CRAIG BROWN - iHeart Media Bio, May 2021
Craig Brown is the Owner & President of the Greenville Drive baseball team, the South Carolina based Single-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
Born with both a love of sports and a love of numbers, Craig was drawn to baseball at an early age. Although an impressive Little League pitcher, Craig dreamed of being a sports commentator, but his love of numbers drew him toward accounting and finance.After spending over 20 years as a key executive in the globalization of the advertising industry, most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Bcom3 Group, then the fourth largest advertising agency in the world, Craig went back to his first love—opting for a second act with nine innings.
It was the combination of baseball and community which drew Craig to Minor League ownership. "I went to a Portland Sea Dogs game and just fell in love with the notion of having the whole community involved. It's family-friendly entertainment and being able to do that in baseball was something that really interested me." In 2007, just two years after the Drive’s opening season, Greenville Business magazine named Craig the city's Most Influential Person. It was a testament to the all the work he and the Drive staff were doing throughout Greenville and a sign that the Drive had truly become part of the fabric of the Community.
The Drive play at Fluor Field—a mini-replica of Fenway Park down to its own Green Monster. Craig is proud the ballpark is referred to as “Greenville’s front porch” because it is a place where community members from all walks come together to relax, enjoy concerts, attend community events and, of course, watch baseball. One of a handful of privately owned stadiums in America, Fluor Field was named Ballpark of the Year Upon its debut in 2006. The ballpark not only helped revitalize downtown’s West End area but helped spur economic growth and development throughout the Upstate region.
Over their 16 seasons Craig and the Drive have partnered with numerous organizations including Fluor Corporation, Prisma Health, Greenville County Schools and the United Way to promote community health and workforce initiatives, educational programs and more. So it makes perfect sense that in 2017 the team was awarded the John H. Johnson President's Award honoring the top Minor League team in the nation based, in part, on their “contributions to baseball in the community.” And in 2020 they were awardedtheir second Bob Freitas Award by Baseball America, due in large part to the Drive’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
Craig grew up in Michigan and attended Michigan State University where he serves on the Athletic Director’s Council. Other current community work includes serving on the Prisma Health, Greenville Chamber of Commerce and NEXT Boards of Directors.
Craig and his wife Vicki have three grown children and six grandchildren and live in Greenville, SC.