The Milwaukee Bucks Team with MWW
Fifteen hydrants ready for service at the Milwaukee Bucks’ new arena are sporting custom paint designs that feature the team’s logo, phrases and branding, including the trademarked slogan, “Fear the Deer.”
In a unique partnership, the Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) and the Bucks teamed up for the multi-colored hydrants which were installed this past summer as the new Fiserv Forum was built in downtown Milwaukee.
Chief Water Distribution Repair Worker Chad Schuster, a 17-year MWW employee, had the idea to design the hydrants with Bucks themes. On his own time, Schuster painted one the designs on a hydrant and shared a photo of it with MWW Superintendent Jennifer Gonda. She was impressed, and shared it with the Milwaukee Bucks management team.
“It’s not often that something hits your desk and you’re like, ‘We have to do this’,” said Gonda.
The result was a public/private partnership in which the Bucks will pay $30,000 for initial painting, installation and artwork maintenance of the hydrants in the arena district for four years. The hydrants remain MWW property. Schuster provided the designs which he and co-workers painted on the hydrants. MWW hydrants are repainted an average of every 10 years. Gonda said the Milwaukee Water Works coordinated with the Milwaukee Fire Department so that the painted hydrants don’t create any confusion if they are needed for fire suppression.
Gonda presented Bucks President Peter Feigin with a prototype which he kept on display in his office for a few months. “It’s a point of differentiation. It’s an unbelievable touch,” he said at a news conference in June to unveil "The Deer" hydrants. Schuster called the project “a fun thing that wasn’t expected to go this far,” and he thanked his family for their support while he worked in his free time to paint the first prototype.
“A big thank you to everyone for your terrific work on today’s great event and the overall initiative. It’s much appreciated and great for the city," said Barry Baum, Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President of Communications.
"We're hoping the buzz around this will continue," said Gonda, who said the utility would consider similar hydrant projects in other areas of Milwaukee. “The hydrants highlight our contribution to fire suppression and our role protecting the water asset. And, it’s fun to see employees and families celebrating this.”
In the photo
(L-R) Milwaukee Water Works employees Charles Robinson, Kim Patterson, Fabian Rodriguez, Superintendent Jennifer Gonda, Water Distribution Manager Dave Goldapp, and Hydrant Artist Chad Schuster. (Photo courtesy of Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2018)