GREEN BAY—Twenty years after the Packers played their final football game in the city of Milwaukee, the team will once again have a presence in one of its old, familiar homes.
The franchise's marketing and corporate sales department will be opening an office in Milwaukee this spring, leasing space to be refurbished within the MillerCoors corporate headquarters on Highland Ave.
Previously, the Packers' business and administrative offices had been housed completely within Lambeau Field. The expansion to Milwaukee is being done with two purposes in mind – to better serve the team's current corporate partners in southeastern Wisconsin, and to grow that number of partners.
"We have a lot of successful partnerships, and I think we offer a lot of opportunities for the business community to advance their objectives," said Craig Benzel, Packers director of marketing and corporate sales. "Repositioning ourselves in southeastern Wisconsin will give us more opportunity to engage with that business community."
Benzel said that roughly 20 percent of the team's corporate partners are based in that area of the state, and the opening of a Milwaukee office has been discussed for more than a year with the idea of growing that corporate partner footprint.
The choice of MillerCoors to house the new Milwaukee office is appropriate, given the former Miller Brewing Co.'s long association with the franchise, which dates back to being a sponsor in the 1940s.
The Milwaukee office will be staffed primarily by three individuals, led by Aaron Hart as manager of sales. Hart has five years of experience with the organization.
One of the team's top priorities when the Milwaukee office opens, sometime in April or May, will be to establish itself as the primary resource for the local businesses with whom the Packers already have a working relationship.
Open houses for current and potential new partners are on the early agenda.
"We're planning more frequent access to us for our partners, being able to meet in person versus phone calls or emails," Hart said. "We've done a great job servicing our partners there, but more convenient face-to-face meetings will mean more frequent interactions."
Benzel added that this should lead to more frequent events as well, such as the annual corporate luncheon series that has been a big success over the past five years.
"At our events, we're able to share some insights of the organization on and off the field, and the benefit at the end of the day is the partners feel more engaged with the Packers," Benzel said.
"The team is going to hit the ground running. These are the first steps at becoming entrenched in the southeastern Wisconsin business community."