"Management Today was so professional in the way they handled coverage of our company. We are impressed with the magazine’s look and content."
Christine Cox, Structura Inc.
"As a business owner concerned about our brand’s image, the quality of the images and print were excellent. The other articles and the cover reflected that same quality."
George Kiebala, Curvy Road
"Management Today is a wonderful publication and I applaud their commitment to highlighting women leaders in business. I felt honored to work with them on this piece."
Juli Spottiswood, Parago
"Just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for your work on our article in Management Today. Your organization made the process of making the arrangements, submitting photography, and conducting the interview painless. We are very pleased with the results."
Lisa Paterni, Pitsco
"Management Today has become one of the most influential publications I have read in some time and is a direct influence on the training dialogue I provide. Thank you for creating a value-added magazine. I look forward to each publication."
Dean S. Santopoalo, Development Coach of Focused In Leadership
"We are very pleased to say that our experience with Management Today was simple, no hassle, and more importantly EFFECTIVE!"
Milene Kerley, Playa Blanca Resort
"Working with the experienced, organized and courteous staff at Management Today magazine was a real pleasure. From the interview process to final review and approval of the written article, a high level of professionalism was demonstrated by the staff at Management Today."
Barry Rempel, Winnipeg Airport Authority
"You did a great job of crafting this. In the past having been interviewed, I can get skeptical of what was said vs. what was printed, but you captured it well."
Joel Slank, Rockline Industries
Thank you for publishing the story about our small business success and significance in “giving back.” The staff was very professional, polite, and respectful while gathering information. The final copy was therefore both accurate and written in an interesting way to share our story.
Andy Wells, Wells Technology
"Working with Management Today was both pleasurable and a learning experience. Their ability to ask relevant and probing questions provided me the opportunity to thoughtfully reflect on the strategic and cultural successes of our company while telling our story of 150 years in a unique and effective way."
Guillermo T. Rodriguez, Bacardi
For a brief moment earlier this year, the center of the basketball universe wasn’t LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Derrick Rose – it was Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks. Coming off the bench in February, the undrafted Harvard alum shocked NBA fans by scoring more than 25 points in each of his first four starts and sparking a turnaround in the Knicks’ once-moribund season. “Lin-sanity” became a national phenomenon, especially after Lin scored 38 points in a victory over Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lin became a sensation in New York City, but the first chapter of his story with the Knicks actually began in Erie, Pa., where he played one game for the Knicks’ NBA Development League (NBADL) affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. Team President Matt Bresee says the Jeremy Lin phenomenon was a significant boost for the team and the league. “That really opened some doors that had never been opened before,” he says. “In addition to that, for our fans it was a great experience just to have a little piece of that story.”
The Jeremy Lin story has been a nice addition, but the Erie BayHawks already have a nice story in its own right. Added by the league as an expansion team in 2008, the team has built a solid fan base in the community and expects to capitalize on that success in the seasons to come. Bresee says the organization is focused on creating the best possible product for fans, and adds that his own personal appreciation of the game and experience in minor league sports help make that happen.
Bresee understands the world of minor league sports, having spent nine years working in various capacities for the Erie SeaWolves baseball team of the Eastern League. He says he started out working part-time with the team as a high-school student, and over time worked his way up to assistant general manager, where he oversaw corporate sponsorship efforts.
After a few years spent working for a large insurance firm in the area, Bresee heard about the NBADL’s expansion into Erie and saw it as an opportunity to get back into pro sports. Originally hired as vice president, Bresee was named team president in June 2009.
The BayHawks operate on what’s known as a hybrid affiliate model, in which the parent NBA team controls all aspects of the team on the court, such as roster decisions and coaching hires. This frees up the team’s front office to focus on marketing, promotions and other operations related to the fan experience. “The one thing we spend a considerable amount of time on is enhancing our fan experience,” Bresee says. “When fans come to games, it’s our job to deliver great value and we are constantly striving to create unique components to what we do on game nights.”
Although the BayHawks’ promotional efforts include bobblehead giveaways, national traveling entertainers and other incentives, Bresee notes that the NBADL’s overall level of competition has increased as the NBA has become more involved. Nearly 100 current NBA players have had some NBADL experience, and the number has trended upward. Bresee says fans are excited to see players who either have been in the NBA or are close to it. “These guys are literally half a step away from playing in the NBA,” he says. “It’s really been year by year continuing to build on the product, and the talent on the floor has gotten better and better every year.”
However, there already existed a strong base of support in the Erie community for minor league sports. In addition to the SeaWolves, the city also is home to the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League and the Erie Explosion of the Ultimate Indoor Football League. Having minor league baseball and hockey already established made it easier for the BayHawks to take hold in the community, according to Bresee. “There’s no question there’s a sort of level of expectation from our fans for what a minor league basketball product should be,” he says.
Nevertheless, Erie fans will be receiving an upgrade in the near future. The BayHawks’ home, the Louis J. Tullio Arena, is in the process of receiving a $42 million renovation. Although the Erie County Convention Center Authority, the building’s operator, is overseeing the project, Bresee says the BayHawks have had some input on the plans for the renovation. When completed, the renovation will enlarge the concourse areas, improve the concessions stands, provide easier access for fans and add upgraded seating. “That is going to be a huge opportunity for us,” Bresee says.
The time Bresee spent in the corporate world gave him some new perspectives when it comes to decision-making and initiating new ideas, he says, but he enjoys the challenges that come with the world of minor league sports. Wearing multiple hats can make it more difficult to stay organized, he says, but accomplishing goals is all the more satisfying.
Bresee says he values the input of his staff to a high degree, and as such he tries to be as open and honest with them as he possibly can. “I really try to be very transparent and try to involve the staff as much as possible in order to create a sense of ownership of the team,” he says. “I’m fortunate to have a great staff that is passionate about getting better every day.”
The BayHawks have many reasons to be optimistic about the future, according to Bresee. He says the team continues to develop strong ties to partners such as the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has been a major partner of the team since the beginning and sponsors the team’s jerseys. The team also continues to make significant contributions in the community through initiatives like the Erie BayHawks Big Assist program, which donates game tickets to underprivileged children.
Bresee says the quality of the play on the court should continue to increase as NBA teams like the Knicks invest more time and resources in the NBADL. “That’s something that you’re seeing more, and more NBA teams really take a different level of interest in this league than they did even three or four years ago,” he says, adding that the new collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players includes new provisions for player movement between the NBA and NBADL. “As we continue to grow and have the NBA involved, it’s only going to continue to put us in a position where we can continue to deliver for our partners and fans.”