SEAT Winter 2012


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SEAT Winter 2012

  1. 1. THE 2012 ALSD CONFERENCE PROGRAM: Begin Planning Your Experience Now PAGE 38 S E AT LEADING THE PREMIUM SEAT INDUSTRY WWW.ALSD.COM WINTER 2012 P U B L I S H E D B Y T H E A S S O C I AT I O N O F L U X U R Y S U I T E D I R E C T O R S WHICH TRENDS IN THE VENUE MARKETPLACE CAN YOU BELIEVE IN? PAGE 14 F&B Trends: Facility Trend: Technology Trends: An Innovative Recipe The New Marlins Park Is Enhancing Sponsorships and Fan + Other Concessions Highlights Uniquely Miami Experiences with Mobile & IPTV PAGE 26 and PAGE 68 PAGE 32 PAGE 48 and PAGE 56
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  4. 4. winterS E A T 2012 Published by the Association of Luxury Suite Directors FEATURES38 ALSD 2012 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 2012 has arrived, and with it, the preliminary lineup for the 22nd Annual ALSD Conference and Tradeshow. This year’s show, themed The Community, will bring attendees sessions, roundtables, events, interactivity, participatory learning, and tours and receptions at three of the most top-notch venues in the country. Begin planning your experience in Minneapolis.60 WHY SOCCER? WHY SALES? As part of its mission to grow a soccer nation, Major League Soccer is shaking out of the grassroots its own sales talent at its National Sales Center in Blaine, Minnesota. BY RYAN MIRABEDINI64 PREMIUM SEAT SALES STRATEGIES AND BEST PRACTICES FROM A TEAM PERSPECTIVE 38 Last year, an ALSD survey was completed by 48 teams from MLB, the NBA, the NFL and the NHL to better understand today’s sales best practices. Is your organization following the industry standards? BY DR. PETER TITLEBAUM AND TODD C. KOESTERS, MSA, JD68 CONCESSIONS, CATERING & HOSPITALITY TRENDS New concessions and catering solutions and products support the leading stadium and arena concessionaires, caterers and consultants to increase revenue for teams, clubs and venues. BY STEVE TRAIMAN SPORTS TECHNOLOGY CORNER48 GILLETTE STADIUM’S PUTNAM CLUB INDULGES GUESTS IN HIGH-PERFORMANCE WI-FI At the home of the New England Patriots, a new wireless architecture 56 is enabling the creation and delivery of video content to mobile devices exclusively to members of the Putnam Club.50 IT COLLABORATES WITH THE WORLD The ALSD has officially formed the Venue Technology Group (VTG). This year’s VTG program trains all the areas of the premium and gen- eral facility markets to better understand technology and to collaborate with IT Departments.56 IPTV: THE INTERSECTION OF FAN EXPERIENCE AND SPONSOR EXCLUSIVITY Whether installed in an aging facility or a brand new, state-of-the-art venue, IPTV technology adds value to both corporate partnerships and the fan experience. BY BOB ROBLE 60 About the Cover: The new Marlins Park in Miami showcases many of the trends reported in this issue, including Sales, Technology, F&B, Design, and Customer Service innovations. Contents continues on overleaf #SEATWinter2012 | | S E A T | 5
  5. 5. winterS E A T 2012 ASSociATion of Luxury SuiTE DirEcTorS Chairman Bill Dorsey Executive Director Amanda Verhoff President Jennifer Ark, Green Bay PackersPublished by the Association of Luxury Suite Directors VP, Business Development Pat McCaffrey Director, Sponsor and Partnership Development Dene Shiels Editor of SEAT and Jared Frank National Sales Manager Scott Hinzman Membership Director Ryan Mirabedini Design Carole Winters Art + Design Director of Finance Dan Lindeman Financial Account Manager Vickie Henke Director of Interactive Media John Tymoski ExECuTIVE CoMMITTEE Chris Bigelow, Bigelow Companies Brian Bucciarelli, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Greg Hanrahan, united Center Tom Kaucic, Southern Wine & Spirits Pat McCaffrey, ALSD 32 Kim Reckley, Detroit Red Wings & olympia Entertainment BoARD oF DIRECToRS DEPARTMENTS Janie Boles, Auburn university Natalie Burbank, utah Jazz / Salt Lake Bees8 NEW ALSD MEMBERS Richard Dobransky, Delaware North Companies Trent Dutry, uS Airways Center12 ALSD STAFF EDITORIAL Chris Granger, National Basketball Association Editor’s Note MIke Guiffre BY JARED FRANK Adam Kellner, Chicago Bears State of the Association Gerald Kissel BY AMANDA VERHOFF Debbie Massa, RoI Consulting Trends in the Venue Marketplace from Scott O’Connell, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club 2011: Changes You Can Believe In? Mike Ondrejko, Legends Premium Sales 24 BY BILL DORSEY Richard Searls Tom Sheridan, Chicago White Sox Peter Titlebaum, university of Dayton20 ALSD MEMBER Q&A VEnuE TEcHnoLoGy GrouP ALSD 2012 STEERING CoMMITTEE22 INDUSTRY 2012 STEErinG AnD Sue Brown, Levy Restaurants AND ASSOCIATION NEWS Ticketmaster Facebook feature enhances confErEncE coMMiTTEE Britt Carlson, Minnesota Timberwolves Richard Dobransky, Delaware North Companies fan experience Matt Lukens, FanVision Rachael Johnson, Minnesota Wild ALSD evaluates FanVision in Cleveland’s Jim Ibister, Minnesota Wild Scott O’Connell, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club Dawg Pound Scott Jablonski, National Hockey League Tanesha Wade, university of Minnesota Athletics Mark DiMaurizio, Comcast-Spectacor Feature Recipe: TD Garden chef has John Tymoski, ALSD Published by Venue Pub. Inc. Copyright 2012. (All rights championship taste reserved). SEAT is a registered trademark of the Association Ron Contorno, Full House Entertainment Database of Luxury Suite Directors. SEAT is published quarterly and is Marketing complimentary to all members of the Association of Luxury28 ON ALSD.COM Bobby Whitson, Whitson Sports Suite Directors. Jason Koettel, Legends Hospitality Management30 MEMBER HIGHLIGHT John Avenson, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club SEAT visits with: Jason Coleman, orlando Magic Andrew Silverman Russell Scibetti, New York Jets Senior Vice President of Sales & Service Miami Marlins Association of Luxury Suite Directors BY JARED FRANK 10017 McKelvey Road, Cincinnati, oH 45231 513 674 0555 amanda@alsd.com78 COMING ATTRACTIONS Please Recycle This Magazine6 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  6. 6. nEW ALSD MEMbErS WinTEr 2012Mike Setser Jarrod Dillon Scott McGinnDirector of Corporate Suite Sales Vice President, Ticket Sales & Services Director of SalesSan Antonio Spurs San Diego Padres Madison Square Gardenone AT&T Center 100 Park Road 2 Penn Plaza, 14th FloorSan Antonio, Tx 78219 San Diego, CA 92101 New York, NY 10121P: 210-444-5644 P: 619-795-5080 P: scott.mcginn@thegarden.comDustin Boyer Charlie Hillis Amy HobbsEvent Coordinator – Premium Seating Gift Card Manager Suite Services Manageruniversity of Illinois Nike San Diego Chargers1700 South Fourth Street one Bowerman Drive Po Box 609100Champaign, IL 61820 Beaverton, oR 97005-6453 San Diego, CA 92160P: 217-333-0516 P: 503-671-5819 P: Macko Mitch Kluska Christina LeonardGroup Sales & Premium Services Manager Premium Seating Sales Executive Premium Seating Specialistuniversity of Central Florida Green Bay Packers Columbus Blue JacketsuCF Arena 1265 Lombardi Avenue Nationwide ArenaPo Box 161500 Green Bay, WI 54304 200 W. Nationwide Blvd, Suite Levelorlando, FL 32816 P: 920-569-7253 Columbus, oH 43215P: 407-823-6062 P: Cherylee CruzValerie Mirelman National Accounts Specialist Kimberly HobbsGroup and Suite Service Coordinator Rosseto Director of Corporate Sales & ServicesTampa Bay Rays 3600 West Pratt Avenue Sprint Center AEGone Tropicana Drive Lincolnwood, IL 60712 1407 Grand BoulevardSt. Petersburg, FL 33705 Kansas City, Mo 64106P: 727-825-3345 P: Wayne Boydstun CooChad Collard Fusion Imaging Mark FaschingDirector of Group and Suite Sales 601 Boro Street Suite Sales ManagerTampa Bay Rays Kaysville, uT 84037 Minnesota Wild/MSEone Tropicana Drive 317 Washington StreetSt. Petersburg, FL 33705 St. Paul, MN 55102P: 727-825-3238 Tamala Levin P: Client Service Manager – Premium Club TD GardenBrian Richeson 100 Legends Way Brittany HiltonVice President of Sales & Service Boston, MA 02114 Premier Gameday ExperiencesTampa Bay Rays P: 617-624-1825 Chicago Cubsone Tropicana Drive 1060 W. AddisonSt. Petersburg, FL 33705 Chicago, IL 60613P: 727-825-3193 Marissa Guziec P: Suite Services Coordinator St. Louis RamsJustin Buck 901 N. Broadway Linda DeckardSuite Sales Account Executive St. Louis, Mo 63101 PublisherTampa Bay Rays P: 314-425-0513 Venues Today Magazineone Tropicana Drive Po Box 2540St. Petersburg, FL 33705 Huntington Beach, CA 92647P: 727-825-3361 Marc Sandoval Director of Suites & Hospitality Kansas City Chiefs Greg SweenyLeigh Castergine Arrowhead Stadium Design DirectorVice President of Ticket Sales and Service one Arrowhead Drive Rossetti ArchitectsNew York Mets Kansas City, Mo 64129 Two Towne Square, Suite 20Citi Field P: 816-920-4815 Southfield, MI 48076New York, NY 11368 P: 248-262-8300P: 718-559-3134 Jackie Norrie Manager of Partnerships Tony Reiner Trade Centre Limited Senior Designer 1800 Argyle Street, Suite 416 Rossetti Architects Halifax, NS B3J 2V9 Two Towne Square, Suite 20 Canada Southfield, MI 48076 P: 902-421-1302 x2246 P: 248-262-8300 treiner@rossetti.com8 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  7. 7. b o n i ta
  8. 8. nEW ALSD MEMbErS WinTEr 2012Matt Hathorne Christina Brandt Brian SandySenior Designer President Senior Director, Premium Sales and ServiceRossetti Architects Service Ideas, Inc. Portland Trail BlazersTwo Towne Square, Suite 20 2354 Ventura Drive one North Center Court, Suite 200Southfield, MI 48076 Woodbury, MN 55125 Portland, oR 97227P: 248-262-8300 P: 651-730-8800 P: brian.sandy@trailblazers.comDima Daimi Andy Krawczyk Jared KozinnJunior Designer Regional Sales Manager Manager, Ticket Sales & ServiceRossetti Architects Service Ideas, Inc. San Francisco 49ersTwo Towne Square, Suite 20 2354 Ventura Drive Candlestick ParkSouthfield, MI 48076 Woodbury, MN 55125 490 Jamestown Avenue, Suite 400P: 248-262-8300 P: 651-379-3139 San Francisco, CA P: 415-494-0518 Giacco Joe KrawczykJunior Designer Director – Multi-Channel Sales Rob McCalebbRossetti Architects Service Ideas, Inc. Director of Suite Sales & ServiceTwo Towne Square, Suite 20 2354 Ventura Drive Palace Sports and EntertainmentSouthfield, MI 48076 Woodbury, MN 55125 4 Championship DriveP: 248-262-8300 P: 651-379-3127 Auburn Hills, MI P: 248-375-4062 rmccalebb@palacenet.comSarah Bentley Melinda CoyerRestaurantware Director of Sales and Marketing David Frieberg360 W. Illinois St, #605 CenturyLink Center/SMG Systems AdministratorChicago, IL 60654 2000 CenturyLink Center Drive oakland Athletics Baseball Co.P: 800-851-9273 Bossier City, LA 71112 7000 Coliseum P: 318-752-6730 oakland, CA 94621 P: 510-638-4900Richard Rinella dfrieberg@oaklandathletics.comPresident Jake WoodRestaurantware Marketing Coordinator Arthur Bartell360 W. Illinois St, #605 CenturyLink Center/SMG Group PresidentChicago, IL 60654 2000 CenturyLink Center Drive Proforma Big Dog BrandingP: 800-851-9273 Bossier City, LA 71112 6550A East Bayaud P: 318-752-6731 Denver, Co 80224 P: 303-953-8104Declan Duggan artbart@msn.comCEo/CMo Lorna PiernoEllickson uSA Director, Marketing Programs Louis Pullano9518 Deereco Road xirrus Assistant ProfessorTimonium, MD 21093 2101 Corporate Center Drive Johnson and Wales universityP: 215-219-9203 Thousand oaks, CA 91320 8 Abbott Park P: 805-262-1652 Providence, RI 02903 P: 401-598-1358Josh Goodman lpullano@jwu.eduCEo/Coo Nicola MetiEllickson uSA D. English Tonatiuh Mejia Moysen9518 Deereco Road 2520 St. Joseph Boulevard Managing DirectorTimonium, MD 21093 East Montreal, QC H1Y 2A2 Estadio de Futbol Canada AV. Fundidora #501, Col obrera P: 514-890-1745 CINTERMEx Suite 43Chris Blum Monterrey, Nuevo Leon 64010VP, Business Development – West MExICoEllickson uSA Mario Struffolino P: 144819009518 Deereco Road D. English, MD 21093 2520 St. Joseph East Montreal, QC H1Y 2A2 Bob Beasley Canada Director of SalesLindsay Valenty P: 514-890-1745 Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayMarketing Communications 4790 West 16th StreetService Ideas, Inc. Indianapolis, IN 462222354 Ventura Drive P: 317-492-6550Woodbury, MN 55125 bbeasley@brickyard.comP: 651-379-3123lindsay@serviceideas.com10 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  9. 9. Editor’s notE by JarEd FrankDon’t accept decision science at face valueT his first issue of SEAT in 2012 is what we’re calling our Trends Issue. Connect with me on Instead of addressing the State of the Industry within the confines of 700 and follow me onwords, as is normally done with this note this of year, we’re summarizing those notewor- for daily updates.thy changes and new additions worth checkingout in the marketplace throughout most of our Here is a sampling of my tweets:editorial and feature articles. A broad swab of these changes is found inBill’s editorial (Trends in the Venue Market- The San Jose Earthquakes are selling suites for theirplace from 2011: Changes You Can Believe In?) proposed new stadium. The 12 field level suites willstarting on page 14. Branching out from there, be a first in MLS and international football.we have articles on food and beverage trends,facility trends, social media trends, sales trends University of Louisville Athletics grew over 30% inand technology trends. I should point out that the past three years. The increase is largely due towe are not separating the wheat from the chaff luxury suite revenues at the KFC Yum! Center andin each story. Trends are meant to be tested, as Anything that contributes to the deterioration Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.the quality of all of them is yet to be determined. of imagination should be handled with care.To an extent, we’re throwing them all up on the Understanding that a prospect that scores a fivewall, and we’ll have to wait and see what sticks should be solicited before one that scores a two, Atletico Madrid unveils plans for new 70,000-seatas the year unfolds. Or as Bill likes to say, we in but not understanding the theory of how the stadium to replace Vicente Calderon starting in 2015.the industry need to “kick the tires” before any statistic is derived, or in some cases, why it istrend can be considered a best practice. derived doesn’t cut the mustard. How and why TD Ameritrade Park opens to profitability in its first I’d like to discuss another specific sportsbiz we do what we do is more important than what year. The new home of the College World Seriestrend made popular in 2011 – Moneyball. The we do. produced a $5.6 million net operating profit for theterm, and the practice for that matter, isn’t new. So what’s the lesson here? Don’t use analyt- 2010-2011 fiscal year.Moneyball, the book, was first published in ics? Of course not. But don’t only take analytics2003. But movies starring Brad Pitt have a way at face value. Use automated technology as anof achieving greater mainstream success than accelerator of business, not an igniter of busi- STAPLES Center was the top grossing arena in Northbooks written by Michael Lewis. Now everyone, ness. Decisions should remain a blend of art and America in 2011 and the 7th highest in the world.including my mother, knows what Moneyball is. science and of human judgment and algorithms. In addition to its main tenants, the arena hosted 36 My take on the popularity of Moneyball – the Else our ability to reason and see beyond the concerts with 30 sellouts.practice, not the movie – is decidedly unpopular. superficial is lost.It glamorizes “decision science” – the belief that So be careful. If you have the magic bullet, The Texas Rangers are raising ticket prices for theanalytics alone make the best business decisions. if you have the recipe for the secret sauce, you 2012 season. Club level seats are increasing to $66Empirical gauges are very helpful in a number won’t forever. Old problems will always be for regular games, $74 for premier games.of ways. For example, for any business reliant on replaced by the same problems in new forms.sales for success (which is all of them), analytics And if we get to the point where we only knoware vital for “scoring” leads and determining what button to push and when to push it, but we Cambodia’s first indoor stadium nears completion.those prospects most likely to buy. Any salesper- don’t know why we’re pushing it, when we “kick It includes a mezzanine level with lounge bar whichson will tell you that they can’t survive without the new tires,” we won’t know what we’re even flanks a VIP box.picking from the low hanging fruit first. What testing for.bothers me is the thought that analytics alone USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds announce new 3,500-are increasingly responsible for decision-making. seat, multi-sport stadium project in Station Square. Eliminating bias and subjectivity from impor- How do you balance human judgment with analytics whentant decisions usually leads to positive outcomes. making decisions?I am the first to admit this verity. However, the Email me at ALSD is going global! The ALSD will launch a newshine of Moneyball blinds us from an unstated global division and Premium Seat Seminar inadmonition – numbers have a way of diminish- Also connect with me on social media (See Sidebar). partnership with TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2012ing human curiosity. Accepting the numbers in Turin on May 15.isn’t enough for me. And frankly, it scares me.12 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  10. 10. statE oF thE associaton by amanda vErhoFFThe more we stay the same…The more we have to changeA ssociations appear to outsiders to living in a vacuum. We have to recreate our own steadfastly stay the same. Year after touch point calendars and reinvest in our own year, it’s a show and membership improved benefits. It’s a balancing act for us, like and publications. But what outsiders it is for the teams, to not only hear all our clientsdon’t know is that the more things do remain but actually listen to them.the same, the more they actually have to change.And the reason is to keep you engaged. The overall PICTure It’s true – the ALSD will run a conference The association is healthy. Sure we’re tighten-this year; we will continue to produce SEAT ing our belt like anyone else these days. But weand Between the SEATs; we will continue to are on track for a great year. It’s up to us, at theask for your venue’s contribution to the refer- ALSD, however to become the change we wantence manual; we will further develop our Venue to see. It’s why we send member questions; it’sTechnology Group; and we will have all the why we have reinvented our technology division;leagues in attendance this year at a kick-ass it’s why we reach out to you even though weMinneapolis show. So what changes? Well noth- know you’re in-season and have more club seatsing… except everything. to sell than minutes in the day; and it’s why we Let me explain something first. An associa- will attend enough meeting planner shows totion’s goal is two-fold: 1) To be the source for stay ahead of the curve. The goal is to exceed as-industry trends and best practices and 2) To sociation status quo, to reinvent our associationbe the leader in event planning. The ALSD for your benefit year after year.could put on a helluva fun show but fall short In the end, the change we’re after is goingon content, or we could research all the right to knock your socks off. And contrary to whatmaterial but put on a bone dry event. The point weather reports are telling us now, you reallyis we have to master both and to do so, requires "sure we’re tightening our won’t need them in Minneapolis in July anyway!change each and every year. belt like anyone else these Think of the association this way: days. But we are on trackThe ConferenCe for a great year… The goal What other changes would you like to see in your association?The ALSD recreates dozens of conference ses- Write to Amanda at, and connect withsions each year. Figuring out the most relevant is to exceed association her on LinkedIn at comes first; finding fresh speakers fol-lows. Placing sessions into timeslots that make status quo, to reinvent oursense seems like an easy next step, but it’s a jug- association for your benefitgling act deciding which renewal session shouldcompete with which loyalty session, and which year after year." food and beverage session should compete withwhich new technology session. We reinvent theshow’s structure and content each year; if youlook closely, it’s hardly ever the same. Add tothat, we have to change the venue tours each Service departments are pining for client loyaltyyear; admittedly, that’s the fun part though! We and turning to technology for customer man-love picking new cities, and the best venues tend agement tools. Food and beverage companiesto lead us in the right direction every year. are encouraging patrons to order from digital menu boards and pay on mobile devices. VenuesThe IndusTry are transforming unsold suites into all-inclusiveSomething’s going on. It’s like the next genera- clubs or loges.tion of premium seating has arrived. Gone are Ultimately, the way teams are operating is justthe days of sold-out suites and waiting lists for different than only a few years ago. Perhaps it’s50-yard line seats. What’s going on just might the economy and its struggle to rebound from CoMInG uP neXT:be the paradigm shift we’ve been talking about 2008, but it seems as though the industry is try- The IndusTry Trendsfor a few years now. In 2012, suites and sponsor- ing to work smarter not harder. The ALSD has To TesT ouT In 2012ships are becoming one department for some. to embrace that axiom too, and we can’t do so by #SEATWinter2012 | | S E A T | 13
  11. 11. EdiToriAl by bill dorSEyTrends in the venue marketplace from 2011:Changes you can believe in?C hange often sneaks up on you. Un- important because, as mentioned, many venues less a major event occurs, change do not have enough broadband capacity. has a way of slowly moving forward On premium levels, companies such as Xirrus step by step. Then, almost out of have added bandwidth for the club levels at thenowhere, something happens that everyone home of the New England Patriots, Gillettenotices – a tipping point occurs. The Berlin Wall Stadium. By adding this additional streamingfalls. So do Twin Towers. And change comes out power, club seat holders can now access in-gameof the rubble. content and instant replays from multiple angles Change is very much like that in the venue on their mobile devices without worrying aboutand sports marketplaces. On the team side, having to buffer. It’s a terrific customer serviceteams keep changing players until out of the and one that appears to be the future for manyrubble of a bad season, comes a winning com- venues across the country. Additional informa-bination. tion on Xirrus’ work at Gillette Stadium can be On the facility side, change happens found on page 48.incrementally too. But it might not be called“change.” Rather, on the facility side, it’s called TICkeTInGa “trend.” But what is a trend other than a series The Skinny: Ticketing is undergoing a renais-of incremental changes? sance. There are so many new things to consider: The following article takes a look at those paperless, phone tickets, seat upgrading, etc.incremental changes, or trends, which began There are new primary companies that haveoccurring in 2011 and which are occurring as we emerged, and mergers that have occurred. Therewrite. There is no guarantee that the trends will are new secondary companies that are makingcontinue in 2012. Trends are like tires which are inroads in primary space. There are a fair numberkicked on a car; they are tested out before they of new value buys like Groupon, Goldstar,are driven. Entrepreneurial companies are always ScoreBig, etc. There are pre-sells, package dealskicking tires. for VIPs, fan travel companies, suite sharing and That’s how to view the following article – as wants to be connected. Everyone is tweeting, fractionalization. In a word, ticketing is confus-trends that are making headway into the sports facebooking, texting and emailing, and there are ing. It’s also complicated. But a couple trendsvenue marketplace. It’s good to know them be- too many places and too many times where this seem to be catching on. Consider:cause you may want to “kick some tires” on your can’t happen.own. But then again, they are trends, not dogma. The situation is worse when the teams them- dynaMIC PrICInGRead on and decide which trends you believe are selves rely on apps for their fans to order food, to The primary ticketing industry, as opposed toworth testing. purchase tickets, to view replays, player updates the secondary market re-sellers, leave a great We’ve broken up the trends into categories: and other scores from other games. If there is deal of money on the table by pricing their tick-Technology, Ticketing, Food & Beverage, a trend that is nearly a certainty in the coming ets too low or too high. It’s extremely difficult toArchitecture/Design, Social Media, Sales and year(s), it is the need to increase bandwidth in judge supply and demand curves before a seasonCustomer Service/Retention. venues across the country. And there is a race to begins. But that’s what most primary ticket sell- do so within the big infrastracture companies: ers have to do; they have to decide on the priceTeChnoloGy Cisco, Harris, AT&T, Xirrus, etc. of the game far in advance.The Skinny: Technology is becoming the major There are many examples of successful Dynamic pricing – the ability to price a gametopic for the venue marketplace. Nearly every companies and/or venues adding broadband or ticket based on a game-by-game demand – ispart of the business requires technology, and IT/ Wi-Fi services to their venues. One example: clearly becoming more popular with teams. ForCIO types are prospering in the space. And if LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, Sport- one, by getting the ticket price more connectedthere is one area that affects all other areas, it is: ing KC’s new stadium, has generally received with reality, it increases team revenues and de- rave reviews for its many innovative ideas. So creases (at least theoretically) the demand on theBroadBand for The Masses much so that the team recently formed its own secondary side. Barry Kahn’s Qcue is perhapsHaving trouble getting your cell phone to work technology division called Sporting Innovations. the best known of these types of companies, andin large venues? You are not alone. This is clearly Reportedly, many teams and leagues have visited they claim a fairly high percentage of upsell. It’sa case of broadband technology not being able the facility to see the latest and greatest in something that has started slowly but is clearlyto keep up with the huge number of people in technology. One area that has drawn particular gaining momentum.venues. Think about the enormity of the issue interest is Sporting Innovations’ ability to pro-these days. The games are long. And everyone vide broadband to the masses. This is extremely14 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  12. 12. food and BeveraGeThe Skinny: Food and Beverage is a $2.5 billionline item for just the premium seat marketplacealone. Big F&B companies, the really big ones,are larger than the leagues they service. There isprobably no one area that potentially angers fansmore than bad customer service, or bad food,or long lines, or outrageous pricing. This affectshow teams keep their customers happy. SoF&B is a huge deal. Below are the trends we seecontinuing to develop in 2012…There are a lot of F&B innovations with noone area that clearly is the leader. In general,the F&B innovations tend to revolve aroundincreasing customer satisfaction. Companieslike Grin On and Niagara Fast Tap speed upthe number of drinks that can be served therebydecreasing wait times. Bypass Lane is anothercompany that helps speed up food ordering byenabling fans to place food orders with theirsmartphones and bypass the concession lines.Food ordering systems in suites on mobile de-vices and on video boards assist with helping theconsumer which makes processes quicker, moreefficient and easier. Perhaps the major trend that has made itsway into most venues in some form is all-inclusive food and beverage in premium areas.This usually does not include alcohol except inthe most expensive sections. Some other newtrends include:1. Andrew Shipe, VP of Culinary & Market-ing at ARAMARK, says the company keepsa very close watch on what is popular in a can create a great hanger steak versus a more Top: If a venue has enough broadband capacity, fans can use theirparticular part of the country to try and please expensive cut. mobile devices to talk, text, tweet and access exclusive content onlytheir audience. For example: See what the local available at the live event, and not at home on the couch. Bottom: Many venues are adding or have plans to add club areasfood trucks are doing, and try to either create 3. There is also a trend to go to comfort food accessible to all fans, providing some kind of premium experiencesomething similar inside the venue or bring in "with a twist,” says Shipe. For example: Mac and for all only available in the stadium or arena.the actual brand itself. ARAMARK has brought Cheese with lobster, or grilled cheese toppedin popular trucks that make wood fire pizzas or with short ribs, or bread pudding combined withtacos in particular markets. They capitalize on tasty cakes.the trend to go open-air cooking as well, saysShipe. The key is tracking what is popular and 4. Food trends also change depending uponthen re-creating the experience. who is being served. For example: Millenni- als have grown up with flavored waters and2. There are trends in the actual food served craft beers. As for wine, they like both redsas well, says Shipe. For example: With high and whites with a sweet tooth. For reds, theycommodity prices, its clear that many are cut- are trending away from traditional Pinots toting back on expensive food costs. According Malbecs, and for whites, to Moscatos. "This isto Shipe though, if prepared properly, a chef what the Millennials are buying," says Shipe. #SEATWinter2012 | | S E A T | 15
  13. 13. at all. And further, many new buildings have already been constructed, so there isn’t as great a need for them. But the architectural industry is the ultimate creator in the space. There is not one other group that pays attention to new developments more than Big Architecture. Their livelihood depends upon it. So what is new in the space? Read on… The Brave new world of renovaTIons With new stadium referendums not passing these days, many new stadiums are choosing to upgrade their existing venues with renovations. This has been going on for several years now, but if there is a trend in the business now, it is that the renovation work is getting better. In many cases, if not most, the refurbished space is better than the original. Witness the recent renovations in Kansas City for the Chiefs and the Royals – beautiful new concourses and beautiful new spaces in the same building. The Tampa Bay Lightning are in the midst of completing a similar terrific renova- tion, as outlined in the Fall 2011 issue of SEAT. It’s not only entire buildings and huge reno- vations that are taking place in the space. There are a number of new design/build firms who are making their mark in many buildings. These are companies who might be hired by teams, F&B companies or even sponsors of spaces to build out areas in the venue. Leaders in this space include Dimensional Innovations, Rip Bang andTop: Teams, such as the Cleveland Indians and their “Social Suite” “We continually check with restaurants, wine Mortenson along with the usual suspects fromseen here, are embracing social media to generate new sales, new and spirits stores to see what is selling.” the architectural companies: Populous, Rossetti,uses for excess inventory, and new experiences for their fans. Aecom, DLR, HKS, 360, Brook Beynon Mur-Bottom: The design side of the marketplace is being driven by 5. F&B companies are increasing the number of ray, HNTB, Heery, etc.renovation. Large-scale projects as well as smaller areas, such as the chefs they are seen here at Lucas Oil Stadium, are being built out by teams, soCIal MedIaF&B companies and sponsors to engage fans. 6. Teams are using F&B as a loss leader to sell The Skinny: Reaching the world’s customer base tickets. has changed, and sports, only in the past year or two, are catching up. There’s still a long way to 7. There has been a growth of “Every Man’s go, but clearly, the best teams are those who can Clubs,” giving the average fan a place to meet, navigate these social media trends: have a drink and watch the game from this club rather than in arena bowl seats. The rIse of soCIal MedIa Social media usage to fill seats is on the rise and arChITeCTure/desIGn is truly becoming a great way to generate new The Skinny: The days of multiple major building business. For example: The Cleveland Indians openings have been over for the past four or five not only keep an active Twitter and Facebook years. The public, in most cases, will no longer presence but also created the “Indians Social cover a majority of the financing, and in some Suite.” In this suite, six fans and their guests get cases, they won’t contribute to a new building to attend a game for free in exchange for posting16 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  14. 14. Create a suite experience.Swirl Tables®, created with an original handcrafted artistry, are the perfect solution for sophisticated andlinenless luxury suite settings. Designed to enhance the most memorable events, Swirl Tables® add a uniqueelement to your décor.caster tables serpentine tables cocktail tables lighted XCube tables
  15. 15. mium seat customer and expect to retain his or her business is no longer a sure thing. Teams are becoming more and more creative – especially on the premium side of the business – to provide customers with real added-value programs. Most of these programs revolve around access to the team’s players or access to events such as the Super Bowl or other major events within the team’s sport. Indeed, in an effort to justify high ticket prices and to combat against 21st Century high-definition TV, there has been an experien- tial component added for the fan at game time in which only the fan who attends can partake.Lightning Rod: Added-value amenities continue to be used by teams to divert attention away from high ticket prices in a still slow economy. L.A. LIVE, site of the 2011 ALSD Conference,The Tampa Bay Lightning provide jerseys with a micro-chip embedded in the sleeve that provides merchandise and F&B discounts. is a leader in this area by adding in an entire “city” of restaurants, bars and entertainment op-their great experience to their personal online ouTsourCInG sales tions for fans before and after the game. Insidecommunities – an innovative use of excess Time was, most teams relied on their in-house the venue, fans willing to pay a few dollars moreinventory for sure. To read more on the Indians sales teams to control ticket and premium sales. (or a lot of dollars more) have access to exclusiveSocial Suite, revisit the Summer 2011 issue of But a new trend, especially prominent in the dining areas far from the madding crowd.SEAT. college market, brings in outside sales teams to The Tribe is not the only team latching onto assist in the process. The service makes a great added value: aMenITIes Grow uPthe social media craze though. At the New deal of sense for colleges who previously relied and Grow ouTJersey Devils’ Prudential Center, they have on untested or untrained young salespeople to But there are other added-value programscreated a social media “Mission Control” room. make the calls. These outside groups specialize that have been developed by teams that go farWithin the confines of this room, the Devils in this process. beyond this. For example: The LA Dodgers al-manage, observe and evaluate the club’s online Companies such as The Aspire Group from low club seat holders access to the teams emptybrand engagements. It is run by a team of 24 Atlanta, Playbook International, IMG and suites a couple of times a year. And at Amwaysocially adept fans who use outlets like Twitter, Legends utilize their own sales groups to sell Center, suites include an audio-visual set up forFacebook and others to reach out and expand a specific product or service. One of the most presentations before, during or after the game.the Devils brand. established of these firms, Leerfield, with a Also, the Tampa Bay Lightning provide seat Our final example, but certainly not last in recent capital injection from investors, is also holders merchandise and F&B discounts if theythe industry, is the activation of the New York making inroads in this space. Even the leagues wear a team jersey with a mirco-chip embeddedJets social media outreach. According to Neilson are getting into the act with Major League Soc- in its sleeve.research, the Jets rank tops in the NFL with an cer starting its own sales training center. Most11.9% share of all NFL-related social media of its graduates end up selling for MLS teams. So there you have it – an overview of the trendsactivity. This is due to dedicated content on their Additional information on the MLS National to test out this year. Now go kick some tires.official website and daily interactions with fans Sales Center can be found on page 60.via Twitter and Facebook. CusToMer servICe:sales reTenTIon and renewals What new trends are you seeing in the venue marketplace?The Skinny: Not much happens in the world The Skinny: Did you notice that college bowl Write to Bill at, and connect with him onuntil someone sells something to someone else. game attendance is down? Did you notice that LinkedIn at is more important to an organization teams are worried about the high price of ticketsthan sales – ticket sales, sponsorship sales, F&B in a bad economy? The answer to gaining at-sales, premium leases, radio and TV rights sales, tendance is adding value for the customer. It’snational broadcasting sales, etc. It is the engine a huge trend and it takes on many, many forms.that drives Team Machine. So it goes as no Here are some of them:surprise that sales is always the top priority forany team, and that teams can and do pay for the eXPerIenTIal MarkeTInG: CoMInG uP neXT:best salespeople. There is always something new keePInG fans haPPy alsd MeMBer Q&ain the sales area. This year, we select… The days when you can provide a jersey to a pre-18 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  16. 16. always the best seat...Find the perfect seat for every venue at Dauphin! Advanced in form and technology, we provideinnovative furnishing solutions to meet a variety of changing needs. Offer everyone superiorcomfort while catering to different styles and price points through our product offerings suitablefor multiple settings. innovative furnishings for dynamic spaces 800.631.1186 •
  17. 17. AlSd MEMbEr Q&AQuestion Topic:how nBa TeaMs are A: • It starts with communication, which we’vehandlInG The end of been active doing, making personal calls andThe loCkouT setting appointments, so we can have face time with the clients. We want to let themQ: talk. It’s important for us to remain positive and show excitement for the upcomingRegarding the sales and service of suites and seats: • We moved forward with the loyalty rewards • How is your team/venue regaining the program for partnerships, suite holders and loyalty of your customers? season ticket holders. Some of the items we • What make-goods, new incentives or ameni- offered were food & beverage credits, suite ties (if any) are being offered? nights and money towards their 2012-2013 • Did you have to give any money back or renewal. credits for lost games? Explain. • [Money back/credits] is an option accounts • How much concern is there moving forward that made payments to us have. regarding the retention of clients post- • For the number of clients we have, the dam- lockout? • We continue working on our make-good age control has been minimal. The feedback recommendations. Due to the wording in we’ve received from our loyalty offers hasA: • We did not lose loyalty during the lockout. our suite agreements, we have to see how many playoff games are played between the Bulls and Blackhawks to determine credits been very positive. Our front office staff is more than willing to speak with clients who we feel may benefit from speaking with the We continued to sell based on last year’s and refunds. Thereafter, we will discuss fur- decision makers. excitement along with lowering prices, ther with our management team some of our guaranteeing money back for lost games and potential make-goods for all our clients. do you have a QuesTIon you would creating events for our season ticket holders • Each of our clients is different – suites will lIke To ask The alsd MeMBershIP? to keep them engaged. receive license fee credits depending on Let the ALSD help you reach all your fellow • For suite accounts, we provided four compli- how many playoff games are played in 2012; members at one time. We’ll help you find your mentary SRO tickets for all events through Harris Club and Theater Boxes will receive answers. That’s the true benefit of membership December 31, 2011. We created events at a 2012 playoff credit if games are played; – not ALSD Member Questions, but ALSD our building for our season ticket holders otherwise, they will receive a credit for the Member Answers. (basketball clinic, movie night, Halloween 2012-13 season. Here’s how to submit your questions: event), and we treated them to the other • Two years ago we started a Charter Member • Send your Member Question exactly how events we have at our building like concerts program for our long-time suite holders you want it posted to members to Amanda and University of Memphis Tigers college who have been with us for all 18 years we Verhoff at OR basketball. have been at the United Center. Now we are • Visit us on the web and submit your Mem- • Contractually, we were obligated to deduct building on this program and adding a new ber Question at varying amounts for each Grizzlies game recognition program for 5/10/15-year suite member-questions. Please note - members missed. holders, somewhat like a rewards program, must be logged in to to • We are in a bit of a different situation be- but we don’t like calling it one. We are submit questions. cause there is still so much excitement from still working on the amenities list for each • When submitting a question, include all last year’s incredible playoff run. We are in category. contact information, including your Name, the top three in new season ticket sales, and • We hope and believe with our great cus- Organization, Title, Address, Phone and our team is basically intact from last year. The tomer service and, hopefully, with the success Email Address, so respondents can reach you real damage control will be if the team does of the teams, we will continue to have a high in the way most appropriate to completely not perform to expectations. renewal rate like we have had in the past answer the question. years. We will meet individually with all of • ALSD tracks all responses and archivesA: • We have had the good fortune of the our suite holders up for renewal this year and go over any concerns they may have about this season and the future. We are always answers on • Member Questions are sent to TEAM AND VENUE MEMBERS ONLY to Chicago Blackhawks playing here at the communicating with our clients, so we avoid solicitations. start of the season as well as having some shouldn’t have any surprises when we meet great special events/concerts. Our customers with them in the spring. CoMInG uP neXT: have been here but just not for NBA games. TICkeTMasTer enhanCes Therefore, we continue receiving their loyalty, fan eXPerIenCe wITh and we continue servicing the heck out of all faCeBook feaTure our accounts!20 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  18. 18. 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 cansimplify management and improve revenue stadium-wide. Provide faster, more accurate service in luxury suitesand club sections with mobile POS devices. Speed up concession lines and increase sales volumes with easy-to-usePOS 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 everythingyou 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 | Agilysys solutions include:
  19. 19. industry and association nEws TD Garden chef has championship taste, p.26 Member Highlight: Andrew Silverman, p.30Ticketmaster facebook feature enhances fan experienceThe interactive seating map allows fans to control social aspects of the online buying experienceEditor’s Note: Special thanks to Chuck Salter, Senior key is to think of social media investments in according to Ticketmaster,Writer, Fast Company ( terms of the fan’s motivation to do four things*: each time a ticket buyerA 1. Connect side from fan passion, what is the biggest 2. Create influence on a fan’s decision to buy a 3. Consume shares with facebook ticket? No, it’s not the price, the venue, 4. Control friends that he or she the date or anything related to the event. Effective social media strategy motivates fansWith a qualified prospect willing, able and to connect with others, create content, and to is attending an event,interested in buying, research tells us the biggest consume and control their online experiences.factor is whether or not others close to the fan Each of these can be measured and linked to the mention to otherswant to attend. Over 98% of fans attend games purchases. Now there is an even better way to generates an averagewith at least one other person. If no one else marry social media strategy with actual purchasewants to go, neither will even the most passion- behavior. additional $5.30 in ticketate fan. Ticketmaster’s new Facebook interface allows With the advent of digital social media, social fans to connect with friends, create content to revenue.effects are readily observed as fans post a Face- post, and control social aspects of the onlinebook status update (e.g. “Who else is going to buying experience. The interactive seating mapthe game?”), upload pictures with others at the is available for events in over 300 entertainment Mr. Salter, whose article “Ticketmaster teamsevent to Facebook or Flickr, and text or tweet venues. Chuck Salter, Senior Writer at Fast with Facebook so you can sit next to yourabout the fun they’re having to impress others. Company, says Nathan Hubbard, Ticketmas- friends” recently appeared on www.fastcompany.The question is, “How can sellers of sports ter’s CEO, expects the Ticketmaster Facebook com, we are able to present features and discussand entertainment capitalize on social media?” interface to be more widely used with sporting ways to make the application work for all teamsExpenditures on social media have uncertain events, because the seating maps don’t change and venues.returns unless clear metrics are established. The the way they do with concerts. Working with ConversIon According to Ticketmaster, each time a ticket buyer shares with Facebook friends that he or she is attending an event, the mention to others generates an average additional $5.30 in ticket revenue. Not unlike sporting events, such as Major League Baseball, an estimated 40 percent of live event tickets go unsold. No mat- ter the level of unsold inventory, the enhanced Facebook connectivity increases the fan’s ability to connect and control more of the social experi- ence of attending an event. This digital word of mouth converts into measurable incremental revenue. ConTrol According to Debbie Hsu, Ticketmaster’s Director of Product Management, the interac- tive seat map allows fans to choose exact seats instead of relying on “best available” options. That level of control benefits Ticketmaster, the venue and the customer. By connecting to Face- book, fans can see where friends have purchased tickets, if fans tag their seats. Through social media campaigns, teams can encourage fans to connect and post as a way to demonstrate pas- [continued on page 76] *Hoffman, Donna L. and Marek Fodor (2010), “Can Under Control: Fans view a list of Facebook friends attending an event to the left of the venues seat map, which displays Facebook flags in you measure the ROI of your social media marketing?” the sections where friends are sitting. MIT Sloan Management Review, 52 (Fall), 41-49.22 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  20. 20. What’s yourWi-Fi done foryou lately? AT&T Wi-Fi Services provides the KEY to a complete integrated Wi-Fi infrastructure providing smooth, continuous connectivity throughout your stadium to keep your fans connected and offer the ultimate alternative to “Home Theater”. What’s your Wi-Fi doing for you? Let AT&T Wi-Fi Services take care of your technology needs—you focus on your guests. Customized wireless design based Quality of Service (QoS) & on a proven methodology Bandwidth Management • Fully managed service model • Access policy enforcement • Site survey, design, and installation • Network security for POS • Operation and support • WAN/LAN traffic management • Backhaul transport Dedicated client services Application enablement • 24x7 Customer Support Center • Mobile application development • Venue customer support • Co-branded splash pages • Nationwide repair & maintenance • Loyalty program integration Contact 877-397-6931 for more details on how AT&T Wi-Fi Services can help improve the experience at your facility. Visit for more information.©2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all othermarks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliatedcompanies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.
  21. 21. industry and association nEwsalsd evaluates fanvision in Cleveland’s dawg PoundRyan Mirabedini reports on his Cleveland Browns game experience with the fan-friendly handheld devicer arely for better and usually for worse, I am a Cleveland Browns fan. It’s no secret regarding their on-field struggles. Having said that, I love the team, and I love theCity of Cleveland. When I knew I would beattending an October matchup against the Se-attle Seahawks, I began to wonder how I couldimprove my experience at the stadium. Whileon the nerdy side, I have a fantasy football teamI care quite a bit about (they actually win), andas many in this day and age do, I need to knowwhat’s happening across the league at all times.Considering this, one name came to mind:FanVision. After a few email exchanges, Matt Lukens,Vice President of Business Development atFanVision, very kindly coordinated my use oftheir handheld unit at the game. Upon receivingthe FanVision from Natalie Zamora, FanVisionRegional Manager, I was instantly mesmerized.With a 4.3-inch LCD display, it fit comfortablyin my lap and was easy to hold in my hands.While I had previously seen the product at the2011 ALSD Conference and Tradeshow, thiswas my first in-game experience with one. As I settled into my seat in the Dawg Pound,I began to notice the several features available.With concern for the aforementioned fantasyteam, I was thrilled at what I saw. On the unit,I was able to find each player on my teamand, subsequently, save them as my roster. Myassumption was that the stats would update,which they did, but that’s not all. Throughoutthe day, anytime one of “my players” scored, theFanVision would buzz an alert, similar to a cellphone notification. Complimented by access toNFL Network’s Redzone, I was successfully ableto know what my players were doing and thenwatch them do it. Talk about instant gratifica-tion. While the fantasy feature was great during be true for a suite holder or club seat patron Bring the House Down: FanVision’s camera angles and instantthose pesky TV timeouts, other capabilities of whose client he or she is entertaining is having replays are only available through a FanVision unit in the venue,the FanVision were useful during the game, a great time but desperately wants to know if providing stiff competition for the ever-improving home viewingincluding FanVision’s customized cameras. the rumor is true that Matt Ryan just broke his experience.Not only could I watch instant replays of the ankle. While others struggle with lagging cellaction between the lines immediately after they service, the administrator simply reaches forhappened, but I could also look at shots of the their FanVision and shows that all is well withsidelines as Colt McCoy wished aloud that he the Atlanta QB1.was six inches taller or as Pete Carroll ran the So while the Browns 6-3 victory that day wassidelines like Andy Dufresne running to free- widely considered a setback to modern football,dom outside of Shawshank State Prison. Bottom my personal experience was one of enjoymentline: I felt like I was sitting in every seat of the and entertainment. Roar with the crowd: Check.stadium at once plus on my couch at home. Watch replays while the guy next to me scratch- The home viewing experience seems to be a es his belly: Check. Have a fun fall afternoon bycommon excuse for dwindling ticket sales where Lake Erie made that much better by FanVision:they exist, but with FanVision, those objections Signed, Sealed and Delivered.begin to disappear. I contend this would also – Ryan Mirabedini24 | S E A T | | #SEATWinter2012
  22. 22. GIVE YOUR FANS10 MORE REASONS TO CHEER. FanVision enhances your fans’ game-day experience by turning your venue into a smart venue. Now they can tap into ten channels of instant replays, multiple camera views, statistics, commentary and out-of-market games at your venue, the moment the action happens. Which means they get closer to the action than ever before, stay in their seats and return season after season. For more information, visit Welcome to the Inside.