Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Magical Seasons - Just The Beginning

Our first five years are in the books, but I can assure you that this is just the beginning. The Lake Erie Monsters have built a franchise in Cleveland that is going to have a lasting impact on our community for years to come.  We are going to be an institution in this city and one of the marque entertainment options for people in Northeast Ohio that are looking to come downtown.

We've won awards in professional sports for our in game entertainment.  We've grown our attendance every single year since we started.  Five years ago it was "Who are the Lake Erie Monsters" and now it is "Have you heard how much fun the Monsters games are?"

I'm sure there are many out there that still question who we are and what we are about.  To those of you in that category I challenge you. Call me personally, any time, and I'll bring you out to a game.  You will not be disappointed.  I am a die hard, lifelong, Cleveland Cavaliers, Browns and Indians fan, but as I've mentioned there is something very special, something very different about coming to a Monsters game.  Five years ago I couldn't have cared less about hockey and I had no interest in going to a game.  But once you see this sport in person, and you feel the emotion and energy of the Monsters brand, you will wonder why you haven't been coming to these games since the beginning.

 For me the last five years have meant so much more than wins and losses, sports, and far more than all the accolades and accomplishments that we have achieved.  It has been about the journey.  It has been about all those countless hours that our team has spent busting our asses to move this business forward, an inch at a time.  It has been about all the times where we had to take two steps back to take one step forward.  The two hour meetings where some of us left dejected, frustrated, crying, and wondering how we could possibly accomplish the goals we were tasked with.  It has been about building a culture that makes this one of the most enjoyable and rewarding places to work anywhere in the world. A group of people that truly believe in each other, and believe in the vision of our organization.

We've made a lot of mistakes along the way.  I've certainly made my fair share personally. But there is not a single thing that I regret or would take back if I had the chance.  Success can't happen without first experiencing failure.

I will never be able to put into words how much this organization has meant to me personally. How much the people on my team have impacted my personal and professional life.  When you wake up in the morning you can only hope that you are driven to give everything you have for the people you work for.  I have been fortunate enough to feel that way every single day since April 1st of 2007.  No matter where my path ahead leads no one can ever take away from us what we have been able to accomplish. The tattoo I have represents all of this. It represents the journey we have all gone through together, our history and our future.  An ambigram that reads Cleveland one way and Monsters the other.  A perfect blend of the two things that have meant so much to me in my life.

To My Monsters Family - The memories, relationships, the battles, and our live first, ask questions later way of life will always be our bond.  The Clevelander, the staff trips, milestone achievements, underdog mentality, our passion, and our obsession with building our brand are why that once you are a Monster, you will always be a Monster. 
We will never except anything other than becoming a success in this city.  If you bet against us, you will lose.  Every doubter, every article that says we won't make it only fuels our fire.  So please, go ahead.  Tell us hockey won't make it in Cleveland.  I dare you.

- jab

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our middle son Cameron has become obsessed with hockey this year. We told him next year we would call Uncle Nate's brother and talk to him about going to a big hockey game. He has already asked about it several times!
Heather & Mike F.