Dan Reiter joined the staff of the Springfield Cardinals in 2004, and once upon a time, he was a wildcat for the team.
“Yes, my business card said ‘wildcat,’” Reiter says. “(It) was based on the wildcat formation in football, where my job wasn’t to be the star or the point person, but instead to use my talents to help other people become more successful.”
Based solely on name, Reiter says his official job title was manager of corporate partnerships/wildcat – his favorite – a role he fulfilled in 2009–10. Through the years, he has completed numerous tasks, including serving as on-field emcee, mascot, and featured speaker on behalf of the organization at community events and on radio shows.
In 2010, Reiter launched the Springfield Cardinals’ Jersey Nights to benefit local charities. He worked with a national company to create six unique jerseys players wore only for one game. Fans had the chance to bid on the jerseys or purchase them at a buy-it now price, and winners hit the field to meet the players and get the jerseys signed. In the past three years, 17 jerseys have been created and sold through the program.
At the end of 2010, Reiter was named director of sales and marketing.
“My first initiative … was to combine my love of helping the community with my desire to bring more fans to Cardinals games,” Reiter says.
He has since created a new charity awareness program and a Base Hit education program, revamped donations and speaker requests, added educational field trip days, and, most recently, a World Series Trophy contest for schools.
“The Cardinals have drawn more than 3 million fans in seven years, and I feel I have reached them all through the ways we market to them,” he says.
A particularly memorable experience for Reiter was a phone call from former AA-Springfield Cardinals manager Ron “Pop” Warner after Warner was promoted to manage the AAA-Memphis team in late 2011. Reiter says Warner thanked him for his help.
“The two of us had worked together on developing Kids Clinics and had created a great partnership to increase both his and the Cardinals’ names in the community,” Reiter says.
He is president of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Leadership Board. Reiter also served as the live auctioneer/master of ceremonies for the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball in 2011 and again this year.Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.