On Wednesday, August 29th, 2012, The Milwaukee Bucks & Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee teamed up, once again, for our annual “Dream BIG” event.

Mission: Dreaming Big in the realm of the NBA & all professional sports is not limited to playing the game. There are many other BIG careers within the NBA to set your sights on. While we never want to shatter the dream of being a professional athlete, we do want to share other options in sports, specifically the NBA, which kids might not know exist.

During the event, matches visited representatives from several front office departments. Each ‘little’ assumed the role of a reporter, asking questions and taking notes to help in the completion of their reporting article. The writer of the winning article received an autographed Brandon Jennings basketball and their article published on Bucks.com.

Below, please find the winning article written by Elisa Guzior.

I bet you didn’t really think about the behind the scenes action on the Milwaukee Bucks, have you? Well honestly, I haven’t all that much either. Until my Big Sister took me to the Bradley Center on August 29th to learn about all the people that help put the Bucks together. We got to learn from the Bucks staff and all about their cool jobs and how they do them. I think the Big Brothers Big Sisters program put this together to show us all the career opportunities out there.

Our first stop was Corporate Partnerships with Kareeda and David. They told me that they have been working there for fifteen years. They told us that the one big thing is to “be educated”. Both Kareeda and David graduated from Marquette University. David taught us about how they talk to clients and how they negotiate with other companies. Kareeda had always dreamed of being a professional basketball player. She explained that when it didn’t work out she turned to Corporate Partnerships. She said, “You always have to have a plan B” and David added, “You have to start with plan A.” I think that Kareeda and David are both very good at what they do.

Then we moved on to Game Operations & Entertainment. Our guides were Kevin, who has been working there for eleven years, and Chris. She has been working there for thirteen years. Game Operations & Entertainment manages the halftime show at each Bucks game. Kevin told us that some of the halftime shows entertainers are: Bango, Senior Dance, Dance Team, Hoop Troop, and a break dance crew called The Super Force. Chris explained to us about all the work they have to put in to make the halftime show entertaining and to give an example we put on our own halftime show! It was so fun; I loved it. My job was to set-up the obstacles. Other jobs were: MC, DJ, directors, other stage crew, and contestants. When my Big Sister, Austin, dribbled the giant basketball down the court I would roll it back to its place. I did the same thing when she rode the giant tricycle. Afterwards, I picked up all the shirts that she had to sling-shot up at a giant target. That was my favorite part of the whole experience.

Kevin and Chris explained to us how they get a halftime show together. You have to come up with ideas to fit into one and a half minutes. They also told me that they have three full-time employees and eighty game-night workers. I said, “Wow, that’s a lot of people for one minute and thirty seconds!” They have to have a stage manager, production crew, and a game ops director. I think that Game Operations & Entertainment is very fun and, of course, entertaining. The whole crew puts a lot of work into the halftime show and makes it look easy. Now I know how much it really takes to put it together. Don’t get me wrong, I bet they have lots of fun and laughs doing what they do.

Our third stop was Interactive Marketing with Mike and Matt. Mike said he has been working for fifteen seasons and Matt has been working for five seasons. Their job is about putting the Bucks information on the website. They explained to us how technology was back then compared to now. Matt told us that they use social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  Some of the information they put out is about the players’ personal lives. They also mention the types of jobs that put this together, like people who work on the web, video editing, audio production and editing, and graphic design. It was very interesting and cool to know that these guys get paid to be on Facebook and Twitter all day.

Our last stop was Community Relations with Elizabeth and Megan. Megan told us that she basically takes care of the Bucks whole schedule. Megan says that she has to take care of the team and make sure that they have twelve public appearances each year or else they get fined. The big thing was to always be educated. Megan also explained that sometimes she has to work with the players’ families. She makes sure that they feel comfortable when they are new to the area. Elizabeth is the accountant. Elizabeth that she writes checks for every single bill that comes across her desk. I had asked her if when she first started if she was shocked when she opened her first bill. Her answer was yes and she would just say, “man that is a lot of zeros,” but she just got used to it. A big thing that I remembered that Elizabeth said was, “When the Bucks order room service we don’t have to pay for it, they have to pay for it with their per diem (allowance).” It was a good thing that I remembered that because at the end they asked a special question and whoever knew the answer won a special prize. So when Elizabeth asked, “Do we pay for room service when the Bucks order it?” My hand shot right up because I knew the answer and the reason why. I won a sized THIRTEEN pair of AND1 shoes. I was very surprised and very happy. I think their jobs are very important, because where would the Bucks be without their accountant and the woman who plans their day.

This was an amazing experience. I had lots of fun and learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of the Milwaukee Bucks. So many people put together a great show and help the Bucks look good. I thought these careers were very cool and inspiring. I could see myself in any one of these careers. I am happy that the Big Brothers Big Sister program put this together and I am happy that my Big Sister, Austin, took me to this event. I hope to come to more events like this. The Milwaukee Bucks and their whole staff are very fun and interesting. I will definitely be at more Bucks basketball games. Now I know why people “Fear the Deer!”

By: Elisa Guzior