The St. Louis Cardinals have taken over daily operations of the Memphis Redbirds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) after closing on a purchase of the team, with Craig Unger named as new GM of the team.
Global Spectrum had been managing the team and AutoZone Park on behalf of the Memphis Redbirds Foundation, the nonprofit selling both entities last month.
“Craig played a key role in our acquisition of the Memphis Redbirds which made him a natural fit for the position,” said Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III. “He brings a lot to the table with his experience in sales, marketing and management. We’re very happy for both Craig and his family as they embark on this exciting opportunity.”
Unger, an Account Executive in Corporate Sales and Marketing department who has spent the last few months in Memphis assisting with the ownership transition, will permanently relocate to the community as he takes over the daily management of the Redbirds.
“I’m very excited to join the Memphis Redbirds and be part of this great community,” Unger said. “This is a special moment in our team’s history, with the best days ahead of us. I look forward to working with our devoted staff, city leaders and our loyal fans to ensure we continue to improve the fan experience and develop a model family-friendly franchise that will be the envy of minor league baseball.”
Unger, who joined the Cardinals in 2008, played an essential role in returning the team’s radio broadcasts to KMOX (1120 AM), served as the field producer for the 2009 All-Star Game at Busch Stadium, coordinated the 2011 World Series Victory Parade and secured last year’s long-term partnership with St. Louis-based Mercy as the Official Medical Provider of the St. Louis Cardinals.
To assist Unger in managing the ownership transition, Ben Weiss, the Redbirds’ General Manager since 2009, has been named Senior Advisor to the club. Weiss will assist Unger in daily management and ensure that the team continues to build on the foundation laid by Global Spectrum, the management group credited with stabilizing the financial condition of the club and enhancing the fan experience at AutoZone Park.
“Global Spectrum helped turn the Redbirds franchise around,” said John Mozeliak, Sr. VP & General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. “We’re fortunate to have such solid footing and our goal is to simply build on that success.”
“We are particularly proud of what we have been able to accomplish here in Memphis,” said Global Spectrum President John Page. “We feel we are leaving the Redbirds in a better place than when we arrived in 2009. We’re excited to see the St. Louis Cardinals, a team rich in tradition, will continue to bring their winning legacy and spirit to the City of Memphis. We know the team is in good hands. We would like to thank the Redbirds Foundation, AutoZone, the City of Memphis, John Pontius, the Fundamental Advisors and our Global Spectrum staff.”
RELATED STORIES: It’s official: Cards close on purchase of Redbirds; AutoZone Park sale clear final hurdle; Memphis approves purchase of AutoZone Park; Decision on AutoZone Park purchase delayed by Memphis; Memphis offers $20 million for AutoZone Park; city, Cards to pay $20M for upgrades; Cardinals to buy Redbirds, city to buy AutoZone Park; Redbirds still on market entering 2013; Status quo reigns in Memphis; Talk of AutoZone Park sale premature: Pontius; Memphis looking at buying AutoZone Park; Weiss, Global Spectrum take full reins of Memphis Redbirds tonight
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