Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’
This past weekend, five people from our office competed in the Men’s Health Urbanathlon in Chicago. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this event, it is basically a 15K race with a crazy obstacle course mixed in, ending with a stair climb at Soldier Field.
Jennacy Cruz, Manager of Event Services for Stadium Operations participated in the event, as did Jason Hartlund, VP-Brewers Enterprises. From the Consumer Marketing Department (my department), Chris Barlow, Director of Group Sales; Billy Friess, Director of Season Ticket Sales; and our VP, Todd Taylor, all completed the Urbanathlon.
L-R: Chris, Jason, Todd and Billy, geared up for the Urbanathlon.
Because Chris, Billy and Todd are in my department, I had heard a lot from them about the race and the training leading up to it. I was curious: How do you train for obstacles involving concrete barriers, monster truck tires, police barricades, marine hurdles, cargo nets and stadium steps? (Okay, for these guys the last one was pretty easy.)
Hearing about the race this weekend really got me thinking. Over the years, as guys like Ryan Braun, Casey McGehee and Corey Hart have had 100-RBI seasons or guys like Prince Fielder have hit 50 home runs, my other colleagues — the athletes off the field — have accomplished some pretty amazing things as well.
Basically, what it comes down to is that in working in sports, you often find that the athletes aren’t just on the field. Because people who work in sports tend to like sports, consequently they also tend to participate in sports as well.
At the risk of accidentally leaving someone out, here’s a small sample of some of our achievements:
Did you know that we have an Olympian on staff? Dave Tamburrino, Director of Corporate Marketing, was a member of the U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team in 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway) and 1998 (Nagano, Japan). Dave also finished 5th overall at the 1995 World All Around Speedskating Championships in Baselga Di Pine, Italy and was a member of the US National Speedskating Team (1988-1998) and the World All Around Speedskating Championships Team (1994-1998). Wow! I wonder if the rest of the Corporate Marketing department finds it hard to keep up with him. Currently, Dave plays hockey for the Cans Lumberjacks adult league team at the Pettit Center.
How cool is Olympian Dave Tamburrino? Ice cold!
Diny Hurwitz, our Data Analyst, is a cyclist. His first long distance bicycle trip was an 800-mile ride from Rochester, New York, to Bar Harbor, Maine, two months before he turned 16. He’s biked across the United States from Yorktown, Virginia to Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. He’s also traveled from south to north through Oregon along the Pacific Coast and rode a 500-miles loop over three mountain passes through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, reaching an altitude of 12,095 feet at Independence Pass. He’s even accidentally biked on the Autobahn in the Czech Republic during his trip to Central Europe (don’t ask!).
Diny Hurwitz, on a bike trip to Oregon (seen here sporting his Brewers Kickball t-shirt!).
It’s been said that the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint and it seems like a lot of our staff has taken that quite literally. We’ve got lots of runners in our ranks and it would be really interesting to know how many miles in races we’ve logged collectively. Here are some highlights: Sarah Holbrook, Director of Corporate Marketing, has completed three marathons in Noank, CT, Minneapolis, MN, and Amsterdam, Holland. Teddy Werner, Director of Business Operations, has also run three marathons: Boston, New York City and Chicago. Maggie Aliota, Group Event Coordinator, has completed one full marathon, four half-marathons and one sprint triathlon. Prior to the Urbanathlon, Jennacy, Chris, Jason and Billy had all run numerous races, too.
This summer, I completed my first half-marathon as well (although, my main passion is yoga; I’m proud to say I’ve finally mastered the 8-Angle pose!) and last summer, my boss, Kathy Schwab, Senior Director of Marketing, and I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, a 60-mile walk over the course of three days in Chicago. We were proud of ourselves for not only completing the event, but for also raising over $5000 for the charity.
Here I am with my boss, Kathy (right) and our mascot, a pink Brewers monkey (appropriately dubbed “Pink Monkey”) after finishing the Breast Cancer 3-Day last August.
In February and March, many people on our staff find themselves down at Spring Training in Arizona, but just because we’re away from home, it doesn’t mean we’re on vacation. We’re still working and our exercise regimens do not take a hiatus. In fact, some members of our front office put themselves through their own version of spring training with extra-tough pre-season workouts. If you take a trip down there to see the Crew, plan to climb Camelback Mountain and you’ll likely see lots of people wearing Brewers gear. I’m proud to say that I conquered Camelback-and my fear of heights-as I climbed the mountain for the first time myself this year.
Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona: The climb was worth it for this view!
Not counting the experience on the Baseball Operations side, we’ve got semi-pro baseball players in our MIS and Suites Departments. There are company softball games against other local businesses. A kickball team comprised of people who work on the Loge Level. Volleyball and bowling leagues. A men’s pickup basketball league.
This kickball team, comprised of many people from our Loge Level, is playing for the championships next week.
Mention the words “P-90X” and you’ll have no trouble finding someone who’s been there, done that. And although we’re pretty busy during most of Wisconsin’s best golfing weather, there’s a good number of people (including me) who take advantage of any time they have to hit the links. We’ve got a former basketball coach on staff and people into dance, tennis and snowboarding.
Again, these are just the things I’m aware of. If I did an official office poll, I’m sure I’d find some more surprises.
So there you have it. The Brewers athletes off the field, a pretty competitive bunch!
What about you, readers? Comment below and let us know what cool feats you’ve accomplished!
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.
Aside: 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.
Good morning from Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix. A little on the chilly side today and hopefully the rain will hold off for today’s game at Mesa against the Chicago Cubs. Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder will have the call on this afternoon’s webcast of the game on brewers.com. Tune in, I know they will appreciate it, plus it will get you in the mood for baseball.
I have a link for you today as well. Manager Ken Macha asked me the other day to do some research and find an old Sports Illustrated article for him. Luckily, I love information and especially historical information, so this was a pretty fun task.
In the late 1960s, Sports Illustrated did a series on Ted Williams. One of the final installments was Williams’ take on hitting. Macha remembered reading the article in high school and wanted to see if it was still out there.
Sports Illustrated has a fantastic online “vault” of pretty much everything they have ever printed and I was able to find through a couple of searches. Check it out here. It is a long read but if you are a baseball fan–especially a young baseball fan who might not know a lot about Williams–or a coach looking for some new insights, this is truly a timeless piece.
Here are some gamenotes for today’s tilt against the division rival Cubs, courtesy of Mike Vassallo:
March 9 at Chicago-NL.pdf.
The Brewers head to Phoenix Municipal Stadium in a few hours to face the Oakland Athletics. Yovani Gallardo will get the start against former Brewer, RHP Ben Sheets.
Here is today’s line up and game notes:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Jim Edmonds RF
Gregg Zaun DH
George Kottaras C
Alcides Escobar SS
Adam Heether 3B
Steffan Wilson 1B
Yovani Gallardo RHP
Tomorrow, I’m off to Tucson for the other half of the Brewers split squad game. I will report to you on the fabulous drive from Phoenix to Tucson.
Game one of the 2010 Spring Training season is finally here. The Brewers head to Scottsdale Stadium to face the San Francisco Giants today and everyone is excited to get on the field. First pitch is at 2 p.m. CT and the game can be heard on Newsradio 620 WTMJ-AM and the Statewide Brewers Radio Network as Hall of Fame announcer Bob Ucker will be joined in the booth by Cory Provus for the call. It is a beautiful morning in Phoenix today and the beautiful weather will hold on throughout the day.
Here are today’s Brewers gamenotes brought to you by Mike Vassallo, Media Relations Director for your Milwaukee Brewers: March 4 at San Francisco.pdf
Another piece of news out of Brewers Camp this morning, The contract of Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo was renewed today. With that transaction, the contracts of all Brewers have been signed for 2010.
For those of you who have never been to Spring Training before, I thought I would explain how “road” games like today’s work. The team is scheduled to stretch at 9:30 a.m. Phoenix time, as usual. Then, they will have a light workout here at Maryvale Baseball Park including batting practice. The team will come back in the clubhouse, get ready for the game, have a little lunch and then board a bus for Scottsdale Stadium around 11:15 a.m. The team boards the bus in uniform, ready for the game. Maryvale to Scottsdale Stadium is about a 20-25 minute drive so the team will get there, take a little infield practice and loosen up before the 1 p.m. game.
The day before every road game, the coaching staff posts a travel roster. The travel roster has a list of every player in camp and if your name is circled, you are scheduled to travel to the game. Those who do not travel, stay back at Maryvale and get some extra conditioning work in. Later in Spring, Manager Ken Macha will often give players who aren’t circled a full day off to unwind and tell them not to even report to the park.
Here is today’s travel roster. The team is bringing ten pitchers, three catchers, ten infielders and six outfielders to face the Giants. It doesn’t look like any coaches are circled so I guess they have the day off!
Following the game, the team will get back on the bus, in uniform and head back to Maryvale where they will get any postgame treatment, shower and leave for the day.
That is the routine for pretty much every Spring Training “road” game with the exception of trips to Tucson. With an hour and a half drive to Tucson, the team will dress and take batting practice there and normally leave Maryvale around 8 a.m. Maryvale is pretty centrally located in the Valley, so there really aren’t any bus rides to game that are longer than 30-35 minutes.
The lineups for today’s game are posted below and I will have some pictures of the day’s activities following the game.
LINE UP CHANGE AT 9:45 AM PHOENIX TIME – MCGEHEE REPLACES GAMEL STRAIGHT UP
Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Corey Hart RF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Gregg Zaun C
Craig Counsell SS
Jody Gerut LF
Jeff Suppan RHP
Andres Torres CF
Edgar Renteria SS
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Juan Uribe 2B
Fred Lewis LF
Brett Pill 1B
Eugenio Velez RF
Eli Whiteside C
Barry Zito LHP
It was a pretty busy Friday in Brewers Camp today. Today was the day that the position players reported to camp meaning the clubhouse was full with Brewers. Alcides Escobar was the final Brewer to report (and, no that is not a negative thing for him because the team encouraged him to take some time off following his stint in the Venezuelan Winter League) and he participated in some batting practice and took some grounders with the rest of the infielders.
It was nice to have the entire team together today and the full official workouts begin tomorrow. The team will have workouts tomorrow through Tuesday and then have an intrasquad game at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday.
The weather was perfect today, about 70 degrees and not a cloud to be seen. I have a lot of pictures for everyone today, so I will get right to them.
Brewers Catcher Angel Salome goes over some questions in the visiting clubhouse at Maryvale Baseball Park. Aleta Mercer and Deron Anderson set up and record short interviews with each player for scoreboard entertainment purposes during the regular season at Miller Park.
Inside the Brewers batting tunnel, a group from Froedert and the Medical College of Wisconsin set up sensors to record and analyze the throwing motion of Brewers pitchers. Today, five pitchers participated in throwing in front of these sensors. The sensors were hooked up to a computer that analyzed the throwing motion of each player. The video will then be used by Brewers coaches, players and front office staff to help prevent injuries and improve performance. Even the smallest adjustment can make for improvement in the delivery of each pitcher. Players are encouraged to participate, but it is not mandated.
The computer screen shows little black dots. Those are what the computer sees after the lights pick up the reflectors. This is the outline of Yovani Gallardo as he was preparing to pitch. You guys may think its odd that I didn’t post any pictures of the players actually pitching with all those little reflectors on. There is a simple reason for that. In order to get the most accurate reading of the each players body when in the pitching motion, the players had to pitch in, well, their underwear. I really didn’t want to embarass anyone seeing as I have to work with these guys on a daily basis. I hope you understand. This is a family blog! Anyway, this is the first of five days in which the team is doing this , so maybe there will be an opportunity to show some more photos.
Here is a “hot off the presses” copy of the 2010 Milwaukee Brewers Media Guide sitting on my desk. The first shipment of guides came in to Phoenix today. This is always the biggest offseason project of the Brewers Media Relations Department and it is always an exciting day when the hard copy of the guide is on my desk. Mike Vassallo, Ken Spindler and I spent a lot of time on this year’s guide and we are happy it turned out well. Fans can pick up their copy of the guide at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic and the FanZone at Maryvale Baseball Park beginning Monday afternoon.
Tomorrow is the first full workout for the team. It should be another busy day here as a new routine begins. I should have some more photos up for you this weekend. Also, look for a behind the scenes tour of Maryvale Baseball Park in the next couple of days as well. Some of you have never been able to come out here before and we want to make sure you are able to see what goes on here at Maryvale. We should have that up for you all next week.
The weather cooperated today as the rain stopped and made way for clear skies and dry conditions today in Phoenix. It was a bit on the cool side and the wind made it feel at times quite brisk, but the Brewers Pitchers and Catchers were able to get in a full workout today.
The workout included conditioning, bunting, and the always popular “PFP,” short for Pitchers Fielding Practice. Pitchers also had some throwing work today as a group through bullpen sessions. The early reporting position players worked out on the “backfields” at Maryvale Baseball Park, taking batting practice and running through light fielding drills.
I took a couple photos today to show you all what was going on in camp.
In this conditioning exercise, players are seen balancing on a foam square on one leg while “juggling” two balls. One ball was a regular baseball and the other was a slightly larger and heavier training ball. Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Joyner stressed the importance of players using their core strength to maintain their balance.
Tim Dillard covers first in a PFP drill. Pitchers simulated the motion of delivering a pitch and then ran to cover first as if the hitter hit the ball to the first baseman. PFP drills are quite common in Spring Training as players not only get used to their mechanics on the mound, but also get into a groove with their general fielding.
Catcher Matt Treanor works with Third Base Coach Brad Fischer on catching drills. The catchers today worked on throwing runners out on the bases. Catchers, just like pitchers, have to get their arm strength built up during the first workouts of Spring Training.
One of the more popular drills early on in Spring Training is the bunting station. Players work on getting bunts down to certain locations–especially down the line. Point values are awarded for laying down bunts in specific locations. Players normally take ten pitches each round and aim five down the left field line and five down the right field line in hopes to score the most points.
The bunting station always draws one of the bigger crowds of fans during workout days. Players always get into it especially when it is made a competition. Just the pitchers are participating this week, but when the full squad reports next week, they too will participate.
That is all from today at Maryvale Baseball Park. We will have more action for you from Brewers Spring Training tomorrow. Again, if you have any questions about Spring Training or any comments, please feel free to e-mail us!
This morning was the first official workout for pitchers and catchers at Maryvale Baseball Park. The weather was cloudy, cool and the rain was on and off, but pitchers and catchers were still able to get in their throwing today.
Pitchers and Catchers reported to camp on Saturday and yesterday was Physicals and Administrative day which made today the first day of official workouts.
The team took the field around 9:45 a.m. Arizona time and worked out for about two hours. Pitchers threw bullpen sessions and didn’t take part in any “PFP,” defensive or other conditioning drills due to the wet ground. Manager Ken Macha addressed the media as he does on a daily basis before the workout and Pitching Coach Rick Peterson led the pitchers in some their normal throwing.
Some of the position players who reported to camp early participated in some light throwing, took some batting practice in the cages and did some infield work with Bench Coach Willie Randolph.
It looks as though the weather will be clearing up tomorrow so the regular slate of activities for pitchers and catchers will be on.
Brewers Manager Ken Macha meets with reporters for his daily media session.
Newly acquired Catcher Gregg Zaun catches Gallardo’s bullpen session. If you notice the string in front of the plate, it was installed by Peterson in order to train pitchers to get the ball low in the strike zone. The string lines up around the low end of the strike zone.
Ed Sedar (left), Macha and General Manager Doug Melvin observe the workouts and discuss the first day.
Peterson and Gallardo talk after Gallardo’s bullpen session.
A few of the players are still milling around the clubhouse and finishing their lunch. The sun looks like it is trying to peak out a little bit which will make for a nice afternoon. I will have more updates throughout the week from here at Maryvale!
So if you live in Milwaukee it’s pretty obvious to you that our weather the last couple of days was pretty rough. Snow, cold, wind, you get the idea–we even had an earthquake last night! With all that, there is one thing that gets everyone through the long winter: the thought of the upcoming baseball season. Maryvale Baseball Park will be the Brewers home for the next seven weeks and it officially began today with the packing and departure of the equipment truck.
We came one step closer to the start of baseball season today as the second equipment truck was packed up and departed for Phoenix, Arizona where the weather is a little bit more welcoming (it’s 60 and cloudy today and according to my trusty iPhone app, highs will reach into the mid-70s this weekend).
The equipment truck departure has become somewhat of an event. We invite the cameras from local television stations and have the World Famous Klement’s Racing Sausages help with the packing of the truck (they go to Spring Training because they also need to be in shape for the long season). It really is a fun day. It kind of gives people around here at Miller Park a sigh of relief that we are ready to go.
The clubhouse crew who is left in Milwaukee, Matt Smith, Alex Sanchez and Ben Wilkes help organize and oversee the loading of the truck. The rest of the Brewers Clubhouse staff, Tony Migliaccio, Phil Rozewicz and Jason Shawger have been in Phoenix for about two weeks handling the arrival of the first equipment truck, setting up for Spring Training and helping with Brewers Fantasy Camp. Everything we would need to run our operation here is sent down to Arizona on the equipment truck. Bats, balls, shoes, medical supplies, files, uniforms, practice gear, office supplies, bobbleheads–we want to make our operation in Arizona run as smoothly down there as it does here at Miller Park.
The front office staff packs personal items on the truck as well. Since I really don’t wear short sleeves much during the Wisconsin winter, I always pack a trunk full of them. I also like to put some other clothes and supplies on the truck just so I’m comfortable when I arrive in Phoenix.
The truck left Miller Park around 1 p.m. today and is set to arrive in Phoenix on Sunday. When it arrives, the clubhouse crew in Phoenix will unpack the truck and prepare for the first wave of players and coaches to report next week.
I will begin to post regular updates to the blog upon my arrival in Phoenix on Wednesday. I have a Spring Training travelers guide coming as well as daily updates from camp. Until then, I will try and enjoy the snow for one more week.
When most people think of Miller Park, they automatically conjure up thoughts of the fun they’ve had on game day. Jason Hartlund and his staff are trying to change that.
Jason is the Vice President of Brewers Enterprises, a relatively new division of the Milwaukee Brewers (2006) that oversees all non-baseball events and revenue for Miller Park.
We are fortunate to have a venue that provides a myriad of entertainment options–rain or shine–suitable for anything from 40,000 persons down to small groups and in his role, Jason oversees the operations and develops sales and marketing strategies to attract a broad mix of events in and around Miller Park, from conventions and concerts to corporate retreats, parties and so much more.
Jason climbed on board to steer the Brewers Enterprises ship in May of 2008 after beginning his Brewers career in the Corporate Marketing Department. Prior to joining the Brewers, he had served three seasons as Manager of Corporate Sales for the Green Bay Packers.
With just five people, the Brewers Enterprises staff may be on the small side, but as you’ll see, they accomplish a great deal, working year-round to enhance your ballpark experience.
There’s Sarah Chmiel, Manager of Brewers Enterprises. Her job is to think of creative uses for the ballpark.
“Sarah’s role has been developing many of the non-baseball events that have taken place here, such as the Field of Sweet Dreams, Baseball Boot Camp, the Brewers Road Crew, Miller Park Movies and the Border Battle, the minor league game that we hosted here last year, ” Jason explained. We’ll talk more about those events later.
Then there’s Tai Chamness, Manager of Special Events. She’s who you go to if you want to book your wedding, party or special event at Miller Park.
“We have really focused on becoming more customer-service oriented with function spaces. That’s Tai’s specialty,” Jason said.
“We’ve been successful with holiday parties, tours, Helfaer Field, meeting room rentals and parking lot events this year,” Jason said. “But weddings have really taken off.”
As someone who had her own wedding reception at Miller Park and took her wedding photos on the field and in the Visitor’s Clubhouse back in 2007, I can certainly understand the allure. Baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike can appreciate the beautiful backdrop of the field looking out from the Metavante Club.
The Brewers Enterprises staff will help you customize your Big Day every step of the way; they’ve seen it all–from a total baseball wedding complete with uniforms and ballpark fare to the most elegant affairs where the location takes a backseat to everything else. You can have your ceremony at the park, or your reception, or both.
Throw in Cory Congemi, Coordinator of Helfaer Field and Miller Park Tours and Katie Wettstein, Special Events Coordinator, whose primary focus is on the Brewers Conference Center, and you have one busy crew.
That’s why I found it amazing that Sarah and Jason were able to find enough time to sit down with me for this interview.
Let’s take a look at what Brewers Enterprises is doing in the offseason and what’s on tap for 2010.
Right now, Sarah is in full travel agent mode, working on the Brewers Road Crew trip to Spring Training in Phoenix, March 10-14 (referenced in a previous post, found here).
“This is something we have never done before. In speaking with the Ticket Department, we know that they get numerous calls asking about Spring Training trips each year. This is something fans have been waiting for and we hope it’s successful,” Sarah said.
“We are going to take a group of people down to Arizona and we’re going to provide them with airfare, hotel accommodations and transportation while they’re there. They’ll get to see three Spring Training games,” Sarah explained. She began to get animated as she started to list the additional perks of joining the Brewers Road Crew for this one-of-a-kind opportunity.
“They will have the chance to meet some of the higher-ups from the Front Office. We’ll have a tailgate party that the current players will come to at Maryvale Baseball Park. Some former players will hang out with them….oh and our broadcasters, Bill Schroeder and Brian Anderson, will be there, too,” she went on.
I found out that participants will also have a chance to win behind-the-scenes experiences while they’re there, like throwing out the First Pitch, running in the Sausage Race or sitting in with Bill and Brian during webcasts of the Spring Training games. Plus, they’ll get gifts like a t-shirt, a ball for autographs and a player-issued tech fleece. Finally, every guest will receive a ticket to see the team when they come back to Milwaukee for Opening Day at Miller Park on April 5 vs. the Colorado Rockies.
By the time she’s finished her spiel, I’m practically reaching for my credit card. With more benefits than even I knew about and at $3695 for a couple, minus all of the stress of planning a trip for myself, it also sounds like more than a great deal.
“We’d like to use this Road Crew concept to take fans on the road during the season even, for bigger trips with the team. The first of many, we hope,” Sarah said.
Along with the Road Crew event, Brewers Enterprises is busy making plans for all of the other special non-game day events here at Miller Park.
Last year, they introduced several new events to Brewers fans, like the Border Battle, Brewers Baseball Boot Camp, Miller Park Movies and the Field of Sweet Dreams.
First, the Border Battle. Last April, Miller Park hosted a Midwest League matchup between the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and the Peoria Chiefs.
The Timber Rattlers became the Brewers’ Class A Midwest League affiliate at the beginning of last season and through our partnership with them, the Border Battle served as a great opportunity for fans to see some of the organization’s younger prospects play in a Major League environment. The Chiefs are the Chicago Cubs’ affiliate, so it also gave us the chance to showcase the players who will play key roles in the future of the Cubs-Brewers rivalry.
Bernie Brewer and Timber Rattlers mascot, Fang, before the Border Battle in April 2009.
“We had over 17,000 fans attend,” Jason said. “We kept it extremely affordable. The focus was on making it easy for fans to come out and enjoy the ballpark. All seats were $10 and they were sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you got your tickets early, you could be sitting in the best seats in the house, behind home plate or the dugouts, for just $10.”
Brewers Enterprises plans on hosting a similar event this year; they’re just finalizing details, so be sure and stay tuned!
Brewers Enterprises also hopes to bring back Brewers Baseball Boot Camp.
Baseball Boot Camp is an intense one-day affair where fans get to experience a day in the life of an actual ballplayer.
“We have about 50 people who attend and we divide into four teams. The coaches are alumni players. Last year, they were Jerry Augustine, Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas and Paul Wagner. The participants come in early in the morning and have access to the Visiting Clubhouse; they use the lockers and it’s staffed the same way it would be for the pros. Then, the participants get a half-day of coaching and review of fundamentals. In the afternoon, they play games until one of the teams is crowned Champion,” Sarah explained.
“The Championship team is then brought back for a pre-game ceremony that includes a trophy presentation.”
All of the participants also receive an authentic, personalized jersey. In its inaugural year, the event was promoted around Father’s Day as a gift idea and the actual event took place in July.
Sarah said they have already gotten calls from the 2009 participants, wanting to sign up for 2010.
Another successful inaugural event last year was the Field of Sweet Dreams. Last September, fans of all ages had the chance to take part in a giant sleepover on the field at Miller Park.
“It went really well,” Sarah said. “It was a nice, affordable option for families.”
With space for 300 people and a portion of the proceeds benefitting Brewers Charities, Inc., the event sold out in less than a week.
Upon entering the ballpark, participants received a special gift. They then headed down to the field, where they were able to pitch their tents and enjoy a meal.
For entertainment, the Associated Bank Kids Zone was open, folks could take tours of the park, there were raffle prizes given out and fans could send in scoreboard messages that rotated all night.
The attendees watched the Brewers road game on the videoboard, followed by a movie. Before lights out, fans were treated to a bedtime story, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, read by Dave Bush and Corey Hart via the scoreboard.
In the morning, everyone was awakened by the sound of the boom cannons (fireworks) and Uecker’s home run call piped through the sound system. All attendees also got a keepsake of a personal, professional photo taken at home plate.
“I personally had a blast. It was a lot of fun,” Sarah recounted. “That was my favorite event from last year.”
Along with these events, Brewers Enterprises also hosted Miller Park Movies in 2009, bringing the nostalgia of the classic American drive-in movie theater to the parking lots of Miller Park.
Another memorable Brewers Enterprises production took place in August of 2008 for the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Celebration, when H.O.G. members were treated to a special event that took place on the Miller Park grounds featuring concerts by artists like Sugarland and Kid Rock.
“These kind of events really show people that you can use the footprint of Miller Park in different ways,” Jason said.
In addition to planning and executing all of these events, Brewers Enterprises has also been retained by IMG to sell advertising in the game day program for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship this year. Rounds 1 and 2 will be at the Bradley Center.
“It’s an example of how we have diversified and come up with different sources of revenue,” Jason noted.
Diversified indeed. From ballpark tours and meetings to Little League games and weddings; from concerts and sleepovers to boot camps and road trips, Brewers Enterprises does it all, proving that Miller Park is about more than just baseball.
It also proves, once again, that there is no offseason.
For more information on any of the events mentioned in this article, or to book your event at Miller Park in 2010, call Brewers Enterprises at (414) 902-4452.
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