle in his home white jersey.
By the way, for those of you scoring at home: This is the first bobblehead of Kyle’s career. Yes, the World Series Champion who was drafted in 1996, made his Major League debut in 2001, and has played in six Major League organizations has never before been immortalized in bobble form.
“I guess I finally made it,” he told me with a smile.
Over the All-Star Break, a small group from our Front Office had the chance to live up to our team namesake by heading over to MillerCoors and getting a behind-the-scenes tour, complete with the opportunity to brew our very own special batch of beer.
As you would expect from a team whose ballpark is named Miller Park, we have a wonderful partnership with MillerCoors, one that extends beyond naming rights; our newest all-inclusive area, the Miller Lite Party Deck; the popular Miller Lite Beerpen on Friday nights; and the various other events we work with them on year in and year out.
The brewery’s dedication to professional baseball in Milwaukee goes back almost 60 years to 1953, when Frederick C. Miller – the great-grandson of the brewery’s founder — helped bring the Braves to the city. The partnership with the Brewers dates to 1970, the team’s first year in Milwaukee.
“The Milwaukee Brewers and MillerCoors partnership continues a relationship between two iconic heritage brands from our market,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We have great appreciation for the support that MillerCoors has demonstrated to the Brewers over the years.”
So, on Friday, we had the awesome opportunity to get know our friends at MillerCoors–and their product–a little better and I’d love to share some of what I learned with you!
We arrived at their main building on Highland Boulevard at 8am where we were greeted by Troy Rysewyk, Manager of Pilot Brewing Services. We were taken over to the Technical Center where Troy, along with Manny Manuele, Director of Technical Insights and Product Development, promptly put us through a condensed version of Brewing 101: Brewers Boot Camp.
There, we learned a little about the history–including Frederick Miller, the brewery’s founder–and the composition of beer. We talked about the types of beer (ales, lagers, pilsners, stouts); main ingredients (barley, hops, water, yeast and adjuncts), the process (including making mash, “pitching yeast,” and fermentation); and how to judge beer by AATMF (appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel and finish).
Then, it was time to actually make the beer and take a hard-hat tour of the facilities and we headed to a special mini-brewing operation where Troy, Kevin, Gustavo and Megan run test batches of new brews and manage quality control, among other things.
For our visit, they had come up with a special recipe they were hankering to try, one they dubbed “Crackerjack Lager,” which will ultimately have notes of caramel and peanut–sounded perfect to me! (Note: This beer was just a fun recipe–sorry, there are currently no plans to make it available for public consumption.)
We were able to get hands-on experience with the mash tun, lauter tun and brew kettle, adding the barley, corn flakes (that’s flakes of corn, not breakfast cereal!), hops (the type we used is called Brewer’s Gold–how appropriate) and yeast throughout the day.
One of the things that was very apparent was the amount of art and science, particularly chemistry, that goes into brewing and perfecting a beer. That’s generally something that gets glossed over on your average brewery tour. Also, the technology is amazing. The entire process is very controlled and computerization has allowed for vast advances in production and quality control. To make great beer, one has to understand the art and passion for brewing, which was truly evident by the people at MillerCoors.
Alas, since beer isn’t brewed in a day, we weren’t able to finish off our concoction and will have to wait a few weeks to be able to sample our finished product.
That’s okay–that will give us another excuse to get together with our friends at MillerCoors again and taste our product. And, just because we didn’t get to sample Crackerjack Lager, that doesn’t mean we left thirsty. No, we ended our day with a sampling session, tasting five different brews and exposing our palettes to a spectrum from Miller Lite, Leinenkugel’s Canoe Paddler, and Leinenkugel’s new Orange Shandy to a new beer that’s slated to come out September 1 (sorry I was sworn to secrecy!) and a special Anniversary Porter that Troy and his team brewed to celebrate MillerCoors’ 5th anniversary (sorry folks, it won’t be available to the public).
A fan of Summer Shandy and Lemonberry Shandy, I also enjoyed the Orange Shandy. It’s currently available only in sampler packs, but I’m told it will be out on its own in September.
My favorite part of the day (aside from the beer itself of course), was learning about how Megan Mares, a Pilot Brewer at MillerCoors and trained panelists taste the beer for quality control. Here’s a quick lesson for you as well!
Here are some more photos from the day!
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!
I’ve just returned from Oklahoma City, site of the 2012 National Sports Forum and my suitcase is a bit heavier…. That’s because I’m carrying back this: The 2012 National Sports Forum ADchievement Overall Award of Excellence!
The National Sports Forum is the largest annual cross gathering of the top sports marketing, sales, promotions and event entertainment executives from throughout the broad spectrum of teams and leagues, (i.e. NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Minor Leagues, Racing, Colleges, etc.), in North America.
It was wonderful that several people from our staff were able to attend this conference this year, as it is so energizing to be around your peers in the industry, discussing challenges, exchanging new ideas and learning best practices. There are sessions on everything from Sponsorship and Ticket Sales to Management and Marketing and this year, I even had the chance to lead my own breakout session on creativity and new media, which was a great opportunity.
In conjunction with the conference, the Forum also hosts the National ADChievement Awards, an advertising competition for sports-related campaigns and collateral. Well, this year, we submitted several of our campaigns and pieces and I’m proud to say that our team was recognized as the recipient of this year’s Overall Award of Excellence.
Both our internal creative team (comprised of VP of Consumer Marketing, Jim Bathey; Senior Director of Marketing, Kathy Schwab; Senior Graphic Designer, Jeff Harding, Graphic Designer, Molly Arndt; and myself), and our external agency partner, 2-Story Creative, worked together to strategize and develop the items that were recognized with this award.
It was an honor just to be chosen as a finalist for this award, as the field for this year’s Overall Award of Excellence included some pretty stiff competition in the Greenville Drive (winner of the award the past two years in a row), Houston Texans, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Speaking from personal experience, I know how much hard work goes into everything we do during the season, so it was so wonderful to be recognized in front of our peers with this award.
I’d just like to use this opportunity to say how proud I am of our team and how much I enjoy working with everyone each day. I’m truly honored to be surrounded by people who strive for excellence in all that they do.
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!
It’s the time of year where everyone posts and comments on “End of the Year Lists.” From the top movies, music, and books of the year to the top restaurants, people and cars–it seems like there is a list for everything. Well, John and Cait will not let you down, as we have compiled a list of our Top Ten Brewers Moments from what was a very memorable and historic season.
We worked together on this list. Some comments are from Cait and other are from John. Some moments were John’s and others were Cait’s. You might agree with some and disagree with others, as all ten moments will surely be up for debate. You can share with us your top ten Brewers moments from 2011 through the comments section at the bottom of this post.
#10 – Late Night at Miller Park, Brewers vs. Rockies, May 20
Were you one of the 33,361 on hand to witness the Brewers vs. Rockies game as it kicked off at 7:10pm on a warm Friday evening in May at Miller Park? Maybe the better question is: were you still remaining 4 hours and 35 minutes later when Prince Fielder hit his 2-run walk-off blast in the bottom of the 14th? This memorable game featured a volley of scoring. Brewers led 1-0 after 1. Rockies led 2-1 after 3. Brewers tied it 2-2 in the 4th. Colorado took the lead 3-2 in the 5th and tacked on another run in the 6th, before the Brewers brought it back to 4-3 in the bottom of that inning. A homer by Casey McGehee tied the game 4-4 in the 8th. The game went into extras and there was no more scoring until the Rockies took the lead in the 13th, 5-4. The Crew answered with a towering blast by Yuniesky Betancourt and it was back to even. The Rockies scratched their way back on top, 6-5 in the 14th, but then Fielder hit his booming 2-run, 422-footer to right and rewarded those Brewers fans who had stuck it out to the end by sending them home happy.
#9 – Brewers Fans Rock the Vote; Fielder Blast Rocks the AL in 2011 All-Star Game at Chase Field
For the first time in our 43-year history, three players, a homegrown trio–Ryan Braun (first-round Draft pick in 2005), Prince Fielder (first-round Draft pick in 2002) and Rickie Weeks (first-round Draft pick in 2003)–were elected to start the All-Star Game, making the Crew the only NL team with multiple starters.
Braun was elected for his fourth straight All-Star start, leading NL outfielders in balloting for the fourth straight season, and this time leading all NL players in votes. Fielder, a three-time All-Star, was elected to his second start and Weeks was elected to his very first All-Star Game.
Although Braun did not end up playing in the 2011 All-Star Game due to a calf strain, this was still a memorable achievement for the Crew and the Brewers fans whose voting paid off!
More memories and history were also made at the actual game itself as Fielder’s three-run home run in the fourth inning at Chase Field gave the National League the lead in the game and contributed in a big way to its 5-1 victory over the American League.
With that blast, Fielder became the first player in Brewers history to hit a home run in the All-Star Game and after the game, he was named the Most Valuable Player in the All-Star Game, another first for our franchise.
#8 – Crew Turns Triple Play, Brewers vs. Dodgers, August 15
On Monday, August 15, four Brewers defenders combined on the sixth triple play in franchise history, a sensational play that bailed starter Randy Wolf out of a two-on, no-out jam in the second inning and aided in their 3-0 win over the Dodgers at Miller Park. The 4-6-3-2 triple play went like this: With Dodgers at first and second and nobody out in a scoreless game, James Loney hit a grounder up the middle. Josh Wilson ranged to his right, gobbled up the baseball and flipped it with his glove to shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for the first out. Betancourt threw to Prince Fielder at first for out No. 2, and Fielder, seeing Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp trying to sneak home, fired to catcher George Kottaras for the inning-ending tag.
In other news, the Crew also turned four double plays in this defensive clinic of a game.
#7 – Doug Melvin Named Baseball America’s Executive of the Year
Brewers Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin was awarded the Baseball America Executive of the Year award for 2011. Melvin and his staff worked hard to put a winner on the field and the bold moves that were made helped the Brewers to a National League Central Division Championship.
As anyone who works for Melvin would say, he is a treat. Very knowledgeable about the game and its many intricacies, Melvin is also a very kind and caring person. His success is well-deserved!
#6 – Ryan Braun Signs Contract Extension, April 21
On Thursday, April 21, Ryan Braun signed a $105 million, five-year contract extension adding to a seven-year deal he signed in May 2008, meaning that Braun will be a part of the Brewers franchise through 2020.
“I’m proud to be a Milwaukee Brewer, I really am,” Braun said on that historic day. “I’m going to be for the next 10 years. It’s an exciting day for me, my family, the organization. It’s like being part of a family.
“It’s truly special to me to come to work here every day, and I’m excited about being able to do that for the next 10 years. Thanks to the fans – that was the single biggest reason I wanted to stay here. To be in one of the smallest media markets in baseball and to have 3 million people to come watch us every year is incredibly special.
“The more time we spend in other cities, the more we recognize how special it is here. The fans are the single biggest factor. I’m excited, man, truly excited to be able to say I’m a Milwaukee Brewer from this point forward.”
Having Braun want to be the cornerstone of the Brewers franchise is a treat for Brewers fans. He truly enjoys playing here in Milwaukee and the fans will look forward to his play for many years to come.
#5 – Muhammad Ali Visits Brewers Spring Training Camp
This was a very special moment for the team at Spring Training. It was so neat to see the look in the eyes of Brewers players when Muhammad Ali entered the clubhouse. Being in the presence of such a powerful figure was inspiring to many of the players and staff members on hand that day. Although his health isn’t 100%, it was still amazing to see Ali in person, making for one of the most memorable days of 2011.
#4 – John Visits Fenway Park and Cait Presents/Club Wins SAMMY at the 2011 National Sports Forum
Since each fan has his or her own personal memories of 2011, we figured we should pick a moment that was unique to each of us this year, so here you have them: John’s visit to Fenway and Cait bringing home the SAMMY Award.
John: Prior to June, I had never been to Fenway Park in Boston. I made the weekend trip with the team and it definitely lived up to the hype. I enjoyed how they were able to transform a historic ballpark into the modern era while still keeping much of the historical foundation. I have heard many great stories about Fenway and I certainly was not disappointed. I try to visit one park I have never been to each year and was happy to cross this one off this list. I already have my new park picked out for 2012–Citi Field in New York!
Cait: I knew it was going to be a great year when the winning started in January at the National Sports Forum in Louisville, KY. As a Club, we were a finalist for the SAMMY Award (Sales, Advertising, Marketing or Management Idea of the Year) for a Season Seat Holder renewal campaign that had been particularly successful for us in 2010. Although we had been a finalist for the award for another campaign the previous year but had not won, and although I am not particularly fond of speaking in front of large groups of strangers, I was tasked with presenting our campaign at the conference and this time, we were triumphant. I was very proud to help bring home this award for our talented team.
#3 – Opening Day vs. Atlanta, April 4
Even though the Brewers fell to the Braves on this day, there is always something special about Opening Day. Everyone is excited, optimistic and energetic. Everything around the ballpark is fresh, clean and sparkling. From a working standpoint, there is a lot to get done. The rush up to Opening Day can be quite stressful filling in last minute details, but once the first pitch is thrown, we can relax and enjoy the game!
#2 – Brewers Clinch the NL Central Division, September 23
The Brewers entered the game against the Marlins with a “Magic Number” of 2, meaning they not only needed to win, but also needed St. Louis to lose in order to clinch the division at Miller Park. The game was tied at 1 for much of the game, until Ryan Braun stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Cait: I was on-hand that night to help with a potential streamer launch if we were to win the game and St. Louis was to lose. I remember loading the cannons with the game still tied and making my way to my post, hoping against all hope that I’d get to shoot them that night. But the score of our game was tied and so was the Cubs-Cardinals game. The air was a little tense, and I will never forget leaning over to one of my co-workers and jokingly stage whispering, “Here’s where he hits the home run,” alluding to Ryan Braun’s heroic home run against the Cubs on the last day of the season in 2008 which sent us to the Postseason for then the first time in 26 years. And then he did it. Chills. I still get chills just thinking about it.
John: There was a special feeling in the ballpark that night. You just felt like it was our time to finish this off. Great crowd, Friday night, Yovani on the mound–it was all aligned for things to go our way. The game itself was kind of a blur. I know everyone remembers Braun’s home run, but remember Braun’s diving catch and laser-perfect throw to get Emilio Bonifacio out at first? To me that was the play of the game. It was a fantastic night and one I will never forget.
The Crew went on to win 4-1 on that go-ahead, 3-run home run. Then, as if Braun’s blast wasn’t enough of a sense of déjà vu for the crowd of 44, 584, fans and players had to wait for the Cubs-Cardinals game to end in order to find out if they would clinch the division that night. In an ironic twist of fate, the packed house cheered loudly for the rival Cubs who had hit their own 3-run home run in the 8th and went on to prevail over the Cardinals 5-1 as confetti and streamers finally rained down from the rafters at Miller Park.
#1 – Game 5 of the NLDS, October 7
For those of you who were at Miller Park that Friday evening, you definitely understand why this would be #1. The excitement in the building was more than electric. The crowd was deafening. The sigh of relief let out by Brewers fans could be felt across the nation as Nyjer Morgan drove in Carlos Gomez for the game-winning run, sending the Crew to its first-ever National League Championship Series.
And…there you have it, our favorite moments of 2011. What are yours? Please feel free to debate in the comment field below.
Here’s to many more memorable moments in 2012!
– John and Cait