SBJ/March 12 - 18, 2007/Forty Under 40

Brooks Boyer


Brooks Boyer
• Age: 35
Titles: Vice president and chief
marketing officer
Team: Chicago White Sox
Education: B.A., finance, computer
applications, University of Notre Dame, 1994; MBA, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, DePaul University, 2002
Family: Wife, Julie; children, Joslyn, 5, Kylie, 4, Reeghan, 3, and Quinn, 1
Career: Started as an intern with the Chicago Bulls in 1994; hired full time into the corporate partnerships department; promoted to manager of corporate partnerships and then director of the department; joined the White Sox in 2004.
Last vacation: The whole family went skiing at Boyne Mountain in Northern Michigan.
Last movie seen: "The Departed”
TV shows you never miss: "Friday Night Lights” "Grey’s Anatomy”
Pet peeve: Not taking advantage of
Greatest achievement: Being part of the 2005 World Series championship
Greatest disappointment: Not making the NCAA Tournament in college
Best sporting event you’ve ever attended: 2005 World Series, Game 2, White Sox vs. Houston. Konerko’s slam followed by Podsednik’s walk-off.
Business advice:
1. Be prepared.
2. Always follow up.
3. Always have a backup.

Brooks Boyer, Chicago White Sox vice president and chief marketing officer, all too easily remembers when the Sox were forever Avis to the crosstown Chicago Cubs’ Hertz.

"When you look at where we were even three years ago, struggling to get to 2 million [in attendance], it wasn’t all that long ago,” Boyer said. "So much has changed.”

The intervening period has brought a much-coveted World Series title, but more broadly, a historic redefinition of what the White Sox are. The club is now a hot ticket in the Windy City, with attendance expected to surpass 3 million after last year’s 26 percent jump to a franchise record 2.96 million. A recent study indicated that 57 percent of Chicago-area residents watched, attended or listened to a White Sox game in 2006, more than any other pro team in the market.

The genesis of the increased fan interest, of course, was the fielding of a competitive team. But Boyer has played a key role in helping redirect sponsor and fan perceptions of the club and the game-day experience at U.S. Cellular Field. Among the strategies employed was a deliberate attempt to not out-flash the highly beloved Cubs, particularly as that team went on an offseason spending spree this past winter with more than $300 million in future salary commitments.

Boyer also has encouraged the club to think unconventionally. Garnering the most headlines last fall was a deal with 7-Eleven to change the start time of the team’s home games to 7:11 p.m. Originally conceived by Ryan Gribble, White Sox manager of corporate partnerships, he and Boyer needed less than an hour to close the $500,000-per-year deal with the convenience store chain.

"It was such a great idea that we simply had to do it, almost to the point that it didn’t matter what it cost,” said John Moritz, 7-Eleven marketing director. "But Brooks has created a real atmosphere of innovation and creativity over there, a willingness to think outside the box.”

— Eric Fisher

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