S E AT
leading the premium seat industry spring 2010
Published by the Association of Luxury Suite Directors
The Transformation of a
$10 Billion Marketplace:
Buyers, Sellers and Suppliers
• The 20th Anniversary Show
• Big Changes To Come in F&B?
• The Re-Invention of MSG
• Salary Survey 2010
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The Evolution of Intelligent Design
CONTENTS SpriNg 2010
Published by the Association of Luxury Suite Directors
8 NEW ALSD MEMBERS
10 EDitoR’S NotE
Why the current emphasis on sustainability (environmental and economic) is
working for the venue development industry. PPL Park brings a European flair to the North American soccer
community. See page 18.
BY JARED FRANK
12 iNDUStRY AND ASSoCiAtioN NEWS
I&A News includes the ALSD 2010 SALARY SURVEY.
16 MEMBER HiGHLiGHt
Meet MiCHAEL SMitH of the Philadelphia Union and visit his new home, PPL
Park, for the first time.
56 CoMiNG AttRACtioNS
The first look at stories being researched for the Summer 2010 issue of SEAT. See
how you can participate.
22 FooD AND BEVERAGE 2.0
Declining occupancy rates trickle down to declining per caps. Is it time for F&B
companies and teams to work together for the sake of creating a new version of the
BY BiLL DoRSEY
27 ALSD CoNFERENCE AND tRADESHoW PREViEW Some new premium models include lower price points and all-inclusive
F&B, such as Club Cambria in Pittsburgh. See page 22.
You only turn 20 once, so the ALSD’s 20 Anniversary Conference has a few
new tricks up its sleeve. Find out what’s new at this year’s show and discover the
events, sessions, panelists and speakers that will leave their stamp on
New York City.
38 HoW to MARKEt YoUR VENUE iN tHE 21St CENtURY
To market its upcoming $500 million transformation and new premium seating
options, Madison Square Garden has begun the most interactive marketing
campaign the industry has ever seen.
BY AMANDA VERHoFF
44 SEAt-it CoNFERENCE AND tRADESHoW PREViEW
The one-of-a-kind conference for top technology executives in sports and
entertainment returns for its fourth installment. Review this year’s conference
agenda, and you will see what the buzz is about.
46 oWNiNG tHE CUStoMER EXPERiENCE
The Orlando Magic are using customer service standards, that earn the highest
customer satisfaction ratings in the industry, to move its fans into the new Amway
BY JARED FRANK
About the Cover: Madison Square Garden suites are slotted for a half-
billion dollar renovation, a reflection of the evolution of the premium New customer service standards are key to the Orlando Magic filling the
seating industry. Join the ALSD in New York City for its annual conference seats in the new Amway Center. See page 46.
to learn about the industry’s new way of doing business.
S E A T 7
New ALSD Members
ASSOCiATiON OF LUxUrY SUiTE
Chairman of the Board Bill Dorsey
Executive Director Amanda (Kuntz) Verhoff
President Jennifer Ark, Green Bay Packers
VP, Business Development Pat McCaffrey
Shaunna Richardson Joe Carvalhido Collin Wallace
Director, Sponsor and Partnership Development Dene Shiels
Chicago White Sox Tiger Athletic Foundation (LSU) FanGo Software Systems
Manager of Guest Relations & Director of Operations and VP of Development Director of Finance Dan Lindeman
Diamond Suite Operations Services 1176 Appian Crossing Way Financial Account Manager Vickie Henke
U.S. Cellular Field PO Box 711 Suite 124 Director of Information Technology Sean Kellner
333 W. 35th Street Baton Rouge, LA 70821 Lexington, KY 40517 Editor of SEAT, Website Director Jared Frank
Chicago, IL 60616 P: 225-578-0246 P: 859-608-4521 National Sales Manager Scott Hinzman
P: 312-674-5101 F: 225-578-0184 firstname.lastname@example.org Design Carole Winters Art + Design
Rob Boaz Michael Shea FanGo Software Systems ExECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Chris Bigelow, Bigelow Companies
Chicago White Sox DWA Uniforms, Inc. Manager and Vice President of
Brian Bucciarelli, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts
Manager of Premium Seating 802 Canonie, Suite B Communications Greg Hanrahan, United Center
Sales and Services Porter, IN 46304 1176 Appian Crossing Way tom Kaucic, Southern Wine & Spirits
U.S. Cellular Field P: 900-343-0003 Suite 124 Pat McCaffrey, ALSD
333 W. 35th Street F: 865-398-9872 Lexington, KY 40517 Jamie Norman, Dallas Stars
Chicago, IL 60616 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Kim Reckley, Detroit Red Wings & Olympia Entertainment
Karen Sisco Linda Whitteaker-Hanson
email@example.com BOARD OF DIRECTORS
DWA Uniforms, Inc. Innovative Marketing Consultants Pam Benoist, St. Louis Rams
Brett Zalaski 802 Canonie, Suite B 4284 Shoreline Drive Janie Boles, Auburn University
Washington Freedom Porter, IN 46304 Spring Park, MN 55384 Natalie Burbank, Utah Jazz / Salt Lake Bees
Director, Ticket Sales P: 952-252-1254 trent Dutry, US Airways Center
18031 Central Park Circle firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Granger, National Basketball Association
Marks of Distinctions Patti Kimbrough, University of Arkansas
Germantown, MD 20841
4263 Commercial Way Adam tschida Gerald Kissel, Ball State University
Glenview, IL 60025 Innovative Marketing Consultants Phil MacDougall, Sacramento Kings/ARCO Arena
P: 847-299-8800 4284 Shoreline Drive Debbie Massa, ROI Consulting
email@example.com Spring Park, MN 55384 Mike ondrejko, Madison Square Garden
com Richard Searls, New York Red Bulls
todd Schneiderman Shane Erickson tom Sheridan, Chicago White Sox
Marks of Distinctions Innovative Marketing Consultants Michael Smith, Philadelphia Union
4263 Commercial Way 4284 Shoreline Drive Peter titlebaum, University of Dayton
305 Spagnoli Road
Glenview, IL 60025 Spring Park, MN 55384 Brian Varnadoe, Houston Texans
Melville, NY 11747 Jon Vingas, Centerplate
P: 631-249-9600 David Schneiderman Jeff Lundquist Bob White, Calgary Flames
firstname.lastname@example.org Marks of Distinctions Innovative Marketing Consultants
4263 Commercial Way 4284 Shoreline Drive SEAT IT Board
Glenview, IL 60025 Spring Park, MN 55384 Christine Stoffel, S5 Enterprises / SEAT Consortium
Graphic Image Chris Wood, APS
305 Spagnoli Road thomas Patterson Matthew Bown
Melville, NY 11747 Jacksonville Jaguars Orleans Arena ALSD 2010 Conference Committee
Senior Sales Manager, Season & Director of Corporate Relations Richard Dobransky, DNC Sportservice
Premium Seating 4500 W. Tropicana Chris Gallagher, New York Yankees
Graphic Image Pat Jones, New York Mets
One Stadium Place Las Vegas, NV 89113
305 Spagnoli Road Jon Muscalo, Legends Hospitality
Jacksonville, FL 32202 P: 702-691-5107
Melville, NY 11747 Richard Searls, New York Red Bulls
P: 904-633-6317 F: 702-284-7778 Rob Sullivan, New York Jets
Jason Racette F: 904-633-6338 email@example.com Anne Wheat, New Meadowlands Stadium Company
Portland Trail Blazers firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate Sales Manager SEAT IT Division Steering Committee
One Center Court, Suite 200 Christine Stoffel, Committee Chairman
Portland, OR 97227 Chris Wood, Committee Co-Chairman
Sales & Service Executive, Suites
P: 503-963-3989 Chris Dill, Portland Trail Blazers
& Premium Seating Sasha Puric, Toronto Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
One Stadium Place Mike Morris, Major League Baseball
Nate Brown Jacksonville, FL 32202 Lorraine Spadaro, TD Banknorth Garden
Portland Trail Blazers P: 904-633-5275 Wayne Wichlacz, Green Bay Packers
Premium Sales Manager email@example.com Casey Bookout, University of Oklahoma
One Center Court, Suite 200 Jim Darrow, Illitch Holdings, Inc.
tod Caflisch, New Orleans Hornets
Portland, OR 97227
Brett Michalak, Tickets.com
P: 503-963-3971 John Pollard, IdentityMine
firstname.lastname@example.org John Gallant, IDG Enterprise
Published by Venue Pub. Inc. Copyright 2010. (All rights reserved).
SEAT is a registered trademark of the Association of Luxury Suite
Directors. SEAT is published quarterly and is complimentary
to all members of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors.
10017 McKelvey Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231 • 513 674 0555 •
8 S E A T
Seating and tables for the sports and entertainment market.
loewensteininc.com | 800.327.2548 | a division of OFS Brands
SuStaining the SportS Facility Marketplace
the vernacular of today is slowly evolving to include words and phrases like cap and trade,
carbon footprint and leeD. What comes even slower is the understanding of these words and
phrases. and what comes even more slowly is the delivery of green messages that do not
sound dictatorial or exclusive to just a few groups of people.
By Jared Frank
he conversation surrounding green to the idea, but now because eco-design
initiatives is one filled with common and building principles and procedures are
sense and stewardship or rhetoric and more refined and less arcane to architects
agendas depending on the perspective. and construction managers, upfront costs
While campaigning for the merits of either are competitive with similar plans simply
side of the debate is futile and frustrating, built to standard code. Again, if we factor
we can champion the middle ground by in both the operational cost savings and
embracing a simple buzzword that ap- additional money generated over the long
peals to both sides - Sustainability. term, environmental responsibility and fi-
One thing we can all agree on, espe- nancial returns juxtapose.
cially in the current economic state, is that
saving money is good. Obviously, we are Moving ForWarD
still focused on generating new revenues, Leadership in Energy and Environmental
but there is an increasing acceptance of Design (LEED) is not perfect. It is currently
cost savings as a viable part of the mix. a blanket rating system that does not take
Sustainability provides a unique variable into account regional environmental differ-
which enables us to focus on both costs ences. But you have to start somewhere.
and revenues at the same time. This flex- And many municipalities incentivize LEED
ibility is very powerful for our community. construction with tax credits and exemp-
So simply stated, sustainability is a vein to a healthier bottom line tions, which sweetens the deal for owners, so we all have a stake
and necessary to preserve our financial models that depend great- in this ongoing movement.
ly on the continued profits produced by our venues. Sustainable building concepts are still in their infancy, but
certainly are crescendoing towards the status quo. Nationals Park,
the caSe For SuStainaBility home of the Washington Nationals, became the first LEED Silver
A little over 20 years ago, the era of new stadium construction ush- Certified professional sports stadium in 2008. Following suit, the
ered in a new economic landscape, spurring urban development two newest buildings in the industry due to open shortly, Target
as well as sports business revenues. Today, new venues, such Field and New Meadowlands Stadium, both have incorporated
as the New Meadowlands Stadium, come with a $1.6 billion price green design elements.
tag. Venues must be scalable to maximize return on investment The Minnesota Twins have taken things one step further by
and must be sustainable in order to ensure profits well beyond 20 partnering with Pentair, a Minneapolis-based water solutions com-
years. pany, and by establishing the first-ever eco-sponsorship in profes-
Not all new builds are primarily financed through public funds sional sports. Pentair’s Rain Water Recycle System (RWRS) will
any longer due to economic and/or political reasons. In those mar- reduce Target Field’s municipal water needs by 50% by catching
kets where owners are footing a larger portion of the bill, making and reusing rain water. And saving water means saving money.
their investment last is essential. And for those facilities still tap- While we should never view these savings as a means to mon-
ping into public coffers, taxpayers will know their contribution has etize environmental ethics, saving, whether it be water or money,
gone to an effort that nourishes the entire community and not only means sustaining future revenues for the sports facility market-
sustains the sports facility, but the urban development surrounding place. #
the facility. It is almost a sense of charity or source of civic pride What sustainable building or operational practices is your team
in the least. currently employing?
Clearly, this issue is not top of the mind just for the environ-
Write to me at email@example.com and follow me on Twitter
mentally conscious anymore. We have all seen “Avatar” by now.
It has taken time for technology and understanding to catch up
10 S E A T
While your team is winning the game, Agilysys helps you win the crowd.
Wants a beer but doesn’t want to miss the action.
Use mobile POS to pre-order and bust the queue.
Halftime starting in four minutes and stadium network has just crashed.
Still serve three times as many customers off-line with easy-to-use POS.
Pre-ordered four vegetarian plates for luxury suite.
Automatically adjust catering inventory.
Agilysys solutions provide you with total control of your retail and food & beverage operations—so you can
simplify management and improve revenue stadium-wide. Provide faster, more accurate service in luxury suites
and club sections with mobile POS devices. Speed up concession lines and increase sales volumes with easy-to-use
POS terminals. Maintain accurate inventory of every concession, bar, restaurant, caterer and fan shop—in real time—
during your events. And improve planning with in-depth analytics and superior reporting capabilities. It’s everything
you need to simplify operations and boost your bottom line—only from Agilysys. Find out what Agilysys can do for you.
Call 1-877-374-4783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org | www.agilysys.com
Agilysys solutions include:
Industry and Association News
plaStic BaSeBall capS are green?
not the batting helmet albert pujols is wearing in the batter’s box,
but the cap the beer man is sporting in Section 136.
By Jared Frank
id you know you can wear a plastic bottle on your head? No prices. “The nice thing about this green product is the cost. It is
really, you can. In fact, you can wear six bottles on your head near the same price, maybe four or five percent more at the very
at the same time and still look cool. That is how many plastic most,” Patterson says. Even if there is a small increase in price,
bottles it takes to produce one RPET baseball cap. RPET is thank- there are tax incentives that make up for those costs and then
fully short for Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalete, the environ- some. “One of the things that is now being considered by the big
mentally friendly molecular brother of polyester. players is taking advantage of the tax benefits of having employ-
You do not have to be a chemist to understand the RPET ees wearing a green product,” Patterson continues. “There are tax
process. It is actually very simple. It starts by taking plastic bottles incentives that are being offered for companies to go green. That
and crushing them. The crushed bottles are then shredded into could be anything from changing their light bulbs to wearing a uni-
tiny chips. Add a little heat and some pressure and voila, you have form that is green.” Some of the “big players” outside of sports and
a polyester fiber that can be turned into caps, shirts, bags, even entertainment to fully embrace RPET include McDonald’s, Disney,
jackets. Procter & Gamble and General Mills.
Apparel products have been used in a couple different ways Another incentive for teams is the possibility of working with
in the sports industry. The Atlanta Braves have done promotional sponsors. “There is an opportunity for sports teams to take their
giveaways using 50,000 vendor of choice, whether it
RPET caps made out of is a Pepsi product or a Coke
100% recycled plastic bot- product or Budweiser or Mill-
tles. Consider again that six er or Coors, and co-brand
plastic bottles are needed to an RPET product,” says
make one cap and one bot- Patterson. While this is not a
tle takes 450 years to break new idea, it is a new way to
down in a landfill. Multiply sell the corporate partner on
both those figures by 50,000 a giveaway. Sponsors, who
caps, and 300,000 plastic are also trying to deliver a
bottles are saved from land- green message and con-
fills, and 22.5 million years nect that message with their
of landfill decomposition are brand, can benefit greatly
saved from one giveaway. from being associated with
So the environmental ben-
efits of RPET products are
When you drink a bottle of water from now on, RPET apparel.
RPET has gone through
measurable. Other teams remember the next time you see it, every imaginable test to
who have done giveaways check for color, washability,
involving RPET products or you could be wearing it. crocking, twisting/turning,
are currently involved in the abrasiveness and anything
ordering process include the else that can be thought of
Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Indians, Los Ange- to ensure the fabrics do not harm people. So not only is it eco-
les Angels, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. friendly, it is safe, versatile and reliable. “RPET keeps its color
Besides promotional giveaways, some teams use RPET as amazingly well, and it can be dyed any custom color,” says Pat-
the material for all stadium staff apparel. “The idea is to be able to terson. Additionally, fulfillment timelines are essentially the same
wear a green product and also have that product perform,” says as cotton, polyester or blended products. The entire process of
Bill Patterson, Vice President of Sales at HTT, an industry leader making to delivering a cap is 6-8 weeks. Shirts and jackets come
in RPET products. “The apron the peanut vendor wears used to be with a 90 -100 day timeline.
made out of polyester and cotton. Now it can be made out of 100% When you drink a bottle of water from now on, remember the
RPET or a blend of RPET, and wear as well, if not better than the next time you see it, you could be wearing it. Plastic bottles turned
last one. And it is eco-friendly.” Some stadium staffs currently out- into caps and shirts. What will they think of next? #
fitted in RPET gear include the Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Is your team using green products?
Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers.
Share them on our Association of Luxury Suite Directors
The green benefits of minimizing landfill waste and conserv-
ing oil, a chief ingredient in polyester, are not trade outs for higher
12 S E A T
Industry and Association News
Salary Survey 2010
Despite the economy lagging, over one-third of those working in the premium seat industry
saw their salaries increase over the past year.
research by Colleen Gibson, Marketing assistant, alSD
he 2010 ALSD Salary Survey provides important information
about the current premium seating industry working conditions Job Satisfaction
and those operating in it. The categories that are covered in
the survey are Demographics, Work Experience, Job Satisfac-
tion, Economic Impact and Compensation.
Gender age race/ethnicity
Male: 50% Average: 37 White/Non-Hispanic: 90%
Women: 50% Youngest: 24 African American: 6%
Oldest: 61 Asian American: 3%
Marital Status Children education
Married: 65% 1-2 children: 44% Bachelors Degree: 66%
Single: 30% No children: 43% Masters Degree: 14%
Divorced: 5% 3-4 children: 12% Some Graduate School: 7%
Separated: 1% 5-6 children: 1% High School: 3%
Associate Degree: 2%
years in Industry % of responses
Are you curious to know how your total compensation package
years in Current Position % of responses compares to the industry average?
2-3 27.4% See Salary Survey on page 52
6+ 35.4% For complete salary survey details and write-up,
14 S E A T
ALSD Member Highlight
a conversation with Michael Smith
Manager of Suite and Premium Seating Sales, Philadelphia Union
The man in charge of selling premium seating for soccer to a sports-crazy city for the first time recounts his path
to the sports industry, shares why he jumped at the chance to work for an expansion franchise and invites
the ALSD inside PPL Park.
By ryan Mirabedini, Marketing assistant, alSD
Q: You are becoming a seasoned opportunity to be a part of something new came up, I should defi-
veteran in MLS circles having nitely take it. So it was definitely something I jumped on when the
worked for D.C. United and now opportunity came.
the Philadelphia Union. Have All of us here are learning the process. It’s two-fold. It’s an
you worked outside of sports? education about soccer the sport. Then it’s explaining the team,
And what has your path been to explaining what we’re about and what we’re looking to do. Obvi-
where you are today? ously soccer is the world’s sport, but it’s not necessarily North
A: D.C. United was the first loca- America’s sport. Getting them familiar with the sport in general
tion I was involved with in sports. and then the team is our goal. We’re trying to break down walls
I got my start in the finance back- of preconceived notions. That to me would be the hardest thing.
ground. I worked for a financial It’s not a challenge marked by expansion, but by the challenge of
servicing firm and then a mort- growing the sport.
gage brokering firm. Obviously
with the economy, that industry Q: Do you see the MLS taking that next step so it becomes the
was in a bit of a tailspin. Since Big 5 instead of just the Big 4?
the money was no longer there, I A: Absolutely. I see that happening, and I see it happening right
Michael Smith at least wanted to do something now. Business in sport is key. That’s what we need to take it to
I loved. So I went to Game Face the next level. It’s all about business and the revenue brought in
(sport management school) in Oregon to help learn the craft. It by business. When you look at the NFL, a lot of the revenue is
was a program that was a few weeks long, and then they set me brought in by businesses that spend money on the sponsorship
up with D.C. United. Obviously I came in there with a sales back- side, the premium seating side. That’s one of the things Major
ground, but I was definitely willing to throw everything out of the League Soccer has been lacking for a long, long time. If we’re
window and learn how everything works in sports and go from going to be a successful league, that’s something you have to tap
the bottom up. into.
We’ve been around since ’96. Once those kids of ‘96 are
Q:: So we spoke a little bit about your path to the Union. Would CEOs and Presidents, soccer will not be such a foreign thing,
you say you have had any kind of a “eureka” moment where you and they will be willing to spend money on the product, or they’ll
knew you had arrived on the sports business scene? be willing to have business during our games and treat their em-
A: I don’t know if it was a “eureka” moment, but maybe when I ployees to our games as opposed to other sports. We need the
first started as an inside sales rep, I knew what I wanted to do kids to get into positions of power, and it won’t be long until they
and wanted to focus on. Mike Harloff (Director of Sales at D.C. are there.
United) sent me on that path. Within the first 60 days or so, I was
able to wake up and say I moved a couple of suites, and I knew Q: Moving on to PPL Park, what is the first thing you would
that’s what I wanted to focus on. The rest was history. Once I saw say about the facility? What makes it unique? Sell the ALSD
success, I decided to stay on that path. members.
A: It’s a great facility. Just the other day Nick Sakiewicz, our CEO
Q: Has your involvement with ALSD helped you with developing said, “Oh my goodness I think we may have built too small!” I
and implementing procedures at the Union? think that’s one of the key selling points and a key to the success
A: Oh, definitely. Some of the policies here were adopted follow- of the team- to make sure the stadium is intimate. You want a
ing what is done by others in ALSD. One of the main things it’s stadium not to be cavernous like the one I came from before.
done for me personally is created relationships with other people
who I probably wouldn’t have had relationships with before, and
we’ve been able to hold conversations about ideas and practices. turn the page to keep reading Michael’s
highlight of ppl park.
Q: Obviously you are an expansion franchise in MLS. What are
some of the positive and negative aspects of that process?
A: Harloff always spoke of being a part of the league and the
team. He would tell me about when the league first started back
in ‘96, it was cool to be a part of something brand new and if an
16 S E A T
ALSD Member Venue Highlight
introducing ppl park:
the new home of the philadelphia union
With a scenic setting on the banks of the Delaware River amid a European flair and atmosphere, PPL Park is the new
quintessential North American soccer venue.
By ryan Mirabedini with Michael Smith
n the west side of London, there is a quaint soccer stadium love. Clearly, fans want to be a part of a special experience and
known as Craven Cottage. Opened in 1896 as the profes- help contribute to its outcome. As Smith sees it, there is no need
sional grounds for Fulham Football Club, it is conveniently to change a century’s worth of success. “If you are on the field as
placed on the banks of the River Thames and still holds English an opposing team, you will hear our fans loud and clear. It is defi-
Premier League (EPL) games to this day. With seats inches from nitely going to be a tough place to play.”
the field and rain cover for most of the 25,700 supporters, it is a Such a fantastic ambiance is enabled by the fact that this
classic example of viewing soccer in its purest form. stadium is soccer specific, which is now the standard in MLS.
Now transport yourself over 3,500 miles across the Atlantic Many feel that new facilities geared directly towards MLS teams
to Philadelphia, where the MLS expansion Philadelphia Union will help the league grow financially and competitively due to their
is having a venue renaissance of sorts. The club’s new facility, ability to generate greater revenues, avoid scheduling conflicts
known as PPL Park, is located right along the Delaware River and create brand loyalty. “It is cool to have the uniqueness that
and has several other similarities to the aforementioned Craven I think MLS and the new stadiums are providing, such as up in
Cottage plus the benefit of some cutting-edge seating options. New York (Red Bull Arena) and Rio Tinto (Stadium) out in Utah,”
“It seats 18,500, which I think is a great number,” says Michael says Smith. “We have uniqueness in our stadium, and each one
Smith, Manager of Suite and Premium Seating Sales. “The seats of them has something to offer.” Rio Tinto Stadium, which was
are steep, and [the stadium] is basically one level so no matter opened in 2008, and Red Bull Arena, which opened just last
where you are in the stadium, you will have a great seat.” month, provides PPL Park with some fantastic brothers in arms
Likeness to EPL stadiums for PPL Park is not limited to ca- so to speak.
pacity alone. Watch any European match and you will be sure to As an expansion franchise, the Union is attempting to cre-
hear the home supporters singing with pride about the club they ate a positive buzz in the City of Brotherly Love. By indications
club settings have a riverfront view of the Delaware just beyond the façade of ppl park.
18 S E A T
left: inside the suites at ppl park
Below: a view from one of the 30 suites in ppl park
of suite and ticket sales, they are doing just that. According to
Smith, all signs point to soon reaching a full season sell-out
at PPL Park. “We are at over 10,000 season tickets sold, and
they are full season tickets, so we are well on our way to meet-
ing a capacity number,” comments Smith. These numbers are
impressive considering the struggling economy and the satu-
rated Philadelphia marketplace.
In addition to the beautiful sightlines for regular seating, suite just yet due to the economy, but they may want a sampling.”
the premium options at PPL Park are truly fantastic, starting with For those Union fans that still want to be close to the action,
the 30 corporate suites priced at $50,000 per year that sit just but may not desire an area with a table, there is an option for
27 rows from the playing field. “I would have to say 30 is a good them as well- 150 field level seats priced at $2,000 each. “Field
number to provide maximum revenue. I can also tell you that the level seats obviously are a less expensive option that is not just
30 is expandable if needed,” Smith says. “We have room to grow married to a business or company,” says Smith. “Anybody that
on all levels including the premium areas.” wants a field level seat can obviously have one if they are willing
As an alternative to the suite option, the Union also offer to meet that price range.”
ten field side tables with seating for four priced at approximately The Union additionally offers “super club” seats with VIP club
$10,000 per year. According to Smith, this is one of their most access priced at $7,500 each. There are 28 of these seats with
attractive items. “Our biggest success is with the field side table. 14 behind each bench. “(Super club seats) are for businesses
Some of the mid-level companies here may not be able to do a that pride themselves on taking care of their employees. Some of
the items in the Super Club include a trip to an away game, lodg-
ing and access to the stadium. Food and beverage is also pro-
PPL Park at a Glance vided for these seats. So when you want to reward employees,
we do have some good programs,” says Smith.
As the quality of soccer continues to grow in Major League
Soccer, so does the clientele base and general fan fare. Some
capacity: 18,500 (soccer) major local companies have noticed the great opportunity in
26,000 (concerts) Philadelphia, such as PPL Energy, who signed onto the naming
rights of the stadium. The timing is perfect for PPL Energy with
number of Suites: 30 energy being regulated at the beginning of next year, and for the
Union, who share many of the same ideas with its new partner.
club info: 11,000 SF full-service “They have a great green initiative, and one of the cool things
club restaurant about the stadium is that it will be run completely green,” notes
Smith. “It was almost like a eureka moment when we saw some-
thing line up with exactly what we were trying to do. For us it was
all about timing and matching up with great partners.”
As new generations of soccer players enter the business
cost: approximately $120M world, we continue to speculate when the MLS will take the next
step. But by comparing PPL Park to Fulham’s Craven Cottage,
owner: Delaware county, pa it is comfortable to say that the MLS is taking it now. The Union
have successfully gone back to the roots of attending soccer
operator: city of chester matches but kept up with growing premium demands. Knowing
this, we cannot blame Michael when he proclaims, “I think it is
community: ppl park is the center going to be a tremendous place to play, and lord knows I cannot
piece of a $500M mixed-use wait.” #
Highlight your venue by posting photos on the wall of the
Association of Luxury Suite Directors’ Facebook page.
20 S E A T
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Food and Beverage 2.0
Roots and Wings
With declining occupancy rates and lower per caps, there is a feeling that “something has to give”
in a business looking for cost certainty in uncertain economic times. It appears that Big F&B may be
willing to change how it operates. But will the teams go along?
By Bill Dorsey, Chairman of the Board, Association of Luxury Suite Directors
s food and beverage on the premium levels an art or a business? Food is one of those rare things that people need every day that
Have rights fees gotten so high that everything has become too can’t be manufactured in Japan or China, even if people love Su-
much about maximizing revenue and not enough about quality shi and Moo Goo Guy Pan. But food is “Made in America,” and
in the age of the $50 six pack? Can Big F&B win a contract anymore that comes with a high price. F&B companies love the big spend-
on just the quality of the food served? Or has food and beverage ers. They love to please people, and a good chef works with food
on premium levels become commoditized by the customers, i.e., do like Michelangelo works with paint. There is the pride in “exceeding
they only order enough food and beverage not to be embarrassed? Is expectations” and if given a chance, F&B companies will bend over
everything about increasing per caps? Or squeezing out value with backwards on top of their carving stations to produce the kind of
every food order? Is F&B in suites passe anymore…nothing really experience that keep the customers coming back. That’s how many
special about the service? What are the new trends in F&B? Why of the F&B guys got started…they love food the way so many of the
are the margins getting lower? Or is this what the F&B companies people in the suite business love sports. The top chefs receive awards
merely claim and have done so for a long time? What can F&B com- the way directors win Oscars. That’s the way some of the more suc-
panies do about propping up profits? cessful caterers cut their teeth in the business…by providing quality
All good questions. Maybe not so many answers for the state the owners of the teams demanded. Time was.
of F&B in 2010. This is a roots and wings business if ever there was The business, when done right, can rise far above the madding
one: as bottom line and hard-nosed as any you will want to find, but crowd.
at once, one that aspires to soar and to serve and be proud of great When it becomes bottom line, corporate F&B on hospitality
cuisine. levels becomes well…not an art, but a science. F&B for the big com-
On the premium levels, the big F&B companies – and there panies competing for big bids becomes “all about the math.” How
are about a half-dozen left – hire great chefs and can provide almost much investment should be made? What is the market potential?
anything you ask for…at a price. A steep price. A good meal for four Does the company have other accounts in the vicinity so it can get
with a good bottle of wine or two can cost about as much as a flat an economy of scale? Is it tied to the concession contract? How long
screen TV. So, you can go out and have a great meal or order in and is the contract? Does the team owner require the F&B company to
watch your new TV. build out its own space? What kind of edge does one company have
over the other? Does all the owner care about
is how much money he or she can make on
More good questions. Everything inevi-
tably is factored into the bottom line equa-
tions: Cost of Goods Sold (CGS); New
Products; Increase in Revenue Opportuni-
ties, etc. Yes, it’s a business.
And the business is tied not just to the
concessionaire, but also the caterer on the
premium levels. It’s important for Big F&B
to understand the premium space. Such as?
How many suites and club seats? What sport?
What are the estimated per caps? How many
games are played and in what venues? Can
the F&B company rely on volunteers, or are
there so many events that a large daily staff is
needed? What are the liabilities these days for
Club Cambria at PNC Park
22 S E A T
The new Club Cambria at PNC Park in
Pittsburgh is an example of a new premium
seating option with all-inclusive pricing.
The Occupancy Question
There is a new factor in 2010 that has reared its ugly head
that is truly changing the business. And perhaps in 2010,
this factor above all is changing the game.
The dirty little secret is not so secret anymore: It’s
called Occupancy. Or some call it Utilization. Same thing. There is
an occupancy problem on the premium levels that is creating havoc What the Down Cycle Might Lead To:
on the business right now. There are no customers to eat the food 1) F&B companies pay too much for rights fees to get the
that is available. work and keep their large labor pools occupied.
Where rights fees were calculated and created for contracts that 2) The economy falters.
are sometimes several years old, most of the “math” was created with
3) Corporations, which are laying off people, cut way back
higher occupancy levels in mind. That’s because the occupancy rates
on F&B and hospitality expenditures, not just because they
in the four major sports were between 10% and 20% higher than
can’t afford it any longer, but because it is politically correct
they are now.
to do so.
No more. No-shows in club seat areas are sometimes 20%. Per
caps have dropped, and a per cap in which no one shows up is pretty 4) F&B companies, not making the money on per caps and
low unless Casper the Friendly Ghost likes beer and has a credit card. losing revenue on no-shows, try to make up for the differ-
So the math does not work anymore in many places. ence by charging more for less or by cutting quality, going to
It also does not work for many F&B companies in suites, where smaller portions, etc.
utilization curves have also dropped. When some of the big corpora- 5) Corporations, the buyers, recognize they are not getting
tions are only using their suites in some cases 60% of the time, it what they had been accustomed to paying for. They start ques-
can translate to serious lost revenue. One large customer with mul- tioning things like the restocking fees, the nightly tipping, the
tiple suites has claimed that they are using suites only 55% of the general loss of quality. They begin to complain to their teams.
time, and that it saves them millions of dollars in F&B costs. When They order less food, or they no longer show up for the game
companies don’t use suites, because the F&B cost cannot justify the so they are not billed.
usage, then the industry has a problem to solve. 6) Teams have unhappy customers. Renewals decline. Teams
In the four major leagues, with caps ranging from $40 for MLB receive less revenue, because they are no longer providing the
to $75 on average for the NFL (with $50 to $60 caps for NBA and experience that keeps their customers happy.
NHL), lost F&B revenue costs, for any given suite that is unoc-
7) Teams receive less revenue in renewals, in part because
cupied, around $650 for MLB and $1250 for the NFL. The cost of
F&B companies can’t provide the kind of corporate hospital-
F&B in the minor leagues and colleges, as a percentage of the cost of
the suite in terms of revenue, is even higher than those figures. This
is because the cost of beer can still stay high in lower priced boxes. 8) Eventually, teams will receive lower concession rights fees,
So F&B is not just an issue for the four major sports. because the premium seat asset is no longer as valuable to the
It has been calculated by the ALSD that a 10% decline in oc- team itself.
cupancy for all 30,000 suites in all four major sports leagues plus all
other sports including MLS, colleges, racing venues, minor leagues, In other words, in some way, the F&B industry is in the midst of a
etc. costs the F&B industry more than $100 million dollars (See declining spiral. Unless they change the way they do business.
chart on Total Lost Revenue on page 24). That’s a lot of hot dogs.
In an individual sport such as baseball, which has a lot of games, the
math is also ominous (See chart on MLB Lost Revenue on page 24).
Which gets quickly to the next point- something has to give.
To make up for the lost revenue, F&B companies have had to raise
prices to levels that have corporations, who buy the food, fuming.
The result: A kind of self-fulfilling down cycle.
S E A T 23
TOTAL F&B LOST REVENUE AS A RESULT OF UNSOLD SUITES & NO-SHOWS
Unsold Lost No-Show Lost Total
NFL $4,044,384 $817,864 $4,862,248 There is meaningful lost revenue for F&B
NBA $15,698,183 $11,496,610 $27,194,793 companies as a result of unsold suites and
NHL $13,881,780 $9,485,883 $23,367,663 no-shows. When you include additional events
MLB $25,587,900 $20,470,320 $46,058,220 and sports, this number grows even larger.
$59,212,247 $42,270,677 $101,482,924
MLB Regular Season Length
Teams Home Games Total Games
30 81 2430
Team Inventory: Average # of Unsold Suites/Team/Game*
Direct Suites/Venue Sold (%) Sold (#) Unsold/Game Unsold/Season Avg. Price
Suite 78 80% 62 16 38,880 $2,700
Revenue *Source: Suite Model v01 (BR); ALSD
Lost Revenue as a Result of Unsold Suites
Value of F&B Per Caps/Suite *No-Shows
Per Cap Range $/Person Avg. # of People Value/Suite No-Show %
$40-$50 $45 15 $675 20%
F&B Suite *Source: The Bigelow Companies; ALSD
Total F&B Lost Revenue as a Result of Unsold Suites & No-Shows
Unsold Lost No-Show Lost Total
$25,587,900 $20,470,320 $46,058,220
Changing the Paradigm years to not make this an issue. As long as the teams did not see a de-
That cycle appears to be what is beginning to happen in this roots cline in what customers were willing to pay (as evidenced by high re-
and wings business. Interviews with multiple high-level executives in newal percentages), then there was no need for this kind of thinking.
the F&B business indicate they are willing to change the way they Now though, that appears to be changing. Some teams are be-
do business. ginning to look at this as an option in the name of keeping their
One popular method that is finally gaining momentum is in- customers happy and their renewal percentages higher. One price
cluding the cost of F&B in the price of the suite. On nightly rentals, options have shown real promise in new charter clubs.
this practice is fairly common, especially in venues such as the home Greg Hanrahan at the United Center in Chicago tells us that
of the Utah Jazz, EnergySolutions Arena, a building that is inde- the members of the Harris Club love the all-inclusive pricing. We’ve
pendently run. Big F&B has wanted to do this for years and years, heard the same thing at various other member clubs, such as Club
because it creates cost certainty, but the teams have resisted to date Cambria, which started at the Target Center in Minneapolis and has
because a la carte pricing brings in higher prices (F&B companies moved on to various other venues in the U.S. and Canada.
have known about the secrets of individually pricing items for years, Chris Bigelow, President of Bigelow Companies, Inc. in Kansas
and that’s why food can cost so much at a nice restaurant). Nightly City, believes the reason these clubs with all-inclusive pricing work is
rental companies don’t understand how F&B is ordered in some cas- because they cater to smaller groups – only two to four people – and
es and merely order “packages.” This may start to happen more and these groups tend to be small businesses or professionals such as law
more on a leased basis, according to several F&B companies who are firms with tickets. Occupancy is higher, and the buyer does not like
looking at ways to improve the bottom line. being billed nightly.
Occupancy rates for teams were high enough until the past two Filling up a 16-person suite is not so easy. Corporations might
24 S E A T
It has been calculated by the ALSD that a 10%
decline in occupancy costs the F&B industry more
than $100 million dollars.
be hesitant to have an F&B charge included if they do not use the What an Increasing Business Model May
box. Again though, this might change. Lead To:
The feeling in talking with food and beverage executives is that
1) Lower the cost of F&B, and include it in the price of the
they would be willing to charge less for food with a subsequent low-
ering of the rights fees. Big F&B would have cost certainty, and the
suite holders would no longer be asked to pay on a nightly basis for 2) Offset the lower revenue F&B companies make with lower
the cost of F&B. rights fees.
But what about the teams? Why would owners want to risk rais- 3) F&B companies have cost certainty because they no longer
ing the suite’s base price and except lower rights fees? To date, they have to factor in occupancy and no-show issues.
have been unwilling to do so, despite pleas from nearly all the Big 4) Corporations will also have a cost certainty and will no
F&B companies. longer have the incentive not to use their boxes, because they
But there comes a point in time when that might change. Again, will be charged for the F&B. Utilization will go up, and cor-
it’s all about occupancy and/or utilization. If renewals drop to a cer- porations will have one bill to pay and one check to write each
tain level, in part because of high F&B prices and lease prices, which year.
have not dropped substantially despite a poor economy, is there not
5) Teams will initally “eat” some of the costs in lower F&B
a point in time when filling the boxes is more important than retain-
rights fees (which will eventually go lower anyway when the
ing higher F&B rights fees?
next contract comes up). But like the Laffer Curve, teams will
It appears to be getting to that point in 2010.
have happier customers, who will renew their suites at a higher
The Laffer Curve: Maybe It’s Time for Team 6) One price options become the standard in the industry:
very similar to the way it is in Europe, where the price of cor-
Owners to Pay Attention
porate hospitality is included in the price of the suite.
In the 1980s, Arthur Laffer, a professor and advisor to Ronald Rea-
gan, made the argument that lowering taxes would actually increase
revenues to the Federal Government. It was in a sense a counter-in-
tuitive argument, but one that ultimately proved to be true. Letting Inevitable Resistance
people keep their money resulted in higher employment, more rev- There will be inevitable resistance for the above scenario for some
enue to the government and more money spent on consumer-related poor reasons and some compelling reasons.
goods and services. This allowed private companies, who had more Here are some of the arguments against this scenario:
money and more customers, to hire more people, who paid more 1) Teams will be resistant to anything that initially lowers
taxes and had more money to spend in the economy. This resulted their revenues. After all, why should they take the risk?
in the longest post-war economic expansion this country has ever 2) Corporations won’t like paying for a product that they
seen- something around eight years. don’t always use (there still will be a cost for F&B, but it
Maybe something like the Laffer Curve would work on the pre- won’t be nearly as high as it once was).
mium seat levels.
3) Anything new in the slow-adopting business that is the
sports world will probably not receive immediate traction.
Are you interested in interacting with buyers, sellers and Is There a Metric That Can Be Developed?
suppliers all at the same time to understand how business Is there a metric that can be developed to demonstrate what will
on the premium levels is changing? Plan to attend the first- bring in the maximum revenue to the teams, the corporations and
the F&B companies? Probably not, because sports is bought and
ever Premium Seat Summit at the ALSD Conference. sold not so much as a commodity, but as an emotional purchase.
When teams are doing well, people will apparently still pay high
prices to maintain their premium seats. At least that is the theory of
the Hero Business, i.e., the Business of Sports.
Unfortunately, in sports there is always a winner and a loser for
every team against team event. It’s a zero sum game. Someone wins
and someone loses every time (with the exception of a few ties).
Realizing this is important, because it means that it is very, very rare
25 S E A T S E A T 25
At what point does a lower occupancy rate suggest a
change in how the teams do business?
indeed that one team can always win or even win significantly above A Discussion, a Future and a Pro-Active Solution:
the 50/50 ratio, especially in pro sports with salary caps (all but ALSD Premium Seat Summit
baseball). The ALSD is going to conduct a Premium Seat Summit at its An-
In other words, if teams base their pricing on the fact that they nual Conference this June 27-30 to talk about these issues. The
will be a winning team, in most instances they will be right...about premium markets are in a correction stage. They need to re-invent
half the time. Teams might want to adjust their pricing models for themselves or else, the downward spiral previously discussed might
the time when teams are not winning, which is also, in most cases, occur.
about half the time. And the corporations, who buy suites on an an- This will be a kind of suite holder focus group, but one which
nual basis and for multi-year deals, cannot expect the suite they lease is far more interactive and greatly expanded. We will bring in F&B
will be for a team who wins much more than half the time. and Ticketing Executives; Team Presidents; Big Corporate Buyers
The emotional buy goes both ways…about half the time. Bas- and have them interact with many of the Team Executives.
ing a business model on winning, for most teams this side of the The result? We don’t know. At best, it’s the start of a dialogue.
wealthy baseball teams, is probably not a good idea. And a dialogue that is much needed and long overdue. #
How Business on the Premium Levels Should your team reevaluate how it does business with F&B companies
is Changing on the premium levels?
I am not going to argue here and go into the details of creating an
actual mathematical formula or algorithm that will locate the exact Write to Bill at email@example.com
price point that maximizes revenue. The purpose of this article is
for buyers, sellers and middlemen (such as F&B) to at least begin to
look at how business in conducted.
And I’m here to suggest business is changing on the premium
levels in the following manner: Are you interested in learning more about F&B/team rela-
1) Pro Formas: Teams are building half the number of suites, tions? Plan to attend the combined session at the ALSD
but charging four times as much on the theory that big cor- Conference, “Bridging the Gap: The Partnership Between
porations have deep pockets and will pay any price. Not true
anymore. F&B Companies and Teams/Venues.”
2) F&B companies, to get business, pay enormous rights fees.
To pay for the business, they are charging very high fees to the
corporations. This is a scenario that is no longer working like
it did in the past, and it probably will have to change. One A per cap in which no one shows up is pretty low
price, all-inclusive F&B is an option that should be seriously unless Casper the Friendly Ghost likes beer and
3) Teams are fine when occupancy rates are in the 90% range.
has a credit card.
They are not anymore in most venues. At what point does
a lower occupancy rate suggest a change in how the teams
do business? 70%? 50%? There is probably a number here in
which it will be smart for teams to make sure these premium
seats are filled. What number?
4) Corporations: The large buyers own too many suites and
are going to start offloading them (and already are). The age
of the per-event suite is ahead of us. The 8,000 companies
that own the 12,000 suites will start to be expanded to the
hundreds of thousands of customers needed to fill up the per-
event inventory. But to do so, teams will have to change the
way they do business by hiring more people on the local level
to market their suites or rely on outside, third-party vendor
services. Probably a combination of both.
26 S E A T
20TH ANNUAL ALSD CONFERENCE AND TRADESHOW
June 27 – 30, 2010
We are less than two months from the ALSD Conference in the Big Apple.
Sessions are taking shape; many are set. All sessions include strong panelists and experienced presenters.
Find the most fitting sessions that will help you meet your professional objectives.
Schedule of Events
Please note: The schedule of events is simply a meeting and traveler planner, and the conference program will be updated continually.
Sunday, June 27
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Conference Registration Open
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Exhibitor Set-Up
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. New Attendee Welcome Meeting
4:00 p.m. Welcome Address:
Scott O’Neil, President, Madison Square Garden Sports
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open; Schedule Monday Meetings; Cocktails in Hall
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Yankee Stadium Tour and Reception
Monday, June 28
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Conference Registration Open
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Optional Exhibit Hall Appointment Hour
All Day Leagues to Visit Madison Square Garden Presentation Center
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. League Meetings (continued after lunch)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. League Lunches or Lunch on Own
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. League Meetings (continued)
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open; Cocktails in Hall
6:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open; Dinner and Reception in Exhibit Hall
Tuesday, June 29
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Conference Registration Open
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Disney Institute Seminar “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service”
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Other Sessions
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open; Lunch in Hall
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Sessions; Premium Seat Summit
6:00 p.m. Welcome Address:
Mark Lamping, President and CEO, New Meadowlands Stadium Company, LLC
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. New Meadowlands Stadium Tour and Reception
Wednesday, June 30
8:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Sessions
1:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Sessions
6:30 p.m. – 8:30p.m. Red Bull Arena Tour
S E A T 27
ALSD Conference and Tradeshow: Detailed Schedule of Events and Sessions
Please note: The agenda detailed below is subject to change. A comprehensive Conference Program will be distributed at
the ALSD Conference with rooming assignments and final sessions and presentations.
Sunday, June 27, 2010 ed around the shared mission of becoming better leaders through
education and idea exchange. O’Neil dedicates his time to working
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. with a number of non-profit organizations, including serving as a
Conference Registration Open Board Member for the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the non-
profit charity that works with all areas of Madison Square Garden
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. to “make dreams come true for kids in crisis.” In addition, he is on
Exhibitor Set-Up the Advisory Board for the Each One Counts Foundation and a
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Board Member for the TRU Foundation.
Board of Directors Meeting He holds a degree in Marketing from Villanova University and
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. O’Neil resides in New
New Attendee Welcome Meeting Jersey with his wife and three daughters.
Led by: Jennifer Ark, Director of Premium Sales 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
& Guest Services, Green Bay Packers Exhibit Hall Open; Schedule Monday Meetings;
Cocktails in Hall
Buses Depart for Yankee Stadium
Jennifer Ark 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Tour and Reception at Yankee Stadium
Sponsored by: Legends Hospitality; New York Yankees; Southern
4:00 p.m. Wine & Spirits; Corona
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN SPORTS
Scott O’Neil was named President,
Madison Square Garden Sports in
July 2008. In this role, he oversees all
aspects of business operations for the
Monday, June 28, 2010
three professional sports teams, the New 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty, as Conference Registration Open
well as the Sports Properties area, which 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
includes college basketball, boxing, ten- Optional Exhibit Hall Appointment Hour
nis and all other sports events. He also
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
manages marketing partnerships and
suite sales for the soon to be renovated
NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL, F&B, Minor Leagues/Racing,
Soccer, College, IT
Scott O’Neil Since joining Madison Square Gar-
den, O’Neil has attracted premier talent 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
from around the sports world to lead the Tour Madison Square Garden Presentation Center
business in establishing an innovative, passionate and results-orient- Leagues: College, Minor Leagues, Racing, Soccer
ed culture. He has directed a refocused commitment to providing 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
first class service to fans, subscribers and marketing partners, result- Sponsored Lunches; Specific Leagues TBA
ing in growth across all areas of the division.
O’Neil comes to Madison Square Garden from the National NBA
Basketball Association, where, as Senior Vice President, he oversaw NHL: Lunch compliments of Ovations Management
the league’s team marketing and business operations, advising NBA Minor Leagues: Lunch sponsored by Hershey Entertainment
and WNBA teams on ticket sales and service, sponsorship develop- and Resorts
ment and marketing. He also managed the NBA’s Canadian busi- 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
ness and the NBA Development League. Prior to joining the NBA, Tour Madison Square Garden Presentation Center
he oversaw the launch of HoopsTV, and honed his sales and mar- Leagues: NFL, MLB
keting expertise with the Philadelphia Eagles and New Jersey Nets. 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
O’Neil was named to Street and Smith’s Sports Business Tour Madison Square Garden Presentation Center
Journal Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame and was named one of the Leagues: NHL, F&B
nation’s top marketing executives under 40 by Advertising Age
in 2006. He is also a member of Young Presidents’ Organization 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
(YPO), a not-for-profit, global network of chief executives connect- Exhibit Hall Open; Cocktail Hour
28 S E A T
Monday, June 28, 2010, cont.
To Be Announced
Sponsored by and Presented by: Motorola
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open: Dinner Served, Reception
Sponsored by: ALSD, Southern Wine & Spirits, Corona
Madison Square Garden Presentation Center
Tom Sheridan Scott O’Connell Jeff Morander Beth Conroy Cari Maas Jennifer Ark
MLB LEAGUE MEETING MINOR LEAGUE MEETING
Moderator: Tom Sheridan, Director of Ticket Sales, Chicago Moderator: Brian Bucciarelli, Director of Corporate Partner-
White Sox ships/Premium Seating, Giant Center/Hershey Bears
Moderator: Scott O’Connell, Director of Suite and Premium
Seat Sales and Service, Minnesota Twins COLLEGE LEAGUE MEETING
Moderator: Janie Boles, Director of Donor Services and An-
NHL LEAGUE MEETING nual Giving, Tigers Unlimited, Auburn University Athletics
Moderator: Jeff Morander, Vice President, Ticketing Strategy, Department
National Hockey League Moderator: Patti Kimbrough, Director of Guest Services, Uni-
Moderator: Beth Conroy, Manager, Integrated Marketing, Na- versity of Arkansas Razorbacks
tional Hockey League
SOCCER LEAGUE MEETING
NBA LEAGUE MEETING Tentative Moderator: Rich Searls, Director of Sales & Fan
Moderator: Chris Granger, Senior Vice President, Team Market- Services, New York Red Bulls
ing & Business Operations, National Basketball Association
Moderator: Caryn Dolich, Manager, Team Marketing & Busi- FOOD AND BEvERAGE LEAGUE MEETING
ness Operations Tentative Moderator: Chris Bigelow, President, Bigelow
NFL LEAGUE MEETING
Moderator: Cari Belanger-Maas, Senior Manager, Premium Seat SEAT-IT DIvISION MEETING
Services & Guest Relations, Arizona Cardinals Football Club Moderator: Christine Stoffel, Business Development Director –
Moderator: Jennifer Ark, Director of Premium Sales & Guest Connected Sports/Entertainment, Insight Networking
Services, Green Bay Packers
Brian Bucciarelli Janie Boles Patti Kimbrough Rich Searls Chris Bigelow Christine Stoffel
S E A T 29
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
THE FIRST-EVER PREmIUm SEAT SUmmIT
An Interactive discussion about the reinvention of the Premium Seat
New Meadowlands Stadium
Market, bringing together Leagues, Teams and Buyers
It’s the next big thing at the ALSD Conference: a dream team
of professionals all with a vested interest in buyers, selling and 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
operations in the premium seat market. This is a no holds barred Tour and Reception at New Meadowlands Stadium
interactive session in which, for the first time ever, buyers, sellers Sponsored by: DNC Sportservice; New Meadowlands Stadium; South-
and suppliers will discuss the State of the $10 Billion Premium ern Wine & Spirits; Corona
Seat Marketplace. Panelists and contributors will include top-level
league personnel, team presidents, food and beverage CEOs and
VPs, primary and secondary ticket leaders, well-known consultants
and the group we all want to know more about – the buyers. This
is the next generation of the Suiteholder Focus Group. It’s for ev-
eryone, and it will be the largest and most comprehensive seminar “TASTE OF THE MEADOWLANDS”
we have ever held. DNC’s Proposed Menu for ALSD Tour and Reception
Among topics of interest will be: Passed Hors d’oeuvres (from performance stations)
• Keeping Your Corporate Customers Loyal
• Pricing Premium Seats in the Future NY Deli Station
• New Technology Options Italian Station
• All-Inclusive F&B Pricing NJ Diner Station
• Solving the Renewal, Utilization and No-Show Challenges Grill Station (all served slider size)
• The Paradigm Shift in the Premium Markets
Four Hour Open Bar
PRESIDENT AND CEO
NEW MEADOWLANDS STADIUM COMPANY, LLC
Mark Lamping was named President
and CEO of the New Meadowlands Sta-
dium Company, LLC on April 1, 2008.
Lamping, who reports directly to the
board of directors of this joint venture
between Jets Development LLC and
Giant Stadium LLC, oversees construc-
3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
tion and operations of what is not only
Combined Session (IT Based):
Beyond Technology – The Business of Social Networking in the new home for two iconic NFL fran-
Sports and Entertainment chises but will be the sports and enter-
Leading Social Networking Executives will discuss the business tainment capital of the region. Lamping
evolution of social networking, impacts on the industry, customer/ Mark Lamping manages all business operations related
fan experience, measurements of success and embracing the future. to the new stadium, including but not
Moderator: John Gallant, CEO, IDG Enterprises-Network World limited to its legal, sales and marketing,
Magazine, CIO Magazine, Tech World and government affairs, design and development, and third-party
Panelist: NHL event business. In addition to the minimum of 20 NFL games that
Panelist: Grand Canyon University will be played at the New Meadowlands Stadium each season, the
Panelist: Chris Dill, CIO, Portland Trail Blazers stadium will host events ranging from college football to interna-
Panelist: Jeanette Gibson, Cisco Social Media tional soccer tournaments to major concerts and more.
Buses Depart for New Meadowlands Stadium
S E A T 31
ALSD Conference and Tradeshow: Detailed Schedule of Events and Sessions
Please note: The agenda detailed below is subject to change. A comprehensive Conference Program will be distributed at
the ALSD Conference with rooming assignments and final sessions and presentations.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
General Session: Transforming the Suite Model
8:30 a.m. The traditional suite model is no more for many venues. Unused
Keynote Speaker: suites are being combined to create a party suite or club; the Harris
To Be Announced Club at the United Center is one example. Mini-suites are being
created for those customers who do not want or need to utilize the
9:00 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. 12- to16-person suites; The Lofts at TD Garden are an example.
The Economy and the Premium Seating Industry Learn what other suite-level modifications are working for other
venues in the industry. Is it time to reevaluate your suites and
Sales Session: Selling in the Current Economy clubs? Could you sell more inventory if you transformed your pre-
The economy has made every sales person in the industry reevalu- mium seating model? Find out in this session.
ate sales strategies, suite packages and price points. We know that
renewal terms are getting shorter, buyers need proof of ROI and Panelist: J. Curtis Baddeley, Director of Rental
the recession has made customers weary of opening their pocket- Suites, United Center
books. Add to that escalators are being modified, flex plans are be- Panelist: Dana Petrie, Senior Director, The Pre-
ing considered and per-event sales are on the rise. Learn what sales mium Club, TD Garden
solutions will work best for your venue now and moving forward. Panelist: Terri Smith, Director, Suite Sales and
Service, Pittsburgh Pirates
Moderator: Tom Sheridan,
Director of Ticket Sales, Terri Smith
Chicago White Sox
Panelist: Adam Kellner, Director of Premium General Session: Businesses Buying Premium Seats
Hospitality, Chicago Bears Football Club Full House Entertainment Database Marketing is partnering with
Panelist: Brian Bucciarelli, Director of Corpo- Ohio University and the ALSD to update the original suite lease
rate Partnerships/Premium Seating, Giant Cen- research study done in 2007. The group will again be focusing on
Brian Bucciarelli ter/Hershey Bears the types of businesses that buy premium seating. When finished,
the group will have a complete analysis of the types of business/
Service Session: Servicing in the Current Economy corporate customers at each of the following levels:
Staying close to your customer is more important than ever these a) Suite Lease
days. Renewals are often a product of good service as well as strong b) Suite Partnerships
relationships with suite directors. Learn how three suite directors c) Club Seating
from four different leagues and one concert venue have cultivated d) VIP Club/Hybrid
relationships with customers to keep them coming back to their
Presenter: Ron Contorno, Presi-
venues game after game and (better yet) year after year.
dent, Full House Entertainment
Panelist: Nancy Golden, Database Marketing
Director of Premium Services, Presenter: Jim Kahler, Execu-
Gwinnett Center tive Director, Center for Sports
Panelist: Lauren Fisher, Senior Administration, Ohio University
Manager of Suite Services,
Philips Arena/Atlanta Hawks, Ron Cortono Jim Kahler
Atlanta Thrashers, Atlanta
Lauren Fisher Shari Rainey Dream
Panelist: Shari Rainey, Luxury General Session: venue Sustainability and the Greening
Suite Service Manager, Houston of Suites
Texans Venues are working to embrace “green.” Many new venues are
LEED Certified; many of the existing venues are working to recycle
F&B Session: F&B in the Current Economy and save energy. But what some have not grasped is that sustain-
In this economy, improving per caps is imperative. How can this be ability allows teams to focus on costs as well as revenues at the same
done? Learn how the following topics and more can improve the time. For instance, the Minnesota Twins have partnered with Pen-
bottom line: digital menu boards, loaded tickets, all-inclusive pric- tair, a Minneapolis-based water solutions company, to establish the
es, affordable innovations and technological advances and modified first-ever eco-sponsorship in professional sports.
Panelist: FanGo Software Systems 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Lunch on your own
32 S E A T
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Sales & Service Session: Bridging the Gap: Sales and
General Session: Premium Seating Solutions: Innovative Prod- Service Staffs
ucts and Technologies That Work Which venues are bringing Sales and Service staffs together for
This interactive session will detail what new products, services and mutual benefit and financial success? How can we bridge the gap
technologies teams have utilized. Case histories from teams will between the two departments? Cohesion and communication are
showcase why these products not only keep the customers happy, key, and some venues have mastered both. Learn how and why
but also improve the team or venue’s bottom line. their staffs succeed. Learn why they sometimes don’t.
Sales & Service Session: Don’t Sell a Seat; Sell Access Panelist: Bruce Ross, Director
This session will introduce new way of selling premium seating. A of Suite Sales and Service, San
new added-value approach will show teams how to boost renewals Jose Sharks
and sales by not only selling seats in a venue, but also providing Panelist: Trent Dutry, Suite
access to exclusive experiences. Service Senior Event Manager,
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. US Airways Center, Phoenix
General Session: Research in the Industry: Knowing Suns
Your Customers Bruce Ross Trent Dutry
Three research companies showcase their respective areas of
expertise: F&B Session: Role of the F&B Suite Director on Game Day
Turnkey Intelligence: Preparation, pace, and patience are the magic words on game day
Some hot topics/trends Turnkey is finding in the premium space: for an F&B director. Learn more about game day delivery proce-
Value – value is not measured by the fans in the same way it used dures and timelines – how/when/by whom food and beverage gets
to be. Time is becoming a much larger component of the value from Point A to Point B (and sometimes C!), challenges that result
metric; price is not as large of a component as it used to be. Re- and potential solutions. Also discuss the role of the F&B director
spect/appreciation by the property/venue – fans have a declining regarding what is handled by the directors and what is delegated
perception that they are valued by the organization; they do not out to supervisors and suite attendants.
feel “as premium” as they used to. 3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
Full House Entertainment Database Marketing: Sales & Service Session: Retaining and Regaining
Full House Entertainment Database Marketing’s expertise is de- When the economy turns back around, how do we get back the
termining the types of companies that are leasing and renting former suiteholders and other premium seating clients who could
premium seating. Gaining a clear picture of the industries that are not/did not renew? What are the best practices for retaining cus-
buying is critical to successful and efficient target marketing. We tomers who did renew during these times, but now want more?
estimate that 50% of all premium seating buyers can be defined by How do we activate our service staffs during these times? It may
approximately 20-25 business targets. not all rest on the shoulders of the sales people, but rather on the
Navigate Marketing: two groups working together to give clients more.
Navigate Marketing is the industry leader in research, measurement Panelist: Ruby Newell-Legner, Fan Loyalty Expert, Certified
and analysis for sponsorships in sports and entertainment. The Speaking Professional, Ruby Speaks
Chicago-based firm conducts custom market research studies and Service Session: Amenities & Gifts, Ticket Packaging and Deliv-
sponsorship valuations on behalf of both brands and properties. ery, Suiteholder Events
Navigate has measured ROI and effectiveness for over $1 billion in
sponsorship transactions. This session will be an “Interactive Attendee Share” session. Our
moderator will ask for participation on:
Moderator: Peter Titlebaum, Associate Professor, Department of • What amenities and gifts work? Which are worth the money/
Health and Sport Science, Coordinator, Sport Management Pro- affordable?
gram, The University of Dayton • What are the best packaging and delivery methods? What com-
Panelist: Haynes Hendrickson, Senior Vice President, Turnkey panies have provided branded, unique solutions to packaging and
Intelligence what teams have a new and innovative way to deliver tickets?
Panelist: Ron Contorno, President, Full House Database • What is the best and most affordable suiteholder event? When
Marketing do these events take place? Who is involved: Service? Sales? F&B?
Panelist: AJ Maestas, President, Navigate Marketing
Moderator: Chris Piper, President, Breakout Strategic
Buses Depart for Red Bull Arena
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Peter Titlebaum Haynes Ron Cortono AJ Maestas
Hendrickson Tour at Red Bull Arena
S E A T 33
ALSD Conference and Tradeshow: Detailed Schedule of Events and Sessions
Please note: The agenda detailed below is subject to change. A comprehensive Conference Program will be distributed at
the ALSD Conference with rooming assignments and final sessions and presentations.
Monday, June 28, 2010 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Tour Madison Square Garden’s Presentation Center
Food and Beverage Program Leagues: College, Minor Leagues, Racing, Soccer
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Swap Session: Swap Menus with other venues; Swap Training 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Manuals with other venues; Swap Game Day Operations Manuals Executive Suite / Club Gameday Catering and Special
with other venues Event Ideas
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Setting up an Efficient Kitchen System Lunch on your own
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (possibly 12:30 p.m.) 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Marriott Marquis Presents! ALSD Marriott Marquis Tour Alcohol Policies: Suites, Club Seating, Stadium Overall; Moni-
The Marriott Marquis is proud to host a walking tour of all the key toring; Per Caps with Alcohol Sales vs. Per Caps without Alco-
areas/departments in the Hotel. The group will be split into two hol Sales
tours that will occur simultaneously.
• Purchasing Department hosted by the Director Jim Smith 2:00 p.m. – 3:00p.m.
• Pastry Shop hosted by Chef Steve Evetts Staffing: Retaining staff; Realigning staff in a bad economy;
• Main Kitchen hosted by Executive Chef Armando Monterroso Training; volunteers and Student Workers
• Employee Cafeteria
• View Restaurant hosted by Assistant Director of F&B 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Terry McAneney Roundtable: Current Issues; Stadium Security; Work-Life
The tour will last 1-1 1/2 hours and will cover the hotel top to bot- Balance
tom with stop-offs at the locations above for discussions and Q&A.
minor League Program
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Lunch on your own COMBINED SESSION: College, Minor Leagues, Soccer, Racing
The Evolution of the Premium Seating Industry
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Description Above
F&B Options: Healthy Options; Green Options; Packaging
Options; Ordering Options 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Tour Madison Square Garden’s Presentation Center
2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Leagues: College, Minor Leagues, Racing, Soccer
Roundtable Wrap-up or Free
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Economy: How has the economy affected minor league venues?
Tour Madison Square Garden’s Presentation Center What are venues doing to improve attendance?
Leagues: NHL, F&B
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
College Program Lunch: Sponsored by:
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Hershey Entertainment and Resorts
COMBINED SESSION: College, Minor Leagues, Soccer, Racing
The Evolution of the Premium Seating Industry 1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Since the advent of the modern sports and enter- Renewing or Prospecting? Did venues lose customers? If so,
tainment venue, the role of premium seating and what are the new prospecting strategies? Are customers renew-
luxury suites has evolved to being key in creat- ing? If so, what are the best renewal strategies?
ing special, sustainable patron experiences which
support the bottom line of the venue. Unlike 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
the traditional sports venue model, today’s suite Specialty Programs: All-Inclusives; Flex Plans; Group Plans;
Kelly Deines and premium seating amenities necessarily need Family Plans
to provide a hospitality-focused experience, with
increased and previously-untapped options for branding and spon- 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
sorship which translate into additional income streams. Rossetti has Customer Service 101: Minor League: Budgets; Suiteholder
been at the forefront of innovation in suite and premium seating Events; Amenities
design for more than two decades. Kelly will discuss current arena
and stadia premium seating trends, and the drivers contributing to 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
the future of the industry. Roundtable
Presented by: Kelly Deines, IIDA, LEED AP, Principal, Director
of Hospitality and Interior Design, Rossetti
34 S E A T
S E A T 35
37 S E A T
How To Market Your Venue
in the 21st Century
Madison Square Garden is pumping a half-billion dollars into building renovations
without changing its iconic footprint. To market its future transformation,
MSG has built the industry’s preeminent Presentation Center.
By Amanda Verhoff, Executive Director, Association of Luxury Suite Directors
ost sports fans and entertainment enthusiasts know that the
history of Madison Square Garden is unmatched, much
like the number of events held at MSG each year. At 265
events a year, it is one of the busiest arenas in the world, located in
the busiest city in world. And this active arena is embarking on one
of the most comprehensive renovations in history. When all is said
and done, the Garden will have stunning suites, larger concourses,
innovative and interactive technology solutions, premium bars and
restaurants and the sweetest arena ring ever built.
However, it may take more than reputation to sell the new
suites in the “World’s Most Famous Arena”. The most prized ones
are priced at over a million dollars, so how is MSG selling its pre-
mium inventory so successfully?
Enter Madison Square Garden’s Presentation Center.
Mike Ondrejko, Vice President, Suites, Premium Seating and
Service, Madison Square Garden, explains, “Our award-winning
MSG Presentation Center brings the transformation of Madison
Square Garden to life for suite holders, partners and prospects. Lo-
cated at the main entrance of Madison Square Garden, the Presenta-
tion Center utilizes cutting-edge technology and design to showcase
the new premium seating options.”
MSG’s Presentation Center foyer gives patrons the feeling of
being inside a spaceship; a video of “defining moments” is so stimu- The MSG Presentation Center was designed to highlight opportunities for
lating that it feels like the Center is actually on a launch pad. Add to customers and partners interested in suites and marketing partnerships.
that, the video is started only when a hockey puck-like key is placed
on a podium – pretty phenomenal.
Take a step up to the model of what the Garden will look like in
38 S E A T
www.because its about more than the game.com
The Presentation Center offers customers a journey with an interactive
model, new building renderings and full-scale suite models.
a few years, and patrons will be even more amazed. The model’s con-
trol consol lights up a certain part of the model, which cues a video
depiction of how the section of the arena will look upon completion.
Individually lit are the suite levels, the lower and upper bowls, and the
upper ring that will house a club restaurant and prime viewing spot.
The Presentation Center’s finest features are up next: the suites.
Patrons can enter two suites, each designed differently to cater to the
tastes of diverse suite holders. The first is ultra chic, with hardwood
floors, fine art, a fireplace and a refrigerator fit for a king. This is a
bunker suite, and the model actually mimics one. Patrons can walk
up the steps of the suite into a miniature IMAX-type theatre room.
The screen shows exactly what the court looks like from the seats of
the suite. It is as close to sitting in the arena watching an event as you
can imagine. Ondrejko notes that, “With the ability to replicate the MADISON SQUARE GARDEN RENOVATION FACT SHEET
sight lines from each of our newly designed Event Level and Lower • New entrance which doubles in size and features interactive
Level suites, the MSG Presentation Center gives people a true to life kiosks, retail, climate-controlled space and a broadcast studio
feeling of being inside the renovated building.” • Public concourses doubling and tripling in size
The second model suite is a young sports fan’s dream. If all ball- • Wide selection of food and beverage options, including Blue
players dream of stepping onto the court at MSG, then suite holders Seat Bar, Party Deck and Bridge, all which open directly to the
dream of sitting in this suite at MSG. Complete with graphics and big arena bowl
screens, the action is as much in the suite as it is on the court. Add to • Improved upper bowl sightlines that put patrons 17.5 de-
that, the suite has a kitchen island. Like at a cocktail party, there is no grees closer to the action
better place to chat it up with buddies than at a kitchen island with a • State-of-the-art lighting, sound and LED video systems in
beverage cooler nearby. HDTV
By utilizing the Presentation Center, selling the suites at the re- • Maintaining intimacy of the arena bowl and MSG’s world
vamped Garden should be a cinch, right? In this economy, nothing is famous ceiling
a sure thing. Ondrejko recognized that there needed to be a supple- • Corporate offerings which include:
mental selling tool to compliment the physical sales center. “With -- 58 Lower Level Suites that will be 40% larger, half the
such a state-of-the-art showcase, we knew our follow up had to be just distance to events and include seats in the arena bowl
as dynamic. We partnered with Channel 1 Media to develop an inter- -- 20 Event Level Suites that offer a lounge atmosphere
active online tool to replicate the Presentation Center experience and • Renovation will be paid for in its entirety by Madison
reinforce for suite holders, prospects and partners the unique asset Square Garden
MSG provides to help them drive their business.” Channel 1 Media Timeline:
Solutions, working in conjunction with MSG, created that dynamic -- Lower bowl expected to be ready for the 2011-2012 season
follow up: The MSG Suite Sales Tool, an online micro-site dedicated -- Upper bowl expected to be ready for the 2012-2013 season
to the transformation of Madison Square Garden with a focus on • Building will remain operational throughout the NHL and
suite sales. NBA seasons
The MSG Suite Sales Tool website contains three sections: The • Architect: Brisbin Brook Beynon
Magic of MSG, The Transformation and The Suite Experience. • Construction Manager: Turner
40 S E A T
tHe Suite Spot
B a r wa r e . St e m wa r e . D e c o r at i v e o B j e c t S . awa r D S
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Call 713. 868. 1986
In partnership with
Is your team planning a renovation?
Opening a marketing center? 2010 ALSD Conference
attendees will have the opportunity to tour the MSG
THE MAGIC OF MSG
This section contains the actual video currently used in the MSG
sales center and mimics the three plasma screens integrated within.
This section contains a series of six short videos depicting the various
transformations that will take place within Madison Square Garden.
Each video shows how MSG will transform from its current state to
the contemporary, fresh, world-class venue anew. An image of the
current concourse, for example, is dissolved into a rendering of the
new MSG concourse – complete with realistic visuals, sound effects
and ambient noise – bringing it all to life. Users can click on any of
the six tabs to preview a sampling transformation of that particular
area of the arena.
THE SUITE EXPERIENCE
The focus of this presentation is created to give users a better under-
standing of the suite experience prior to their actual physical devel-
opment. Understandably, it is very difficult to sell inventory without
the availability of tangible assets. Thus MSG uses the tool for face-
to-face meetings in order to educate their prospects while controlling
the demonstration. Furthermore, not only does the Suite Sales Tool
give users the information they need to make a smart decision, since
it is available online it enables them to do so without having to come
down to the actual Presentation Center itself.
The presentation allows the user to choose from the three Suite
Levels offered by MSG – Ninth Level, Lower Level and Event Level
Suites. Once the user selects their desired level, they are presented
with a bird’s eye view of the arena where they can click on any par-
ticular suite to learn its price, see the sightlines, choose a décor and
view its interior. Features of the presentation include:
• The ability to show which suites are available and which suites
• Detailed information on suite benefits and amenities
• Intricate renderings of suite interiors including integration of
• Personalization–where a company’s logo appears in strategic ar-
eas within the presentation
Channel 1 Media Solutions needed a significant number of assets in
order to create this intricate presentation; assets such as architectural
drawings in digital format, original suite renderings, footage of game
action from various sight lines and photographs from strategic loca-
tions within the current MSG. Once Channel 1 had all the assets
to work from, they created 3D models of each type of suite, filmed
talent against a green-screen and implemented them throughout.
Furthermore, there is a back-end database that controls the prices,
availability, views and personalization for each suite. #
To see more, visit: www.channel1media.com/msg/build
Do you have advice for other teams looking to transform their venue?
Join the Association of Luxury Suite Directors group on Linkedin
and share your story.
42 S E A T
The 4th Annual Sports & Entertainment Alliance
in Technology Conference and Tradeshow
June 27 -- 30, 2010 • Marriott Marquis, New York City
S ports & Entertainment Alliance in Technology joins forces again
with the ALSD to present a one-of-a-kind conference dedicated
to the technology executives of the sports and entertainment indus-
DAY TwO: JUNE 29TH, 2010
IT Executive Roundtable Discussion
try. The 2010 Steering Committee has developed an informative
Moderated by Casey Bookout (Director of IT, University of Okla-
conference agenda with many thought-provoking panel topics to
homa) and Mark DiMaurizio (VP of IT, Comcast-Spectacor)
create dynamic discussions.
CONFERENCE AGENDA The Business of Technology in Sports and Entertainment
Moderated by Mike Morris (VP of IT, MLB)
DAY ONE: JUNE 28TH, 2010
SESSIoN oNE: Executive Coaching/Professional Mentoring
IT Executive RoundTable Discussion Presented by Dan Rossetti of Ascension Sports Partners
Moderated by Tod Caflisch (VP of IT, New orleans Hornets) and
Scott Phelps (Director of IT, Pittsburgh Steelers) SESSIoN FouR:
2010 Conference Welcome & Opening: Presented by CIO Magazine/CIO Executive Council Partner with
Christine Stoffel, CEo S5 Enterprises/Director Insight Network- Larry Bonfante (CIo, uSTA)
ing-ConnectedSports & Entertainment
Keynote Speaker: SESSIoN FIVE:
Craig Neeb, VP/CIO of NASCAR and International Beyond Technology…The Business of Social Networking in
Speedway Corporation Sports and Entertainment
“Transformation of the IT leadership role from technolo- Moderated by John Gallant (CEO, IDG Enterprises-Network World
gist to business partner and innovative strategist” Magazine, CIO Magazine, Tech World)
SESSIoN TWo: Day Two ends with a private technology tour of the New Meadow-
Inside the Stadium of the Future lands Stadium for the attendees and vendors of the IT Division.
Moderated by John Avenson (VP of IT, Minnesota Twins)
Panelists: Joe Milone (VP of IT, New York Mets), Mike Lane DAY THREE: JUNE 30TH, 2010
(Sr. Director of Technology, New York Yankees), Peter Brickman SESSIoN oNE:
(CTo, New Meadowlands Stadium), Bill Haggard (Sr. Director of Cloud Computing - Advancing the Economics of Networking
Enterprise Infrastructure, Dallas Cowboys) Moderated by Chris Dill (CIo, Portland Trail Blazers)
SESSIoN THREE: Panelists: Representatives from Infoblox, Juniper Networks, Micro-
Digital Media Asset Management in Sports and Entertainment soft, Netarx, oSIsoft and Tickets.com
Moderated by Sasha Puric (Sr. Director of IT, Toronto Maple Leaf SESSIoN TWo:
Sports & Entertainment) IT Executive RoundTable Discussion
Panelists: Representatives from MLB, NASCAR/ISC, Microsoft, Moderated by Wayne Wichlacz (VP of IT, Green Bay Packers)
IdentityMine and the Pittsburgh Penguins Closing Session:
SESSIoN FouR: Christine Stoffel and Jim Darrow (Sr. Director of IT, Ilitch
CRM to XRM -- The Business of Customer Information Across Holdings-Detroit Red Wings/Detroit Tigers)
Moderated by Lorraine Spadaro (VP of Technology, TD Garden) Day Three ends with a general tour of Red Bull Arena.
Panelists: Larry Martin (VP of operations, ScoreBig, Inc.), Chris
Pohl (Director of Ticket Technology, Philadelphia Phillies), and Are you interested in agenda updates leading up to the conference?
representatives from CIO Magazine, Spinnaker, Microsoft and Visit Sports and Entertainment Alliance in Technology online at
Day one ends with a private technology tour of the new Yankee
Stadium for the attendees and vendors of the IT Division.
44 S E A T
See the bigger picture. | www.io-media.com/sports
Owning the Customer Experience
The Orlando Magic recently moved the second strongest season
ticket holder base in the NBA. They did so not exclusively with
strong sales, but with a substantial emphasis on customer service.
By Jared Frank
Editor of SEAT
Association of Luxury
he hospitality industry has redefined good customer service. The Relocation Process
More accurately, customers have redefined good customer The Magic’s seven full-time season ticket account representatives
service. Because they are paying premium prices for all the and two premium service account representatives, who are commis-
modern bells and whistles, their demands are higher. Stadium or sioned on both renewals and additional sales that they receive from
arena experiences better not just satisfy, but exceed expectations. the existing season ticket holder base, had the opportunity to own
Otherwise, service providers are not cultivating retention or entic- their customer experiences through the process of relocating ticket
ing loyalty. Rudimentary commandments like “Stay Close to Your holders from the Amway Arena to the new Amway Center, which
Customer” simply are not good enough anymore. So take note, the is scheduled to open October 10th later this year. The arduous pro-
Orlando Magic represent a new standard of customer service. cess began last November when the Magic distributed a Relocation
Customer service should never be a checklist. The Magic’s ap- Handbook to all season ticket holders. The handbook communi-
proach, while certainly complementing what they have done in the cated, by level, all of the new amenities and benefits of seating op-
past, is a big shift because it allows the organization to look at what portunities, pricing, the process for relocating seats and frequently
they are doing through the eyes of the customer versus a task they asked questions. The handbook also included a DVD that contained
are performing. Literally every touch point is analyzed through a a fly-through of the outside and inside of the Amway Center and a
customer lens in order to “own” the experience. “We felt like most Seating Preference Survey that was also available online.
organizations focus on goals and objectives with their employees, In December, the Magic pre-selected season ticket holders’
and that in turn the employees focus on their tasks or tactics to ac- preliminary seat assignments in the new Amway Center based on
complish these goals and objectives,” explains Scott Bowman, Vice their 2009-2010 seat location at the Amway Arena. These seat selec-
President of Season Ticket Services & Operations at the Magic. tions were made in order of priority number within each Amway
“[The new standards] forced us to really own the customer experi- Center pricing category. The priority number was derived from the
ence and to look at everything we do through their eyes and not just purchase date that the season ticket holder opened up his or her
as a task that we check off once it is accomplished.” account.
Jumping ahead to January/February of this year, the next
phases were seat selection appointments, which were scheduled ac-
The entire process is a cross-fertilization that cording to priority number and were held either online or in-person
at the Magic’s Experience Center. During these appointments, sea-
promotes good feelings for customers and son ticket holders had the opportunity to review their preliminary
increases the team’s morale as well. assigned seat location in the new Amway Center and elect to keep,
upgrade or downgrade from their current seat. After all of these ap-
pointments were completed, they opened up the opportunity for
season ticket holders to add seats as well, also ordered according to
Customer service transcends any one department within the priority number.
Magic front offices. “Every single employee at the Orlando Magic
needs to own the customer experience regardless of what department
he or she represents,” says Bowman. “By having the entire organiza- Above: The new Amway Center will open on 10/10/2010.
tion go through this exercise, it allows us to reinforce the message
that each of us, as individuals, owns our customer experience.”
46 S E A T
47 S E A T
The 13,000 Orlando Magic season ticket holders now occupy seven levels at the new Amway Center.
Managing Expectations goals within that program,” says Bowman. “It also allows us to coach
The Magic brand is very strong in Central Florida. With a team and develop any of our employees who might be struggling.” With
winning on the court, an organization heavily involved in the com- such a strong support system, the Magic are able to retain not only
munity and a new arena right around the corner, there is more value season ticket holders, but its employee base as well.
in a Magic season ticket than ever before. With 13,000 season ticket
holders, a large percentage of which who have been in the same seats The Cycles of ServiceTM
in the same building for 20 years, a few seat holders were bound The Orlando Magic mission statement reads, “To be World Cham-
to have expectations that were not met. But the Magic mitigated pions on and off the court, delivering legendary moments every step
these issues with constant dialogue in order to meet, manage and of the way.” In order to deliver legendary moments, every employee
ultimately exceed expectations for nearly every customer. “Making needs some level of service training, and likewise, every employee
sure that we were clear and precise in our communication to [season needs sales training. The line between sales and service is disap-
ticket holders] was crucial in managing their expectations about the pearing; department goals are giving way to larger organizational
process,” says Bowman. standards.
The entire process is a cross-fertilization that promotes good Enter Ruby Newell-Legner, Certified Speaking Professional
feelings for customers and increases the team’s morale as well. The and Customer Satisfaction Expert for Sports and Entertainment.
Magic organization’s continuity and culture starts with its ownership The success of the relocation process stems from a foundation cured
and trickles down into a cycle between its staff and its customers. two years previous. The Magic first turned to Newell-Legner in 2007
The organization also works diligently to manage the expectations to train the service staff. What started out as a project involving just
and time of its service representatives. Having the second largest base one department quickly grew organization-wide when Scott Bow-
of season ticket holders in the NBA certainly keeps the Magic service man saw the expertise and resources that came in partnering with
staff busy year-round. “We work with them on managing their book Ruby. “She really connected with our entire staff. The other great
of business by setting a year-round season ticket holder touch point thing about Ruby is that she connects you with other people who
program and are able to recognize and reward them for achieving can make a positive impact on your company,” says Bowman.
“Once we discussed training for the staff at Amway Arena,
we started a dialogue and I said, ‘This is what I can do. This is what
The Magic earned a 90.5% customer satisfaction I have done for other stadiums and arenas. But you might want to
think about this other thing I am doing’,” Newell-Legner says. The
rating -- the highest ever in the sports and “other thing” is her trademarked concept called Cycles of ServiceTM,
entertainment industry. which walks each staff member through steps or impressions all from
the customer’s standpoint. “We analyze all the touch points. For in-
stance, a customer calling the ticket office, getting information, de-
48 S E A T
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“By having the entire organization go through this
exercise, it allows us to reinforce the message that each
of us, as individuals, owns our customer experience.”
–Scott Bowman, VP of Season Ticket Services & Operations
veloping a relationship with a ticket sales representative and how the that I can really help them if they let me be part of the big picture.”
customer feels after the conversation,” says Newell-Legner. One of Newell-Legner’s recommendations that illustrates the
So the first year, Cycles of ServiceTM were created for all 18 value of Orlando Magic customer service is Service Scouts, a secret
departments within the Magic organization from both an internal shopping company that is based on rewarding positive performance.
and external customer service viewpoint. Department leaders were After her first year, the Magic earned a 90.5% customer satisfaction
coached on presentation skills and went through a train the train- rating- “the highest ever in the sports and entertainment industry,”
er program to encourage them to teach their staff everything they according to Jim Smith, founder of Service Scouts. After her second
needed to be successful in their specific roles. The Cycles of ServiceTM year, 602 staff members received perfect shops. But Newell-Legner
is quick to point out, “Of course it is not just about the scores. It is
about the end result, which is turning every customer into a loyal
With the Cycles of ServiceTM now ingrained into Orlando
Magic culture, we fast forward again to the relocation process, where
Newell-Legner and Bowman really put the new organizational stan-
dard to the test. “The relocation process is like a science,” Newell-Leg-
ner observes. “I was so impressed at the intense planning and market-
ing strategies the Magic used to help season ticket holders select their
seats for the new Amway Center.” She continues, “When I try to
describe it to somebody, I just say, ‘They had a two-level building and
people were sitting here, and now they have a seven-level building, so
some seats do not exist anymore in the new configuration’.”
Clearly Newell-Legner and Bowman had their work cut out for
them. But working side-by-side, they never lost sight of the end re-
sults of owning the customer experience, making every season ticket
holder feel valued and allowing fans to feel confident the process was
going to be fair for everyone. Bowman expounds, “We want our
season ticket holders to feel like they are getting a high return on
the investment that they make with us each year, and we need to
ensure that they would recommend our experience to their friends
Mission accomplished. The Cycles of ServiceTM “delivered leg-
President Suites are just 27 rows from the floor and feature a lounge
area, fixed seating for 12 and private access via VIP elevator and suite endary moments every step of the way” and held up to the strain of
holders’ concourse. 13,000 season ticket holders being asked to pay more for in some
cases different seat locations. “Within the Cycles of ServiceTM, we
Program takes employees through a three-phase process to help them incorporated measurable standards so we could also look at how we
understand the specific impressions they leave every day both inside took a customer touch point from meeting expectations to exceed-
and outside the organization. The three steps are: ing expectations,” Bowman explains. “If we had to do it over again,
we would choose the same strategy, because the feedback that we
1. Identify each impression from the customer’s viewpoint. have received has been very positive.” Now the fun begins. Instead
2. Identify the emotions the employee is trying to solicit. of owning the customer experience of relocation, Scott Bowman and
3. Identify the performance standards that are required to solicit the Magic will own the customer experience of a brand new arena,
that emotion and leave a positive impression on each customer. and who knows, maybe an NBA Championship. Now that would be
That first year was Customer Service 101- impacting the impression
left on the customer so they will want to build a long-term relation- How does your team deliver legendary moments?
ship. Over the past two years, Newell-Legner has done most of her Write to Jared at email@example.com.
programs once or twice for almost every department at the Magic.
Her on-site meetings have been as small as one-on-one and as large
as 800 people. “What is so great about the Magic is that they encour-
age and value my recommendations, and they really do listen,” says
Newell-Legner. “They do not roll their eyes. They really take to heart
50 S E A T
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each season from fans who
refuse to wait in long
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orders are processed twice as fast... which means shorter lines and more revenue.
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Industry and Association News
Salary Survey 2010, continued from page 14
Compensation allows recent graduates to enter the workforce in a college atmo-
sphere while expanding their education. Unfortunately, insufficient
Salary ranges are based on position and seniority of the employ- data was accumulated to provide accurate salary averages for
ee. The wide range of salaries is broken down by position and MLS, Minor League Sports, Racing Venues and Concert Venues.
league to provide the most relatable results. The results are di- We hope to receive enough information in the future to provide
vided into five positions: Coordinators, Managers, Directors, Vice these members of the industry with the same information we have
Presidents and Suite Managers of Catering/Food and Beverage. been able to provide for the other leagues.
Each of these positions plays a valid role in the industry and is the
hierarchy of the sales and service forces.
By Position: Salary:
The results of the average total compensation are compiled by Structure:
salary and commission, apart from the Coordinator of Suite Sales • Salary: 67%
and Premium Services and Suite Manager of Catering/Food and • Salary/Bonus: 24%
Beverage. The majority of respondents with these positions re- • Salary/Commission: 5%
ceive no commission (see chart below). • Other – Salary/Override/Bonus: 5%
• Average Salary: $61,528
By League: • Average Commission: Not enough data
The various leagues encompass their own trends in compensation • 100% Medical and 95% Dental
packages. Some leagues provide better commission packages, • Vision (86%), Flexible Spending (67%) and Educational
while some leagues provide more valuable benefits. We have de- Assistance (62%)
veloped a breakdown of all the responses by league to provide a • 401K: 71.4%
better insight and means to compare league compensation pack- • Pension Plan: 38%
ages and benefits. An interesting fact found is the majority of NFL • Paid personal/sick days: 0 (5%), 1-4 (16%), 5-8 (26%),
and MLB employees are compensated by their teams, while NBA 9+ (52%)
and NHL employees are more commonly paid by their venues as • 55% of unused personal/sick days are rolled over to the
a result of arena suite employees commonly working for multiple next year
teams and multiple events. • 14.3% have 8-14 vacation days per year and 86% have
In addition to the “Big Four” leagues, we have gathered infor- 15-25 days
mation from the College segment. While they do not match up as
well with the salary and commission of the professional leagues,
they do provide better support with educational assistance. This
Compensation by Position
Average Base Salary Average Commission Average Total Compensation
Vice President $97,500 $41,000 $138,500
of Suite Sales/Premium Services
Director $81,999 $28,823 $110,822
of Suite Sales/Premium Services
Manager $53,962 $20,499 $74,461
of Suite Sales/Premium Services
Coordinator $39,249 $39,249
of Suite Sales/Premium Services
Suite Manager $50,832 $50,832
of Catering/Food and Beverage
52 S E A T
Industry and Association News
Salary Survey 2010, continued from page 14
• Salary: 37% • Salary: 16%
• Salary/Bonus: 33% • Salary/Bonus: 64%
• Salary/Commission: 11% • Salary/Commission: 4%
• Salary/Commission/Bonus: 19% • Salary/Commission/Bonus: 16%
• Average Salary: $69,947 • Average Salary: $74,356
• Average Commission: $31,249 (recorded from the 43% • Average Commission: $24,444 (recorded from the 43%
who receive commission) who receive commission)
• 100% Medical and Dental • 100% Medical and Dental
• Vision (74%), Flexible Spending (59%) and Educational • Vision (88%), Flexible Spending (64%) and Educational
Assistance (33%) Assistance (12%)
• 401K: 92% • 401K: 88%
• Pension Plan: 62% • Pension Plan: 20%
• Paid personal/sick days: 0 (20%), 1-4 (28%), 5-8 (24%), • Paid personal/sick days: 0 (4%), 1-4 (35%), 5-8 (35%),
9+ (28%) 9+ (26%)
• 79% of unpaid personal/sick days are lost • 76% of unused personal/sick days are lost
• 3% receive less than 8 days of vacation per year, 56% • 4% receive less than 8 days of vacation per year, 16%
receive 8-14 and 41% receive 15-25 receive 8-14, 76% receive 15-25 and 4% receive more
• 46% of unused vacation time is lost, 35% is rolled over to than 26 days
the next year, and 19% have limitations of the number of • 44% of unused vacation time is lost, 28% is rolled over to
hours that can be rolled over the next year and 28% is rolled over to the next year with
a deadline to use it by and/or limitation to the amount
allowed to roll over
Structure • Structure
• Salary: 27% • Salary: 17%
• Salary/Bonus: 47% • Salary/Bonus: 42%
• Salary/Commission: 7% • Salary/Commission: 13%
• Salary/Commission/Bonus: 20% • Salary/Commission/Bonus: 25%
• Average Salary: $58,845 • Other: Salary/Bonus – allowed overtime: 4.2%
• Average Commission: $39,999 (recorded from the 37% • Average Salary: $75,952
who receive commission) • Average Commission: $25,999 (recorded from the 50%
Benefits: who receive commission)
• 100% Medical and Dental Benefits:
• Vision (73%), Flexible Spending (87%) and Educational • 100% Medical and 96% Dental
Assistance (27%) • Vision (79%), Flexible Spending (79%) and Educational
• 401K: 100% Assistance (21%)
• Pension Plan: 60% • 401K: 93%
• Paid personal/sick days: 0 (7%), 1-4 (13%), 5-8 (67%), • Pension Plan: 17%
9+ (13%) • Paid personal/sick days: 0 (8%), 1-4 (25%), 5-8 (50%),
• 65% of unused personal/sick days are lost 9+ (17%)
• 47% receive 8-14 days of vacation per year, 47% receive • 75% of unused personal/sick days are lost
15-25 and 7% receive more than 26 • 4% receive less than 8 days of vacation per year, 33%
• 54% of unused vacation time is rolled over to the next receive 8-14 and 63% receive 15-25
year, 40% is lost and 7% roll over but have a deadline/ • 42% of unused vacation time is lost, 38% is rolled over to
limitation to the amount of hours allowed the next year and 21% is either converted to pay or given
a deadline/limitation to the roll over amount
54 S E A T
That is when you will see SEAT next, in New York City. Can you believe we are
just two months out from this year’s ALSD Conference and Tradeshow? Each conference
attendee will receive our Annual Conference Program Edition which we are hard at work on,
but that does not mean we have not already started our research for the Summer Issue of SEAT.
So plan to include us in your summer reading.
In the Next Issue of SEAT: PLUS:
ALSD Member Highlight Features:
New Venues Coming Soon - - Mike Guiffre, Director of Premium Seating and
An Architectural Perspective Group Sales, Pittsburgh Penguins
SEAT is offering ALSD members a networking opportunity
and allowing you to take control of our content. Instead of
SEAT asking the member highlight questions, we are put-
ting you to work. Submit your questions for Mike Guiffre to
email@example.com. Don’t know Mike? This is the perfect op-
portunity to get acquainted and ask about his new venue,
Consol Energy Center, or his inner-most fears. You decide!
New Marlins Ballpark under construction
Club Cambria Served Pittsburgh-style
New York Conference Recap
Guest Contributor- Brian Bucciarelli, Director of
Consol Energy Center, future home of the Penguins
Corporate Partnerships/Premium Seating, Giant
Are you interested in writing for SEAT? Contact Jared at
Connect with the ALSD on Linkedin: Follow the ALSD on Twitter:
Bill Dorsey: Jared Frank: @SEAT_Editor
www.linkedin.com/pub/pat-mccaffrey/9/27b/54b Become an ALSD Fan on Facebook:
Amanda Verhoff: www.facebook.com/pages/Association-of-Luxury-Suite-Direc-
*Find daily industry and association news updates on all of
ALSD Group Page: http://www.linkedin.com/
our social media outlets.
56 S E A T
PANSTADIA editorial coverage :
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