The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers welcomed chairman Rob Dickman in December, an entrepreneur who purchased the baseball organization through his entity Third Base Ventures. With a love of sports and knowhow in business development, Dickman hopes to help the Rattlers weather COVID-19’s challenges to Minor League Baseball.
“And with COVID, shutting our season down for an entire year, we needed to figure out a way to make the organization work financially. Craig stepped in and wanted me to be a part of the ownership group,” says Rob Zerjav, Timber Rattlers president.
Dickman is currently the managing director of Titletown Tech, a company specializing in developing and funding innovative startups in industries from supply chain technology to sports, media, and entertainment. In addition to being the CEO for two other successful Green Bay-based companies, Dickman served on the board of directors for the Rattlers and worked closely with Zerjav during that time.
“So it seemed to be a very natural connection with Rob and I being connected, having similar interests and a deep passion for the Timber Rattlers and a desire to continue to have this be an important part of the community,” Dickman says.
After a canceled 2020 season, Dickman plans to apply his business development acumen to a strong 2021 return to the field.
“Will 2021 be different than any other year that’s happened? Probably. Do we know exactly what’s going to happen? Probably not,” Dickman says. “Our entire focus is going to be trying to welcome fans back to the stadium in a safe way that they can enjoy being together in the outdoors with a sense of community.”
In May, Dickman says the Rattlers plan to start the 2021 season seating fans at a 25% capacity, and then they’ll hopefully scale up from there.
“We’ve already been through the worst and we’re able to succeed,” Zerjav says. “We feel really good with the direction we’re going in 2021. But I’m sure there’ll be challenges along the way, but we feel very good about being able to meet those challenges.”
To Dickman, a great 2021 season starts with effective teamwork.
“You build that team, you find people who are smart, who are passionate, driven, who are interested in working collaboratively and creatively,” Dickman says, “and you create the environment for which they can all stretch and grow.”
Despite the pandemic’s inevitable degree of uncertainty, Dickman says the Rattlers will be just fine if they keep their core philosophies in mind.
“As long as we remain focused on making sure given a great opportunity for people to come back to the ballpark and enjoy the great outdoors with a sense of community,” Dickman says. “We’ll figure it out.”
The Timber Rattlers are set to kick the season off on May 4 in a face-off against the Beloit Snappers.