Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chuck Greenberg Interview

On Wednesday August 25th, I interviewed Rangers Managing Partner and CEO Chuck Greenberg in his office at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. I would like to thank Chuck for doing this interview with me. It was extremely nice of him to do this for me, and I really appreciate it.

As the interview started I noticed a book on Chuck’s desk about Target Field (the Twins’ new ballpark).

Me: I just went to Target Field this summer.

Chuck: Did you? That’s where the owners’ meetings were where we were approved, so I didn’t see a game. I haven’t gone on a road trip yet but I’m going to catch the last two games of the Kansas City series and then go on with the team to Minnesota.

Me: It’s a great ballpark.

Chuck: Yeah, it’s really nice. It’s interesting how the engineering as evolved. It’s the same architect that did PNC Park in Pittsburgh, which I’m pretty familiar with, but to see how the engineering has evolved and how they’re able to get the seats right on top of the field. It’s steeper but it just gets you so much closer to the action. It’s really well done.

Me: It is and you need to see Target Plaza outside the park. That’s awesome.

Chuck: Yeah, I will, I’ll definitely do that. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to everything.

Me: What made you interested in owning a baseball team and when did you become interested?

Chuck: I always loved baseball growing up. I loved following it, playing it, reading about it. I read about it all the time. I taught myself to read by reading about baseball. When I was on the school bus, I’d be reading about baseball. When I’d be walking down the aisle going off of the school bus, I’d be reading about baseball. Just all the time. My uncle and I would have these crazy baseball trivia quizzes. He first became a fan in 1948 so there was a time where my knowledge of baseball ran deepest in the 40’s and 50’s because it was the time he was most knowledgeable about. So I always loved the game and then played it growing up and in the first couple of years of college. And then when my sons were born, one of the first pictures of my oldest, he’s only a couple of hours old and he has a baseball in his hand. I managed all of my kids’ teams. When my oldest could barely talk, he knew the last names of the Pirates’ starting lineup. That’s how big a part of our household it was.

Me: I was the same way.

Chuck: Yeah? I believe it. Even your email address (grantlovesbaseball), it makes me smile every time because I can relate. So baseball just ran deep throughout every facet of my life. And then my middle son began playing on a team in 2001 and our first tournament we went to Reading, Pennsylvania, which has a great minor league team, the Reading Phillies. It was a really good weekend. His name’s Jack. He had 10 straight hits and everyone started calling him Jack-o-Matic, which was pretty good. I went to my first minor league baseball game. It was Reading versus Akron. I was sitting there and I said ‘This is great. This is so much fun. This looks like a pretty decent business too.’ And then lo and behold about two months later, the two fellows who owned the Altoona franchise in the same league called me. They were having a dispute with one another. They sued each other and they decided the only way to settle their dispute was to sell. And they knew about the work I had done in the sports industry so they were familiar with my name. And they said, ‘Hey, we thought maybe you’d be interested in buying the franchise.’ And I said, ‘What a great idea’ because I’d just been in Reading a couple of months earlier. (The team) was a hundred miles from my house so I said ‘great’. So that was my first opportunity and I ended up hiring the fellow who’d been the number two person in Reading a couple of years earlier and he was my right-hand guy as we built it up.

Altoona was just a tremendous experience. Minor league baseball is a small fraternity and if you do a good job and you have some success, when you go to the winter meetings, everyone calls out your name and wants you to come over to see if you’ll buy their franchise. So the athletic director at Penn State contacted me one day. They’d been trying to build a new baseball facility for a long long time and hadn’t been able to get it off the ground. He said, ‘I see what you’re doing in Altoona and you might be the kind of guy who can get this done.’ I thought, ‘Well, that’s interesting,’ and we studied the market and we thought it was a good possibility for a short season team, not a full season team. And so eventually we put a deal together to get a ballpark built and they allowed me to oversee the design of it, so we hired the design and construction firm and we ended up designing the first LEED-certified baseball park anywhere, which is an environmental certification. Now they all want to be that. We were actually the first one in the country to do that. So we bought a team in New Jersey, moved it there and also bought the team in Myrtle Beach.

So 2006 was a busy year. We opened this new ballpark, bought Myrtle Beach, and at the end of the 2006 season, Altoona was named the best franchise in all of minor league baseball, which was a culmination of a period of three years when we won all three of the major awards you can win in minor league baseball. No franchise had ever won them over such a short period of time or at such a young age. At our peak in Altoona, our attendance was about nine times the population of Altoona, which would be like the Rangers drawing 50 million people a year. It was crazy. So we had a great run in Altoona, sold Altoona at the end of 2008, still have Myrtle Beach and State College, and then in early 2009, I got a phone call from someone who said, ‘Hey, I think the Rangers may be available and would you be interested in looking at it with me?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ So I came down and looked at it and I thought this was just an unbelievable opportunity because, even though the team wasn’t playing well and had not been good in a while, you could see it was a good young team. I was very familiar, because of my activities in minor league baseball, with the team’s minor league system. I knew that it was loaded. And even though the support that the team had had did not translate into strong attendance, knowing how sports-crazed the region is and comparing that with how unsuccessful the Rangers had been on the field through most of their history, I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Because you have a community that loves its sports, that hasn’t had the chance to fall in love with the Rangers for a long time, but where good things were not too far in the distance.

And if we could have the success of the team coupled with the real fan friendly approach that we always used in the minor leagues, we could really catch lightning in a bottle and this could be one of those franchises where you look back and say ‘How could it not have always been this way?’ Like no one remembers with the Red Sox that ten years ago you could get a ticket whenever you wanted to. The Angels, even after they won the World Series, drew 2.3 million. And then new ownership came in, changed the way they did things, and connected with the community. And all of the sudden now there’s Red Sox Nation and you see the Angels ‘A’ everywhere. It wasn’t like that relatively recently. So I thought that, here in the community that’s the largest market in the whole country that only has one major league baseball team, when you combine all of those other factors, there was a chance for some really special things here. So I fell in love with the possibilities almost immediately. And then went through quite an interesting process for 15 and a half months. But I always believed that it was worth it. And after having been here when the team was struggling on the field and when no one was going to games, to let someone come in in the bottom of the ninth and take this thing, that just wasn’t going to happen. Myself and Nolan are just too competitive for that. I wish it would have been easier but there was no way it was going to end otherwise.

(Laughs) Was that a short answer or a long answer?

Me: So that’s interesting that that’s how you moved the Cardinals to State College.

Chuck: Yeah, what happened is that the team that we bought had to have a lease agreement that allowed it to relocate. So there were only a couple of options in the league and one of them was the New Jersey Cardinals and it so happened that the owner of that franchise I knew well because he had owned a team in the Eastern League that Altoona was in, so we had a relationship. Like I said, it’s kind of a small fraternity. And so I mentioned it to him and he said, ‘Well actually I was thinking about selling my franchise and the lease allows you to relocate.’ We never operated it in New Jersey. We bought it right around the end of the calendar year 2005 and we relocated it by opening day 2006.

Me: Why did you decide to sell the Curve in 2008?

Chuck: You know, I loved the Curve and the people there. It was a great experience. I’ve said many times that without all of the things that we were able to do and the relationships we built in Altoona, I wouldn’t be here. All of the successes that we had and the way that we did things in Altoona are a huge part of the storyline that ultimately gave me the opportunity to be here. We’d done it for seven years there and had overachieved to epic proportions. I mean, to draw close to 400,000 fans with a population of 46,000 is not normal. And it was really, really hard work. They’re tremendous passionate baseball fans but there just weren’t a lot of people. Even when we’d market over a 60 mile radius, we had to have tremendous success in reaching people to have attendance like that. It got to where you’d start to think about people who used to go to 60 games a year and now they only go to 40 games a year. Does that make them a bad fan? No, they’re still pretty special. So it was going to become harder and harder to continue to grow. Our folks there had worked really, really hard and they were starting to get a little bit burned out and were looking for a new challenge, and I felt a tremendous amount of loyalty for them. So they wanted to try to do some different things and this was a way to do it. So when I sold Altoona, some of the people migrated to State College and some of them joined me at a new consulting company that I formed that does consulting work for other franchises. It was just the right timing.

Plus one of the two original owners of the Curve was interested in buying it back. So it was really a nice situation because he had never really wanted to sell. It was because he had this dispute with his partner. So it was a nice story and a good example about why it’s always so important to treat people well. It’s just the way I was raised. But here we were, I had bought the franchise from this gentleman, we had had this great success with it, and who’d I sell it to? Him. We got along great. It would have been easy for me to want to disassociate him from the franchise or him to resent whatever success we were having. It was the opposite. It was great. I was able to hand it back over to him. It was something that he and his family had originally dreamed up and it’s a nice story that they now get to go on and have the future that they originally thought they were going to have.

Me: It’s pretty cool that he got it back.

Chuck: Yeah, definitely.

Me: What sports did you play growing up and which were you best at?

Chuck: I played baseball, football, and basketball. They were kind of the three standard sports when I was growing up. Messed around a tiny little bit with hockey. I loved hockey but there weren’t very many places to skate.

Me: I still don’t know how to skate.

Chuck: Well, as my sons, who were all very good hockey players, would tell you, I’m a lousy skater. So I followed all of the sports avidly but those were the three that I played. Baseball was my best sport. I was a left-handed pitcher and first baseman. I threw hard but I didn’t know where. I had a good glove but I didn’t have much of a stick, which as a baseball player makes you a really good candidate to go to law school. So I loved playing, I really did, but I knew a couple of years into college that I kind of hit the ceiling. I had the chance to do a government internship program my junior year, which was a great experience and was going to open a lot of doors, so I did that.

Me: Yeah, I’m the exact opposite as a pitcher. I’m a righty, I don’t throw too hard, but I have good control.

Chuck: Well, as long as you don’t throw it down the middle, that can work really well. You know what the funny thing is though? Then when I coached my boys, I would throw BP for eight hours a day and I could put it exactly where everybody wanted me to. I thought, ‘If I could have had this kind of control when I was growing up…’ Of course, I wasn’t trying to throw hard. Big difference.

Me: So who was your favorite player and why?

Chuck: Growing up?

Me: Yes.

Chuck: Oh, it was Clemente. I loved Roberto Clemente. He played so hard. He’d hit a two-hopper back to the pitcher and he’d be sprinting full speed down the first base line. He had a grace and an elegance in the way he played that was like nobody else. Plus being Pittsburgh, we all were kind of sensitive about people looking down their nose a little bit at Pittsburgh. And Roberto was a guy who never really got his due on the national stage for a long, long time. In the ’71 World Series, he put on one of the most dominant World Series performances ever. And all of the sudden the whole country discovered him and he was a superstar. And there was great pride that we took that our guy had finally been discovered. And then the way he lived his life and the tragic circumstances of his death really speak to his integrity and the kind of person and player he was. He was really special to me.

Me: Yeah, he was a great guy. So, did you want to be involved in sports as a kid and, if so, in what capacity?

Chuck: I would have loved to keep playing it for a long time but at some point for most of us, reality kicks in and it’s time for plan B. So I always thought that the dream job would be to run the Pirates. I mean, the hometown team and the one you grew up with, wouldn’t that be great. Or at least to find a way to be involved in sports in some capacity. But I had absolutely no game plan on how to do it. I mean I’ve spoken many, many times to students, at college or law school, and they all want to know what my plan was. Well, I didn’t really have a plan. I had a desire but I did not have a plan. One of my all-time favorite quotes is that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. I don’t know where I read that but I read it somewhere a long time ago and I really believe in that because it’s a more eloquent way of saying you can make your own luck.

Because I always loved sports, I wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t know how, but I would read like crazy about the business of sports, about the industry and the people in it and the issues of the day. And then in 1987, I got introduced to Mario Lemieux early in his hockey career. He had an issue - he was building his first home - and I was friends with his new agents. And I said. ‘Hey, I might be able to help with that.’ So they introduced me to him and I fixed the problem. We hit it off personally and professionally. I was never his agent but I did his legal work. And from knowing him, I started to meet a lot of other people in the industry. And because I had read so much about it, I could talk a pretty decent game. So I’d meet up with other owners or players or agents, people around the game, and from that I was able to fit in and people started entrusting me with other opportunities. So before you know it, I’m doing work for teams and owners and learning more all the time.

So, on the one hand it was really lucky that I met Mario, because almost everything I’ve done in my career, I can trace back without too many degrees of separation to just having the good fortune of being introduced to him in 1987. But on the other hand, without ever knowing if an opportunity would come, where it would come from, or how it would come, in a way, I sort of prepared for it because of all these things I would read about the industry. So luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Without realizing it, I was preparing. Opportunity came my way when I met him and I look back and say, “Wow, I was really lucky I met Mario’.

Me: Yeah, I’m the same way. I want to play baseball but if I can’t to that, I want to do something with sports. Journalism, hopefully.

Chuck: I believe that.

Me: How big a role did you play in getting Mario Lemieux ownership of the Penguins?

Chuck: Pretty significant role. It was a small group of us who, along with Mario, worked at this every day for 11 months. I was sure when it was over, it would be the craziest deal and set of circumstances I’d ever have to deal with, but it now holds the silver medal for that one. But I was very involved in all that. I helped him put the ownership group together. I did the projections and the business plan. I renegotiated all of the major deals the franchise was a party to. I helped hire the management team. It was a lot because we didn’t have the capital to go out and hire the kind of expert team of advisors that for example I did with the Rangers acquisition. There were a few of us kind of winging it. So that was an unbelievable experience which prepared me very well for a lot of things that have happened in the 11 or 12 years since then.

The key there was that I was just adamant that whatever decisions we made, we were either going to do it right or not do it at all. Sometimes you can’t settle for what you can get, you have to know what you can’t live without. So we had to drive a really hard bargain on a lot of things because the franchise was so messed up that if we had gone forward with anything even resembling the type of deals they had in a number of different areas, the franchise would have been doomed to just fall back into bankruptcy again. There were a lot of instances where I had to tell someone, ‘Look, I understand you were doing it one way and now it has to be a completely different way. And maybe that doesn’t make sense for you and it’s not my place to tell you what does or doesn’t make sense to you. But I do have to be honest with you and tell you if you can’t do it this way, we’re not going forward.’ So ultimately we got it done and it was a great experience. It helped me quite a bit with what I just went through with the Rangers. But it was a pretty wild process on its own.

Me: And they’re a much better team now than they were then too.

Chuck: Well, you know they were actually pretty decent then. And then Mario came back and they were really good. And then when he retired again, the team went downhill in a hurry. And then came the lockout, the economic situation changed, and it gave franchises in smaller markets a little more of a chance. Then of course they won the lottery to get Sidney Crosby and they got Malkin and Fleury and all the guys. Now they were just ranked as the hottest brand in sports. So if we could emulate that, it wouldn’t be bad.

Me: No, it wouldn’t be bad at all. Now that you own the Rangers, do you think you’ll keep your minor league teams?

Chuck: Myrtle Beach and State College, yes, I do. We have a great management team there. We’re having a real strong year in both locations. I don’t have any plans to sell either one of them.

Me: How big is the city where Penn State is located?

Chuck: State College has about 45,000 full time residents. It also has about an equal number of students. On football Saturdays, it’s the third biggest city in the state of Pennsylvania. But we don’t play on football Saturdays. It’s a great example where we have to do a great job reaching out and touching the community and being a part of their lives. And we’ve succeeded with that. We’ve averaged about 3700-3800 per game this year, just under 4000. Again, in a smaller community in the summer, and with short season ball, that’s very good. We outdraw a number of markets that are significantly larger than ours. Our sponsorship revenue is really strong. I think if you ask anyone in the surrounding community what they think of the State College Spikes, they’ll say, ‘Those are great people who do wonderful things in the community.’ That’s how we like to be known.

Me: What are some things as far as fan experience you’ve implemented with your minor teams that have worked really well?

Chuck: The things we’ve done here (with the Rangers) so far, you could probably do a rap video called ‘Straight out of Altoona’ because we’ve had to scramble. For four and a half months, we couldn’t think of anything other than just trying to find a way to get the team. Now we’re really kind of going on the fly and doing the things you can do in a hurry late in the season. Already we’ve cut the price of hot dogs, soda, beer, parking, caps. We’ve added a cap exchange program where if you (turn in) the cap of another major league team, you get 20% off of a Rangers cap.

Monday night we started the blue light specials, which we’re going to do every game. It’s for one inning. We announce a discount on a particular food item and a discount on a particular merchandise item. Monday night it was $5 off any authentic cap and it was also a discount on peanuts and soda. Last night for one inning, it was dollar hot dogs. We sold almost 4000 hot dogs in one inning, on a night where the attendance was 20,000. Tonight’s dollar dog night so the hot dogs are already only a dollar, but there’ll be a blue light special tonight. There’s a big siren and everything start flashing blue and Chuck Morgan announces what the nightly blue light special is. And people will talk about it. Last night on the Ticket on the way home, people were calling and they were talking about the dollar dog they got at the blue light special. And that’s what it’s all about. If you can create more value for your fans, in a way that gets everybody talking, then our fans market us for us. And that’s the way to do it. So now today when I was walking around, our game day staff was excited. They said, ‘Did you see all the people who were lining up for hot dogs last night? What’s the blue light special tonight?’ I said ‘Well, buckle up, it’s going to be a big one tonight.’ (Note: the blue light special that night ended up being discounted beer.) So it just gets people talking. It adds energy to the staff too because it’s fun for them to see. That’s one thing that we want to do.

We want to mix it up. We’ve added a number of things already with the in-game experience. Now when we score a run, we have the Six Shooters running around with Texas state flags. We think that’s a great element. We changed a little bit about the in-game presentation so that, the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, it’s all about ratcheting up the intensity level, for the focus to be on the field. So you won’t see us doing a blue light special in the 6th because that would be effective for the 7th. The 7th, 8th and 9th innings, we want everyone in the seating bowl focusing on what’s going on and making this as hostile a place for opposing teams to play as good taste will allow.

Sunday we ran a full page ad in every major newspaper within a four hour drive of the ballpark in the form of a letter from myself and Nolan, emphasizing that we understand that this franchise belongs to the fans and that we want to serve them and that we need their ideas and suggestions. There were really two messages there. One is what the letter actually says. But the other is the geographic scope of where we placed it. We really wanted to make the point that, for all those Rangers fans who may have become disaffected over the years who live within about a four hour drive of the ballpark, we want you back. It’s time to come home again to the ballpark. Today, we named Katie Crawford, who’s a terrific member of our staff, the first Rangers Fan Ambassador. It will be her job, as fans have suggestions, they can call or email her. If they have a problem, they can call or email her, and her job is to make everybody happy. We’re going to create a comprehensive Fan Ambassador programs in the off-season but again we wanted to do this right away.

Me: I hadn’t heard of the blue light thing yet.

Chuck: You’ll see it tonight. Keep you eyes open. I think it’ll be the 5th inning tonight.

Me: Besides the new scoreboard, what are some things you have planned to enhance the Rangers Ballpark experience?

Chuck: We have an unlimited number of things in our bag of tricks. What’s great is that it keeps getting deeper, because everyone has ideas. I was kidding that we’re going to put out a CD this offseason called ‘Chuck Morgan Unleashed’. Because Chuck’s been waiting to be able to do all these things but now he’s really being encouraged to let it all hang out and try things. So you’ll see as far as the in-game presentation, we’ll be rolling out new things all the time. You’re going to see greatly expanded caravans because we’re going to go out and do things in all these communities to really be a part of their lives and do things for them and not just ask them to come to the ballpark. I want to improve the food and beverage experience. I think the food’s good but I’d like to see a more diversified menu. I’d like to see more specialty foods.

Me: Yeah, I saw the new Asian place downstairs.

Chuck: That’s an example of it and we’ve had a request for vegetarian food. I’d like to see more Tex-Mex food. I’d like to see more big grilled sandwiches. There’s a whole bunch of different thing we can do. We’re looking at how we can utilize different parts of the ballpark to do that, particularly in the seating bowl. One of the phrases that we use a lot is that it’s about the sight, sounds, and smells. Well, right now to get food you have to give up the sight of the game. We restored some of the sound. We put the speakers back on. I don’t know why they were turned off. We put the speakers back on so you can hear the play by play of the game as you’re walking through the concourse. We’re still experimenting with the decibel level. It still needs to be a little bit louder. We’re looking for ways we can bring the food experiences into the seating bowl, which was not the case before.

Me: I like the radio being back on. I also like the new graphics for the players.

Chuck: It’s definitely amped up. Much better.

Me: You said that the Rangers and the community need to feel like family. What are some ideas you have for making the fans feel closer to the team?

Chuck: I think we’re doing a number of them already. Cutting prices. Soliciting everyone’s ideas and suggestions. Being available to fix problems immediately. Working backwards from yes. Being more accessible. Every game, I’ve spent time just wandering around the ballpark for at least a few innings. I’m not doing it from an ego standpoint. I’m doing it because fans want to see that we’re just like them. And I am, in every way. So I make a point to watch the game from all different vantage points. It not only sends a good message but it’s really helpful to me because sitting in different places, fans give me their ideas and their thoughts, but I also get to experience the game from different places. I’ve gone to places and said, ‘The sound system needs to be tweaked here.’ Or ‘I can’t see this particular thing on the board.’ If you’re always in the same place every night, there’s just no way you can pick those kinds of things up. In multiple ways, it’s a wise thing to do.

Me: Yeah, we’ve found that the sound system needs to be tweaked.

Chuck: Or maybe start over with it.

Me: What’s your opinion on displaying Rangers history around the ballpark?

Chuck: Two things. One is I would like to see more about the history of the franchise. I’d also like us to create more history too. There are some really cool things I saw at the Penguins new arena last week where they’ve got interactive history and Hall of Fame displays that are really high-tech, where you can get a lot of content but display it in a non-traditional way that’s pretty efficient with space. And they had it sponsored, which is a nice combination. I would like to see more history. This is such a wonderful traditional park. You can feel a lot of the legacy of baseball here. There are things we can do to bring that out, not just by honoring the history of the team but things we can do with the signage packages throughout the park to clean it up and make it look more like it was originally intended to. I think over the years, the signage has kind of junked it up a little bit, not because there’s too much signage but because of the way the signage is done. There are just too many different colors and shapes and locations. I think there’s a way to maximize our revenue while still creating an aesthetic approach that’s more true to the original vision. You look at Fenway for example. They’ve done a great job. All the ads fit a certain theme or look. Everyone buys into it because that’s part of being at Fenway. I think when you’re in this ballpark, it’s such a wonderful traditional Texas-themed park. I think there are things we can do to bring that character out even more.

Me: I remember when they used to have bricks outside the ballpark that showed each year’s team, showing each player who was on the team that year, their stats, and any awards players on the team won. I thought that was really cool and they tore it up for some reason. There are still two years, ‘96 and ‘97 out there, but the rest are gone.

Chuck: One of the things that we’ve done in our parks, at Altoona and Myrtle Beach, where the franchises have been around long enough, is have opening day banners. We have banners throughout the concourses showing the starting lineup from every opening day.

Me: Yeah, I really like those.

Chuck: Yeah, you would have seen them in Myrtle Beach. We just added those last year or maybe the year before. That’s a subtle but effective way. First, it looks good. But it also shows a little bit about the history. When people think about making changes to a ballpark, they think about things that cost 50 million dollars. Most of the things you can do that improve the atmosphere, they hardly cost anything. It’s just a matter of working hard enough to identify what they are. And one of the ways to work hard to identify them is by asking you to identify them. That’s why getting ideas from other people is good. We have no pride. We just want to be the best we can be. And that’s why we want others to help us get there.

Me: I also like the board at Myrtle Beach that shows all the minor leaguers who played for the Pelicans and have made it to the majors.

Chuck: Yeah, the Road to the Show Wall. That was another thing we started in Altoona.

Me: Which dog do you like better - Dinger or Deuce? (Mascots for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

Chuck: Well, you know we lost Dinger. Dinger passed away. Dinger was a great dog. I really like Deuce but Dinger was an original and I’m a big dog guy. We have four dogs of our own and every time I saw dinger, I wanted to give him a hug. It’s nothing against Deuce but Dinger had a lot of character. I miss Dinger.

Me: I agree. I still remember playing fetch with him in the team store. And even though my dog’s name is Deuce, I still like Dinger better.

Chuck: Dinger was just one of those dogs you wanted to hug. Our first dog, who we lost to cancer, he was that way. He was Hank, named after Hank Greenberg, and people would see him and they’d just want to cross the street and hug him. Certain dogs have charisma and Dinger had charisma.

Me: So, I guess we’ll wrap it up. Thank you so much for doing this.

Chuck: You’re welcome. We’ll definitely do it again.

I would like to thank Chuck for giving me so much of his time and for giving such great answers to questions.

Come back next week for a pennant race analysis.


Matt Z. said...

Loved it! I'm a law student so I have a compulsion to read everything, similar to Chuck's, and this interview did not disappoint.

Chuck's approach and insight into marketing and business deals was refreshing. He is not a typical fat-cat owner. Hopefully we're putting those behind us (cough, Steinbrenner). Chuck's just a guy trying to run a successful business who realizes the special relationship his customers have with his product, because he too was once a consumer of that product. I'm jealous of the regular attendee who gets to appreciate the difference in the fan experience that this change in leadership will bring.

I've been a lifelong Rangers fan mainly by reason of geography, but that fixation takes deeper root when good business practice becomes part of the team.

Long live the Greenberg Ryan Group

Brittany said...

I have been following your blog for a couple of years and this is my favorite post so far! Grant, you always ask really insightful questions and Chuck did not disappoint with his answers! Great Job!!

Lynn Leaming said...

Another great interview Grant! He gave you really long and thorough answers. I am sure you can give him lots of ideas on how to make things better for the fans, since you are one of the Rangers most dedicated fan! Hope you have a great school year ahead!

Grant Schiller said...

Hi Matthew,

Where do you go to school? No, he is not a typical owner, he's a great guy. Yeah, it should be really cool to see all that he does for next year. Thanks for reading.

Hi Brittany,

Thanks. I really appreciate that. Chuck probably gave me the best answers of any interview I've done so far. He's such a great guy. It's really neat that you worked for the Saints. I was just there with my dad this summer. What did you do with them? I also saw the Pensacola Pelicans play this year against the AirHogs.

Hi Ms. Lynn,

Thanks for reading every time. It's very nice of you to do that. Chuck was a great interview. It was extremely nice of him to do that for me. I hope I have a great schoolyear, too. How are you doing in Colorado?


Anonymous said...

This is it! The Texas Rangers finally got their ticket to the World Series 2010! and fans start also to get their Texas Rangers Tickets It was no walk in the park. To get to the 2010 World Series the Texas Ranges had to go through a seemingly impossible line of tough baseball teams.