Bob Kendrick

Bob Kendrick, Director of Marketing
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Negro League Baseball MuseumBob Kendrick serves as Director of Marketing and Assistant to the Executive Director for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City, Missouri. A position he has held since 1998. The NLBM is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on America’s social advancement.

In his role at the NLBM, Kendrick oversees marketing, special events, public, media and community relations activities for the 501 c3, not-for-profit organization. He is also responsible for managing the Museum’s fundraising strategies and initiatives.

Kendrick began his association with the NLBM during his 10-year newspaper career with The Kansas City Star. As senior copywriter for the newspaper’s Promotions department, he won or was part of a creative team that won numerous local and regional advertising and marketing awards. He developed the advertising concept and campaign that helped attract more 10,000 people (in less than 30 days) to see the debut of the Museum’s traveling exhibit in the summer of 1993. The success of that promotion led to an appointment to the museum’s Board of Directors in the fall of ‘93.

In his nearly five years on the Museum’s board, Kendrick served as Secretary/Treasurer and chaired the Membership and Event Planning committees. He was co-chairman of the Museum’s grand-opening gala celebration that attracted more than 1,700 people to Bartle Hall in November of 1997. The event raised more than $300,000 in support of the NLBM. He stepped off the board in May 1998 to become the organization’s first Director of Marketing and Development.

Since joining the museum’s staff, Kendrick has been responsible for the creation of several signature museum educational programs and events including the creation of the Legacy Awards, which annually recognize the best Major League baseball players, managers and executives with awards in the name and spirit of Negro League legends such as Satchel Paige, “Cool Papa” Bell and Josh Gibson.

Kendrick has committed himself to community service. In 1995, he joined the Public Affairs department at Kaiser Permanente where he managed the HMO’s community relations efforts in the Kansas City area. A long-time supporter of Heart of America United Way, Kendrick brought that commitment to Kaiser and helped improve employee and physician contributions by nearly 300 percent.

He is still active in the community, serving as a volunteer basketball coach and mentoring underprivileged Kansas City youths. Kendrick also spends a great deal of time in Kansas City classrooms giving motivational talks to area students and sharing the illustrious history of Negro Leagues Baseball with nearly a 100 social and civic groups annually.

Kendrick has been honored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Black Achievers Society for his community service. In 2006, the Greater Kansas City Black Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Mary Lona Diversity Award and was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Omicron Xi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

A native of Crawfordville, Ga., Kendrick received a basketball scholarship to attend Park College (Parkville, Mo.) in 1980. He graduated from the liberal arts college in 1985 having earned a B.A. degree in Broadcast Communications and Journalism.

Professional Accomplishments

Fundraising: Secured more than $5 million in support for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum through corporate sponsorships and grants.

  • Developed and sold $1 million naming rights sponsorship to Coors Brewing Company for the Coors Field of Legends at the NLBM.
  • Secured $300,000 grant from Bank of America in support of a three-year national Black College tour of a Negro Leagues traveling exhibition. Developed the concept, proposal and negotiated terms of the deal.
  • Developed the “Thanks a Million, Buck” campaign to generate awareness and cultivate individual support for the building of the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center. The campaign, to date, has raised nearly $2 million.
  • Created the NLBM Legacy Awards in 2000. The annual national Baseball Awards event honors the best Major League baseball players, managers and executives with awards named for Negro League legends. Since its inception, the Legacy Awards have generated more than $2 million in revenue in support of the NLBM.

Educational Initiatives: Developed and generated funding for all core NLBM educational and community outreach programs.

  • Reading around the Bases: Literacy program for students K-5
  • Project Retrace: Student art program for students middle school to high school
  • Driven to Succeed: Creative writing program for middle school students
  • Crisis Management:
    Developed strategy and managed NLBM media/communications plan for death of NLBM Chairman John “Buck” O’Neil.
  • Serves as museum’s spokesman

SPECIAL EVENTS: Plans, coordinates, executes and secures funding for various NLBM special events including:

  • The Buck O’Neil Golf Classic
  • Buck O’Neil Negro Leagues Baseball Classic
  • Annual Buck O’Neil Birthday Bash