COLTON - Brad Ford acknowledged that he had never touched a lacrosse stick until reaching his mid 20s in 1995.
Now, the Colton native is the new chief operating officer for Major League Lacrosses Rochester Rattlers.
Mr. Ford, 42, was hired by the organization last week and has had various work experiences both in the field and out of it.
The 1989 Colton-Pierrepont Central School graduate attended St. John Fisher College in Rochester, where he studied communications/journalism.
In 1992 I took an internship with the Rochester Americans, an American Hockey League team. It was kind of a dual role where we did work there and also in Buffalo with the Sabres. In 1993, I was hired by the Americans. At the time they were the farm team for the Sabres, Mr. Ford said.
Mr. Ford spent nearly seven years as the director of Ticket Operations for the Americans and also the Rochester KnightHawks lacrosse team.
During his tenure with the Americans, the team won the 1996 Calder Cup Championship and during his time with the KnightHawks, the team won the 1997 MILL World Championship.
In both seasons, Mr. Ford led their ticket departments to record game attendance, group ticket sales, and season ticket membership.
Following this success, Mr. Ford spent nearly a decade as the director of Marketing for the Anheuser Busch family of brands in the Rochester region, before returning to the sports industry with the Rattlers.
For me, I had spent a number of years outside the sports industry. It was very exciting going back into the industry I enjoyed and had so much experience with. It was breath of fresh air for me, Mr. Ford said. As much as I enjoyed being in the 9-5 working world, I was glad to go back into a unique industry like the sports industry.
Mr. Fords duties with the Rattlers will include overseeing the day to day and game day operations, marketing, and the ticket sales department, among other tasks. For me, my number one goal is to bring renewed interest into the team. I have personal goals and success too and those cant be achieved unless we do this, he said. We want to bring in fans and bring in bucks, put fans in the seats. Sponsors will grow from there and fans will grow from there. I believe that my own personal attributes will add to that.
Mr. Ford lives in Fairport with his wife, Ashley, son Lucas, and daughter, Madison.
While lacrosse may not have been the most popular sport when he was growing up, the COO has certainly noticed a growth in interest with the game. This is something that he is hoping to continue to do within his new post.
I never touched a lacrosse stick until joining the Rochester KnightHawks in 1995. In more recent years, with my son Lucas, he is very involved with the lacrosse team. For me, my love of lacrosse has grown exponentially over the past handful of years, Mr. Ford said. Lacrosse has grown in our region and there have been so many youth organizations in recent years. It may not be globally spread, but certainly the MLL is the best of the best. In the last 10 years, the game itself has grown and our biggest goal is that every single lacrosse fan in Northern and Western New York can experience the game. The goal for me is to continue the growth of the game of lacrosse.