Name: Adam Berge
Site: Houston N.A.B.A.
Position: Founder, president, webmaster
Background: Berge grew up just a few miles south of the Minnesota border in the small town (population 1,983) of Northwood, Iowa. Despite living a slapshot from the State of Hockey, baseball has always been Berge’s sport of choice, and he played in high school, at North Iowa Community College in Mason City and for Iowa State’s club team for two years. Berge was attending Iowa State and looking for internship opportunities when a position on the Houston Astros’ grounds crew came open. While the job didn’t fit Berge’s sports management focus, he was looking to latch on with a pro sports franchise and took it anyway. “I went down there and worked on the grounds crew for four months,” Berge said. “I had never really done anything like that before.” After graduation, Berge took a full-time position on the Astros’ grounds crew with the hope of someday landing a job in the Astros’ front office. Instead, he took a lead sports turf position at Rice University in Houston. Berge eventually returned to the Astros as a sales representative. He’s spent the last five years as a sales representative in the pharmaceutical industry.
What he does: See that hard-throwing righthander in the upper left of the Houston N.A.B.A. site’s background? Yep, that’s Berge about to uncork a pitch (most likely a strike). When you are the founder, owner, president and webmaster of a baseball league (not to mention one of its better players), you are allowed certain privileges. “I figured if I run the league, I might as well put my picture up there,” Berge said. After playing in adult leagues around the Houston area and noting ways to improve the experience, Berge decided to start his own league. His experience running the club team at Iowa State gave him the confidence to create Houston N.A.B.A. (National Adult Baseball Association). “I enjoyed doing it,” Berge said about his days leading the Cyclones’ club team. “I liked being in control of it; the person who grows things.” Berge started Houston N.A.B.A. three years ago with four teams. He has 12 teams in his spring league this year, with the long-range plan of capping the league at 30 teams. “That’s all I want,” he said. “I want to get to the point where I can say no to some teams and some players. If you are unorganized, this isn’t the league for you.” Berge makes great use of the Call to Action page element on the home page, showcasing links to the Free Agent Sign Up, Player Liability Waiver Form and Open Tryout information. Berge uses League to track schedules, standings and statistics. Widgets on the home page show the 2017 North and Central League standings (league play starts March 19). Berge uses Squad Locker as his apparel store, and he has pages set up for league and team gear.
Making his mark: Berge created a Free Agent Sign Up section that gives prospective players the ability to fill out an entry form before attending open tryouts. The page also gives details about the league and the caliber of players who are in it (approximately 50-percent of the league’s players have played in college).
Tag(s): Webmaster of the Week