Brewers' COO Schlesinger Says Response To Braun Has Been Positive From Fans, Sponsors
Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger in an e-mail wrote that the reaction so far from sponsors, suiteholders, season-ticket holders and others to the suspension of LF Ryan Braun "has been very supportive," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Schlesinger wrote that the team "does not buy into the theory the suspension will play a role in declining attendance, noting that the team had already telegraphed a drop in turnout this season." Schlesinger wrote, "The response we received from many sponsors was unwavering support and confidence that the Brewers would overcome this admittedly tough period in our franchise's history. We have not had any sponsor request to withdraw their partnership with the Brewers. ... We've experienced much the same in talking with our suiteholders and fans. There was clearly disappointment with Ryan, but the support for the organization was a great lift for us." Asked about Braun-related merchandise, Schlesinger wrote, "We will continue to offer Ryan Braun's merchandise for sale at our team stores at Miller Park. Ryan is a Milwaukee Brewer. It is within each fan's right to decide whether to purchase his merchandise or not. While it has only been a few days since the announcement of Ryan's suspension, we actually have experienced an increase in sales of Ryan Braun merchandise." Schlesinger added, "We don't subscribe to the theory that we will experience an attendance decline due to Ryan's suspension. ... We have not experienced any decline in the volume of daily ticket sales based on the projections we had in place prior to the news. We still expect robust crowds in August and ultimately to reach an attendance level that is above the league average and one that other, playoff-contending clubs would gladly accept" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/26).
TEAM EFFORT: Schlesinger wrote of Braun's future marketing with the team, "We have not finalized our 2014 marketing plans. As we have previously stated, as great a baseball player as Ryan is, we are not defined solely by any one player. We have rising stars such as [SS] Jean Segura, [CF] Carlos Gomez, [P] Wily Peralta, and [C] Jonathan Lucroy who are highly marketable. Our marketing efforts, as in prior years, will celebrate several players and focus on the great Miller Park experience and the affordability of that experience" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/26).
HOLD YOUR TONGUE: In Milwaukee, Haudricourt & Rosiak report Braun confirmed Thursday that he "plans to speak publicly about his drug suspension as soon as 'legally allowed.'" Braun through the Brewers PR department said, "When I am able to, I will speak. I know it was difficult for everybody, but I was not, and still am not, legally allowed to say anything yet" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/26).