TEAM SPIRIT: Keeping in touch with his roots

By ALEX BELD - Daily News

Sept. 1, 2017

Jed Justman poses for a photo near Carl M. Kuss Memorial Field on Wednesday afternoon in West Bend. Justman works for the Milwaukee Bucks and plays for the amateur baseball team, the West Bend 7 UP.
John Ehlke/Daily News

From a young age Jed Justman was drawn into sports and he grew up playing the “big three” — baseball, basketball and football.

The 35-year-old still plays baseball with the West Bend 7 UP and has for more than a decade. It’s a competitive outlet for him.

“We have a group of talented ballplayers, many with the same goal to be the best we can possibly be,” Justman said. “Like many of my teammates, we also have a love for the game of baseball, and it's an honor to play for my hometown of West Bend.”

His career in sales also gives him that same outlet and for most of his career it’s been baseball related.

The Kettle Moraine Lutheran graduate and former West Bend resident started working for the Milwaukee Brewers as a telephone sales representative in 2004 and by 2013 he was the team’s director of corporate marketing.

Justman said he found himself on this path, “Once I realized I wasn't nearly good enough to play sports for a living.” He said he was, however, still intrigued by the idea of working in professional sports in some way.

Sales appears to be a good fit for him and more recently he’s taken a chance to work with the Milwaukee Bucks selling premium suites, lofts and club spaces before the team’s new arena has even opened.

“When I was approached about this incredible opportunity to launch a new department for an exciting team on the rise, not to mention a new arena on the way, I couldn't pass it up,” Justman said.

Working at the Bucks, it’s part of his team’s mission to be the best entertainment company “in the world” and provide the best experience he can for fans.

“Because of my competitive nature, sales turned out to be a natural fit of which I quickly grew a passion for,” Justman said. “I wasn't necessarily seeking a sales position out of college, but I was fortunate to meet some great mentors and sports professionals that noticed a potential strength I wasn't aware of at the time.”

As he reaches the end of his 13th year in the industry and the beginning of his third year with the Bucks, he finds himself with a team of sales people, heading a new department in the organization.

“I’m grateful the Bucks saw the potential in me to lead a team, despite me not previously having managed a team in a professional setting,” Justman said. “I welcomed the challenge and have enjoyed the journey over the past two-plus years.” For now he’s sticking with the Bucks, who have a lot to celebrate right now with starin- the making Giannis Antetokounmpo playing well and a new arena on the way.

Justman, however, remains humble in his role and said, “I don’t think I’m any further along than the next person.”

He said he is just a proponent of doing what you love and loving what you did and is thankful for his family, mentors and co-workers.

When it comes to 7 UP baseball, Justman said he’ll keep on playing the game he loves most as long as his body allows.