Hope sports is something that has always provided heroes and memorable moments for people and the communities that they are in during their darkest moments and their darkest hours.
Even though people may not be able to see their favorite athletes in person, all the sports teams in America have been able to step up and help in their respective communities. Instead of the heroes being those who wear the uniforms, it is now the staff members that are normally behind the scenes that have been providing hope during these new and uncertain times.
One such team the Lake Elsinore Storm, who are the Class AA Affiliate of the San Diego Padres, have really tried to step up and help in their community of Lake Elsinore California. Lake Elsinore, is about an hour’s drive away from Los Angeles California is one of the many areas trying to figure out what to do and how to adapt to these new Social Distancing times.
The current General Manager of the Storm Shaun Brock is one of the many new heroes that have been shown during these Social Distancing ties. Brock was announced as the Assistant General Manager of the team in 2019, learned what it was like to be a leader in the world of CPG and Food before gaining an opportunity to leading a baseball team.
On his journey to the Lake Elsinore Storm, Brock had this to say, “. I was originally brought in as a consultant for the F&B and facility side of the operations, but my past experience on the executive level with other companies helped us define a path forward with the club that creates a great, safe, and growth atmosphere for the staff. I would be remiss if I did not say, my CO-GM Christine Kavic is a godsend and helps balance out my “out of the box” thinking on everything. One thing I learned from the past Winter Meetings, baseball is entering a new era, and needs to adapt to stay relevant. Being creative on and off the field is the main way to achieve that goal.”
Brock continued by saying, “My predecessors were great, but very much a locker-room mentality on leadership and culture, we needed to grow thinking outside the box on how to promote our venue.”
Shaun has been trying to bring some new and innovative ideas to the team to try to bring a new and dynamic product to the Lake Elsinore Community.
“Before COVID-19 we were full in on selling sponsorships, events, planning promos, and getting ready for the first pitch on April 9, 2020! I was talking in early February with our staff on the challenges the COVID-19 may have for our season opener, Brock said of the events that have been happening thus far. “Looking at the path, I knew that there was a possibility that we would not have a home opener, I did not think we would be this far down the rabbit hole”
Like many who are in charge of a business right now Shaun is trying to make the best decisions that he can, “We are developing contingency plans, we even talked about no season at all, (to be honest my disclaimer for no season at all was always ‘If we have no season, there will be BIGGER issues with the country as a whole.’) We paused and shifted our operation from BB to community support about 5 weeks out of baseball, we have some construction projects that slowed due to the stay at home order, but assuming that when we have a new date we will have the same 5 week lead time.”
One of the projects that Brock was a part of is a Coronavirus meal relief program, which was able to offer individual heat-and-serve meals for pick-up or delivery for $6.50 each, with a $2 delivery charge within a 10-mile radius of The Diamond. For every five meals purchased, the storm delivered a free meal to someone in need in the community
Currently Brock and his staff are using new technology to keep in touch with each other and the community. “Microsoft Teams is amazing, this is how we are staying in touch at the moment, we are able to collaborate in a team atmosphere and keep moving the ball forward, Shaun had to say about how he has been able to keep in touch with his staff. ’Fans have been harder, social media is good, but very impersonal… we have been working on different ways to stay relevant. Two weeks ago, we did a parade with our mascot, THAT was a great way to connect!”
The Storm who know the importance of community, were able to give back when the Holy Fire ravaged the area in 2018 and served some 500 free meals to veterans last Thanksgiving. The team holds blood drives and reading programs with local schools and had staff members delivering low-cost meals to residents during the Coronavirus lockdown.
“The Community supports us five months out of the year,” said Brock. “We do not exist without the community. There is definitely a need for help.”
Right now like all sports teams Brock and the Storm have been trying to think of new and innovative ways to keep the fans connected and entertained, “During this time we have been fast on connecting with the community that include: a Thunder Parade, a Marketplace, a meal plan holding a Blood Drive.”
Baseball as always been about moments and creating a positive light and environment during the darkest times. Brock and his staff are just one of the many new heroes that are to be applauded for their efforts to provide not only hope but also entertainment during these new and uncertain times.
For more information on the Lake Elsinore Storm fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: