Saturday, October 08, 2005

Checkin' In From The Milwaukee Meetin'

I got a free hour this morning so I thought I better check in with the du Nord horde.

I am here in lovely (not really) Milwaukee for a brainstorming meeting with the folks who are attempting to bring MLS to their town. We are ensconced in a big grand hotel downtown. Nice old place actually. The meetings with the rich dudes who want to put up the money for the team went well yesterday and will continue today.

There are about a dozen of us here from many facets on the periphery of the soccer business. I am here as a fan, along with a weird mother & daughter team who are also fans (mom also used to coach, and the daughter played all the way through college). And on a completely pervy note, they are both hot, even though mom seems to hate me.

We had two meals yesterday, both from Pizza Hut. WTF?? Turns out one of the potential investors is a franchisee. I think most of these rich guys are actually kind of eccentric, although you would probably have to be to own a soccer team. I bet their rich buddies think they are throwing their money away.

Some of the things we discussed: Team Colors - some interesting choices. Logos - I never know what I like, but I sure know what I don't like. What kind of Stadium - the talks were of: close to the field seating, decent size roof over all stands, type of turf (I of course pushed for Kentucky Bluegrass which is my favorite), planting many trees around the outside to give it a "forest feel" (Birch, Dogwood, Ashe, Blue Pine), a Ferris Wheel near the stadium, and one owner wants to build a Go-Kart track, announcers (I kid you not when I say that none other than Bob Uecker is on the short list), and very importantly, concessions. The food and drink would consist of Milwaukee-ish cuisine. Local Beers only, Kopps frozen custard, a Dairy bar with a variety of Cheeses, beer soaked Brats, and a pastry called Kringle (it all sounds great). I didn't have the guts to say "No Pizza Hut!" out loud.

For a couple hours talk was about the "perception" of the club on the community. One woman used the word "vibe" way too many times. The consensus was to use a model similar to a pro-Packers attitude, and stay away from a Brewers attitude. I asked one owner about the Bucks, and he said "What's that?" I said "The NBA!" He said "OK. Bowling's cool."

Everyone there knew up front that I might blog about some of this stuff, and they asked me to keep some things completely off the board. They made those topics abundantly clear. One of those subjects was the names of people pegged for the Front Office, and players & coaches. One thing I will report though, is that they already have a strong link to a pipeline of Venezuelan Players.

During a break, one guy who is a "marketing expert" came up to me and offered to share some info that he had gleaned from a "break out session" that he was in. He had sussed out the fact that I have a bit of a jackass sense of humor, so he told me I should, "...write some real stuff & then make up a couple of "gems" to throw people a curve." I said, "That's unscrupulous!" He seemed a bit baffled. Then I added, "What I write is either all truth or all lies that I just make up. It's either/or with me. None of that mix & match crap." He was still confused, cuz I guess he thought I would love his idea. Marketing guys are idiots.

The whole thing had a pretty good energy going, so we just powered forward a lot later then the original plan. We didn't leave the room 'til nearly midnight, then one of the investors invited me and a few others up to his room to chat some more. We talked about all kinds of shit until about 2:30am. We then decided to walk a couple of blocks over to a 24 hour diner called Fernando's, and have some middle-of-the-night breakfast. Sounded great to me after two meals of frickin gut bomb Pizza Hut. The one local guy with us proudly stated that Fernando's was "...famous for their Runny Eggs!" Everyone was silent for a moment until I said, "That's disgusting!" Everyone laughed. I think he got mad at me.

We ate (I avoided all eggs), and crashed. We have to be back in the meeting room at 9 so I gotta run. More later.

Adios - Bruce.


Blogger Kevin-- said...

"... a Ferris Wheel near the stadium, and one owner wants to build a Go-Kart track,..."

Ugh.Please tell me this is one of those "Gems" the marketing guy asked you to throw in.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Kenny Arena said...

What a buncha bullshit

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Bruce, do you think you could also talk them into naming the team the "Beer-Soaked Brats." That would be for the best. Thanks.

1:49 PM  
Blogger scaryice said...

"Breakout session."

LOL. You know it's not worth listening to right there.

12:16 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

kenny arena has the whole thing pegged: "a buncha bullshit" is exactly what it all is

9:49 AM  

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