The San Diego Padres and Viasat expanded their partnership and officially opened the Viasat Military Hall of Honor on April 24. The exhibit that celebrates and honors active military and veterans will be open throughout the 2022 season.
The Padres, regarded as Major League Baseball’s “Team of the Military,” partnered with Viasat to design an area that pays tribute to former Padres and other league players who served, along with all veterans and those currently serving.
The Military Hall of Honor is an interactive space that allows fans to see information on each honoree through two touchscreen televisions. Fans can also use a dedicated recording booth to record and send personalized messages to active-duty military members and military bases.
San Diego Padres CEO Erik Greupner said Viasat was a natural choice to collaborate with on the Hall of Honor.
“When we initially came up with the idea of how to envision this place, one of the partners that immediately came to mind was Viasat,” he said during the dedication. “We reached out and got a quick, immediate, strong ‘yes.’”
Greupner praised Viasat as a “great partner that works for and with the military.”
Viasat has partnered with the Padres in other military support efforts, including the Padres’ Hiring our Heroes program. It connects veterans and military spouses with recruiters and hiring managers from local and national companies.
“This space embodies an opportunity to celebrate and honor the rich legacy between major league baseball and the military,” Greupner said. “We recognize that we wouldn’t be here today celebrating the great sport of baseball if we didn’t have men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Viasat’s President of Government Systems Craig Miller also spoke during the unveiling, praising the Padres for recognizing military service members and veterans.
“This Hall of Honor will give fans a greater appreciation for baseball’s historic relationship with our nation’s military,” he said. “Hundreds of Major League players served in WWI and WWII, including Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, and San Diego native Ted Williams.”
In World War II alone, over 500 major league and more than 2,000 minor league baseball players served in the armed forces; at least 150 minor league players lost their lives while serving their country.
Miller said Viasat knows the dedication of military veterans firsthand.
“We are fortunate to understand that directly because we experience it every day with our colleagues,” he said. “Veterans are incredibly motivated, smart, and passionate people. They make us a better, smarter organization and are immensely important to our culture of innovating and solving difficult problems.
“Supporting every U.S. military service is something we’re really proud of, and the experiences and expertise of our veteran employees has undoubtedly helped make us a leading partner for the Department of Defense.”
Like the Padres, Viasat’s relationship with the military is a part of the company’s culture and identity. In addition to creating and providing defense technology, it supports the armed forces through several programs, including its Veterans Transition Workshops. About 12% of Viasat’s US workforce are veterans.
In 1995, the Padres were the first professional sports team to have a Military Affairs department, and since have been recognized as ‘The Team of the Military’ throughout professional sports.
The Padres host a “Sunday Salute” during all Sunday home games to recognize different branches of the military and military history throughout the season. Veterans and their families receive 25% off all tickets for Sunday games.
For more information about the Padres dedicated support of the military community, please visit here.