Catch Patrick Klinger on the #PirateBroadcast
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Russ Johns 0:02
Welcome to the #piratebroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings where you can expand your connections, your community. #Kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let's get this party started.
Guess what we have today we have the #piratebroadcast once more and #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. I was introduced to Patrick, through Wendy Reiner is an amazing individual that we both have in common and we were set up. I don't know a couple of weeks ago, Patrick, would you say?
Patrick Klinger 0:45
Russ Johns 0:47
All of a sudden here we are talking about a few different things. I wanted to talk about a little bit about what your career has done and where you are today. Then also some The projects that you have going on because I think we have a common goal in some of your projects, and I'm speaking specifically of Pinky swear, is it pinky swears?
Patrick Klinger 1:09
Yeah, it is.
Russ Johns 1:10
Yeah. Yeah, I think that's very important and critical topic just to review and discuss on the show today. Patrick, thank you so much for being here. All the gratitude in the world. I really appreciate your time and effort and sharing some of your gifts and your experience with with #thePiratecommunity. Now that you're a pirate, people need to know that you're a pirate and you're here. Walk us through the process and your kind of career little highlights of your career and what you're doing now today.
Patrick Klinger 1:45
Well, Russ, first of all, it's a privilege to be on the show we truly is. So thank you for the invitation.
Russ Johns 1:51
Patrick Klinger 1:53
I'm a guy from working class family in rural Minnesota, southeastern Minnesota. I was the first in my family ever to go to college, paid my own way through. I had a lot of great people looking out for me. While I was in college, I came to the Twin Cities, which is about 120 miles away from where I was going to school, had no money in my pocket. didn't know anybody but I did a couple of internships. Were hoping to get into radio and television. That was really my dream at the time. I majored in broadcasting.
I realized I didn't have the talent that that some other people did like you. I saw very quickly that my future was not in broadcasting. I had the good fortune of doing an internship with the Minnesota Twins in their marketing department. I didn't know anything about marketing. Frankly, I'd never taken a marketing class in college wasn't something that I had planned on, but I found out that I liked it. And I was relatively good at it. My career sort of went in that direction.
After my internship with the twins, I became the head of special events at the Minnesota State Fair, then seven years as head of marketing at Ticketmaster few years in the arena business, setting up the the opening of a new arena here in the Twin Cities. Back to the Minnesota Twins, where I spent 14 seasons as the vice president of marketing before before I launched my own firm about seven years ago.
Russ Johns 3:34
That's quite a journey between sports arenas and music arenas, and then back to baseball. Because that's even though they're very similar, they're all entertainment in some way, shape or form. Marketing to large audiences is is a challenging one. However, I was in Seattle, and I did a lot of I work on a technical side with the Mariners and some of the ways seeing happen and I used to work with the ackerly group and the Key Arena and all of the entertainment side of that equation as well and broadcast. It's amazing. It's like I was joking with Wendy the other day, it's like, if people knew exactly what went on in the back office, they would be surprised. You know how it all works
I mean, you make it look so great, and it is great. It's amazing to get all of these players and all of these people together and have an event like that. I used to broadcast a little baseball team down in Texas called Sugarland skeeters. These guys would come in and we'd have the announcements and everything would be going on and things that take place. It was fun. It was good entertainment. It was fun. It was placing people to go and enjoy an afternoon in the sun. It was just great activity. So fast forward now you've got your own agency. Do you specialize in sports arenas? Or you know with Ticketmaster it's I don't know if you're doing anything with music these days or not.
Patrick Klinger 5:18
you don't you primarily what I do Ross's work with companies that are corporate sponsors of sports teams and help them negotiate their partnerships with teams manage their their sponsorships. One of the things that I realized when I was on the team side is that companies were investing a huge amount of money in sports, but they really didn't always know exactly what they were doing. They didn't even know exactly why they were in sports. We were sort of cool, right?
I mean, you don't know to be a sponsor of a local professional baseball team or football team. They're very expensive business to be in. These companies were spending a lot of money, oftentimes were disappointed with their results, didn't get everything that they could be getting out of the relationship. I've gone to the other side of the table, taking the information that I've learned on the team side, I now go into the corporate side and try to help companies do sports smarter and more effectively.
Russ Johns 6:28
Is it really one of these equations where. I mean, from the sponsor side, they know they want to be there for some reason, they may not necessarily have a clear, concise goal of what the outcome needs to be. Is it just putting up a I need to buy some of the rim in order to get some exposure there, or is it? Do they have campaigns that are also associated with it? Is that something that you help them with because I think that's that's the ideal way That I've seen.
Patrick Klinger 7:05
Yeah. Can you hear me I lost you for a second.
Your brands get into sports for a variety of different reasons. Sometimes it's hospitality. They want to entertain clients at the game. Sometimes it's the CEO just happens to be a fan of the team and he wants to walk in and see his company logo on the outfield wall, or up on the scoreboard. Sometimes it's for legitimate business purposes, they want to create brand awareness. Maybe it's a company that's new to the marketplace and then want to make a splash. The best way they think they can do that is by investing with a team.
They do it for writing of different reasons, but oftentimes, they don't do it all that well. It's just incredibly expensive. Even even sponsoring a minor league team could cost a fair amount of money. My mission is to go in and say, Look, there's a better way to do this. I know the questions to ask the teams to make sure that the sponsors getting maximum value, and I help hold them accountable as well. Because with teams like a lot of businesses, they sell something and then they sort of move on to the next prospect. My job is to make sure that the teams are doing what they're supposed to be doing. Russ, my apologies. I can't hear you.
Russ Johns 8:58
Can you hear me now?
Patrick Klinger 8:59
I can. I can.
Russ Johns 9:02
I'm not sure why it's cutting out. Anyway, my apologies.
Patrick, perfect performance and getting an ROI or some of those things in traditional advertising arenas, that's the way KPIs, and how many eyeballs Can I see and how many people are in the stadium and all of these things, all of those analytics are challenging at times, right. It's one of those things that you actually have to think about how I can actually add some creativity to the mix, and make sure that I enhanced this campaign. If you got any notable campaigns that are really like this really worked out well, for this company that didn't spend all of the bank and didn't have the biggest budget and they had a great outcome. Sure.
Patrick Klinger 10:00
Yeah. one of the things I like to do, Russ with all of the sponsorships that I negotiate on behalf of clients is bring a cause to the table, or that that company happens to be passionate about. I asked the team to sponsor or get behind that costs. One of the most notable examples is with the New York Yankees, I client of mine is is the official sponsor and official sponsor of the Yankees. As we were negotiating the deal, I said, Look, this is a cause that this company feels really, really strongly about, in fact, so strongly that they've just committed a million dollars to the pinky swear foundation. I said, We'd like to introduce the pinky swear Foundation, to Yankees fans and to the east coast.
What we're asking is if we do this deal, that the Yankees have to provide some incremental support of the pinky swear Foundation and the spine Answer connection. We put together some really marvelous campaigns and fun events that included hosting one of the last games of every season. The Yankees give us three suites, party suites, fully stocked food and beverage, former players come up and visit the sweetest filled with both families who are dealing with childhood cancer and with donors and people who bought tickets to be in this week, and then all of that money that we raised goes to the Pinkie swear foundation. It provided some incremental exposure for the spine. position them really positively positioned the Yankees positively and gave really a special experience to a lot of families going through a difficult time.
Russ Johns 11:53
Patrick Klinger 11:53
Those are the kind of things that I try to do. Every time I put together a deal with with the
Russ Johns 12:01
I really applaud you for that, and helping because one of the things that I really thoroughly enjoy is the community effort, the connection that you build when you have a campaign like that. It's not necessarily just for the monetary gain, it's actually for a family that's going through a trauma. It's going to impact their lives. It's really important for us as a community, I think, to really appreciate and understand some of the things that these people are going through and what better way can we do it through some of the campaigns that we have, with the sports teams and sponsors and because the families could never get that much exposure? I mean, how would they possibly get that much exposure? Well, maybe on social media if they had a viral video or something like that, however, it's not the same kind of impact. I really applaud you for that. Let's go a little deeper into the foundation. Talk a little bit about the formation, what you're doing, and how people can help
Patrick Klinger 13:16
Well the pinky swear foundation is a really wonderful, wonderful cause with a bit of a tragic backstory. There was a young man named Mitch hypocrisy with all of 11 years old. He had terminal and bone cancer. He was in the hospital here in the Twin Cities. It was around Christmas time, and he had a roommate and another young man who also had cancer. He heard the family talking about the fact that parents telling the young man that there probably wouldn't be a lot of Christmas gifts this year, because they have been spending all the time at their son's bedside. Just didn't have one.
Mitch heard this and he was really touched by it. And he asked his dad, how much money he had in the bank. His dad said Well, I think you've got about $6,000. He said, Dad, is that my money? He said, Mitchie, of course, it's your money to do with it with everyone. He said, okay, tomorrow, I want to get it out of the bank. They got out of the hospital, they drove to the bank, withdrew all the money, went back to the hospital, Mitch took the money. He divided it up, put it into envelopes, and handed out his money to all the kids and the families on the floor who were going through a tough time.
The last envelope, had the most amount of money in it. It was for the family of the boy that was in the room next to him. He handed the money over and they sort of snuck in the room and then snuck out the family saw what had happened, opening up the envelope, saw the money, tried to chase them down the hall to say thank you and ducked into the elevator Mitch said to his dad, Steve said, Dad, that was so much fun. Let's do it again next year. Hey, Mitch to be honest with you, you're not going to be here next year. Mitch said then that I want you to promise me to make me a pinkie swear that you'll do this next year and the year after that and the year after that. They did Pinky swear in the elevator. Mitch soon passed away. The Pinkie swear Foundation was born. What we do is provide financial support and resources to families going through a difficult time in dealing with childhood cancer.
Russ Johns 15:59
Thanks for sharing that story. It's amazing what humanity can accomplish. When little things can take place. We all make a difference. We all make it matter. Regardless of what you see or hear in the news, people have the compassion and the ability to make a difference. I thank you so much, Patrick, for making a difference in so many lives and make a difference in an impact in those around you. I really appreciate that.
Patrick Klinger 16:38
Oh, you don't see. It truly is a privilege and something that motivates me every day. Getting up every day and negotiating contracts with sports teams. It can be fun, but at the end of the day, it's really about the impact that we have on others. That's what I hope my legacy is Someday it's not the best business deal I ever negotiated. It's how did I make somebody feel and frankly, I'll tell you when I was with the twins, and I was surrounded by professional athletes every day.
I don't have a lot of unique experiences. But the thing that I enjoyed the most was giving somebody a unique experience, something they never could have dreamed of, and that getting down to the field and meeting their hero or throwing out a ceremonial first pitch or the chance to sing the national anthem at a major league baseball game. Those are the memories I always carry with me from my time in baseball. It wasn't the promotions or the events, always those moments?
Russ Johns 17:49
The look on the face of an individual going out there and throwing a pitch or somebody that has been on the field for the very first time. It's a lifetime fan. You cannot capture and create that in any other way. It's an amazing adventure to watch unfold, though it's fantastic. You're working with the foundation, you've got your agency, you're doing some great work, you've got some sponsors, right now is a kind of a challenging time for sports teams. I have to anticipate that there are other creative ways that you've developed to continue helping in the community with the athletes and some of the organizations. What are your projections? What are your expectations going forward in the next six to 18 months?
Patrick Klinger 18:48
You don't see it's a great question. Sports is just re restarting. Major League Baseball starts tonight. The NHL begins next week, they're going to resume their season. I think that there's some pent up demand for sports. At the same time, we've sort of learn to live without it. I no longer am really glued to the television on Saturdays and Sundays watching baseball or football, whatever sport it might be, we've sort of learned to get along just fine without it.
I think there's great curiosity about how the fans will respond. Of course, they can't be in arena or ballparks so there can be having to watch at home. For me, personally, yeah, I've had to pivot a little bit that pivot seems to be the operative word these days. We continue to provide value to my clients, so they continue to send me checks.
Russ Johns 19:51
Patrick Klinger 19:51
That means being creative while the games aren't being played. My clients have all kept me in the game. None of them put me on the sidelines.
Russ Johns 20:04
Oh, good deal.
Patrick Klinger 20:05
I've been fortunate that way and work with some really terrific company. So hopefully we'll see sports resume and fans get back into the stand soon and life can get back to some sense of normalcy. I guess we'll see.
Russ Johns 20:25
Yeah, it's gonna be interesting to watch it unfold. For myself, I've been doing this kind of work long before the pandemic and I've always believed for the, for the small business owner the smaller individual, the shops, the blue collar workers, the plumbers, the carpenters. Some of these people have an opportunity to share their gifts in their message, and in a different way, and now we're seeing it all the newscasts. The broadcasters are doing exactly what we're doing. They're getting on a video media, this live stream, and they're sharing this information out. You could create a lot of content within a very short period of time with this. It's just to me it's watching it unfold after I've been sharing this for last five years, I've been teaching people how to do this podcast, thing, broadcasting, streaming, and all these things.
It's like, I guess I was just too early, maybe I was just too earlier. You getting the message down and tweaking it, adjusting it, I keep adjusting my sales, so to speak, to get in this direction. You have an opportunity, everybody has an opportunity to share their gifts and their message and I appreciate your being here and sharing this information with us. It blows my mind that we can reach almost anyone in the world. I've got connections all over the world, just like you'd have, I'm sure and it's just amazing how connected we are these days, and how we have to think about Okay, even though we're connected, we may not necessarily be able to connect in person. How do we go about that? For me? It's it seems like video. Are you utilizing video in your business meetings and your communications and things like that? Yet,
Patrick Klinger 22:22
Yeah, certainly like, everybody's been doing a lot of zoom meetings. It's been a while since I've had an in person meeting with him. I also do intelligence. I do a show every month. a television show about the business of sports called behind the game, where I bring in local business. Sports owners, administrators, promoters, former players, and we talk not about the X's and O's and the action on the field because you can get that you know, you ESPN anytime you want, but really how the games come together?
Russ Johns 23:04
Patrick Klinger 23:05
What it takes to put together a football game or baseball game and so I really had the opportunity to meet some fascinating people through that television program.
Russ Johns 23:19
That's fantastic. I love sharing information like this. I want to go to the before we take off today I want to just go in and there's our pal, Wendy love this. Fred cost is Good morning, Russ. Patrick, thank you so much. Wendy Hello, friends. There. My audio is off. I suspect my mic died. Thanks for the heads up. Good morning, Kathy. How are you doing today? We can hear you now. Perfect. Awesome. Doing well by doing good fantastic I love this great cause. We want to put that in the show notes. If you follow the #piratebroadcasts, we put the show notes.
I'll have this interview with Patrick up. By the end of the day we'll have the transcription, the podcast, the the show notes, and some of the links to some of these opportunities that Patrick has shared during this episode. Go there and check it out. Make sure you follow up with him. Then Wendy, good morning. Gabriel is here. He does a show in the afternoon. He does a great show. Every night he was on with Rob Bella Sara salvus yesterday and another great youtuber every time I hear and tell a story, a humble beginning, a pinky swear I cry and my family and I attended the event, Yankee Stadium, best event ever.
If you're following the podcast, you can hear this and and Wendy told me this story and I still it still touches my heart, Patrick. It's one of those things, we made it to the #piratebroadcasts Hello Russ Johns and, Patrick. Wendy, some of these people, Louis, I can hear you follow the #piratebroadcast. Before we wrap it up here I want to talk a little bit about the impact that we can make online and some of the things that we can do as individuals, going through this challenging time, your creative individual, you've been with sports team, larger organizations, having to sit down and rethink and retool some of the ideas that you've had historically and saying, Okay, how do we move forward with this, this opportunity, and even with Pinky swear Foundation, there's not a lot of events that we can participate in. There's a lot of events we can create virtual events that we can create. Anything on top of mind on you that you're able to share with us at this point in time.
Patrick Klinger 26:11
Well, you know, as it relates to Pinky swear, they they do some amazing work in there trying to do some things online Of course, because all the fundraisers for nonprofit organizations have gone by the wayside. We simply don't gather in person. So what's happened to nonprofits is really been tragic. I serve on a couple of boards in which scuffling, scuffling Pinkie swear foundation is got a initiative going on right now called get messy, and it's modeled after the ice bucket challenge and we're encouraging people out there to get messy for for Pinkie swear Foundation, help raise some money.
It's all online but again, you have to pivot you have to find ways to when time. are challenging and difficult as they are now, you find a way to adapt. I think part of what will come out of this, Russ is some tremendous creativity. The second the mother of invention, right? When you have like this, you have to get creative and you find ways to get through this. I'm really excited to see what comes on the other side of all of this. I think it's going to be pretty dynamic and special.
Russ Johns 27:30
Yeah. I think really, as a community and humanity in general, I think you're having a little empathy, understanding and appreciation for what others are going through because you don't know what people are going through. It's one of those things that you just have to say, they could be going through something terrible right now. They could have just had a tragedy in their life. Hhaving Little empathy and understanding around everybody's day to day activities I think is gonna make a tremendous effort in influencing in what our communities are doing.
That goes online. I see so much negative on online, it's just like and of course it's election year so it's, it's gonna happen. However just have a little patience understand that there's people going through a lot of stuff and if you can stay true and and focus on adding value and creating and being resilient, I think that's really going to help us out a lot. Hopefully that's something we can do. How can we help you How can we reach out to you and how can we get involved? Patrick?
Patrick Klinger 28:47
Well, you can reach out to me through through my website, anytime it's agile marketing cole.com agile marketing comm. I love to connect with people. I Really do one of the great joys in my life is having the connections that I do, meeting new people being able to learn their story and learn from them. I would absolutely love to hear from anybody. Whether it's we talk business or we talk something else, just making those connections is something that really nourishes me.
Russ Johns 29:27
Yeah, You have any connection requests in your inbox at LinkedIn. So yeah, I'd love to stay connected with you and follow up. I've always liked to stay connected with people that are thinking about big thoughts and big ideas and marketing and advertising in the creative space. It's always good to be able to follow people in and see what they're doing and and support them in any way we can. I think it's important for us to support each other.
Sports is very competitive. However, I think there's a lot of collaboration that goes along with it to make it all come together all at once. There's that given take that tension that always exists in between, though it's a creative space. It's like, okay, hats off to you, Patrick, you nailed it. It's like, okay, setting the example setting the trend and doing something amazing. is always good to watch. It's always good to see people succeed. So love to connect and follow up with you at some point in the future.
Patrick Klinger 30:33
Absolutely. I'd like that very much, Russ.
Russ Johns 30:35
Yeah. Well, thank you so much, everyone for joining us on the #piratebroadcast as always, like, subscribe, share, make comments. I love the opportunity to bring #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings to the table and sharing their voice their gifts and what they're doing in the community and also expanding the pirate community because #kindnessiscool. #smilesarefree. We want you to #enjoytheday. So Patrick, thank you so much for being here. I look forward to our next opportunity to have a challenger or a conversation and receive on this side.
Patrick Klinger 31:17
Yes, thank you so much, Russ.
Russ Johns 31:21
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