No 1 Fan: Hannack elected head of Jennings' fan club
SPRING VALLEY -- It's amazing what a little free time can do for a person.
Travis Hannack was listening to sports talk radio one day this summer and heard Green Bay Packer wide receiver Greg Jennings on the air.
Jennings was telling the host he was looking for a president for his fan club and encouraged those interested to submit an entry on his Web site.
So the lifelong Packer fan had some free time and submitted his letter. His was chosen as the one.
"I didn't believe it until I looked at his website (www.gj85.com) and saw a picture of me next to his," Hannack said. "I had no idea they would choose me."
Said Stacy Jenson, president of Elite Sports Marketing and Public Relations, the agency representing Jennings: "We felt Travis' letter was the most direct and honest we received. It showed his admiration for Greg, his NFL statistics and the accomplishments he had at Western Michigan.
"He was also able to relate to the position of wide receiver since he played it at high school and college."
Hannack, the son of Jack and Bonnie Hannack, grew up in Spring Valley. After attending Normandale Community Collge in Bloomington, Minn., he spent some time in the Twin Cities, but came back to Spring Valley four years ago and bought Bill's Bar.
"...(It is) our town's sports pub where the locals congregate on Sundays to watch Greg and our Green Bay Packers," Hannack wrote in his entry letter. "The building itself is 100-years-old and is the oldest operating building in town."
He later added: "No. 85 jerseys would fly off the shelves if I'm given the opportunity to promote GJ."
Jenson said the idea for a fan club originated from Jennings himself, who is in his third year with the Packers.
"He wanted to get to know his fans and vice versa," said Jenson, who estimated 300 fans have signed up to become fan club members in less than 90 days.
To become a fan club member, cost is $50 per person for a lifetime membership. The membership includes: a membership card, a fan club T-shirt, an autographed Jennings football card and an e-mail every month during the football season from Jennings.
The cost will go toward the Greg Jennings Foundation, a non-profit Christian-based organization dedicated to underprivileged children and families.
As Jenson explained, Jennings grew up as the son of a pastor in Kalamazoo, Mich. After his NFL career is over, Jennings wants to take over the church once his father retires.
"He's the most humbled guy that I've done business with in the last 15 years," Jenson said. "I've never met a person like him in 15 years that is more worried about the community than Greg."
As part of getting to know his fans, Jenson said Jennings will be making appearances around the State of Wisconsin when the season is over. Jennings is scheduled for an appearance at Bill's Bar along with Stout Ale House in Menomonie. The date and time are yet to be announced.
And Hannack will be at that appearance and nearly every other appearance.
"One of the things he told me was don't make any big plans next summer because we're going to be spending a lot of time together," Hannack said.
Hannack met Jennings for the first time after Sunday's game versus the Atlanta Falcons, in which the first annual Greg Jennings Fan Club member tailgate party was held at The Bar in Green Bay. After the game, Greg and wife Nicole stopped by The Bar and met the fans. Travis then had dinner with Jennings afterward.
"I don't think I'll get too nervous about meeting him," he said last week. "I hope they win so he can enjoy himself."
Hannack, 33, is the uncle of four, and has a godson. Besides scheduled appearances during the off-season, his responsibilities for the fan club include writing a weekly letter for the website and helping coordinate future tailgate parties.
Of all the appearances, Hannack said the one he is most looking forward to is a celebrity golf tournament in Milwaukee in June, for which he is already invited.