Mike Veeck-Charleston RiverdogsAugust 27, 2013: This week’s luncheon was served up with a side of fun, courtesy of Mike Veeck, President and Co-Owner of our own Charleston Riverdogs baseball team. Mike is known for his message of “Fun is Good” and didn’t disappoint with a presentation full of entertaining stories about baseball and his legendary promotional events. However, along with owning multiple baseball teams and being a sought-after motivational speaker, Mike is also a savvy businessman and advertising professional. In between tales of Free Vasectomy and Free Funeral promotions, exorcism at a ballpark/sacred burial ground, and Beer Milkshake recipes he shared some key components for personal and professional success.
A steady theme throughout was the importance of the team you assemble - what they bring in terms of passion, values, and fun. Concurrent with this is the importance of recognizing your team for their efforts. Mike had ready praise for the players not on the field for the Charleston Riverdogs. Dave Echols, Josh Shea, and John Schumacher were credited frequently for their creativity and passion. He also stated that “life is just a series of teams and we should try to get along”, suggesting that our workplace should reflect the teams that we idolize.
As important for success to Mike as passion and fun was also Dave Echol’s commitment to foster a feeling of community for all who enter the park and how Dave pushes that throughout the organization. The Riverdogs have seen great success with this focus, to include being on target for an annual attendance record of 300,000 (if not for five pesky rain-outs this season). Additionally, the Riverdogs (along with the Charleston Battery and SC Stingrays) were recently credited by Smith & Street’s Sports Business Journal as making Charleston the 11th best sports market in the nation (2013).
For Mike and many in the room, baseball and its traditions evoke memories of family, simpler times, and just plain fun. As a final encouragement and reminder, Mike provided a hand-out that reads, in part:
If nothing else, do this:
Take your work seriously, not yourself.
Reduce stress with visual beauty and fun.
Find your passion, bring it to your work.
Finally, put some fun in the day and take yourself out to the ballgame to cheer on the Riverdogs for their final two games of the season, Sunday September 1st at 5:05 (Kids Club Sunday) and Monday, September 2nd at 6:05 (Season Finale Fireworks and $1 hot dogs and beer). Go Riverdogs!
Tammy Coghill, Keyway Committee