MLB All-Star Game Provides Opportunity for U.S. Veterans

The MLB All-Star Game weekend in Kansas City was not only highlighted by plenty of heroics on the field. The heroics extended off the field as well, as MLB International and MLB Network came together to hire four U.S. Army reservists via the SVG Veterans in Production program to work as utilities on the event.

“We were honored to partner with the Veterans in Production initiative at the 83rd MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City this month,” says Susan Stone, MLB Network, SVP of Operations and Engineering. “Whenever we take on a remote production, especially one with the scope of an All-Star Game, it’s critical to have a dedicated, competent crew. The veterans’ enthusiasm and tangential skills helped them fit in seamlessly with our crew and their efforts contributed to the success of our remote programming from Kauffman Stadium.”

The hiring efforts by MLB Network and MLB International mark the second time in a month that military veterans were involved with a national sports broadcast. During the NBA Finals 10 reservists had an opportunity to work on games as utilities. In both cases, veterans had an opportunity to work in a variety of roles during the events.

The program, established by SVG in late 2011, is designed to give those who may not have a TV background exposure to an industry that they could call home. The eventual goal is to develop a Website that can be used by both production professionals and military personnel to connect and find opportunities to come together. And the potential connections can extend beyond the production and operations areas.

“We feel the Veterans in Production initiative is an invaluable way to offer different skill training to soldiers and we hope to continue this partnership at future events and productions,” says Stone.

Erin Thede, director of Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces, works with SVG on its initiative and has helped it gain momentum in recent months. She says ex-military personnel are ideal candidates for a role in sports production.

“Out of 10 young Americans who apply to come into the Armed Forces, only three of them are actually accepted, because the standards are strict,” says. “We do screening up front; we do drug testing; we check for physical fitness; we check for legal issues, moral issues in their background to ensure that the population that we have is appropriate for the job we want them to do.”
To learn how your company can begin to benefit from hiring military personnel, please contact Erin Thede at erin.thede@usar.army.mil or 703-806-7462.