Legends Launches New Growth Enterprises Division

Focus on Leveraging Integrated 360-Degree Solution for High-Growth Sports and Entertainment Properties, Attractions, Events and Platforms

Acquisition of Maestroe Sports & Entertainment Fuels New Division

Legends, a global premium experiences company, today announced the launch of Legends Growth Enterprises, a new business unit focused on leveraging the company’s intelligence-fueled 360-degree service solution to support sports and entertainment properties, attractions, events and platforms positioned for accelerated growth.

Legends Growth Enterprises will bring a unique and differentiated approach to supporting high-growth ventures backed by the company’s industry leading service divisions – Global Planning, Global Sales, Global Partnerships, Hospitality, Global Merchandise and Global Technology Solutions. Legends Global Technology Solutions division, which recently expanded its robust technology, analytics and digital service offerings with the acquisition of 4FRONT, will play a key role providing actionable insights to help drive revenue for Legends Growth Enterprises clients. In addition, Legends Growth Enterprises will provide broadcast and media rights partnership support for clients.

To accelerate the launch of the new division, Legends has acquired Maestroe Sports & Entertainment, an agency focused on emerging sports and entertainment property development, sponsorship, global growth strategies and revenue creation for fast-growing sports and entertainment properties and platforms.

“The launch of Legends Growth Enterprises, and acquisition of Maestroe Sports & Entertainment, is a natural progression of the work we are already doing in this space using data and insights to deliver our innovative and impactful solutions to drive business and accelerate expansion for sports and entertainment ventures that are at a high-growth stage,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, CEO, Legends.

Sports and entertainment industry veteran Gabby Roe, founder and President of Maestroe Sports & Entertainment, will join Legends as President of Legends Growth Enterprises. Roe has more than 30 years of experience in high-growth ventures including at Beach Soccer Company, Major League Lacrosse, Pro Beach Volleyball and ASA Entertainment.

“High-growth sports and entertainment properties are gaining an ever-stronger foothold within the industry, delivering top entertainment to fans and terrific returns to participants and owners,” said Roe. “We see these properties as the ‘tech stocks of the sports and entertainment industry’ and are proud to continue to be the flag bearer for this attractive segment of the industry. We could not be more excited to now be a part of Legends whose global resources and expertise will bolster the growth and create even more value for all aligned properties.”

Added Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO, Legends: “The sports and entertainment landscape is expanding and evolving at a rapid pace. We are excited to bolster our expertise with the addition of Gabby and his team and their successful track record of building, operating and driving revenue for high-growth ventures. Legends will continue to leverage its entire global platform and provide the operational capabilities, as well as strategic capital, to help propel emerging sports and entertainment properties to next level growth and success.”

The launch of Legends Growth Enterprises is part of the continued growth of Legends. In January 2022 the company announced the acquisition of 4FRONT, a global data and analytics, innovation, and digital media agency, that now operates as part of Legends Global Technology Solutions division, building on Legends’ expertise in data consulting and digital activation.

Legends Acquires 4FRONT

Josh Kritzler and Dan Migala Named Co-Presidents  of Legends Global Technology Solutions

Legends announced today the acquisition of 4FRONT, a global data and analytics, innovation, and digital media agency. 4FRONT will retain its company name and operate as part of Legends Global Technology Solutions division, building on Legends’ expertise in data consulting and digital activation. Co-founders Josh Kritzler and Dan Migala will now oversee Legends Global Technology Solutions. Kritzler will serve as Co-President and Chief Operating Officer and Migala will be Co-President and Chief Revenue Officer of the division.

“Legends provides a holistic solution for clients that is powered by data and analytics,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, CEO, Legends. “4FRONT has developed a strong position as a leader in data driven solutions and delivery of actionable insights that drive increased revenues and enhanced experiences. With 4FRONT joining our Global Technology Solutions portfolio, we are further amplifying our already robust technology, analytics and digital service offerings for all our clients across Legends’ integrated 360-degree service solution platform.”

4FRONT was founded in 2007 and over the last 15 years has grown to become an innovation-fueled sports and entertainment marketing company working with organizations, properties, teams and leagues around the globe. The company is focused on using its actionable insights and data-driven solutions to drive revenue for a global roster of clients, which has included Chelsea FC, Chicago Bears, Cricket Australia, Colorado Rapids, Evil Geniuses, Minnesota Wild, NCAA, New York Mets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Space Center Houston and UFC.

“We have collaborated with the team at 4FRONT on several clients over the years and always been impressed with their innovative, data-driven approach,” said Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO, Legends. “Josh and Dan have built a company that not only delivers results for properties around the globe, but also is full of creative, forward-thinking people that love what they do. With Josh and Dan’s leadership, we will continue to invest in and expand Legends Global Technology Solutions to further enrich the services and experience we provide clients.”

Added Kritzler: “4FRONT’s growth is born out of a world-class team of incredibly passionate people that has fueled our culture and it’s fitting that the origin of this partnership is the chemistry of our team and the Legends team. As we start this new chapter, this connection will be the heartbeat to the growth of our company and the personal development opportunities for our team as we ignite Legends’ 360-degree platform.”

Migala further stated: “4FRONT has been on the frontline of helping world-class organizations embrace an innovative mindset through our suite of analytics, digital and technology solutions. This new partnership with Legends will allow us to provide the industry with an unprecedented solution to drive results from actionable insights.”

Legends Global Technology Solutions is an industry leading sports and entertainment digital, technology and experiential advisory with the deepest experience in some of the largest, most complex projects in the world of sports and entertainment. The division is keenly focused on the digital space of technology, analytics, and data services, and curating the latest innovations in the world. They work to enable value and revenue for clients through technology by leveraging data and analytics, insights, innovation, and digital solutions. Integrated across all of Legends’ 360-degree platform of services and its clients, Legends Global Technology Solutions offers tech-forward solutions and actionable insights to help solve any problem.

Migala has worked for or advised virtually every level of sports franchises throughout his career. This includes organizations in MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLS, the LPGA, Cricket Australia, New Zealand Rugby and more on issues related to marketing, non-traditional revenue generation, sponsorship, technology, ticket sales and using analytics to drive revenue growth.

Kritzler’s business pursuits as an entrepreneur and sponsorship executive have taken him to the Green Monster, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the pits of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Prior to launching 4FRONT, he was a founder of InStadium, a Chicago-based alternative sports media company. Leading a national team of sponsorship executives, Kritzler secured media rights to more than 25 MLB and NFL stadiums; including Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium.

DIRECTV to Present the Chairman’s Party at SoFi Stadium, with Special Performance by 8-Time Grammy Winner Usher, on the BET Stage

Anticipated Invite-Only Celebration to Take Place Immediately Following

NFL Honors Show Inside SoFi Stadium on Thursday, February 10

 

The Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission (LASEC) announced today that DIRECTV will serve as Presenting Sponsor of The Chairman’s Party, the exclusive after-party following the NFL Honors Show inside SoFi Stadium at The Canyons, an open-air location within the SoFi Stadium footprint. The invitation-only celebration on Thursday, February 10 will include a special performance by eight-time Grammy winner Usher on the BET Network Stage.

 

The Chairman’s Party will be the most exclusive event of Super Bowl weekend, with a star-studded invitation list that includes current sports icons, Hollywood celebrities, Pro Football Hall of Famers, and NFL team owners. Guests will enter SoFi Stadium via the DIRECTV “Blue Carpet” and receive an early look at the site of Super Bowl LVI. Once inside guests will enjoy creative food and drink offerings and photo opportunities near the SoFi Stadium field.

 

“We look forward to welcoming fans to Los Angeles and officially kicking off Super Bowl weekend with the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission at The Chairman’s Party Presented by DIRECTV,” said Bill Morrow, CEO, DIRECTV. “Our company has been synonymous with world-class Super Bowl festivities in years past, and this event will continue that long tradition.”

 

One of the world’s most successful artists in recent decades, Usher has earned some of the music industry’s top accolades. He has been nominated for more than 600 awards, winning 320 of them, including eight Grammys; 18 Billboard Music Awards; and nine American Music Awards. Usher has sold more than 43 million albums worldwide, repeatedly earning Diamond, Multi-Platinum and Platinum status. He has had 18 Billboard Top 10 singles, including nine No. 1 singles. He recently served as a coach on TV’s No. 1 reality competition, NBC’s “The Voice,” as well delivering a sold-out residency in Las Vegas.

 

“The Chairman’s Party Presented by DIRECTV is a culmination of hard work and perseverance on behalf of all the Super Bowl stakeholders. We appreciate the artists and other supporters who are contributing the success of the weekend,” said Casey Wasserman, Chairman, Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee.

 

In addition to the announcement of The Chairman’s Party presented by DIRECTV, as an extension of the Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program, DIRECTV will award one of the 56 community organizations an additional $25,000 grant award, for the tremendous work they are doing in the community. Two additional organizations, also focused on empowering youth through storytelling, will receive $5,000 each.

 

“Thanks to the support of DIRECTV, we are excited to host the official post-NFL Honors party at SoFi Stadium and give our guests an exclusive kickoff to Super Bowl weekend,” said Kathryn Schloessman, President & CEO, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission. “The Chairman’s Party presented by DIRECTV, will celebrate the return of Super Bowl to the Los Angeles region, for the first time in nearly 30 years, and shine a light on a deserving Super Bowl LVI Legacy organization with the DIRECTVxChampionLA Award.”

 

Additional upcoming events supported by LASEC and ChampionLA include the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship, 123rd U.S. Open Championship, 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball West Region Championship, 2026 U.S. Women’s Open, and the 2028 Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games. Los Angeles is also a Candidate Host City for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

 

Legends Global Partnerships division represented LASEC in establishing this strategic relationship with DIRECTV.

DIRECTV Makes Long-Term Commitment to Support ChampionLA

ChampionLA helps Los Angeles host 

the world’s top sports and entertainment events

The Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission (LASEC) announced today that DIRECTV has made a long-term commitment to support ChampionLA, LASEC’s initiative created to host the world’s highest profile sports and entertainment events in Los Angeles.  As a part of the multi-year engagement, DIRECTV will make a charitable donation to ChampionLA, to support its mission to create community impact surrounding major events in Los Angeles. DIRECTV joins the ChampionLA Legacy Circle. 

The Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission and ChampionLA are committed to creating lasting and positive economic, cultural and social impact for the region by attracting and securing high-profile sports and entertainment events to Los Angeles,” said Kathryn Schloessman, President & CEO, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission. “With that goal in mind, we are excited to work alongside DIRECTV, long considered a leader in sports and entertainment, to support this effort and make a difference in our city while telling a powerful story along the way.”

“DIRECTV is working with the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission to continue to position our hometown as a go-to destination for the best events in sports and entertainment. Their community impact aligns perfectly with our cultural values to Care, Challenge and Deliver where it matters most,” said Bill Morrow, CEO, DIRECTV.

The support from DIRECTV will kick off with Super Bowl LVI next month at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. DIRECTV will launch the DIRECTVxChampionLA Award that will recognize select organizations with a unique focus on empowering today’s youth for tomorrow’s career opportunities based on the 56 Champion organizations chosen for the Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program. After Super Bowl LVI, DIRECTV will continue to collaborate with LASEC and ChampionLA to create and highlight philanthropic and legacy efforts surrounding these major high-profile events, throughout the greater Los Angeles community. 

Additional upcoming events supported by LASEC and ChampionLA include the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship, 123rd U.S. Open Championship, 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball West Region Championship, 2026 U.S. Women’s Open, and the 2028 Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games. Los Angeles is also a Candidate Host City for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

Legends Global Partnerships division represented LASEC in establishing this strategic relationship with DIRECTV.

National Football League and Legends to Open ‘NFL Las Vegas presented by Visa’ Store at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace

Las Vegas Store to become a top retail destination for fans across all 32 clubs and tentpole events

NFL and Visa to deliver unique commerce experiences through innovative payment technology

The National Football League (NFL) and Legends, announced today the opening of NFL Las Vegas presented by Visa, an innovative NFL-themed store located in the renowned Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. A first for the League, NFL Las Vegas presented by Visa will offer a unique assortment of exclusive fan gear across all 32 clubs, the League, NFL events and special collaborations with celebrities and local designers. NFL Las Vegas presented by Visa will also become a leading destination for unique fan experiences including special product launch events and NFL player and talent appearances.

“Home to the Raiders and the state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas continues to be a premier location for the League to expand our presence and grow our fanbase,” said Ryan Samuelson, VP of Consumer Products at the NFL. “NFL Las Vegas presented by Visa will add to the vibrancy of the city while providing fans with a modern retail experience in collaboration with Legends and Visa against the backdrop of the upcoming Pro Bowl, the 2022 NFL Draft, and the recently announced Super Bowl LVIII in Vegas.”

NFL Las Vegas presented by Visa is an extension to the ongoing partnership between NFL and Legends, building on Legends strong on-site retail executions at NFL tentpole events including new per cap records at Super Bowl LV.

“Legends is proud to continue our partnership with the NFL to create a unique, immersive retail experience in Las Vegas that is sure to become a destination for football fans,” said Dan Smith, President, Legends Hospitality. “We have designed a store with the fan in mind, offering exclusive products and customization options as well as special in-store events that will provide something for fans of all ages.”

Visa, the Official Payment Services Technology Partner of the NFL, will provide seamless, safe, and secure digital payments at the store, making way for an enhanced shopping experience. When using a Visa contactless card, fans will also be able to utilize a first-of-its-kind RFID-enabled check-out solution. 

“From day one, this retail experience will offer a seamless and secure payment environment while providing future real estate to trial or launch even newer payment experiences,” said Mary Ann Reilly, Senior Vice President and Head of North America Marketing, Visa. “As more retailers recognize the value that payment technology can bring to their businesses, we are proud to have such a strong partnership with the NFL that enables us to provide fans with the latest in payments, whether in a stadium or a new retail environment like this one.”

NFL Las Vegas presented by Visa is set to open on January 15, 2022 at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Caesars Entertainment is the League’s “Official Casino Sponsor” and is an “Official Sports Betting Partner” of the NFL through its newly launched sports betting offering, Caesars Sportsbook.

SDSU and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Announce Agreement of Naming Rights for New Stadium

The SDSU Mission Valley stadium will be called Snapdragon Stadium

As announced today, San Diego State University’s new stadium, part of the expansive SDSU Mission Valley development, has a new name —  Snapdragon Stadium. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has entered into a long-term agreement, securing exclusive naming rights to the new, one-of-a-kind venue.  The agreement will now go to the California State University Board of Trustees for formal approval.

Snapdragon is Qualcomm Technologies’ premier mobile platform brand. It represents a family of technology platforms that bring intelligence and connectivity to smartphones, wearables, always-connected PCs, XR headsets, gaming devices and cars. The Snapdragon® platforms are designed to deliver premium performance and immersive experiences to the user. 

Come opening day fall 2022, San Diego sports fans will welcome the world-class, Snapdragon Stadium, designed to meet the needs of the entire San Diego community. With the implementation of 5G within the stadium, Snapdragon Stadium is intended to be an embodiment of real, impactful examples of a world where everyone and everything is intelligently connected.

The $45M deal, structured as a 15-year, $3 million per year agreement, marks a new, yet nostalgic era in the San Diego sports story, as two San Diego institutions, with a shared commitment to serving the greater San Diego community, come together. 

“We are thrilled to have secured the exclusive naming rights to San Diego State University’s new stadium, Snapdragon Stadium. Snapdragon stands for premium experiences and leading-edge performance, which is what fans can expect from this new state-of-the-art venue,” said Cristiano Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “This is just the first phase of an expansive relationship between Qualcomm Technologies and San Diego State University as we look to support their broad digital transformation that will include the Stadium, the upcoming Innovation District, and smart campus enhancements across their campuses. This agreement is the reflection of our mutual dedication to our local San Diego community.”

“Qualcomm is well-recognized and respected not only here in San Diego, but globally,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “Our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies represents a shared vision for a fully smart stadium — the cornerstone to what will be a one-of-a-kind smart campus — which will enrich, educate, and empower those we serve here locally and around the world.”

Located in Mission Valley, the heart of San Diego, the new state-of-the-art venue will not only provide a year-round hub of entertainment and community engagement, but also serve as a welcomed home for SDSU athletics and a gathering place for the broader San Diego region.

“Partnering with Qualcomm on Snapdragon Stadium continues our push for creating a world class stadium experience for the entire San Diego community,” said SDSU Athletic Director JD Wicker.  “Our growing relationship will allow us to leverage the best-in-class technological advances of Qualcomm to create superior fan experiences no matter the event” Wicker continued.  “This is another example related to the SDSU Mission Valley development of community investing in community.”

SDSU first broke ground on the Mission Valley stadium site in August 2020. The momentous occasion celebrated taking ownership of the site and marked the first step in SDSU Mission Valley’s development.

Snapdragon Stadium is on schedule to be completed by Sept. 3, 2022 when the SDSU Aztec football team is scheduled to play the University of Arizona Wildcats in the season home opener.

SDSU Athletics was represented by JMI Sports and Legends, which sourced and helped negotiate the agreement.

The PGA of America and Legends Enter Strategic Partnership to Enhance Merchandising Services

The partnership includes an omnichannel e-commerce solution for the golf industry

The PGA of America today announced a strategic partnership agreement with Legends, a global premium experiences company specializing in data-intelligence fueled holistic solutions for sports and entertainment organizations and venues. Legends will operate and elevate on-site, online, licensing and corporate merchandising for the PGA’s spectator championships – PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

“Given Legends’ experience and expertise, this partnership is a great opportunity for the PGA of America to advance our merchandising strategy for spectator championships, where there is growing demand,” PGA of America President Jim Richerson said. “Bringing in Legends to handle this expanding area of our Association is a logical next step in these efforts.”

As part of the transition, the PGA’s merchandising and licensing department, led by Michael Quirk, will become part of the Legends Global Merchandise group. Quirk will continue to lead this team and serve as Senior Vice President, Golf and Strategic Growth. Coming off a record-setting sales experience at the Ryder Cup, the team will tap into Legends’ myriad resources to continue to innovate the on-site and online shopping experience for Championships and golf facilities alike.

The PGA’s new e-commerce solution allows fans to shop a larger online product selection than ever before. Additionally, in late 2022, PGA Members will be able to utilize the e-commerce feature by creating online stores for their golf facilities and pro shops.

Legends Global Merchandise is the premier event retail and merchandising company in the world, having worked with some of the top brands in sports and entertainment. With this partnership, Legends Global Merchandise will utilize its vertical capabilities, extensive data and analytics to accelerate the growth of the PGA’s merchandising.

“The PGA of America has an incredible platform of storied spectator championships and vast PGA Member facilities with passionate followings that will benefit from an elevated merchandise solution,” Legends Co-President and COO Mike Tomon said. “With PGA’s merchandise team integrating with Legends Global Merchandise, together we will deliver a seamless omnichannel experience on-site and through e-commerce to build a dynamic merchandise approach for the future.”

Legends International Names Michael Gandler as First-Ever Chief Revenue Officer

Legends International today announced the appointment of Michael Gandler in the newly created role of Chief Revenue Officer for the business. With a career spanning more than 20 years in the global sports and entertainment industry, Gandler has led the commercialisation and marketing of some of the world’s most prominent sports and entertainment properties. 

Gandler’s hiring is part of Legends continued investment in the company’s ever-growing international division and follows recent appointments of Martin Jennings as Managing Director of the UK and Head of Global Planning and Jens König as Managing Director of Central Europe. In his new position, Gandler will drive new business and growth opportunities for Legends International and work alongside the Managing Directors in their strategic regional countries to deliver Legends unique 360-degree platform. Gandler will be based in Italy where Legends International will open a new office.

“The addition of Michael to work across our international business is part of our continued investment in growing Legends International, and one that the market demanded,” said Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO, Legends. “Michael brings a wealth of experience operating and driving revenue across all areas of our integrated 360º solution and his arrival will further foster Legends International’s expansion and offer another level of expertise for our clients.”

Legends International is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands, including Real Madrid CF, Liverpool FC, The Shard, Rugby World Cup 2019 and 2021, UFC, The European Tour and Ryder Cup. Clients benefit from comprehensive services through six global operating divisions – Global Planning, Global Sales, Global Partnerships, Hospitality, Global Merchandise and Global Technology Solutions – which offer best-in-class leadership and integrated 360º solutions.

Gandler joins Legends following roles in Italy as CEO of Serie B club Como 1907 and as the Chief Revenue Officer for FC Internazionale di Milano (Inter Milan) where he oversaw all areas of commercialisation for the club, including media rights, sponsorship, retail, licensing, ticketing, international academies and the clubs global marketing efforts. Prior to joining Inter Milan, Gandler was the Founder and President of Major League Revenue, a boutique agency specialising in the commercialisation of sports and entertainment properties. Earlier he was Vice President at Major League Soccer, where he oversaw global sponsorships and media. In addition to his work on the property side of the business, Gandler spent time working for sports marketing agencies, overseeing business development and marketing efforts for IMG College properties as well as some of the most prestigious events across the Americas including the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Copa America and FIFA World Cup Qualifying.   

Gandler holds a B.A. in Economics from Connecticut College and an M.S. in Sports Management conducted by the Centre International d”Etude du Sport in conjunction with FIFA. 

Syracuse Athletics, Legends Enter Multiyear Partnership Focused On Date Analytics & Enhancement of Fan Experience

10-year partnership incorporates data analytics, research, annual fundraising, premium seating, sales, and marketing into an integrated holistic program

Legends will also team with Syracuse University’s Falk College of Sport & Human Dynamics to provide education, mentorship, and career opportunities to students

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse Athletics and Legends are launching a 10-year partnership to integrate data analytics, marketing, ‘Cuse Athletics Fund annual giving, premium seating, and general ticket sales initiatives into a single fan-focused approach. The partnership will also ensure that the Orange build upon their legacy of supporting student-athletes in the classroom and on the playing fields.

“We are committed to delivering a world class fan and student-athlete experience and Legends has proven to deliver world class ticket sales and philanthropic services among their notable partners within professional and collegiate athletics,” said Syracuse Director of Athletics John Wildhack. “The future is very bright for Syracuse Athletics.”

A central part of the relationship will be the integration of Legends’ robust technologies.

“We are incredibly excited to use these innovative platforms. They will allow Syracuse Athletics to better understand the needs of Orange fans,” said Syracuse Deputy Director of Athletics and CMO Andrew T. Goodrich.

Legends, through its U.S. research arm CSL, will also conduct ongoing market research to assist the department with making informed decisions on potential new seating experiences, fan enhancements, and optimal pricing strategies to maximize attendance.

“Syracuse University has always been an incredible unifying force across upstate New York, and as a native of the area and longtime supporter, I understand the value of Orange Athletics to the community,” said Legends Chief Operating Officer, College Partnerships Mike Behan. “We’re excited to support John and his team. We are especially excited to identify opportunities that will enhance the fan experience and sustain Syracuse’s reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent athletics programs.”

In September, Syracuse Athletics announced the rebranding of the Orange Club to the ‘Cuse Athletics Fund, which was done to in large part to help put a greater emphasis on philanthropic giving. The partnership with Legends will help the ‘Cuse Athletics Fund by identifying additional opportunities for annual fund growth. Legends’ unique fundraising platform, an essential service embraced by higher education, identifies effective fan and donor engagement strategies to amplify philanthropic giving and other opportunities.

Another unique aspect of the partnership is the collaboration with Syracuse University’s Falk College of Sport & Human Dynamics. The alliance between the school’s Department of Sport Management and Legends is committed to advocating for the inclusion of students in the sports entertainment industry. Current students will benefit from project-based and experiential learning, mentorship, and visibility into job openings through unprecedented opportunities for Falk Sports Management & Analytics students to intern with Legends and prepare them for full-time positions upon graduation.

“The Department of Sport Management is extremely excited to be part of this ground-breaking initiative with Legends and Syracuse Athletics.  I have immense respect for what Legends has achieved in the sport industry as an innovative leader and cutting-edge company,” said Falk College Sport Management founding director and chair Michael Veley.  “Our students will benefit greatly from this partnership and its real-world applications, and in turn will be able to provide valuable support in multiple sectors to enhance Syracuse Athletics’ mission to its stakeholders.”

Professional Fighters League and Legends Expand Strategic Partnership

PFL announces Legends as exclusive global e-commerce provider

Multi-year deal will see Legends produce PFL branded products and memorabilia available at  https://shoppflmma.com/

PFL wraps breakthrough third season with thrilling championship event

NEW YORK (November 4, 2021) – The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing and most innovative sports league, today announced Legends Global Merchandise will become the exclusive e-commerce provider for the PFL. Under the multi-year agreement, LGM will operate the league’s online shopping experience and create an assortment of officially licensed products for all consumer segments, including shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hardlines and memorabilia.

Earlier this year, Legends made a strategic investment in the PFL. The partnership includes Legends supporting PFL’s growth and business operations across sponsorship, ticketing and hospitality and training facility development. The expanded partnership will give Legends exclusivity on PFL e-commerce.

Today’s announcement comes after a strategic partnership was announced between PFL and Legends in August to create and execute premium, unique experiences and opportunities for sponsors, partners, and fans. Legends will utilize all its internal data analytics capabilities to generate insights into the PFL consumer, allowing for personalized and targeted experiences. As part of the agreement, Legends made an investment in PFL for an ownership stake.

“As PFL continues to pioneer the future of the sport for fans around the world, we’re excited to expand our relationship with Legends as our exclusive e-commerce partner,” said PFL CEO, Peter Murray. “Together, we’ll collaborate on best-in-class branded products and memorabilia which will be available globally in a premium online shopping experience.”

“This is a very strategic initiative for us as Legends Global Merchandise is the leader in e-commerce and specifically MMA e-commerce and merchandising,” said Dave Moroknek, President, Legends Global Merchandise. “We are thrilled to be associated with the PFL as we expand our partnership throughout the entire Legends organization. We have set our sights on working closely with the PFL to deliver the best merchandise with the best customer experience to the fans of the PFL.”

PFL just concluded its tremendously successful third season last week as six fighters earned world championships and $6 million in prize money at MMA’s biggest event on October 27. The league has seen 100 percent audience growth in 2021 and added leading brands its blue-chip sponsorship portfolio, with more world-class talent and events coming to MMA fans across the globe next year.

Professional Fighters League has quickly established itself as the No. 2 MMA company in the world. With the addition of world-class talent – from elite fighters to established business exec-utives – and partnering with industry-leading brands such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, GEICO, DraftKings, BetMGM, Upper Deck, CarParts.com and Socios, the PFL continues to accelerate its global expansion.

Leicester City submit plans to expand King Power Stadium

Via BBC

Leicester City Football Club have formally submitted plans for the expansion of the King Power Stadium.

The club confirmed they had applied for permission from Leicester City Council following a public consultation in August and September.

It also wants to build a new hotel and business centre, a flagship fan store, an events arena and residential flats.

The council is expected to make a decision on the proposed development next year.

The club is seeking to expand the capacity of their ground by 8,000 seats to 40,000.

If approved, their ground would become the 10th largest among current Premier League sides.

The club said more than 1,000 jobs would be created during the construction period, with another 1,000 permanent positions across facilities on the site.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “The club extends its thanks to its external project team – including project managers Legends International; planning and development consultants Turley; and architects KSS – for their ongoing contributions, and Leicester City Council for its participation and consideration for the project to this stage.

“Having now shared our proposals with a diverse range of stakeholders in the city, the club’s belief in the project’s transformational potential has been strengthened.”

Since revealing the plans, Leicester have purchased the site previously owned by energy company E.On on Raw Dykes Road close to the stadium.

The club said that site does not form part of the current application, but is essentially an additional asset for any future developments.

The European Tour Partners With Legends To Deliver Merchandise Solutions

— Comprehensive Omnichannel Partnership Spans E-Commerce and On-Site Retail European Tour Events —  

LONDON – 22 September 2021 – The European Tour today announced a partnership with Legends, a premium experiences company, to manage its expansive omnichannel retail programme, inclusive of an all-new official global online store and on-site merchandise stores at multiple events.

The partnership will utilise Legends’ global expertise across merchandising, sales, partnerships, planning, technology, and hospitality to manage the European Tour’s merchandise operations.

It will help the Tour to further develop relationships with golf and sports fans across the world, delivering a fully integrated retail experience across all digital and physical merchandise touchpoints.

That includes a new European Tour Official Online Store, which is available now via https://shop.europeantour.com, featuring both premium and exclusive merchandise for fans of all ages.

The new e-commerce platform will feature an exceptional customer-centric user experience and innovative design elements. It will be supported by Legends Global Merchandise’s integrated strategy and digital marketing, which will help drive engagement.

Furthermore, Legends Global Merchandise will also deliver the onsite retail programme for fans attending European Tour events in person, promoting new product launches, capsule collections and exciting collaborations.

Tom Johnson, the European Tour’s Marketing & Consumer Director, said: “Our partnership with Legends will offer a true omnichannel experience, which is a fundamental part of our strategy for supporting the continued growth of the European Tour Brand and driving engagement among a dedicated and passionate following.

“The aim is to offer a seamless purchase experience at every step of our fans’ journey, whether that’s from the comfort of their home or on-site at an event.”

Victoria Hawksley, Legends’ Vice President of International Retail, said. “The launch of the European Tour e-commerce site is just the beginning of what will be a long and prosperous partnership with the European Tour, and we are extremely excited for what the future holds,” “Our shared vision brings together a dynamic approach to product, retailing and customer experience where we will deliver a seamless omnichannel journey and European Tour brand experience.”

Notre Dame Global Partnerships Welcomes Nextiva as an Official Partner of Notre Dame Athletics

SOUTH BEND, IN and SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.– September 16, 2021 – Notre Dame Global Partnerships has entered into a new partnership with connected communications company Nextiva. As a new Official Partner of Notre Dame Athletics, Nextiva branding will adorn the headsets of the Fighting Irish football coaching staff and appear on the football communications box on the Notre Dame sideline.

“Notre Dame Athletics is excited to help Nextiva promote its connected communications solution as the newest partner of our Athletics program” said President of Notre Dame Global Partnerships Theodore Loehrke. “We look forward to working closely with Nextiva over the coming season.”

“Nextiva’s business communications are the foundation of winning teams in business and on the football field,” said Al Campa, CMO of Nextiva. “The best teams are excellent communicators, whether they’re communicating internally, speaking to customers, or selling a new prospect. Partnering with Notre Dame, a program synonymous with excellence, winning and bringing people together, is a natural fit for Nextiva.”

This marketing partnership was secured through Notre Dame Global Partnerships, the joint venture company formed in 2018 between Legends and JMI Sports to oversee Notre Dame’s athletics sales, marketing, sponsorship, hospitality, multimedia rights and branding services on a local and national level.

College Football Hall of Fame and Legends Enter Wide-Ranging Multiyear Partnership

– Premium experiences company bringing its 360º suite of services and world-class attractions experience to College Football’s shrine–

ATLANTA, GA – September 15, 2021 – The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame today announced a multiyear partnership with Legends – a premium experiences company specializing in holistic solutions for sports and entertainment organizations and venues – to manage operations and the fan experience at the interactive and immersive Hall of Fame in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

Through this all-inclusive partnership, Legends will implement its 360º services platform across every major facet of the attraction’s business to build upon the Hall of Fame’s success and keep the Hall at the forefront of the next evolution of fan experience. Leveraging its deep-rooted operational and experiential acumen, Legends will manage a range of services for college football’s shrine including sponsorship sales, ticketing, hospitality services, merchandise, and activation of its global tourism network.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Legends to continue to elevate all aspects of our business and the memorable experiences we create for college football fans across the country,” says Kimberly Beaudin, President and CEO of the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. “This partnership will strengthen and expand resources ensuring our ability to fulfill our mission and deliver an unparalleled destination as the national home of college football.”

“Legends is honored to represent this iconic Hall of Fame in the great city of Atlanta, and through our 360 approach and attractions expertise we are excited to deliver unforgettable experiences that celebrate the immortals of the game that we all love,” said Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO of Legends.

Including today’s news, Legends’ focus and commitment to Atlanta’s sports, entertainment and tourism business continues to grow and includes an impressive list of other notable teams, venues and attractions, including Georgia Tech. Additionally, Legends has represented the Atlanta Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium as well as State Farm Arena and the Atlanta Hawks’ Emory Sports Medicine Complex. The company’s global attractions business also includes operating several experiential attractions including the One World Observatory in New York City and The View from The Shard in London.

Legends names pair of managing directors in Europe

Via Sportico

Atlanta’s College Football Hall of Fame has agreed to an “all-inclusive” multi-year partnership with Legends—the sports hospitality, sponsorship and sales consultancy and experiential agency—to manage operations and fan experience at the Hall.

Legends will work across every major facet of the Hall of Fame’s business, managing services including sponsorship sales, ticketing, hospitality, merchandise and activation of its global tourism network.

“We’ve kind of been running solo for quite a while, and we’ve had success, but knowing the resources that we can take advantage of with Legends—a global company—to help us really meet some lofty goals that we have and continue to grow [is huge],” Kimberly Beaudin, president and CEO of the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, said in an interview.

Beaudin said the Hall’s attendance has steadily increased each year since it relocated to Atlanta from South Bend, Ind., in 2014. In addition to ticket salesand some ancillary income from merchandise sales, private event revenues and sponsor dollars were among the Hall of Fame’s top revenue streams prior to the pandemic.

“Like any live event venue or attraction, we’ve had our share of challenges in the last 18 months with all of our revenue streams pretty much decimated for a period of time due to COVID,” Beaudin said. “We’re seeing attendance getting pretty close to 2019 levels and some positive movement on the events side, but that’s really going to be the last thing to come back. So we’re excited to have Legends’ expertise in all of this as we continue to [position] the Hall as the premier Hall of Fame in the country.”

A shrine to college football’s greatest, the non-profit Hall of Fame houses both artifacts and interactive, experiential multimedia exhibits. With 50,000 square feet of event space and a newly constructed on-site podcast studio, home of SEC football podcast The JBoy Show, which was acquired by Colin Cowherd’s The Volume in September, the venue itself has potential, not to mention the market it’s in.

“Football is certainly one of the pillars when you look at sports entertainment, and so when we think about the College Football Hall of Fame, we think about it right up there with the iconic brands that are in our sphere,” said Mike Tomon, co-president and COO of Legends. “Our business is focused on premium experiences wherever people congregate. When you look at the proposition of the College Football Hall of Fame, that’s ultimately it…. It’s a great place for partners and sponsors to be engaged.”

The Hall, which falls under the National Football Foundation’s umbrella, counts Chick-Fil-A, Atlanta’s Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, Coca-Cola, Kia Motors, Allstate and The Home Depot, among others,  as current corporate sponsors.

The Hall is one of many properties Legends works with in Atlanta. The consultancy signed a partnership with Georgia Tech in late 2020, taking over the athletic department’s multi-media rights from Learfield IMG College and bringing all of the Yellow Jackets’ revenue streams under a single umbrella. Legends has also worked with the Atlanta Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as well as the Hawks’ State Farm Arena and the NBA club’s Emory Sports Medicine Complex.

Legends, co-founded in 2008 by the New York Yankees and Jones Concessions LP, an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys, was valued at $1.35 billion earlier this year, when private equity firm Sixth Street purchased majority ownership of the company. Sixth Street now owns 51% of Legends, while the Cowboys and Yankees each own just over 20%, and an undisclosed investor holds the rest.

Tourism Ireland Now Official International Travel Destination of Notre Dame Athletics

South Bend, IN — September 15, 2021 — Tourism Ireland is delighted to announce it has entered into a partnership with Notre Dame Global Partnerships, which will launch before the Notre Dame football game against Purdue on Saturday, September 18th, with a sweepstakes for the chance to win a trip to Ireland for two.

 

“Ireland has always been a destination vacation for Notre Dame fans around the World due to its culture and incredible history,” said University vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “Our new partnership with Tourism Ireland fits perfectly within the fabric of Notre Dame and our deep Irish heritage.”

 

“Tourism Ireland is excited to join forces with Notre Dame Athletics to launch this new brand partnership,” said Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President, Tourism Ireland U.S. and Canada. “An initiative such as this allows us to further strengthen the long-established links between Notre Dame and the island of Ireland and to encourage fans and alumni alike to keep Ireland front of mind.”

 

Metcalfe continued, “We look forward to being part of the special Ireland promotion at Notre Dame Stadium on September 18th and hope that by showcasing the best of Ireland’s unique experiences throughout this integrated campaign that any Notre Dame fans and alumni will start planning a vacation to Ireland in the near future.”

 

The campaign will run through April of 2022 and throughout the partnership, Tourism Ireland will bring the “Best of Ireland” to Notre Dame’s loyal nationwide following across a variety of digital and in-person platforms as well as through game day promotions, radio and print media.

The partnership kicks off on campus on September 18th with a special game day promotion where Fighting Irish fans can visit the Tourism Ireland booth near the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore to enter for the chance to win a trip for two to Ireland. More information can be found at www.und.com/thebestofireland.

Additionally, fans of the Fighting Irish can look forward to video storytelling and stunning photography from Notre Dame alumni and former sports stars on-location in Ireland. The ambassadors will travel to Ireland in Spring 2022 and share highlights from their journey as well as from their time at the University across Tourism Ireland and Notre Dame Athletics social channels.

The partnership with Notre Dame Athletics is part of Tourism Ireland’s strategy to engage with non-travel brands to bring the island of Ireland travel vacation story to life and reach targeted audiences in new and innovative ways. Notre Dame Global Partnerships, a joint venture between Legends Global Partnerships and JMI Sports, facilitated the partnership.

Tourism Ireland: Official International Travel Destination of Notre Dame Athletics

Square and SoFi Stadium Exclusively Partner to Welcome Back Fans with Omnichannel, Contract-free Commerce

Square and SoFi Stadium Exclusively Partner to Welcome Back Fans with Omnichannel, Contact-Free Commerce

Powerful ecosystem of software, payments, and hardware products makes Square an ideal technology partner for large organizations like stadiums

Los Angeles, Calif. – September 9, 2021 – In a first-of-its-kind, 10-year partnership, Square has been selected as the exclusive point-of-sale (POS), payments, software, and merchant services provider for the new SoFi Stadium, home to the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, and Hollywood Park, the 300-acre mixed-use development being built by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman and SoFi Stadium developer E. Stanley Kroenke. Together, Square, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, and Legends are ushering in a new standard for fan experience and commerce that enables seamless commerce centered around delighting and engaging sports fans and concert-goers, while rising to meet the new challenges, needs, and opportunities facing the entertainment and sporting industry.

https://share.vidyard.com/watch/PkQofUPFKCQAYikjcHx48X

By leveraging all that Square’s ecosystem has to offer, SoFi Stadium is creating a multifaceted and dynamic approach to the game-day commerce experience that will delight and engage fans from pregame through overtimeAs a fully cashless venue, SoFi Stadium selected Square’s ecosystem of products and services to power commerce and contactless payments across every checkout and purchase point, spanning hundreds of concession stands, bars, roving hawkers, and merchandise retail stores. Square’s integrated POS software and hardware enable fast, reliable, and convenient transactions and create safe, streamlined payment experiences for fans, including fast check-out speeds and reduced lines.

“SoFi Stadium is a world-class facility and the largest stadium in the NFL. Maintaining that level of service requires selecting technology partners who can match that scale,” said SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park Chief Technology Officer Skarpi Hedinsson. “Square is at the forefront of innovation across payment and transactions and shares our passion for incredible customer service. As a cashless venue, our partnership will offer fast, reliable and secure contactless payments for guests that helps to create a safe and streamlined experience at SoFi Stadium.”

Here’s how SoFi Stadium uses Square’s powerful ecosystem of services to create compelling, omnichannel commerce experiences across the venue:

  • Commerce and Operations Software: Integrated Square software solutions including Point of Sale and Team Management offer rich data and sales insights in real-time, enabling stadium managers to better understand trends. This includes information like top-selling items and busiest purchasing times for all concessions, bars, and hawkers, which empowers the stadium to make smart decisions, on the fly, to optimize staffing, inventory, and promotions. Square for Retail powers merchandise locations with business analytics features like inventory and sales reports to maximize revenue opportunities throughout each game or event, while Square Team Management supports the employee experience, enabling quick and easy access to Square’s POS, with unique permission sets that ensure enterprise-scale access controls throughout the system. Both are simple to learn and use, which makes hiring and training large stadium staffs easy for operators.
  • Square Hardware: The stadium uses more than 1,000 Square Register and Square Terminal units to power sales throughout the NFL’s largest venue. With separate seller- and buyer-facing displays, Square Register enables smoother, faster payment experiences for employees and fans alike. Additionally, Square Terminal’s handheld, all-in-one payment processing capabilities enable stadium hawkers to take card and contactless payments directly at fans’ seats. All hardware devices are completely integrated and allow the stadium to flexibly power special food and merchandise pop-ups at any location, for any type of event. Square Register and Square Terminal enable fans to pay in any way they prefer, including contactless transactions through tap credit cards or mobile wallets on smartphones and smartwatches, with payment transactions covered by Square’s best-of-breed PCI compliance, privacy protection, and security.
  • API Integrations: Square’s APIs enable operators to integrate Square into any front-end fan experience or back-end data system, working seamlessly with any technology vision or enterprise architecture. For example, SoFi Stadium is leveraging Square’s Catalog API to manage inventory and product availability and inform mobile application and digital signage of menus at each concession stand. SoFi Stadium is also enlisting Square’s Orders API to transmit order details from Square POS directly to the kitchen, and Square’s Payments API to provide further business analytics.

Square’s platform also integrates with SoFi Stadium’s best-in-class partners for mobile application development, inventory management, kitchen display systems (KDS), and digital signage for a complete tech-advanced stadium. All in all, Square’s platform enables powerful system integrations between back-end and front-end user experiences across in-person, mobile, and online.

“Square’s integrated products and platform enable sellers of all sizes to run their businesses, and as a proud partner of SoFi Stadium – the biggest and most advanced stadium in the country – we’re eager to continue to show what’s possible for stadiums and retail districts,” said Ashley Grech, Global Head of Sales at Square. “Fan experience, fan safety, and long-term fan engagement will remain top of mind for every sports and entertainment venue for many seasons to come. Square’s continued commitment to providing seamless, reliable, and safe contactless commerce, as well as the data insights operators need to optimize their sales, makes us ideally suited to help organizations modernize and future-proof their operations.”

“SoFi Stadium is the most technologically advanced venue in the world, and we’re committed to keep it that way, which means we only wanted to work with partners who are thought leaders and committed to pushing the envelope with innovation,” said Denise Taylor, President, Global Technology Solutions for Legends Entertainment. “With Square, we were really excited about their commitment to continuous improvement and forward thinking development of their platform. Square is able to help us scale into the future, as the guest experience continues to evolve and we look to offer more mobile commerce solutions. We want fans to be able to enjoy a seamless guest engagement in a secure manner, and Square is the partner that enables Sofi Stadium to do that and change the way we all think about sports technology.”

Along with powering operations and payments for SoFi Stadium, Square is also the exclusive Point of Sale and Merchant Services partner for Hollywood Park and YouTube Theater. This expansive agreement showcases Square’s ability and flexibility to build out stadiums and their surrounding districts and create first-class consumer commerce experiences. Partnering with SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park builds upon Square’s prior expertise powering experiential commerce for venues and organizations, including the Washington Nationals, Ogden Raptors, Speedway Motorsports, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and more. To learn more about Square’s stadium and enterprise capabilities, visit squareup.com/large-businesses.

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park partnered with Legends, a premium experiences company, in securing this partnership. In addition to operating SoFi Stadium Tours, Legends has been engaged throughout SoFi Stadium on hospitality, premium sales, retail, partnerships and naming rights, technology solutions, and project development.

Credit Union 1 Becomes Official Banking Partner of Notre Dame Athletics

Notre Dame fans can sign up at CreditUnion1.org/Irish to receive exclusive banking benefits through the new Fighting Irish Program

NOTRE DAME, IN – September 2, 2021 – Notre Dame Global Partnerships, the multimedia rights holder for the University of Notre Dame Athletics Department, today announced a new multiyear Championship-level partnership with Credit Union 1 to become the Official Banking Partner of Notre Dame Athletics. Credit Union 1, an Illinois-based financial institution that drives family and community success, will provide exclusive services and better banking for all the Irish through the new Fighting Irish Program.

“The University of Notre Dame is one of the finest institutions in America and to officially align our values with its iconic athletics program and faithful supporters represents a tremendous milestone for our financial institution. Through the Fighting Irish Program, which is designed to empower members to maximize their economic potential, we’re excited to exemplify the same level of premier excellence that has come to define Notre Dame in its classrooms and across its athletic fields.” said Todd Gunderson, CEO and President of Credit Union 1.

“When we look for potential partners at Notre Dame, we look for those who are both best in class in their industry and are community oriented – Credit Union 1 fits that vision,” said university vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “We’re excited to be able to call Credit Union 1 our Official Banking Partner for many years to come.”

By joining Credit Union 1’s new Fighting Irish Program, all University of Notre Dame students, faculty, proud alumni and devoted fans will have access to the Notre Dame Affinity Debit Card which includes exclusive, best-in-class banking benefits. Program members can choose from one of eight Fighting Irish-themed designs ranging from the school’s iconic Notre Dame Monogram, the Fighting Irish Leprechaun or a striking gold-textured card representing the Athletics program. Specific designs will be available on an edge-to-edge steel core card.

In addition to banking services, Credit Union 1 will have a strong presence through custom Notre Dame broadcast media, on-campus ATMs and a future banking location near campus. They will support Notre Dame Stadium’s innovative efforts to go cashless this season by offering fans the option to use prepaid cards. Credit Union 1 will also launch engaging on-site activations during Notre Dame football, men’s and women’s basketball and hockey games.

Fans can start receiving their exclusive Fighting Irish benefits and Fighting Irish Debit Card today at: www.creditunion1.org/irish 

Notre Dame Global Partnerships, a joint venture between Legends Global Partnerships and JMI Sports, facilitated the partnership.

Legends names pair of managing directors in Europe

Via SportBusiness

Legends, the United States-based premium experiences company, has bulked up its international presence further with the selection of two executives to lead key European markets.

The company named Martin Jennings as managing director of Legends’ operations in the United Kingdom, as well as head of global planning for Legends’ international business. Jennings joined Legends International in 2018 and had been senior vice president of project development. 

Legends also has named former Sportfive executive Jens König as managing director of central Europe. König – who will manage Legends’ operations in the area from Hamburg, Germany – had been Sportfive’s senior vice president and head of global business development.

The moves come after global investment firm Sixth Street earlier this year acquired majority control of Legends, with the deal containing a clear mission to grow the company’s international profile.

To that end, further managing director hires are also being planned for France, Italy, and Spain, and those managing directors will collectively comprise an international operating committee.

Andrew Hampel, previously president of Legends International, is now transitioning to a new role as senior advisor beginning in October.

“We have established a world-class foundation in the international market, and are poised for extraordinary growth,” said Mike Tomon, Legends co-president and chief operating officer. “To accelerate this growth, and to continue to deliver at the highest level for our clients, we are excited to launch an enhanced operations model led by two native-born, world-class experts in Martin and Jens. 

“This strategic approach not only represents the recognition of the uniqueness of each regional business environment, but also highlights our commitment to continue to invest in significant infrastructure across our unique 360-degree platform,” Tomon said.

Tomon, a longtime Legends executive, was recently named the company’s first co-president along with Curt McClellan, who comes to the operations from a prior role as executive in residence for KSL Capital Partners.

“As we ramp back up at a rapid pace, we are positioning our company to more effectively execute our long-term growth strategy and must match that with the right leadership and structure to support our teams and clients, ensuring that we can sustain and elevate the world-class service we deliver to partners,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, Legends chief executive.

Legends continues to have a sizable presence in numerous key sectors of the sports industry, including concessions, hospitality, naming rights and sponsorship sales and valuation, ticketing, merchandising, fundraising, and venue technology.

Legends International Expands Investment and Infrastructure in Europe, Naming Martin Jennings and Jens König Managing Directors

– Regional, on-the-ground organizational structure signifies continued investment in the European market and global growth – 

 

NEW YORK – August 23, 2021 – Legends International today announced continued and further investment in the ever-growing international division exemplified by two leaders in their respective European regions. As part of the company’s long-term approach to territory centered, on-the-ground structure, Martin Jennings has been promoted to Managing Director of the UK and Head of Global Planning for the International business, with former Sportfive executive Jens König joining Legends International as Managing Director of Central Europe.   

“We have established a world class foundation in the international market and are poised for extraordinary growth. To accelerate this growth, and to continue to deliver at the highest level for our clients, we are excited to launch an enhanced operations model led by two native-born world-class experts in Martin and Jens,” said Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO, Legends. “This strategic approach not only represents the recognition of the uniqueness of each regional business environment, but also highlights our commitment to continue to invest in significant infrastructure across our unique 360-degree platform.”   

To support Legends’ thriving business in Europe, Jennings and König will oversee the development and implementation of the company’s 360º services platform in their respective territories. Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands, including Real Madrid CF, Liverpool FC, The Shard, Rugby World Cup 2019 and 2021, UFC, The European Tour and Ryder Cup. Clients benefit from comprehensive services through six global operating divisions – Global Planning, Global Sales, Global Partnerships, Hospitality, Global Merchandise and Global Technology Solutions – which offer best-in-class leadership and integrated 360º solutions. 

Additionally, Andrew Hampel has decided to step back as President of Legends International and will transition to a new role as Senior Advisor in October 2021. 

The Managing Directors will collectively comprise an International Operating Committee, working in partnership to further drive business success. Positions will be announced for France, Italy and Spain in the coming months. 

Jennings joined Legends International in 2018 as Senior Vice President, Project Development and has been instrumental in the strong foundation Legends has established internationally, managing a wide range of prominent stadium and arena/exhibition centre development projects across Europe. Jennings has been central to Legends’ work for many European clients, including Real Madrid CF, Liverpool FC and Fulham FC. His arena/exhibition centre experience covers several major new venues in the UK and both new and renovated venues across Scandinavia. 

A versatile and proven leader with experience across league, club and agency sectors, König most recently served as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Business Development at Sportfive. During his nearly 10 years with the international sports rights marketing agency, he managed multiple top international stadium and club projects from development and commercialization to operations. Throughout the European market, König has overseen partnerships, premium ticketing, marketing, customer experience and digitalization. He will manage operations from Hamburg, Germany. 

Legends Names Mike Tomon and Curt McClellan as Co-Presidents of the Company

– New corporate management structure designed to further accelerate worldwide business development and position the company for long-term growth – 

–Business technology expert Jennifer Greer-Glanville named Chief Information Officer –  

 

NEW YORK – August 23, 2021 – Legends today announced a strategic realignment of its global corporate management structure naming longtime Legends executive Mike Tomon and prominent financial operations executive Curt McClellan as the first-ever Co-Presidents of the business. The restructuring of Legends operations in the U.S. and internationally aligns with the company’s long-term commitment to worldwide growth and positions the premium experience company for the future.   

“As we ramp back up at a rapid pace, we are positioning our company to more effectively execute our long-term growth strategy and must match that with the right leadership and structure to support our teams and clients, ensuring that we can sustain and elevate the world-class service we deliver to partners,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, CEO, Legends. “Mike and Curt are exceptionally talented, innovative and forward-looking leaders, with track records implementing ultra-successful global strategies and will be excellent stewards of our business as co-presidents. And with the addition of Jennifer as CIO, who has a stellar reputation delivering business value across all areas of the technology ecosystem, our new leadership composition is a perfect fit to accelerate our vision.” 

Tomon assumes expanded responsibilities of Co-President along with his current role as Chief Operating Officer, and will oversee all revenue generating and operational components of the company, including all Legends operating divisions.  In addition, he will oversee Marketing, Creative, and Communications. In addition to serving as Co-President, McClellan will assume the role of Chief Corporate Officer, overseeing infrastructure components of the company, including IT, Finance and Accounting, Legal and Human Resources.  

Advancing its objective to support the business with world-class expertise, Legends has appointed business technology executive Jennifer Greer-Glanville as Chief Information Officer. As CIO, she will lead strategic direction, management, and oversight in the areas of Enterprise Architecture, IT Security and Compliance, Infrastructure, Technical Services, Workplace Technologies and Event Support for Operations.  

A Legends veteran and principal leader in its dynamic and diverse growth since 2014, Tomon has been a key accelerant in the advancement and implementation of the 360-degree service solution platform. Over the past seven years, the former Georgetown student-athlete has been instrumental in Legends’ global operations expansion and overall business development charge. Before joining Legends, Tomon served as Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships at AEG, spearheading business development and overseeing the global premium sales strategy for assets worldwide. Prior to AEG, Tomon lead different facets of revenue and operations for NBA teams such as the Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Bobcats and Cleveland Cavaliers. 

McClellan augments the Legends team with over three decades of experience, building efficient and effective infrastructure teams that support and drive business at global leading companies. Most recently, as Executive in Residence for KSL Capital Partners, McClellan delivered leadership, operational and financial expertise to portfolio company leadership as well as providing guidance, diligence efforts and support for potential investments. Prior to that, the Abilene Christian graduate provided leadership to golf club operator ClubCorp USA as the organization’s CFO and Treasurer for 11 years. During his tenure, McClellan oversaw over 350 employee partners across, finance, accounting, tax, investor relations, information technology, legal and risk management. Additionally, he was responsible for managing treasury and capital market relationships and strategies. 

Greer-Glanville comes to Legends following a career arc helping to transform multibillion dollar corporations. Most recently, she was CIO of ClubCorp, driving strategic digital transformation initiatives and cybersecurity/compliance solutions while also building credibility through improvements in the day-to-day technology and service predictability across the entire technical landscape. As the VP of IT Transformation Technology and Corporate Officer at foodservice leader Sysco Corporation, she drove key business process and systems transformation, turned around struggling programs, implemented critical controls, and led complex contract renegotiations to extract value and drive cost efficiency. Prior to Sysco, the Texas A&M graduate was the VP IT for Global Telecommunications at Cadbury PLC, where she was the global lead for numerous SAP programs, drove both IT and business process outsourcing efforts and was responsible for global telecommunications operations. Greer-Glanville spent the first 10 years of her career at Accenture providing technology consulting services to global clients. 

The Professional Fighters League and Legends Enter Strategic Partnership

NEW YORK (August 3, 2021) – The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest growing sports league, today announced a strategic long-term partnership with Legends, a premium experiences company that specializes in delivering holistic solutions for sports and entertainment organizations and venues. In addition, as part of this long-term partnership, Legends has made an investment in PFL for a minority ownership stake.

Through this comprehensive partnership, Legends will help create and execute premium, unique experiences and opportunities for sponsors, partners, and fans. The 360-degree partnership will focus on developing and optimizing a range of services including sponsorship sales, ticketing, global planning, hospitality services, venue site opportunities, technology solutions, and the development of a next-generation PFL training and production facility.

“Legends is an industrial-strength partner in areas that can turbo-change the PFL business,” said PFL Chairman and Founder Donn Davis. “The Legends business partnership and equity investment will accelerate PFL momentum and growth as we further build our audience and business upon our standing as the No. 2 MMA company worldwide.”

“The leadership team at PFL has created a unique and burgeoning MMA league that is well-positioned for expansion in the years ahead,” said Legends President and CEO Shervin Mirhashemi. “We are excited to build upon PFL’s momentum and deliver innovative and impactful solutions that will drive business and further accelerate growth.”

“With 550 million fans around the globe, PFL is primed to capitalize on the underserved MMA market,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “We are thrilled to partner with the world-class organization and team at Legends to create unique and powerful opportunities for sponsors, partners, and fans not available in any other sports league.”

“Through this strategic partnership with PFL, we will bring our acumen in experiences, operations, and overall revenue generation, leveraging our entire global platform,” said Legends Chief Operating Officer Mike Tomon. “Legends will work closely with PFL to enhance the fan experience, and also create new revenue-generating opportunities that will help further the long term goals of the league.”

This partnership announcement comes just days before the most exciting month in MMA kicks off with the PFL Playoffs.  PFL hosts its single-elimination playoff events on Aug. 13, 19 and 27 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The final four fighters from each of six weight-classes have single-elimination fights to earn a spot in the PFL World Championship.   The PFL World Championship is six title fights in six weight-classes for $6 million all in 1 night – the biggest night of the year in MMA.

King Power Stadium Set for Expansion

Via The Stadium Business

English Premier League football club Leicester City has today (Wednesday) announced that it plans to expand King Power Stadium’s capacity to 40,000, as well as introduce a mixed-use development that will feature a new arena.

Leicester said initial plans for the project will be shared next month, as the club’s Thai owners, King Power International, press on with long-held ambitions to enhance facilities.

King Power Stadium opened in 2002 and has a current capacity of around 32,300. Current proposals for the site include the addition of 8,000 seats in the East Stand – which, if approved, would take King Power Stadium’s capacity to 40,000 – along with a wider proposal for a mixed-use destination.

This development would include a multi-purpose event and entertainment arena, new club megastore, 220-room hotel, club and commercial office space, a residential tower, and a new multi-storey car park.

The unveiling of initial plans next month will be followed by a period of public consultation throughout the summer and early autumn. Leicester City chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, said: “The unveiling of these plans represents a significant milestone in the long history of Leicester City Football Club, and one that we hope will continue to put our supporters and our community at the heart of its long-term future.

“Through the consultation with our fans, our local community, businesses and stakeholders, we hope to achieve something that we can all be proud of for years to come. It’s these conversations that will help us communicate our vision to the people at its heart and take onboard the views of our community to help shape it.

“While this vision is in its early stages, I know the prospect of additional capacity for more Leicester City supporters in King Power Stadium, has long been anticipated by us all, particularly after seven near sold-out Premier League seasons.

“The plans to build on the club’s recent growth – with a stadium expansion as part of an exciting wider site development – is a wonderful demonstration of the shared ambition of both the football club and the city of Leicester.

“It is a project with the potential to generate enormous social value, starting with a substantial number of additional jobs for people in the region. We will be working with our partners and contractors to ensure this is a central consideration from construction through to long-term operation.”

Today’s announcement comes after Legends International was appointed by Leicester in August 2019 to carry out market research that was intended to underpin plans for the proposed expansion of King Power Stadium.

Sir Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester, said: “These are ambitious plans that reflect the club’s ongoing commitment to the city and constant desire to build on its incredible achievements. LCFC has always been at the heart of our city, but thanks to the vision of the greatly-missed Khun Vichai, and his son Khun Top, it is now an integral part of our community that contributes to city life in so many ways.

“There is obviously a great deal of consultation to be done, including through the planning process, but these are really exciting proposals. The development would be very good news for the city as well as for the club, creating new jobs and a sought-after destination for visitors, locals and tourists.”

YouTube Partners with Hollywood Park to Name Performance Venue “YouTube Theater”

Hollywood Park, a near 300-acre sports and entertainment destination, and YouTube have partnered in an extensive multi-year agreement that names the development’s 6,000-seat performance venue, YouTube Theater. The partnership is the first-of-its-kind for YouTube, with the venue hosting a variety of live entertainment from concerts to comedy, award shows, esports competitions, community events, conferences, and distinctive YouTube creator events. YouTube Theater is part of the sprawling Hollywood Park mixed-use development in Inglewood, Calif., which is being developed by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke, and construction is set to complete for the theater in summer 2021. The first event to officially open the venue is slated for mid summer.

“YouTube Theater will drive the uniqueness of YouTube by combining physical, ‘in real life’ events that bring creators and fans together, while simultaneously sharing ​that same event​ experience with our two billion global monthly users through livestreams and VOD content,” said Angela Courtin, Vice President of Brand Marketing, YouTube. “YouTube creators and artists are the heart of YouTube and YouTube Theater adds to the portfolio of opportunities to drive their creativity, build their businesses, grow their communities and so much more.”

“When he set out to build YouTube Theater, Stan Kroenke envisioned an intimate, world-class venue that exemplified three core aspects: technology, creativity, and entertainment. We cannot imagine a better partner to help us bring this vision to life than YouTube,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “YouTube Theater will be open to the public this summer as Los Angeles’ new home for esports, community gatherings, concerts, and all types of live entertainment. YouTube Theater is the next step for Hollywood Park as we develop and deliver on creating a true sports and entertainment destination across our 300 acres.”

YouTube Theater is designed to be home to a variety of live entertainment events. Hollywood Park and Live Nation have partnered in an exclusive multi-year booking agreement and have already confirmed Caifanes, Los Angeles Azules, Pitbull, Black Pumas, Devo, Trippie Redd, Alejandro Sanz, Christian Nodal, Marina, and Louis Tomlinson to play shows at the theater in 2021 and 2022. Guests at the theater will be introduced to state-of-the-art technology and premium finishes that elevate the fan experience.

The innovative features at YouTube Theater focus on interactivity, including a large scale digital YouTube play button icon outside the venue, which can transform into an immersive video screen that guests can interact with by mirroring themselves on the screen and by viewing highlights of YouTube’s creator and artist content. The venue also features a dynamic digital wall on the interior that will be used to celebrate YouTube creators and artists by showcasing them in a gallery-like setting.

This agreement builds upon YouTube parent company Google’s previously announced partnerships with Hollywood Park that made Google Cloud the exclusive cloud partner of the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and their home SoFi Stadium. Google Cloud is the exclusive cloud partner of YouTube Theater as well. YouTube will be the exclusive video services and music streaming services partner of YouTube Theater, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park and the exclusive video services partner and an official music streaming services partner of the Rams and Chargers.

YouTube Theater is a 227,000 square foot, three-story indoor venue. Built to be a best-in-class event venue, the 6,100 square-feet stage is an expansive area to get creative, and every seat is close to the action on-stage, with the farthest seat in the house only 164 feet away from the stage. The venue itself is blended seamlessly in at the southernmost corner of the same roof canopy that stretches over SoFi Stadium and American Airlines Plaza. Complete with a two-story Kaynemaile chandelier, the theater will feature six luxury boxes, a 1,200 square-foot premium back-of-house hospitality space — with adjacent dressing rooms — and a 3,500 square-foot private club with 140 premium seats.

Legends Global Partnerships division sourced, negotiated and represented Hollywood Park in securing this partnership.

For more information about YouTube Theater and to learn of upcoming events, visit www.YouTubeTheater.com or @YouTubeTheater on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Columbus Crew Announces Long-Term Stadium Naming Rights Partnership with Lower

Columbus Crew and Lower today announced a long-term partnership that includes naming rights to the Crew’s new downtown home, which will be named Lower.com Field, effective immediately. The partnership sees two Columbus-based organizations who are invested in the local community come together in a landmark agreement, terms of which were not disclosed.

“We are proud to partner with Lower in naming our new Stadium,” said Dee Haslam, Columbus Crew Investor-Operator. “Dan Snyder’s leadership and vision align so strongly with the goals of the Crew. Lower is a world class company, rooted in Columbus, renowned for their culture and fully invested in giving back to our community. Lower.com Field will provide our players a home-field advantage and our supporters a best-in-class experience. In addition to match days, we are immensely excited that Lower.com Field will be the cornerstone of a new live, work, and play neighborhood in Astor Park. On behalf of the Haslam and Edwards Families, we look forward to working together to make a sustainable and positive difference in Columbus and for our supporters.”

Lower is a fintech company whose mission is make the traditionally daunting task of buying or refinancing a home simple. The millennial and Gen-z home finance platform is differentiated from other digital lenders by taking a holistic approach to the homeownership journey. Consumers can go online or download the app and find a one-stop shop experience where they can save for a home, get a great mortgage, and protect their home through its insurance marketplace. With more than 10,000 five-star reviews in less than two years, Lower is becoming the go-to destination for those looking to save for, insure, buy, or refinance a home across the country.

“We have nearly 1,000 local team members, have funded billions in loans, and have been named the top workplace in Columbus, and yet, we’re still relatively unknown as a company. So, this partnership, to some extent, is the coming out party for our brand. Very few companies ever get to name a stadium, let alone a brand new one, in their hometown. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, said Lower CEO Dan Snyder. “On behalf of my partners and the entire team, we couldn’t be more excited to open up Lower.com Field to the city of Columbus on July 3.”

Lower is heavily invested in the Columbus community and will collaborate with the Crew on several community-based initiatives as a focal point throughout the partnership. Lower becomes the Presenting Partner to the Crew’s Mini-Pitch Project. The Mini-Pitch Project is a field development project that aims to provide local youth in underserved communities with the opportunity to get outside and play soccer in safe and fun environments. As previously announced, the Club’s 11th field development project – a mini pitch at Northgate Intermediate School in Columbus – is set to open later  month. On matchdays, for each goal scored by the Crew, Lower will donate $1,000 to Healthy Homes. Healthy Homes is a non-profit housing organization and collaboration between Community Development for All People and Nationwide Children’s Hospital that works to preserve and create high-quality affordable housing. On top of the charitable donation, there will be a second goal-based opportunity, which benefits Crew supporters. For each goal scored in the regular season, supporters will unlock $500 toward their home financing, up to $1,500.

Lower also becomes an Associate Partner to Give Forward becoming an integral part of the Club’s community efforts. Give Forward is a platform of the Columbus Crew Foundation that serves challenged youth, encouraging healthy and positive lifestyles, honoring the military, and keeping Columbus beautiful.

“We couldn’t have found a more perfect fit with Lower as our naming rights partner,” said Columbus Crew Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons. “It was critical for us to find a like-minded company, Columbus-based, and committed to our community. At the same time, Lower’s bold, upward trajectory reflects the direction of the Crew and the personality of Lower Field. As a leading innovative technological company, they focus on creating world-class customer experiences and their core mission of making home ownership more accessible is impactful for our fans. We are thrilled to welcome Lower and their associates to the Crew family.”

Continued Lyons: “As we prepare to open Lower.com Field, we are excited that this stadium will represent our players, club and city on a national and international stage through events such as Campeones Cup later this summer and potential U.S. Soccer matches in the future. The ability to host high-profile events of this magnitude provides incredible exposure to the club, the city and our partners through the global game of soccer.”

The Crew also announced today that the second largest supporters section in Major League Soccer, the Nordecke (3,364) has now officially sold out. While the Nordecke, and as previously announced, all premium club, suites and loge boxes at New Crew Stadium sold out for the current season, limited general seating 2021 Season Tickets are still available at a pro-rated price. Similarly, Limited Partial Plans for four to 10 matches are currently available. Supporters can ensure priority access to single match tickets and purchase full or partial Season Ticket Memberships by visiting the following link: https://bit.ly/2SuhKsD.

As part of the partnership, Lower is also the Entitlement Partner to the East Field Club, which is set to be named the “Lower.com Lounge.” The lounge is the most premier space within Lower.com Field and is inclusive of 10 private field-level suites and 120 field seats.

Lower.com Field is set to open its gates at full capacity on Saturday, July 3, when the Crew hosts the New England Revolution for the venue’s Inaugural Match [5:00 p.m. ET / ESPN, ESPN App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971thefan.com (English); ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. The new world-class stadium has a capacity for 20,011 supporters and includes seats that are as much as 28 feet closer to the pitch than any of the seats at Historic Crew Stadium. Additionally, the incline is steeper, providing improved sightlines for supporters in every part of the venue. A defining feature of the stadium is a 220,000 square-foot canopy that will cover all supporters during the match, providing shelter from weather conditions throughout the season.

The premium spaces at the new home of the Crew are among the highest-end premium experiences in MLS and include Ledge Seats which hang over the lower bowl, offering one of the best views of the pitch.

The New Nordecke at Lower.com Field is located on the north end of the stadium and is set to be the second-largest supporters section in MLS, with standing-only capacity for 3,356 supporters. Notably, it features a state-of-the-art tifo-rigging system designed for the Black & Gold supporters. Upon arrival to the southeast entrance of Lower.com Field, supporters will be able to walk up to and congregate in a 62,000 square-foot public plaza featuring a large, outdoor 14-feet by 24-feet video screen. Supporters can then walk across the plaza to the Pub Restaurant and Crew Shop, which will be open on non-matchdays. The concession stands at the venue are also set to feature several local food and beverage options.

At 225 feet wide by 360 feet long, the surface of the pitch at Lower.com Field – which sits 22 feet below the concourse level – will be surrounded by thirteen feet of synthetic turf on the sidelines and eleven feet of synthetic turf on the end lines. The SubAir system used in the pitch will allow it to recover faster from adverse weather conditions, as it can increase the temperature of the pitch root zone by up to 28 degrees, allowing for events played in cold conditions to occur with less buildup that normally might affect the flow of the game. Additionally, the SubAir system can drain water from the pitch in three minutes, while gravity systems usually used in stadiums can take up to 60 minutes.

Before Lower.com Field opens, the Club is set to hold multiple activations as part of its matchday programming for the Club’s Farewell to Historic Crew Stadium this weekend. The Crew’s final match at the historic venue is set to take place on Saturday, June 19 with the Club hosting Chicago Fire FC [7:30 p.m. ET / Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971thefan.com (English); ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. Ahead of the match, Bally Sports Ohio is scheduled to host a one-hour pre-match special commemorating the day, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Columbus Crew was represented by Legends Global Partnerships in this wide-ranging partnership with Lower.com.

Legends Global Partnerships Adds Industry Vet Chris Foy

Via Sportico

Legends Global Partnerships has announced Chris Foy will join its team in a newly created executive vice president role. Foy will be tasked with Legends’ global partnership sales, collegiate partnerships, and venue and facility naming rights.

Foy previously was the president and founder of Impression Sports & Entertainment, a national sports sponsorship agency he launched in 2011. There he worked to market clients like the Fiesta Bowl Association, USA Swimming, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the New Orleans Pelicans and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Before launching Impression, Foy was the managing partner of General Sports Alliances, where he worked with the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals.

Foy spoke admiringly of his new company’s trajectory. “You can see very clearly that these guys are building a great culture, and that’s something that I wanted to be a part of,” he said in an interview. “When you look the incredible people that they have under the company and the cohesive drive that they have, it was something that really aligned well with me. As I look to take the next step in my career there couldn’t have been a better place to look at than Legends.”

 

President of Legends Global Partnerships Chris Hibbs said Foy’s experience, particularly with college sports, will serve him well. “Chris is going to bring his expertise with doing deals with brands but also new business,” Hibbs said in an interview. “I think he’s going to bring some ideas, and he’ll do that across our entire portfolio.”

While collegiate partnerships are a small part of Legends’ business, Hibbs said, he believes there will be chances to expand upon them. “We’re getting into the collegiate partnership space at an interesting time where some of the dynamics are changing,” he said. “Chris has a bunch of experience there.”

Foy emphasized what he thinks will makes Legends Global Partnerships special. “What I think is overlooked is the amount of attention we give to our clients,” he said. “I think continuing to build rapport with our clients is going to be critical and continuing to deliver results to them is going to be a priority across the entire staff and division.”

Chris Foy Joins Legends Global Partnerships

Legends today announced that Chris Foy has joined as Executive Vice President, Legends Global Partnerships. Foy brings more than 25 years of experience across sports, sponsorships, and live events.

In this newly created role, Foy will be a key leader within Legends Global Partnerships and will focus on venue & facility naming rights, global partnerships sales, collegiate partnerships, and other platforms in the evolving global partnerships space. Foy will collaborate with Legends Global Partnerships staff throughout the United States and globally.

“Chris brings a depth of experience that spans professional sports, live entertainment, and collegiate athletics,” said Chris Hibbs, President, Legends Global Partnerships. “The landscape across sponsorships, new venue projects, live events, and collegiate athletics is evolving quickly, and Chris’ extensive expertise will be a critical resource for our new and existing clients as we work together to drive game-changing results.”

Prior to joining Legends, Foy was President & Founder of Impression Sports & Entertainment, a national sports sponsorship agency that he launched in 2011. With the creation of Impression Sports & Entertainment, Foy delivered an extensive portfolio of experience and high-end sales and marketing solutions for high-profile clients including ESPN Events, Fiesta Bowl Association, USA Swimming, FOX Sports/USC, the ECHL, Gator Bowl Association, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Greenville Arena District, New Orleans Pelicans, Florida Citrus Sports, Chip Ganassi Racing, the Sun Bowl Association, the Independence Bowl Foundation, Minnesota Timberwolves, the Arizona Bowl, City of Memphis (MMG), Wisconsin City District, among several more.   

“Legends Global Partnerships is an exceptional team known for delivering results for the largest and most complex projects in sports and entertainment,” said Foy. “Through their incredible body of work, they have earned their best-in-class designation. I look forward to providing immediate value to our team, our clients, and to the overall success of the company.”

Prior to launching Impression, Chris was managing partner of General Sports Alliances, where key clients included the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, Progressive Gator Bowl, and Detroit Metro Airport.

Earlier in his career, Foy held VP sales roles with Live Nation and The Bonham Group. Born and raised in Toronto, Chris was a draft pick of the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League and played professional hockey for four years (AHL, IHL, and ECHL). In college, Chris was a member of the Northeastern University Huskies (Boston, MA) Division 1 hockey team, playing in the elite Hockey East Conference for four years and earning Hockey East All-Academic Team honors in 1991 and 1993.

Foy graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He resides in Denver, Colorado with his wife Justine, and their three children Taylor, Keaton, and Connor.

Jon & Vinny Promise Cheeseburger Subs and Fried Hot Dogs at SoFi Stadium This Year

Via EaterLA

More details are emerging about the upcoming Jon & Vinny collaborations at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, home of both the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. Stadium officials recently announced the star duo as a kind of chefs in residence, working collaboratively with concessions company Legends on menus that will be available across the stadium.

The overall program, known as LA Eats, will be loosely constructed around four different menus, each named for a street or area within greater Los Angeles. First up is the Fairfax, harkening to Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s spiritual LA home, where their award-winning restaurants Animal, Jon & Vinny’s, and (nearby) Son of a Gun reside. The new Fairfax stadium menu “is a sub, deli, cheeseburger concept,” mixing everything from chicken salad subs to fried ‘ripper’ hot dogs and a burger-sub hybrid featuring elongated patties of beef on griddled rolls (seriously, it looks wild). A promo video for the Fairfax menu can be found below.

The Fairfax menu, which also includes vegan chili and a jalapeño cheddar sausage, among other options, represents one quarter of the full LA Eats menu. SoFi Stadium reps say the plan is to drop new announcements about the upcoming menus each week. Shook and Dotolo collaborated on menus throughout the stadium at each concession area, and will feature different themes based on local streets and areas. Next up is the San Vicente Boulevard menu.

As for the stadium overall, there’s still much to uncover about the food — including a different vendor setup at the box seat and VIP levels — both inside and out. Beyond the walls of the NFL stadium, built by billionaire Stan Kroenke, there are further plans to build an entire nightlife and hospitality community, with sit-down restaurants for pre-game meals, hotels, retail, and more. And while the Hollywood Park site project has been delayed by a full year as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently said that all counties would likely ‘fully reopen’ for business (including full-scale in person live events) by June 15, paving the way for a big year at SoFi Stadium, at least. As for the smaller longtime businesses around the stadium in Inglewood, that remains to be seen.

SoFi Stadium Teams up with Award-winning Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo for Its Culinary Program

Focused on representing the city’s prolific food culture, SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, partnered with James Beard award-winning chefs, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo to reimagine the stadium culinary experience. The duo, Los Angeles cult favorite chefs and owners of some of the most iconic restaurants in the city – including animal, Son of a Gun, Jon & Vinny’s, Caramelized Productions and Cookbook Market – created a groundbreaking food program as transformative as the stadium itself.

“Jon and Vinny are well-known for their thoughtful and flavorful food, and we are thrilled for them to extend their legacy to SoFi Stadium,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “Los Angeles’ food culture is celebrated for its creativity, and our goal is to build a culinary experience for fans based on high-quality, fresh ingredients and inspired by the many cuisines you can find throughout the city.”

SoFi Stadium’s culinary program is based on four core concepts. Each is grounded in local flavors and features creative combinations. Starting April 22, 2021, SoFi Stadium will release a video each week announcing a concept and delving into its inspiration and ingredients. The videos will feature Jon and Vinny walking fans through the stadium’s innovative program.

Shaped from the diverse cuisines of the region, SoFi Stadium’s menus will feature high-quality ingredients paired with top-notch preparation, expertly scaled for a stadium of discerning foodie fans. Building on their expert knowledge of the LA food scene, Jon and Vinny spent months of research and hundreds of hours in development at their test kitchen in Inglewood to create unique expressions of timeless stadium favorites, but with local flair.

“The opening of SoFi Stadium is a monumental and historical moment for the city of Inglewood, City of Champions,” said Jon and Vinny. “We are super excited to be part of the LA Eats program at SoFi Stadium. The stadium, along with Legends, has made it incredibly easy for us to transform how people think about stadium food.”

SoFi Stadium’s state-of-the-art amenities and indoor-outdoor design will be incorporated into the presentation of its innovative food program to create a memorable experience. The stadium’s kitchens offer open-air spaces with breathtaking views of the city. Their expansive design features clear glass, with each kitchen placed in a location that always has sightlines to the field, videoboard or seating bowl. Fans will now be able to leave their seats for food and drink and not worry about missing the big play.

The clear glass in SoFi Stadium’s kitchens allows food to be prepared in front of guest’s eyes. In a first for stadium design, SoFi Stadium features 100 percent live-fire kitchens. This allows for the stadium to produce food in each and every one of its kitchens.

The culinary program was created in partnership with Legends, which will operate the stadium’s culinary program under the direction of Legends Executive Chef Robert Biebrich and Legends Vice President of Culinary Innovation Gretchen Beaumarchais.

SoFi Stadium Partners with Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo to Make Food at Venue

Via Los Angeles Times

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, owners of Animal, Son of a Gun and the Jon and Vinny’s restaurants, are working on the food lineup for SoFi Stadium, the 3.1-million-square-foot, indoor-outdoor sports and entertainment complex in Inglewood that is home to the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers.

“Most stadiums, the approach is, ‘Hey, let’s go get Domino’s to pay us to put a concession stand in our stadium,‘” Shook said. “The approach here is ‘Hey, we are going to build one of the nicest kitchens we’ve been in, underground in the basement, and we’re going to produce all the food that goes to the concession stands.‘”

Shook and Dotolo are acting as culinary consultants to help with menu development and product sourcing at the stadium, which can seat 70,000 to 100,000 people, depending on the setup. They’re working with executive chef Robert Biebrich and vice president of culinary innovation Gretchen Beaumarchais of Legends, the hospitality company that will operate the stadium’s culinary program. Legends also handles the concessions at Angel Stadium and a number of other venues around the country.

The James Beard award-winning chefs are used to cooking for a crowd. Dotolo and Shook operate a successful catering and events company called Caramelized Productions, and they also partnered with Delta Air Lines in 2019 to create dishes for select Delta One flights.

While they wouldn’t discuss specific stadium menu items just yet, they did share that they worked with the Legends team to create four concepts for the 42 concession stands. The idea is to offer re-imagined versions of stadium classics. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers and chicken tenders were all mentioned during our conversation.

“There’s going to be hot dogs, because it’s a stadium,” Shook said. “We tasted probably 50 different hot dogs.”

Shook said they narrowed down the choices to the top 10 and then made some calls to ensure that producers could handle the volume needed for a stadium of this size. He and Dotolo then tested buns, toppings and all the other components of the menu items.

Scaling items made it almost impossible to use select producers. But some were able to make it work.

“We were able to bring in DiNapoli tomatoes, the ones we use at Jon and Vinny’s,” Dotolo said.

The concession stands will feature glass windows that offer a view into their kitchens. They are also strategically placed to offer views of the field and the videoboard, a screen with 70,000 square feet of digital LED that will show whatever event is happening at the time.

“For a chef, it’s easy to get weird and funky,” Shook said. “One of the things we really try to keep in mind is out of the fans that come there, not everyone is going to be a chef. What are the items they are going to be looking for?”

Dotolo and Shook said they spent months working on R&D for menu items.

“One of the items that we were super stickler on was the chicken finger,” Shook said.

Columbus Crew SC Announces New Partnership with Columbus-Based American Electric Power

Columbus Crew SC today announced that the Club has entered into a new, multi-year partnership with American Electric Power. As one of the largest electric energy companies in the U.S., Columbus-based AEP powers millions of homes and businesses. AEP becomes an Official “Founding Partner” of Columbus Crew SC and New Crew Stadium, set to open in July of this year. As an Official Founding Partner, AEP will be the entitlement partner to the Southeast Gate at New Crew Stadium.

“Columbus Crew SC is excited to announce a new, multi-year partnership with American Electric Power as an official Founding Partner of our Club,” said Crew SC executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons. This partnership will allow us to power our new downtown stadium while helping our supporters learn more about energy savings. We are proud to continue to stand alongside AEP – our partner for over a decade – to honor our military heroes and further our mutual commitment to education and the Columbus community.”

Continued Lyons: “Over the last several months, we have been proud to announce several Founding Partners of New Crew Stadium. The outpouring of local support from top-tier, Columbus-based corporations demonstrates the immense pride in choosing Columbus and choosing the Crew. Through each of these partnerships, we are able to provide an exemplary matchday experience as well as make critical impacts throughout our community.”

In addition to having entitlement rights to the Southeast Gate at the New Crew Stadium – where nearly 80% of all supporters will pass through – AEP is set to also have presenting rights over Military Appreciation Night and the Hometown Heroes Program, which recognizes local members, past and present, of the U.S. military.

AEP will also have presenting rights to a military appreciation content series to be released by Crew SC in the future. In continuing with their commitment to community work, AEP will also become an associate partner of a community platform that will be announced at a later date.

“AEP looks forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with the Crew, especially as the Club begins this exciting chapter in team history,” said Janelle Coleman, AEP’s vice president of Corporate Philanthropy & Community Engagement and president of the AEP Foundation. “From winning last year’s MLS Cup to the upcoming opening of its world class stadium, the Crew inspires pride in Columbus. We’re proud to support both the team and their unwavering commitment to our community.”

Columbus Crew SC was represented by Legends Global Partnerships in this wide-ranging partnership with AEP.

Crew Lands Sponsorship Deal with Columbus Tech Company

Via Columbus Business Journal

The scoreboard and other digital signage inside Columbus Crew SC’s new stadium will be powered by a public IT infrastructure company.

Vertiv is equipping the data center that will support the Crew’s administrative and game-related IT needs, as well as providing point-of-sale systems in the stadium, the entities announced Tuesday.

“We see a lot of ourselves in the Crew story, as a Columbus-headquartered, global organization leveraging our skills, passion and international reach to succeed at the highest levels,” said Gary Niederpruem, chief strategy and development officer at Vertiv, in a release.

Financial terms of the deal are not being released.

Vertiv will be known as a “founding partner” for the stadium, as well as its “official data center equipment provider.” Legends Global Partnerships represented the Crew in forming the partnership.

Steve Lyons, executive vice president and chief business officer, said in a release that Vertiv’s equipment is “critical to the operation of our sideboards, digital signage and point-of-sale systems and will elevate the entire match-day experience at our new stadium.”

“The Crew is committed to providing a best-in-class experience for our supporters,” Lyons said in a release.

Vertiv is projecting growth in 2021, after managing to keep sales roughly flat in 2020, Columbus Business First previously reported. The Columbus company went public last year with a $5.3 billion valuation. Vertiv, which has about 1,500 employees in Central Ohio out of 20,000 worldwide, projects 7% sales growth to $4.8 billion in 2021.

Vertiv Teams Up with Columbus Crew as a Founding Partner

Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, will be a Founding Partner and Official Data Center Equipment Provider of Columbus Crew SC as the club moves into its new home, New Crew Stadium, in July. Vertiv will equip the data center supporting the team’s administrative and in-game IT needs, as well as sponsor a customer experience center in the stadium showcase area featuring Vertiv racks, power, cooling and IT management systems enabling a high-tech, connected fan experience.

Vertiv is headquartered in Columbus, but the connections with Crew SC that extend beyond a shared hometown were the chief motivation for the partnership.

“The Crew have become a Columbus fixture, and the new stadium is something the entire community can celebrate and enjoy. The team and organization are stewards of a global game, and their success can be traced to countless international influences,” said Gary Niederpruem, chief strategy and development officer at Vertiv. “We see a lot of ourselves in the Crew story, as a Columbus-headquartered, global organization leveraging our skills, passion and international reach to succeed at the highest levels.”

Vertiv infrastructure equipment will support the network that enables in-game experiences, including the scoreboard and digital signage, and point-of-sale systems throughout New Crew Stadium, as well as office and administrative IT systems for the club’s front office staff. Vertiv is supplying all of the key critical digital infrastructure elements in a bespoke, integrated design, using standard building blocks of Vertiv’s Liebert®, Avocent®, Geist™ brands for racks, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, thermal management systems, monitoring and management hardware and software.

Vertiv and the Crew will also be partnering on additional endeavors, including community service projects, to be announced at a later date.

“The Crew is committed to providing a best-in-class experience for our supporters.  We are proud to partner with Vertiv to design, build and service the infrastructure needed to deliver on this promise,” said Stephen Lyons, Crew SC Executive Vice President & Chief Business Officer.  “Vertiv’s equipment is critical to the operation of our videoboards, digital signage and point-of-sale systems and will elevate the entire match-day experience at our new stadium.”

Columbus Crew SC was represented by Legends Global Partnerships in this wide-ranging partnership with Vertiv.

The 2021 Class of Forty Under 40 – Scott Aronsky

Via Sports Business Journal

The individuals selected for Sports Business Journal’s 22nd class of Forty Under 40 are not afraid to go big, whether it’s a blockbuster media rights deal, the launch of a bold new product, the opening of a dynamic stadium or a career move that opens new doors to success. They are not afraid to take risks, and the organizations across the sports business that they represent have benefited from their accomplishments.

SBJ, along with presenting partners Anheuser-Busch, MGM Resorts and TurnkeyZRG, are pleased to announce our annual list of 40 executives who will be recognized for excellence and innovation in their careers, all before the age of 40.  

Over the past four months, an editorial committee has reviewed, studied and discussed more than 400 nominees, resulting in the 40 named for the class of 2021. The committee considered career achievements; entrepreneurial zeal; best-in-class approach and technique; innovative practices that others follow; and leadership and impact within their organization and in their community.

One of the honorees, Charlotte FC President Nick Kelly, joins SBJ’s Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame as a three-time selection to the list. Kelly, who was vice president of partnerships, beer culture and community at Anheuser-Busch InBev before joining the MLS expansion club in February, was a member of the 2017 and 2020 Forty Under 40 classes.

All 40 executives will be featured in the June 28 issue of Sports Business Journal, where we will tell the stories of their career paths and successes. They also will be honored in-person at the Forty Under 40 gala tentatively scheduled for November in New York City. The 2020 Forty Under 40 class, whose awards ceremony in March 2020 was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic, also will be recognized that night.

FORTY UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2021

Scott Aronsky, Legends

Chara-Lynn Aguiar, ESPN

Will Ahmed, Whoop

Naz Aletaha, Riot Games

Jonathan Amoona, Winston & Strawn 

Chris Armstrong, Wasserman

Nana-Yaw Asamoah, National Football League

J Batt, University of Alabama 

Tim Bezbatchenko, Columbus Crew SC

Shelly Cayette, Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse 

Kyle Charters, Inner Circle Sports

Seth Cole, Turner Sports

Will Deng, National Football League

Brandon Doll, Las Vegas Raiders

Jayar Donlan, WWE

Stuart Duguid, IMG

Logan Gerken, Mortenson

Jason Glushon, Glushon Sports Management

Hannah Gordon, San Francisco 49ers

David Haber, National Basketball Association 

Nick Kelly, Charlotte FC

Matt Kramer, Creative Artists Agency

Jason Krochak, Proskauer 

Aaron LeValley, LA Kings and AEG Sports

TJ Lynch, Allied Sports

Jason Miller, Excel Sports Management

Evan Parker, The Athletic 

Ryan Petkoff, Hunt Sports Group

Paul Rabil, Premier Lacrosse League

Gabriel Rose, CBS Sports Digital

Casey Schwab, Altius Sports Partners

Michael Shane, Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center

Carrie Skillman, Scout Sports and Entertainment 

Jason Sondag, Chicago Cubs

Ania Sponaski, GMR Marketing

Malaika Underwood, OneTeam Partners

Scott Warfield, PGA Tour 

Zack Weiner, Overtime

Jarod Were, National Hockey League

Meka White Morris, Tappit

The University of Miami Selects Legends to Lead Marketing Partnerships for Athletics Program

The University of Miami athletics department today announced that it has selected Legends, a premium experiences company, to oversee marketing partnerships and rights for the Miami Hurricanes.

Through this new partnership, Legends will collaborate with Miami to develop a comprehensive sponsorship strategy and establish meaningful, integrated partnerships that connect brands and corporate partners with the Hurricanes’ passionate fanbase. Legends will bring new partnerships to the university that will celebrate Miami’s rich athletic traditions, its talented student-athletes, and the forward-thinking leadership and innovation of the athletics program.

“We are excited to partner with Legends on our corporate sponsorships and marketing rights,” said Blake James, University of Miami’s Director of Athletics. “Legends works with some of the most recognized brands in sports and we are confident that they can help us leverage both our iconic brand and location in one of the world’s most vibrant cities to drive value for our department, our fans and our partners. We are thrilled to see what the partnership will bring in the years to come.”

Legends will also lead a thorough analysis and valuation of sponsorship rights and introduce its proprietary, data and analytics-driven business intelligence platform, to help identify new opportunities and provide greater insights into Hurricanes fans’ behaviors and interests.

“Miami has built one of the nation’s great athletics programs, and we see tremendous value in creating a customized sponsorship approach that celebrates the university’s unique history and rich athletics traditions, and particularity of the Miami market,” said Mike Behan, Legends Vice President, Collegiate Partnerships. “Our team at Legends will draw upon our vast experience working with the most creative and innovative brands across sports, media, and entertainment, to help expand the incredible opportunities available through this partnership.”

Legends, a global leader in sports and entertainment, was founded by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. Legends leads significant sponsorship sales efforts across professional and collegiate sports including for the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Orlando Magic, University of Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and LA28.

Legends will open a sales and engagement center in South Miami.

LAFC Announces FLEX Power Tools as Official Jersey Sponsor

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) today announced a multi-year partnership with FLEX. FLEX, a brand division of global power tool manufacturer Chervon, will serve as the Club’s “Official Jersey Sponsor” and feature branding included on all Club, Community and specialty jerseys. Additionally, FLEX is the “Official Power Tool Partner of LAFC” and the “Official Construction Tools” of the Club.

The new partnership includes exclusive content pieces, media, signage and a co-branded retail promotion.

“We are proud to have FLEX Power Tools on the front of our jersey,” LAFC Co-President Larry Freedman said. “FLEX is an exciting and ambitious brand that will work with us to be a force for good in our community.”

LAFC becomes the first sports organization to partner with Chervon N.A.

“FLEX is thrilled to partner with such an inspiring team, organization and fan base and we look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with the Black and Gold” said Joe Turoff CMO at FLEX’s parent company Chervon. “Supporting LAFC and the greater Los Angeles community will be our core goal.  We look forward to winning together in the years ahead.”

FLEX, a line of cutting-edge, cordless power tools, accessories, batteries and chargers, will launch nationwide this May. The all-new FLEX 24V line-up features industry-leading Lithium-Ion and brushless motor technologies with 20 percent more power than competitors and up to 50 percent faster charging.

On April 12, FLEX will host the “FLEX Face Off,” a launch event at 8pm ET/5pm PT. Viewers can learn more about the brand and see FLEX tools go head-to-head against some of the industry’s top pro brands and hear how to enter to win a full lineup of FLEX 24V power tools and a brand-new Ford F-150. Sign up for the event at www.FLEXPowerTools.com/faceoff.

FLEX joins Delta Air Lines, Heineken, Toyota, Youtube TV, Kaiser Permanente, Target and Estrella TV as LAFC’s Golden Boot Club Partners. The Golden Boot Club provides exclusive access, visibility and experiences for LAFC’s most elite level of partnership.

LAFC partnered with Legends Global Partnerships, who previously advised LAFC on both its inaugural jersey deal with YouTube TV and stadium naming rights deal with Banc of California.

Legends Takes Another Step into College, Signs Miami to 10-year Deal

Via Sports Business Journal

The University of Miami has signed Legends to manage its corporate sponsorship program and the school’s marketing rights.   

The 10-year deal represents Legends’ second major property acquisition in the last four months and completes another major step into the marketing of college athletics. The firm landed Georgia Tech in December and also counts Notre Dame as a multimedia rights client. 

The Hurricanes previously had been with Learfield IMG College in a long-term relationship that went back to at least 2003. Miami’s deal started as a joint venture between Learfield and ISP Sports two decades ago and continued through ownership changes at both Learfield and ISP until the two companies eventually became Learfield IMG College two years ago. 

Terms of the new contract with Legends were not available. Miami, as a private institution, is not required to disclose financials. 

“We evaluated a number of different companies and Legends rose to the top,” Miami Athletic Director Blake James said. “With the energy created around this partnership, I think we’ll see a tremendous amount of growth, not just in our local market, but also nationally and globally.” 

The Hurricanes, who are preparing to have 100% of capacity available at Hard Rock Stadium once football starts, said Legends will have access to an array of revenue opportunities for the off-campus venue. There will be sponsorship and field signage assets, as well as myriad hospitality sales, an area that Legends knows well. 

Mike Behan, Legends’ vice president of collegiate partnerships, said the firm already has plans to launch a sales and engagement center that will be based in south Miami. He described it as a preview center where Legends can tell the story of the university to prospective sponsors, similar to what the company has created in some pro team markets. 

“We’re looking to bring that approach to our multimedia rights,” Behan said. “We want to be able to describe Miami to partners in a way that hasn’t been done in the past.” 

Behan took the lead for Legends on winning this deal. James had Deputy AD and CFO Jason Layton running point for the Hurricanes. 

Legends’ work in Florida extends to Orlando as well, where it is selling naming rights for the Magic’s NBA arena.

Everton’s Bramley-Moore Dock stadium given council approval

Via BBC News

 

Everton FC’s plans for a new 52,000-seater stadium have been unanimously approved by city councillors.

The club said the Bramley-Moore Dock site will be a “world-class addition” to the city’s waterfront and hopes to host games there in 2024.

The £500m scheme which it’s claimed will create 15,000 jobs will now go to the government for the final say.

Outline plans for a series of community-led developments at Everton’s Goodison Park site were also approved.

Historic England had objected to the new stadium on Bramley-Moore Dock saying it could harm the city’s heritage but this was dismissed by the city’s planning committee.

The Premier League club, which has been at Goodison Park since 1892, said it had been looking for a new home for 25 years due to limitations at its current home.

The development would be the “most inclusive and sustainable” stadium in the UK and would “preserve the area’s heritage”, Everton’s chief executive officer Prof Denise Barrett-Baxendale told the meeting.

She said it was a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to regenerate one of the city’s most deprived areas, creating thousands of jobs and be a “key part in the region’s post-pandemic recovery plan”.

Under the plans, the 52,888-seater ground could host up to four pop concerts a year as well as weddings, funerals, Christmas parties and conferences.

And the club’s current Goodison Park site is to be converted to “high-quality, affordable housing, a health centre, retail and leisure spaces and a youth enterprise zone” for the Walton community.

By BBC Merseyside political reporter Claire Hamilton

“I’ve got shivers down my spine. First the derby and then this – what a week!”

Everton fans have a lot to celebrate. After a 25-year search, a new stadium could be on the horizon.

That famous horizon – Liverpool’s waterfront – is a World Heritage site. It’s been on UNESCO’s “in danger” list since plans for tall buildings were first mooted in 2012.

Those skyscrapers haven’t materialised, and this stadium might beat them to it.

The planning committee had to decide whether the public benefit of the new stadium outweighed the harm to the heritage assets of the site… and they decided that they did.

The Secretary of State will now decide whether to overturn or uphold the committee’s decision, and the UNESCO World Heritage status will be reviewed later this year.

Club chairman Bill Kenwright said: “Whilst today is just one more step in our long journey, it is a very important one.

“It’s been a good week for Everton and Evertonians.”

Historic England said that while it supports Everton’s need for a “state-of-the-art” stadium and the benefits it could bring, it advised the council to refuse the application.

In a statement, it said the plan to infill the dock would “fundamentally change its historic character” and result in “substantial harm” to the significance of the Grade II listed dock.

It added it could also damage the waterfront’s World Heritage Site status.

The club said it had committed to spending £55m in preserving and celebrating the heritage assets as well as creating a heritage centre around the currently derelict Hydraulic Tower.

Green party group leader councillor Tom Crone had raised concerns about the environmental impact of the scheme.

He said he felt “reasonably reassured” with the club promising alternative forms of transport but added that would like to see “good footpaths” to the stadium.

The proposals will now be referred to the Secretary for State of Housing, Communities and Local Government for consideration.

SportBusiness Finance Weekly Podcast: Shervin Mirhashemi, President and CEO, Legends

Via SportBusiness Finance Weekly

In this week’s episode, podcast co-hosts Eric Fisher and Chris Russo interview Shervin Mirhashemi, president and chief executive of Legends. Eric and Chris also discuss the recent boom in sports collectibles and trading cards, as well as the rising interest of private equity in sports agencies.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Legends Named one of US’s Best Mid-Sized Employers by Forbes

Via Forbes

Legends has been ranked #175 out of 500 midsize companies on the 2021 America’s Best Midsize Employers list by Forbes, which rank the top companies who have risen to the occasion, adapting in ways that benefit both their customers and employees. Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to compile our list by surveying 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. Participants were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family, and to nominate organizations other than their own. The final list ranks the 500 midsize employers that received the most recommendations.

Bucs Fans Gobble Up Gear, Setting Record For Super Bowl Stadium Spend

Via Sportico

Super Bowl attendees spent a record amount on concessions and merchandise during Sunday’s big blowout, according to stadium operations company Legends, which worked with the NFL to manage the unprecedented experience this year.

Fans spent an average of $212 in the stadium, dropping $132 on food and drinks and $80 on merchandise, both Super Bowl records, Legends announced. The average spend was up nearly 40% over fans’ average spend five years ago in Super Bowl 50. Among the crowd of 24,835 were more than 7,000 vaccinated health care workers.

Buccaneers fans likely gobbled up souvenirs as Tampa Bay cruised to a 31-9 victory. Raymond James Stadium’s concessions, meanwhile, were set up to be contactless, thanks in part to a partnership with Visa. Many fans also walked into the game with $255 gift cards as a replacement for the lack of pregame festivities offered this weekend. Inside, T-shirts went for $45 while beers could be had for $13 to $15, with some prices marked down, like the “fan-friendly” $5 hot dog, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“We’ve invested heavily in innovating the guest experience so that fans feel safe, confident and comfortable engaging with food, merchandise and other stadium amenities, all of which helped contribute to the record-breaking sales,” Legends Hospitality president Dan Smith said in an email.

It probably helped the average sales numbers that 2,000 attendees came from the stadium’s luxury suites. Ticket prices for the game were roughly in line with recent averages. Last-minute tickets went for a median of $8,300, compared to $8,500 last year.

The bump in in-stadium spending was not expected to correlate with a typical boom for the local economy, as COVID-19 dampened expectations despite a team playing a Super Bowl at home for the first time.

In 2019, Legends won the chance to manage event merchandise at key NFL events, including the Super Bowl and NFL Draft. Previously, the NFL was reportedly impressed by Legends’s work with the Cowboys, Browns, Titans, Rams and Chargers. The company was co-founded in 2008 by the Yankees and the Cowboys affiliate, Jones Concessions LP.

Legends Targets Global Growth with Sixth Street Deal Done

Via Sport Business

Premium experiences company Legends is actively targeting an aggressive international expansion plan now that its transaction for global investment firm Sixth Street to take majority control is now complete.

The deal, valuing Legends at a reported $1.35bn (€1.12bn) including debt, that was announced last month has officially closed. And with that completion, Legends after nearly 13 years of operation is broadening its ambitions. 

The company already holds some key relationships outside of its United States base, notably a broad-based pact with Spanish giant Real Madrid that saw the subsequent hire of Victoria Hawksley to lead international retail operations. 

But Legends is now thinking even bigger, particularly as it looks ahead to a period beyond the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a point when full attendance at stadiums and arenas is again possible.

“When we do come back, we want to be really well positioned to continue growing our international business and have that be a bigger and bigger part of our overall pie,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, Legends president and chief executive. “The fact that Sixth Street has that experience, has that presence internationally, certainly in the pan-European market as well as other locations around the world, it fits exactly our vision of where the business is and is going toward in the future. There’s going to be immense focus on our behalf to make sure that international business becomes a bigger piece of what we do.

“Given that we are a global platform and are focused on these unique experiences for global brands, Sixth Street really fits our DNA, and their experience on that global stage is really going to serve us well,” he said. 

That targeted geographic expansion thematically continues a functional growth for Legends. The company started mainly as a concessions and hospitality outfit but over the years has expanded into numerous areas of sports and entertainment operations including naming rights and sponsorship sales and valuation, ticketing, merchandising, fundraising, and venue technology.

In the latest deal, Sixth Street will have a 51 per cent equity stake in Legends, with founding partners the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball and the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys holding minority positions. But even as those teams’ relative stakes have shifted, their involvement in the Legends business will not, Mirhashemi said.

“They’re going to be very much involved in the business going forward,” Mirhashemi said. “They’ve rolled their equity and they feel even more bullish about the business on a go-forward basis.”

The raising of as much as $500m in debt that was detailed shortly after the Sixth Street investment was announced has also closed, Mirhashemi said, and was part of the same overall recapitalization of the Legends. 

The existing Legends management team that includes Mirhashemi and chief operating officer Mike Tomon will remain in place.

Legends Announces Closing of Majority Investment from Sixth Street

Legends (“Legends” or the “Company”) today announced the closing of its previously announced majority investment from Sixth Street, a leading global investment firm.

Sixth Street leads the Legends partnership group alongside co-founders YGE Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, and Jones Concessions LP, an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys.

The new majority investment from Sixth Street will support its current management team in its long-term growth of the Company’s global client relationships and further enhancements to its innovative 360-degree platform of premium experience offerings for the most iconic global brands in sports, entertainment, and attractions.

The transaction was originally announced on 12 January 2021.

Legends Valued At $1.35 Billion on Sixth Street’s Control of Hospitality Joint Venture

Via Sportico

Private equity firm Sixth Street is said to be buying a controlling share of Legends, the sports hospitality, sponsorship and sales consultancy co-founded by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, according to people familiar with the sale.

The deal values Legends at $1.35 billion, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the terms are private. Sixth Street will own 51% following the close of the transaction. The Yankees and Cowboys will split the rest.

The deal should help accelerate Legends’s long-term growth. It also comes at a critical time. After nearly 12 months of pandemic-disrupted seasons, matches and tours, the sports and entertainment industries are starting to prepare for life after COVID-19. The new business reality could upend stadium construction, merchandise sales, concessions and ticketing, all areas of focus for Legends.

New Mountain Capital—which in 2017 bought roughly a third of Legends in a deal that valued the company at more than $700 million—is exiting as part of the Sixth Street transaction. The current Legends management team, which includes CEO Shervin Mirhashemi and COO Mike Tomon, will remain in place.

Sixth Street, which has $50 billion under management, was founded in 2009 as an arm of TPG, a private equity firm part-owned by Seattle Kraken owner David Bonderman. The business was spun off of TPG last year, and Sixth Street immediately began raising money for its flagship fund, named TAO. The group raised $10 billion between April and the end of August, one of the largest pools of private equity ever gathered so quickly, according to the Wall Street Journal.

TAO is prioritizing assets that can grow double-digits annually and tend not to be subject to the moves of the broader stock market, according to a presentation given last summer. It also favors investments in which it is the only private equity owner—80% of the fund’s gains, according to that presentation, are from such companies.

The firm likely sees Legends as capable of growing fast enough to produce at least a 13% internal rate of return each year—the average for the TAO fund over its lifetime—without being correlated to stocks, a feature of sports-team related investments generally. And while most private equity investments are made with an eye toward cashing out in three, five or 10 years, TAO’s philosophy is more open-ended, an approach that should satisfy Legends’s long-term horizon.

Legends was co-founded in 2008 by the Yankees and Jones Concessions LP, an affiliate of the Cowboys. The company started primarily as a concession and hospitality service, but over time expanded its offerings to include sponsorship valuations, naming rights sales, hospitality, ticketing, fundraising, e-commerce and merchandising.

The company works with a number of teams, venues and entertainment companies, such as Liverpool FC, the University of Notre Dame, Ohio State University, UFC, the Cleveland Browns, Wimbledon and SoFi Stadium. It is also the sponsorship sales agent for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

Moelis & Company and Herrick & Feinstein advised Legends on the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter. Sixth Street was advised by Ropes & Gray and Goldman Sachs. (Goldman was a founding Legends investor but sold its stake in 2012.)

(This story has been corrected and updated to show when Goldman sold its stake in Legends in the last paragraph.)

Sixth Street Nears Deal To Take Control Of Sports Group Legends Hospitality

via Financial Times 

 

The private investment group Sixth Street Partners is nearing a deal to take a majority stake in Legends Hospitality, the sports and entertainment company co-owned by New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, that would value the group at $1.35bn, according to people briefed on the discussions.

The deal, which could be announced as soon as Monday night, would give Sixth Street a majority ownership of the company, which offers services including stadium concessions, naming rights and merchandise sales for a variety of professional and college sports teams. Baseball team Yankees and American football’s Cowboys would continue their involvement in the company, the people said.

The transaction underscores the influx of private capital into the realm of professional sports during the pandemic, as leagues and teams look to shore up financing as they contend with depressed or nonexistent ticket sales and associated concessions. 

News of the deal was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal. 

The Legends deal by Sixth Street Partners, which has more than $50bn in assets under management, is its latest investment into an industry hard-hit by pandemic restrictions. In April the firm joined Silver Lake in raising $1bn in debt and equity for Airbnb, the short-term accommodations platform. In addition to Legends’ businesses for sport franchises, whose clients include the University of Notre Dame and Spain’s Real Madrid, the company also provides sales and experience planning at attractions including London’s View from the Shard and the One World Observatory at New York’s World Trade Center. 

Sports leagues across the US and around the world have been hamstrung by the surging Covid-19 pandemic, particularly Major League Baseball, which relied on ticket sales and stadium concessions for almost 40 per cent of its revenues in 2019. 

At the same time, valuations of clubs have only accelerated over the past year. In October the hedge fund titan Steve Cohen bought baseball team New York Mets for more than $2.4bn, a North American record. Last month Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith finalised a purchase of basketball team Utah Jazz for more than $1.6bn, according to a person familiar with the deal, up from the $24m paid by the previous owners in the mid-1980s. 

In recent months private capital has been undeterred by pandemic distress and encouraged by steady or increasing appreciation of sports assets, seeking investments in the industry in anticipation of an eventual return to normalcy. “People are going to want to go to sports events, they’re going to want to go to concerts — whether that’s six months from now or 12 months from now, it’s going to come back at some point,” said one of the people briefed on the Legends deal.

Legends Signs Mega Rights Deal with Georgia Tech

Via Sports Business Journal

Georgia Tech has signed one of the most comprehensive rights partnerships in college sports in a long-term deal with Legends.

In a rare move, the Yellow Jackets combined their traditional multimedia rights, which includes corporate sponsorship, with ticket sales and marketing, premium seating sales, fundraising, events, hospitality and e-commerce. They are all included in the arrangement with Legends, with the hope of exceeding the school’s estimated $6 million per year received from its current multimedia rights deal with Learfield IMG College.

“All of their revenue streams are going to be flowing in the same direction now,” said Michael Behan, Legends’ vice president of sales. “It’s probably a first-of-its-kind deal in college sports.”

The Yellow Jackets previously outsourced the rights to different partners. In addition to the Learfield deal for multimedia rights, The Aspire Group had ticketing, Fanatics handled e-commerce and Georgia Tech managed seating and events in-house.

Now, all of those revenue-generating functions will be under one umbrella with Legends, which is making an aggressive push into the college rights space with more deals expected to be announced soon. Financial terms with Georgia Tech were not released. The Learfield deal is in its final year, with Legends assuming the rights on July 1, 2021. The structure of the Legends deal is believed to be a guarantee plus revenue sharing on its sales.

Chicago-based Navigate consulted with Georgia Tech’s athletic department on the deal.

“Timing is everything, and it’s really exciting to know that we’re going to have a partner like Legends developing a revenue strategy with us as we’re coming out of COVID,” Georgia Tech Athletic Director Todd Stansbury said.

Stansbury, a Tech alum who played linebacker on the football team, wasn’t convinced that this was the best time to take Tech’s multimedia rights to market. But the school’s contract with Learfield IMG College was near an end, and the Yellow Jackets had to make a move, pandemic or not.

Stansbury was pleasantly surprised by the response from the marketplace. Seven companies submitted bids for the Yellow Jackets’ rights, some of which included a guarantee while others were straight revenue-share.

“COVID complicated matters,” Stansbury said. “This is not the kind of decision you want to make from Zoom calls, but that’s what we had to do. Now we can pull all of our revenue levers at once and have them working in conjunction.”

It remains to be seen what kind of revenue increase Legends can generate for the Jackets. Two clear challenges are programming more events at Bobby Dodd Stadium and creating more premium spaces at the stadium, which was built in 1913.

Georgia Tech has sold all of its football premium seating and needs more inventory. CSL, Legends’ project planning business, will review the fan experience at Tech’s football and basketball venues.

“The financial implications of COVID on the schools are well-documented,” Behan said. “Schools are willing to step back and have conversations about revenue and reimagining how they’re going to do that.”

Stansbury’s senior leadership team of Deputy AD Mark Rountree, Senior Associate AD Ayo Taylor-Dixon and CFO Marvin Lewis were involved in the negotiations. Legends also has a joint venture with JMI Sports at Notre Dame for multimedia rights.

Georgia Tech and Legends Announce Comprehensive Partnership Across Key Athletics Revenue Streams

— Partnership Includes Yellow Jackets Multimedia Rights, Premium Seating, Ticketing, Annual Fundraising, Corporate Hospitality, and E-Commerce —

ATLANTA, GA – December 7, 2020 – The Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA) and Legends today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to combine opportunities across multimedia rights, premium seating, ticketing, annual fundraising, corporate hospitality, data analytics, business intelligence, and e-commerce into one integrated relationship. The partnership will take a customized and holistic approach for identifying new, engaging, and entertaining platforms for corporate partners and Yellow Jacket fans to connect with Georgia Tech athletics and position the Institute for success and growth in the evolving collegiate athletics landscape. 

“Legends is the industry leader in sports experiences, having been founded by two of sports’ most recognizable and prestigious organizations — the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. Georgia Tech fans and corporate partners will benefit from the expertise that Legends brings in designing, planning, and implementing world-class experiences. I couldn’t be more excited to begin this first-of-its-kind partnership and for the bright future for Georgia Tech athletics, our fans, and our corporate partners.”

Legends will introduce a robust technology, data, and analytics platform to support all revenue streams. The new business intelligence platform will provide Georgia Tech athletics with greater insights into Yellow Jacket fans, including a complete view of their relationship to the Institute and athletic department, specific interests, brand affinities, behaviors, and how to most effectively engage. 

“This past year has introduced new challenges in the collegiate athletics landscape, and we believe the path forward will require a strong vision and modernized approach,” said Mike Behan, Vice President, Collegiate Partnerships, Legends. “In collaboration with the Athletic Department’s innovative leadership team, Legends will engage our entire 360-degree platform – with deep acumen across partnerships, ticketing and premium seating, fundraising, corporate hospitality, retail, and technology – to create a customized, long-term blueprint for growing the business and creating memorable experiences for Yellow Jacket fans.”

CSL, Legends’ project planning consultancy, will conduct a market study to evaluate the overall fan experience at Bobby Dodd Stadium and McCamish Pavilion and assist with identifying opportunities. Data and technology will also help to identify innovative new revenue and partnership opportunities to deliver on this advanced vision as the collegiate landscape continues to shift. 

Legends, a global leader in sports and entertainment founded by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, brings a wealth of knowledge and operating expertise to Atlanta, in addition to previous involvement at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

OFFICIAL REAL MADRID BERNABÉU STORE NOW OPEN

The Official Real Madrid Bernabeu Store is now open to fans after the club launched the new shop on Avenida de Concha Espina 1, at Gate 30 of the stadium. Real Madrid‘s director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueño, attended the ceremony held to mark the opening of the store, which is located on the former site of the Real Café. This is the store’s temporary home whilst progress continues on the stadium redevelopment and it will subsequently move to its permanent location.

 

The store is open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8:30pm (CET) and from 10am until 8pm on Sundays and bank holidays. The facility, along with the Tour Bernabéu, offers supporters the opportunity to enjoy a unique madridista experience. Fans will be able to find the full range of official products for men, women and children in a store that spans two floors and over 700m2. The shop also boasts a 40m2 personalisation laboratory, checkout space covering 30m, 25 digital screens, a photo area and two external sales points for direct sales from the street.

 

The store is a result of Real Madrid‘s collaboration with Legends in the running of the club’s official stores. The opening ceremony was also attended by Sergio Nieto, the general manager of Legends España.

 

Club members and Madridistas will receive special benefits, including exclusive offers and access to priority checkouts when making their purchases. In addition, the store and its staff are compliant with all of the relevant protocols to ensure that it is a COVID-19-free space.

Detroit Pistons Turn to Legends for Ecommerce Merchandising

Via SportsPro Media

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Detroit Pistons have appointed experiential services agency Legends to operate their ecommerce merchandising.

The agreement has already led to the launch of Pistons313shop.com as the new official team merchandise website for the Pistons.

As well as featuring designer apparel and official NBA team-licensed gear, the site will also serve as the merchandise home for the Motor City Cruise, the Pistons’ NBA G League affiliate, and the club’s NBA 2K League esports outfit, Pistons Gaming Team.

In conjunction with the launch of the online store, the Pistons also unveiled new ‘313’ and ‘DET’ logo treatments as part of a new fashionable lifestyle-inspired line of off-court apparel called ‘DETail Threads’. Sold exclusively on Pistons313shop.com, the private label offering focuses on unique silhouettes and designs that celebrate the city, team and history of the franchise.

In partnering with Legends, the Pistons will look to lean on the company’s strategic relationships with high quality and boutique vendors to help broaden selection and increase value for consumers.

Legends already has a number of high-profile partnerships in sport, including with Spanish soccer giants Real Madrid, who appointed the agency in July to manage their vast retail operation.

“We are pleased to partner with Legends on the creation of a new merchandising partnership that will deliver fans unparalleled selection with an easy and reliable online shopping experience,” said Mike Zavodsky, chief business officer for the Detroit Pistons.

“Our DETail Threads private label and new ‘313’ and ‘DET’ logo treatments provide fans a directional glimpse of our merchandising future and how we intend to utilise the power of Legends’ global expertise to diversify the look and feel of our team apparel offerings.”

Dave Moroknek, president of Legends Global Merchandise, added: “It was important for us to deliver exclusive merchandise that is true to Detroit, which offers a unique way for fans to support their teams.

“We put an emphasis on making the site easy to navigate and are thrilled with the end product. It’s been rewarding to work with the Pistons organisation and can’t wait to tip-off this partnership.”

Legends Announces Majority Investment From Sixth Street to Accelerate Long-Term Growth

Legends (“Legends” or the “Company”) today announced that it signed an agreement to receive a majority investment from Sixth Street, a leading global investment firm. Sixth Street will lead the Legends partnership group alongside co-founders YGE Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, and Jones Concessions LP, an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys. The new investment from Sixth Street will support the long-term growth of the Company’s global client relationships and further enhancements to its innovative 360-degree platform of premium experience offerings for the most iconic global brands in sports, entertainment, and attractions.

“The Legends commitment to excellence, instilled from its inception, enabled it to grow a new category of holistic sports and entertainment services, and we are excited to be joining their culture of ‘winning together’,” said Alan Waxman, Co-Founder and CEO of Sixth Street. “Legends will continue to stay on offense with an industry-leading management team doing what it does best: delivering value-creating projects and operations, innovating new technology-enabled service offerings, and creating immersive customer experiences.”

“We love the energy, vision, and business-building experience that Sixth Street brings and how they plan to accelerate our long-term growth plans,” said Jerry Jones. “Sixth Street’s culture focused on teamwork and creative solutions is a perfect fit as we continue to build on our strong foundation and set our sights on creating even more engaging experiences for customers.”

“Premier global brands in sports, entertainment, and attractions choose Legends because they recognize the unparalleled power of our integrated suite of services,” said Hal Steinbrenner. “Since its founding, Legends has benefited from a series of committed investment partners, each critical to a particular stage of development. We thank New Mountain Capital for its strategic support these past several years, and we look forward to embarking on this exciting new chapter with Sixth Street.”

“The desire to live, play, and experience has never been greater. Sixth Street’s transformational investment is going to help drive our next phase as the comprehensive partner of choice for the world’s leading sports and entertainment organizations,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, President and CEO of Legends. “While this has been a challenging year for the sports and live entertainment industry, we passed the test and are now positioned for stronger, even more resilient growth due to our unmatched 360-degree platform across planning, sales, partnerships, hospitality, merchandise, and technology solutions.”

Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands, including the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Real Madrid CF, SoFi Stadium, University of Notre Dame, The Ohio State University, Manchester City FC, LA Clippers, One World Observatory, and Live Nation. Legends’ clients benefit from comprehensive services through the Company’s six global divisions, each of which provide award-winning, best-in-class leadership from conception to execution.  

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as lead financial advisor, BofA Securities, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as financial advisors, and Herrick & Feinstein LLP acted as legal advisor to Legends. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as sole financial advisor and Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal advisor to Sixth Street.  Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor to certain members of the Legends partnership group.

About Legends

Founded in 2008, Legends is a premium experiences company with six divisions operating worldwide – Global Planning, Global Sales, Hospitality, Global Partnerships, Global Merchandise, and Global Technology Solutions – offering clients and partners a 360-degree service solution platform to elevate their brand and execute their vision. Currently, Legends works with marquee clients across business verticals including professional sports; collegiate; attractions; entertainment; and conventions and leisure. Legends is the industry leader in designing, planning, and realizing exceptional experiences in sports and entertainment. For more information, visit www.Legends.net and follow Legends at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheLegendsWay.

About Sixth Street

Sixth Street is a global investment firm with over $50 billion in assets under management and committed capital. Sixth Street operates nine diversified, collaborative investment platforms: TAO, Growth, Specialty Lending, Fundamental Strategies, Infrastructure, Opportunities, Insurance, Agriculture, and Credit Market Strategies. Our long-term oriented, highly flexible capital base and “One Team” cultural philosophy allow us to invest thematically across sectors, geographies and asset classes. Founded in 2009, Sixth Street has more than 320 team members including over 145 investment professionals operating from nine locations around the world. For more information, visit www.sixthstreet.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

Legends x Detroit Pistons Announce Merchandising Partnership

The Detroit Pistons announced today a partnership with Legends to operate e-commerce merchandising for the organisation. Pistons313shop.com launched today and will serve as the official team merchandise website for the organization. Featuring designer men’s, women’s and youth apparel, official NBA team-licensed on-court team gear such as player jerseys, warm-ups, shooting shirts and novelty items for Pistons fans of all ages, the new online destination will also serve as the merchandise home for the Pistons’ NBA G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise and the club’s NBA 2K League eSports team, Pistons Gaming Team.

In conjunction with the launch of Pistons313shop.com, the organization unveiled new “313” and “DET” logo treatments that reinforce the franchise’s love for the city and embodies the culture and collective understanding that those numbers and letters serve as more than just an area code or location. The marks are included as part of a new fashionable lifestyle-inspired line of off the court apparel tabbed DETail Threads. The private label offering focuses on unique silhouettes and designs that celebrate the city, team and history of the franchise, with product available for diehard fans and casual fans alike. DETail Threads merchandise will be sold exclusively at Pistons313shop.com.

“We are pleased to partner with Legends on the creation of a new merchandising partnership that will deliver fans unparalleled selection with an easy and reliable online shopping experience,” said Mike Zavodsky, Chief Business Officer for the Detroit Pistons. “Our DETail Threads private label and new ‘313’ and ‘DET’ logo treatments provide fans a directional glimpse of our merchandising future and how we intend to utilize the power of Legends’ global expertise to diversify the look and feel of our team apparel offerings.”

Operated by Legends Global Merchandise, the new Pistons313shop infrastructure allows visitors and fans to shop from anywhere and anytime. Legends’ strategic relationships with high quality and boutique vendors will broaden selection and increase value for the consumer.

“It was important for us to deliver exclusive merchandise that is true to Detroit, which offers a unique way for fans to support their teams,” said Dave Moroknek, President, Legends Global Merchandise. “We put an emphasis on making the site easy to navigate and are thrilled with the end product. It’s been rewarding to work with the Pistons organization and can’t wait to tip-off this partnership.”

Scrapped plans, Salzburg, small details: How the AXA Training Centre was designed

Via Liverpool FC

A traffic-free drive from Melwood to Kirkby takes around 15 minutes.

But the journey completed by Liverpool Football Club this month – to bring together first team and Academy operations on the latter site, with the new AXA Training Centre – was one of wide-ranging global research, development and collaboration over more than four years.

The Reds’ new day-to-day home represents the final product of the many inter-connected requirements and ideas, as well as multiple sources of design inspiration, that have fed into the huge undertaking.

Ultimately, one vision lay at the heart of the whole process: to provide a world-class, industry-leading base for Liverpool’s current and long-term ambitions.

“Since I have been at Liverpool there has been a desire for us to all be on the same site,” sporting director Michael Edwards told Liverpoolfc.com. “To be honest, I think many people before me wanted the same thing and now we have been lucky enough to deliver that.

“The other key reason was to make sure that we were giving our players and staff up-to-date, world-class facilities.

“Melwood is a great place to work, with some great memories for all those people that have worked there, but we needed more space and the chance to include all the things our players and staff need to fulfil their roles on a daily basis.”

The result is a 9,200sqm base that features three full-size pitches, goalkeeping and warm-up areas, and state-of-the-art indoor facilities including two gyms, a sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy complex and specialist sports rehabilitation suites.

Jürgen Klopp, his staff and the players officially move into the AXA Training Centre today, bringing an end to the Reds’ 70-year stay at Melwood and settling into an environment crafted to continue their success.

Work towards the new training ground began to gather pace back in mid-2016, when initial plans were drawn up by the contracted architects, KSS, and subsequently presented to Edwards shortly after his appointment as the club’s first-ever sporting director.

Melwood, the club’s training home since 1950, was still headquarters for the steady revolution being overseen by Klopp and his backroom team, a hub of analysis, preparation, problem-solving and togetherness. A place for commiseration and celebration.

But the West Derby complex was simply too small to accommodate the needs of a first-team set-up growing in size and expanding its objectives. The Reds would have to move.

KSS soon presented blueprints to the club for feedback but a decision was taken to shelve those original plans in favour of relaunching the design project anew, for two key reasons.

Firstly, it was deemed imperative for the architects to engage more closely with the various departments at Melwood and – given the new base would be their working environment to maximise – understand their specific needs from a football perspective.

Secondly, the club wanted to conduct a benchmarking review of training ground innovations and best practices in this country, across Europe and in the United States.

There was a hurdle, though: time. An alternative plan would have to be produced within three months. Research began quickly.

Edwards and Academy director Alex Inglethorpe travelled to Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur’s training grounds – the other two bases in England designed by KSS, which had been completed in 2014 and 2012 respectively – for a first-hand look at what was possible and improvable in conjunction with the London-based company.

Liverpool liaised especially closely with Red Bull Salzburg, the champions of the Austrian Bundesliga for the past seven seasons and a club with a stellar reputation for recruiting and developing elite players, including the Reds’ own Naby Keita, Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino.

During extensive conversations with senior staff, architects and designers at Salzburg, their much-admired facility in Liefering – the Red Bull Academy – made a hefty impression on the visitors from Merseyside and became a reference point for the look and feel of the AXA Training Centre.

Its abundant natural light, spacious corridors, open offices and use of glass, wood and concrete provided a template that was subsequently shaped and tweaked to Liverpool’s own culture and needs in Kirkby.

The Reds examined the approach of Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim, too, and conducted virtual tours of training centres in America across several sporting disciplines.

Back at home, meanwhile, KSS drilled into the detail at Melwood, regularly meeting with each of the departments that make up Liverpool’s football operation to compose a wish list for their future HQ. Their input was critical to the process, ensuring each space at the AXA Training Centre would be optimal for the people working within it.

A busy three months ended with a design concept established and after receiving planning approval for the development from Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, the club ‘broke ground’ at Kirkby to begin the building process in September 2018.

The next phase of the process was managed by Martin Jennings from the club’s capital projects department, as building contractors McLaughlin & Harvey set about creating Liverpool’s vision.

“There have been so many people on site that you wonder how they are all managed and sequenced to make sure the build runs smoothly,” explained Edwards.

“That’s where Martin Jennings comes in really, I have a huge amount of respect for the job he has done in making sure the reality matches the plans. It’s not easy to balance so many stakeholders and to hit their expectations, especially when a few of them are trying to win football matches at the same time.”

Jennings’ primary link at Melwood was David Woodfine, an ex-naval officer and former head of analysis at West Ham United who joined the Reds as scouting co-ordinator.

In recent years, however, Woodfine’s efficiency in organisation and planning was identified as an ideal fit for wider football projects, too. So, when the vast challenge of moving the entire first-team squad and staff from one site to a completely new one arose, he was the man to handle it.

The pair worked tirelessly with KSS to turn drawings on a page into the structural reality of a training centre not only fit to house the world champions now, but futureproofed for the generations to follow them.

For full article, please visit Liverpool FC.

Legends Names VP International E-Commerce

Via License Global

 

Legends has announced the appointment of Tom Tregelles to the new role of vice president, international e-commerce.

In the role, Tregelles will be responsible for oversight of the end-to-end customer journey for Legends’ rapidly expanding global e-commerce platform including the seamless customer journey, targeted digital marketing, real time data segmentation and strategies, as well as key e-commerce partnerships to support the omnichannel visions for partners.

Specializing in customer-centric digital transformation, Tregelles brings a holistic view to Legends’ growing global retail team.  He joins Legends from Frasers Group PLC, formerly Sports Direct International PLC, the largest sports goods retailer in the U.K. He was most recently group head, digital at the company.

During his time with Frasers Group, Tregelles worked across several brands including Sports Direct, Flannels and House of Fraser, where he achieved triple digit growth and record online revenues. Earlier in his career, Tregelles held a variety of digital and marketing roles with Orlebar Brown, Arcadia Group’s Topshop Topman brand and Jack Wills.

Tregelles is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University. Based in Legends’ corporate office in London, he will report to Victoria Hawksley, vice president, international retail.

McAlpine gets green light to start £260m Gateshead arena

Via Construction Enquirer

Gateshead Council has approved plans for the development of a £260m arena-led regeneration scheme.

Main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine will now start site enabling work before the end of the year with construction expected to commence in March 2021 and the new complex open in 2023.

The scheme sits on the NewcastleGateshead waterfront at Gateshead Quays and includes a world class arena, purpose built conference and exhibition centre, restaurants, a dual branded hotel and large areas of outdoor realm and performance space.

Venue management company ASM Global will operate the campus, which includes a 12,500 capacity, 29,000 sqm arena and over 7,000 sqm of flexible event space.

The plans by HOK Architects were submitted by Gateshead Council’s development partner Ask:PATRIZIA.

Councillor Martin Gannon, Gateshead Council Leader said: “This project is transformational, and today’s decision signals confidence in the North East.

“Newcastle Gateshead Quays will be a global leader in entertainment, leisure, and hospitality but most importantly it is about creating new employment and training opportunities for thousands at a time when they are badly needed.

“Despite the current challenges, we need to remember the worth of the events industry. We look forward to opening the venue late 2023.”

Speaking on behalf of the Ask:PATRIZIA partnership John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate said: “We have brought together a world-class team of designers, architects and operators to deliver this scheme which will be one of Europe’s key cultural locations.

“We look forward to now starting construction work and bringing these superb public facilities to life.“

The project team also includes: Project Manager and Contract Administrator, Legends International; Lichfields, Planning Consultants; Landscape Architects, Planit:IE; Gardiner and Theobald, QS; ARUP, structural engineers/ M&E and Vectos for transport planning.

Legends Names Tom Tregelles, Vice President, International E-Commerce

Legends today announced the appointment of Tom Tregelles to the new role of Vice President, International E-Commerce, where he will develop customised global e-commerce solutions and strategies for Legends’ roster of world-class merchandise clients.

Tregelles will be responsible for oversight of the end-to-end customer journey for Legends’ rapidly expanding global e-commerce platform including the seamless customer journey, targeted digital marketing, real time data segmentation and strategies, as well as key e-commerce partnerships to support the omnichannel visions for partners. Specializing in customer-centric digital transformation, Tregelles brings a holistic view to Legends’ growing global retail team.

An industry leader with more than a decade of experience, Tregelles joins Legends from Frasers Group PLC, formerly Sports Direct International PLC, the largest sports goods retailer in the United Kingdom. He was most recently Group Head of Digital. During his time with Frasers Group, Tregelles worked across several brands including Sports Direct, Flannels, and House of Fraser, where he achieved triple digit growth and record online revenues. Earlier in his career, Tregelles held a variety of digital and marketing roles with Orlebar Brown, Arcadia Group’s Topshop Topman brand, and Jack Wills.

Tregelles is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University. Based in Legends’ corporate office in London, he will report to Victoria Hawksley, Vice President, International Retail.

FC Barcelona gets a unique financing model for Espai Barça based on incremental revenue generated by the Camp Nou over 25 years

Via FC Barcelona

The vice-president for finance and real estate and head of the Espai Barça project, Jordi Moix, used his speech to present the financial results for the 2019/20 season and to also deliver an explanation of the current status of the Espai Barça project and the plan to finance its construction. This innovative financial operation remains in force despite the effects of the pandemic, and is fully adapted to the club’s needs, respects the red lines set out in the referendum and means that the Espai Barça can be financed by the sale of part of the rights to the future incremental revenue that the project is expected to generate when it is finished.

This operation will be conducted in association with Goldman Sachs, a world leader in investment banking that in recent years has been directly involved in financing the infrastructure of 45 stadiums around the world with more than $20 billion, and other local and international financial institutions that are also interested in participating in this operation.

 FINANCING PLAN FOR ESPAI BARÇA

The conditions for the new financing plan consider that the aggregate amount of the agreement is 815 million euros (725 for investment and to pay for the work and 90 million for capitalizable interest over the five years of work plus the initial financial costs).

The duration of the contract would be 30 years (5 years of construction and 25 years of management), and the payment period would be 25 years from the 2024/25 season, when the project is completed. As for the interest rate, the estimated annual cost would be 3-4% for an annual interest repayment plus amortization with the incremental income estimated at $50 million annually.

The formula for the operation is technically a sale of a part of the rights to collect the additional revenue from the Espai Barça generated by the club to an instrumental vehicle managed by Goldman Sachs. The club would return the investment over those 30 years in the form of 50 million a year that it would obtain from the 150 million extraordinary revenue that it would earn from the Espai Barça. The remaining 100 million in revenue would be used for the club’s regular activities and to boost its competitiveness.

The incremental 150 million would come from the new assets created via Espai Barça, such as the title rights to the stadium and new sponsorship deals (50 million), VIP boxes and seats (50 million) and new visitors to the new museum, greater revenue from ticketing due to the expanded capacity, new catering, venue hire and parking (50 million).

Moix pointed out that when the Espai Barça referendum was approved in 2014, the budget for the project was 600 million euros that was to be paid with 200 million of the club’s own funds, 200 million from a sponsor whose trade name would be attached to that of the Camp Nou (title rights) and 200 million from a bank loan. In the original funding plan, the club undertook not to cross three red lines: the work would not cost the members anything, payment could never jeopardise the sporting side of the club and the club’s assets would never be mortgaged as collateral.

Evolution of construction costs

The construction costs have risen since 2014 from 600 million to 725 million. The initial budget included the complete remodelling of the future Camp Nou, the construction of a new Palau Blaugrana for 10,000 spectators, with a Petit Palau for 2,000, an Ice Rink for 500, as well as the Barça Campus.

The investment in the construction of the Espai Barça has evolved over the years with the addition of new costs that have arisen from developments to the project and the agreement with the City Council and municipal groups for a urban modification plan (MPGM) amounting to 50 million, plus compensations to the City Council in the form of 49,000 m2 of tertiary office buildings and hotels. The rest of the increase in costs is due to modifications to the projected facilities, such as a new Palau Blaugrana for 15,000 rather than 10,000 spectators (60 million), and certain investments in the future Camp Nou to improve services and thereby achieve further incremental revenue, such as improvements to the museum and a new adventure experience (15 million).

Improved business plan and incremental revenue

The key to this finance plan lies in improving the Espai Barça business plan and the incremental income that the project will generate once the Camp Nou is finished. While in 2014 the project was expected to provide incremental revenue of 50 million euros a year, in 2020 an expert consultant in the valuation of commercial assets associated to stadiums, ISG Legends, estimated that Barça will earn more than 150 million additional euros each season thanks to Espai Barça, from the 2024/2025 season onwards. The construction process was also audited by a highly prestigious international real estate consultant in the sector, JLL, which expressed absolute confidence in the management of the project and its schedule. 

The club’s commitments

However, FC Barcelona assumes a series of commitments that must be met, such as always playing at the Camp Nou, competing in one of world’s top five football leagues, complying with financial Fair Play, having a guaranteed maximum price stipulated in the construction contract to avoid deviations from the budget and the right for banks to hire a commercial consultant if the club does not generate the expected incremental revenue to return the investment.

Another of the great advantages of this finance plan is that the club will be able to use 100 of the 150 million annual increments that the Espai Barça will generate for ordinary usage after using the remaining 50 million for the repayment of the finance structure. This income can be invested in making the club stronger and more competitive, and will allow Barça to compensate for the increase in income that other rival clubs in Europe are already benefitting from due to the improvements made to their own stadiums.

In addition, through this operation the club would be protecting its current revenue, by not offering as a guarantee amounts received from contracts that it has already signed, such as TV rights and shirt sponsorship, nor the ownership of its assets or the transfer of their management.

Moreover, the risk is borne by the funds. If the planned incremental income is not generated there is no possibility of any claim against the club. The fund could hire a commercial consultant to monitor the sale of the new assets.

These are two of the differences between this operation and what has been done by other leading clubs to finance their stadiums.

In short, with this new financing plan, the three red lines of the 2014 referendum are not crossed, the club’s current assets are not used as guarantees (land and facilities, stadium ticketing, TV rights and sponsorships), there is greater flexibility for reaching the best title rights agreement when the Camp Nou is finished, the risk is assumed by the financial institutions and banks, and finally, it boosts competitiveness as the 100 million euros a year in incremental revenue can be allocated to other uses.

Construction status and schedule

Jordi Moix also spoke about the status of the current project, now that the Estadi Johan Cruyff Stadium is complete, an application has been made to Barcelona City Council for a license for the future Camp Nou and with the tender for the project in progress. Work on phase 1 of the exterior development (Avinguda Joan XXIII and the Cemetery) has begun together with preliminary studies of the car park, and work is also underway on the Barça Campus project and the interior development plan in liaison with the City Council and local residents.

The draft project for the new Palau Blaugrana for 15,000 spectators and the preliminary design of the Petit Palau, Ice Rink and coach park is to be executed in two phases due to the impact of metro Line 9. The club hopes to bring the draft for the new Palau Blaugrana forward in order for the design and license application phase to be completed by the end of 2021, and thus be able to physically construct the new Palau Blaugrana between 2022 and 2023.

All of this work is being carried out in parallel with the fulfilment of the club’s sustainability goals, for which the Espai Barça project has already been awarded DNGB Gold Standard pre-certification.

As for the revised timetable, it is envisaged that this new finance plan, which still need to be approved by the club members, should be submitted to a referendum towards the end of the first half of 2021 before work can begin on the stadium next summer. Given that there shall be presidential elections next March, Jordi Moix will offer candidates who so wish the chance to receive an in-depth explanation of the project and the new finance plan so that a referendum can be called in sufficient time for work to be able to commence in the summer and thus comply with the planned schedule.

Game Changers – Denise Taylor

Denise Taylor points to her ability to unify people from different backgrounds on one team to enhance products or services in sports and entertainment technology as her biggest career accomplishment.

“Whether it’s an ownership group, a team, a fan, a guest, a developer, a project manager, it’s ultimately about bringing those groups together to drive to a much more impactful service or product or fan experience,” said Taylor, president of global technology solutions at Legends. “I think that has just continued to evolve over my 25-year career, and I think that’s something in today’s day and age continues to be a skill set that is so hugely required.” 

One of the few women to hold the title of chief information officer at a major American company, Taylor has had previous careers stops at AEG, NBCUniversal and Universal Music Group. Before joining Legends in January, she was global CIO for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

Taylor is working with Legends’ clients on initiatives in the COVID-19 era that will deliver live events on digital platforms to fans — events that the company hopes will rival the experience of attending a live game. Some of these experiences include designing and ordering team merchandise to food and beverage delivery. 

Taylor is also working on Legends’ esports efforts to create immersive experiences that connect stars to fans over live broadcasts.

MORE ABOUT DENISE

Biggest work/life adjustment in quarantine: Fortunately, the adjustment with my son at home is nothing short of great — deeper quality time and commitment to each other — which is saying a lot about a senior boy in high school!    

Guilty pleasure: Reading tabloid magazines — a little longer at home now instead of the grocery line!

Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: Serena Williams. The unparalleled impact she is having on women of all ages around the world is inspiring. =

Change I’d make related to women working in sports: I would start to educate and highlight at a much younger age the multitude of opportunities that exist in sports for woman. 

Sports can grow its role in the social justice movement by: Sports can be a huge platform for change. We are seeing athletes, organizations, teams, and leagues use their platform and voices to bring awareness to important issues.

Willow to Deliver Digital Twin Technology Solutions at New SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park

Willow, the world’s leading provider of digital twin technology, is partnering with Hollywood Park, a new, nearly 300-acre sports and entertainment destination in Inglewood, California, being developed by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. The agreement stretches across SoFi Stadium, which will be the first major stadium to implement digital twin technology in the U.S. Using big data gathered from every aspect of the stadium and surrounding development, Willow will create a virtual copy of the facility to deliver an unprecedented level of analytical insight to create a truly world-class fan, resident and guest experience along with optimized levels of sustainability and future-proofing.

Digital twins, first developed by NASA for space exploration, are a bleeding-edge technology that converts all quantifiable aspects of physical buildings into living, learning and evolving virtual replicas. It is the most intuitive way to store, organize and access the incredible amount of data generated by complex smart buildings, allowing owners, facility managers and built environment professionals real-time insights to strategize and optimize every aspect of a building’s operations. Importantly, the system becomes more robust over time with the addition of new data.

“Our goal is to deliver a new type of fan and visitor experience, and to do that, we need a comprehensive, data-driven view into how all the pieces of this project connect,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “For such a large-scale and complex asset like a stadium, this is a pivotal undertaking. Willow’s Digital Twin will enable us to collect and analyze real-time big data across the lifecycle of the development, from construction to ongoing operations.” 

SoFi Stadium is setting a new bar for smart buildings in the sports and entertainment sector. Designed to be a sustainable, future-forward facility for years to come, the venue will be the new, joint home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams and will also host a variety of events throughout the year. Willow’s comprehensive solution, used by some of the world’s most prominent real estate owners, will enable SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park’s operators to gain complete transparency and a single source of truth on data from across the facility’s complex systems. By accessing this data, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park will be able to solve problems before they happen, manage risk and identify previously impossible integrated strategies.

“By accessing data that was once lost between project phases or in multiple systems, Willow can assist SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in identifying opportunities they never knew they had,” said Shaun Klann, President and Global Head of Real Estate at Willow. “Stadiums are an amazing opportunity to apply the lessons we have learned in commercial real estate, but on a much larger scale. It’s an incredibly exciting project and we are honored to partner with the ambitious and innovative team at SoFi Stadium.”

At present, SoFi Stadium is slated to host Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the College Football Championship Game in 2023 and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympics. Located on the site of a former racetrack, the approximately 70,000-seat stadium will serve as the centerpiece of the state-of-the-art, reimagined Hollywood Park, featuring a full live-work-play experience, from retail, offices, hospitality, residential units and outdoor park spaces.

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park was represented by Legends Global Partnerships division, which sourced, negotiated and represented SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in securing this partnership.

Aristocrat Technologies, Inc Named an Official Partner of The Las Vegas Raiders and Allegiant Stadium

Aristocrat Technologies and the Las Vegas Raiders have snapped the ball on a new partnership, making Aristocrat an Official Partner of the Raiders and Allegiant Stadium. Aristocrat’s category includes land-based gaming machines and certain digital social casino games. 

As an Official Partner of the Las Vegas Raiders, Aristocrat will have prominent signage throughout Allegiant Stadium year-round, including in-stadium and in-game branding and naming rights to the Owners East Club. The partnership features entitlement of the Aristocrat Club at Allegiant Stadium, an ultra-exclusive experience with a full-service premium bar, luxury lounge and upgraded stadium seating for game-viewing. 

Additionally, Aristocrat will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Raiders 50/50 Raffle. Through this exciting joint effort, Aristocrat and the Raiders will join forces in giving back to the community. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the Raiders to Las Vegas and to score an exclusive casino gaming supplier partnership with the team,” said Hector Fernandez, president of Aristocrat Americas. “Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, and as an exclusive partner to one of the most iconic teams in the NFL, we look forward to providing playful experiences for Raiders fans.” 

“The Raiders are excited to welcome Aristocrat Technologies as our newest partner,” said Raiders President Marc Badain. “Aristocrat is a great match as evidenced by their innovative technology and commitment to team up with the Raiders in giving back to the community.” 

Legends Global Partnerships represented the Raiders to secure the partnership with Aristocrat as a part of their duties as the stadium’s official premium ticketing and sponsorships agency. 

Legends Wins Best in Property Consulting, Sales & Client Services

Via Sports Business Journal’s 2020 SBJ Awards

 

Here is the full list of tonight’s winners:  

• Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services: Legends

• Best in Digital Sports Media: Bleacher Report

• Best in Mobile Fan Experience: The Masters Tournament App, produced by Augusta National and IBM  

• Best in Sports Social Media: Louisiana State University  

• Best in Sports Technology: Mixed Reality Baltimore Raven

• Best in Sports Media: CBS Sports

• Sports Event of the Year: 2019 NFL Draft

• Sports Breakthrough of the Year: Premier Lacrosse League  

• Sports Sponsor of the Year: Visa

• Athletic Director of the Year: Scott Stricklin, University of Florida

• Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing: Bespoke Sports & Entertainment  

• Best in Talent Representation: Wasserman

• Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Services: Octagon  

• Sports Facility of the Year: Chase Center

• Sports Team of the Year: St. Louis Blues

• Sports League of the Year: Major League Soccer

• Sports Executive of the Year: Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN  

• Celebration of Service Award: Team IMPACT

• Lifetime Achievement: Larry Tanenbaum

MLB Flagship Store Opens in NYC

— Widest In-Store Assortment of MLB Product Anywhere in the World, Featuring More Than 10,000 Caps —

— Memorabilia Collection Features Items From Recent Jewel Events and An Exclusive Derek Jeter Hall of Fame Collection —

— Store Includes Exclusive Products, Jersey Customization Station, Along with Merchandise for the 2020 Postseason and World Series —

 

Major League Baseball (MLB) today opens the MLB Flagship Store, located at 1271 Avenue of the Americas in midtown Manhattan. MLB partnered with Legends, a premium experiences company with global expertise across merchandising, sales, partnerships, planning, technology, and hospitality, to build and operate the first permanent MLB retail store in the United States. 

The state-of-the-art retail destination features the widest in-store assortment of MLB products anywhere in the world, spanning two floors and approximately 10,000 square feet, and housing 100 different apparel styles. The main floor of the store features Nike jerseys from stars of all 30 MLB Clubs, plus an extensive New Era Cap Wall, showcasing Authentic Collection fitted caps for each team.  In total, the store maintains more than 10,000 total authentic and lifestyle MLB caps.

The one-of-a-kind store features a large customization station, allowing fans the option to personalize MLB replica jerseys and Stance socks. A jersey carousel, visible from the street, displays customizable jerseys that represent each MLB Club.

The lower level of the store includes a Cooperstown area and a memorabilia section with game-used and autographed merchandise. The area includes game-used bases from historic games such as Game 7 of the 2016 World Series and Game 7 of the 2019 World Series; game-used items from recent All-Star Games, Home Run Derbies, and World Series featuring MLB stars; and exclusive Derek Jeter autographed items from the 2020 Hall of Fame collection.

“With a wide assortment of merchandise and showcasing products from all 30 Clubs, the MLB Flagship Store offers something for all of our fans,” said Noah Garden, MLB Chief Revenue Officer.  “We expect the MLB Flagship Store to be more than a retail location. Over time, we plan to host MLB player appearances, special events, product unveilings and more as the location establishes itself as a new way for fans to celebrate all things Major League Baseball.”

In addition, the lower level houses authentic Mitchell & Ness throwback jerseys as well as an MLB-themed photo booth, where fans can print or upload photos to social media.

The MLB Flagship Store will host the Commissioner’s Trophy, given to the winner of the World Series each year, from October 5th – 8th for fan photos. Following its appearance, the trophy will travel to Arlington, Texas for the 2020 World Series.

The interactive store features products for all 30 MLB Clubs, including items exclusive to the MLB Flagship Store featuring the new MLB NYC logo. The store includes products for fans of all ages and sizes, with an extensive assortment of items for men, women, and kids such as jerseys, t-shirts, fan gear, headwear, training gear, houseware, and accessories.

“Legends has worked closely with Major League Baseball to create an immersive retail experience that brings baseball fans closer to the game they love with a vast selection of products for fans of all ages, across all 30 MLB Clubs, including exclusive items that cannot be found elsewhere,” said Dan Smith, Legends President, Hospitality. “In addition, the store is home to an extensive memorabilia collection, including game-used and autographed items from some of the biggest moments in MLB’s history. Throughout the year, we’ll have special in-store events and appearances – our very first appearance will be next week when the Commissioner’s Trophy visits the MLB Flagship Store before traveling to Arlington for the 2020 World Series.”  

The MLB Flagship Store, which will be open daily from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., will feature a wide product assortment from fan favorites like Nike, New Era Cap, ‘47, Topps, Mitchell & Ness, Rawlings, and Stance. The store will also feature a variety of premium lifestyle brands such as Vineyard Vines, Peter Millar, Johnnie-O, DKNY and Herschel.

The MLB Flagship Store will operate in accordance with local health and social distancing guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our guests and staff. For more information about our COVID-19 protocols, please visit https://www.mlb.com/shop/nyc-retail-store.

In addition to operating the MLB Flagship Store, Legends’ Project Development division oversaw the design and construction of the new space.

Google, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park Sign Multi-Year Partnership

Google Cloud is named exclusive cloud partner, providing core technologies for Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, and new SoFi Stadium

YouTube named official video streaming sponsor of the Rams, Chargers, SoFi Stadium, and Hollywood Park

As fans eagerly await the return of NFL football, Google and Hollywood Park today announced a multi-year partnership for Google Cloud to power SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park’s digital innovation experiences—and YouTube to become the official video streaming sponsor of the Rams, Chargers, SoFi Stadium, and Hollywood Park, with more details to be announced later this year.

“Google is a world-class company, leading the way in technology,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “Their innovation and services are a critical component to deliver Stan Kroenke’s vision to create the ultimate sports and entertainment destination, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.”

Google will drive both business operations and consumer experiences at the 298-acre sports and entertainment destination, which is being developed by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. SoFi Stadium will host the Super Bowl in 2022, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics in 2028, and many other marquee events. Google Cloud technology will help transform the site into a premier entertainment destination in several key ways:

  • A “personal concierge” app, powered by Google Cloud and built by Deloitte, will help fans discover SoFi Stadium events; wayfind within the stadium; locate parking; optimize transportation for game day (including up-to-the-minute Google Maps routing); provide digital credentials for building, club, and suite entry; and present personalized offers for tickets, food, shopping, and more.
  • Cloud-based media workflow and optimization will power the largest video board in sports. Working with Google Cloud engineers and using the latest in cloud technologies, Hollywood Park will be able to efficiently store digital content, as well as prep, transfer, and present groundbreaking video on game day.
  • Advanced data analytics will track business performance and enable Hollywood Park to offer unique and personal recommendations to fans and guests. Using Google Cloud products such as Cloud Scheduler, App Engine, Dataflow, BigQuery, and more, Hollywood Park will be able to store and analyze data from multiple sources; create operational dashboards with real-time data; track key performance indicators after events; and better forecast attendance, revenue by product, and other important business metrics.
  • Modern collaboration tools from Google Cloud’s G Suite software—including Gmail for business, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and Meet—will help Hollywood Park employees work faster and smarter, and meet safely and securely from anywhere.
  • In the future, Google and SoFi Stadium will explore media streaming and high-speed wireless solutions to enable visitors to get replays, unique angles, and exclusive 4K coverage on their mobile phones while attending events at SoFi Stadium. In addition, SoFi Stadium will have the world’s first 4K/HDR live production capabilities within a sports facility.

“It’s an incredible honour to work with SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park as they create an interactive, smart experience destination enjoyed by sports and entertainment fans, residents and shoppers alike,” said Rob Enslin, global president, Google Cloud. “This partnership shows the world what’s possible when you combine the power of data with the excitement of entertainment and sports, and we’re excited that Google Cloud will underpin the visitor experience.”

“We couldn’t have picked a better partner to manage our technology needs,” said Skarpi Hedinsson, chief technology officer, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “Incorporating Google’s solutions into critical areas of our business ensures we can usher in a new era of innovation in sports and entertainment, raising the bar on what the ultimate fan experience looks like globally.”

“A special thank you to our partner Legends, and their Global Partnerships group, which sourced, negotiated, and represented SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in securing this comprehensive technology and marketing partnership. They continue to work as best-in-class partners to bring innovation and unique brand engagements,” said Gannon.

Hollywood Park and Samsung Partner in Comprehensive, Multi-Year Agreement Dedicated to Enhancing the Fan Experience

Samsung has been named the Official Mobile, TV and Display partner of Hollywood Park, a 298-acre sports and entertainment destination, inclusive of SoFi Stadium and a 6,000-seat performance venue. Samsung’s outdoor LED products were exclusively used to build SoFi Stadium’s 70,000 square-foot dual-sided, center-hung videoboard. Moreover, the videoboard is the first and only 4K end-to-end video production in a stadium. The agreement showcases Samsung’s commitment to enhancing the fan experience at live events through technology.

“Samsung is a company built on foundation of excellence, which is also a cornerstone of the Hollywood Park experience. Our display technology in SoFi Stadium and throughout the entire space will offer fans a truly immersive and state-of-the-art experience,” said Harry Patz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Display Division, Samsung Electronics America. “Los Angeles is a vibrant city with a rich history, filled with passionate fans. It is a great honor to be a part of creating the city’s next landmark.”

Built for the future, the videoboard has the largest LED content playback system ever deployed. With nearly 80 million pixels spaced 8 millimeters from center to center, each panel can be uniquely or congruently programmed with statistics, live and/or animated content. The largest panel is about 40 feet or four stories tall; its smallest panel is nearly 20 feet or two stories tall. Further, its unique size and shape make it wider than the field of play and offer fans a spectacular view from anywhere in the stadium, enhancing the action taking place on the field. 

“Our partnership with Samsung is an industry game-changer and has allowed us to create a unique and one-of-a-kind product that will impact the way our industry thinks about live event content,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “With our Samsung videoboard, we continue to elevate the experience for fan entertainment on game days and across events.”  

Built into the videoboard is a state-of-the-art audio system with more than 260 individual speakers embedded into its frame. With more than seven miles of loudspeaker cable wound throughout, it is equal to 1,500 home theater systems.

To offer fans and guests a consistently dynamic experience, Samsung is excited to work with Hollywood Park to enhance, improve and develop display technology to innovate and improve the guest experience for years to come. This cutting-edge technology will set a new standard for the fan experience, with SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park representing the future of sports and live entertainment.

“At Samsung, we are so proud of our partnership with Hollywood Park and excited to be a part of what will soon be a crown jewel for the city of Los Angeles,” says Mark Quiroz, Vice President of Marketing, Display Division, Samsung Electronics America. “From the unique use of display technology in the videoboard to the use of outdoor LED displays in the American Airlines Plaza, Samsung technology is changing the way fans experience game day.” 

Beyond SoFi Stadium, Samsung’s LED display technology will be represented throughout Hollywood Park, reaching fans across the development’s residential, office and retail areas and through the Hollywood Park connected mobile app. Samsung Members will experience exclusive in-app features, including a dedicated Samsung Members section with benefits including exclusive content, offers and in-stadium discounts. 

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park was represented by Legends Global Partnerships division, which sourced, negotiated and represented SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in securing this partnership.  

Legends hires Hawksley to lead international retail operations

Via SportsBusiness

Legends has hired veteran sports merchandising executive Victoria Hawksley to a newly created role of vice president of international retail, where she will lead global merchandise operations and strategy for the growing segment of the premium experiences company.

Hawksley, previously head of retail and visitor attractions for the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur, will lead Legends’ efforts in this area, including in-venue retail, ecommerce, brick-and-mortar stores, and custom merchandise.

She will be based in Madrid, Spain, where her first major project will be executing the newly developed omnichannel retail program for La Liga’s Real Madrid, an expansive initiative that will include the revamp of several official club stores, the development of a new flagship megastore, and the rollout of a new online shop.

“I see a huge opportunity to merge the expertise and capabilities of Legends Global Merchandise division, with the insights and local expertise that Legends has in markets across Europe and Asia, to develop customized strategies,” Hawksley said.

Hawksley spent 14 years at Tottenham Hoptsur, where she oversaw the club’s set of visitor attractions for its new stadium that opened early last year.

The international retail operations have been a quickly developing area for Legends, whose historical base has been primarily in American premium seat sales and concessions.

“Legends has significantly grown our international footprint during the past few years, and we are fortunate to add Victoria to our leadership team in Europe as we continue to invest in our global merchandise vertical,” said Andrew Hampel, president of Legends International.

Legends Puts Large Stamp on SoFi Stadium, Allegiant Stadium

Via Sports Business Journal

As SoFi and Allegiant stadiums prepare to open, the depth of work by Legends on the projects has fully come into focus, including previously undisclosed details about the company’s involvement at SoFi on retail, technology and its food and beverage program. 

With Allegiant Stadium announcing that no fans will be allowed at Las Vegas Raiders games this season, and SoFi Stadium announcing the same at least at the start, the extent of Legends’ work won’t be fully functioning as expected. Still, the projects gave Legends the opportunity to demonstrate the depth of its expertise.

Legends President and CEO Shervin Mirhashemi said the company was involved in both projects early on from a feasibility and planning standpoint. Later, he said, “we then were engaged with each one of those projects separately, it was really about activating our full 360 capabilities to work on two iconic, state-of-the-art NFL projects, arguably two of the greatest stadiums in the world at the exact same time.” 

Legends’ involvement with SoFi Stadium was more extensive compared to its work on Allegiant, which was primarily focused on partnerships and its naming-rights deals, and a sold-out personal seat license campaign that garnered the Raiders $549 million in revenue ahead of the 2020 NFL season.

Legends is also handling the Rams’ and Chargers’ PSL campaign, which has generated more revenue than Allegiant’s thus far, but the venue’s reported sales targets have been less than expected, according to previous reports. 

At SoFi, Legends handled the stadium’s $30 million-a-year naming-rights deal and project management of the adjacent 300-acre Hollywood Park entertainment district, which will have a performance venue, retail and office space, residential units and green spaces. 

SoFi’s Stadium’s food and beverage program for premium and general concessions areas will be representative of Los Angeles’ diverse culinary offerings and will be inspired by the indoor and outdoor aesthetics of the aviation-inspired stadium.

“We’re going to be authentic to this vast culinary culture in Los Angeles that spans 18 to 19 million people across all walks of life,” Mirhashemi said. “So, I think what you’ll see ultimately when fans are allowed in there … you’ll see just this really unique, diverse, innovative approach to food and beverage.” 

Legends also plans to roll out a customized and immersive VIP tour program for SoFi Stadium. 

“That’s going to connect the applicable fan to their favorite team and go really behind the scenes of what this state-of-the-art stadium is all about,” Mirhashemi said. “So, how do you experience that venue from the perspective of the player, a broadcaster or potentially, and obviously, as a fan?” 

On the retail front, SoFi stadium will feature a 7,000-square-foot retail store catering to Rams and Chargers fans. “There will be two different floors and obviously we’ll have exclusive items that we’re going to have only specifically at that location for both the teams,” Mirhashemi said.

When it comes to the disappointment of not being able to showcase Legends’ work on SoFi and Allegiant stadiums because of the absence of fans, Mirhashemi is still excited for the future. 

“I would say life is a marathon, it’s not a sprint, and these venues weren’t built for 2020 only, they were built to be pillars of their respective communities and really examples of what the art-of-the-possible is,” he said. “They will have their moments to open, and hopefully, that’s going to be sooner than later in the next few months.”

Legends’ Denise Taylor Selected as SBJ’s 2020 Game Changers: Women in Sports Business

Congratulations to Denise Taylor, Legends’ President of Global Technology Solutions, on being selected for @SBJSBD‘s 2020 class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.”

 

Via Sports Business Journal

 

Leader. Innovator. Trailblazer. Change agent. Rock star.

These are just a few ways the 50 women selected for Sports Business Journal’s 2020 class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business” have been described. They represent every sector across sports business from teams and leagues, to agencies and sponsors, to technology companies and media outlets. 

Together, they make up the 10th class of Game Changers. SBJ will profile each of these women and offer a glimpse into their lives away from work in a special section on Oct. 19.   

In 2011, SBJ created Game Changers to “tell the stories of women in the sports business — women with broad, deep, and varied responsibilities and oversight who contribute to the success of the industry in multiple ways.” The 392 women honored in all 10 classes of Game Changers follow in the progressive heritage of their colleagues who have been part of SBJ’s Lifetime Achievement, Champions and Forty Under 40 programs — women such as Billie Jean King, Val Ackerman and Bea Perez. 

In 2013, SBJ launched an annual one-day conference in New York City to recognize the Game Changers honorees and examine the key issues facing women in sports. Over the years, the conference became one of the most successful and dynamic events on our calendar. This year, while we will not be able to gather in person, we are conducting the conference virtually on Oct. 27, with plans to honor the 2020 class and for a full day of content and networking. 

For more information or to register for the virtual conference, visit www.game-changers-conference.com.

Our goal today remains the same as in the inaugural year of Game Changers: to honor women — some you might know, others you might be reading about for the first time — who offer new solutions, ideas and perspectives that will change the sports business in the years to come.

 

Introducing the 2020 class of
Game Changers: 
Women in Sports Business

 

DENISE TAYLOR

President, Global Technology Solutions

Legends

 

AMY AZZI

Senior Director of Sponsorships

T-Mobile

 

HEIDI BROWNING

Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

National Hockey League

 

VICTORIA BRUMFIELD

Chief of Staff

USA Triathlon

 

DIANA BUSINO

Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer

Turnkey Search

 

MICHELLE BYRON

Vice President, Partnership Marketing

NASCAR

 

GRACE CALHOUN

Director of Athletics and Recreation

University of Pennsylvania

 

JENNIFER CARROLL

Senior Vice President, Talent and Culture

Major League Soccer

 

KAREEDA CHONES-AGUAM

Vice President of Business Strategy and Management

Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Forum

 

KARI COHEN

General Counsel

New York Red Bulls

 

JONI COMSTOCK

Senior Vice President of Championships

NCAA

 

ALEXANDRA DELL

Senior Vice President, Media

SportFive

 

LAUREN DIENES-MIDDLEN

Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel – IP

WWE

 

CHRISTINE DORFLER

Chief Financial Officer, NBC Sports Group

NBCUniversal

 

DANIELLE DU TOIT

President, SeatGeek Enterprise

SeatGeek

 

MELISSA DUHAIME

Director, Sports Marketing

PepsiCo Beverages North America

 

LAURI EBERHART

Founding Member and Attorney

Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group

 

JENÉ ELZIE

Chief Growth Officer

Athletes First Partners

 

JILL FREDERICKSON

Senior Vice President, Production and Content Strategy

ESPN

 

COLLEEN GARRITY

Senior Vice President and Head of Basketball Marketing

Excel Sports Management

 

JORDAN HARNSBERGER

Chief of Staff

CAA Sports

 

KAT HARWOOD

Sports Consulting Lead

Deloitte Consulting

 

MOLLY HIGGINS

Vice President of Community Affairs and Engagement

Los Angeles Rams

 

CHINA JUDE

Senior Associate Athletics Director for Administration and Senior Woman Administrator

University of Wyoming

 

DONNA JULIAN

Executive Vice President and Spectrum Center General Manager

Hornets Sports & Entertainment

 

ERIN KANE

Vice President, Player Agent

Octagon

 

DANI RYLAN KEARNEY

Founder and Commissioner

National Women’s Hockey League

 

ANGELINA LAWTON

Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Sportsdigita

 

RAQUEL LIBMAN

Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer

Miami Heat and AmericanAirlines Arena

 

BLAIR LISTINO

Chief Financial Officer, Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center

Comcast Spectacor

 

NICOLE LYNN

Sports Agent and Attorney

Young Money APAA Sports

 

LILIAHN MAJEED

Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion

National Basketball Association

 

BERNADETTE MCDONALD

Senior Vice President, Broadcasting

Major League Baseball

 

JEN MILLET

Senior Vice President of Marketing

Golden State Warriors and Chase Center

 

JILL MONAGHAN

Senior Project Designer

Generator Studio

 

BELICIA MONTGOMERY

Director, Diversity and Inclusion

Minor League Baseball

 

JESSICA MUIR

Director, Brand Partnerships and Amplification

Comcast

 

PATTI PHILLIPS

Chief Executive Officer

Women Leaders in College Sports

 

SHELLEY PISARRA

Executive Vice President, Global Insights

Wasserman

 

STEFANIE RAPP

Chief Revenue Officer

Bleacher Report

 

NAOMI RODRIGUEZ

Vice President, External Affairs and Community Relations

Los Angeles Dodgers 

 

SHOSHANA SALMON

Director, Traffic, Broadcast Operations

CBS Sports

 

KRISTINE SCHROEDER

Chief People and Culture Officer

Learfield IMG College

 

KIM SHELTON

President, UK Sports and Campus Marketing

JMI Sports

 

DASHA SMITH

Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

National Football League

 

JILL SPIEGEL

Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Planning

PGA Tour Superstore

 

GINA SPRENGER

Chief Strategic Retail Officer

Fanatics

 

SHIZUKA SUZUKI

Assistant Vice President, Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing

AT&T

 

VANESSA TAVERAS

Vice President, Properties

CSM Sport & Entertainment

 

DIONNA WIDDER

Chief Revenue Officer

Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium

Legends to Lead the Redesign of Army’s Classic Stadium

Via SportsBusiness Journal

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point has signed Legends to handle sales and marketing of what’s expected to be a $100 million modernization of historic Michie Stadium.

The 96-year-old stadium has long represented what’s good about college football. The cadets, the setting along the waterfront, the awe-inspiring flyovers and the history combine to make an Army home game one of the sport’s bucket-list events.

If there was one shortcoming, however, it’s that Michie Stadium lacked most of the revenue-generating features, namely premium seating, that have become common in college athletics. The stadium renovation will largely rebuild the East stands along the Lusk Reservoir and create premium spaces for more than 2,000 fans with majestic views of the lake and the Hudson River in the distance.

Legends will take the lead on creating new premium experiences for Army fans while also tapping into the corporate hospitality opportunities that exist in the immediate area as well as in nearby New York City.

Mike Buddie, who is entering his second year as Army’s athletic director, projects that the new premium spaces could generate $3 million to $4 million annually in new revenue.

Mike Behan, Legends’ vice president for collegiate partnerships, has been talking to Army about the project since last year, and Legends recently completed a market analysis to identify the revenue potential.

“The opportunity to go to a game at West Point is really unique, but once you get in there, the hospitality options are very limited,” Behan said. “So this is a chance to become more relevant in that space. They’ll now have a hospitality platform to build stronger relationships with local businesses in addition to West Point fans.”

Army is in the fundraising stage of what it’s calling the Michie Stadium Preservation Project, which will totally renovate the East side. Philadelphia-based firm EwingCole is leading the design.

Within the updates, with a goal of completion for the  2024 season, will come a full complement of new premium spaces, including suites, club seats, loge boxes and ledge seating. Legends’ comprehensive deal with Army goes beyond the sales strategy and planning. The 12-year-old agency also will create a year-round hospitality and event program that will provide corporate opportunities to be on campus and experience different elements of the U.S. Military Academy that would fit into leadership retreats or team building.

“We’ve been compared to Wrigley Field, in terms of offering this timeless experience,” Buddie said.

Legends in the college space has selectively worked on blue-chip projects like event planning and sales strategy for stadium renovations at the Rose Bowl and Notre Dame.

Army represents another historically relevant challenge.

“We’re a national treasure, but we’re also a college campus,” Buddie said. “We’re balancing the need to provide an upgraded experience with what’s sacred. We think this design plan will do that.”

Army and Legends Announce Comprehensive New Partnership

— Planning and Strategy of the Cadet Seating and Premium Experience, as Part of the Comprehensive Michie Stadium Preservation Project at West Point —

 

— Partnership with Legends will Also Include a New Year-Round Event Hospitality Program —

 

Army West Point Athletic Association and Legends today announced a comprehensive new partnership focused on creating an elevated experience for both fans and cadets, as part of the Michie Stadium Preservation Project at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, home of the Army Black Knights football program. The modernization of Michie Stadium will include a complete transformation of the East Stands space, where cadets have watched games since 1962. The project will fully integrate the cadets into the reimagination process, to elevate the viewing experience in a way that is authentic to the “Duty, Honor, Country” ideals.

 

The project will introduce all-new premium areas for Michie Stadium guests with the addition of suite, loge, and club level seating. Army West Point football is an unparalleled experience and these upgrades will further enhance the uniqueness of being able to experience a game at Michie Stadium. 

 

Legends previously assisted Army by conducting a comprehensive market study, soliciting feedback from West Point alumni, A Club donors, ticket holders, and Black Knight fans, to help determine the new seating experience and amenities within the East Stands. Additionally, Legends will manage sales and marketing, business intelligence, and data analytics services across the integrated partnership. Legends’ proprietary technology, data, and analytics platform will be a critical driver in delivering customized solutions and unique innovations for Army.

 

“Army West Point is a historic and noble brand that we protect fiercely,” said Mike Buddie, Director of Athletics, Army West Point. “Partnering with Legends makes all the sense in the world as they are an iconic brand in the hospitality business world and have a great reputation. We are excited to work with them to create the best game day experience in the nation and provide new and innovative opportunities for the alumni and public to experience the grandeur of the West Point Experience.”

 

Army and Legends will also partner on an event hospitality program, that will allow guests from the greater tri-state area the opportunity to experience the storied history and traditions of the U.S. Military Academy. The program will be fully customizable and specially curated for the group and the length of the visit and will highlight West Point’s heritage, values, and commitment to excellence, all set to the backdrop of West Point’s beautiful and historic campus on the western bank of the Hudson River.

 

“The experience at West Point is one unlike any other in collegiate athletics, and the opportunity to work alongside Army and completely reimagine the experience for Black Knight fans as part of the overall transformation of Michie Stadium, allows us to leverage our holistic acumen and develop a best-in-class hospitality program that celebrates the history and tradition of Army athletics,” said Mike Behan, Legends Vice President, Collegiate Partnerships. “As an extension of this approach, we saw an enormous opportunity to create a year-round event hospitality program that will allow guests to participate in the distinct aspects of the West Point experience.”

 

Legends has best-in-class experience in both sports and attractions, including working with some of the most visible teams and brands in the world, including ownership ties to the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, along with attractions experience all over the world.

 

The New York Yankees and Army have their own storied background, with Army playing exhibition games against the New York Yankees 22 times since 1927, including the most recent exhibition game in 2013 at West Point. The first meeting of these storied programs featured Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Additionally, playing football games at the original Yankee Stadium was a staple of the Army football program throughout much of the last century. The Black Knights returned to their New York City heritage as Army agreed to play two of its home games at the new Yankee Stadium in 2011 and 2014.

Real Madrid teams up with Legends for overhaul of retail business

Via SportBusiness

Real Madrid has announced that it has entered into a new partnership with US-based merchandise solutions provider Legends, which will oversee and manage Los Blancos’ retail business as the club looks to boost its revenues.

The appointment of Legends is part of a wider revamp of Real Madrid’s retail and digital strategy, and will involve the relaunch of three official club stores in Madrid, a brand new online store, and a new flagship megastore on the site of the side’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

The stadium is currently undergoing a $590m (€525m) renovation, and the launch of the new club store will come as part of the venue’s reopening next season. Legends has outlined plans to open an interim store on the site until the new megastore is completed, saying that further details will be released in the coming weeks.

The official club stores in Barcelona and Mexico City will also be relaunched.

Legends says it will provide an “omnichannel” retail programme for the club, leveraging its expertise in merchandising, sales, partnerships, planning, technology and hospitality to boost merchandise and retail revenues. The new e-commerce platform will launch this week in eight different languages as Real Madrid looks to greater capitalise on its global popularity.

In 2019, Forbes valued Real Madrid at $4.24bn, making it the world’s most valuable football team, in a year in which the club was also ranked as the world’s most-followed football side on social media. The club itself claims that its official website is the most-visited football team homepage on the internet.

Despite this, Real Madrid has struggled to maximise its revenue potential from retail and merchandise. Its revenue from store sales, which includes online and in-store purchases, stood at €24.3m for the 2018-19 season, the most recent for which figures are available, slightly down on the figure of €26.5m in the previous campaign. By contrast, Manchester United claimed retail and merchandising revenues of £102m for 2018-19, while for the same period, Real Madrid’s Spanish rivals Barcelona listed turnover of €61.5m for its wholly-owned Barça Licensing & Merchandising subsidiary.

Legends has worked in an advisory capacity with Real Madrid since 2018, and replaces licensed sports merchandise company Fanatics as the club’s retail partner. Fanatics took up that position after acquiring Global Merchandising, previously a subsidiary of Real Madrid’s long-standing kit provider Adidas, in 2019. At that time, Real Madrid renegotiated its agreements with Fanatics, and regained control over its own retail operations on June 30 this year, leaving it free to sign the new partnership with Legends.

Legends is part-owned by Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and the National Football League side the Dallas Cowboys – the only two sporting properties in the world valued higher than Real Madrid by Forbes.

Real Madrid and Legends Announce Global Omnichannel Retail Program

— Comprehensive Partnership Spans E-Commerce, Retail at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, and Official Real Madrid Stores —

 

— Real Madrid and Legends will Unveil a

New Flagship Megastore at the Transformed Estadio Santiago Bernabéu —

 

— Expanded Retail Experience will Also Include the Launch of a New Official Online Store and the Reopening of Official Real Madrid Stores —

 

MADRID, SPAIN – July 6, 2020 – Real Madrid CF today announced an expansive omnichannel retail program, inclusive of an all-new official online store, the relaunch of three official stores in Madrid, and a new Flagship Megastore at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Real Madrid has partnered with Legends, a premium experiences company with global expertise across merchandising, sales, partnerships, planning, technology, and hospitality, to manage all merchandise operations.

 

This new partnership between Legends and Real Madrid will further develop relationships with fans and deliver a seamless and integrated experience that truly represents the Real Madrid brand across all online and retail physical touchpoints. It will also play an important role in the commercial growth and brand development strategy of the club, where Legends and Real Madrid share the same vision for delivering a modern omnichannel experience.

 

As part of the Club’s international growth strategy, the new official online store will include premium and exclusive Real Madrid merchandise for fans of all ages. The e-commerce platform will be available in eight different languages and features innovative design elements, an exceptional user experience, and will serve fans around the world. The new official online store is innovative, leveraging modern technology and infrastructure to allow Real Madrid to integrate e-commerce experiences directly into any of its digital channels. 

 

The official online store is a key pillar in Real Madrid’s digital strategy that puts the fan experience squarely at the center of the business. A true omnichannel experience is a fundamental part of the strategy, and the partnership with Legends takes a major step toward the vision of a comprehensive shopping experience, online and in stores, for all Socios, Madridistas, and fans around the world to find their favorite official products. The comprehensive retail program will promote relevant offers in a seamless purchase experience, whenever and where ever fans go to engage with the team.

 

The Real Madrid Flagship Megastore will open its doors as part of the ongoing state-of-the-art transformation of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, and will be a revolutionary shopping experience for Socios, Madridistas, local, and international fans visiting the stadium. Later this year, Real Madrid will open an interim Megastore at the stadium, which boasts two floors on the south side of the stadium. With exclusive product assortments, customization stations, and a new range of leisurewear and team products, accessories, and the widest selection of Real Madrid technical product, the Megastore will provide a one-of-a-kind experience for fans. Further details about the interim Real Madrid Megastore will be released in the coming weeks.

 

Additionally, Legends will reopen three Real Madrid official stores in downtown Madrid, with the latest Real Madrid kit and training wear, adult and kids’ apparel, footballs, scarves, gifts, and more. The official team stores are in El Carmen, Gran Via, and Arenal, with additional official stores located in Barcelona and Mexico.

 

The comprehensive retail platforms will offer the latest assortment of fan gear, kits, headwear, customized products, authenticated memorabilia, and accessories at the stadium, online, and at official stores. Legends International and Legend Global Merchandise will leverage the Legends comprehensive service solution platform to deliver this omnichannel retail experience on a global basis.

 

Legends has worked with Real Madrid since 2018 when the company was appointed to provide strategic insight and guidance into optimizing commercial opportunities in the redevelopment of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Using its holistic approach, Legends worked in partnership with Real Madrid to review the existing operations and create innovative, profitable, and fan-led experiences to drive the business of the stadium 365 days per year. The detailed findings of this work were then integrated into the designs and construction program to create a robust, deliverable business model. Legends continues to work with Real Madrid through the construction process to ensure the delivery of the business plan.

Legends Introduces Community & Social Impact Circles

Over the past several weeks we have all witnessed the heartbreaking acts of racial inequality and injustice that have taken place in our country including the death of George Floyd at the hands of those who took an oath to serve and protect. This unfortunately is not new, for black people and people of color these unconscionable acts are all too familiar. We have heard the cries for change and accountability, and we stand with the black community in the movement and push to ensure that black lives matter. We don’t have all the answers, but we will seek to have the important conversations with our internal team members and our community and take action.

As an extension of Legends’ Diversity & Inclusion platform, this week we’ve launched our Community & Social Impact Circles, an internal program designed to harness the power of our team members’ collective voices and our platform to create change in the communities in which we work and live.

These circles are smaller format discussions that will provide all of our team members with a safe space to share and learn together and have the difficult and much-needed conversations about what is happening in society and throughout our communities. Additionally, one-to-one engagement with the Legends Diversity & Inclusion Team and Executive Team is available for all members, with a Legends Day of Service in the works.

From top to bottom, we’re committed to participating in these important conversations and initiatives as we contribute our collective resources for positive change and unity.

Legends rolls out hygiene and safety consultancy services

Via SportsBusiness Journal

 

Legends is adding a venue safety consultancy to its suite of hospitality, concessions, project management and merchandise sales services.

 

It’s the latest move in the sports venue industry to expand hygiene programs and provide best practices to ease the concerns of fans and employees once they are allowed to return to live events.

 

The Legends Venue Reintegration Platform offers the company’s clients and the sports industry as a whole a comprehensive program that will help protect guests and employees, said Legends President and CEO Shervin Mirhashemi. Legends will offer the same program to nonsports facilities such as office and retail buildings, and attractions.

 

Along with medical and government experts, Legends’ platform will bring in hospital-grade hygiene experts, professional vendors and operational expertise to assess a venue’s readiness to host fans and other guests.

 

Advisory partners include representatives from the International Association of Venue Managers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of the assessment partners include Venue Solutions Group, Environmental Infection Prevention and CrowdRx. On the cashless and contactless payment front,  vendors include FreedomPay, Square, Ingenico, Clover, Apply Pay, Google Pay, Tap to Pay, Zippin, ReadyCredit, Tapin2 and Appetize.

 

The move to develop structure and resources across venue safety has understandably accelerated in the past eight weeks. Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group has plans for a new division to make certain that venues are sanitized properly. ASM Global also has launched a similar initiative and the Houston Texans have posted a position for a facility hygiene coordinator.

 

The Legends platform has two phases. 

 

“There’s an initial assessment and planning portion, which we call phase one of the analysis, that’s a two-to-four week process, which is very customized and involves over 150 checklist items to assess and ultimately provide a plan of what that venue or event needs to safely conduct business in this new COVID environment,” Mirhashemi said. “The second phase is based on those recommendations, we have solutions with various different vendor options, with different paths that will address each one of those over 150 checklist items.”

 

Mirhashemi noted the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees — which own Legends — were using the platform in preparation for the eventual return of live sports. He said Legends will charge a one time consulting fee that will be customized for the specific client. 

 

Some of the hypothetical recommendations Legends may make include providing branded personal protective equipment to fans, a revised ticketing and manifest process, a policy addressing season-ticket holders if venues have to reduce capacity, a plan for a contactless and cashless environment, an app-managed safety checklist for employees, and revised food and beverage and merchandising operations.
 

“We’re addressing that entire journey, for both the employee as well as the fan, from the time they leave their home, to the time they return, which includes egress, ingress changes to the event and venue, and new hospital-grade cleaning and hygiene options on how they need to go about cleaning that venue or that event,” Mirhashemi said.

New Images Revealed For Landmark Gateshead Quays Scheme

via Insider Media

New images have been revealed for the landmark Gateshead Quays scheme as Ask:PATRIZIA submit full proposals for the £260m plan.

The 80,000 sq ft development, which will host international conferences and exhibitions as well as music and cultural events, is situated on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside, directly in front the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

The scheme will include a 12,500-capacity arena, an international conference and exhibition centre, a dual branded hotel, restaurants, and extensive areas of public realm.

It is expected to add more than 1,000 jobs and £29 million GVA per annum to the regional economy.  The council will be submitting a planning application later this year for a multi-storey car park on Baltic Quarter to service the development.

Ask:PATRIZIA is a joint venture between Ask Real Estate and PATRIZIA AG, the pan-European real estate investment partner, for the development of Gateshead Quayside.

Global architect, HOK is designing the overall masterplan for the site, with the project team also including Legends International, Lichfields, Gardiner and Theobald, QS, ARUP, M&E and Vectos.

John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate, said: “We have undertaken a  programme of public consultation with local stakeholders and neighbours which has informed our plans for Gateshead Quays and we are pleased that we are now able to take this through to the final stage of the planning process.

“Our appointed contractors Sir Robert McAlpine have been engaging with the technical teams and with the arena operator ASM Global and we have signed-off stage 2 designs for what will be a world-class events destination.

“We are hopeful that the scheme will achieve full planning consent later this year and look forward to delivering this superb facility for the North East as soon as possible.”

The hotel operator is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks and the new complex is set to open 2023.

Legends Joins COVID-19 Efforts at Sleep Train Arena Alternate Care Facility

In partnership with the Sacramento Kings, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and other State Agencies, Legends has joined the efforts at the Sleep Train Arena alternate care facility, a field hospital set up at the former basketball venue to support the growing medical needs of the COVID-19 crisis. The Kings, who own the property, have made the site available to the California Department of Public Health to serve as a surge hospital to support COVID-19 patient overflow for the Sacramento region.

 

As part of the effort, Legends is managing the food production of healthy meals for more than 500 staff and patients. All food will be created at Golden 1 Center and delivered to a specified “clean zone” at the facility. In addition, 90 percent of the ingredients served will be sourced from within 150 miles of the arena and support regional farmers in line with Golden 1 Center’s Food & Sustainability Charter.

 

Click here to view photos of the Legends team preparing food at Golden 1 Center and delivering the meals to the Sleep Train Arena.

 

Legends is the hospitality partner of the Sacramento Kings, with a talented culinary team at Golden 1 Center. Last month, Legends and the Kings joined forces to donate nearly 5,000 pounds of prepared and perishable food on hand at Golden 1 Center to the Sacramento Food Bank and the Sacramento County Office of Education to help feed individuals in need and families impacted by school closures.

 

Legends Hospitality is the industry-leading sports and entertainment hospitality division within Legends, with partners such as the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, LA Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles Football Club, and Live Nation. The company has operational expertise in a variety of markets and venue types.

Legends’ Community Efforts Around COVID-19

As the world has changed since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March, Legends has worked closely with partners to give back to communities in need.

Legends has donated tens of thousands of pounds of food to nonprofits, food banks, and other community partners. Additionally, Legends has donated merchandise, masks, supplies, and hygiene kits to various organisations in need. In support of game-day workers and other seasonal employees whose jobs have been impacted, Legends has made significant contributions to various funds that assist these staff members.

 

LEGENDS IN THE NEWS:

Browns launch ‘Hats Off to Our Heroes’ Fund to benefit COVID-19 community leaders

Via ClevelandBrowns.com

 

 

The Browns today launched the “Hats Off to Our Heroes” Fund, which will focus on aiding health care professionals, first responders, educational professionals and other groups who are pivotal in the community year round and are valiantly serving as role models in the face of significant adversity due to COVID-19.

 

For a significant period of time, the Browns will commit 100 percent of the team’s net proceeds from 2020 Browns jersey sales at FirstEnergy Stadium’s Pro Shop, in partnership with Legends, and online through Fanatics to the “Hats Off To Our Heroes” Fund beginning Wednesday, April 15, when the team will share its new uniforms on ClevelandBrowns.com and its social media platforms.

 

“When finalizing our uniform announcement, we realized we had an incredible opportunity to further our support of heroes battling COVID-19 on the front lines for our entire community,” said Executive Vice President JW Johnson. “We hope the excitement surrounding the new uniforms can help make a significant impact through the ‘Hats Off to Our Heroes’ Fund, and we greatly appreciate the support from our fans, retail partners and team to make this special way to give back to those leaders possible.”

 

In addition, team members, partners and fans can contribute directly to the “Hats Off to Our Heroes” Fund at www.clevelandbrowns.com/COVID-19, which also features community resources and information relevant to coronavirus.

 

An extension of the “Hats Off to Our Heroes” Honor Row hosted during all Browns home games, the team is recognizing and assisting COVID-19 heroes by supporting those who have selflessly taken on burdens in their personal and professional lives to benefit the community. The “Hats Off to Our Heroes” Honor Row program was created following the 9/11 tragedy to salute service members and first responders in the local community.

 

Since April 2017, the team has donated 100 percent of its net proceeds from all sales within the stadium’s Pro Shop to benefit Browns Give Back’s commitment to education and youth football.

 

Fans who purchase a new jersey directly from the FirstEnergy Pro Shop will also receive a 30 percent coupon by mail for future use at the location once it reopens (full details to be listed on coupon). To place an order from the FirstEnergy Stadium Pro Shop, call 440-824-3427 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday-Friday. The Pro Shop will also host special call-in hours this week from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Wednesday (April 15) and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday (April 18-19). In-store purchases are currently unavailable in adherence to all policies and social distancing best practices related to COVID-19.

FC Dallas & Toyota Partner To Feed North Texas Volunteers

via FC Dallas

FC Dallas and Toyota are taking care of those who are taking care of the community by delivering meals to the volunteers at Frisco FastPacs, an organization that provides meals for students in the Frisco Independent School District today.

The donated meals were originally intended for upcoming FC Dallas matches at Toyota Stadium. Because of the suspension of MLS play and the growing need for resources and volunteers, FC Dallas and Toyota recognized the need to help the volunteers who are providing such a vital service in our community. Legends Hospitality chefs worked to prepare and package the meals.

“We’re proud to work with Legends Hospitality and the food and beverage team at Toyota Stadium to provide these meals to the volunteers who are tirelessly working to ensure that FISD students do not go hungry during this unprecedented time,” said FC Dallas Foundation Manager Brooke Leverette.

Frisco FastPacs is a service that delivers weekend meals to all 72 Frisco Independent School District campuses, serving more than 1,000 children, to ensure they do not go hungry when school is not in session. Following FISD’s response to extend spring break until Friday, March 20 due to COVID-19, Frisco FastPacs is currently working with the district and Lovepacs Frisco to provide meals to those students in need at six different middle schools.

“Mr. Rogers always said that in scary times, we should look for the helpers,” said Frisco Fastpacs Executive Director Heather Canterbury. “Our Fastpacs volunteers have stepped up unbelievably to be those helpers in in this crisis. To have FC Dallas and Toyota take care of our people so they can keep taking care of these kids means everything.”

LAFC Teams With Partners To Donate Food To Local Charity

Via LAFC

LAFC is continuing to be a force for good in the community during a difficult time. On Tuesday, the Club teamed with partners Legends and the LAFC Foundation to donate fresh fruits and vegetables to local community partner Union Rescue Mission.

“We wanted to support our local community during this time of hardship and need,” said LAFC Director of Community Relations Aida Morrow. “Union Rescue Mission focuses on helping men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. As a force for good in our local community, we wanted to align with an organization that is working to make a difference in our city.”

The food donated to the mission was originally purchased for LAFC’s upcoming matches at Banc of California Stadium. Due to the suspension of the MLS season and the urgent need for such supplies, the Club and its partners felt donating the perishable goods would be the greatest help to the surrounding community.

“Union Rescue Mission is based in downtown LA and speaks true of LAFC’s goal to positively impact the heart of Los Angeles,” Morrow said. “Throughout our growing partnership, LAFC has donated food and clothing, served food at URM’s events, and thrown a holiday party for their residents.

“We want to continue that partnership with the help of Legends and the LAFC Foundation by supporting Union Rescue Mission’s ongoing efforts to care for the homeless population in and around downtown Los Angeles.”

For more information on Union Rescue Mission and how you can help, visit www.urm.org. And for more community information, including the latest COVID-19 news, tips to stay safe, and updates from state and local officials, go to publichealth.lacounty.gov or bookmark lafc.com/covid-19.

Legends sets up Global Partnerships division led by Hibbs

Article via SportBusiness

US-based sport and entertainment agency Legends has created a global partnerships division led by industry veteran Chris Hibbs, president of the new unit.

Legends Global Partnerships will offer consulting services in areas such as naming rights and venue entitlement positions, jersey sponsorships, premier events, emerging entertainment platforms, universities, and mixed-use real estate developments.

Hibbs, who joined Legends in 2016, most recently served as chief commercial officer for Legends’ representation of SoFi Stadium – the future home of the National Football League’s Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams – and Hollywood Park. Legends and Hibbs will continue to work on the project into early 2021. SoFi Stadium will open July 2020.

Hibbs said: “Legends’ experience with recent partnership executions at SoFi Stadium, Banc of California Stadium/LAFC, and Allegiant Stadium are a good preview of where we see this division headed.”

The new division includes existing Legends personnel such as senior vice-president Matt Pope, who will help lead the global partnership portfolio, with an emphasis on US Olympic & Paralympic Properties (USOPP) – the commercial joint venture between the LA 2028 Organising Committee and the US Olympic Committee.

Senior vice-presidents Doug Smoyer and Jamie Guin, formerly of the Legends Global Sales team, will lead the east and central partnerships teams, respectively. Kristen Condo has been promoted from the global sales unit into the new role of director. Ben Martin, Legends vice-president, EMEA, will lead partnership efforts  from London.

Last month, Legends and LA28 announced the appointment of Katy Chambers Mollica as the head of partnership sales USOPP.  Mollica will lead sales efforts for the LA 2028 and Team USA properties for the Legends Global Partnerships team, as part of Legends’ sponsorship representation of LA 2028.

Legends’ services now span six divisions operating worldwide: Global Partnerships, Global Planning, Global Sales, Hospitality, Global Merchandise, and Global Technology Solutions.

Legends Launches New Global Partnerships Division

— Legends Features Industry Leaders with Partnership Sales Experience Across

Teams, Venues, Leagues, Broadcast Partners, Agencies, and Brands —

 

— Legends Senior Executive Chris Hibbs Tapped to Lead Division —

 

Legends today announced the launch of Legends Global Partnerships, a new unit that will centralize and expand Legends’ existing partnership solutions into a fully dedicated division that connects leading properties and venues with premier brands to create exceptional programming and experiences across sports and entertainment.

 

Legends Global Partnerships offers a comprehensive slate of commercial consulting services, including naming rights and venue entitlement positions, jersey sponsorships, premier events, emerging entertainment platforms, universities, and mixed-use real estate developments. Legends’ services now span six divisions operating worldwide – Global Partnerships, Global Planning, Global Sales, Hospitality, Global Merchandise, and Global Technology Solutions – to offer integrated 360-degree solutions for clients.

 

Industry veteran Chris Hibbs has been appointed President of the new Legends Global Partnerships division. Hibbs joined Legends in 2016 and has most recently served as Chief Commercial Officer for Legends’ representation of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. SoFi Stadium, the future home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams, will open July 2020. Legends and Hibbs will continue to work on the expansive project, which is being developed by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke, into early 2021.

 

“As the industry continues to evolve and teams, properties, and venues are being challenged to innovate and find creative new sources of revenue, we saw a huge opportunity to build out Legends’ existing partnerships business into a standalone division,” said Legends President and CEO Shervin Mirhashemi. “The combination of Legends’ comprehensive full-service custom solutions, and our deep expertise in ground-up construction projects and stadia, makes us uniquely positioned to be a best-in-class holistic solution.

 

We’ve seen first-hand how Chris’ leadership has resulted in transformational partnerships at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, and we’re confident he will continue finding innovative ways to represent our partners and create meaningful relationships.”

 

“Legends Global Partnerships will leverage our best-in-class industry experts and acumen across all aspects of the industry to create a truly unique and premium partnership service for new and existing clients,” said Hibbs. “Legends’ experience with recent partnership executions at SoFi Stadium, Banc of California Stadium/LAFC, and Allegiant Stadium are a good preview of where we see this division headed. We pride ourselves on delivering against the biggest and most complex projects in the industry, and ensuring that our clients are set up for long term success and growth as a result of our work.” 

 

The new Legends Global Partnerships team includes a broad array of talent from various partnership disciplines, including existing top talent from Legends, along with several key new hires. Among the many accomplished team members joining the group, key executives include Legends Global Partnerships Senior Vice President Matt Pope, who will provide leadership across the global partnership portfolio, with an emphasis on U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties (USOPP). Legends Global Partnerships Senior Vice Presidents Doug Smoyer and Jamie Guin will lead the east and central partnerships teams, respectively. Guin and Pope join the new division from the Legends Global Sales team, and Smoyer joined Legends in late 2019 after successful leadership tenures with the New York Giants and National Football League (NFL). Ben Martin, Legends Vice President, EMEA, will lead partnership efforts from London. In addition, Kristen Condo, formerly of Legends Globals Sales, has been promoted into the new role of Director, Legends Global Partnerships. Last month, Legends and LA28 announced the appointment of Katy Chambers Mollica as the Head of Partnership Sales for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties. Mollica will lead sales efforts for the LA 2028 and Team USA properties for the Legends Global Partnerships team, as part of Legends’ sponsorship representation of LA 2028.

 

The new Legends Global Partnerships division will further expand upon Legends’ partnership capabilities during a time of unprecedented growth for the company. Legends represents partnership efforts for a variety of clients such as the University of Notre Dame, Las Vegas Raiders, Columbus Crew, AT&T Stadium, and San Diego State University, among others.

MGM Resorts Pledges ‘Unique Experiences’ Through Allegiant Stadium Deal

Article via TheStadiumBusiness

MGM Resorts International has said it will create “unique and world-class entertainment experiences” for Allegiant Stadium after signing on as the latest founding partner for the new home of NFL American football franchise the Las Vegas Raiders.

The global entertainment company will also serve as the official gaming partner of the Raiders and the official home of the team’s pre- and post-game party. MGM Resorts will have prominent signage throughout Allegiant Stadium year-round, including in-stadium branding and naming rights to the west VIP entry and drop off zone.

The partnership features entitlement of the MGM Club at Allegiant Stadium, an ultra-exclusive experience with a full-service premium bar, luxury lounge and upgraded stadium seating for game-viewing. MGM Resorts will provide exclusive fan experiences before and after Raiders home games throughout its portfolio of resorts.

MGM Resorts and the Raiders said they are also committed to collaborating on community outreach programs benefiting Southern Nevada. MGM Resorts chairman and CEO, Jim Murren, said: “Las Vegas is becoming one of the top sports destinations in the world, and this partnership is a natural fit of culture and vision. Together, we look forward to creating unique and world-class entertainment experiences for our guests and Raiders fans.”

Raiders president Marc Badain added: “MGM Resorts is an institution in the gaming and hospitality industry and the activations they have planned for Raider games and all events at Allegiant Stadium will bring their best-in-class expertise to the entertainment experience.”

Legends Global Partnerships represented the Raiders to secure the founding partnership with MGM Resorts as a part of their duties as the stadium’s official premium ticketing and sponsorships agency. Desert Ford Dealers and San Manuel Casino were named as founding partners of Allegiant Stadium in November and October, respectively. Las Vegas-based travel company Allegiant signed up as the naming-rights sponsor of the stadium in August.

It was revealed last week that the Raiders had sold all available personal seat licenses (PSLs) for their move to Allegiant Stadium, generating $228m (£174.7m/€205.2m) more than was originally projected. Stadium officials also maintained the new 65,000-seat venue will open on time on July 31 amid concerns over its roof.

Legends brings in Denise Taylor to run new technology division, plus more

Article via SportsPro

 

Hospitality, sales and experiential agency Legends has confirmed the appointment of Denise Taylor to lead its new global technology solutions division after as president.

 

Taylor was previously global chief information officer for premier shopping centre owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW). In her new role, she will oversee EDGE Experiential, Legends’ technology joint venture with Productive Edge and also focus on strategic direction, guest-facing technology and business development opportunities.

 

The new technology solutions division as a whole will serve Legends’ new and existing partners, focussing on data analytics, revenue generation strategies, in-venue technology design, digital and mobile solutions and technology consulting.

 

“Legends has a tremendous opportunity to further integrate technology into our client solutions,” said Taylor. “Our new division will focus on developing innovative strategies and utilising technology to create new business opportunities, enhance the guest experience, add value, and create solutions for partners across all of our verticals.”

Legends Names Technology Industry Veteran Denise Taylor President, Global Technology Solutions

— Taylor Will Launch Legends’ Newest Division, Global Technology Solutions —

 

NEW YORK – January 6, 2020 – Legends today announced the appointment of Denise Taylor as President, Global Technology Solutions. Under Taylor’s supervision, Legends will launch Global Technology Solutions, a new division that will serve Legends’ new and existing roster of partners.  Legends Global Technology Solutions will focus on a burgeoning need in the marketplace for future-forward services ranging from technology owner’s representation, data analytics, revenue generation strategies, in-venue technology design, digital and mobile solutions, technology consulting, in addition to an experiential platform that will drive immersive and engaging guest experiences.

 

Taylor brings more than 20 years of experience to Legends.  In her new role, Taylor will lead EDGE Experiential, Legends’ technology joint venture with Productive Edge, while also focusing on future-forward strategic direction, cutting-edge guest-facing technology, and business development opportunities for partners across all verticals within Legends.

 

“Legends offers holistic solutions for our clients, and with the addition of Denise and the expertise she brings, we have a unique opportunity to expand our current technology capabilities into a full Global Technology Solutions division, an area that is critically important to growth of both the sports and entertainment industries,” said Legends COO Mike Tomon. “Legends will benefit significantly from Denise’s experience and her ability to lead this newly created division to drive innovation and state-of-the-art solutions for our partners.”

 

The Global Technology Solutions division will enable value and revenue through technology by leveraging data and analytics, insights, innovation, and digital solutions for clients. The division will also offer an insights and analytics platform for business and operational intelligence, designed to drive overall client strategy from start to finish.

 

Prior to Legends, Denise was the Global Chief Information Officer for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield since 2015, where she established new revenue streams, in addition to developing innovative digital products and leveraging service-oriented concepts to enhance the consumer’s experience.  Before URW, Taylor was at AEG for over nine years, most recently as Global Chief Information Officer.

 

“Legends has a tremendous opportunity to further integrate technology into our client solutions,” said Taylor. “Our new division will focus on developing innovative strategies and utilizing technology to create new business opportunities, enhance the guest experience, add value, and create solutions for partners across all of our verticals.”

 

Earlier in her career, Taylor held information technology positions at Universal Music Group and NBC Universal Studios. Residing in California for over 20 years of her professional career, Denise studied at Pepperdine University, earning a B.S. in Management before then receiving a Master of Business Administration.

 

Taylor will be based out of the company’s Los Angeles headquarters.

Legends International Hires UK-Based Global Planning Director

Article via Sports Industry Group

Legends International has appointed Richard Seymour as Global Planning Director.

The former Head of Consulting, UK and Ireland, Nielsen, will work alongside Legends International SVP, Global Planning Richard Cheesman to manage the agency’s feasibility, data analytics and business planning.

The London-based international arm of the US agency, which develops and delivers commercial platforms for sports and leisure experiences, has worked on projects such as the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium as well as with Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Away from sport, it has also produced work such as The View from the Shard, the viewing deck of London’s tallest building.

Discussing his appointment, Seymour said: “I am tremendously excited to be joining Legends International and delivering best-in-class services to businesses in the sports, entertainment and attractions space as well as Legends International’s growing portfolio of long-term clients.

“Their clients are a who’s who of the greatest names in sport and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to join their fantastic team.”

Cheesman added: “Since the acquisition of International Stadia Group in 2016, the feasibility and business planning offering has more than doubled in size and scope.

“We are working with some of the top brands and teams in sport and continue to help them meet their growing aspirations. Richard’s passion and deep understanding of the sports landscape fits well within the Legends International business, and he will play a key role in ensuring we best utilise the wide array of data we have to provide high-value, actionable insight for clients.

“His proven track record in growing a team and dedication to high quality analytics, output and service will be a great asset for Legends International and our clients.”

PECHANGA RESORT CASINO NAMED FOUNDING PARTNER OF SOFI STADIUM AND HOLLYWOOD PARK, LOS ANGELES RAMS, AND LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park officially announced Pechanga Resort Casino as its newest Founding Partner of the new 70,000-seat stadium and 298-acre development being built by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. As a part of this expansive agreement, Pechanga Resort Casino, owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, will be the official California casino partner of the Rams, Chargers, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. Pechanga is the first Southern California-headquartered company to announce a sponsorship with SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.

 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Chargers and the Rams, and to be a part of SoFi Stadium,” said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. “This isn’t just a Los Angeles stadium, it’s a Southern California stadium, and Southern California has always been and will always be our home. We are especially proud to be able to help local students and people in need with the grants we announced today.”

 

In honor of the holiday season and as a new member of the Inglewood community, Pechanga tribal leadership is donating $100,000 to Morningside High School in Inglewood and the Inglewood chapters of non-profits School on Wheels and U.S. Vets. This donation will be announced today at the stadium site, when Pechanga, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, Rams and Chargers host a complimentary shopping experience for 50 homeless and/or at-risk veterans through U.S. Vets to give them needed items ahead of the holidays. The vets will receive items such as blankets, socks, umbrellas, hats and more. Pechanga’s efforts in Inglewood echo the millions of dollars the casino/resort has given over the years to the local communities it is involved in throughout the Southern California region.

 

“We are building a global destination that will be the pinnacle of sports and live entertainment,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “Pechanga is a company that not only shares Stan Kroenke’s vision to build a world-class facility and fan-first development with Hollywood Park, but also shares our passion for our surrounding communities. When our doors open in July, we look forward to working alongside Pechanga to create memorable guest moments and to give back to our Southern California home.”

 

Pechanga will have an extensive presence across the stadium, and when SoFi Stadium opens in July 2020, it will feature select Pechanga-branded spaces, including the Pechanga Founders Club. Pechanga Founders Club is a 14,000 square-foot premium club space within the stadium that is located on field level. The space will be creatively branded throughout, and guests will be up close to all the action happening on the field.

 

“We are proud to be the first Southern California-based Founding Partner with SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park,” said Jared Munoa, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation. “This is a natural partnership between two of the top entertainment destinations in Southern California. We can’t wait for fans to experience the new Pechanga Founders Club and a lot of the other great amenities here.”

 

Fans coming to SoFi Stadium will interact with the major resort/casino’s brand across many areas and levels of the stadium, including an 11,500 square-foot activation zone on level 8. The activation zone will provide special branding and experiential opportunities for Pechanga to utilize for guests. Pechanga has longstanding partnerships with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Angels and has naming rights with the Pechanga Arena in San Diego.

 

“Pechanga’s commitment to serving the community while striving to maintain its reputation as a best in class resort/casino is exactly what you hope for when it comes to a Founding Partner,” said Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos. “To have someone who competes each and every day to be the very best within their industry yet understands their place in the community comes with a responsibility to give back – that’s everything you can ask for when it comes to corporate alignment. We couldn’t be happier to welcome Pechanga to the Chargers family.” 

 

Pechanga will also entitle one of the stadium’s four VIP entrances. The resort/casino will have certain wayfinding signage and brand integration in and around its entitled VIP entrance.

 

“We are pleased to continue our relationship with Pechanga and move together into our new home at SoFi Stadium,” said Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff. “Since kicking off our partnership last summer, it has been evident that Pechanga and the Rams share many of the same values, whether it is delivering an unparalleled guest experience or making a difference in our community.  We look forward to continuing to work with Pechanga to inspire not only Angelenos but also all those across Southern California to shine bright.”

 

Hollywood Park was represented by Legends Global Partnerships division, which sourced, negotiated and represented Hollywood Park in securing this partnership.

Legends International Names Richard Seymour Global Planning Director

LONDON – 18 December 2019 – Legends International today announced the appointment of Richard Seymour as a Global Planning Director. Seymour will work alongside Richard Cheesman, Legends International Senior Vice President, Global Planning, to manage Legends International’s feasibility, data analytics and business planning.

A proven executive with over 10 years’ experience in data analysis and consumer insight, Seymour has spent the past six years at Nielsen, where he was Head of Consulting for UK and Ireland.

“Since the acquisition of ISG in 2016, the feasibility and business planning offering has more than doubled in size and scope,” said Cheesman. “We are working with some of the top brands and teams in sport and continue to help them meet their growing aspirations. Richard’s passion and deep understanding of the sports landscape fits well within the Legends International business, and he will play a key role in ensuring we best utilise the wide array of data we have to provide high-value, actionable insight for clients.

“His proven track record in growing a team and dedication to high quality analytics, output and service will be a great asset for Legends International and our clients.”

Legends International were integral to the development of the business plan for the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium and have played key roles on many other stadium projects including for Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, FC Barcelona, Galatasaray and Real Madrid CF as well as visitor attractions such as The View from the Shard.

“I am tremendously excited to be joining Legends International and delivering best-in-class services to businesses in the sports, entertainment and attractions space as well as Legends International’s growing portfolio of long-term clients,” said Seymour. “Their clients are a who’s who of the greatest names in sport and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to join their fantastic team.”

Legends International provides a range of services to the sports, entertainment and attractions industry including feasibility and business planning, project development, ticketing and sponsorship sales, merchandising, retail, and food and drink provision.

Safety design standards in sports stadia: How Green Guide 6 is applied

via Planning & Building Control Today

Martin Jennings, senior vice president at Legends International, discusses how recent changes to safety design guidance for modern sports stadia are being applied in practice

Professional sports and the stadia they are played in are developing at an increasingly rapid pace. Fans expect more from their experiences on match days, and quite rightly expect to be kept safe and secure.

Changing fan behaviour and the development of safety and security threats and solutions have been key reasons for new design guidelines to be published for safety in stadia.  All stadia must adhere to new safety guidelines if they are to be licensed for use.

Premier League and English Football League grounds are all subject to licensing from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA). The SGSA has oversight of Local Authorities in their duties in issuing Ground Safety Certificates and they also publish the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (more commonly known as the Green Guide).

Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds – the Green Guide

The Green Guide was revised in November 2018 to its sixth edition, which came 10 years after the publication of the fifth edition. The latest version was produced following extensive consultation with industry experts and Local Authority Licensing and Building Control Officers and introduced some significant changes.

Every club must hold a Ground Safety Certificate if they operate a designated sports ground in England, Scotland or Wales that holds more than 10,000 spectators, or a Premier League or Football League ground in England and Wales that holds more than 5,000 spectators.

This certificate is issued by the Local Authority in which the stadium resides, and it sets out the safety regime for the stadium and establishes its certified capacities, based on a range of physical and safety management factors.

In addition to updating physical and safety management factor standards, the updated version also introduced guidance on safety outside stadia, establishing the term Zone Ex to refer to the ‘last mile’ of the approach to a stadium by fans on their journey to watch a match.

Changes to stadium design standards

A year after its publication, the application of the guide to new and renovated stadium projects is becoming clear.

The majority of changes to stadium design standards have been welcomed, including the acknowledgement of the value of computer simulation crowd modelling in stadium design safety rather than outdated static calculation methods based on physical dimensions.

The introduction of rail seating is another architectural consideration that the new guide covers. It refers to seats that can improve safety where fans persistently stand on all-seated terraces and have successfully been installed by Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Glasgow Rangers and Wycombe Wanderers.

However, there are some areas where the new guide needs greater clarity, for example, the limitation of no more than 40 rows of seats being served by a radial gangway, which does not take account of where the vomitory that serves that gangway is placed on the terrace.  If the vomitory is at the very front of the terrace then a fan would have to climb a gangway of 40 rows to get to the back row, but if the vomitory is placed halfway up the terrace, the maximum gangway climb reduces to 20 rows.

The new guide also missed the opportunity to clarify some key design standards, such as the number of wheelchair and amenity seats that should be provided, instead referring to other published guides which lack clarity on such matters.

Although the introduction of guidance on Zone Ex is welcomed, the guide refers to its assessment and management being a ‘multi-agency’ responsibility, avoiding allocating responsibilities to the football club, Local Authority, Police and emergency services. In practice, this lack of clarity is hampering the application of the new guidance.

Stadium design and safety standards for the future

Whilst the sixth edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds is not perfect, it is a substantial progression from the previous guide and positively addresses the majority of stadium design and safety standard changes over the last 10 years and in the foreseeable future.

This includes the options for Premier League and Championship clubs to consider whether safe standing should be allowed in the future (legislation banned this from those grounds following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989). However, for fan comfort and safety, my expectation is that the new rail seating solution adopted by several clubs is likely to become the de facto answer to terraces where fans persistently stand. Rail seating does not significantly increase the capacity over a fully seated stadium, but it does provide a safer environment for fans to stand.

The new guide also makes reference to the multi-use nature of sporting venues, which we see an increasing trend towards as clubs look to increase both the revenue and social value to the community that their facilities can provide. This multi-functional approach is key to the work we do for our sporting clients, where Legends becomes a trusted partner from the start of the journey in developing a new stadium or venue to its completion and operation.

Legends International’s understanding of the business model that underpins sports stadia, its technical knowledge of design and safety standards, and its operational and commercial expertise combine to provide a service for its clients, who include Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Fulham and several major European teams.

 

Martin Jennings

Senior vice president

Legends International

Twitter: @thelegendsway

Do English clubs actually know their fans and what they want on a matchday?

via Off The Pitch

  • Consultants from the US, who have worked with Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Spurs, explain how they help clubs to boost their revenues.
  • A deep understanding of the needs and wants of fans and partners is the foundation of improving experiences and revenue generation on matchdays.
  • Creating differentiated offerings for fans acknowledges that not all fans are the same and can help attract a more diverse group of people to the stadium.

Many consider The US to be at the forefront of developments in the business of stadium experiences. Legends is an agency which originated in the USA and has now expanded internationally.

This article is subscription-based. To read the full article please visit Off The Pitch.

McAlpine Secures Gateshead Quays Contract

via TheStadiumBusiness

Sir Robert McAlpine has been awarded the contract to build a new £260m (€303m/$334m) waterfront conference and events destination in Gateshead, UK.

The development on Gateshead Quays will feature a 12,500-capacity arena, as well as 6,300 square metres of conference and exhibition space, two hotels, bars, restaurants, car parking and “extensive areas of public realm”.

The contract was awarded to McAlpine by Ask:Patrizia, a joint venture between Gateshead Council, Ask Real Estate and investment development manager Patrizia.

The new complex is set to open in 2023 with a full planning application expected to be submitted early next year.

“The appointment of Sir Robert McAlpine brings us a huge step closer to delivering this world class events destination for the region and we’re glad to have them on board,” Gateshead Council’s chief executive, Sheena Ramsey, said.

“This development will act as a catalyst for renewed economic growth, maximising local employment, training and supply chain opportunities. This is about being ambitious for Gateshead, we need everyone in the borough to be able to fulfil their true potential and projects like this create the conditions for them to thrive.”

Last month, ASM Global was confirmed as the venue management provider for the arena, conference and exhibition centre.

HOK is responsible for designing the complex, which will be situated on the banks of the River Tyne.

It is estimated that the development will attract up to 300,000 new visitors to the region every year, boosting the economy by up to £30m annually.

Speaking on behalf of Ask:Patrizia, John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate said: “Sir Robert McAlpine has a reputation for technical excellence and delivering complex developments safely, on time and within budget. We are looking forward to working with them to see this superb facility materialise.”

How brands and clubs alike are poised to take advantage of the 5G revolution

Via SportBusiness

Florent Coulon, vice-president, sales, at Legends International, examines the possibilities of where 5G technology can take us in the way we experience sport.

The rollout of 5G technology across Europe and the US is promising to transform fan engagement, offering rights-holders new ways to monetise their assets and presenting brands with the opportunity to become part of a team’s fabric by associating themselves with in-stadium activities rather than traditional sponsorship forms.

The US is often at the forefront of in-stadia entertainment and innovation, with the likes of the NFL, NBA and MLB, putting fans at the heart of the action and interacting with them via apps and offering special perks to those in attendance.

Approximately half of the NFL teams are currently deploying 5G in some capacity, but it remains in the early stages and often only certain parts of the venues can access the network.

Though changing rapidly, the market is still quite immature in the UK and Europe, with fans often spending little time inside stadia before or after the match. Reports have suggested that elite football clubs across Europe are working with network providers to see how they can utilise 5G in the long-term.

It is German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg, however, who are setting the trend in Europe. Currently in the process of trialling their 5G app, Wolfsburg are focused on putting fans at the heart of the game and providing them with in-game features such as enhanced match statistics and player performance data.

With broadcast and over-the-top media providers giving fans at home in-depth coverage of every aspect of the matchday, teams need to give spectators a reason to attend the match and 5G will undoubtedly work alongside virtual reality and augmented reality to add value to the overall fan experience.

As well as offering fans real-time replays and other live match incentives, 5G could also provide spectators with information and data that improves their experience around the game.

An example of this would be using the technology to guide fans towards an area of the bar where there is a smaller queue during half time or using an app that allows spectators to place an order from their seat.

This would help to reduce waiting times in venues that will in turn help stadium owners to generate more revenue.

Recent research from network provider Vodafone revealed that more than three quarters of business leaders from sports organisations see improving fan engagement – and delivering new and innovative fan experiences – as key to future success, with 5G, more than any other technology, helping to drive change and enable such experiences.

As we have seen in the NFL, it’s very likely that we will see 5G technology being widely deployed and tested in US venues initially before it is fully rolled out across Europe and other territories.

This has been a trend for a number of years now, with the US often trying out new innovations in other areas that impact the fan experience, such as the Tunnel Club Premium Seating concept that has now been replicated by football clubs such as Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur.

Last month, the Dallas Cowboys launched their revolutionary ‘Pose with the Pros’ feature at AT&T Stadium as part of their 5G experiences for fans.

A video of fans posing to take their picture taken in the venue went viral and quickly showed the capabilities and opportunities that exist with this new technology.

Other features introduced by the Cowboys included a virtual game that involves dodging defensive robots, and an app that allows fans to record their own touchdown dance over a 3D video that looks like players are dancing right next to them.

Over time, these fan engagement activations are going to offer increased commercial opportunities for stadium owners, clubs and sponsors.

I do not think it will be long until we see brands associating their names with these experiential activations, as well as fans being rewarded with gifts and perks for unlocking certain levels or features on apps.

If you’re selling sponsorship for a stadium or a team then the introduction of 5G as part of an activation platform makes it a very compelling offer.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes to deploy 5G in UK stadia, with the majority of venues having been around for several decades and possibly unable to integrate the technology in their existing capacities.

For some fans, it is more commonplace to simply have a food and drinks experience, chat to their friends and watch the match, but if you want to appeal to different types of customers and drive attendance to your venue, then you need to look at developing elements that can be complementary to the match experience.

It will take time until we see the full extent of the capabilities that 5G will bring to stadia around the world, but the early signs have certainly been promising.

If you think of the leap from 3G to 4G technology as a day-to-day experience, then the gap has been massive, and we can now access content on our mobile devices and tablets instantly wherever we go.

As with all new technologies and innovations, I don’t think anyone can be entirely sure of where this will take us as consumers and brands, but 5G is here to stay and looks set to play an important role in shaping fan engagement over the coming years.

MLB enlists Legends to run first US retail store

via SportsPro

Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced plans to open its first permanent US retail location next summer in New York City.

The 17,000 square-foot MLB Flagship Store will be spread over two floors and located on the Avenue of the Americas in the heart of Manhattan.

The store will sell officially licensed merchandise from all 30 MLB teams and authenticated game-used memorabilia, while it will also offer unique New York City products along with customisation options.

“This new retail location in a busy area of Manhattan gives us another unique way to market our players and teams and help continue to grow the sport,” said Tony Petitti, MLB deputy commissioner, business and media.

MLB has enlisted hospitality, sales and experiential agency Legends to operate the store, while Legends Project Development has been tasked with overseeing the design and construction of the new space.

“Building an iconic retail footprint in the United States’ most dynamic city, celebrating America’s greatest pastime is a significant moment for our company,” added Legends president and chief executive Shervin Mirhashemi. “Off the strength of our deep experience in merchandise solutions, we are committed to creating an unparalleled shopping experience for baseball fans worldwide.”

Major League Baseball to Open MLB Flagship Store in Midtown Manhattan in Summer 2020

Major League Baseball today announced that it will open the MLB Flagship Store, a state-of-the-art retail destination, next summer in New York City. Located at 1271 Avenue of the Americas in the heart of Manhattan, the MLB Flagship Store will be the league’s first permanent retail location in the United States. MLB has partnered with Legends, a leader in global planning, sales, and hospitality, to operate the store. In addition, Legends Project Development is overseeing the design and construction of the new space.

 

The standalone 17,000 square-foot MLB Flagship Store is designed to bring the game of baseball to life with an engaging, refreshed feel to retail over two floors.

 

“We are extremely excited about opening the MLB Flagship Store next summer,” said Tony Petitti, MLB Deputy Commissioner, Business & Media. “This new retail location in a busy area of Manhattan gives us another unique way to market our players and teams and help continue to grow the sport. We plan to provide our fans a best-in-class shopping experience and look forward to making this store a reality with our world-class partners at Legends.”

 

The store will offer a wide assortment of officially licensed products for fans of all ages. The high-quality products available at the MLB Flagship Store will come from a full range of MLB licensees and highlight all 30 MLB Clubs in addition to historical franchises in the Cooperstown Collection and authenticated game-used memorabilia. The store will also offer unique New York City products along with customization options.

 

“Building an iconic retail footprint in the United States’ most dynamic city, celebrating America’s greatest pastime is a significant moment for our company,” said Legends President and CEO Shervin Mirhashemi. “Off the strength of our deep experience in merchandise solutions, we are committed to creating an unparalleled shopping experience for baseball fans worldwide. We’re thrilled that Major League Baseball has chosen our team to help launch their state-of-the-art flagship store – we know fans are going to love this new experience.”

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Legends Announce Partnership

Today, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment announced a multi-year relationship with Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality, to become its new food and beverage concessionaire at Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and Paramount Theatre, located in the Denver metro area.

 

Legends will manage and operate food and beverage services at each venue. At Pepsi Center, as of today, Legends will manage and operate food and beverage services throughout the building, including the lower level, club level, suites, theatre boxes, upper level, special event catering and restaurant dining programs.

 

At Paramount Theatre and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Legends will take over food and beverage operations for premium, general concessions, and catering effective Sunday, December 1, 2019 and Wednesday, January 1, 2020, respectively.

 

“Pepsi Center has been the epicenter of entertainment in the Rocky Mountain Region for the past 20 years,” said KSE EVP/COO Matt Hutchings. “We are extremely excited to move into the next era of food and beverage offerings with our new service provider, Legends. Concessions are a huge part of the event experience and KSE couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the future offerings at our Denver-area venues. The ability to provide our patrons top-quality food and beverage service and selection at our venues is of utmost importance to both KSE and Legends.”

 

As part of enhancing food and beverage offerings throughout Pepsi Center, a new Local Eats initiative is being implemented, which places an emphasis on the thriving Denver culinary scene, ensuring there is something for every patron to enjoy. The arena is poised to become not only the heart of entertainment in the region, but a culinary destination with acclaimed restaurateurs and artisans to provide a wide variety of selections.

 

James Beard Award winner and renowned Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski will be collaborating with Pepsi Center to offer guests a re-designed premium culinary program, in addition to guest chef nights throughout the season. Jasinski and her Crafted Concepts team own Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall, Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia in Downtown Denver, and will work with Pepsi Center’s Executive Chef, James Versfelt, to transform Pepsi Center into one of the city’s premier dining locations.

 

“Strategically aligning with the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment team, Legends’ Hospitality team saw a great opportunity to deliver our best in class culinary experience in Denver, starting at Pepsi Center,” said Dan Smith, President, Legends Hospitality Division. “We’re anxious to get started in Denver and offer fans a taste of our exceptional culinary acumen.”

 

Additionally, Pepsi Center will have a presence from other prominent Denver food and beverage experts, throughout all areas of the building, including Local Guest Chefs creating customized menus, rotating wines of the month curated by a master sommelier, a mobile cart serving hot dim sum, freshly baked goods and improved service levels from our newly trained staff.

Japan 2019 set to break Rugby World Cup licensing records

via SportBusiness

World Rugby and the IMG agency have announced that the 2019 Rugby World Cup is set to break records for the tournament’s licensing programme, as the event prepares to commence in Japan tomorrow (Friday).

The first World Cup to be held in Asia will run through to November 2, with IMG having landed the contract to manage the global licensing and merchandising rights for the 2019 and 2023 competitions, along with a number of World Rugby’s other major tournaments, back in October 2017.

With IMG signing more than 45 local and international licensees for the 2019 World Cup, pre-tournament sales of the official online store have already outperformed those of the 2015 tournament’s in England by over 50 per cent.

The hundreds of official products – ranging from merchandise and apparel to unique lifestyle and traditional Japanese items – are also available in more than 70 stores run by IMG-appointed official on-site retailer Legends International, including a 1,000sqm megastore in the centre of Tokyo.

Products are being sold in more than 75 countries worldwide, with best-sellers including national team jerseys and caps, fan apparel, face towels, keyrings and pin badges. In apparel, Canterbury serves as the tournament’s branded sports outfitter. In addition to the core Canterbury range and co-branded national team jerseys, consumers are also offered the likes of branded and non-branded shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, rain ponchos, footwear and fashion accessories.

The available merchandise assortment also features a diverse range of collectibles and lifestyle goods that seek to reflect the unique culture of 2019’s host country, including traditional Japanese Jimbaori coats and KIMEKOJI dolls, as well as jewellery and toys featuring the tournament’s official mascot. Food licensing has been another distinctive component of the local offering with branded ice cream, confectionary, cookies, rice crackers and Shumai dumplings.

IMG president of licensing, Bruno Maglione, said: “Our objective from the start was to build a programme that celebrates the first Asian host country edition of this global tournament while also capitalising on the overall growth of the sport itself in traditional rugby markets and newer ones.

“Our Japan team and international offices have worked together to develop an extensive suite of products that captures the uniqueness of the host country, as well as providing typical sports merchandise for rugby’s growing legions of fans traveling or watching from their homes around the world.”

The six-week tournament is expected to draw a record 400,000 international visitors to Japan and will be the most digitally-engaged rugby event ever. World Rugby this week revealed that more than 96 per cent of tickets have been sold ahead of kick off.

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper added: “Rugby World Cup 2019 will be a very special and global celebration of rugby and, these incredible sales demonstrate that it will not just be big in Japan, but is capturing the imagination of fans and new audiences globally.”

To read an in-depth feature on the Rugby World Cup licensing programme, including an interview with Mickael Andreo, vice-president, licensing at IMG, click here.

Rams’, Chargers’ new home named SoFi Stadium

via ESPN

LOS ANGELES — SoFi Stadium is the name of the palatial new home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers.

The growing personal finance company formally known as Social Finance has reached a 20-year agreement for the naming rights to the multibillion-dollar stadium complex in Inglewood, California, the teams announced Sunday.

The deal was negotiated by Legends, which is owned by Jerry Jones, and it is expected to be the largest naming-rights deal in the NFL, passing the Dallas Cowboys‘ AT&T deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

SoFi Stadium is on schedule to open next summer in Hollywood Park ahead of the 2020 season for Los Angeles’ two NFL teams. One season later, the stadium will host the Super Bowl.

SoFi was founded only in 2011, but the Bay Area-based online lending startup has grown rapidly into a prominent financial-services business particularly successful among people refinancing student loan debt. Led by CEO Anthony Noto, a former NFL executive, and fresh off a $500 million round of equity financing led by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund in May, SoFi bought the naming rights to reap extraordinary exposure from the world’s most prominent new stadium.

“It was something that really took a while for us to convince them that we were the right partner, and really gain the confidence that we could make that long-term commitment,” Noto told The Associated Press. “We’re super excited to have got to this point. They’re building something that’s unprecedented, and I think the impact it could have [on SoFi] will be equally unprecedented.”

The 70,000-seat stadium is the centerpiece of a 298-acre complex developed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke and shared by owner Dean Spanos’ Chargers. Along with the 2022 Super Bowl, the arena also will host the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship, an annual college football bowl game, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics.

With SoFi’s name out front, the entire complex will have a prominent role in the future of the NFL and the Los Angeles metroplex.

“It’s one of these forward-thinking companies,” Spanos told the AP. “It’s in the forefront of innovation in their industry. That’s something and somebody we want to be associated with as our stadium takes on that same sort of energy, because it’s something that nobody has ever done before. I think what Stan has built here and done here, in his creativity with this whole development, this probably is going to redefine this area of Los Angeles for the next century. It’s going to be something that LA is going to be very proud to have.”

Spanos and Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff are both pleased by the addition of a young, technologically savvy partner with the naming rights deal.

“When Stan started to imagine what sports and entertainment district at Hollywood Park to be, he wanted to find not only world-class partners, but innovative partners,” Demoff told the AP. “He wanted to bring someone unique to the table that hadn’t been there before, and I think SoFi is a terrific partner because under Anthony’s leadership, you can see their vision for financial technology, for changing banking and loans, and really that process of putting the customer first is very similar to what we want to do at the stadium. I think it’s a unique fit for what we believe will be the greatest stadium in the world.”

Kroenke and Demoff also were pleased by the compact, alliterative name for such an expansive project, Demoff said.

“SoFi Stadium — I’m a fan of alliteration, so I love it,” Demoff said. “That may be very 10th-grade English of me, but I think it’s a very natural-sounding name.”

Noto has a personal connection to the stadium and to its primary sport: The former Goldman Sachs partner also is the former chief financial officer of the NFL, and he worked on the league’s groundwork efforts a decade ago to return to the Los Angeles market. After he became the chief operating officer of Twitter in 2014, Noto worked on its agreement to stream NFL games on the platform.

“I really had a front-row seat on seeing the impact [the NFL] could have on a business like ours,” Noto said. “It’s a small component of our overall marketing budget and our overall spending budget, but the benefit we get from reallocating the investment into this from other things is magnitudes greater.”

SoFi recently has partnered with sports brands ranging from college basketball conference tournaments to the US Open tennis tournament and the X Games. Noto said SoFi aggregated the audiences that saw their combined sponsorship efforts in 2018 and came up with about 15 million unique viewers for the entire year.

That’s roughly the same amount of exposure they’ll get from one prime-time NFL game in SoFi Stadium, Noto said.

Noto praised his former boss, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, for this culmination of the league’s years of patient planning for a return to the nation’s second-largest market.

“It’s a result of Roger’s vision back in 2008 and ’09 when he established he wanted the LA market to be not just another stadium, but to be this iconic destination,” Noto said. “Stan and Dean are bringing it to life in a way that no one could truly comprehend when Roger laid out the vision.”

Along with the name, SoFi members will have their own lounge inside the stadium, and the company will stage additional events and seminars at the complex.

The money from a naming rights deal typically offsets construction costs, and Kroenke’s project is expected to cost more than $5 billion. The Hollywood Park project already sold separate naming rights last month to American Airlines for a year-round performance venue and stadium entrance area.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

SoFi Takes The Field With SoFi Stadium

New Home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers Officially Named SoFi Stadium in Expansive Agreement with Hollywood Park

LOS ANGELES — September 15, 2019 — LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park (Hollywood Park) and SoFi are partnering in a 20-year agreement that makes the digital personal finance company the exclusive naming rights partner of the new SoFi Stadium, the future home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams. In addition, SoFi will be an official partner of each of the teams as well as a partner of the performance venue and surrounding entertainment district.

Opening summer 2020, SoFi Stadium is the centerpiece of Hollywood Park, a 298-acre world-class sports and entertainment destination being developed by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. SoFi Stadium will hold year-round sports and entertainment events and will be the host of Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the College Football National Championship game in 2023, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Olympic Games.

We’re thrilled to be introducing SoFi Stadium to the world, through our partnership with Hollywood Park,” said Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi. “This is a giant leap toward achieving our company’s mission of helping people get their money right by reaching our members where they are. The partnership with this transformative project taking shape under Stan Kroenke’s leadership is the perfect opportunity to drive awareness and trust in the SoFi brand as we continue to grow and reach members on a national level.

Said Kroenke: “It would be impossible to build a stadium and entertainment district of this magnitude without incredible and innovative partners who share our ambitions for Los Angeles, our fans worldwide and the National Football League. Since breaking ground at Hollywood Park, more than 12,000 people have worked side-by-side on this project, and we are proud to now have SoFi join us on this journey as we prepare to open in the summer of 2020.

“From our first meeting with Anthony Noto and his team, it was clear that SoFi wants to transform not only the financial industry but also the lives of its members. SoFi has a deep appreciation of the aspirations of its members – quality education, home ownership and achieve their ambitions. They are helping millions of people achieve their dreams and helping us realize our own promise at SoFi Stadium.

“Customer service and the fan experience is tantamount to everything we’ll do at SoFi Stadium. It was critical for us to find a tech-focused partner who is on the cutting edge and genuinely understands the needs of all of our constituents and who challenges us to think in creative ways to make every visitor to SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park feel special and at home.”

SoFi Stadium will have a seating capacity of approximately 70,000, expandable up to 100,000, with 260 luxury suites, more than 13,000 premium seats, and over three million square feet of usable space. A 27,000 square foot SoFi-branded VIP activation space inside the stadium will be utilized for special events, including a dedicated SoFi lounge for its members to access, one of the exclusive opportunities the company plans to offer members as part of this partnership.

“SoFi’s commitment to disrupting the status quo within its own industry and becoming a leading innovator in financial services makes them the ideal naming rights partner for our new home,” said Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos. “SoFi Stadium is reimagining how a stadium looks, feels and functions on gameday the same way SoFi is redefining access to financial tools for the next generation. We couldn’t be more excited to be aligned with a company as forward-thinking as SoFi, both as the naming rights partner for our new Hollywood Park home and as an official partner of the Los Angeles Chargers beginning in 2020.”

“We are working to deliver a fan-first stadium consistent with Mr. Kroenke’s dream to build a global sports and entertainment destination,” said Jason Gannon, Managing Director, SoFi Stadium. “SoFi Stadium will be a gathering place for the community, and we couldn’t have found a better partner to help us welcome the world when the building opens next summer.”

SoFi Stadium is the first indoor-outdoor stadium to be constructed. Adjacent to the stadium and under the same roof canopy is a 6,000-seat performance venue and the 2.5-acre American Airlines Plaza. The performance venue will host a variety of events, including concerts, esports events, award shows, as well as community gatherings. Hollywood Park will feature more than 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space initially, 2,500 residences, a hotel, and more than 20 acres of parks.

“In less than a year, the Rams will be running out of the tunnel into SoFi Stadium as people around the world see Mr. Kroenke’s creativity, dedication and hard work come to life through this game-changing building,” said Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff. “We are thrilled to be teaming with SoFi on a partnership that will extend beyond the columns of the stadium, one that will combine our passions for inspiring people to realize their ambition and climb higher.”

Community partnerships and programs will be announced in the coming months, leading up to the opening of the stadium.

Hollywood Park was represented by Legends Global Partnerships division, which sourced, negotiated and represented Hollywood Park in securing this wide-ranging partnership with SoFi. Financial terms of the agreement will not be disclosed.

Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium to host esports events in Twitch tie-up

Via SportsPro

The National Football League’s (NFL) Oakland Raiders have named Amazon-owned live video streaming platform Twitch as the latest founding partner of their new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The deal, which starts in 2020 when the Raiders move to their new home, will see Twitch have a branded lounge in the lower level of the 65,000-seater stadium. The space will have streamer stations and viewing screens, while it will also host esports competitions and future Twitch events.

An official release added that the aim of the partnership is to make Las Vegas ‘the global hub for esports’.

“Being a founding partner at Allegiant Stadium is a perfect opportunity for Twitch to converge our passionate gaming and live esports community with the world of traditional sports,” said Sara Clemens, chief operating officer at Twitch. “As part of our long-term vision for multiplayer entertainment, we are excited to elevate the spectator experience at live events in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world.”

The deal with Twitch will also support the Raiders in their aim to stage 46 annual events at Allegiant Stadium. The venue is already slated to hold the 2020 and 2021 editions of US college sports’ Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game, as well as the 2020 Las Vegas Bowl.

“We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Twitch as the official streaming platform of the Raiders and Allegiant Stadium,” added Raiders president, Marc Badain. “The Twitch Lounge will elevate the spectator experience for Raiders fans in a brand new way — bridging the connection between fans in the stadium and at home unlike ever before.”

The agreement, which was brokered by Legends Global Partnerships, the ticketing and sponsorships agency for Allegiant Stadium, is the latest founding partnership to be announced for the new venue.

Other founding partners of the stadium include financial services companies Credit One Bank and America First Credit Union, Wi-Fi and internet provider Cox Communications and American airline Allegiant, which took the naming rights to the venue.

Understanding the Changing Demands of your Fans and Planning Accordingly is Crucial to Success Says Legends International After Foxes Deal Announced

Fans have higher expectations when they watch football matches and clubs have to understand those expectations and adapt to the changing marketplace if they are going to continue to thrive, according to Legends International President Andrew Hampel.

Leicester City recently appointed Legends International to carry out research relating to the proposed expansion of its King Power Stadium.

The research will provide Leicester City with a greater understanding of fans’ match-day routines and preferences. Legends will then use the output from the research to build accurate projections of future revenue, to provide a clear understanding of the optimal volume and specification for the redeveloped stadium and to create sophisticated pricing models to understand price sensitivity.  These models will then play a key part in the development of the full business plan for the redevelopment, which will ensure that with this ambitious investment in their stadium Leicester City are able to deliver the quality and variety of experience which their fans want both now and in the future.

With a wide range of leisure options for sports fans, clubs and events need to work harder to ensure fans are getting the best experience, says Hampel.

He said: “Leicester is a very diverse city and ensuring the development will deliver for the long-term fans and also bring new fans in and build on the club’s success means developing a market-appropriate range of options for the stadium.

“Not everyone will want to turn up just before kick-off, get a pie and a pint and walk home at the final whistle. Fans across the city have a wide variety of matchday routines and that means more food options and better facilities. When the stadium gets that right, and develops new fan zones and activities, this will give people a reason to come earlier and stay later.

Once the optimal business plan has been developed to meet the demands of the fans, Legends’ specialised project development team will be responsible for helping to integrate these into the design, to ensure that it works operationally and delivers the optimal returns from an experience and brand perspective as well as satisfying the financial objectives of the club.

“At Legends International, not only do we undertake research, we ensure that the vision for the superb facilities and services for sports fans is delivered – and that of course benefits the clubs in the long-run too because better facilities generate more revenue.”

Legends International were also integral to the development of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, which Hampel admits has raised expectations for clubs and fans alike across the country.

He added: “The work that Leicester City have engaged us to do is absolutely the right way to go about delivering to the fans the variety and quality of experiences that they want in a redeveloped stadium.

“There is an education process in the art of the possible as fans become more aware of the changing nature of the football matchday.

“We did very similar work with Tottenham Hotspur in the early stages of our engagement and throughout, from 2010 to the opening of the stadium earlier this year.

“But technology is also moving at such a pace that we have to continually reassess our strategy as new stadium developments emerge.”

The King Power Stadium has hosted England internationals including their recent game against Switzerland in September 2018.

It also hosted Rugby World Cup matches in 2015 as well as music concerts including local band Kasabian.

Leicester City moved into the stadium in 2002 from Filbert Street, which had been their home since 1891.

Legends International provides a range of services including feasibility and business planning, project development, ticketing and sponsorship sales, merchandising, retail, and food and drink provision.

Twitch Kicks Off Partnership With the Raiders & Allegiant Stadium

The new Las Vegas home of Raider Nation places Twitch’s growing live community in the Entertainment Capital of the World

 

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 9, 2019 – Twitch, the leading service and community for multiplayer entertainment, today announced a partnership with the Raiders as a founding partner of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas starting in 2020. The partnership will include a Twitch-branded lounge in the lower level of Allegiant Stadium, featuring interactive elements that are native to the Twitch experience, including streamer stations, Twitch viewing screens, esports competitions and future Twitch events. The Twitch Lounge will also bring Twitch’s unique live streaming capabilities and active community to a variety of entertainment experiences that will take place at Allegiant Stadium, such as top-billed sporting events, concerts, esports competitions and more in the years ahead.

 

“At Twitch, we are constantly looking for new ways to engage with our community online and IRL. Being a founding partner at Allegiant Stadium is a perfect opportunity for Twitch to converge our passionate gaming and live esports community with the world of traditional sports,” said Sara Clemens, Chief Operating Officer at Twitch. “As part of our long-term vision for multiplayer entertainment, we are excited to elevate the spectator experience at live events in the heart of the Entertainment Capital of the World.”

 

Among the many events and experiences coming to Allegiant Stadium and sponsored by Twitch are the following:

 

  • Esports Competitions: Twitch is the home of esports and will be leveraging the company’s partnership with Allegiant Stadium to host a variety of real-world events and cement Las Vegas as the global hub for esports

 

  • Twitch Events: Twitch will host a wide range of live events at Allegiant Stadium

 

“We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Twitch as the Official Streaming Platform of the Raiders and Allegiant Stadium,” said Raiders President Marc Badain. “The Twitch Lounge will elevate the spectator experience for Raiders fans in a brand new way — bridging the connection between fans in the stadium and at home unlike ever before.”

 

Legends Global Partnerships represented the Raiders to secure the Founding Partnership with Twitch as a part of their duties as the stadium’s official premium ticketing and sponsorships agency.

 

About Allegiant Stadium

Located adjacent to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, with construction scheduled to be completed in 2020, Allegiant Stadium will become a global events destination, highlighted by the arrival of the NFL’s iconic Raiders.  Allegiant Stadium will be ideally located for both visitors and locals, fully enclosed and climate controlled with a capacity of 65,000.  The technologically advanced stadium will host world-class entertainment including globally recognized sporting events such as the Pac-12 Championship Game and Las Vegas Bowl, concerts, as well as be the future home of UNLV Football.  The Allegiant Stadium project is expected to generate an economic benefit of $620 million annually, while creating 6,000 permanent jobs in Southern Nevada.

 

About Twitch

Launched in 2011, Twitch is a global community that comes together each day to create multiplayer entertainment: unique, live, unpredictable experiences created by the interactions of millions. It brings the joy of co-op to everything, from casual gaming and world-class esports to anime marathons, music, and art streams. Twitch also hosts TwitchCon, the biggest community event of the year, where tens of thousands of people come together to celebrate and connect with others who share their interests and passions. We’re always live at Twitch. Stay up to date on all things Twitch on Twitter and on our blog.

University of Utah Partners with Legends for Stadium Project

The University of Utah Athletics Department has finalised a partnership with Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality, to manage sales and marketing services; business intelligence and data analytics capabilities across one integrated platform for the $80M Ken Garff Performance Zone Project within Rice-Eccles Stadium.

 

Expected to be completed for the 2021 Utes football season, the project will create a fan-centric end zone that provides a mix of general and premium seating including suites, loge boxes, club seats, ledge seats, rooftop terrace seats and field level club memberships.

 

“We are thrilled to partner with Legends,” said Scott Kull, Utah’s Deputy Athletics Director for External Operations. “Legends is the leader in this space, and together with Mike Behan and his team we have been aligned in our goal from day one to provide a state-of-the-art facility for our coaches and student-athletes while providing an exceptional experience for our great fans.”

 

“Ken Garff Performance Zone has long been known as one of the premier college football venues in the country,” said Mike Behan, Legends Vice President, Collegiate Partnerships. “The expansion project will further enhance the game-day experience by introducing innovative hospitality concepts that combine recent industry trends and direct feedback from Utes fans. We are pleased to partner with forward-thinking leaders Mark Harlan, Scott Kull and Kyle Brennan, along with the entire Utah Athletics team, on the project to leverage the expertise we have honed through successfully delivering on many of the industry’s most ambitious recent collegiate stadium and arena projects.”

 

The University of Utah has been engaged with Legends since 2017 through the company’s U.S. research arm, CSL, for services that included market research designed to measure interest for enhanced seating options at Ken Garff Performance Zone . Legends will work closely with the project architect, Populous, to incorporate the feedback to design cutting-edge hospitality experiences for ticket holders, athletics donors, alumni and Utes fans.

 

“For many years, the demand for Utes football tickets has far exceeded the stadium’s seating capacity,” said CSL Principal Jay Lenhardt. “This project will expand the stadium capacity to allow more football fans access to home games, while positioning the program to continue its sellout streak well into the future. Supported by extensive market research, this project will bring fans closer to the on-field action and create an intimidating game-day environment for opponents.”

 

An industry leader in providing market research, data analytics, and sales and marketing services in the collegiate sports marketplace, Legends collegiate partners include the University of Wisconsin (Camp Randall Stadium), San Diego State (Mission Valley Stadium), Notre Dame (Notre Dame Stadium), USC (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum), Missouri (Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium) and Villanova (Finneran Pavilion) among others, representing more than $2B in stadium and arena projects since 2014. 

RESONADO BECOMES OFFICIAL SOUND PARTNER OF NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

Notre Dame Global Partnerships has entered into a new partnership with Resonado, an award-winning startup company founded on the University’s campus. As the new  “Official Sound Partner of Notre Dame Athletics,” Resonado’s logo will adorn the headsets for the Fighting Irish football coaching staff.

 

“This partnership with Resonado highlights an uncompromising commitment to excellence in academics and athletics,” said University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “As a company founded by talented Notre Dame students and incubated at Notre Dame’s IDEA Center, Resonado is an ideal partner for our football program.”

 

Resonado was founded in 2017 by four Notre Dame students: Brian Cho, Christian Femrite, Erikc Perez-Perez and Peter Moeckel. Motivated by a shared passion for innovation and a desire to enhance the world around them, the team focused on developing an audio technology that would change the industry for years to come.

 

Resonado’s thinner, lighter and more versatile Flat Core Speaker (FCS) architecture gives manufacturers across dozens of industries greater flexibility to create and integrate audio products without the century-old constraint of traditional speaker geometry. The company has won numerous awards including invitations to TechCrunch Disrupt as a Top Pick and taking home 1st Place in the McCloskey Business Plan Competition at Notre Dame’s own IDEA Week.

 

“Partnering with Notre Dame is truly special for us as we met on campus and it’s where our company was founded and developed,” said Brian Cho, Resonado CEO.

 

This marketing partnership was secured through Notre Dame Global Partnerships, the joint venture company formed in 2018 between Legends and JMI Sports to oversee Notre Dame’s athletics sales, marketing, sponsorship, hospitality, multimedia rights and branding services on a local and national level.

 

“Notre Dame Athletics is excited to help Resonado achieve its ambitious vision by promoting their technology via our platform, while also collaborating to identify new growth opportunities,” said President of Notre Dame Global Partnerships Theodore Loehrke. “We are committed to leverage their patented technology to become the new standard for audio design, reinventing the shape of sound in sports and beyond.”

CHEROKEE NATION BUSINESSES AND LEGENDS UNVEIL PLANS FOR PROPOSED RESORT AND CASINO IN POPE COUNTY, ARKANSAS

Cherokee Nation Businesses and Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality, today announced details of its proposal to build a world-class, first-of-its-kind resort destination in Pope County –Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas.

“Since submitting our initial application to the Arkansas State Racing Commission in May, we have remained fully committed to the people of Pope County and to taking our proposed development to the next level,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “Today, with much excitement, we are pleased to unveil our plans. We’ve embraced the community’s feedback and are confident this resort destination brings something for everyone.”

The name Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas is inspired by the definition of a Legend, and the project developed with the needs of the community in mind. Its thoughtfully planned venues and diverse entertainment choices create the perfect setting for guests to feel and be legendary. Throughout the resort and casino property, guests will enjoy a celebration of Arkansas’ legendary figures in sports, music and entertainment; its cuisine; and the landscape of The Natural State.

A unique project designed by international firm HKS Architects, Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas showcases architecture influenced by the distinctive natural landscape of the Arkansas River Valley. The development is planned for Russellville, Arkansas, on approximately 130 acres north of Interstate 40 along Nob Hill Road, between Weir Road and Alaskan Trail.

The $225 million Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas brings more than world-class entertainment to the region by featuring robust amenities centered around relaxed luxury:

  • Approximately 50,000 square feet of gaming space accommodating 1,200 slot machines and 32 table games; a sportsbook will be located within a high-end sports bar.
  • Luxury hotel with 200 rooms, resort-style pool, spa and fitness center.
  • 15,000 square feet of mixed-use conference and entertainment space accommodating 1,000 people.
  • Robust culinary experience with a variety of food and beverage options – including a food hall, high-end steakhouse, grab & go concept and multiple bar and nightlife options.
  • RV park with 100 spots.
  • Outdoor water park providing fun for the entire family.
  • Outdoor music venue with beautiful spots for gathering and entertainment.

The total statewide economic impact of Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas is projected to exceed $5 billion in the first 10 years. The project is expected to generate more than 1,000 direct jobs, and the estimated timeline for completion is 18 months.

“From the onset, our goal in partnering with CNB has been to create a resort that truly offers something for everyone and provides an unmatched guest experience,” said Bill Rhoda, President of Legends Global Planning. “Most importantly, Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas will create a positive economic impact of benefit to Pope County and the state of Arkansas.”

“Our teams at CNB and Legends take pride in being dedicated and trustworthy community partners with the proven experience to make this economic development project a success. We remain committed to earning the letters of support from local elected officials,” Slaton said.

Leicester City FC Appoint Legends International

via The Stadium Business

Legends International has been appointed by Leicester City to carry out “crucial” market research that will underpin plans for the proposed expansion of the English Premier League football club’s King Power Stadium.

The research process will establish a better understanding of supporters’ matchday routines and preferences, which will in turn assist the club in planning the development of fan-orientated facilities and services to enhance the experience for visitors.

The work will commence with supporter and consumer studies in the coming days, the club said. The multi-staged study will include all current season ticket-holders, combined with “focused market testing” to gauge interest in other possible offerings.

The club, which has upgraded its stadium lighting ahead of the start of the 2019-20 season this weekend, has long-held ambitions to increase the capacity of the 32,300-seat stadium.

“Comprehensive market research is an essential element of any development of this scale to ensure all decisions are supported by robust feedback and analysis,” the club’s chief executive, Susan Whelan, said. “We are delighted that process will now commence and will be led by the experience and expertise of Legends International.

“Rather than simply increasing capacity, our aim is to transform King Power Stadium into a world-class sporting and events destination, opening a range of options, now being explored as part of our longer-term development.

“Supporter and stakeholder insights will help us to sharpen our focus based on meaningful intelligence and will ensure that we deliver the best facilities for our fans, and for the city of Leicester.”

Legends’ sporting and events portfolio includes work commissioned by some of the biggest brands and most famous venues in the world.

American Airlines Touches Down at Hollywood Park

LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park (LASED) announced American Airlines as its first partner at a press conference earlier today. American Airlines will be a Founding Partner of LASED, the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams.

As a part of the agreement, the airline will be the exclusive naming rights partner of American Airlines Plaza, a 2.5-acre two-level open-air space that serves as a main entrance into the stadium and performance venue. American Airlines Plaza will also be the main entry point into an adjacent VIP entrance, which opens into a three-level lobby inside the stadium.

LASED is a 298-acre world-class sports and entertainment destination being built by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. It will feature unparalleled event venues, office, retail and residential spaces, and more than 20 acres of parkland, with LA Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, positioned as the centerpiece of the development. With more than 50 million visitors to Los Angeles in 2018 alone, LASED was not only designed to entertain fans, but also to serve as a community gathering space for Angelenos and for travelers to the LA metropolitan area.

“As we continue Mr. Kroenke’s vision to build the premier destination for sports and entertainment at Hollywood Park, we are proud to partner with an industry-leading business such as American Airlines,” said Jason Gannon, Managing Director, LA Stadium and Entertainment District. “We are both making investments in Los Angeles that will provide fans and customers an elevated experience as they travel, live, work and play.”

“For decades, Los Angeles has been one of American’s most important markets and has played a major role in connecting Southern California to the rest of the world,” said Robert Isom, President, American Airlines. “It is our mission to give our customers the world-class experience they deserve, and we are committed to doing so both at the airport and within the community. It’s an exciting time for the City of Angels and for American Airlines.”

American Airlines Plaza measures 10 stories tall and has a capacity of approximately 15,000 guests. American Airlines Plaza will be open to the public year-round, on event days, as well as non-event days.

The plaza sits between the stadium and performance venue. All three venues fall under the same roof, which is made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a lightweight and transparent plastic. American Airlines Plaza will have the ability to accommodate its own bespoke programming that will reflect and connect with the cultural passions of the Los Angeles community.

American is the largest carrier at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with more than 200 daily flights to 70 destinations and is the only airline at LAX with nonstop service to five continents. The carrier continues to grow and strengthen its 70-plus year presence at the hub through significant direct and indirect investments in the region, including a $1.6 billion modernization project to fully reimagine LAX Terminals 4 and 5 – American’s largest individual investment at an airport in its 93-year history.

“Strong partnerships with LASED, the Chargers and the Rams demonstrate American’s commitment to investing in our business and in the Los Angeles community. This stadium, and the events that will be held here, will bring people throughout the region and from around the world together. Connecting people is our business and we couldn’t be more thrilled for the bright future of this city, our airline and the 7,300 team members who call Los Angeles home,” said Suzanne Boda, Senior Vice President-Los Angeles, American Airlines.

“Building the best stadium in the world brings with it the opportunity to partner with the best companies in the world,” said A.G. Spanos, President of Business Operations, Los Angeles Chargers. “While both the Chargers and American Airlines seek to be best-in-class at what we do, what truly makes this partnership a perfect fit is our organizations’ commitment to the community. With these shared values as the foundation of this new partnership, we look forward to big things both in 2020 and for years to come.”

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with American Airlines and travel with them to Hollywood Park,” said Kevin Demoff, COO, Los Angeles Rams. “From building playgrounds and rewarding fans with trips to games to flying the team to Super Bowl LIII, American Airlines and the Rams have made quite a team. We are looking forward to continuing to work together to inspire Angelenos to shine bright and reach new heights.”

American Airlines will become the official airline of both the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams and have prominent branding during Rams and Chargers gamedays. American has been the official airline of the Los Angeles Rams since their homecoming in 2016.

The Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District was represented by Legends Global Partnerships in securing this historic partnership with American Airlines.

Raiders, Allegiant Agree On Naming Rights Deal For Las Vegas Stadium

The Raiders and Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) today announced an agreement for the naming rights to Las Vegas Stadium, the under-construction future home of the Raiders and UNLV football.

 

“We’re thrilled that our future home will be known as Allegiant Stadium,” said Raiders President Marc Badain. “As the hometown airline, Allegiant is the perfect partner to showcase the incredible support we continue to receive from the Southern Nevada community. We are grateful to all involved who worked diligently to make Allegiant Stadium a reality.”

 

This partnership with the Raiders presents a global branding opportunity for the Las Vegas-based company as Allegiant will have its name showcased on the 1.75 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art domed stadium that will also host many world-class major sports and entertainment events.

 

Allegiant Stadium will also serve as site of the Las Vegas Bowl beginning in 2020, which will feature a Pac-12 football opponent versus either a Big Ten or SEC opponent, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game.

 

“This partnership is an incredibly exciting opportunity to join Las Vegas’ hometown airline with its new hometown NFL team,” said Maury Gallagher, Allegiant chairman and chief executive officer. “It will not only amplify our growing brand as the only U.S. airline focused on leisure travel and experiences, but will also provide access to NFL games and special opportunities for fans across the country.  We are thrilled to be able to bring Raider Nation to its new capital—Las Vegas.”

 

With 55 nonstop routes from cities across the country, Allegiant brings more than 1.2 million customers to Las Vegas each year. Allegiant’s affordable, all-nonstop flights – along with special fan travel packages – will offer Raiders fans everywhere unprecedented access to see their favorite team. 

 

This partnership will allow Allegiant to feature exterior signage at the transformational facility that is set to become the latest jewel along the internationally-known, iconic skyline of the Las Vegas Strip.

 

The Raiders and Allegiant are also teaming up to provide additional enhancements, rewarding customers and fans with unique in-game and season-long promotions including the “Allegiant Connection of the Game” linking a lucky fan to their favorite Raiders player, and an opportunity to win “Fan Traveler of the Year” honors.

 

The Raiders and Allegiant share a deep commitment to the community which offers even more synergy to the partnership as they will unite in programs and activations that benefit Southern Nevada residents.  Headquartered in Las Vegas, Allegiant currently generates nearly $3 billion in annual economic impact for the state of Nevada.

 

Legends Global Partnerships represented the Raiders to secure the naming rights agreement with Allegiant as a part of their duties as the stadium’s official premium ticketing and sponsorships agency.

Legends International Appointed as Official Retail Partner for Rugby World Cup™ 2019 Japan

TOKYO, DUBLIN, and LONDON – 1 August 2019—Rugby World Cup Limited, via their licensing agent IMG, today announced the appointment of Legends International, an industry leader in global planning, sales, and hospitality as the official retail partner and operator for Rugby World Cup 2019.

 

Rugby World Cup 2019 will be held from 20 September – 2 November 2019 in Japan. The world-class sporting event—the second largest global sport event—will be hosted in Asia for the first time.

 

Legends will operate 73 official merchandise stores across the country. All 12 host cities will have retail stores at the venues and in their respective Fanzones. The store operations will empower fans to cheer for their favourite team with merchandise featuring all 20 participating unions, exclusive event memorabilia for men, women and children as well as a large range of official licensed products.

 

A best-in-class Megastore—1,000sqm / 11,000 sqft—the largest of the retail locations, will serve as an official flagship store and will be located in the newly created Shinjuku Odakyu Park in front of the world’s busiest train station in Shinjuku, center Tokyo, which serves about 3.64 million people per day. The store will be open from 22 August – 20 November. One of the biggest official shops ever at over 1,000m2, The Rugby World Cup 2019 “Megastore” will stock the widest selection of Rugby World Cup 2019 merchandise available, that includes replica game jerseys of the 20 participating unions in the competition and other apparel, towel mufflers and other cheering goods, and small commemorative souvenir items. During the tournament, the Webb Ellis Cup, which is awarded to the winner, will also be on display there as well as match updates in real-time.

 

The Megastore will be open daily from 22 August -18 September from 10:30 am-8pm; 19 September -04November 2019 daily from 10 am-10 pm; From 05 November -20 November 2019 daily 10:30am – 8pm.

 

World Rugby Chief Executive Officer Brett Gosper said, “The official merchandising programme is a Rugby World Cup success story and the opening of the flagship store in one of the world’s iconic and busiest locations further underscores why we believe that Japan 2019 will be a very special tournament for fans as we reach the 50 days to go milestone.”

 

City Fanzones will be established in each city by the local prefectures, enabling fans to cheer for their country from a free public viewing space. Legends plans to add official stores to each Fanzone and in each of the venues. All locations will include a world-class selection of high-quality apparel. The physical stores will complement the online store at www.rugbyworldcup.com/shop

 

“We are excited to engage with the Rugby World Cup organization as the next step in the expansion of our leading event retail offerings platform. The Megastore and the other 73 locations will provide fans with the most convenient, rewarding, and memorable experience at a once in a lifetime event.” said Andrew Hampel, President, Legends International. “We are prepared to bring unparalleled customer experience initiatives to the largest stage in rugby.”

 

Follow the action on Rugby World Cup’s social media channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rugbyworldcup/

Twitter: @rugbyworldcup

COLUMBUS CREW SC AND LEGENDS ANNOUNCE WIDE-RANGING PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT FOR NEW STADIUM AND TRAINING FACILITY

Columbus Crew SC, the Major League Soccer (MLS) club based in Columbus, Ohio, and Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality, today announced a partnership for project development and commercial sales rights for the new stadium and team training facility in Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus Crew SC competes in MLS as a member of the League’s Eastern Conference and began play in 1996 as one of the ten charter clubs of the League. To help keep the team in its rightful home, the Haslam family, owners of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, and the Edwards family, including long-time Crew SC physician Dr. Pete Edwards, acquired investor-operator rights to the club ahead of the 2019 season.

“We’re thrilled to add the expertise of Legends to our process of working to create a new stadium experience that keenly suits the collaborative spirit of the Greater Columbus community,” said Tim Bezbatchenko, Columbus Crew SC President and General Manager. “Legends’ proven track record in the sports and entertainment space is highly regarded and will enable us to achieve the success needed on the ground level to ensure our long-term vision that will benefit the community and fans that have pledged to save and support the team.” 

“Our belief in the synergies of Legends overall 360 platform, engaged with a formidable club business such as Crew SC, creates the opportunity to truly showcase the inherent partnership value an integrated approach to planning, sales and operations can achieve for a project,” said Mike Tomon, Legends Chief Operating Officer.

Legends will work with the organization across multiple areas including, project planning and development, sponsorship and ticket sales, naming rights, marketing, technology innovations, data insights and analytics. Legends has already delivered key business intelligence data on planning and design for the future stadium through its proprietary approach to gathering targeted market specific information. By conducting focus groups, surveys and utilizing other research-driven tools Legends has been able to analyze feedback from Columbus Crew ticket holders, fans and the broader Columbus, Ohio community. 

The Columbus Crew SC Stadium is expected to be completed in 2021 and will be located in the Downtown Arena District. The new venue will include 20,000 seats, team store, and outdoor public plaza space for social gathering. The old stadium site will be redeveloped as a community sports park and new state-of-the-art training facility for the team. Legends Global Planning will oversee design and construction of the stadium and the team training facility.  Legends Global Sales will manage all commercial rights including sales, marketing and sponsorship assets for the training facility and the stadium.

An industry leader in developing and optimizing unique platforms for its clients, Legends is a partner to premier venues across professional sports, events and collegiate partners, including AT&T Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District, Las Vegas Raiders Stadium, University of Notre Dame, and nearly 40 Live Nation properties.

Rugby World Cup taps Legends to run retail operation

via SportsPro

Experiential services agency Legends has been named the official retail partner and operator for this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The appointment, made by the international rugby union tournament’s licensing agent IMG, will see Legends operate 73 official merchandise stores across the country.

Each of the event’s 12 host cities will have retail stores at the venues and in their respective fanzones. The stores will sell merchandise featuring all 20 participating nations, as well as exclusive memorabilia for men, women and children, and a range of official licensed products.

World Rugby, the sport’s global governing body, has also revealed that the Rugby World Cup’s flagship 1,000 square metre megastore will open in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Odakyu Park on 22nd August.

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said: “The official merchandising programme is a Rugby World Cup success story and the opening of the flagship store in one of the world’s iconic and busiest locations further underscores why we believe that Japan 2019 will be a very special tournament for fans as we reach the 50 days to go milestone.”

Legends chief commercial officer Nick Price added: “We are excited to engage with the Rugby World Cup organisation as the next step in the expansion of our leading event retail offerings platform. The megastore and the other 73 locations will provide fans with the most convenient, rewarding, and memorable experience at a once in a lifetime event.”

IMG secured the global licensing and merchandising rights for the 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cups back in October 2017.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup, the first to be staged in Asia, takes place from 20th September to 2nd November.

Legends To Acquire MainGate, A Leading Event Retail & Merchandising Company

Via The Stadium Business

Legends have announced today the acquisition of MainGate LLC, the premier event retail and merchandise company. The Acquisition will Create a Robust Omni-Channel Retail and Ecommerce Platform to Streamline the Connection between Brands and Fans.

Founded more than 50 years ago, MainGate provides custom merchandise marketing solutions through event retail, team stores and e-commerce platforms. In addition, the company has custom design and production capability at its distribution center, headquartered in Indianapolis.

MainGate will integrate into Legends existing industry-leading hospitality experience division—led by veteran executive and President, Dan Smith. The focus will be on expanding Legends’ current retail merchandise business operations (pictured above) to offer partners a best-in-class experience. This full-service vertical platform including design, production, ecommerce, brand marketing, analytics, large scale live event, venue, and flagship store retail operations is built for the global stage, with base operations domestically as well as internationally.

Shervin Mirhashemi, President and CEO of Legends, said, “The MainGate acquisition represents another significant step in our ambition to build the most compelling, flexible and effective retail and e-commerce platform for our clients across the globe. MainGate’s capabilities across e-commerce, merchandising and retail event operations strategically align with our focus towards building a platform that delivers omnichannel retail services leveraging cutting-edge technology and robust data, to present our partners with the best option to successfully grow their business.”

MainGate’s current client work portfolio includes major professional sports leagues and teams across the NFL, NBA, NHL; collegiate properties and its governing body the NCAA; along with marquee motorsports names, such as National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and properties, such as International Speedway Corporation—a NASCAR property; and well-recognized media and consumer brands.

Dave Moroknek, President & CEO, MainGate stated, “Combining forces with Legends is a great opportunity for our employees, partners and customers and we look forward to bringing our shared expertise to a broader customer base where we can offer unique best-in-class services to realize their retail and merchandising needs. Through our current success with mutual clients, we are confident the market is looking for the end-to-end solution we deliver together.”

LEGENDS TO ACQUIRE MAINGATE, A LEADING EVENT RETAIL AND MERCHANDISING COMPANY

The Acquisition will Create a Robust Omni-Channel Retail and Ecommerce Platform to Streamline the Connection between Brands and Fans

Legends, a leading global experiential agency with three best-in-class divisions, Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality, today announced the acquisition of MainGate LLC, the premier event retail and merchandise company.

Founded more than 50 years ago, MainGate provides custom merchandise marketing solutions through event retail, team stores and e-commerce platforms. In addition, the company has custom design and production capability at its distribution center, headquartered in Indianapolis, US.

MainGate will integrate into Legends existing industry-leading hospitality experience division—led by veteran executive and President, Dan Smith. The focus will be on expanding Legends’ current retail merchandise business operations to offer partners a best-in-class experience. This full-service vertical platform including design, production, e-commerce, brand marketing, analytics, large scale live event, venue, and flagship store retail operations is built for the global stage, with base operations domestically as well as internationally.

In making the announcement, Shervin Mirhashemi, President and CEO of Legends, said, “The MainGate acquisition represents another significant step in our ambition to build the most compelling, flexible and effective retail and e-commerce platform for our clients across the globe. MainGate’s capabilities across e-commerce, merchandising and retail event operations strategically align with our focus towards building a platform that delivers omnichannel retail services leveraging cutting-edge technology and robust data, to present our partners with the best option to successfully grow their business.”

With a seasoned team of retail, event and merchandise experts in place, Legends will offer partners a transformative, more integrated way to connect directly with consumers and their loyal fan bases through a broader range and well-timed assortment of products that will fulfill the increased real-time demand by consumers.

The MainGate team will become an integral part of the Legends hospitality division that manages other major sports brand retail and merchandise programs and e-commerce platforms.

MainGate’s current client work portfolio includes major professional sports leagues and teams across the NFL, NBA, NHL; collegiate properties and its governing body the NCAA; along with marquee motorsports names, such as National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and properties, such as International Speedway Corporation—a NASCAR property; and well-recognised media and consumer brands.

Dave Moroknek, President & CEO, MainGate stated, “Combining forces with Legends is a great opportunity for our employees, partners and customers and we look forward to bringing our shared expertise to a broader customer base where we can offer unique best-in-class services to realize their retail and merchandising needs. Through our current success with mutual clients, we are confident the market is looking for the end-to-end solution we deliver together.” 

Legends has created a world-class global retail operation over the past several years, combining the company’s data and analytics platform with an agile supply chain and real-time vertical capabilities to best-serve fans in today’s on-demand marketplace.

A multi-faceted company, Legends works with more than 125 brands and properties globally across retail, e-commerce, sales and marketing, brand management and hospitality operations, including managing the e-commerce business for U.S. Soccer and UFC. The company’s current capabilities include multichannel-integrated event and retail across teams and major sporting events around the world, such as the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Super Bowl 50, Indy 500, MLB London Series and across several NFL, NBA and MLB professional team properties including the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees.

Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.  Legends expects to close the transaction within the next 30 days.

Legends expands business operations with MainGate takeover

Via SportBusiness

Experiential services agency Legends has taken a significant step to expand its business operations by taking over Indianapolis-based event retail and merchandise company MainGate LLC. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MainGate – which provides custom merchandise marketing solutions through event retail, team stores and e-commerce platforms – will integrate into Legends’ hospitality division, which manages major sports brand retail and merchandise programs and e-commerce platforms.

MainGate’s current client work portfolio includes NFL, NBA and NHL teams, college teams and governing body the NCAA, and motorsport properties such as Nascar track owner International Speedway Corporation.

US SOCCER MERCH SALES HITTING MULTIYEAR HIGHS AFTER WORLD CUP

Via SportsBusiness Daily

The USWNT’s World Cup win is helping U.S. Soccer’s official website to multiyear highs when it comes to merchandise sales. The USSF’s online store, operated exclusively by official retail partner Legends, saw its best day of sales on Sunday in either ’18 or ’19, and numbers are also pacing ahead the same period in ’15, when the USWNT also won the World Cup.

The top seller has been the championship T-shirts, which U.S. Soccer worked with Nike on to have available as soon as the final whistle blew. The four-star jerseys are also doing well in pre-sales and will ship later this week. USSF Head of Marketing Mike Gressle said there was more product available overall to go out immediately after the final than there was after ’15.

Gressle also pointed to the early start time of Sunday’s game providing a nice post-match window for sales. Gameday sales on the site increased 350% over what they been pacing at throughout the tournament. Online sales are beating expectations, and Gressle believes they should stay steady for the rest of this month and throughout the fall during the USWNT’s victory tour that kicks off Aug. 3.

“We’re a little different than a normal sports league because the hot market doesn’t necessarily end when the parade’s over with,” he said. “We’ll have a nice opportunity for fans to interact with the team as they play across the U.S.”

GIVE IT SOME POP: U.S. Soccer partnered with Legends on a pop-up shop in downtown Chicago that contains the largest line of U.S. Soccer merchandise anywhere. It opened at the start of the World Cup and will stay open until July 15, with championship items available this week.

In addition to providing a retail space, the pop-up shop has interactive elements like a replica USWNT foosball table and a photobooth. “Overall, you see more branding elements that provide Instagram-able moments for that Gen Z target that we’re trying to communicate with and interact with,” Gressle said.

MLB LONDON SERIES HIT RECORD PER-CAP REVENUES

Via SportBusiness (UK)

Last month’s MLB London Series generated higher per-capita revenues than any other MLB international game, SportBusiness has learned.

Speaking at the SportBusiness Decision Makers Summit in London, Andrew Hampel, president of Legends International, said the two-day series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees was an unprecedented success in revenue terms, helping to underscore London’s reputation as a world-class host city.

Over 138,000 fans filled the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Park for the two sold-out matches, with roughly 30 per cent of fans traveling from the US and 70 per cent being local.

 

Hampel, whose Legends International held the retail concession for the series, praised the MLB for transforming the London Stadium into an authentic American ballpark, helping to drive revenues across the board.

“It was phenomenal, it felt like an American ballpark,” said Hampel. “You can’t just pick up a baseball diamond, with its physical size and sightlines, and plonk it down in any football ground.

“It worked at the London Stadium for precisely the same reason that it doesn’t work for football, because it’s got the physical size to accommodate it.

“Did it work for baseball? – absolutely. They did a brilliant job of bringing baseball to London.”

Hampel said he expects the MLB to return to London beyond its two-year spell at the London Stadium, following in the footsteps of the NFL. Though he warned that the MLB may struggle to export itself to other markets.

“As a platform it’s great, but they’ve got some real logistical issues about where they can take the sport.”

CHEROKEE NATION BUSINESSES SELECTS LEGENDS TO CREATE WORLD-CLASS ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION

Cherokee Nation Businesses, (CNB), today announced the partnership with Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality.

The partnership will deliver a world-class entertainment complex consistent with other venues within the Legends portfolio. Legends will manage the process for the design and development of the complex, conceive the culinary experience and help CNB to monetise the guest experience for non-gaming attractions.

Legends was founded in 2008 through a joint venture between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Through this relationship, the organizations will identify unique and innovative ways to elevate the guest experience and overall offerings to the next level for the proposed project.

The location for the casino development is planned for Russellville, Arkansas on approximately 135 acres off Interstate 40 along Nob Hill Road between Weir Road on the west and Alaskan Trail on the east. The project will be completed in phases: The first phase includes Legends’ designs and elements for the casino, hotel and curated culinary experience.  Phase two will focus on incorporating lifestyle and entertainment amenities, with an emphasis on creating family-friendly entertainment options. The final phase will include additional retail, dining and hotel concepts.

Stephen Jones, Executive Vice President, CEO, and Director of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, said, “We are excited to have Legends involved in the process. It is very important to us because of the family history and connection we have to Arkansas. Legends was founded on the principal of creating a superior guest experience during game day and we look forward to bringing that expertise to the state of Arkansas.”

“Entering into this partnership with the globally-recognized team at Legends is a game-changer,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO, Cherokee Nation Businesses. “They bring a wealth of experience having worked with premier venues across professional sports, live events and collegiate partners including The University of Arkansas, AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Ultimate Fighting Championship and Live Nation amphitheaters.

We are committed to earning the letters of support from local elected officials and look forward to unveiling our plans to the community in the near future.” 

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring our proven expertise in collaboration with CNB to create a truly world-class entertainment destination that offers an unmatched experience for guests of all ages and will create positive economic impact to benefit the entire community,” said Bill Rhoda, President, Legends Global Planning.

More details regarding the project will be release in the near future.

LEGENDS TEAMS WITH INGAME ESPORTS AND SIMPLYNEW TO LAUNCH THE ESPORTS ENTRY ADVISORY

Partnership Formed to Focus on Increasing Demand for Comprehensive Esports Market Services and Expertise

Conventions, Sports and Leisure (CSL), the research and planning arm of Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality; and esports industry natives INGAME Esports, Inc. and SIMPLYNEW, have partnered to create the “Esports Entry Advisory.”

The “Esports Entry Advisory” will offer venue developers, destination marketing organizations, sports commissions, facility managers, and other sports/entertainment industry stakeholders tailored market analyses, facility design guidance, technology consulting, esports event programming, among other esports advisory services. 

“The esports ecosystem has many layers, and it can be challenging to know how to connect with event organizers or market to the video game community,” explained Angela Bernhard Thomas, Co-Founder and CEO of INGAME. “Venues contemplating esports rely on information we provide for their decision making and planning process.”

Bill Rhoda, President, Legends Global Planning, said, “The formation of the ‘Esports Entry Advisory’ will allow us to develop a full set of services to offer partners, from conceptualization to development, within the esports business.”

CSL and INGAME recently led the feasibility analysis for the development of an esports program in Atlantic City, NJ. The analysis established a baseline of event potential, economic impact and space needs for transforming historic Boardwalk Hall into a next generation esports venue.  SimplyNew most recently provided technology design and build out of the Esports Stadium Arlington.

“We partner with venues and venue stakeholders to help them better position themselves in the esports marketplace,” said Tyler Othen, Esports Practice Leader for CSL. “As esports and the spectator sports converge, it is essential that key stakeholders know how to create immersive experiences that integrate significant technology.”

“The Esports Entry Advisory is a powerful tool for decision making,” noted Marc Scarpa from SIMPLYNEW.  “Our collective approach combines market and cost/benefit analyses with esports technology and business modeling, in advance of architectural design and construction, which is lacking in the industry right now, and we’re solving this problem with an offering that is unique and necessary.”

The esports phenomenon continues to grow, as Newzoo’s 2019 Global Esports Market Report estimates $1.1 billion in revenues and nearly 454 million unique esports viewers for 2019.  The launching of the Esports Entry Advisory will support the emergence of the live esports experience, creating opportunities for revenue generation and economic impact creation throughout the industry.

The partners will be featured on a panel at the upcoming E3 conference in the Joint Forces Initiative/514 Esports booth at 10:20 a.m. on June 12, 2019.

About CSL

CSL is an industry leader in determining the feasibility of building arenas, stadiums and other public assembly facilities. CSL offers clients and partners research and expertise focused in the sports, entertainment, hospitality and leisure industries.  http://www.cslintl.com

About INGAME Esports Inc.

INGAME Esports, Inc is a turn-key esports services company assisting businesses, government and academic organizations navigate the complex esports and video game landscape.  The INGAME executive team brings over 20 years of deep industry relationships, knowledge and experience, guiding clients to successfully engage in the cultural convergence of video games, esports, technology and entertainment through IP development, esports programs, and live events. www.ingameesports.com

About SimplyNew

SimplyNew is a pioneer of live participatory media, with 20+ years creating award winning programming across traditional and digital broadcast media.  SimplyNew provides media and technology solutions to clients seeking to develop multi-use esports facilities and experiential entertainment venues. Tech design/build projects include, Esports Stadium Arlington and Microsoft Mixer broadcast and production studios delivering within budget, aggressive schedules, and demanding work environments.  www.simplynew.com

ROSSLYN OBSERVATION DECK REBRANDS TO REFLECT WHAT IT IS

Via Washington Business Journal

The Observation Deck at CEB Tower has a new name to reflect what it is.

The View of D.C., as it is now called, remains the tallest destination inside the Beltway that is open to the public — until the Washington Monument reopens, likely in August. The Rosslyn observation deck offers unobstructed views of Greater Washington, from the nearby National Mall to the farthest reaches of the suburbs.

Graham Dunn, The View of D.C. general manager, said in a statement the formerly named CEB Tower has been rebranded as Central Place Tower, so “we felt it was the ideal time to refine our brand to better define and simplify the signature experience we provide.” CEB is now a subsidiary of Gartner Inc., but building owner JBG Smith Properties (NYSE: JBGS) apparently opted not to rename the 390-foot tower after Gartner (NYSE: IT).

The observation deck experience includes HoverDC, a simulated flight over the area, a bar, and weekly programming like yoga, food and beverage tastings, brunches and happy hours. The 12,000-square-foot attraction opened in June 2018 on the 31st and 32nd floors of the building.CEB

Tickets range from $21, if acquired online, for general admission, to $28 for admission with a glass of champagne, $10 for happy hours and $49 for weekend family four packs.

LA STADIUM REACHES MILESTONE WITH COMPLETION OF CANOPY SHELL

Via Associated Press

The stadium that will house Los Angeles’ NFL teams has reached another milestone with its opening less than 16 months away.

Officials with LA Stadium at Hollywood Park and representatives from the Rams and Chargers held a ceremony Monday to celebrate the completion last week of the outer shell for the canopy that sits above the stadium’s seating bowl, Champions Plaza and performance venue.

The steel roof shell is one of three parts of the canopy. The other two parts are the cables to keep the roof and suspended Oculus scoreboard in place and a single layer of ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluorethylene), which is a lightweight and transparent plastic. It was also used to construct the roof of US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which hosted the 2018 Super Bowl and this year’s Final Four.

“Each time we come here it gets more and more real,” Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said. “When the NFL envisioned coming back to Los Angeles, this is what they had in mind — a two-team iconic stadium that anchors a sports and entertainment district.”

LA Sports and Entertainment District managing director Jason Gannon said the stadium is two-thirds complete. When it opens, the stadium will measure more than 3 million square feet and will be the largest in the NFL.

“I’ve seen a lot of NFL stadiums, but this is the largest. It’s grand but it’s befitting of Los Angeles,” said A.G. Spanos, the Chargers’ president of business operations. “You need a stadium to match the city.”

The seating capacity will be 70,240 but can be expanded to 100,000 for major events. It is already slated to host the Super Bowl in 2022, the College Football Playoff title game in 2023 and the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

The Chargers have one more year at Dignity Health Sports Park and the Rams are going into their final season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Both teams have started to bring their staff to the construction site on a regular basis to begin planning game presentation and other details.

SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL: ERIC SUDOL NAMED FORTY UNDER 40, CLASS OF 2019

Via SportsBusiness Daily

Eric Sudol grew up in a town of 1,500 in the cornfields of Iowa, part of a family of teachers. He figured that was his calling when he went off to a tiny college in the state.

In one way, Sudol did become a teacher, teaching sales to his staff, first at the Memphis Grizzlies and now at the Dallas Cowboys and Legends, where he sells sponsorships for AT&T Stadium, The Star in Frisco, Texas, and the under-construction Raiders stadium in Las Vegas.

“I always tell our sales team, it’s the last three to five minutes” of a pitch that is most important, he said. Why? Because that’s when the salesperson should detect red flags and know whether it’s worth pursuing the prospect.

“A lot of salespeople fall for the false prisoner of hope,” Sudol said. Sales reps can get taken in by the flash of a project and not see caution in the responses that might not make follow-ups worthwhile. A lot of time is wasted on those follow-ups, he explained. “I have a lot of comfort in letting go.”

Sudol quickly let go of his plans to teach when he was exposed to college. A five-sport athlete in high school, he decided sports business was for him. Coming from small-town Iowa, that could mean one thing: becoming the athletic director of the University of Iowa.

He enrolled in a sports management program at Ohio University, and like undergraduate school before, it similarly opened his eyes to more jobs in sports business than just Iowa’s AD.

He cold-called the Grizzlies because of the high concentration of Ohio graduates there and secured a summer internship. The team hired him soon after and he’s been selling ever since.

Sudol doesn’t rule out one day returning to Iowa, but for now, he has some sales prospects to go meet — and just maybe not call back.

The Big Spur: Gamecocks Going Extra Mile To Enhance Fan Experience


Via The Big Spur/247Sports

The South Carolina athletics department announced last month that it is partnering with Legends, a group that specializes in planning, sales and hospitality with an emphasis in the realm of sports, to enhance the fan experience at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The first step was a survey asking for feedback to guide long-term decision-making for the future at the 80,000-plus seat venue. The goal is to develop ideas to make attending a Gamecocks football game a more attractive investment for the average fan and beyond.

The school has already pledged $21 million in work at Williams-Brice Stadium to be completed in 2020, which will predominately provide premium upgrade opportunities.

Legends is assisting with the already planned project, and going beyond that scope to design a plan to enhance the environment in the future.

“The challenge today is bringing in people to the ballpark and creating that type of environment, and also generate revenue to support your programs,” athletics director Ray Tanner told TheBigSpur.com in a one-on-one interview.

“Legends is taking a look at (the $21 million project), plus the future to what we need to do to create a fan experience at the highest level. They’ve done some really big projects, and they’ve been contracted to take a look at Williams-Brice and things we can do to make the fan experience as good as it possibly can be.”

South Carolina is one of the few colleges to partner with a company like Legends.

The Dallas Cowboys, Manchester City, New York Yankees and Atlanta Falcons are just a few of the professional sports teams that have partnered with Legends to create case studies for their organizations. Legends is a company that has worked primarily with professional sports teams with collegiate clients including Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

“I think we probably are (going the extra mile) because nothing stays the same,” Tanner said. “You’re either moving forward or going backwards, and we want to continue to move forward. We think that our programs, as they compete in the SEC and nationally, we’re in a good place. You always want to get better, we’re in a good place, but you don’t stay there. You have to continue to make investments and resources, opportunities for student-athletes, and you’ve got your donors and fan base. It all works together. Legends is the best in the business in taking a view of things you can do going forward to create the ultimate fan experience and also generate revenue.”

One of the major pieces of contention among the fan base seems to be concessions for the average fans. Turning on the radio talk shows, clicking on message board posts and general conversation seems to indicate a lack of satisfaction with the process and quality of concessions.

Tanner has heard the complaints about concessions and while he didn’t bring in Legends specifically to address those issues, it is a topic to discuss.

“Its not directly related but is it on the list, absolutely,” Tanner said. “Points of sale, things you do and the way you handle concessions, all those things – self-serve, grab stations – you’re always looking to grow and do things. Will alcohol be a part of the future? When? Those things, you have to take a look at. It’s important to continue to make progress. You can’t stay in the same space you’re in.”

Tanner is certainly willing to admit that not everything is perfect when it comes to fan experience at Williams-Brice Stadium, and that’s why Legends is coming in to make game days for Carolina football a more enjoyable experience.

The school is going the extra mile to make sure its fans are content with their experience.

SportsBusiness Journal: Shelby Jordan Named Forty Under 40, Class Of 2019

Via SportsBusiness Journal

Shelby Jordan is an L.A. kind of guy. He grew up there and went to USC, where he played basketball.

And like other Hollywood stories, Jordan got his big break there.

“One of my dad’s good friends took me to a Lakers game, and we are sitting out on City View Terrace [restaurant] and he’s all like ‘I want to introduce you to somebody.’ It was Tim Leiweke,” said Jordan of the meeting in 2000 when he was a senior in college and realizing his basketball playing days were winding down.

After a little online research, Jordan learned that Leiweke was president and CEO of AEG at the time. “I literally peppered his assistant for the better part of three or four months. Phone calls, emails,” Jordan said.

That persistence turned into a meeting and a job with AEG.

Jordan shares a name with his father, a former NFL offensive lineman who won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Raiders and taught him the importance of humility and how success and personal development are enabled by others.

“At the end you may accomplish something, you may do something but usually not just because of you,” he said. “Someone along the way has helped you.”

While at AEG, Jordan worked on project management, financing and development of Dignity Health Sports Park, New York’s PlayStation Theater and hotel, entertainment, residential and other components of L.A. Live.

He moved to Legends in 2017 and was a senior project manager for LAFC’s $350 million Banc of California Stadium. He has been consulting on the new $150 million Class AAA baseball stadium in Las Vegas. It’s those L.A. projects and their economic impacts that appeal to Jordan.

“I’m doing something in my own backyard,” he said. “That’s really easy to get up and get motivated on a daily basis.”

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH LEGENDS AND JMI SPORTS FOR PROPOSED NEW MISSION VALLEY STADIUM PROJECT

San Diego State University today announced a joint JMI Sports and Legends partnership designed to transform the proposed stadium visitor experience.

On behalf of SDSU and in collaboration with SDSU Athletics, JMI Sports and Legends will manage the stadium project as part of the proposed campus expansion at SDSU Mission Valley.

“This is an exciting collaboration, and this joint venture will greatly enhance our capacity to create the types of experiences our students, faculty, staff, regional community and visitors have yet to see,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre.

“With the proposed stadium, campus and other features, the new neighborhood environment we plan to build will create the types of social, intellectual and economic benefits that will invigorate our entire region,” de la Torre said. “I am proud of our team. I am also grateful for the vision we have defined and will now carry forward with our partners in JMI Sports and Legends.”

JMI Sports and Legends will plan, strategize and execute ticketing, premium sales, naming rights and founding partnerships for the proposed stadium. As proposed, the 35,000 capacity multi-use stadium will serve primarily as the home of SDSU football and will also accommodate professional and collegiate soccer matches, concerts, other events, and can play host to a number of academic and integrated experiences.

“I am very excited for JMI Sports and Legends to continue assisting our stadium team,” said J.D. Wicker, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at SDSU. “SDSU Athletics has a long history of success with these industry leading companies and we are confident that their combined experience and resources will deliver outstanding results for SDSU and the San Diego community.”

To design and build the proposed new stadium, SDSU recently hired Clark Construction and Gensler. As proposed, the new stadium will hold a major footprint at SDSU Mission Valley, a comprehensive campus expansion project proposed to include a world class university research and innovation district, housing, mixed use retail, and more than 80-acres of public open space and a river park. 

“Once we have full project approval, the addition of JMI Sports and Legends will allow us the opportunity to put a shovel in the ground in the first quarter of 2020 and open a stadium in the fall of 2022,” Wicker said.

Since 2017, JMI Sports and Legends have strategically partnered on projects to deliver optimal value for properties in the collegiate space, including the creation of a successful joint venture to manage Notre Dame’s athletics sponsorship, hospitality, multimedia rights and branding services on a local and national level.

“Legends looks forward to partnering with JMI Sports to deliver a world-class venue that showcases the influence of Southern California lifestyle and culture that will serve as a home for San Diego State University, Aztec fans, alumni, and the city of San Diego alike,” said Mike Behan, Legends Vice President, Collegiate Partnerships.

“Along with the leadership of President Adela de la Torre and Athletic Director John David Wicker, we believe this project will transform San Diego State University and position SDSU Athletics for long-term growth opportunities,” added Behan.

JMI Sports was founded in 2006 based upon the vast experience gained in developing Petco Park for the San Diego Padres.  JMI Sports served as owner’s representative for San Diego State University’s state-of-the-art 26,000-square foot Jeff Jacobs JAM Center that opened in 2015. 

“The Mission Valley project, with the inclusion of a truly unique state of the art stadium, is one of the most profoundly important projects in the history of San Diego State University and the City of San Diego,” said Erik Judson, CEO of JMI Sports. “The team of JMI Sports and Legends is privileged to bring our unparalleled experience for delivering the most comprehensive and integrated services available in the industry to assure the success of this stadium project.”

Legends has a wealth of experience in Southern California, having partnered to provide planning; project management; naming rights and founding partnerships; premium and general ticketing solutions on both the Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District and Banc of California Stadium projects, along with providing premium sales and marketing solutions on the renovation of the Rose Bowl and L.A. Memorial Coliseum. 

Additionally, Legends is at the forefront in advising university and athletic departments to identify opportunities to enhance fan experience in venue and optimizing new and renovated facility revenues. Their successful partnerships include significant facility projects with Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Louisville, Missouri and Villanova.    

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SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETICS ENGAGE LEGENDS TO CONDUCT FAN SURVEY FOR WILLIAMS-BRICE STADIUM PLANNING

University of South Carolina Athletics today announced it is partnering with Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality, to conduct a comprehensive study of Williams-Brice Stadium with a focus on enhancing the fan experience.

Gamecock fans will be receiving a survey via email starting on March 14 that will be asking for feedback to help guide long-term decision-marking for the future of Williams-Brice Stadium. 

The scope of work developed from this project will expand into the future beyond the $21 million slate of work that is currently proposed for Williams-Brice Stadium in 2020. 

“The investment we are about to make into Williams-Brice Stadium is another step in improving the fan experience and maximise quality seating,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “In working with Legends, we are looking at a long-term plan that will make Williams-Brice a quality fan experience for many years to come.  This will take a large investment, but we know there is competition for the entertainment dollar, and we want to give our fans the best experience possible when attending events at Williams-Brice Stadium.”

The upcoming investment in Williams-Brice Stadium for 2020 focuses on maximising the use of spaces vacated by the Gamecock football program’s move to the $50 million Long Family Football Operations Center.  The project should result in providing new access to air-conditioned spaces to approximately 9,000 patrons.

“The goal of our work with Legends is to take a fan-first approach,” added Tanner. “We will be able to get feedback from our fans and then have Legends take the information to help us create options for that will positively impact fan experience at Williams-Brice Stadium for years to come.”

“Legends is excited to partner with South Carolina Athletics to leverage our collaborative, data-driven research capabilities to engage loyal alumni and Gamecock supporters, to help identify future opportunities to enhance the overall experience for those attending football games at Williams-Brice Stadium,” said Mike Behan, Legends Vice President of Collegiate Partnerships. “Coach Tanner has created a culture within the Athletic Department that both understands the responsibility to their fans to provide a world-class entertainment experience and embraces innovation.  This will be integral to our approach to help reimagine fan experience at Williams-Brice Stadium to meet the challenges of today’s environment.”

Legends brings a wealth of experience to the table, working with premier venues across professional sports, events and collegiate partners, including, AT&T Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Banc of California Stadium, University of Notre Dame and the University of Oklahoma, in addition to international teams including Liverpool and Manchester City soccer clubs.

 

University of Wisconsin & Legends Announce Multi-Year Partnership

The University of Wisconsin and Legends today announced a first-of-its kind, multi-year partnership between the school’s athletic department and Legends, to streamline initiatives across general ticketing, premium seating, annual fundraising, marketing and business intelligence capabilities into one integrated platform. 

Wisconsin engaged Legends through its U.S. research arm, CSL, in 2015 to conduct a comprehensive study incorporating a survey and series of focus groups to solicit direct market feedback from ticket holders, alumni and Badger fans on the future of Camp Randall Stadium.

Legends will continue to assist Wisconsin with planning of the upcoming renovation of Camp Randall Stadium. In addition, Legends will be responsible for all sales and marketing, planning and premium seating strategy. Legends will also implement its robust technology, data and analytics structure to complement and support across every element of the partnership.

“Legends is proud to team with the University of Wisconsin,” said, Mike Ondrejko, President, Legends Global Sales. “Through close collaboration with the team at Wisconsin, Legends will leverage its unique partnership development strategy to help position Wisconsin’s program for long-term success.”

“There are a lot of opportunities to be embraced by our athletic department,” said Chris McIntosh, Wisconsin Deputy Athletics Director. “Legends’ experience and innovative approach make them a great partner for us. We are excited about what lies ahead.”

Legends is at the forefront in advising university athletic departments to identify opportunities to enhance fan experiences in venue and maximize initial capital and annual revenues on new and renovated facility projects, having partnered on more than $2B in projects over the last five-years.

“Entering into partnership with Legends will help us to fulfill one of our most sacred duties, which is to ensure that we are building a sustainable financial infrastructure that will allow us to continue to provide educational opportunities for our student-athletes,” said Mario Morris, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Business Operations and CFO. “I truly believe that this is a transformational moment for Wisconsin Athletics.”

“Having had the opportunity to work alongside of and get to know Chris McIntosh, Mario Morris and the entire Wisconsin Athletic Department team, their vision is clear. They are focused on embracing new and innovative strategies both on and off field. This approach is rooted in their unwavering commitment to continue to offer an exceptional experience for Badger student athletes long into the future,” said Michael Behan, Vice President, College Partnerships at Legends.

An industry leader in developing and optimizing unique platforms for its clients and partners, Legends represents and manages premier venues across professional sports, events and collegiate partners, including AT&T Stadium, Yankees Stadium, Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District, Las Vegas Raiders Stadium, University of Notre Dame, and nearly 40 Live Nation properties.

SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL HONOURS LEGENDS’ POWER PLAYERS

2019 POWER PLAYERS: THE CULINARY INFLUENCE

Recognised by Sports Business Journal/Daily as 2019 Power Players: The Culinary Influence, Legends is thrilled to have five culinary leaders honored for spearheading Legends’ hospitality division, which features some of the best premium experiences in all of sports and entertainment.

From the article:

“The individuals highlighted in the following pages have demonstrated a vision to deliver across the entire range of fan experience, from creative menus and dining spaces, to ease of ordering and pickup, to local sourcing of ingredients. They are executives leading some of the largest food, beverage, hospitality and fan experience companies in the industry, consultants and designers offering a fresh perspective on the sports space, and some of the most gifted chefs and experts on cuisine.”

DAN SMITH
President, Legends Hospitality Division

RICHARD PORTEUS
Regional Vice President-East

CT NICE
Regional Vice President-Central

DAVID LIPPMAN
Regional Vice President-West

Smith, who worked in high school as a vendor at Yankee Stadium, leads Legends’ concessions and hospitality division, which recently added Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to its client list.

Lippman introduced diverse menus to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, including themed food items after Japanese star Shohei Ohtani joined the Angels, and partnered with local ethnic eateries and food truck operators at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

At Yankee Stadium, Porteus opened new communal areas, a wine bar and grab-n-go spaces aimed at younger fans attending games for the social experiences.

At AT&T Stadium, Nice delivers for myriad special and mega events with expansive and diverse food and beverage needs.

ORAZIO LaMANNA
Regional Executive Chef

LaManna has overseen culinary and concessions and premium food operations at AT&T Stadium and helps engineer new menu items and pricing for Legends’ concessions arm. The Canadian-born chef earned high honors from the Culinary Institute of America and worked at high-end hotels including the Four Seasons in Ottawa. LaManna got his start in the food business as dishwasher at a hotel in Thunder Bay, Ontario, when he was 15.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS SELECT LEGENDS AS EXCLUSIVE HOSPITALITY RIGHTS PARTNER

TAMPA and NEW YORK, February 21, 2019 — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced an agreement with Legends to become its new exclusive hospitality rights partner at Raymond James Stadium, effective 1 March 2019.

 

Under terms of the multi-year partnership agreement, Legends will manage and operate the stadium’s general and premium concessions including, club level, Hall of Fame level, suites, special event catering and restaurant dining programs. Plans include the enhancement of food offerings throughout the stadium.

 

In making the announcement, Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer, Brian Ford, said, “We are very excited to partner with Legends as our exclusive hospitality rights partner. We continuously strive to provide our fans with best-in-class customer service and we value the vital role that food and beverage play in that game day experience. Legends has built its brand around a customer-focused approach and we have a shared commitment to provide fans with an unmatched level of food offerings and service at every Raymond James Stadium event moving forward.”

 

The Buccaneers and Legends will identify and develop unique food and beverage presentation concepts to further the Bucs vision of providing an elevated fan experience at all Raymond James Stadium events. A new point of sale system and digital menu boards are only two of the highlights of the fan-focused upgrades planned for the inaugural season of the partnership. In addition, Ford F-150 Hall of Fame Club and Mercedes-Benz Hall of Fame Club members will also benefit from a more robust “all inclusive” menu with the addition of beer, wine and spirits options included in the set ticket price.

 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Legends Chief Operating Officer, Mike Tomon, said. “The Bucs are a top-ranking NFL team in customer service experience satisfaction among season pass members. Working together with the Bucs, Legends will implement and execute an exceptional culinary showcase across the building to further elevate stadium events to offer fans a truly outstanding experience.”

             

Dan Smith, President of Legends’ Hospitality Division, added, “We strive each and every day to be the global leader in fan services and today’s announcement further demonstrates Legends commitment to achieve that objective with our new partners at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization.”

 

Legends client roster includes premier venues, including Yankees Stadium, One World Observatory and nearly 40 Live Nation properties.

LA 2028 NAMES LEGENDS SPONSORSHIP SALES AGENCY FOR 2028 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES AND TEAM USA

LOS ANGELES, October 26, 2018— Legends today announced its been named the sponsorship sales agency by LA 2028. Legends will work with U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties – LA 2028’s commercial joint venture with the United States Olympic Committee – to help develop, identify and secure sponsorship opportunities for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

 

Under the multi-year agreement, Legends will work with the joint venture to market and sell the collective LA 2028 and Team USA story. An organization with roots in Los Angeles and a deep understanding of the sports marketing landscape, Legends will help LA 2028 showcase the very best of what the City of Angels and Team USA have to offer.

 

“The opportunity ahead is unprecedented,” said LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman. “Never before in the Olympic movement have we had a known 10-year time horizon to imagine stories and create platforms to engage and connect with people. We are thrilled to partner with Legends to bring to life sponsorship opportunities for LA 2028 and Team USA. Their talent and experience in the Los Angeles market and across the U.S. will be critical to amplifying our commercial success.”

 

Shervin Mirhashemi, President and CEO, Legends, said, “The Olympics is one of the world’s preeminent sports events, offering a unique value proposition and an important cultural influence for brands to connect with consumers through the experience of the Games. This is a tremendous opportunity for our business to partner with an iconic property to engage with partners to create a strategic investment in the LA 2028 and Team USA platform.”

 

“LA 2028 is the first Summer Games in the U.S. in a generation,” said Kathy Carter LA 2028 Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Executive Officer of the joint venture. “We have a unique story to tell of optimism, imagination and creativity that will connect with young people across the country and the team at Legends will help us do that. With zero planned construction projects and an unprecedented ten-year lead-up to the Opening Ceremony, we are focused one hundred percent on creating an unforgettable Games experience for athletes, fans and partners.”

 

“With my father having served on the United States Olympic Foundation Board from 1986-2002, the Olympic movement has always held a deep meaning and importance to my family,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “It’s a tremendous honor for Legends to assume such an integral role in the success of LA 2028, and we are excited to work with Casey Wasserman’s talented team on setting a new standard for the Games and the world-class U.S. Olympic Athletes that comprise it.”

 

Stephen Jones, Executive Vice President, CEO, and Director of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, said, “This partnership represents a monumental moment in the sports landscape.  Casey Wasserman’s vision, passion and entrepreneurship has brought the Olympic Games to LA in 2028 and the U.S. to the forefront of the global stage in sports for the foreseeable future.” 

 

Central to the agreement, Legends will also provide sponsorship-related consulting services including development and operation of a sales center; analysis and valuation of sponsorship rights; and a comprehensive sales and marketing plan for LA 2028 and Team USA.   

 

About Legends

Legends is a holistic solution provider for brands in sports, music and entertainment. The Legends 360 approach leverages the company’s collective unparalleled experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Partnerships and Hospitality across professional sports, collegiate, attractions, entertainment, international and conventions worldwide. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences. More information available at www.legends.net.

 

About LA2028 and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties

LA 2028 is the privately funded nonprofit organization tasked with planning and delivering the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. LA 2028 will deliver a New Games for a New Era, using Los Angeles’s wealth of existing world-class infrastructure to deliver a fiscally responsible, sustainable and spectacular Games. U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties is the commercial joint venture between LA 2028’s Organizing Committee and the USOC. It was established in 2018 to be the sole entity charged with marketing and selling the combined commercial assets of LA 2028 and Team USA including sponsorship rights to the 2022, 2024, 2026 and 2028 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams and the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

 

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PRUDENTIAL CENTER UNVEILS NEW ADDITIONS TO CULINARY LINE-UP IN ADVANCE OF HOME OPENER ON 11 OCTOBER

New Jersey-Inspired Concepts, Premium Offerings and Fresh Beverage Roster Highlight Diverse Menu

 

NEWARK, 11 October 2018 – Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils today announced the addition of three new dining destinations, plus enhanced food and beverage offerings around the arena for the start of their 2018-19 NHL season on 11 October at Prudential Center vs the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals. Prudential Center’s culinary team, led by Legends Senior Executive Chef Jason Choate, reflected on the regional motivation and fan-inspired strategy behind the new hand-crafted culinary concepts.

 

“Building off last season’s success, we want to provide our fans with an even wider variety of culinary and beverage options when they come to Prudential Center,” said Senior Executive Chef Jason Choate. “It was our goal to add a more authentic steak concept, offer an Asian cuisine option and also provide our fans with a taste of what the players like. We’re thrilled with the new dining destinations this season and are excited for guests to try the best of what New Jersey has to offer.” 

Fans who wish to review the full Prudential Center culinary offering menu should visit prucenter.com/concessions for details and item destination locators; the Prudential Center “Brew Finder,” showcasing over 15 regionally crafted breweries served at the arena is available at prucenter.com/brew-finder.

 

The new dining destinations featured inside the arena will include:

  • NJ Steak Co. – Featuring fresh beef, bread and three distinct flavors, NJ Steak Co. brings an authentic steak flavor to Prudential Center this year. (Section 101)
    • Steakhouse Wedge – seared beef tenderloin, bleu cheese dressing, iceberg lettuce and crispy onions on a sourdough roll
    • Mustard Steak – seared beef tenderloin, provolone cheese, grilled peppers and onions on a sourdough roll
    • Asian BBQ Steak – seared beef tenderloin, spicy Asian BBQ sauce and pickled vegetables on a sourdough roll
  • Bowled Over – Prudential Center is proud to offer a true Asian taste at Bowled Over this year. Healthy, flavorful and trendy. (Section 4 on the Main Concourse)
    • Ramen Bowl – Ramen noodles, choice of BBQ Asian pork, grilled chicken, steamed vegetables or pickled vegetables
    • Rice Bowl – Fresh rice, choice of BBQ Asian pork, grilled chicken, steamed vegetables, or pickled vegetables
    • Bao Buns – Three soft bao buns, piled high with either BBQ Asian pork, grilled chicken, steamed vegetables or pickled vegetables
  • Line Change – Eat like the players do, literally! The new Line Change location reflects four Devils players’ favorite foods, in addition to regional specialties from their neighborhood of the globe. (Section 12 on the Main Concourse)
    • Miles Wood menu – New England-style cuisine
      • Lobster Roll – Toasted New England roll stuffed with fresh lobster salad and served with kettle chips
      • Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl – Creamy New England-style clam chowder served in a large bread bowl
      • Clam Cakes – Deep-fried dough, mixed with chopped clams
      • New England Rutabaga and Apple Salad – Julienne apples and rutabaga, toasted hazelnuts with an apple cider vinaigrette
  • Wine Bar – Prudential Center is featuring an expanded wine menu in all premium areas, and at the new Wine Bar location on the Main Concourse on Section 4. Brands included favorites such as Jordan, Oberon by Mondavi, Cakebread, Mer Soleil and Opus One. Prudential Center is proud to welcome an “On-Tap” program featuring margaritas, vodka and wine on-tap. (Section 4 on the Main Concourse)

Additionally, the arena’s VIP and premium locations have all received a menu refresh in the off-season, adding custom culinary programs, refined specialty offerings and signature menus from local chefs. For the craft beer fan, there are also over 70 different brews featured throughout the Prudential Center and at the Jersey Brewed Biergarten, including new local additions such as Beach Haus, Czig Meister, Flying Fish and Magnify.

  

About Prudential Center

Prudential Center is the world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 175 concerts, family shows and special events each year. The arena is also home to the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, which opened its doors to the public on October 2017. The 8,200-square-foot experience marks the first GRAMMY Museum outpost on the East Coast, and features a dynamic combination of educational programming and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a spotlight on legendary GRAMMY winners from New Jersey. Ranked in the Top 8 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venues Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and over 2 million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit PruCenter.com and follow the arena on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PruCenter. Prudential Center is a Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment property.

 

About Legends

Legends is a holistic solutions agency for brands in sports, music and entertainment. The Legends 360 approach leverages our collective unparalleled experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality across professional sports, collegiate, attractions, entertainment, international and conventions worldwide. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences. More information available at www.legends.net.

 

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Theodore Loehrke Named President of Joint Venture Business to Promote Notre Dame Athletics

Loehrke Will Lead Historic Multimedia Rights Collaboration Between University of Notre Dame and a Joint Venture Business Established by Legends and JMI Sports

Legends and JMI Sports, today announced the appointment of Theodore Loehrke as President of their recently established Joint Venture Business, which will collaborate with the University of Notre Dame in the promotion of its athletics programs.

Through an exclusive 12-year agreement with the University of Notre Dame, Legends and JMI Sports have established a Joint Venture Business to oversee Notre Dame’s athletics sales, marketing, sponsorship, hospitality, multimedia rights and branding services on a local and national level. It will also include Notre Dame’s national football radio rights, which previously had been a stand-alone agreement for many years. 

In this role, Loehrke will be responsible for oversight and day-to-day support for the property and all JV employee functions. He will also be focused along with his team on delivering integrated national corporate partnerships that align with the strong mission and values of the University.

Mr. Loehrke joins after more than a decade in professional sports where he worked in various league and team roles. Most recently, Loehrke served as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Development at the Milwaukee Bucks and was responsible for spearheading key strategic initiatives around facilities and new business development.  Most notably, Loehrke helped lead the development and revenue strategy for the Bucks’ new world-class arena, which will open for the 2018-19 NBA season, Fiserv Forum. Loehrke originally joined the Bucks in 2012 as Senior Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer.

Prior to the Bucks, Loehrke worked at the NBA in New York as Senior Vice President in the league’s Team Marketing and Business Operations group. He advised NBA and NBA G League teams on all aspects of business operations including ticket sales, sponsorship development, customer retention, digital/social media, marketing, and business analytics. Prior to the NBA, Loehrke held various roles in consulting, marketing, and strategy at companies including Deloitte Consulting and American Family Insurance Group. Mr. Loehrke holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Notre Dame and an M.B.A from Duke University in Strategy and Operations.

Loehrke is an active community member and strong advocate for inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). He sits on the Board of Advisors for the Wisconsin Chapter of Best Buddies International, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with IDD.

“Because we are committed to maintaining the distinctiveness that makes Notre Dame a great brand, it was imperative that we find a leader for this collaboration who understands and can give voice to that distinctiveness. That describes Ted Loehrke. As a Notre Dame graduate and highly accomplished sports industry executive, Ted has the understanding, passion and experience that will help to ensure our success,” said Jack Swarbrick, Director of Athletics at Notre Dame.

“I am thrilled to join Legends and JMI to lead this innovative new business,” said Loehrke. “It’s truly an honor to represent Notre Dame, and I look forward to working with our new team and our campus colleagues to develop strategic marketing partnerships and fan engagement platforms that support and amplify the values of the University.”

“Legends and JMI Sports made a commitment to Jack Swarbrick and his team that we would recruit a team worthy of the remarkable Notre Dame brand and capable of implementing our aspirational vision for the partnership. Hiring Ted as the leader of this property is a clear demonstration that we have high expectations that we expect to meet,” said JMI Sports CEO Erik Judson.

“In the 10 years that I have had the opportunity to work with Ted, his passion for constant evolution of the business has always stood out to me. This vision was exactly what we were looking for as we seek to develop a very different solution for the college space. Coupled with his deep passion and understanding of the institutional values of his alma mater, it made this a perfect platform for his accomplished career,” said Mike Ondrejko, President, Legends Global Sales.

Notre Dame previously handled most of its athletic corporate sponsorships and marketing rights through Notre Dame Sports Properties, created in 2003.

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Legends and Productive Edge Form Joint Venture Company Edge Experiential

Connects Brands to Consumers Through Customized Content-Driven Technology Platforms

 

NEW YORK and DALLAS, July 24, 2018—Legends, a full-service global sports, entertainment and experiential agency and Productive Edge, a digital technology company, today announced the creation of a joint venture company named EDGE Experiential.

 

‘EDGE Experiential’ (EDGE XP) develops customized experiences powered by cutting-edge technology solutions for clients and brands that targets consumers and fans seeking an enhanced live event and attraction experience. EDGE XP pairs Legends’ extensive knowledge and expertise in designing, staging and operating events and venues globally in the sports, entertainment and attractions industry with Productive Edge’s proprietary approach to metrics-driven software development to deliver a comprehensive solution to the marketplace. EDGE XP is headquartered in Chicago.

 

Current EDGE XP projects include interactive, content-driven, installations at Sky View Observatory in Seattle and the Observation Deck at CEB Tower in Washington D.C. Earlier this year, EDGE XP produced an immersive VR hockey experience for the Buffalo Sabres on opening day in the tailgate zone.

 

In making the announcement from SEAT Conference, Legends Chief Information Officer, Mike Morris, said, ” As premium experience providers, we are always identifying new ways to evolve and enhance live experiences for consumers. For our partners and clients EDGE XP provides a market leading opportunity to unlock additional value across properties, venues and attractions by engineering a uniquely personalized experience to further elevate the level of fan and guest engagement.”

 

Wyatt Kapastin, Managing Partner of Productive Edge, added, “Technology has been a catalyst for change and growth across many industries. The opportunity to create EDGE XP and partner with Legends to utilize established relationships and resources gives us an enormous opportunity to achieve growth.”

 

About EDGE Experiential (EDGE XP)

EDGE Experiential connects iconic brands with global audiences. Fueled by industry insight and strategic vision we partner with clients to develop original concepts or transform existing experiences through customized technology solutions to deliver innovative and memorable results. 

 

About Legends
Legends is a holistic solution provider for brands in sports, music and entertainment. The Legends 360 approach leverages our collective unparalleled experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality across professional sports, collegiate, attractions, entertainment, international and conventions. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences. More information available at www.legends.net.

                                                                            

About Productive Edge

An end-to-end customer experience, digital strategy and technology services company delivering transformative software solutions for clients around the world.

Legends, Manchester City FC, Fabulous Fan Fayre earn Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards

Legends, Manchester City Football Club and Fabulous Fan Fayre (F3) have been recognized at the 2018 Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards for their outstanding service at the Etihad Stadium.

 

The team at Ethiad Stadium won the Matchday Hospitality Award in the large stadium category after receiving the highest grade for the holistic hospitality experience out of 70 football and rugby clubs – this after receiving the silver Matchday Hospitality Award in 2017.

 

Additionally, they took home the Operations Team of the Year Award for the ability to go above and beyond when serving customers, while also earning silver in the Best Match Day Experience. Team member Wajdi Kalboussi was awarded bronze in the Shining Star Award category, which recognizes those individuals who are simply outstanding at what they do, and continuously shine.

 

“We spend a huge amount of time working with our partners at Manchester City FC to ensure a truly fan-centric approach which champions the heritage of the club,” said Neil Worcester, Managing Director at F3. “To have this ratified by such prestigious industry standards is absolutely fantastic. We look forward to building on this success and continuing to create incredible experiences for football fans.”

 

F3 is a combined venture between Legends Hospitality and Absolute Taste in order to provide world class guest experiences that leave lasting impressions.

 

At the 2017 Stadium Events & Hospitality Awards, Manchester City F.C. was presented The Above & Beyond Award and given bronze for the Media Choice Award for their warm welcome, friendly service, and top-class food. Manchester F.C. improved from the silver they received in 2017 in the Matchday Hospitality Award.

University of Missouri, Legends Announce Partnership

Legends to help Mizzou usher in a new era of Tigers football by lending industry-leading sales and marketing expertise to the University’s $98 million stadium renovation project

 

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 4, 2018 – Legends has been selected by the University of Missouri Athletics Department to provide its industry-leading sales and marketing expertise to the $98 million renovation of Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. 

 

Expected to be completed ahead of the 2019 football season, the renovation project will introduce new premium seating opportunities to Memorial Stadium’s south end zone that will be amongst the closest to the field of any collegiate stadium. The project also includes a new home for Mizzou Football, including a new team locker room, expanded weight room, state-of-the-art athletic medicine facilities, coaches offices and student-athlete meeting rooms.

 

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary CSL International, Legends was initially engaged by Mizzou’s Athletics Department in 2015 to conduct a market feasibility study to measure demand for new premium seating in Memorial Stadium’s south end zone. Over the last year, Legends was re-engaged by Director of Athletics Jim Sterk and Deputy Athletics Director / CFO Tim Hickman, to assist with incorporating the study findings into the design of the new south end zone facility.

 

Moving forward, Legends will continue to work closely with the Mizzou Athletics leadership team and the Tiger Scholarship Fund to assist with developing and executing the sales and marketing stagey for the new premium seating areas.

 

“Legends is honored and excited to be a part of Mizzou Football history by helping this revered program write a new chapter to its already storied past,” said Mike Behan, Vice President, Collegiate Partnerships of Legends. “We look forward to working closely with Athletic Director Jim Sterk and his team to successfully deliver on project goals and ensure Mizzou Football is well positioned to usher in a new era of Tigers’ football at Memorial Stadium.”

 

When finished, Memorial Stadium’s new south end zone will feature 16 Suites, a 1,200-seat Club and 750 Touchdown Club memberships.

 

“We are thrilled to be working with Legends to help position Mizzou for a new and exciting era for the University and our athletic programs,” said Sterk. “We look forward to tapping into the knowledge and experience of the Legends’ team to incorporate industry best practices as we develop and execute the premium seating campaign.”

 

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

 

About Legends:

With a growing roster of internationally renowned clientele, including iconic collegiate athletic programs such as University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame Stadium), University of Southern California (LA Memorial Coliseum), University of Oklahoma (Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium), University of Louisville (Papa John’s Stadium), Villanova University (Finneran Pavilion), and Marquette University (Wisconsin Events & Sports Arena), Legends is a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, with a visionary approach that delivers solutions for legendary brands.

Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in global planning, global sales and hospitality, activating across professional and collegiate sports, attractions, entertainment, international and conventions.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Twickenham Stadium, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Tottenham Hotspur, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, Los Angeles Football Club, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.

About The University of Missouri:

The University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia as the first public university west of the Mississippi River. Today, with an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, 13,000 full-time employees and 317,000 alumni, Mizzou is an important investment for the state and nation. MU students represent every Missouri county, all 50 states and 100 countries. Based on quality of teaching, research and scholarship, MU is one of only 60 public and private U.S. universities invited to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. AAU membership helps Mizzou attract external funding and recruit top faculty and students.

The state’s largest and most comprehensive university, Mizzou has more than 300 degree programs — including more than 90 online options — through 19 colleges and schools and is one of only six public universities nationwide that can claim a medical school, veterinary medicine college and a law school on the same campus. Designated a botanic garden, MU’s 1,262-acre main campus features more than 42,000 plants and trees in numerous thematic and special collection settings. Many university buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Citizens across the state connect with Mizzou by participating in extension programs in every county, visiting MU Health Care specialists, competing in state competitions in MU facilities and cheering on the Missouri Tigers at athletic events. A member of the Southeastern Conference, Mizzou’s NCAA Division I athletic program has 20 sports, many ranked in the top 25 nationally.

SKY VIEW OBSERVATORY AND COLUMBIA CENTER REVEAL NEW EXPERIENCES

RE-ENGINEERED DIRECT ELEVATOR HIGHLIGHTS LIST OF RENOVATIONS

SEATTLE, WA – MAY 07, 2018 – Sky View Observatory and Columbia Center today announced sweeping changes to the visitor experience, highlighted by an immersive elevator transformation that whisks guests 902 feet to the top of the tallest observatory in the Pacific Northwest in just 70 seconds, set to be implemented in the Summer of 2018.

Seattleites and visitors alike will now be able to enjoy direct access from the distinctive new entrance at 700 4th Avenue, one block from Sound Transit’s Pioneer Square Link Light Rail Station. A re-designed atrium featuring a grand staircase on the ground level invites guests to explore the new retail location, first-floor ticketing and queue for the elevators. From there, for the first time, guests will have a single, direct-access elevator to the 73rd floor. This new pathway bypasses the tenant elevators and offices, features a visual journey of the Pacific Northwest, and deposits guests on the threshold of Sky View’s breathtaking views.

Upon arrival, the upgraded observatory offers visitors a 360-degree full spectrum panoramic view, which includes Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, the city of Seattle and The Space Needle. The refreshed interior features new technology displays at each vantage point to tell the story of what awaits guests in the city and the region. A heightened food and beverage experience will feature craft cocktails, local beers, boutique wine and artisanal light bites.

“The innovative upgrades implemented this year only reinforce Sky View Observatory as the first essential stop upon arriving in Seattle,” said Jennifer Tucker, Sky View Observatory General Manager. “The view is unparalleled, creating the perfect vantage point to begin any visit to the Emerald City. From 902 feet, guests will discover so many interesting opportunities to explore that may never have been noticed otherwise.”

Sky View Observatory is still open for visitors every day from 10 AM to 8 PM. While the transformation process is on-going, guests can access the observatory through the 5th Avenue entrance and the elevators in the main lobby of Columbia Center.

The building was designed by architect Chester Lindsey and is currently managed by Urban Renaissance Group., Inc. Sky View Observatory operation managed by Legends.

ABOUT SKY VIEW OBSERVATORY

Located on the 73rd floor of Columbia Center, Sky View Observatory features 360-degree views of Seattle and the surrounding region. Open seven days a week, this observatory sits at a height of over 900 feet. 

Notre Dame to Partner with Legends and JMI Sports

Notre Dame to Partner with Legends and JMI Sports For Multimedia Rights, Marketing and Sponsorships

 

The University of Notre Dame athletics department will partner with Legends and JMI Sports –two of the leading athletics marketing and hospitality companies in the country — to oversee Notre Dame’s sales, marketing, hospitality, media rights and branding services on a local and national level.

Through this unique partnership, Notre Dame is determined to become an innovative leader in the packaging and presentation of its game-day hospitality experience, multimedia rights, corporate sponsorship plans and national radio broadcasts.

The announcement made today by University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick is the culmination of an extensive review and evaluation process that began 18 months ago.

“As we embarked upon this task of finding the best strategic fit for Notre Dame, we made it clear that we were seeking partners who understood the unique opportunities offered by the Notre Dame brand,” Swarbrick said.

“Both Legends and JMI Sports not only demonstrated superior appreciations of our culture and our mission, but also their willingness to creatively pursue features that are 100 percent Notre Dame-centric. Each company has unique and specific strengths to offer, so we asked them to combine those strengths to create something transformational for Notre Dame.

“We believe this partnership recognizes the value of the Notre Dame brand and offers enough creativity and innovation to return significant revenue opportunities for all parties to the agreement. We expect that resulting new initiatives will provide corporate sponsors and Notre Dame fans new, engaging and entertaining ways to connect with our University and its athletic program.”

The University, through this 12-year agreement, will seek to create and implement unique programs and partnerships with an elite group of companies and brands — delivering unprecedented levels of engagement, first-class hospitality experiences and recognition, while also preserving traditions Notre Dame holds dear.

JMI Sports brings extensive multimedia expertise to the partnership with current representation of premier collegiate brands. “Notre Dame approached its analysis with the clear objective of creating an outcome that will maximize the opportunities for its unique brand,” said JMI Sports CEO Erik Judson. “In developing our solution to meet those very high expectations, we believe the combined value proposition offered by a JMI Sports/Legends partnership will exceed those expectations. This partnership will provide extraordinary financial upside while at the same time allowing Notre Dame to maintain control of the most influential and revered brand in college sports.”

Already a partner with Notre Dame since 2013, Legends was an integral part of executing the Campus Crossroads Project, developing capital gift and annual donation pricing models, packaging and marketing strategy, while also executing sales campaigns for new premium seating inventory. 

“Our commitment includes building a team of highly qualified sports and sponsorship professionals who have a strong affection and understanding of Notre Dame, its history and its iconic reputation,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, President and CEO of Legends. “In partnership with JMI Sports, we look forward to tapping into the experience and relationships we have built with some of the largest and most well-known brands in sports, media and entertainment to help expand the incredible opportunities available through this partnership.”

Recognizing the uniqueness of their agreement with Notre Dame, Legends and JMI Sports will dedicate stand-alone national, regional and local sales and marketing staff resources to the partnership while tapping into the highly experienced branding, hospitality and experiential marketing teams at both companies.

“The future of college athletics requires vision and innovation — and that’s what we’ve found in this partnership with Legends and JMI Sports,” said Swarbrick. “Their approach to serving an elite group of universities falls right in line with our expectations of a partner.”

The new partnership will include Notre Dame’s national football radio rights, which previously had been a stand-alone agreement for many years with the Mutual Broadcasting System, Westwood One and most recently with ISP and then IMG College.

Notre Dame previously had been handling most of its athletic corporate sponsorships and marketing rights through Notre Dame Sports Properties, created in 2003.

About JMI Sports

JMI Sports is a full-service collegiate marketing firm providing the highest quality management of athletics multimedia rights. By breaking new ground in the creation of the Total Campus Marketing program, JMI Sports maximizes the economic potential of universities. JMI Sports is also a highly regarded project manager for the development of collegiate and professional sports facilities. JMI Sports adds the University of Notre Dame to an impressive list of signature partnerships, including Clemson University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Georgia (with IMG College) as well as the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. JMI Sports was founded in 2006 by Judson and technology entrepreneur John Moores, former owner of the San Diego Padres.

About Legends

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality, activating across professional sports, collegiate, attractions, entertainment, international and conventions. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Twickenham Stadium, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Tottenham Hotspur, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, Los Angeles Football Club, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.

About Notre Dame Athletics

The University of Notre Dame sponsors 26 varsity athletics programs (13 men’s, 13 women’s), dating back to 1887 when the Irish played their first football game. Notre Dame won its 30th and 31st national championships in 2018 when the Irish claimed the NCAA Fencing Championship and the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship following previous titles in football (11 consensus), fencing (three men, one women, five combined), women’s soccer (three), men’s tennis (two), plus one each in men’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s golf and men’s cross country. Notre Dame remains an independent in football, but most other Irish sports in 2013-14 began competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame student-athletes in 2017 recorded the highest NCAA Graduation Success Rate figure (98) among all Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.

Legends Announces Ben Martin as Vice President, Partnerships

LEGENDS ANNOUNCES BEN MARTIN AS VICE PRESIDENT, PARTNERSHIPS

LONDON – April 24, 2018 – Legends today announced the appointment of Ben Martin as Vice President, Partnerships for Legends International. In his role at Legends, Ben will be responsible for cultivating relationships with brands and rightsholders across Europe and other International markets, driving revenue and collaborating with the Legends Global Sales team.

“With our continued expansion internationally, we identified partnerships as a critical area of focus for us,” said Andrew Hampel, President of Legends International. “Ben’s experience in the partnership space made him a really attractive candidate for our team, and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board.”

Having demonstrated a strong track record in strategic, board-level sales, partnerships and sports marketing; and in creating and developing high-performing teams and cultures, Ben comes to Legends from Amazon Tickets, where he was responsible for the creation of a new multi-million-pound retail business, a first in the U.K. Previously, Ben worked in Partnerships at Manchester United and then for City Football Group, leveraging all verticals to drive marketing strategy and revenues across the globe.

“Andrew has assembled a very high quality leadership group which I am proud to be joining,” said Martin. “As a group, we will be able to help our clients to deliver a better game day experience and transform each stadium’s business model. Looking at Legends’ growth, and the opportunities in the market, I am convinced that it is a great time to be joining the Legends International team.”

Ben was educated at the University of Wales in Swansea and previously played rugby semi-professionally.

About Legends:

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality, activating across professional sports, collegiate, attractions, international, entertainment and conventions. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Twickenham Stadium, The View from the Shard, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Tottenham Hotspur, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.

The View From The Shard, Legends Attractions Announce Strategic Partnership

Legends Global Planning Announces Leadership Hires

Veteran project managers Paula Portz and Martin Jennings add to Legends’ talented Project Development roster

NEW YORK, NY – February 22, 2018 – Legends announced today the appointments of Paula Portz as Chief Operating Officer of Legends Project Development and Martin Jennings as Senior Vice President of European Development for Legends International, effective immediately.

Paula Portz comes to Legends from Project Control, where she spent the last 24 years, most recently as President of the PC Sports division, working on professional sports facilities such as FedEx Forum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies, Sprint Center in Kansas City, KFC Yum Center and Mosaic Stadium in Canada. In her role at Legends, Portz will be focused on the Project Development business, including current projects for the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District, DC United, Los Angeles Football Club and the Philips Arena Renovations, among others. Legends Project Development provides full owners’ representative, program and project management services.

“Bringing Paula aboard as an asset to our robust Global Planning team was a huge win for Legends,” said Bill Rhoda, President of Legends Global Planning. “Her expertise and extensive experience in the project development field, bolsters our best-in-class scope of services, allowing our team to grow and expand the capabilities we offer.”

Portz is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional, and also as a LEED Accredited Professional by the Green Building Certification Institute. She’s an active member of the International Association of Venue Managers and Stadium Managers Association, in addition to speaking at various industry trade organizations and community groups.

Based in Europe, Martin Jennings has worked in the construction and development field for over 25 years, most recently with Liverpool Football Club in England. There, Jennings managed and executed the most recent expansion of Anfield’s Main Stand, which upped the venue’s capacity to 54,000. In addition to Liverpool, Jennings has worked with several prominent Barclays Premier League Clubs on expansion and re-development efforts, while also performing project management services at venues throughout the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. Legends will continue to provide various services for Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester City FC and Fulham FC.

“Martin is a dynamic leader in the project management field. His expertise and relationships will bolster our project development and planning services in the European markets,” said Andrew Hampel, President of Legends International.

Jennings is a Certified Value Analyst by the Institute of Value Management, a member of the Association for Project Management and a Professional Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

ABOUT LEGENDS

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry. Our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and venues including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, Rose Bowl, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net

Legends Global Planning Announces Leadership Hires

Legends Global Planning Announces Leadership Hires

Veteran project managers Paula Portz and Martin Jennings add to Legends’ talented Project Development roster

NEW YORK, NY – February 22, 2018 – Legends announced today the appointments of Paula Portz as Chief Operating Officer of Legends Project Development and Martin Jennings as Senior Vice President of European Development for Legends International, effective immediately.

Paula Portz comes to Legends from Project Control, where she spent the last 24 years, most recently as President of the PC Sports division, working on professional sports facilities such as FedEx Forum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies, Sprint Center in Kansas City, KFC Yum Center and Mosaic Stadium in Canada. In her role at Legends, Portz will be focused on the Project Development business, including current projects for the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District, DC United, Los Angeles Football Club and the Philips Arena Renovations, among others. Legends Project Development provides full owners’ representative, program and project management services.

“Bringing Paula aboard as an asset to our robust Global Planning team was a huge win for Legends,” said Bill Rhoda, President of Legends Global Planning. “Her expertise and extensive experience in the project development field, bolsters our best-in-class scope of services, allowing our team to grow and expand the capabilities we offer.”

Portz is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional, and also as a LEED Accredited Professional by the Green Building Certification Institute. She’s an active member of the International Association of Venue Managers and Stadium Managers Association, in addition to speaking at various industry trade organizations and community groups.

Based in Europe, Martin Jennings has worked in the construction and development field for over 25 years, most recently with Liverpool Football Club in England. There, Jennings managed and executed the most recent expansion of Anfield’s Main Stand, which upped the venue’s capacity to 54,000. In addition to Liverpool, Jennings has worked with several prominent Barclays Premier League Clubs on expansion and re-development efforts, while also performing project management services at venues throughout the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. Legends will continue to provide various services for Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester City FC and Fulham FC.

“Martin is a dynamic leader in the project management field. His expertise and relationships will bolster our project development and planning services in the European markets,” said Andrew Hampel, President of Legends International.

Jennings is a Certified Value Analyst by the Institute of Value Management, a member of the Association for Project Management and a Professional Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

ABOUT LEGENDS

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry. Our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and venues including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, Rose Bowl, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net

LAFC, YouTube TV Form Historic Broadcast, Jersey Partnership

LAFC, YouTube TV Form Historic Broadcast, Jersey Partnership

LOS ANGELES – January 31, 2018 – The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) today announced a multi-year partnership with YouTube TV. YouTube TV, the new cable-free live TV service, will serve as the “Official Live TV Partner” and “Official Video Partner” of LAFC, becoming the exclusive home to watch all locally televised English-language LAFC matches. YouTube TV will also carry all nationally televised matches on ESPN, FOX and FS1. The landmark deal features the YouTube TV logo prominently displayed on the LAFC jersey. This is the first partnership of its kind in North American professional sports where all locally televised matches are on a live TV streaming provider.

The club has a league-high 16 matches broadcast nationally on ESPN, FOX, FS1 and Univision in 2018, and will soon announce a comprehensive broadcast package featuring a local, over-the-air Spanish-language broadcast partner as well as partnerships with both English and Spanish-language radio stations prior to the start of the season.

“This truly is a historic day for our club,” LAFC Owner and President Tom Penn said. “YouTube TV is an ambitious and innovative brand that we are proud to showcase on the front of our jersey and in our community. We are excited to provide our fans with a new and creative way to watch all of LAFC’s matches in one place during our inaugural season.”

As part of the partnership, all locally televised LAFC matches will be featured on a designated YouTube TV channel in the service, in addition to original LAFC programming and content. The YouTube TV broadcasts will feature a 30-minute pre and post-game show from the YouTube TV Studio set at Banc of California Stadium. Locally televised LAFC matches will be geo-fenced and available only in the Los Angeles market on YouTube TV. Together with additional matches broadcast nationally on ESPN, FOX and FS1, YouTube TV will be the home for 30 of LAFC’s 34 English-language matches, the most across any distribution provider.

“LAFC is reimagining the sports landscape in the same innovative way we strive to reimagine the live TV experience,” said YouTube Director of Sports Partnerships for the Americas Tim Katz. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with LAFC to be the exclusive home for all locally televised matches and to share our name on the front of their jerseys.”

YouTube TV launched in April 2017 to provide audiences around the country a new, more flexible way to enjoy their favorite live TV programming – including local sports and news – without a cable box. For $35 a month, YouTube TV includes nearly 50 networks. LAFC fans in Los Angeles will have access to live local feeds from KABC 7, CBS 2, KTTV FOX 11 and KNBC 4, plus popular cable networks like ESPN, AMC and FX and local sports networks such as NBC Sports and FOX Sports. YouTube TV is currently launched in over 80 metro areas in the U.S.

“We are at the forefront in engaging our fans on a digital, cable-free platform such as YouTube,” Penn said. “We are also committed to making our matches accessible to everyone throughout Los Angeles, and our upcoming broadcast announcements will provide comprehensive coverage of our club all over Southern California.”

YouTube TV joins Banc of California, Delta Air Lines/Aeromexico, Heineken and Toyota as LAFC’s Golden Boot Club Founding Partners. The Golden Boot Club provides exclusive access, visibility and experiences for LAFC’s most elite level of partnership.

Legends Global Sales represented LAFC in securing and negotiating LAFC’s deal with YouTube TV. Legends involvement in selling LAFC’s jersey kit and first streaming broadcast deal with YouTube TV comes on the heels of securing the largest naming rights deal in the history of MLS for Banc of California Stadium. In addition to securing LAFC’s record-setting sponsorship deals, Legends is also responsible for managing suites, ticket sales and project management for the new, state-of-the art Banc of California Stadium.

YouTube TV Includes:

  • Nearly 50 networks, including live local feeds from ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC in most markets, plus popular cable networks like ESPN, AMC and FX, and local sports networks from NBC Sports in 35 markets, FOX Sports in 74 markets, and NESN in five markets.
  • A cloud DVR, with no storage space limits that travels with subscribers within the United States so you can stream recordings on any device, whenever and wherever you want. It enables subscribers to record live TV and never run out of storage plus record shows simultaneously, without using precious data or space on your phone. Each recording will be stored for nine months.
  • YouTube TV can be watched on any screen – mobile, tablet or computer – and easily streamed to your TV with Samsung and LF 2016 and 2017 smart TVs, Xbox One, Android TVs, Chromecast, Chromecast built-in TV and AirPlay through Apple TV.
  • Six accounts per household, each with its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage space limits. Subscribers can watch up to three concurrent streams at a time.
  • Half the cost of cable with zero commitments. A YouTube TV membership is only $35 a month and there are no commitments – subscribers can cancel anytime.

About Legends:

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales, and Hospitality. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, Los Angeles Football Club, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, Rose Bowl, University of Southern California, Villanova, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.

Legends Announces Joseph M. Cormier as Chief Financial Officer

Legends Announces Joseph M. Cormier as Chief Financial Officer

NEW YORK, NY – November 10, 2017 – Legends today announced the appointment of Joseph M. Cormier as Chief Financial Officer. In his role at Legends, Cormier will be responsible for all the fiscal functions of the company and its economic corporate strategy, where he will act as an operational partner to the CEO and executive leadership team, to deliver on the company’s growth objectives.

“Upon meeting with Joe, we knew he would fit within our culture, with the necessary experience to deliver results and lead Legends from a financial perspective,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, Legends’ President, and CEO. “Joe’s background, acumen and financial vision will be instrumental as we experience continued growth, where he will play a key role in our efforts to expand and mature our business.”

Before joining Legends, Cormier was the CFO of several public and private equity backed enterprises, where he was instrumental in delivering shareholder returns, by executing on the business strategy of the enterprise and leading the firms through successful sale transactions. His most recent role as EVP and CFO of Camber Corporation saw a successful realization of ownership’s investment through its sale to a public company in late 2016. Joe has extensive experience in M&A transaction execution and capital raising across the business lifecycle.

“I am very excited to join the Legends management team as we are poised to further accelerate the growth of the business,” said Cormier. “We have the backing of iconic brands in the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and Live Nation, in addition to a preeminent private equity partner in New Mountain Capital, which allows us to capitalize on numerous opportunities in the marketplace.”

Cormier received his Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University, where he was a three-year letterman on the varsity football team. In his spare time, Cormier enjoys golf, CrossFit and participating in triathlons.

ABOUT LEGENDS

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales, and Hospitality.  We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, Los Angeles Football Club, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, Rose Bowl, University of Southern California, Villanova, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500.  For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.

One World Observatory Names Keith M. Douglas as Managing Director

One World Observatory Names Keith M. Douglas as Managing Director

The leading hospitality executive will oversee all operations for renowned Observatory
at the top of One World Trade Center

NEW YORK – September 18, 2017 – Leading consumer experience and hospitality executive Keith M. Douglas has been named Managing Director of One World Observatory, effective September 18, 2017. One World Observatory, located at the top of One World Trade Center, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, with unparalleled panoramic views of New York, and three floors of immersive, interactive experiences.

Douglas steps into the Managing Director role reporting directly to newly promoted Legends Chief Operating Offer Mike Tomon. In his newly appointed role, Keith will oversee the entire operation from the strategic business and marketing plans to the guest experience.

“Keith brings extensive knowledge growing and operating iconic New York experiences,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, President, and CEO, Legends. “His leadership, innovative thinking and ingenuity will further elevate the experience at One World Observatory for our guests.”

Before joining One World Observatory, Douglas was the President and Managing Director at KD&CO an advisory company, focused on business development and executive search in the hospitality, travel, tourism, and commercial real estate industries. Before that, he served for ten years as the Managing Director of Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock Observation Deck for Tishman Speyer. While at Tishman Speyer, Keith engineered strategic partnerships and drove sales at Top of the Rock, while creating incremental value beyond the physical location, among other global responsibilities in Boston, Chicago, Paris, San Francisco and Shanghai. He was responsible for the operations, sales and marketing efforts for the historic opening of the Rainbow Room in October 2014. Keith also managed marketing and operational aspects for all public programming at Rockefeller Center’s Plaza, including the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting event and Rockefeller Center’s Public Art Program. Douglas also spent over a decade as a senior executive responsible for overseeing sales, marketing and general managerial roles for several leading hotel franchises including W Hotels, Omni Hotels, and Doubletree, among others.

“I am thrilled to join One World Observatory, an iconic experience with the most spectacular views in the world,” added Douglas. “Our commitment is to provide a premium world-class experience that delights and inspires our guest every time they visit. One World Observatory is one of the most awe-inspiring destinations in the world, and I could not be more excited to be part of this amazing destination and experience, for both tourists and locals alike.”

Douglas serves on the Board of Directors of NYC&CO, New York City’s official destination marketing nonprofit organization. Keith has called New York his home for the last fourteen years. He is a graduate of the Johnson and Wales University, where he received his BS in Hospitality Management.

# # #

About Legends:

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales, and Hospitality. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including One World Observatory, Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, NFL, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams, Rose Bowl, AS Roma, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles Football Club, and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.

UFC® Announces First-Ever Global Retail Partnership with Legends Hospitality

UFC® Announces First-Ever Global Retail Partnership with Legends Hospitality

Las Vegas – UFC® today announced a multi-year partnership with Legends Hospitality, LLC (“Legends”), where the world-class fan service provider will serve as the premier mixed martial arts organization’s first-ever “Official Global Event Retail Partner.” The partnership, negotiated by IMG, will see Legends manage UFC retail shops at all events and fan experiences, both domestic and international.

“We are thrilled to partner with Legends Hospitality,” UFC Chief Operating Officer Ike Lawrence Epstein said. “As one of the most prominent and well-respected sports and entertainment brands in the marketplace today, we’re confident that Legends will utilize their fan-centric approach and retail acumen to provide fight fans around the world with the best possible experience.”

“Today’s announcement will play an important role in continuing to set new expectations for sports fans around the globe,” Legends President and Chief Executive Officer Shervin Mirhashemi said. “We are excited that UFC selected Legends as its exclusive global partner to operate more than 40 events annually.”

“We strive each and every day to be the global leader in fan services and today’s announcement is further evidence of our progress,” said Dan Smith, President of Legends’ Hospitality Division. “Together with UFC, we will create industry-changing retail benchmarks in sports and live events.”

Legends is among the most heralded and established companies in sports and entertainment that is renowned for delivering a variety of services at premier venues, including Yankees Stadium, AT&T Stadium, One World Observatory and nearly 40 Live Nation properties.

About UFC®

UFC® is a premium global sports brand and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. Acquired in 2016 by global sports, entertainment and fashion leader, WME | IMG, together with strategic partners Silver Lake Partners and KKR, UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas with a network of employees around the world. UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe, while programming is broadcast in over 163 countries and territories to more than 1.1 billion TV households worldwide in 35 different languages. UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the world. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram: @UFC.

 

About Legends

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, NFL, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams, Rose Bowl, AS Roma, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles Football Club, and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.

Legends Announces Acquisition of International Stadia Group

Legends Announces Acquisition of International Stadia Group

London-based sports and entertainment leader to join the industry’s global solution provider

LOS ANGELES – November 1, 2016 – Legends, the US based market-leader owned by the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, today announced the acquisition of International Stadia Group (‘ISG’), a London-based sports and entertainment company, as part of its strategy to extend the company’s global capabilities and 360 degree platform to reach new geographical markets outside the United States.

ISG will become an integral component of Legends’ full-service platform solution, leading to new growth opportunities in Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME) regions. ISG will continue to be headquartered in London, led by Founder and CEO, Andrew Hampel, alongside COO and Head of Research, Richard Cheesman.

“This marks a time of unprecedented growth and excitement for Legends,” said Legends President, Shervin Mirhashemi. “The acquisition of ISG further extends our reach into new markets abroad and solidifies our position as a global leader in fan experiences.”

Founded in 2006 and based in London, ISG has established itself as the market-leader in Europe, assisting teams and venue owners to plan and deliver optimal value. Employing a research and data driven approach, ISG helps venues to create and execute strategies to drive the best spectator experience for fans and deliver optimal returns from a financial and brand perspective.

“We are delighted to become part of the Legends family, with whom we share the same vision and approach, and very excited at the opportunity to combine decades of experience and exceptional talent, to provide best in class resources and services globally,” said Hampel. “Our clients and the spectator experience sit at the center of all we do, supplemented by a data-driven approach to our work. Between us, we have worked on a collection of the most iconic stadia in the world. While ISG was pursued by several industry leaders, we were drawn to the Legends 360 platform and culture, inspiring our management team and board to decide to be acquired by Legends.”

ISG’s clients include Atletico de Madrid, FC Barcelona, Friends Arena, Twickenham, Manchester City, Galatasaray, Udinese Calcio and Tottenham Hotspur.

“Andrew Hampel has built a formidable force in the European market, providing invaluable expertise that range from feasibility studies, research, marketing and sales,” said Legends President of Global Planning, Bill Rhoda. “The resources, depth of market analysis and global insights will prove to be a compelling asset for Legends’ clients around the world.”

Legends has redefined the role of a turnkey “service provider” and set a new expectation within the industry. It provides an integrated solution for our partners creating a unique atmosphere for Guests that is enhanced at every major touch point throughout their journey. The Legends’ signature approach encompasses their acclaimed Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality divisions synchronizing a 360 degree venue and fan experience solution.

Per company policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ABOUT LEGENDS

As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.

We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, Rose Bowl, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.

SkyRise Miami and Legends Announce Development and Investment Partnership

Renowned Hospitality Company to Assist in Design and to Operate the Highly Anticipated  Iconic Structure Deemed “Symbol of the New Miami”

Upon completion, SkyRise Miami to stand 1,000 feet tall on the shores of Biscayne Bay and offer unique guest experiences, including observatory space, thrill rides, family attractions and dining options

Miami — June 27, 2016 — Legends, the premier sports and entertainment company, today announced that it will help design and operate SkyRise Miami, the highly anticipated, 1,000 foot tall vertical entertainment observation tower currently planned on the shore of Biscayne Bay.

SkyRise Miami was conceptualized by developer Jeff Berkowitz and  will stand as Florida’s tallest building and the country’s southernmost observation tower.  Upon expected completion in 2020, it will offer guests a multitude of entertainment options, including multiple observation venues, interactive exhibits, thrill rides, family attractions and dining options.

Legends, owned by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, will be responsible for the overall development and operation of the SkyRise experience, creating innovative guest interactions and food & beverage offerings, executing marketing, programming and sales strategies, and overseeing day-to-day management of the distinctive vertical attraction.

“We are honored to partner with and invest in SkyRise Miami, an innovative, state-of-the-art space considered by many to represent a ‘symbol of the New Miami,’ said Shervin Mirhashemi, President of Legends. “As the SkyRise structure takes its place on the city skyline, we look forward to bringing our expertise to the ongoing development, and helping to create an experience that will provide a new way for visitors to view Miami and its surrounding area.”

“We are confident that Legends, well-known for its best-in-class business acumen, will serve our project well in the years ahead,” said developer Jeff Berkowitz. “This partnership is a win-win for all involved, and we look forward to bringing a high-quality iconic attraction to the South Florida community and its millions of visitors.”

“SkyRise Miami takes everything exciting about Miami and displays it for the world to see,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “With this new landmark, Miami takes its rightful place amongst the great cities of the world.”

“Miami is already the most exciting tourist destination in the hemisphere,” said William Talbert, President of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. “SkyRise Miami will instantly become the icon the rest of the world will know us by.”

SkyRise Miami will represent the third observatory space under the direction of Legends. The company currently owns and operates One World Observatory, atop One World Trade Center in New York City, and operates OUE Skyspace, debuting in Los Angeles at the end of June.

Legends conceived, constructed and now manages the award-winning guest experience at One World Observatory, which opened in May 2015. Positioned on levels 100, 101 and 102 of  One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the space provides guests with panoramic views of New York City’s most iconic sites from above 1,250 feet. One World features groundbreaking interactive exhibits and technology, retail and dining options, as well as a premium special events space.

Across the country from New York, Legends works with OUE Americas, owner of the US Bank Tower, on California’s tallest open-air observation deck. At OUE Skyspace LA.,  Legends is responsible for managing the guest experience that includes panoramic, 360 degree views of Los Angeles, and Skyslide, a fully enclosed glass slide perched on the exterior of the building to provide guests an “outdoor ride” from 70th floor to the 69th floor.

Super Bowl 50 generates $4.6M In Stadium Merch Sales

Read Full Article HERE

Source: Don Muret, Staff Writer

Super Bowl 50 produced a record $4.6M in merchandise sales at Levi’s Stadium, according to sources. Officials with Legends, which ran the event’s retail operation in conjunction with FMI, could not confirm the numbers, but said in addition to the in-stadium sales, they hit records in the week leading up to Super Bowl at their location outside nearby Santa Clara Convention Center. On the food and drink side, Centerplate’s total sales were $6.2M, which with the game attendance of 71,088 results in a per cap of $87.57. MetLife Stadium, host of Super Bowl XLVIII, holds the record of $94.60.

OWO to Receive Prestigious Industry Honor from the Themed Entertainment Association

One World Observatory Welcomes Its One Millionth Guest

Today we paused to appreciate a historical moment. Our One Millionth guest walked through the doors of the One World Observatory. Thank you to all who have joined us and all who plan to join us to #‎SEEFOREVER!

One World Observatory Welcomes Its One Millionth Guest

One World Observatory Welcomes Its One Millionth Guest

Today we paused to appreciate a historical moment. Our One Millionth guest walked through the doors of the One World Observatory. Thank you to all who have joined us and all who plan to join us to #‎SEEFOREVER!

Legends Retained for Sacramento Stadium Project

The parent company of USL club Sacramento Republic FC has hired Legends as project manager for the development of a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Sacramento, a project it believes is key to an MLS expansion bid.

The privately financed stadium could be ready as soon as the 2018 MLS season, pending the league awarding the city a franchise, according to sources familiar with the project.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber has stated that the 20-team league is committed to reaching 24 teams by 2020. Future teams are slated for Atlanta and Los Angeles, but ongoing stadium issues in Miami and recent developments in Minneapolis have kept the door open for Sacramento.

The possibility of the league expanding beyond 24 teams has fueled hope as well.

Dale Koger, Legends senior vice president of project development, will lead the Sacramento project.

“Our goal is to have feasibility studies, concept designs, pricing and a term sheet all completed by Q4 of this year so that there can literally be a package presented to the league that will outline the development plan,” Koger said.

The hiring of Legends represents the next step in Sacramento’s Operation Turnkey, the initiative launched this year by Mayor Kevin Johnson and by Kevin Nagle, managing partner of Republic FC owner Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings, to obtain an MLS team for the city.

Legends brings a degree of local expertise to the stadium effort. The company was retained by the Sacramento Kings to manage food and beverage services at the team’s new Golden 1 Center, opening in fall 2016. Legends also was retained by the San Francisco 49ers to manage the sale of premium inventory for the launch last year of Levi’s Stadium.

Both the Kings and 49ers are investors in the parent company of Republic FC.

LAFC Chooses Legends for Multiple Roles

The Los Angeles Football Club, the MLS expansion team set to begin play in 2018, has hired Legends to provide multiple services for developing the most expensive stadium project in the league’s 20-year history.

The $250 million, privately funded complex covers a 22,000-seat facility and more than 100,000 square feet of restaurants, office space, a conference center and an international soccer museum. Pending city approvals over the next several months, the star-studded ownership team — which includes Magic Johnson, Nomar and Mia Hamm Garciaparra, Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and motivational speaker Tony Robbins — plans to build the stadium on the site of the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The targeted opening is 2018, the team’s first MLS season.

Legends, co-owned by the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees, has deals in place to serve as owner’s representative managing the project and sell premium seating for the Gensler-designed stadium. The inventory includes three levels of club seats, including field-level, and cabana-style suites with a water feature, all on the stadium’s west side. The open-air cabanas will have views to downtown Los Angeles and the peristyle at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the signature arched entrances to the seating bowl on the east side of the historic stadium, said Ron Turner, Gensler’s principal-in-charge of the project.

For Legends, the role of owner’s representative is its first big league project outside of the Cowboys’ new training center in Frisco, Texas. Fifteen months ago, Legends hired construction executive Dale Koger to expand its services to owner’s representation. (SportsBusiness Journal Feb. 17-23, 2014). In Los Angeles, the job falls in line with Legends’ goal of providing “360 degree services” for facility development and came about after the team first hired its sister company CSL International last fall, said Shervin Mirhashemi, Legends’ president and chief operating officer.

CSL, which along with Koger’s group is part of Legends Global Planning, launched a feasibility study in October to determine the best site for the stadium and conduct market research tied to premium seating.

Now that the site has been determined, CSL will send a survey in the coming weeks to potential season-ticket holders to collect information on their seating preferences. The survey will draw upon several databases for contacts, including a database compiled by MLS of past ticket buyers attending international matches in Southern California outside of LA Galaxy games at StubHub Center, said Bill Rhoda, CSL’s president. From the results of the survey, CSL will schedule focus groups to help determine the right mix of seating products, Rhoda added.

LAFC officials have not made a decision for who will lead the sales effort for the stadium project, Mirhashemi said.

Last week, after a news conference to announce the project, LAFC starting taking $50 deposits from fans interested in becoming season-ticket holders, said Tom Penn, LAFC’s co-owner and president.

“We’re at the beginning of this process,” said Penn, a former executive with three NBA teams. “We have a 10-month time frame to get the site entitled and government approvals for demolition and construction. Gensler is working its tail off on design.”

Ownership’s vision is to draw on the best of what North American soccer facilities offer, such as Sporting Kansas City’s Sporting Park and the San Jose Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium, plus European venues such as Loftus Road, home of Queens Park Rangers, which played in the Premier League this season. QPR owner Ruben Gnanalingam is an LAFC director and owner.

The closeness of the stands to the pitch at Loftus Road, which at 18,500 seats is the same size as most MLS venues and creates a distinct home-field advantage, is one aspect the Los Angeles group wants to emulate, Rhoda said.

In addition, LAFC’s goal is to develop one of the largest supporters sections in MLS — more than 3,000 seats in the north end — to create a raucous feel and set the tone for game days, Turner said.

Those supporter groups typically vary in size depending on the stadium and opponent, MLS officials said. But they often stand and cheer for the entire game and are critical to the success of some of the better clubs in MLS such as Portland, Seattle and Sporting KC, Penn said. At LAFC, those spaces could extend to large decks overhanging the bowl to create a “thunderdome” effect, he said.

For the mixed-use component, LAFC has not made a decision whether to serve as the developer or hire a specialist in that space, Penn said.

Besides MLS games, the team will seek to book international friendly matches, concerts, food festivals and corporate events, he said.

Observation Deck at World Trade Center’s Freedom Tower to open May 29

That’s one helluva view.

The long-awaited Freedom Tower observatory at One World Trade Center is opening to the public May 29.

Housed on floors 100, 101 and 102 of the nation’s tallest skyscraper, the One World Observatory will provide panoramic views and an “unparalleled opportunity to experience New York City,” said David Checketts, head honcho at Legends, which will be running the observatory.

“From sweeping panoramic views, to innovative interactive exhibits, to world-class dining options, we expect One World Observatory to be the premier destination and attraction in New York City for both tourists and local residents.”

Bryan Stanley, 42, visiting from Baltimore, can hardly wait.

“I’d love to see the city from up on high. Where I’m from, we don’t have buildings anywhere near that tall,” Stanley told the Daily News, as he stood in the shadow of the building. “It’s historic … I love the skyline in New York, and I never had the chance to go in the original World Trade Center.”

All three levels will be outfitted with the latest interactive gizmos.

But the visit will start on the ground floor at the Global Welcome Center, which will feature greetings in dozens of languages and a world map highlighting the hometowns of what’s expected to be millions of visitors.

Guests will then be steered to a “preshow program” called “Voices” that tells the personal stories of the folks who raised One World Trade Center out of the ashes of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks.

Then it’s off to the “Foundations” program, which goes into more detail about the building itself and its history.

Finally, visitors will board one of five “Sky Pods” — dedicated elevators — and whoosh up to the 102nd floor in less than 60 seconds.

There, passengers will head to the “See Forever Theater” for a two-minute video that “combines bird’s eye imagery, time-lapse shots with abstract textures and patterns to present the unique rhythm and pulse of New York City,” according to the press release group.

The main observatory is on the 100th floor and features a “Sky Portal” where “guests are invited to step onto a 14-foot wide circular disc that will deliver an unforgettable view, using real-time, high definition footage of the streets below,” the release states group said.

Cafes and restaurants will be on the 101st floor and the fare will range from “casual cafe fare to seated fine-dining.”

While prices will vary, admission for visitors ages 13 to 64 will be $32, children ages 6 to 12 will be $26, and kids under age 5 will be free. Seniors ages 65 and up will be charged $30.

The Observatory will be open year-round. From May 29 until Sept. 7, operating hours will be 9 a.m. until midnight, with the last ticket sold at 11:15 p.m. Non-summer operating hours are 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., which will be expanded during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

There will be special discounts for active and retired members of the military. And admission will be free for 9/11 family members as well as rescue workers who toiled on The Pit.

Live Nation, Legends Hospitality Q&A with Shervin Mirhashemi

Legends Hospitality has just signed one of the largest venue F&B contracts in history. In December, the company was awarded 34 amphitheaters under Live Nation management in a multiyear deal. Amplify caught up with Shervin Mirhashemi, president & COO of Legends, on Friday to discuss the deal.

How did this deal come about?

Mark Campana (co-president of Live Nation’s North America Concerts) is the one who got this started. They opened up F&B to an RFP process to find the best solution. He and I had an initial conversation in early 2014 — he told me about the RFP and asked if I was interested. I told him we absolutely were interested. Looking back at that conversation, it really resonated with both of us. The RFP process began in June 2014, and they made their decision in early December.

Is Legends creating a separate division to administer this contract?

Yes, we felt the amount of revenues involved here for Live Nation deserved having a dedicated structure focused on the Live Nation account. We created a dedicated team that is solely focused on Live Nation’s 34 amphitheaters across North America.

Where is the company going to be based?

It’s under the hospitality division of Legends Hospitality, which Dan Smith oversees as its president. They’ll be headquartered at our offices here in LA. Because this agreement covers all of North America, we’ll have regional teams in various locations.

Let’s talk about Legend’s vision. Amphitheater food has certainly not been great. What are some of your early plans for the sheds?

These facilities aren’t open year-round, and some of them don’t have the infrastructure for large-scale food delivery. We’re going to be really focused on developing innovative food and beverage programs, including premium services. We’re also going to look at POS systems and concepts that are a little more digital and seamless. Not only do we want to expedite service, but we also want to reach more customers over a long span of time. And the last piece is innovative technology — how do we engage with the customer and the fan earlier in the process? We want them to look at the venue as a place to hear music and to really experience something that includes a high-end, value-oriented food and beverage component. We are currently developing the programs and putting the pieces together, and we’ll roll them out over the next few months.

So this contract begins this summer concert season?

Yes, and you’ll see constant innovation as we develop this relationship from year to year. It is absolutely our intention to have many of these concepts kick off immediately. We’ll have more details as we go through this process — we’re going to look for things, like a picnic basket program, that resonate with customers around certain shows and within certain markets. We’re also going to look at grab and go, so fans can get tremendous quality and value in an expedited fashion. We’re going to look at increasing vending services, potentially in the lawn areas. There’s also a technology component — we’re looking at reaching customers in a much different way, not only from a time standpoint but also from an access standpoint. And it’s important to point out that we are creating custom experiences for the venues. We don’t want to take a concept that works in Los Angeles and roll it out across all venues. We’re going to give some flexibility to our general managers to create their own programs that work in their regions and venues.

Is this deal a contract or more of a 50-50 partnership?

This is absolutely a contract with Live Nation as the client and Legends as the concessionaire. But we have also agreed that our businesses are very complementary, and we’re going to be very strategic in how we approach the market. We’re going to look at delivering solutions together to third-party clients, and we think that this strategic relationship is going to be a real game-changer.

Legends Selling New Premium Seats in Oklahoma Renovation

The University of Oklahoma has hired Legends Global Sales to sell new premium seats tied to the $370 million renovation of Gaylord Family-OklahomaMemorial Stadium.

The project covers a mix of suites, loge boxes and club seats to be built in the south end zone and along the west sideline. The revenue generated from selling the new seats will help pay for construction costs, said Larry Naifeh, OU’s executive associate director of athletics.

Legends comes on board after its sister company CSL International consulted with the Big 12 school to help determine the appropriate number of new premium seats and their market value.

School officials spoke with other sports marketers but felt comfortable with Legends based on its relationship with CSL, Naifeh said.

Legends is responsible for selling about 14 Founders Suites; 24 smaller, traditional suites; more than 50 loge boxes; and an undetermined number of club seats. In addition, Legends will take over all season-ticket sales as part of the project.
School officials won’t release pricing on the new inventory until Populous’ drawings are complete and the university’s board of regents approves the final design in the coming weeks, Naifeh said.

But it’s safe to say the Founders Suites, the most luxurious spaces, will cost seven figures over a long-term commitment, he said. Those 18-seat units, targeted for the west sideline, are modeled after similar high-end suites at fellow Big 12 schools Baylor and TCU.

In Fort Worth, the six Founders Suites, part of a major renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadiumtwo years ago, carry terms of $15 million to be paid over five years. In Waco, new McLane Stadium’s half-dozen Founders Suites all sold for at least $10 million over 20 years.

The difference is at TCU those patrons share a 6,400-square-foot lounge outside of their private boxes. At Oklahoma, there will be ample hospitality space in a common area for 250 to 300 Founders Suite ticket holders, Naifeh said.

To give all Sooners season-ticket holders a better idea of what the new premium seats will look like, including 11,800 donors at the top of the list, Oklahoma has opened a preview center at a building across the street from campus.

OU signed a five-year lease with the owner of the building, situated on “Campus Corner,” a busy intersection in town. Inside are a mock suite and models of loge boxes and the new club seats.

Upon entering the center, season-ticket holders walk down hallways containing a historical timeline of Sooners football before encountering an image of the renovated stadium and rooms showcasing the seat models. Touch-screen technology lends to the visual effects.

OU spent about $550,000 to lease the 7,700-square-foot space and build the preview center.

Legends ultimately will have nine employees working in the preview center alongside Oklahoma’s development staffers, said Mike Ondrejko, Legends Global Sales’ chief operating officer. Tim Statezni, the agency’s on-site general manager, previously sold premium seats at Rose Bowl Stadium.

OU’s premium-seat additions are expected to open during the next two seasons.

Sporting KC Adds Legends for Food and Beverage

Sporting Kansas City has signed a five-year deal with Legends Hospitality to take over all aspects of food service at Sporting Park.

The concessionaire, co-owned by the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees, replaces Delaware North Sportservice after the MLS team mutually agreed to part ways with the food provider and American Vending, its local partner at the facility.

The decision to switch vendors four seasons after the stadium opened in 2011 was less about the American Sportservice joint venture and more about Legends’ “best-in-class” philosophy to upgrade the food operation, said Jake Reid, Sporting KC’s chief revenue officer. 
“We thought they were a good aesthetic fit in general,” Reid said. “We have five clubs in addition to concourse concessions, and they should all have a different look and feel.”

The team issued an RFP and did extensive research on food service. Sporting KC officials thought seriously about going in-house to run general concessions and premium dining, and talked to teams that run food internally, before deciding that subcontracting remained the best option.

Legends, born out of serving AT&T Stadium and Yankee Stadium, came closest to the self-operation model, Reid said.

“Ultimately, going in-house is a two- to three-year learning curve, and as a young brand and stadium, we weren’t ready to take on that responsibility,” he said.

It didn’t hurt that Reid and Mike Tomon, Legends’ president of North American sports and events, have a business relationship dating to eight years ago, when they both worked for the old Charlotte Bobcats. Tomon later went to AEG, owner of MLS’s Los Angeles Galaxy and co-owner of the Houston Dynamo, and kept in touch with Reid over the years before landing with Legends. Tomon’s ties with Reid helped open the door for Legends to begin conversations about potentially taking over the Kansas City stadium.

“We had some conversations and it became apparent they were making a switch early from Delaware North,” Tomon said. “It’s a key account for us. The value they put on the customer experience is almost obsessive.”

Legends’ on-site general manager, Harry Smith, is a holdover from Sportservice. The new food provider is in search of an executive chef and sous chefs.

Sporting KC is Legends’ second MLS account, in addition to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Legends Making Food Part of the Show

By Linda Deckard/Venues Today

New concessions deal with Live Nation amphitheaters is about the fan experience

Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas is one of 34 Live Nation-owned and -operated amphitheaters Legends Hospitality will serve under its new concessions contract.

While the long-term plan is to shop Live Nation and Legends Hospitality services to third-party clients as a turnkey option, the immediate task is to launch new food and drink services by Legends Hospitality at 34 Live Nation amphitheaters as the season opens over the next 30-60 days.

Legends Hospitality and Live Nation struck a deal for food and drink services at those North American sheds in mid-December, finalizing the agreement just Jan. 1, said Shervin Mirhashemi, president and COO of Legends. His counterpart at Live Nation in negotiation and implementation is Mark Campana, Live Nation co-president for North America.

“He and his team were looking at a bid for their amphitheaters. He and I had a conversation. I knew him from my days at AEG,” Mirhashemi said. “Coming out of that call it seemed what they were looking for as far as concessionaire operations going forward matched with the mindset and innovation we have as a company, certainly on the hospitality side of the business.”

The process took over a year as the contract for those sheds went out to bid, said Mirhashemi, who moved over to Legends a year and a half ago from AEG. But the turnaround is just three months. He didn’t anticipate everything will be done the first season.

Legends Hospitality had an edge over the competition because it is focused on the fan experience, adding value and innovation to the operation, he added..

“We have many different facets to our company — a robust sales arm, a global planning group. On all fronts of our business we’re in the customer experience business and enhancing that customer experience,” Mirhashemi said of the deal. “Live Nation is at a point where they were looking at these venues and ways to enhance the experience, and certainly food and beverage is one of those. As we got into more details and into the weeds as to what all that meant, it came to life for all of us that what they wanted to accomplish and what our desires were a perfect complement.”

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

At this point, over 75 full-time people have been hired with year-round responsibility for Live Nation business. Mirhashemi said they began recruiting in mid-December and the result is a mix of Legends personnel, existing amphitheater employees and industry veterans.

Bill Wilson came on board as vice president, Live Nation Hospitality, responsible exclusively for Live Nation Business. He answers to Michael Bekolay, newly named Legends Hospitality Group COO and, ultimately, to Dan Smith, President of Legends Hospitality.

“We had a unique approach to this business. We suggested to Live Nation that these venues deserve and need year-round dedicated attention and staff,” Mirhashemi said. Legends created a dedicated structure just focused on the Live Nation Business, under the Hospitality umbrella, but 100 percent focused on Live Nation. Then four more dedicated folks responsible for clusters of amphitheaters in their region joined Wilson.

Those four regional VPs include:

·    Kevin Austin, South Eastern Regional Manager

·    Don Griffin, North Eastern Regional Manager

·    Brent Sloan, Western Regional Manager

·    Geno Svec, Central Regional Manager

Legends regional infrastructure already in place will be involved as well, but the key is the dedicated staff concentrating only on Live Nation Business, which also includes general managers and dedicated staff below them, such as finance and human resources. “Then layer in the not-for-profit groups involved with all these venues and we’re talking thousands of people,” Mirhashemi said.

“That dedicated infrastructure was hired within two weeks of Jan. 1, when we got the keys to this new car,” he added. “We put together an all-star team. All the GMs are now on board and going through the process of the transition.”

Live Nation Business will be overseen from Legends new Culver City, Calif., offices, relocated just this week from Century City. “With Live Nation assets out here, plus we have the L.A. Coliseum, Rose Bowl (Pasadena), US Bank Tower (L.A.) and Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Los Angeles and this region are very important for us,” he said.

THE PLAN IN PLACE

The winning bidder promised to make food part of the show, helping create an environment where fans would come earlier and stay longer and spend more.

To “elevate the food and beverage program” Legends Hospitality Group will create diverse food offerings, like a picnic basket program and an enhanced grab-and-go market concept, Mirhashemi said. “Some concepts only fit in certain markets.”

They are also looking at increased vending services, “making sure we go out to the customers and fans so they don’t have to miss the action by coming out to the concessions area,” he continued.

They will also institute a regional chefs program where appropriate, customized to each market. There may also be a national chef program.

Enhanced POS (point of sale) offerings so fans spend less time in line so Legends has the flexibility to go out to the customer is in the works, as are VIP premium services at various levels and price points.

Innovative technology is a hallmark for Legends and “we are developing an app that can enhance the experience for the customer. We’re currently in the process of identifying what, which one, how quickly and what level,” Mirhashemi said, promising an announcement in the next few weeks.

The plan, or course, is to drive revenue. Per caps on food and drink are normally in the midteens at amphitheaters. “We can certainly increase those numbers,” he said, saying they will be setting internal goals soon. “We think you get what you pay for. The deal structure was the right deal structure on these venues. We will provide them with the opportunity to grow the pie.”

THE PLAN GOING FORWARD

“We wouldn’t have been able to do this without this partnership approach,” Mirhashemi said. “They’ve been amazing as partners.”

Both parties have committed significant capital which will be deployed over the next several years, he said, declining to say how long or how much.

“We need enough buying power to do what these venues deserve,” he added, confirming Legends has been on a major buying spree.

The deal does not include equity in Legends for Live Nation and does not include sponsorships. Both companies have robust sponsorship sales divisions. “We don’t take our own sponsorship revenue when it comes to our venues,” Mirhashemi said. “We will identify opportunities and inventory for Live Nation and their team that can be monetized through sponsorships. We’ll bring that to the table.”

The differentiator for Legends is that “we are not just a food and beverage company. We have this robust global sales and global planning group that allows us to be involved with the life cycle of a venue from inception to opening and operating a venue,” he said. That diversity may lead to yet more Live Nation business.

It’s a game changer for Legends in that this is the firm’s first significant foray into the music side of the business. It was founded on sports, owned by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys organizations. They dipped their toes into music festivals last year and have spent the last year and a half developing the attractions side of the business, namely One World Observatory atop the World Trade Center which opens in June in New York City and has a robust food and beverage business.

While this deal with Live Nation is transformative as a different vertical of business, it also opens new doors to other strategic ways Live Nation and Legends can work together going forward, Mirhashemi said. “The core businesses Live Nation is in, we’re not in. Strategically, we are going out to third-party opportunities in the marketplace, where we could deliver our best-in-class operations in our verticals of business – global planning, global sales and hospitality, in addition to Live Nation’s content. We could provide a real turnkey solution to third-party assets out there. We will be strategically aligned and looking at going out there and presenting together an opportunity for other third-party assets.”

It is comparable to what is happening in the venue construction business, where architects and construction companies are aligning for an initial design/build, versus the traditional design/bid/build where each entity is contracted separately.

As to third-party deals with Live Nation, sometimes the approach will be more traditional and one or the other will secure a contract and work to bring the other on board, but where opportunity presents itself, Legends and Live Nation will bring a unique, collective solution to the table, he said.

Where and when? “Within a month, we’ve identified a couple of third-party opportunities and we’ve already started having those discussions about how do we then go to market,” Mirhashemi said.

“But make no mistake about it, our focus this year certainly and going forward, we want to do a tremendous job on these 34 amphitheaters. That’s the core of what we signed up for, that’s why they chose us.”

Interviewed for this article: Shervin Mirhashemi

Legends – Puck Combo Will Handle Rose Bowl Premium Dining

By:  Don Muret/Sports Business Daily

Legends Hospitality has formed a partnership with Wolfgang Puck Catering to take over premium dining at Rose Bowl Stadium.

The five-year deal covers the Terry Donahue Pavilion, a new structure on the stadium’s west side named for the former UCLA football coach. The 55,000-square-foot addition, the centerpiece of a $181 million renovation, has 54 suites, 1,400 club seats and 48 loge boxes.

The Legends-Puck partnership, in place since July 1 but not made public until now, has worked four concerts plus the Manchester United-LA Galaxy soccer match at the venue, generating an 18 percent bump in sales compared with comparable events last summer, Legends officials said.

UCLA’s first home football game this season is Sept. 6, against Memphis. Legends replaces Bristol Farms, a local caterer.

Over the five-year term, the Legends-Puck partnership could produce about $2 million in commissions paid to the Rose Bowl Operating Co., the stadium’s management firm, said Darryl Dunn, the Rose Bowl’s general manager.

For Legends, landing the premium food piece comes more than three years after its sales division started selling premium seats for the Rose Bowl.

The relationship between Legends and Rose Bowl officials on the sales side evolved into discussions about Legends potentially running premium food, said Shervin Mirhashemi, the company’s president and COO. Legends brought Wolfgang Puck Catering on board as a partner to help win the business.

The two firms worked together on a few smaller projects last year at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, another Legends food account.

Mirhashemi is friends with Carl Schuster, Puck’s president and CEO, dating to Mirhashemi’s days working for AEG. They were talking about business in general one day, and the Rose Bowl food situation came up.

“We thought it would be interesting and fun to collaborate and we were fortunate enough to win the bid,” Mirhashemi said. “Wolfgang Puck fits perfectly within our infrastructure and the way we look at assets … trying to do things at a very high level and create a great guest experience.”

In general, Legends will run the suites while Wolfgang Puck Catering’s focus is on the club spaces, including Puck’s Tavern, branded after a similar restaurant it runs at Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks.

On its own, Wolfgang Puck Catering has done corporate hospitality in the Rose Bowl parking lots and provided food service for the last three national championship parties tied to the Tournament of Roses Parade, Schuster said. In the past, it has has teamed with Levy Restaurants at sports venues; Compass Group North America owns Levy Restaurants and co-owns Wolfgang Puck Catering.

“We’ve had a history with the Rose Bowl for 15 years,” Schuster said. “It’s our home field in L.A. Our commissary is right up the street.”

In Pasadena, the deal extends to Legends-Puck helping stadium management book non-game-day functions at the Rose Bowl.

Keri Johnson, most recently employed by Legends at Yankee Stadium, is general manager of the Rose Bowl’s premium food business.

The Rose Bowl is Legends’ third food contract in Southern California, joining the Coliseum and Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Ovations Food Services and Patina Restaurant Group were the other two finalists.

SodexoMagic, a joint venture between Sodexo and Magic Johnson Enterprises, maintains the Rose Bowl’s general concessions.

Legends, The University Of Notre Dame to Collaborate on Ticket Sales Planning And Execution

By:  Don Muret/Sports Business Daily

Notre Dame has hired Legends Global Sales to market new premium seats for the school’s $400 million expansion of Notre Dame Stadium.

The seven-year deal extends to Legends selling season tickets for men’s basketball at Joyce Center and developing premium experiences for marquee ACC matchups such as North Carolina, said Rob Kelly, Notre Dame’s assistant athletic director of ticketing and technology.

Notre Dame’s football program remains an independent, and for Legends, football is driving the project. The company’s experience selling premium seat products for the Cowboys, 49ers, Falcons and Rose Bowl Stadium tipped the scales in its favor, Kelly said.

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