He is one of the most admired, respected and well liked gentleman the world of Canadian sports media/public relations/marketing/promotions has ever known. And regardless of the enormous responsibilities he’s had throughout his career, Dick Bradbeer has made the time to volunteer his services to the likes of the Conn Smythe Dinner Committee, the Mississauga Sports Dinner Committee and Sports Media Canada right from the inception of our Awards Luncheon in 1996.
We salute Dick Bradbeer with Sports Media Canada’s 2010 President’s Award. Introduced in 2009, the SMC President’s Award was initially bestowed upon Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Executive Vice President and COO Tom Anselmi for Exemplary Leadership and to TSN through its President Phil King in recognition of that all-sports network’s 25 exciting years.
The SMC President’s Award recognizes and honours events and/or individuals not directly involved in sports journalism but making a significant impact on Canadian sport.
Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario on July 20, 1933, Bradbeer joined Carling Breweries in 1952, as a junior accounting clerk in Waterloo. Three years later, he moved to that company’s head office in Toronto as statistician. In 1962, Labatt Ontario Breweries made one of their best-ever hires by luring Bradbeer as marketing statistician.
Provincially, nationally and internationally, Bradbeer served Labatt in a wide array of roles, including Director in the Marketing, National Promotions, Media Relations and Public Relations portfolios. In 1987-88, he even moved to London, England to help in the launch of Labatt beer in the United Kingdom.
Bradbeer took early retirement from Labatt in 1988 and operated Dick Bradbeer & Associates from 1988 through 2009. Throughout his career, Bradbeer became a friend, confidante and supporter of Canadian sports journalists at numerous Grey Cup Championships, CPGA tournaments, Canadian curling championships and Toronto Blue Jays endeavours – among them as the Labatt representative at Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida and traveling with the Blue Jays in their cross-Canada promotional caravan for 12 years.
He loves to golf but the main love of his life is the First Lady of the Bradbeer household, Maureen, whom he married on October 1, 1960. The Bradbeers have two children, Linda and Dave, and two grandchildren, Will and Jake.
“First and foremost, Dick is just a terrific, classy person,” said Sports Media Canada member John Iaboni. “But I will also always most remember Dick for how instrumental he was in the birth of The Toronto Sun.
“It was 1971 and The Toronto Telegram was about to fold when Doug Creighton, Don Hunt and Peter Worthington put forth this idea to launch a tabloid. As one can imagine, we had no funds, no home, no meeting places, but Dick Bradbeer allowed the 62 Day Oners – George Gross and me included – to meet at the Labatt Breweries facility near Toronto Airport.
“Over some Labatt brew and Dick’s hospitality, a paper was born. As I recall, we had more than one function there after that. So for all that he’s done in sports journalism, Dick went above and beyond in sticking his neck out to allow a dream called The Toronto Sun with a bunch of nervous dreamers take those primary, significant first steps. He remained a trusted friend to The Sun in the ensuing years, always in the background and modestly deflecting his role in the genesis of that paper. All Sun staffers even to this day owe Dick a huge debt of gratitude.”
Thank you Dick for all that you’ve provided sports journalists across our country. We are so honoured that you continue your association, support and assistance to Sports Media Canada. Congratulations on your deserving 2010 Sports Media Canada President’s Award.