Veeck Inspires at 2006 Sport Management and Recreation Marketing Symposium
Shawn R. Babcock
Fun is Good.
That has been the Veeck family motto for going on two full generations.
Loving life and taking calculated risks has propelled Mike Veeck to the top of the event management world. Veeck has resurrected many a struggling baseball franchise transforming them into nothing less than cash-creating dynamos with his innovative “people-first” philosophy on business. Veeck has an engaging personality which quickly captured the attention of students, faculty, and distinguished guests who attended this year’s Sport Management and Recreation Marketing Symposium held at the Brennan Center.
“He practices what he preaches,” said Sport Management and Recreation professor Dr. Donald Snyder. “Bill Veeck, Mike’s father, was the Barnum Bailey of baseball…He helped to make baseball a fun place to go for children. Mike Veeck believes in the same principles as his father.”
“A solid values system is something that we looked for when selecting potential speakers for this symposium,” Snyder said. “We were looking for someone who isn’t spouting sport clichés…we wanted someone who is truly innovative…and that’s certainly Mike Veeck.
Veeck’s new book aptly titled “Fun is Good,” explains how anyone who is willing to put fun, creativity, and passion back into their business or work day can see amazing results. Fun is Good is for everyone looking to make a positive and productive change.
“Every organization can implement the Fun is Good philosophy,” states Veeck on page two of his book. “Fun is Good means laughing, joking, keeping things light, and having a positive attitude. But it goes much deeper. It’s building relationships and creating an office community. It’s treating co-workers and customers the way they should be treated; with dignity and respect. It’s taking a proactive, hustling approach to building a career based on your own interests.”
The customer is at the heart of Veeck’s success. Veeck creates a total baseball experience like no other; with an event staff who is focused and committed to the needs of patrons. This simple approach can make a winner out of any team. “Veeck has some of the best minor-league baseball teams going,” Snyder said. “They’re the most creative and the most fun sport experiences out there.”
“Research shows that a high-end, high-quality, customer service program can compensate for a less-than high quality product,” Associate Professor of Sport Management Robert Accorsi said. “The total experience is the goal.”
“To be successful in anything, it’s about attitude,” said Accorsi. “A person’s attitude predicts their level of passion for the field they are in. Attitude and passion are core elements for Veeck. But most importantly, Veeck focuses on customer service.”
Veeck knows that actions speak loader than words. He hopes that many of Springfield College’s best and brightest will take note of his message as they head out into the working world.
“Veeck implored students to take initiative and take a risk. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks to put fun back into the game. (He) has a powerful message that runs hand-in-hand with the message of this department,” Accorsi said. “Be passionate, take initiative, have the right attitude, and be willing to take risks to get to the next level.”
The Sport Management and Recreation Marketing Symposium proved to be a valuable addition to Springfield College’s annual series of lectures/forums.
“Overall, we felt the symposium went well,” said Elizabeth Riley, Sport Management student and member of the Event Management graduate class who put together the production along with the Marketing class. “Veeck was not only funny in his delivery…he also was able to impart a great deal of wisdom through his many experiences.”
“The class did an excellent job,” Snyder said. “Normally something like this would take a solid year in preparation…the class was able to put the symposium together in eleven weeks. Many organizations stepped up. The speakers were incredible.”
“I hope that the Sport Management and Recreation Marketing Symposium becomes an annual event here at Springfield College,” Snyder said. “The format has a great deal to offer. There’s a definite values system to sport and recreation. The values of individuals in our field can be shaped through symposiums of this caliber.”