Title: Team President
Steve Brandes was appointed Team President for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee Bucks NBA G League Team, in 2017.
Brandes presides over all business verticals and day-to-day operations of the Herd. Under his leadership the Wisconsin Herd has been awarded NBA G League Franchise of the Year (2022-23), NBA G League President’s Choice Award (2021-22), NBA G League Promotion of the Year (2018-19 & 2022-23) and NBA G League Social Responsibility of the Year (2017-18). Brandes was the first ever NBA G League Team President to be awarded the NBA G League Executive of the Year Award two times (2017-18 & 2021-22).
He previously spent 14 seasons with the front office of the Idaho Stampede NBA Development League team in which he spent 10 of those seasons as President & General Manager. Brandes began with the Stampede as an Account Executive and moved up the ranks serving as Director of Sales & Game Operations and Assistant General Manager. Through his time at the Stampede, Brandes helped the team with successful transitions to a new arena and a new league (CBA to NBA Development League). He was instrumental in the success of the 2006 CBA All-Star Classic, as well as the 2008 and 2010 NBA Development League Showcase. Brandes helped facilitate the team’s hybrid affiliations with the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz while serving as the main liaison with both NBA parent clubs. In 2015, the Stampede were purchased by the Utah Jazz and Brandes was retained as President to run Larry H. Miller’s enterprise in Idaho. In 2016, Utah relocated the Stampede to Salt Lake City in which he played a vital role with the group for a successful relocation.
Brandes has been recognized as an Accomplished Under 40 honoree by the Idaho Business Review in June 2015 for his efforts in the community. He helped run the Idaho Stampede Community Foundation which was awarded the 2014 Most Outstanding Foundation Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). He also served on the Epilepsy Foundation of Idaho (EFI) Board and the Idaho Non-Profit Center’s board. Currently, Brandes sits on the board for the Oshkosh Boys & Girls Club and the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to joining the NBA G League, Brandes enjoyed a diverse background ranging from traveling to Russia as a student ambassador to working as a professional archaeologist for two years. Brandes obtained a liberal arts degree from the College of Wooster. He then attended Game Face, Inc.’s Executive Academy, a leading international sports sales training and placement firm in Portland, Oregon where he trained with a variety of sports properties.