|The Veeck address is an annual keynote at the Sport Marketing Association conference. The address honors the first family of sport marketing and the speaker selected represents the values of the Veeck family and embodies the notion that Fun Is Good!
The Veeck name is synonymous with fun at the ballpark. Mike Veeck continues to blaze new trails every baseball season. After all, who else would hire a dog or pig to deliver baseballs to the umpire, a Roman Catholic nun to give massages, mimes to perform instant replays or lock fans out of the stadium to set an all-time attendance record for fewest people at a game.
|He comes by his pedigree honestly. The Veeck family started in baseball nearly a century ago when Mike’s grandfather was president of the Chicago Cubs. During his tenure, William, Sr. gained fame as the person who first decided to grow ivy at Wrigley Field. Mike’s father, Bill, was a Hall of Fame owner with the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and the then-minor league Milwaukee Brewers. He is widely considered to be the Grandfather of Sport Marketing. Famous for so many occurrences at the ballpark, Bill Veeck will always be remembered for signing Larry Doby, the first black man to play in the American League and for sending 3 foot, 6 inch Eddie Gaedel to the plate for the Browns in a 1943 game against Detroit.
The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. It is with the belief that anything is possible and no idea too silly that Veeck operates his ballclubs. Mike began his baseball career working for his father with the White Sox in the 1970s as Assistant Business Manager and Director of Marketing. He left the game for awhile (there was that Disco Demolition thing in 1979) but returned in 1990 to help resurrect the Miami (now Fort Myers) Miracle. In 1992, he was named winner of the MacPhail award, given annually for excellence in promotions with minor league teams. Mike has worked with four Major League clubs: the Chicago White Sox, Florida Marlins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Detroit Tigers.
Jamey Rootes serves as president of the Houston Texans and is responsible for all business functions of the club.
Since joining the Texans, Rootes has overseen the team’s efforts to secure stadium naming rights and sponsorship, coordinated radio and TV broadcasting relationships, engineered the club’s successful ticket and suite sales campaigns, led the creation and launch of the team’s identity and developed the team’s highly-acclaimed customer service strategy.