Chairman and Principal Owner
The 2021 season is the 17th for Mark Attanasio as chairman and principal owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Last season, Attanasio oversaw the organization as it navigated the unprecedented 2020 year, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a shortened 60-game schedule, and without fans attending in-person.
In the end, the Brewers remained focused on playing top-quality baseball in adverse conditions and achieved their third consecutive postseason appearance, a first in franchise history.
Over the course of Attanasio's leadership, the Brewers have been one of the National League's most competitive teams, tying for the league's fourth-highest winning percentage (1262-1229, .507). In addition, over the past four years, the Brewers have been one of the most successful clubs in all of Major League Baseball. Milwaukee is one of just six teams that have qualified for the postseason in each of the last three years, while only two National League teams have accumulated more wins during that span.
Attanasio has embraced the growing partnership with American Family Insurance as it continues in 2021 with the Club's ballpark now named American Family Field. This follows the re-naming of its Spring Training facility in 2019 to American Family Fields of Phoenix as part of its transformation into a state-of-the-art training and development facility. Over the past 17 years, the Brewers have invested significant resources to enhance the fan experience at American Family Field, consistently rated as one of the best venues in baseball.
Attanasio has also worked to maintain continuity among the organization's leadership by securing long-term contracts with President of Baseball Operations David Stearns, President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger and Craig Counsell, who is now the longest-tenured manager in the National League.
Attanasio remains focused on his longstanding objective to establish the organization as a champion both on and off the field. He continues to work diligently to uphold the four cornerstone pledges he made to the Brewers and to the community when the Club was purchased 16 years ago:
1. FIELDING A PERENNIALLY COMPETITIVE TEAM
Attanasio has worked closely with David Stearns, Craig Counsell and the rest of the baseball operations staff to build a sustainable inflow of young talent that supplements the team's veteran players to field a perennially competitive roster.
In March of 2020, the Club announced the signing of outfielder Christian Yelich to a nine-year contract through the 2028 season with a mutual option for 2029. The long-term contract exemplifies Attanasio's commitment to be a highly competitive franchise and a place that players want to call home.
The organization continued to be well-represented throughout the league's end-of-season awards in 2020 with Devin Williams earning National League Rookie of the Year and National League Reliever of the Year.
The 2020 roster featured prominent contributions by several players drafted or signed and developed in the team's farm system, including infielders Keston Hiura and Orlando Arcia, and pitchers Williams, Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Brent Suter and Drew Rasmussen. In addition, this winter the Club signed Gold Glove winners Kolten Wong and Jackie Bradley Jr.
2. DELIVERING THE BEST FAN EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE, WHETHER AT AMERICAN FAMILY FIELD, THROUGH BROADCASTS OR OVER THE INTERNET
Attanasio greatly values the unwavering support and enthusiasm of Brewers fans, especially as the Club was restricted in its ability to host fans in 2020. The Club is committed to ensuring the safety of the in-person experience by collaborating with local health departments, outside experts the Club relies upon, as well as the best information provided to MLB by its experts. The Club is equally concerned for fans, the dedicated workers who help stage home games, the players and coaches, as well as our security professionals. This fluid situation is being re-evaluated on a daily basis, including by Attanasio.
Through all of this, Attanasio has pledged to provide fans with the best experience possible. That commitment has included funding enhancements on numerous fronts of the fan experience at American Family Field over the years with work continuing through the 2020 season and subsequent winter to prepare for the return of fans. When fans return to the ballpark, they will notice new branding around the stadium consistent with the re-branding efforts announced in 2019. Notably, new LED lights and the creation of a brand-new bar and viewing deck - Miller Lite Landing - located in the left-center field Loge Level bleachers. Also prominent is new branding related to the new name of American Family Field.
3. REMAINING A LEADER IN THE COMMUNITY
As part of its community participation in response to the impact of COVID-19, the Brewers were involved in many relief efforts. Brewers Community Foundation (BCF), the charitable arm of the organization, joined a group of local philanthropic partners to support the COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund at United Way of Milwaukee and Waukesha County, and the MKE Responds Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The local coalition was created to help alleviate the profound impact the pandemic had on local communities.
In conjunction with Wahlburgers restaurant, Hy-Vee, Inc. and Crescent Capital, the Brewers and the Milwaukee Professional Fire Fighters Local 215 delivered 1,000 meals to frontline healthcare workers at four different Milwaukee-area hospitals. American Family Field was also opened to host on-site, drive-thru COVID-19 testing during and after the season. Further, various Brewers players created videos, PSAs and social posts to support mask-up messages throughout the season.
In addition, Attanasio led support for the many team initiatives related to social justice that became part of the organization's key focus in 2020. Most recently, the Brewers affiliated with the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Microsoft to form the Equity League, an effort to raise venture capital and make meaningful investments through grants to minority-owned startups.
Throughout Attanasio's tenure with the Brewers, he has remained personally dedicated and involved with BCF.
Over the past decade, BCF has provided more than 2,000 grants totaling in excess of $19 million to nonprofit organizations across Wisconsin that support programs focused on its four areas of concentration: health, education, recreation and basic needs. In addition to the fans' support of the Foundation, all uniformed players, their families, team executives and front office staff contributed their time and/or financial resources to BCF in 2020.
4. BEING AN ORGANIZATION WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO WORK, WHETHER ON THE FIELD OR BEHIND THE SCENES
Attanasio has continued to deliver on his commitment to make the Brewers one of the best places to work, not only in Greater Milwaukee, but in all of sports. Throughout his 16 years as principal owner, the organization has grown as a desirable destination for some of Major League Baseball's top players, front office personnel and business executives.
Knowing that many employees faced incredible challenges in 2020, Attanasio and the Brewers established the Ballpark Employee Emergency Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to game day workers who lost wages due to the pandemic. Bob Uecker, as well as players Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, Corey Knebel, Josh Lindblom, Brent Suter and Christian Yelich, contributed to the $1 million fund.
The Club also launched Listen. Learn. Act. - an internal program to evaluate and educate on the complex issues of social injustice and systemic racism. The ongoing learning opportunity for employees has allowed for continued meaningful conversations that will translate into meaningful action.
Under Attanasio's leadership, the organization has created a corporate culture focused on best practices and achieving excellence across all areas and departments. This includes providing the Club's employees with training, personal and career development, as well as opportunities to participate in the Brewers' outreach efforts in the Milwaukee community.
BEYOND THE BREWERS
Attanasio has been an accomplished investment management executive for more than 30 years. In addition to his role as chairman and principal owner of the Brewers, he is a managing partner of Crescent Capital Group, Inc., an employee-owned Los Angeles-based asset management firm which he co-founded in 1991.
Attanasio holds positions on several not-for-profit boards, including the board of trustees of Heal the Bay, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Harvard-Westlake School. He is also a member of Major League Baseball's Executive Council and Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee, and is chairman of its Investment Committee. Additionally, he is a member of LA2028, the bid committee that successfully secured the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Attanasio is also an investor in the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.
Attanasio received his A.B. from Brown University and his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law. He and his wife, Debbie, have two sons, Dan and Mike, and two grandchildren.