Keeping the Herd in your sights

Posted on Oct 30, 2018 :: Editor , Editor’s Insights
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

While many people only begin to pay attention to basketball in March, true devotees know the action starts in November. I played basketball myself, coached my daughter’s team and enjoy watching all iterations of the sport, whether it’s the fourth-graders who sometimes forget they must dribble if they have the ball to college and pro players, who also sometimes take a few extra steps without dribbling.

When the Wisconsin Herd — a minor league team for the Milwaukee Bucks — arrived in Oshkosh about a year ago, I was excited for the chance to see pro players closer to home. I was not the only one interested, since the Herd was among the league’s leaders in attendance with 12 sold-out games and a season attendance total of 69,240 fans.

Steve Brandes, president of the Herd, focuses on the team’s accomplishments on the floor as well as at the box office. He says support from Oshkosh and surrounding communities is a vital part of the team’s success, as is making the game fun for everyone who attends. Games, giveaways and other fun activities keep the crowd engaged, even if they’re not big fans of the game.

To read more about the Herd’s successful first year and where the team plans to go from here, turn to page 22 to read SharonVerbeten’s cover story. You will learn what the team and its new arena has meant to Oshkosh’s economic development.

Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, a mall was defined by its anchors, whether it was JCPenney, Kohl’s or Marshall Fields (I’m dating myself there). Changing consumer habits and the recession put many retailers in a tough financial position, leading to store closures and outright bankruptcies. That has left malls in a hard place as their once-solid anchors are no longer so reliable. Turn to page 30 to read Alysha Schertz’s Insight Insider feature on how malls in the New North are looking to fill their now-vacant anchor spots.

You may have noticed something extra with your Insight this month — Insight on Technology. It’s our new quarterly publication focused on IT-related issues here in the New North. You can also visit to read more tech-related stories. As always, your feedback is appreciated. 

coming up

Workforce Housing & Development Conference
It’s no secret employers throughout the region struggle to find the workforce they need. In some communities, there is a surprising reason: not enough affordable, high-quality workforce housing. This new conference on Nov. 7 at the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay will feature speakers and presentations on best practices, resources, emerging trends and overall housing concerns as they apply to workforce housing and community development. Go to to learn more about the conference or to register.

Annual New North Summit
The annual New North Summit will be held Dec. 6 at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Appleton. The event brings together business, education and community leaders from around the region and state to connect and network with contacts, share economic development updates and learn more about what is happening in the region. Visit to learn more or to register.

An extra dose of Insight

Listen to Steve Brandes, president of the Wisconsin Herd, talk about the Oshkosh team’s success in drawing fans to its games and how the new Menominee Nation Arena is serving as an economic development catalyst for the city.

Brandes’ interview is just one of many you will find online at