BLOG - Breakers Unlaced: Behind the Scenes

With only two home games left for the Boston Breakers, I thought I’d use this week to take a look at what goes on behind the scenes for game day. Playing at home means lots of preparation for the Breakers office in Hanover, Mass. From printing tickets to planning halftime, the Breakers’ front office is busy for days leading up to the game. The Breakers front office is made up of a passionate group of experienced employers who all come together to make game day run smoothly.

By: Katie Ponce  I  July 29, 2015

With only two home games left for the Boston Breakers, I thought I’d use this week to take a look at what goes on behind the scenes for game day. Playing at home means lots of preparation for the Breakers office in Hanover, Mass. From printing tickets to planning halftime, the Breakers’ front office is busy for days leading up to the game. The Breakers front office is made up of a passionate group of experienced employers who all come together to make game day run smoothly.

“The biggest thing on game day is teamwork. To-do lists are created with jobs allocated so that nothing is forgotten. Everyone needs to be on the same page,” said Assistant General Manager Elise McLear.

Now working for the Breakers for three years, Elise is experienced with the stress that comes with game-day preparation. Her leadership role has taught her the importance of teamwork, and it is felt throughout the entire office. Every asset is utilized in making a difference on game day from top to bottom. Summer intern, Jen Esposito, explained that she definitely notices the difference between the weeks of an away game versus when the Breakers play at home.

“As an intern, a lot of the little things people don’t think about fall on us,” Esposito said. “It’s important to pay attention to detail so nothing gets left behind. This ensures things run smoothly on game day for both the players and fans.”

This attention to detail becomes a priority when the Breakers host a game. In order to give fans the full Breakers’ experience, the front office shifts gears in preparation for the weekend ahead.

“In the office, attention differs. Away weeks call attention to checking on season ticket holders, and maintaining our relationship with fans. When we are home, there are several factors to consider,” explained Sales Director Edele Branigan. “We need to talk to the field staff to prepare them for how many fans to expect. We spend time printing tickets and preparing ticket packages for fans and every other aspect that goes into a fan’s experience. From the minute a fan walks to into Soldiers Field Stadium, we want to ensure they enjoy their experience. From the game to halftime to meeting the players, there is a lot that goes into making up the entire experience.”

With a sold-out game approaching, Edele and her team have turned it up a notch to make this weekend exciting for everyone. As another leader in the front office, Edele also stressed the importance of teamwork on game day.

“It is very much a team effort,” she said. “Even when your job is done, from staff to interns, everyone needs to pitch in and stay aware until the night is over.”

Even with great preparation, there is work to be done until the night is over. Marketing and Design Director Seve Hirst acknowledged that some things have to be done last minute.

“A lot of my work behind the scenes gets done early, with preparing all images and design work for home and away games. However, some things are unavoidable,” he said. “[Operations Director, Laura Doran] and I have developed a system, but for a long time I would make two or three images trying to guess the starting lineup. Sometimes this information isn’t confirmed till the morning of game day.”

The stress and hard work is worth it though as the final two home games approach. Aug. 1 vs. Seattle Reign FC is a sold-out game, while the final home game on Aug. 8 vs. the Washington Spirit is running out of tickets quickly. Along with the games themselves, fans can also look forward to the entertainment the Breakers’ staff has planned.

This Saturday, Soccer Grl Probs, will be hosting a free clinic before the game. The clinic, which quickly filled up, is expected to have 100 kids ranging from ages 8-18 years old. Fans will get to not only meet the girls, but also get free training from the former Fairfield University women’s soccer players.

This Saturday, will also serve as a tribute game to former Boston Breakers player Cat Whitehill. During her time with Boston, Whitehill, 32, played three seasons. She played the most minutes on the team last year (2,101), starting all 24 games, while registering one assist. A two-year captain, Whitehill debuted with the Breakers in 2012, playing in WPSL Elite. Whitehill also played with the U.S. Women’s National Team, where she won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.

Looking forward, the Breakers are also excited to bring fans Bubble Ball soccer during their halftime show on Aug. 8. Tickets for this game are still on sale, so to witness the excitement make sure you hurry before they run out. If you can’t make game day, follow all of the action at home by following the Breakers’ YouTube channel or learn more from our Facebook, Intagram, or Twitter.

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