Reds - General

A standing ovation for the Reds organization

While most of our focus at Redleg Nation rightly concerns the team’s baseball operations, it’s easy to forget the non-baseball operations are also an important part of the Cincinnati Reds. And we often take for granted how well-run that part of the Reds organization is, especially as it relates to being sensitive to fan needs and interests. I’m a discerning and regular consumer of their product, and it’s obvious to me that a lot of hard work, thoughtful preparation and detailed execution goes into providing it.

The total experience of being at the Great American Ball Park improves every year, even throughout the season. From the new convenient parking facilities to the informative and entertaining scoreboard program, the between-innings music to the recognition of veterans, and the commitment to the ever-improving quality of food – the Reds do everything they can to make it a fun and family-friendly experience. They even let you take food and drinks into the stadium. Add to that all of the charitable and outreach work the Reds players and organization do throughout the Cincinnati area. It’s something of which the Reds and their fans can justifiably be proud.

The Marty Brennaman hair-shearing event provides a great opportunity to express heartfelt admiration to the Reds for their nimble planning and execution. With very little time to conceive, plan, fundraise, publicize and execute all the many details that go into the various components of a moment like that, they pulled it off gracefully, professionally and in an entertaining manner. They also raised an enormous amount of awareness and money for several excellent causes – all from a simple haircut. It was both touching and exemplary.

Of course, no organization is perfect and there will always be $8 ballpark beer (until it’s $8.50). But to truly appreciate how much the Reds organization does to build a positive relationship with its fans, just look down the street and think about the Bengals, Mike Brown and Co.

The 120,000+ enthusiastic fans in attendance this past weekend for the series against the Pirates was apt testimony to all of it.

Applause, applause.

35 thoughts on “A standing ovation for the Reds organization

  1. This weekend was obviously the kind ownership and his management team have been working toward since he bought the team six years ago. I’ve sat through a weekend series against the Rockies in ’07 where I believe the Reds lost 2 of 3, and my father said it wasn’t always like this and it won’t be like this for much longer. I thought “mid-market teams” were doomed to be mediocre organizations for an eternity, and as someone who was born and raised just south of the Capital Beltway, there was mediocre major league baseball locally as well.

    When I went on the west coast trip this fall, it didn’t register with me very much, but I realize now that the team never had much anything interesting between innings, all of the food was expensive, finding a bathroom was more of a challenge in AT&T Park than getting a hit, and after hundreds of consecutive sellouts the Giants had no hold on crowd control or effective transportation infrastructure. Dodger Stadium was a challenge to get to and felt overrated as a “classic” baseball venue, probably because I’m a tall guy and the ceilings and counters and toilets were all really low and the place was poorly lit. San Diego had a really pretty stadium, but they don’t have the team that fans should care about yet.

    I really want to applaud the person on group who pitched the idea of raising money for these organizations just to get the ol’ radio guy to get his hair shaved. I’m not aware of any other baseball team that provides a conduit to fund community programs like the Reds do. I also don’t know of any organization that could convince sponsors to assemble so quickly for a haircut, and I know of no fans who would pitch in that much money for the same haircut in a matter of days. Charlie Sheen matching the sum was so far out of left field, but also a great thing for the Reds.

    I wish nothing more than more weekends like the one the team had the past 3 days. Go Reds.

  2. yeah It was a fantastic weekend. I took my parents Saturday night. My mom doesn’t have the best knees for walking, so I knew getting her to her seat might be an issue. Being able to park right under the stadium, which I’ve never done before, was killer. I mean, it wasn’t cheap, but gosh, it was convenient, so totally worth it

  3. “But all one really has to do to truly appreciate how much the Reds organization does to build a positive relationship with its fans it to look down the street and think about the Bengals, Mike Brown and Co.”

    There is no truer statement. The ownerships and franchises couldn’t be more polar opposites. Although hats off to whoever drafts for the Bengals nowadays. It gives me new hope.

    I’d also mention that the Reds Hall of Fame is one of the best in baseball. They really do honor the former players. Just look at the Hall of Fame event this year and what a success it was. The organization as a whole just does an exemplary job at making everything player and fan friendly.

  4. Amen to all of this. The new develop next door is also a major plus for all concerned.

  5. Steve – Thanks for writing this! It shares my feelings far more eloquently than I would ever be able to do.

    I drifted away from baseball and the Reds after the 94 strike and really never drifted back until last season. There was work and family and other pursuits that took my time away from following the Reds very closely. And, they didn’t do too much to bring me back quite honestly.

    Last year, we took my kids (age 7 and 3) to a game and were blown away. The steps made by the ownership/team to make it a family-friendly enviroment were amazing. This sounds silly, but the $1 concession stand was one of the biggest draws for us. In the end, they are going to make FAR more from my family because of that than they lost on the profit margin. I do wish they’d bring the one back on the lower level! We bought tickets for the next night and vowed to return again this summer.

    So far this year, we’ve driven down from the Columbus area for eight games (the fact that my wife and I are both teachers helps us make it) and plan on at least four more this season. The signing of Joey Votto really made us want to support the ownership! We also took advantage of the 4 for $48 deal on Memorial Day weekend, which is a real deal for a family. I could go on and on, but they brought me back to baseball and I brought my family. It’s almost corny, but this has been an incredible summer for our family and the Reds have been a big part of it. We’ve done the ballpark tour, the batting practice viewing, and been to the Hall of Fame. Everything we do at GABP is outstanding!

    I’m probably rambling at this point, but I’m so glad that the Reds are back!

  6. Agreed 100% After the 2010 season, my dad and I have bought “Baker’s Dozen” season tickets (Fridays last year, Saturdays this year), and couldn’t be happier with them (even if, invariably, we miss a couple games a year due to scheduling conflicts). We were just commenting on Saturday how great it is that they let you bring in food and drink to the ballpark.

  7. I was amazed how something that could have been spun as 40,000+ Reds fans laughing at an innocent 70 year old man who was facing punishment for betting against the Reds turned into a huge event to draw attention to local charities. Neither my mother nor my neighbor follow the Reds but both wanted to watch the shaving ceremony live… and left with a very positive impression of the Reds franchise. What could have been seen as “Marty looks like such an idiot for that” turned into more of a “Marty is such a great/brave man for giving so much to the community” attitude. An amazing success.

    As far as the companies that donated $5,000 each to the Reds Community Fund, I’m not sure how much they pay for each TV commercial/advertising spot on FSNOH but they probably got more attention for their generous contributions on Friday than they do in commercial breaks. It’s great the Reds were able to pull in the money but it might be worth recognizing that those companies were just taking advantage of a great opportunity to grab attention – I doubt it’s something the Reds had to push for.

    I wish the Reds would add WiFi to GABP but Jamie Ramsey was recently Tweeting that it would be too expensive.

    Great weekend by the Reds and the Reds organization with everything coming together.

    • Richard Fitch: He said the only thing Bob wanted to do was build a first class organization from top to bottom and bring a winner back to Cincinnati. He views this team a a public trust. He’s not interested in making money now.

      Although I’m no expert on the Bengals, this seems to summarize the main difference between the two organizations. The Brown family treats the Bengals as their own private property, not a public trust. They derive their family income from the team and they seem to fight for every nickel in the short run, even when it’s pound foolish. But don’t get me started on that…

      redsfanman: I wish the Reds would add WiFi to GABP but Jamie Ramsey was recently Tweeting that it would be too expensive.

      A great idea. I’d never thought of that before, although the Reds apparently have already considered it. A strong WiFi signal would help fans share through tweet/text/email pictures and other descriptions of the game and their experience to friends. Social networking is big business. There have been several times, especially with large crowds, where I’ve been unable to get a text or email out. I wonder if the City would be willing to help share the expense, as it would have positive benefits downtown.

      • A great idea. I’d never thought of that before, although the Reds apparently have already considered it. A strong WiFi signal would help fans share through tweet/text/email pictures and other descriptions of the game and their experience to friends. Social networking is big business. There have been several times, especially with large crowds, where I’ve been unable to get a text or email out. I wonder if the City would be willing to help share the expense, as it would have positive benefits downtown.

        A few other ballparks seem to have added Wifi – Atlanta, Arizona, Houston, Minnesota, and San Francisco, I believe. I think that’s part of why San Francisco had so many All Star votes – thousands of fans voting on their phones during games. When watching on TV I usually keep MLB At Bat 12 open on my phone to follow along, but it’s tougher to do at the park. Wifi isn’t necessarily important just for social networking but to help fans be more involved in the game.

        Reds have apparently already considered and rejected it. Oh well.

    • I can’t speak to the Reds Community Fund, but unfortunately in my experience charities tend to be the most poorly run organizations. Hopefully more of that money is used as it was intended than, say, United Way donations.

      it might be worth recognizing that those companies were just taking advantage of a great opportunity to grab attention – I doubt it’s something the Reds had to push for.

      What’s the difference? If I’m a sick kid I’d rather get healthy than find out some PR agent had a good heart.

  8. Last summer at this time, I interviewed Craig Lindvahl, the filmmaker who created the Reds documentary, “Let’s Get Ready to Win.” The way the front office went about debuting the film and making everyone welcome was just another example of how this franchise gets things right. The best part was what Craig said about Castellini. He said the only thing Bob wanted to do was build a first class organization from top to bottom and bring a winner back to Cincinnati. He views this team a a public trust. He’s not interested in making money now. He knows he’ll get his investment back when he sells someday.

    I knew right then the team was going to make a realistic push to sign Votto when everybody around me was saying he was gone.

    • Last summer at this time, I interviewed Craig Lindvahl, the filmmaker who created the Reds documentary, “Let’s Get Ready to Win.”The way the front office went about debuting the film and making everyone welcome was just another example of how this franchise gets things right.The best part was what Craig said about Castellini.He said the only thing Bob wanted to do was build a first class organization from top to bottom and bring a winner back to Cincinnati. He views this team a a public trust.He’s not interested in making money now. He knows he’ll get his investment back when he sells someday.

      I knew right then the team was going to make a realistic push to sign Votto when everybody around me was saying he was gone.

      I believe that Carl Lindner bought the Reds just for the sake of removing an association between Marge Schott and the Reds organization… rather than showing a personal desire to own a MLB team. He rarely seemed interested in being involved. The new ownership has been the opposite way. The Castellinis have been clear all along that they want to run a franchise that competes every year, and they are determined to send the message that they take it seriously and that they’ll do all they can to win.

  9. Steve you said it so well .. The Reds are now a model of how a “public trust” (as the Reds are in Cincinnati) should be run . My friends and I where on hand Friday night for a great game and a wonderful experience at the ballpark . It was no accident . I am very Proud to be a Reds fan

  10. I’ve been a fan of the Reds since I can remember. Though I’m only 23, I grew up listening to Marty and Joe through my childhood and into my teens. My father and I used to drive through the countryside tuned into 700WLW just to listen to the game. As a kid, that was fun to me. I didn’t care where we went just as long as I listened to the Reds.

    Fast forward to now, I can honestly say that Cincinnati Reds fans are some of the best fans out there. We may not get the recognition of being great fans or selling out every game, but we are passionate and love our Reds. This is a tremendous organization and the community is one of the best around.

    I’m proud of the contributions that everyone has made and couldn’t be happier to be a Cincinnati Reds fan!

  11. @redsfanman: Wow, I’ve never even thought of free wifi. I don’t make it to many baseball games but when I go to Iowa football games my phone doesn’t have a data connection from the time I park a mile away from Kinnick till I get back and about 15 miles down the road.

    I saw at least a couple carriers have mobile antennas they can take to crowded areas to boost capacity. I wonder if that would be possible.

    • @redsfanman: Wow, I’ve never even thought of free wifi. I don’t make it to many baseball games but when I go to Iowa football games my phone doesn’t have a data connection from the time I park a mile away from Kinnick till I get back and about 15 miles down the road.

      I saw at least a couple carriers have mobile antennas they can take to crowded areas to boost capacity. I wonder if that would be possible.

      I mean, my iPhone uses AT&T and the reception is fine at GABP and everywhere else in the city. I just don’t like using up my AT&T data plan. Airports, malls, hotels, restaurants/coffee shops, universities, lots of those places boast free wifi. Stadiums are one of the few public venues that don’t offer free Wifi – MLB At Bat 12 is pretty popular and MLB’s less popular At the Ballpark, is, obviously, geared for people attending games. If they provided free wifi fans could listen to the live radio play by play on their mobile device/headphones, which would appeal to some people. On the other hand I won’t blame the Reds if they consider it to be too expensive.

  12. Thanks, Steve for a great take on the Reds FO. Particularly the point at how quickly the Reds made The Haircut into a fun, topic number one, community event. The cynical may say that the Reds and Its sponsers ‘did well by doing good’ therefore there is no need to praise them all that highly, but as Jared pointed out, the charities involed do great work and deserved a great

  13. I hate to be the wet blanket, but perhaps someone in the Reds administration could address a MAJOR complaint I have regarding the vending windows at the stadium.

    I took my two younger daughters to the game Friday for fireworks and a great night out. Obviously, lines were long to get food as it was a sellout. No complaints, I understand that.

    What drove me crazy was the arbitrary separation of the concession windows. What do I mean? I waited in line for 10 minutes to get a bag of popcorn for my daughter. When I get to the counter, the woman tells me that she doesn’t sell popcorn. I have to go to the next window. Well, the popcorn is LITERALLY RIGHT BEHIND HER!!! Furthermore, there is ONE SIGN hanging over the center of the concession window. There is no difference between the register I was at and the next register down.

    Thus, I had to wait another 10 minutes for popcorn. Very frustrating. Same thing happened when I tried to buy peanuts, but had to go to a 2nd line at the same window. Just don’t understand why they have to make it so difficult. It’s the same window. The workers are in the same area.

    • Where is everyone?

      @seat101: Maybe they forgot there was a game tonight.😀

      How much fun was this weekend with your son?

  14. Might as well turn this into the game thread. Can’t believe Phillips is in the lineup today. Hope he’s healthy and performs well. He likes batting against Gallardo, so hopefully it’s an easy transition back into the swing of things.

  15. This the unofficial game thread? First at bat by Cozart wasn’t bad, saw some pitches and then tried to go the other way with it.

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