Bill Hawker's Alumni Blog

NMU Alumnus Bill HawkerMeet NMU's first alumni blogger, Bill Hawker ('95 BS) is the Manager of Corporate Sales for the Green Bay Packers. He was profiled in the Winter 2007 issue of Northern Horizons, the NMU Alumni Association magazine.

Oct. 23, 2008

"So, what do you actually do at the Packers?"  That seems to be a question I get quite a bit from people.  The easiest way I can answer is "A lot of things...we wear a lot of hats at the Packers!"

My job title is Manager of Corporate Sales.  I manage the group that is tasked with generating as much revenue from sponsorship and advertising partnerships as possible.  Everything from signage at Lambeau Field to gameday giveaways at the gate to television commercials during our preseason games to retail promotions with Johnsonville using Packers logos and tickets to help entice our fans to buy bratwurst from Johnsonville (I have gotten good at promoting our partners wherever I can.)  Working with our partners to help them create more brand awareness or sell more product is a really fun part of my job! 

I also supervise two Account Executives as part of being the department manager.  Both came to the Packers as full-time employees after doing internships with the team prior to graduating from college.  So...don't take an internship for granted...you never know what opportunities will come about!  What I enjoy most about my job is helping our AE's achieve their own personal sales goals each season.  I love when we can celebrate our success off the field!

Our sales group is part of the Marketing Department at the Packers.  As a group we are rather small compared to other NFL teams.  When I say we wear a lot of hats I am not kidding!  On game day you will see me in the visitors tunnel wearing a headset communicating with the PA announcer to send out the visiting team when they are announced.  I also visit our clients before the game at their tailgates and during the game in their seats or in one of our department suites.  We also run a lot of events as a marketing group during the season that we all help out with in the evenings or on weekends.

Another cool part of the job is the entertaining we do with our clients.  I do have the opportunity to go to the away games with the team.  We usually take 2-3 clients and their guest to an away game on the team charter.  The Packers charter a plane from Northwest Airlines every game.  There is no better way to fly - get on the plane, eat well on the plane, get off the plane on the tarmac, get on the carter buses, police escort to the team hotel and private check-in at the hotel. 

Once at the team hotel, we usually get together with our guests and take a walk around the city we are visiting and then go to dinner.  The next morning we are back on the bus with a police escort to the stadium and then down on the field for pre-game warm-ups.  I will usually send our guests to their seats 30 minutes before the game and then I head up to the press box to watch the game.  This is where another hat comes on.Not only am I watching the game but I am watching the videoboards and listening to the speakers on the field to make sure the home team is not trying to create any artificial noise or entice the home crown more than allowed by NFL rules.  If an infraction does happen I report it immediately to the NFL Observer in the press box who will then connect with the home team to tell them to stop.  After the game there is usually a TSA screening at the stadium, then onto the buses, police escort back to the airport and then fly home to Green Bay.  The flight home is so much better after a win!  Next trip for me is New Orleans for our Monday Night Showdown with the Saints.

Until next time.


Oct. 21, 2008

Well, 4-3 heading into the bye-weekend with a two game winning streak is a wonderful thing!  Time to spend a little time with my family over the long weekend.  I am actually heading to the U.P.!  I need to get my dock out of the water before the ice comes.

The past few weeks have been so busy and I have not had a chance to make an entry to my NMU blog...so I will now attempt to make a few submissions over the next few days.

MY YEARS AT NMU...

I went to NMU not knowing a single person on campus.  What I quickly learned was NMU was one big happy campus!  My first week in Halverson Hall I meet some of new friends that I would remain friends with my whole time at NMU.

Outside of the classroom there was plenty of things to do.  Early in the fall we would head to Presque Isle, Sugarloaf and Dead River Falls  Some of my best memories at NMU came at these places when the fall colors were at peak!  Other fall memories include Saturday football games in the Dome, Homecoming and the start of the hockey season at Lakeview Arena.

Thanksgiving weekend usually marked the start of the ski season at Marquette Mt.  If they still have the student pass...don't pass it up!

The winter included road trips to MTU for the home/home hockey games.  The PEIF was where I spent most of my time during the winter evenings - pick up basketball seemed to consume most of my free time.  I did spend quite a bit of time at the LRC too.  Broomball was a winter classic as well.  There were also a few snow days where classes would be canceled.

When spring would finally come around it always seemed to be 20 degrees warmer in the quad of the dorms when the sun was out...even if it was only 50 degrees! 

Over my 3 1/2 years at NMU I was able to be involved in a lot of things on campus too.  I was an intern and later worked at the PEIF, I worked as a night clerk for the housing department, I served on ASNMU for a year and joined Lambda Chi Alpha. 

NMU provided me with an excellent education, that prepared me for many of the day-to-day tasks that I deal with in my current career.  However, a lot of the things I learned outside of the classroom from NMU faculty, other students, my friends and Marquette community members in addition to things I was able to experience on and off campus really helped shape me into the person I am today.

Tomorrow a bit about life here with the Packers!


Oct. 1, 2008

Well, after a quick start to the season here at the Green Bay Packers we are now on even playing ground with our neighbors to the south the Chicago Bears.  2-2 isn't all that bad...but the injuries our team is facing sure do hurt!

I have been asked to let you know a little bit about my current position with the Packers and how I got to this point.  Let's start with my decision to go to NMU.  Other than to get as far away from home as I mentioned in my previous entry - I chose NMU because of my major.

Growing up my best friend's dad (also my high school PE teacher) was a full time scout for the Atlanta Braves.  After spending a lot of time with Coach Cann - I decided I wanted to work in sports - some way some how!  I asked Coach Cann what a young kid going to college who wants to work in sports should study.  He suggested I take a look at something in the areas of Sports Management/Recreation/PE.  So, after visiting the college job fair at my High School (Bradley-Bourbonnis, IL) I chose to apply to NMU...and I got accepted!

(Insert 3.5 years of study, fun and friendship at NMU here) - I will talk about that a little later!

To keep this entry short I will just give you the 30,000 feet view of my life post NMU and talk about it so or all of it a little later too.

December 1995 - August 1998 = Youth and Adult Sports Program Director at the Kankakee Area YMCA in Kankakee, IL

August 1998-October 1999 = Sports and Event Program Director for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago

October 1999 - May 2000 = Special Events and Promotions Manager = Chicago Bears

May 2000 - March 2006 = Corporate Sales Manager = Chicago Bears

March 2006 -Present = Manager of Corporate Sales = Green Bay Packers

Off to another meeting - more in a few days!


Sept. 22, 2008

Hello everyone in Wildcat Country!  I have been asked to share with you some of my experiences from my days at NMU and my life today.

My name is Bill Hawker and I graduated from NMU in December 1995 with a BS in Recreation and Sports Administration.  I currently am the Manager of Corporate Sales with the Green Bay Packers.  I am currently raising two little Wildcats with my wife Sara who I met at NMU in 1993.

I was asked to begin my blog entries after Labor Day and am now just getting around to it!  The start of the NFL season is a rather hectic time of the year for me.  Between work and my family there didn't seem to be any time.

So, after the loss last night to the Dallas Cowboys I have "found" a little time to write.

In August 1992 I stepped foot on the campus of NMU!  I went to NMU not knowing a person on campus.  I had grown up in a small town about an hour south of Chicago and wanted to get as far away from my parents as possible at the age of 18!  NMU and Marquette seemed far enough away!  Let me tell you how lucky I feel today that I chose NMU.  What I found in the first two weeks on campus was a very welcoming community on campus and in Marquette.

There was always something to do on campus and around town.  I will get into some of that in a later post!

In future posts I will let you know about how NMU prepared me for my current career and the jobs in my past.  I will also let you know about some of my favorite things to do on campus and around Marquette...

Until next time...