As Culver’s was a sponsor of the Milwaukee Brewers spring training, I was able to attend two games this year.  I went one time each with one of my daughters.  It is very rare for me to be able to spend any time alone with just one of my children, let alone a 4 hour block without multiple distractions.  It helps that they have to watch for a foul ball to come our way so their phones are used very sparingly. 

  • The Brewers play in a small 8,000 seat stadium where you feel like you are almost on the field with the players.  The players are great at signing autographs for fans and tossing multiple baseballs into the stands.  It really seems to be the team’s way to help build the long term ROI (return on investment) with the fans and build a relationship.  The fans would clap and cheer every time a ball got tossed into the stands.  Even the visiting team would take time to interact with all of the fans.  It really is a unique experience that should make it on everyone’s bucket list.   
  • Here is the reveal, I am not even a big baseball fan.  I will watch the world series on TV but the only time I go to a game is for spring training.  This year as I was able to spend time with my daughters, I realized that it isn’t about the game at all, it is about spending that 3-4 hour time block with someone.  Baseball leaves a lot of down time for basic conversation, some coaching time where you can explain what is happening and of course you get to indulge with all kinds of overpriced food.  Food is always a great bonding experience, even when your daughter drops her spoon for her Italian ice twice and you get to go get her another one and another one.  It is these experiences that leave a lasting memory on people’s minds.  Thinking back to when I was young, a baseball game was one of the few times where I had some real alone time with my father.  I didn’t realize it until I was sitting there with my daughters and at the end of the game both of them said how much fun they had.  They created Instagram stories and even took a selfie with dad. 
  • This post isn’t a commercial for spring training, it is a reminder of how important it is to take the time to invest in building relationships with those that are important to us.  Did I have other things that I could have done with 4 hours of my time on a Sunday afternoon?  Yes, but what will have a lasting impact?  We need to remember that children and I believe team members spell love “T-I-M-E”.  I once heard my business partner Brian mention that we need to floss the teeth that we want to keep.  It was a great way to remind us that we need to make a daily effort in connecting with those that are important to us.  Take a few minutes every day or every shift and try to connect and build a relationship with the people that you spend time around.  You never know how much just one simple conversation can mean to someone.  As mentioned earlier food is a great bonding experience.  We are lucky to be in a restaurant every day where we can help create those special moments for others.  If people feel a connection with us they will be life long brand ambassadors.   

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