"Fun is Good" promoter to deliver CGC commencement speech
Charleston RiverDogs co-owner Mike Veeck will deliver the commencement address to The Citadel Graduate College Class of 2010 at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 9 in McAlister Field House.
Veeck is the part owner of six baseball teams, including the Riverdogs, and is a consultant for one other. The Veeck family started in baseball nearly a century ago when Mike’s grandfather was president of the Chicago Cubs. Mike Veeck’s father, Bill, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., was the owner of the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox. Mike Veeck has worked for the White Sox, Marlins, Tigers and Rays.
But Veeck is best known for his silly, and sometimes outrageous, promotions that keep people coming to the ballpark even in tough times. It is how he took his ball clubs from lackluster operations to multi-million-dollar businesses. He has hired a dog and a pig to deliver baseballs to the umpire, a Roman Catholic nun to give massages, mimes to perform instant replays and locked out fans of the stadium to set an all-time attendance for the fewest people at a game.
“Behind the gags and promotions that Mike is known for in the ballparks is a man with a business sense and leadership style that has helped reinvigorate minor league baseball across the country, including right here in Charleston,” said Steve Nida, associate provost and dean of The Citadel Graduate College. “But you don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate his marketing experience or to learn from his ‘Fun is Good’ philosophy on life and business.”
Veeck became a teacher in 2008 when he taught "art of selling," an athletics promotion and marketing course for The Citadel Graduate College.
A graduate of Loyola College, Veeck is founder of the popular Veeck Promotional Seminars. In 2005 he wrote the book “Fun Is Good,” which describes how this simple philosophy can lead to success in any business. He is also president of Veeck Advertising Professionals in Charleston.
Veeck has advised companies like 3M, the NBA, General Mills, and NASCAR. He has appeared on numerous news and sports programs and has been a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and appeared Sports Illustrated and Fortune and People magazines. In 2005, he was recognized by Baseball America as one of the 25 most influential people in baseball over the last 25 years.