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Bucks' run presents valuable marketing opportunity for Milwaukee

Posted: 6:38 AM, May 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-17 12:10:47Z
Milwaukee gets ready for the Bucks postseason

The Milwaukee Bucks will host Toronto on Friday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Evan Zeppos, a principal and senior public affairs adviser for Michael Best Strategies, said the Bucks-Raptors matchup is of interest to basketball fans around the world.

Of course, the Raptors are from Canada.

But Milwaukee boasts the best International player in the NBA: Greek-born Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Zeppos added the NBA, in general, also boasts a solid, overseas fan base.

"The NBA is really strong internationally," he said.

"So this is a huge opportunity for not only Milwaukee but the whole region to shine in front of an international audience," Zeppos said.

He said visiting media in town to cover the Bucks in the conference finals will have the opportunity to experience Milwaukee and communicate what they experienced with their respective audiences.

Zeppos said he hopes some of the visiting broadcast and newspaper reporters manage to get out to different parts of Milwaukee.

"It's good any time you can show that you're more than your downtown area, and that you're a community of neighborhoods," he said. "We've got some great neighborhoods that are really exploding."

"Plus, we have a lakefront that runs for miles and miles and miles," Zeppos added.

Visit Milwaukee said the Bucks' run through the playoffs has already been beneficial to businesses across the city.

"We estimate that each home game the Bucks play throughout the playoffs brings in about $3 million in economic impact," said Lindsey McKee, a communications manager with Visit Milwaukee. "That's a total figure for businesses in the area from hotels to transportation to food and beverage."

She said while most fans in Toronto and around the world will watch the playoff games at Fiserv Forum on TV, rather than in person, the high-profile series provides a great opportunity for exposure.

"It's good any time you can show that you're more than your downtown area, and that you're a community of neighborhoods. We've got some great neighborhoods that are really exploding." — Evan Zeppos, principal and senior public affairs adviser for Michael Best Strategies

"It's just a way of letting people know we are here," McKee said. "They're going to see those games, see some of the shots of Milwaukee, and say, 'You know, that's a really great city. I need to look into that.' "

McKee said Milwaukee's playoff run isn't the only high-profile exposure the Brew City should expect over the next year or so.

Milwaukee was earlier this year chosen to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

McKee said workers at Visit Milwaukee are already working on ways to make sure some of the 50,000 visitors expected in the area for the convention return in the following years.

"We want to make sure people, of course, come during convention week but also come back down the road," she said.

Zeppos said, like the NBA, the DNC will draw a global audience, although it will be one made up primarily of people who follow current events and public affairs, rather than just sports.

He said the DNC and the Eastern Conference Finals provide Milwaukee with an opportunity to show the world some of the growth, development and excitement happening in southeast Wisconsin.

"Certainly there's an opportunity for Milwaukee to get past beer and brats, and to be known for something else," Zeppos said.