Getafe CF and Legends Announce 15-Year Strategic Partnership

Legends to Support the Club on Improving the Commercial Offering and Fan Experience

Agreement Incorporates Legends Holistic Service Platform to Drive Club Revenue

Getafe CF x Legends

Getafe CF and Legends, a data-fueled global premium experiences company, announced today a 15-year strategic partnership centered around maximizing the club’s commercial offering and enhancing the fan experience.

Getafe CF will utilize Legends’ unique 360-degree service platform as part of the expansive, long-term partnership, including stadium planning and project management, premium hospitality sales, sponsorships, food and beverage operations and technology solutions. A collaborative, strategic approach will focus on driving long-term, sustainable growth across key revenue generating areas of the club’s business.

The Club’s evolution in recent years in the sporting, economic and social areas has led us to compete alongside some of the most important teams in European soccer. This agreement allows us to continue developing our business areas and make the Coliseum a 21st Century stadium. We are very pleased to partner with a company of such magnitude,” said Angel Torres, President, Getafe CF.

The initial phase of the partnership will focus on the planning and management to transform and modernize the stadium experience for fans at match and non-match days. Legends’ experienced team will conduct an in-depth market and feasibility study to guide a recommended approach for the stadium.

“Getafe has embraced what it takes to be on the leading edge of the sports fan experience. We are proud to partner with them to leverage our holistic expertise to accelerate the growth of the club across a number of fan and partner experiences, beginning with the development of a transformed Stadium for the future,” said Jesus Bueno, Managing Director of Iberia, Legends. “Our team will work side by side with the Getafe organization to ensure we are developing a stadium and sales strategy focused on long-term, sustainable growth for the club and delivering a first-class experience for their fans.”

Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands. The company has a well-established presence in Madrid and will create a new team to guide and deliver the project alongside Legends’ team of global and national experts.

Throughout Europe, Legends also counts Real Madrid CF, Manchester City FC, Rugby World Cup 2023, UFC, The European Tour, and Ryder Cup as clients. The company has advised on numerous stadium development projects for clients including Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Seville FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Liverpool FC, Everton FC, Leicester City FC, Feyenoord, Inter Milan, and Club America, among many others.

Spanish Press Release

El Getafe y Legends se unen en un acuerdo a 15 años

La empresa norteamericana trabajará con el Club para mejorar las ofertas comerciales y la experiencia del Fan.

Legends incorpora en el acuerdo su plataforma de servicio holístico para maximizar los ingresos del Club.

Getafe CF x Legends

El Getafe Club de Fútbol y Legends han llegado a un acuerdo de 15 años, que se centrará en impulsar el crecimiento sostenible en las áreas clave de generación de ingresos del negocio de la entidad. La multinacional será parte activa de la comercialización de localidades premium, patrocinios y soluciones tecnológicas. Un enfoque colaborativo y estratégico para el desarrollo del Club. Se utilizará la plataforma única de servicios de 360 grados de Legends como parte de la asociación expansiva, incluyendo además los patrocinios y soluciones tecnológicas.

“La evolución del Club en los últimos años en el apartado deportivo, económico y social nos ha llevado a codearnos con algunos de los equipos más potentes del fútbol europeo. Este acuerdo permite seguir desarrollando las áreas de negocio y hacer del Coliseum un estadio del Siglo XXI. Estamos muy satisfechos de aliarnos con una empresa de tal magnitud”, asegura Ángel Torres, presidente del Getafe Club de Fútbol.

Legends colabora con muchas de las marcas deportivas, de entretenimiento y atracciones más emblemáticas del mundo. La empresa norteamericana tiene una presencia bien establecida en Madrid. Además, creará un nuevo equipo para guiar y entregar el proyecto junto con el grupo de expertos internacionales y nacionales de Legends.

En Europa, Legends también cuenta entre sus clientes al Liverpool FC, Manchester United FC, The Shard, Rugby World Cup 2023, UFC, The European Tour y Ryder Cup. La empresa ha asesorado en numerosos proyectos de desarrollo como los del Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC, Everton, Leicester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Feyenoord, Inter de Milán, Parma Calcio 1913, Club América y CF Monterrey, entre muchos otros.

“El Getafe Club de Fútbol ha adoptado lo que se necesita para estar a la vanguardia de la experiencia de los aficionados del deporte. Estamos orgullosos de asociarnos con esta entidad, aprovechando nuestra experiencia para acelerar el crecimiento del Club a través de una serie de experiencias de los fans y abonados”, asegura Jesús Bueno, director general de Legends en España y Portugal. “Trabajaremos codo con codo con la dirección del Getafe para asegurar una estrategia de ventas centrada en el crecimiento sostenible, y a largo plazo del Club, y en ofrecer una experiencia de primera clase a sus aficionados” añade el ejecutivo.

“Este acuerdo para el Club supone la posibilidad de continuar con su proceso de expansión de marca internacional. Además de un impulso del área comercial y una mejora de las experiencias de nuestros aficionados”, añade Alberto Heras, director de marketing y comercial del Getafe Club de Fútbol.

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BNP Paribas Open Partners with Legends for New and Improved On-Site Retail Experience

The BNP Paribas Open announced a new partnership with global premium experiences company Legends to operate an enhanced on-site retail experience at the tournament, which will next be held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 6-19, 2023. The announcement was made as part of an unveiling of a number of upgraded amenities, partners and new events ahead of the 2023 tournament.

“Legends is proud to partner with the BNP Paribas Open to provide an unparalleled retail experience with expanded merchandise offerings to all fans visiting the Indian Wells Tennis Garden,” said Kirta Carroll, President, Legends Global Merchandise.

“The 2023 edition of Tennis Paradise is shaping up to be the best one yet,” said Tournament Director Tommy Haas. “With a completely revamped retail experience, a host of new fan activations and events, and of course – the best tennis players in the world competing for the title, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome fans to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden this March.”

Legends’ fully integrated retail and merchandising vertical solution works with world-class clients around the globe across e-commerce, in-venue retail, large scale live event, brick and mortar store operations, licensing, and customer merchandise. This includes vast experience developing and operating on-site retail at some of the world’s largest sporting events and premier venues including the Super Bowl, PGA Championship, SoFi Stadium and more.

The Academy of Country Music and Legends Announce Multi-Year Partnership

Legends to Help Build Year-Round Global Partnership Portfolio for Acclaimed Country Music Organization, From Flagship Events to Original Content and more 

The Academy of Country Music® (ACM) and Legends, a data-fueled global premium experiences company, announced today a new, exclusive multi-year partnership focused on driving 360º sponsorship portfolio growth for the Academy, including developing and launching high-impact opportunities tied to the organization’s tentpole annual live events, as well as new programs and initiatives celebrating and honoring Country Music. The alliance marks a historic union, bringing together the powerhouse forces behind many of the world’s biggest sports franchises with the innovative and celebrated Country Music organization behind the first major awards show to stream live around the globe. 

Through the agreement, Legends will lead a strategic, data-driven approach to brand partnerships for the Academy, ranging from on-site activations, original content commissions, and digital activations around ACM signature events, including the iconic Academy of Country Music Awards and surrounding events, and ACM Honors, known as the “Country Music industry’s favorite night,” as well as ACM Party for a Cause and other events benefiting ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic partner of the Academy. 

Legends will also work with the Academy to develop unique, new brand opportunities incorporating the Academy’s new state-of-the-art world headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as branded content franchises, social media campaigns, and dynamic new activations to engage the ever-growing global Country Music fan base. A dedicated business development team will be established by Legends to focus solely on the Academy partnership. 

“Legends has a proven track record of championing the largest and most successful brands in the world, and we’re thrilled to be able to collaborate with them, at this potent moment for the ACM, to bring new and exciting opportunities to the Academy, our industry, and our partners,” said Jen Heaton, ACM Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. “Coming off a triumphant 2022 for the Academy, we are eager to continue blazing a bright new path, particularly with the 58th ACM Awards’ return to Texas this spring, and working hand-in-hand with Legends will deliver the vigorous, multi-faceted, and mutually beneficial programs to maintain our exceptional momentum forward.” 

“Legends is excited to work alongside the great team at the Academy of Country Music to execute a brand partnership strategy that will celebrate and help grow their unique, year-round Country Music Lifestyle platform that reaches fans around the world,” said Chris Hibbs, President, Legends Global Partnerships.  

Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands, including The New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, One World Observatory, and Real Madrid. It is helping lead partnerships for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties through the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.  

The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards™ is produced by dick clark productions and will livestream exclusively on Prime Video for a global audience on Thursday, May 11, 2023, live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. 

Legends Partners with Cirque Du Soleil Entertainment Group to Drive Global Enterprise Sponsorships

Legends, a data-fueled global premium experiences company, and Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group (“Cirque du Soleil”), a world leader in live entertainment, announced today a new business partnership centered around driving worldwide enterprise sponsorships for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

Through a strategic, data-first approach, Legends will manage the global partnership strategy for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, whose portfolio includes 38 unique active shows with more than 5,000 performances globally each year. Legends has established a dedicated sales team for Cirque du Soleil that will focus solely on securing new partnership opportunities to propel the long-term growth of the organization. Ian Partilla, a veteran entertainment, sports and media industry sales executive, will lead the team as Vice President, Global Partnerships – Cirque du Soleil. 

The appointment of Legends follows Cirque du Soleil’s hiring of Nickole Tara as Chief Growth Officer, a newly created position focused on leading growth initiatives for the future of the brand, go-to-market strategy and value creation opportunities across Sponsorships, Consumer Products, Branded Content and Filmed/Immersive Entertainment.

“We are enthusiastic about partnering with Legends to expand our reach and explore new business ventures. With the support of their team of experts, we will be able to secure new exciting partnership opportunities for the brand and propel the business to the next level,” said Nickole Tara, Chief Growth Officer, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

“Cirque du Soleil is an incredible storied brand with massive appeal around the world. Legends is proud to work alongside Nickole and her team to create innovative new sponsorship platforms for partners that want to align with a truly global entity in Cirque du Soleil,” said Chris Hibbs, President, Legends Global Partnerships.

Cirque du Soleil has a global reach that includes more than 365 million attendees to date with performances in over 1,450 cities worldwide across six different continents. This includes selling more than 10.2 million tickets in 110 plus cities annually. In addition, the brand reaches hundreds of millions of fans across its digital and social media platforms.

Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands, including New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, One World Observatory, Real Madrid, and is helping lead partnerships for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties through the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

LEGENDS NOMBRA A ANTONIO DE LA ROSA DIRECTOR DE ATRACCIONES, IBERIA

De la Rosa impulsará la expansión del negocio de atracciones de Legends en España y Portugal

Legends,una compañía global de experiencias premium basada en la inteligencia de datos, ha reforzado su compromiso con Iberia con el anuncio hoy de Antonio de la Rosa como Director de Atracciones, Iberia. En este nuevo puesto, de la Rosa dirigirá el negocio de atracciones de Legends en España y Portugal e impulsará una estrategia de expansión a través de múltiples verticales, incluyendo entre otros deportes, museos, estadios, centros de convenciones, recintos de ocio.

El negocio de atracciones globales de Legends opera atracciones y experiencias en todo el mundo utilizando la solución holística de la empresa basada en datos. Esto incluye la planificación del negocio y el desarrollo de proyectos, así como la gestión de todas las operaciones de venta de entradas, eventos especiales, patrocinio, comida y bebida y merchandising para sus socios. Legends está asociada con muchas de las marcas de deportes, entretenimiento y atracciones más emblemáticas del mundo. Las experiencias de atracciones incluyen el Observatorio One World (Nueva York, NY), Illuminarium (Atlanta, GA y Las Vegas, NV), The View from the Shard (Londres, UK), SoFi Stadium Tour (Inglewood, CA) y Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Tour (Madrid, España).

“El negocio de atracciones de Legends aprovecha nuestra solución única de servicio de 360 grados para apoyar las atracciones y experiencias deportivas y de entretenimiento en todo el mundo”, dijo Jesús Bueno, Director General de Iberia, Legends International. “El nombramiento de Antonio para impulsar la expansión de nuestro negocio de atracciones en España y Portugal refuerza aún más nuestro compromiso con el mercado ibérico. Antonio aporta una amplia experiencia y conocimientos en marketing, tecnología y atracciones a este nuevo cargo, y estamos orgullosos de que se una a nuestro creciente equipo en Iberia.”

De la Rosa es un ejecutivo experimentado con más de dos décadas de experiencia en ventas, marketing, operaciones, transformación digital y comercio electrónico trabajando para empresas de primera línea en todos los mercados internacionales. Ha ocupado puestos de responsabilidad en L’Oréal, Coca-Cola, Viacom, Microsoft y el operador internacional de entretenimiento Parques Reunidos.  A lo largo de su carrera, de la Rosa ha desarrollado y ejecutado con éxito planes de negocio robustos y únicos para el mercado con múltiples actores y dependencias operativas en todo el mundo. Recientemente, de la Rosa fue Vicepresidente de Experiencias en Vivo y Eventos en Paramount Pictures, donde negoció, desarrolló y ejecutó numerosos acuerdos con empresas de ocio, juntas de turismo y promotores en EMEA, Asia y LATAM.

Legends Names Antonio De La Rosa as Head of Attractions, Iberia

De la Rosa to Drive Expansion of Legends’ Attractions Business in Spain and Portugal

Legends, a data-intelligence fueled global premium experiences company, further reinforced its commitment to Iberia with the announcement today of Antonio de la Rosa as Head of Attractions, Iberia. In this new role, de la Rosa will lead Legends’ Attractions business in Spain and Portugal and drive an expansion strategy across multiple verticals, including sports, museums, arenas, convention centers, and more.

Legends’ global attractions business operates attractions and experiences worldwide utilizing the company’s holistic data-driven solution. This includes providing business planning and project development, as well as managing all operations across ticketing, special events, sponsorship, food and beverage and retail for its partners. Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands. Attractions experiences include One World Observatory (New York, NY), Illuminarium (Atlanta, GA and Las Vegas, NV), The View from the Shard (London, UK), SoFi Stadium Tour (Inglewood, CA) and Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Tour (Madrid, Spain).

“Legends’ attraction business leverages our unique 360-degree service solution to support sports and entertainment attractions and experiences worldwide,” said Jesus Bueno, Managing Director of Iberia, Legends International. “The appointment of Antonio to drive expansion of our attractions business in Spain and Portugal further reinforces our commitment to the Iberian market. Antonio brings vast experience and expertise in marketing, technology and attractions to this new role, and we are proud to have him join our growing team in Iberia.”

De la Rosa is a seasoned executive with more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, operations, digital transformation, and e-commerce working for blue chip companies across international markets. He has held senior positions at L’Oréal, Coca-Cola, Viacom, Microsoft, and international entertainment operator Parques Reunidos.  Throughout his career, de la Rosa has successfully developed and executed robust and unique go to market business plans with multiple operational players and dependencies around the globe. Most recently, de la Rosa was Vice President of Live Experiences and Events at Paramount Pictures where he negotiated, developed, and executed numerous deals with leisure companies, tourism boards and promoters across EMEA, Asia and LATAM.

Spanish Press Release

U.S. Soccer Federation and Legends Announce Long, Term, Omnichannel Retail Partnership Extension

The Partnership will Elevate National Team Event and Digital Retail Experiences for U.S. Soccer Fans; Legends will Continue Providing the Broadest Selection of U.S. Soccer Merchandise Available

he U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and Legends today announced a long term, multi-year agreement, building on four years of partnership to keep Legends as the provider for all U.S. Soccer Store experiences both online and at events.

“We’re incredibly excited and energized to extend our partnership with Legends,” said Maribeth Towers, U.S. Soccer Vice President of Consumer Products. “Providing our fans with the best possible shopping experiences at our events and online is a priority for us, and Legends has a proven record of doing just that while also helping us provide an amazing range of merchandise. We’re excited to continue building on the foundation we’ve established over the past few years.”

Legends recently executed a complete best-in-class redesign of the online U.S. Soccer Store, presented by Visa. The redesign was implemented with a customer-first approach including the broadest product assortment available anywhere and features that will help U.S. Soccer further understand fan need and enhance communication with them. Legends and U.S. Soccer will continue to evolve the digital shopping experience to serve fans.

In addition, Legends will continue to operate retail experiences at all official USSF events including Visa Fan Studio, a mobile unit that can be deployed at U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches.

Future plans include implementing an elevated and interactive version of the Visa Fan Studio that will feature exclusive fan engagement experiences, first-look product drops and the largest product selection available yet.

“Legends is proud to continue our partnership with U.S. Soccer both digitally and via physical footprint at all USSF events. There is so much momentum behind the sport within our nation and we are thrilled to help the federation best serve their growing fanbase through great product and custom, incredible experiences,” said Kirta Carroll, President, Legends Global Merchandise.  

U.S. Soccer and Legends first partnered in 2018. Since then, their successful collaboration has resulted in two record-setting U.S. Soccer jersey launches, with 2022 sales doubling the previous best in 2021, as well as breaking multiple merchandise per cap records for the Men’s and Women’s National Teams events.

In addition to U.S. Soccer, Legends provides its services to an array of sports organizations at the highest levels including the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, WWE, UFC, PGA and more.

LEGENDS NOMBRA A JOAQUIN MARTINEZ CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER DE IBERIA

Martínez apoyará el crecimiento internacional de Legends en España y Portugal

Legends, la compañía de experiencias premium globales alimentada por la inteligencia de datos, ha anunciado hoy el nombramiento de Joaquín Martínez como Chief Revenue Officer, Iberia, reforzando aún más el equipo de liderazgo de Legends en la región. Martínez cuenta con más de 15 años de experiencia en la comercialización de deportes y eventos, centrándose estratégicamente en la maximización de ingresos de los estadios, sus eventos y experiencias tanto en los días de partido, como los eventos en días de no partido, contando con la participación de los aficionados y las aplicaciones innovadoras de tecnología deportiva para la generación de ingresos.

En su nuevo cargo, Martínez supervisará la generación de ingresos tradicionales y no tradicionales de los estadios y clubes deportivos utilizando la plataforma única de servicios de 360 grados de Legends en España y Portugal. Legends está asociada con muchas de las grandes marcas deportivas, de entretenimiento y de atracciones más emblemáticas del mundo. La solución holística basada en datos de la compañía para organizaciones deportivas y de entretenimiento, recintos y atracciones, está compuesta por las divisiones de servicios de Planificación de estadios, Ingresos globales, Global Partnerships, VIP y Hospitaly, Merchandising y Soluciones Tecnológicas.

“En Legends, nuestro talento y experiencia ayuda a impulsar un cambio transformador para que nuestros socios alcancen sus objetivos. Joaquín aporta una gran experiencia en la comercialización de eventos y experiencias en estadios tanto en ingresos tradicionales como no tradicionales para ayudar a Legends a hacer crecer nuestra base de clientes en España y Portugal, así como ofrecer resultados de alta calidad a nuestros socios”, dijo Chus Bueno, Director General de Iberia, Legends International.

A lo largo de su carrera, Martínez ha ocupado puestos de responsabilidad en KPMG, Deloitte y Sportfive. En los mismos, ha trabajado en proyectos de más de 20 estadios y numerosas entidades deportivas líderes a nivel mundial, como el FC Barcelona, el Manchester City, el Real Madrid CF, la FIFA y La Liga, donde sus esfuerzos se han centrado en la planificación y el desarrollo de nuevas oportunidades de ingresos para los estadios y otros activos disponibles del titular de los derechos. En la última etapa de su carrera, Martínez fundó Bstadium, el mercado de experiencias futbolísticas. Toda esta experiencia ha permitido a Martínez construir un amplio conocimiento de las mejores prácticas en las áreas clave de ingresos en los estadios, tales como asientos premium, experiencia de los aficionados, conciertos y eventos y patrocinios para los clubes de fútbol,  organizando grandes eventos deportivos y con organismos de gobierno del deporte.

Legends Appoints Joaquin Martinez as Chief Revenue Officer, Iberia

Martinez to Support Continued International Growth of Legends in Spain and Portugal

Legends, a data-intelligence fueled global premium experiences company, announced today the appointment of Joaquin Martinez as Chief Revenue Officer, Iberia further bolstering Legends’ leadership team in the region. Martinez has more than 15 years of experience in sport and event commercialization, strategically focused on stadia commercial maximization, match and non-match day events and experiences, fan engagement and innovative sport tech applications for revenue generation.

In his new role, Martinez will oversee the generation of traditional and non-traditional revenues of sports stadia and clubs utilizing Legends’ unique 360-degree services platform in Spain and Portugal. Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands. The company’s holistic data-driven solution for sports and entertainment organizations, venues and attractions is comprised of Planning, Sales, Partnerships, Hospitality, Merchandise and Technology Solutions service divisions.

“At Legends, our best-in-class talent helps us drive transformational change for our partners to achieve their goals. Joaquin brings strong expertise in commercialization across traditional and non-traditional stadia events and experiences to help Legends grow our client base in Spain and Portugal and deliver world-class results for our partners,” said Jesus Bueno, Managing Director of Iberia, Legends International. Throughout his career, Martinez has held senior positions at KPMG, Deloitte and Sportfive. In those roles, he worked with +20 stadia projects and numerous leading global sport entities, such as FC Barcelona, Manchester City, Real Madrid CF, FIFA and LaLiga, where his efforts have focused on planning and developing new revenue opportunities for stadia and other available assets of the rightsholder. In the last phase of his career, Martinez founded Bstadium, the marketplace of football experiences. All this experience allowed Martinez to build an extensive knowledge of best practices in key revenue areas of stadia such as premium seating, fan experience, hospitality, concerts and events and sponsorships for football clubs, large sport events and sport governing bodies

Spanish Press Release

2Playbook: One-on-One: Mike Tomon, Legends

Via 2 Playbook

Mike Tomon (Legends): “Maintaining authenticity is key to connecting with the local market”

The co-president and director of operations of the consulting giant assures that some of the main clubs in the world are in Spain and that the new Iberian subsidiary will be supported by the parent company in its projects and investments.

By Alvaro Carter

That a giant like Legends lands in Spain has many implications, but also many readings. The country enjoys a mature and strong sports sector that presents notable growth opportunities. This is also the view of Mike Tomon, co-president and COO of Legends worldwide. The executive joined the company in 2014 to lead global operations from AEG, where he served as director of global sponsorships and managed $500 million in deals. He now assures in a conversation with 2Playbook that “we are in a unique moment in which sport is becoming more global, and maintaining authenticity to connect with the local market is one of the current keys”.

 

In 2021 Sitxh Street took over the majority shareholding of Legends. How has the business changed since then and after the pandemic?

The focus is the same, to be a 360 platform for sports properties. We have more than 2,500 employees around the world and when Covid-19 hit we already had a strong company to resist it. Then Sixth Street came along to give a new impetus, but we already had the main deals tied up, like the one with Real Madrid.

 

How is the relationship with the club?

Real Madrid is one of the best examples when it comes to working. We were already their retail partner before signing the agreement for the Bernabéu. They have a vision very marked by their president, with a very global vocation, but with the best local experience and in the stadium.

 

How do you see the future of the sports property business? Currently they are still very dependent on television income, which is beyond their control.

That is precisely the discourse that we must maintain. There is a huge opportunity for clubs to improve the income they can generate for themselves. And we’re not just talking about matchday , but about the entire experience for the fan, engagement , providing insights with data, merchandising , hospitality areas … It’s a whole new 360 marketing approach.

 

In what aspects are you working more with sports properties at the moment?

It depends on the type of agreement and needs of the property. What we do seek is long-term partnership agreements , adding value to the business, not short-termism. What we now see as more relevant is improving the experience outside of matchday and how to reach the fan.

 

What are the main differences you have found between the American and European markets?

There is a cultural leap, but it is shrinking because the sport is becoming more global. From a commercial point of view, there are global practices that we can replicate in each territory. In addition, we are in a unique moment in which globalization also forces us to maintain authenticity in order to reach local markets. And that is one of the keys to how the sector is evolving and what we have to contribute. The differences between the United States and Europe will always be, but also between England and Portugal, because European countries are also very different from each other.

 

At what point do you see Spain in relation to other markets?

The Iberian market is at the fore right now due to the opportunities it presents. The British is the most established and the one that continues to lead, it is where we have more confidence and a higher level of development. We have also focused on Central Europe, mainly Germany, and Paris, where there are a large number of opportunities. The most imminent with the Rugby World Cup. In fact, in France and Italy we will have big announcements soon.

 

Why did you choose Chus Bueno to lead the project in Spain and Portugal?

We needed someone who was capable of accelerating the business, but above all who had credibility in the world of sports in the region. In addition, he had to have it at the highest level. Chus ticks all the boxes, when we talked to him we knew he was the person we were looking for. In addition, he has a background in the NBA, which is very important for us, because what we are looking for are first-rate talent.

 

 

Mike Tomon (Legends): “Maintaining authenticity is key to connecting with the local market”

The co-president and director of operations of the consulting giant assures that some of the main clubs in the world are in Spain and that the new Iberian subsidiary will be supported by the parent company in its projects and investments.

By Alvaro Carter

 

That a giant like Legends lands in Spain has many implications, but also many readings. The country enjoys a mature and strong sports sector that presents notable growth opportunities. This is also the view of Mike Tomon, co-president and COO of Legends worldwide. The executive joined the company in 2014 to lead global operations from AEG, where he served as director of global sponsorships and managed $500 million in deals. He now assures in a conversation with 2Playbook that “we are in a unique moment in which sport is becoming more global, and maintaining authenticity to connect with the local market is one of the current keys”.

 

In 2021 Sitxh Street took over the majority shareholding of Legends. How has the business changed since then and after the pandemic?

 

The focus is the same, to be a 360 platform for sports properties. We have more than 2,500 employees around the world and when Covid-19 hit we already had a strong company to resist it. Then Sixth Street came along to give a new impetus, but we already had the main deals tied up, like the one with Real Madrid.

 

How is the relationship with the club?

 

Real Madrid is one of the best examples when it comes to working. We were already their retail partner before signing the agreement for the Bernabéu. They have a vision very marked by their president, with a very global vocation, but with the best local experience and in the stadium.

 

How do you see the future of the sports property business? Currently they are still very dependent on television income, which is beyond their control.

 

That is precisely the discourse that we must maintain. There is a huge opportunity for clubs to improve the income they can generate for themselves. And we’re not just talking about matchday , but about the entire experience for the fan, engagement , providing insights with data, merchandising , hospitality areas … It’s a whole new 360 marketing approach.

 

In what aspects are you working more with sports properties at the moment?

 

It depends on the type of agreement and needs of the property. What we do seek is long-term partnership agreements , adding value to the business, not short-termism. What we now see as more relevant is improving the experience outside of matchday and how to reach the fan.

 

What are the main differences you have found between the American and European markets?

 

There is a cultural leap, but it is shrinking because the sport is becoming more global. From a commercial point of view, there are global practices that we can replicate in each territory. In addition, we are in a unique moment in which globalization also forces us to maintain authenticity in order to reach local markets. And that is one of the keys to how the sector is evolving and what we have to contribute. The differences between the United States and Europe will always be, but also between England and Portugal, because European countries are also very different from each other.

 

At what point do you see Spain in relation to other markets?

 

The Iberian market is at the fore right now due to the opportunities it presents. The British is the most established and the one that continues to lead, it is where we have more confidence and a higher level of development. We have also focused on Central Europe, mainly Germany, and Paris, where there are a large number of opportunities. The most imminent with the Rugby World Cup. In fact, in France and Italy we will have big announcements soon.

 

Why did you choose Chus Bueno to lead the project in Spain and Portugal?

 

We needed someone who was capable of accelerating the business, but above all who had credibility in the world of sports in the region. In addition, he had to have it at the highest level. Chus ticks all the boxes, when we talked to him we knew he was the person we were looking for. In addition, he has a background in the NBA, which is very important for us, because what we are looking for are first-rate talent.

 

2Playbook: Legends assembles a team of 80 people with an office in front of the Bernabéu for its offensive in Spain

Via 2 Playbook

The consultancy will open its new headquarters in Paseo de la Castellana and aims to diversify beyond sports. Chus Bueno, who has been at the forefront of the Iberian market since this month, assures that “he does not have many restrictions” to make strategic investments.

By Alvaro Carter

The Spanish sports industry has come out of the pandemic affected, but strengthened. Not only have fans returned to the center of the conversation, but the interest of giants in the sector that perceive great opportunities in a phase of need for funds and, above all, of strategic partners that help push new lines of business where sports properties do not have that knowledge. That role is what Legends wants to play, which already has a team of 80 people in its subsidiary for Spain and Portugal and next month it will be installed in new offices next to the Santiago Bernabéu.

“Iberia is one of the markets where we see more growth opportunities. The time is right for further investment,” Mike Tomon , co-president and COO of Legends, tells 2Playbook. To this end, they have carried out a strong offensive, culminating in the signing of Chus Bueno as general director to pilot the business in the Iberian Peninsula, a potential center for large investments if the 2030 World Cup is awarded.

“A great bet has been made with a strong investment, but Legends already had a structure in Spain, which is now expanding,” Bueno tells this medium. “The idea is to have our own team because of the market volume and opportunities, but with the support of the parent company to be able to develop the 360 ​​project idea that we want to work on with our partners,” he adds.

The new offices will be located on Paseo de la Castellana, close to the home of its main partner in Spain, Real Madrid. The offensive comes after Sixth Street took over the majority shareholding in the consultancy created by the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees. Their entry was key to being able to close what is their biggest deal in Spain so far, for which they will pay up to 360 million euros to keep 30% of the profit generated by the company created to commercially exploit the Bernabéu during the next twenty years.

“Entering a market hand in hand with Real Madrid is the best possible letter of introduction because you don’t have to do a go to market ; the marketing is already done, but Legends already had a huge reputation that spoke for itself of the company”, affirms Bueno. The director, incorporated this summer from the NBA, assures that “there are more interested clubs”, but for now no proposal has gone beyond preliminary conversations.

The consultant also advises Sevilla FC to project a new Sánchez Pizjuán open 365 days a year. FC Barcelona and Atleti also had their services to carry out a study on Espai Barça and Civitas Metropolitano, respectively. In addition, Legends also has the operation of the Real Madrid retail business, a project independent of the Bernabéu and for which its structure in Spain has already been reinforced to pilot it.

“There are different projects, but above all we are looking for partnership agreements , not a one off ”, Bueno points out. “We want to be a strategic partner to help properties accelerate their business and organically improve not only their revenue, but other key issues in today’s industry like their brand exposure.”

The manager does not rule out that there are more investments like the one made in the white club. “We are not going to have many restrictions to invest, but it will only be done when it makes strategic sense and adds value.” Regarding billing forecasts, he maintains that “we are still making the numbers for next year.”

In what coincides with Tomon is in the opportunity detected in the Spanish and Portuguese markets. “Context always helps. That there are stadiums that have to undertake reforms as part of a World Cup bid is important. Also that LaLiga obliges to allocate a part of the CVC funds to the facilities ”.

And he points out: “The fact that funds like CVC or Sixth Street enter the business is the best news for Spanish sport, because that means that they perceive a solid, mature industry with potential, but the right investment must be made, because when invest so much money there is no more room for maneuver to go back into debt. That is why choosing the partner , as in this case Legends, that helps develop the business, is essential”.

Finally, the consultant sees fewer opportunities outside of football in Spanish sport. It does appreciate them in other sectors within large facilities. “We think of amusement parks, aquariums, museums… All those large venues that ultimately share common characteristics with football, such as the sale of merchandising , hospitality , ticket sales and the management of a venue”. “We have a global expertise that we want to bring to Spain and that is not limited to sport, although for now the center of attention is the Bernabéu”.

WHO IS LEGENDS

The company defines itself as “a premium experience company specializing in providing holistic solutions for sports and entertainment organizations and venues.” Among its business lines, six verticals stand out: sales, retail (both e-commerce and stores), technological solutions for sports venues, hospitality, consulting and strategic planning with clubs.

It was created in 2008 by the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL, with the idea of ​​managing the sponsorship and hospitality sales of both franchises. In 2021, Sixth Street took over the majority shareholding in an operation that valued 100% of the capital at 1,350 million dollars (1,281 million euros), which was a boost at the worst moment for the company in the midst of the health crisis of the Covid-19 that led to the closure of the stadiums and the brake on investments in new sports venues.

Until the signing of his agreement with Madrid, the jewel in the crown in the world of football was the Tottenham Hostpur stadium. The home of the Spurs since 2019 has become a venue capable of generating experiences for fans throughout the year beyond football games. It also has agreements at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester City and Old Trafford with United, and other venues in the United States for teams such as the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, the University of Notre Dame and other organizations such as Wimbledon and the UFC.

3ICE and Legends Enter Strategic Partnership to Support and Accelerate Growth of new 3-on-3 Hockey League

Legends to Manage Sponsorships, Merchandise and Make Strategic Investment in 3ICE

3ICE, a three-on-three professional ice hockey league, and Legends, a data-intelligence fueled global premium experiences company, announced today a strategic partnership to support and accelerate the growth of the new independent North American hockey league. In addition to managing several lines of revenue generating operations for 3ICE, Legends will make a minority investment in the league.

3ICE concluded its successful inaugural season in August with a nationally televised championship tournament live from Las Vegas on CBS. The league will return for its second season in summer 2023. As part of the comprehensive new partnership, Legends will manage sponsorships, omnichannel merchandise, media strategy and buying for 3ICE, leveraging the company’s technology solutions division to deliver innovative, data-driven actionable insights and solutions across each service. In addition, 3ICE will have access to all areas of Legends’ intelligence-fueled 360-degree service solution, including planning, sales, and hospitality, as the league expands.

“We are overjoyed to partner with Legends across so many of their skillsets, it is a large step forward that continues our rapid growth and further validates our business and will translate into better experiences for all of our fans, sponsors, players, investors and every division within 3ICE,” said E.J. Johnson, CEO of 3ICE.

“E.J. and his team at 3ICE have created an exhilarating new take on a classic sport, giving the built-in fan base more of the speed, skill and thrill they love. We are excited to work alongside them to accelerate the growth of the league following an impressive inaugural season,” said Gabby Roe, President, Legends Growth Enterprises.

In the first season, 3ICE featured six teams with professional hockey pedigree players who traveled to eight tour-stops to compete in a tournament where each game consists of two, eight-minute halves using a running clock on a full-sized rink. Craig Patrick is League Commissioner and he was joined by six NHL Hall of Fame players as team coaches: Guy Carbonneau, Grant Fuhr, John LeClair, Joe Mullen, Larry Murphy and Bryan Trottier. The inaugural season of 3ICE aired on CBS Sports in the United States, TSN in Canada and ESPN for international rights. Players competed for more than $2 million in prize money throughout the season.

3ICE joins a growing list of Legends Growth Enterprises partners, the company’s division focused on leveraging its 360° service solution to support sports and entertainment properties, attractions, events, and platforms that are positioned for accelerated growth.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Partner with Legends for Sponsorship Sales in Germany

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Legends announced today a new partnership focused on commercialization for the team in Germany. As part of the agreement, the global premium experiences company will manage a data-driven sponsorship sales strategy for the Buccaneers to assist the team’s brand building efforts in Germany.

The Buccaneers were one of four teams awarded international marketing rights in Germany as part of the NFL’s International Home Marketing Area (IHMA) initiative. Tampa Bay, led by seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, will take on the Seattle Seahawks in a groundbreaking game in Munich, Germany on Sunday, November 13, 2022, at Allianz Arena, a 75,000-seat stadium that is home to FC Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga. This first-ever NFL regular season game in Germany is sold out.

“Buccaneers fans in Germany have quickly embraced our team and there is a genuine excitement for the historic game that will be played in Munich in the coming weeks,” said Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford. “Our partners at Legends will play a crucial role in helping us build off this initial wave of enthusiasm as we focus on building long-term corporate relationships and establishing the Buccaneers brand throughout Germany. As leaders in the global premium experiences industry, Legends has all of the expertise required to help us maximize our opportunities as we focus on elevating and expanding our presence in Germany.”     

Legends’ Germany team based out of Hamburg will lead the engagement with the Buccaneers, which runs through the end of the team’s IHMA rights in 2026. Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands and has extensive experience leading global partnership sales for premier professional sports teams. The company’s Hospitality division is currently also partnered with the Buccaneers, overseeing food and beverage operations at Raymond James Stadium.

“Legends is proud to partner with the Buccaneers to help the team establish a lasting brand presence in Germany through strategic marketing partnerships and activations,” said Jens König, Managing Director of Central Europe, Legends International. “Germany has a strong NFL fan base, and we look forward to working with the Buccaneers to find the right partners in Germany to build on the excitement in the market surrounding the upcoming sold-out game in Munich.”   

The Buccaneers have fans around the world and have consistently been featured in the global spotlight for the NFL. This is the fourth time the Buccaneers will take part in the NFL’s International Series of games, having previously played in London, England three times (2009, 2011 and 2019), twice at Wembley Stadium and once at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

German Press Release

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS SCHLIEßEN PARTNERSCHAFT MIT LEGENDS FÜR SPONSORSHIPVERMARKTUNG IN DEUTSCHLAND

Die Tampa Bay Buccaneers und Legends haben heute eine langfristige Partnerschaft zur Vermarktung des Teams in Deutschland bekannt gegeben. Das globale Sportmarketingunternehmen wird die Sponsoringvermarktung des Superbowl Siegers von 2021 verantworten. Dafür greift Legends auf seine datengetriebene Vertriebsexpertise zurück.

Als eines von vier Teams erhielten die Buccaneers im Rahmen der NFL-Initiative International Home Marketing Area (IHMA) internationale Vermarktungsrechte in Deutschland. Tampa Bay, angeführt vom siebenfachen Super Bowl-Champion Tom Brady, wird am Sonntag, den 13. November 2022, im ersten NFL Regular Season Game in der ausverkauften Allianz Arena in München gegen die Seattle Seahawks antreten.

„Die Buccaneers-Fans in Deutschland haben unser Team schnell ins Herz geschlossen, und es herrscht eine riesige Begeisterung für das historische Spiel, das im November in München ausgetragen wird“, sagte Brian Ford, Chief Operating Officer der Buccaneers. „Unser Partner Legends wird uns maßgeblich dabei unterstützen, auf Basis dieser Begeisterung langfristige Unternehmensbeziehungen aufzubauen und die Marke Buccaneers in Deutschland zu etablieren. Als führendes Unternehmen im globalen Sportmarketing verfügt Legends über die richtige Expertise, uns dabei zu unterstützen, unsere Ziele in Deutschland zu erreichen.“

Das in Hamburg ansässige Legends Team wird die Partnerschaft mit den Buccaneers, die bis zum Ende der IHMA-Rechte des Teams im Jahr 2026 vereinbart ist, verantworten. Legends arbeitet mit den weltweit bekanntesten Sport-, Unterhaltungs- und Entertainmentmarken zusammen und verfügt über umfangreiche Expertise in der globalen Sponsorshipvermarktung. Die Hospitalitysparte des Unternehmens ist bereits Partner der Buccaneers und betreut den Cateringbetrieb im Raymond James Stadium.

„Millionen von Fans fiebern bereits dem ersten Regular Season Game der NFL in Deutschland entgegen. Legends ist stolz darauf, mit den Buccaneers zusammenzuarbeiten, und bei der Entwicklung von strategischen Partnerschaften zu unterstützen, um die Präsenz in Deutschland weiter nachhaltig auszubauen“, sagt Jens König, Managing Director Central Europe von Legends.

Die erfolgreichste Sportliga der Welt, NFL und die Buccaneers haben eine weltweite, begeisterte Fangemeinde. Es ist das vierte Mal, dass die Buccaneers am NFL International Game teilnehmen. Zuvor spielten sie dreimal in London, England, (2009, 2011 und 2019), zweimal im Wembley-Stadion und einmal im Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

LEGENDS ACELERA SU EXPANSIÓN INTERNACIONAL

EL RESPETADO EJECUTIVO DEL SECTOR JESÚS BUENO ES NOMBRADO DIRECTOR GENERAL DE IBERIA

La inversión continua en infraestructuras apoya el crecimiento europeo de la empresa

Legends, una empresa de experiencias premium alimentada por la inteligencia de datos, está acelerando su crecimiento mundial con inversión y expansión continua en el negocio internacional. Hoy, la compañía ha anunciado el nombramiento del respetado ejecutivo del sector Jesús Bueno como Director General de Iberia. Bueno se une a Legends después de 12 años en la NBA, y más recientemente como Vicepresidente de Europa, Oriente Medio y África.

Bueno supervisará el desarrollo y la implementación de la plataforma única de servicios 360 grados de Legends en España y Portugal, haciendo crecer el negocio y apoyando la asociación de Legends con el Real Madrid CF. La solución holística basada en datos de Legends para organizaciones deportivas y de entretenimiento, recintos y atracciones está compuesta por las divisiones de servicios de Planificación, Ventas, Partnerships, Hospitality, Merchandise y Soluciones Tecnológicas.

“El negocio global de Legends se está expandiendo rápidamente, y nos sentimos humildes por las increíbles marcas que tenemos el privilegio de apoyar en el escenario mundial,” dijo Mike Tomon, Co-Presidente y COO de Legends. “Con nuestro negocio establecido en España y una confianza bien fundada en el mercado, es el momento adecuado para una mayor inversión en infraestructura que respalde nuestro compromiso con el dinámico panorama deportivo en España. El conocimiento del mercado y la profunda experiencia de Chus en la industria nos ayudarán a impulsar el crecimiento continuo y a liderar un equipo local en Iberia que proporcionará resultados de clase mundial aprovechando nuestra solución única de servicio 360.”

Legends está asociada con muchas de las marcas deportivas, de entretenimiento y de atracciones más emblemáticas del mundo. En España, esto incluye una asociación integral con el Real Madrid CF que aprovecha la plataforma 360º de la empresa para optimizar la gestión del famoso estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Además, Legends está trabajando estrechamente con varios clubes de primera división de La Liga proporcionando un amplio trabajo de viabilidad para ayudar a los clubes en las decisiones de inversión en infraestructuras. En toda Europa, Legends también cuenta con el Liverpool FC, el Manchester United FC, The Shard, la Copa del Mundo de Rugby 2023, la UFC, el European Tour y la Ryder Cup como clientes.

Bueno cuenta con más de 25 años de experiencia global en la gestión del deporte profesional y el entretenimiento en todas las disciplinas empresariales. Antes de incorporarse a Legends, ocupó cargos ejecutivos en la NBA durante 12 años, el último como Vicepresidente para Europa, Oriente Medio y África. Antes de la NBA, Bueno fue Director General de la Federación Española de Baloncesto en España, organizando el Eurobasket 2007 en España, así como Director General del BID ESPAÑA 2014 que ganó la FIBA WC2014 en 2009. Bueno comenzó su carrera como jugador profesional de baloncesto en España. Tras retirarse como jugador, comenzó su carrera ejecutiva en 1995 dirigiendo la Asociación de Jugadores de Baloncesto en España y Europa durante 10 años.

Legends Accelerates Global Expansion

RESPECTED INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE JESUS BUENO APPOINTED MANAGING DIRECTOR OF IBERIA

Continued Investment in Infrastructure Supports European Growth of the Business

Legends, a data-intelligence fueled global premium experiences company, is accelerating its worldwide growth with continued investment and expansion in the company’s burgeoning International business. Today, the company announced the appointment of well-respected industry executive Jesus Bueno as Managing Director of Iberia. Bueno joins Legends after 12 years at the NBA, most recently serving as Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Bueno will oversee the development and implementation of Legends’ unique 360-degree services platform in Spain and Portugal. Legends holistic data-driven solution for sports and entertainment organizations, venues and attractions is comprised of Planning, Sales, Partnerships, Hospitality, Merchandise and Technology Solutions service divisions.

“Legends global business is rapidly expanding, and we are humbled by the incredible brands we have the privilege of supporting on the world stage,” said Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO, Legends. “With our established business in Spain and well-found confidence in the market, the time is right for a further investment in infrastructure to underpin our commitment to the dynamic sporting landscape in Spain. Chus’ market expertise and deep industry experience will help us drive continued growth and lead a local team in Iberia that will provide world-class results leveraging our unique 360° service solution.”

Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands. In Spain this includes an expansive partnership with Real Madrid CF leveraging the company’s 360° platform to optimize the management of the renowned Santiago Bernabéu stadium. As well, Legends is working closely with several La Liga first division clubs providing wide-ranging feasibility work to assist the clubs in infrastructure investment decisions. Throughout Europe, Legends also counts Liverpool FC, Manchester United FC, The Shard, Rugby World Cup 2023, UFC, The European Tour and Ryder Cup as clients.

Bueno has more than 25 years of global experience in professional sports management and entertainment across all business disciplines. Before joining Legends, he held executive positions at the NBA for 12 years, last serving as Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to the NBA, Bueno was the Managing Director of the Spanish Basketball Federation in Spain, organizing the Eurobasket 2007 in Spain, as well as the Managing Director of SPAIN 2014 BID that won the FIBA WC2014 in 2009. Bueno started his career as a professional basketball player in Spain. After retiring as a player, he began his executive career in 1995 running the Basketball Players Association in Spain and Europe for 10 years.

Spanish Press Release

American Cornhole League and Legends Announce Multi-Year Strategic Partnership

Legends to manage partnerships and business intelligence for the growing league

The American Cornhole League (ACL), the worldwide governing body for professional, competitive, and recreational cornhole, and Legends, a data-intelligence fueled global premium experiences company, announced today a strategic multi-year partnership centered around driving commercial growth for the league. As part of the new partnership, Legends will manage a global, data-driven partnership strategy for ACL and provide business intelligence with actionable insights to drive revenue across all areas of the burgeoning league.

The ACL will tap into multiple areas of Legends’ intelligence-fueled 360-degree service solutions as part of the comprehensive partnership. As such, the ACL joins a growing list of partners for Legends Growth Enterprises division, which launched earlier this year. Legends Growth Enterprises focuses on leveraging the company’s 360-degree service solution to support sports and entertainment properties, attractions, events, and platforms that are positioned for accelerated growth.

Since launching in 2016 the ACL has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS / CBS Sports. The league’s tagline “Anyone can play and anyone can win” along with its ability to be played anywhere has the league on a fast track for success.  The ACL hosts a variety of pro and amateur events, including its popular “SuperHole” series which pairs ACL Pros alongside celebrities for a made-for-TV experience.

“As our sport and league continues to grow across the country and the globe we’re aiming to scale up and expand our revenue base and are excited to partner with Legends to drive insights that will allow us to do just that,” said Stacey Moore, Founder of American Cornhole League. “Their expertise and assistance will help us to take the ACL to the next level and beyond.”

“What Stacey and his team have built with the American Cornhole League is impressive – taking it from the backyard to major television networks and now into the global spotlight in a relatively short time,” said Gabby Roe, President of Legends Growth Enterprises. “Cornhole is forging a legacy as the world’s favorite new pastime accessible to all audiences. We are excited to work closely with the ACL to deliver solutions and expertise to support the league’s continued growth.”

Citi Becomes Championship Partner of Notre Dame Athletics and Title Partner of Citi Shamrock Classic

– The Inaugural Citi Shamrock Classic Basketball Game will be Held in St. Louis on Saturday, Nov. 12, Featuring the Fighting Irish vs. the California Golden Bears; Airing as the First Ever Live Broadcast of Women’s College Basketball on NBC and Peacock –

Notre Dame Global Partnerships (NDGP), the multimedia rightsholder for the University of Notre Dame Athletics Department, today announced Citi as a new Championship Partner. As part of the sponsorship, Citi will also be the title partner of the first annual Citi Shamrock Classic basketball game airing live on NBC and Peacock on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 4:00 p.m. ET.

The Citi Shamrock Classic will include a weekend of basketball and thought leadership conversations on gender equity and women’s athletics. The day before the game, Citi and Notre Dame will host a luncheon infused with marquee speakers from the realm of business and women’s athletics. Citi’s new collaboration with Notre Dame will also create avenues throughout the year to amplify the joint commitment to elevate women’s athletics. Some of the promotional opportunities include digital content; television and radio promotion; and Citi’s participation in programs designed to close the gender gap in collegiate sports and across industries through workshops, speaker series and comprehensive mentorship of women student-athletes.

Held in St. Louis at the Enterprise Center, the Citi Shamrock Classic will see the Fighting Irish, who made the 2022 Sweet Sixteen under Karen & Kevin Keyes Family head coach Niele Ivey, face off against the California Golden Bears, led by Coach Charmin Smith. The showdown will mark the first live broadcast of a women’s college basketball game on NBC. The game is a homecoming for both head coaches as they both grew up in St. Louis. As a junior, Ivey led Cor Jesu Academy to its first state title before going on to play for Notre Dame and winning the 2001 National Championship in St. Louis. Cal’s Smith dominated the hardwood at Ladue Horton Watkins before appearing in three consecutive Final Fours with the Stanford Cardinal.

“I would like to thank Citi for the opportunity to showcase our women’s basketball program on this major stage in the inaugural Citi Shamrock Classic,” Ivey said. “This is a full circle moment to come back home to St. Louis where my basketball journey began. It’s an overwhelming feeling to think about the positive impact this will have in my community and for our sport. I hope to continue to inspire and empower the next generation of young leaders and athletes.”

“Citi has a proud history of working with partners who share our commitment to advance gender equity, so the opportunity to work with an institution shaping the next generation makes this even more rewarding,” said Ed Skyler, Head of Global Public Affairs, Citi. “We are excited about this new partnership with Notre Dame Athletics, and we will continue to support programs, like women’s basketball, that have been underrepresented for far too long.”

“We look forward to presenting the inaugural Citi Shamrock Classic and showcasing to a national audience on NBC and Peacock Notre Dame’s storied women’s basketball program in their game against Cal,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports.

Game tickets for the Citi Shamrock Classic will go on sale to the general public on Friday, Sept. 23, at www.enterprisecenter.com/shamrock.

Legends Names Kirta Carroll as President of Global Merchandise

Legends, a global data-intelligence fueled premium experiences company, announced today the appointment of Kirta Carroll as President of the company’s Global Merchandise division.  Carroll brings a strong retail and marketing background, joining Legends after more than a decade at Foot Locker.

Carroll will lead Legends’ growing Global Merchandise division, which is a fully integrated vertical solution operating brick and mortar, pop-ups, e-commerce, and in-venue retail experiences for renowned brands such as the NFL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, UFC, Activision Blizzard and global tentpole events including Super Bowl LVI, 2019 Rugby World Cup, and 2016 Olympics.

“Kirta is a strategic leader with a great depth of omnichannel retail and merchandise experience,” said Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO, Legends. “She brings a successful track record developing and leading merchandising, vendor, and consumer strategy to drive long term sustainability, growth, and scale. We are excited for her to join Legends and lead our Global Merchandise team as we continue to build upon the incredible business success of this past year.”

Legends Global Merchandise has grown substantially in the last 12 months, netting more than 20 new clients, including PGA, PFL, Cirque du Soleil, Madison Square Garden, Indiana University, Century 21 and setting merchandise per cap and sales records for 2022 Indianapolis 500, PGA Championship, Super Bowl LVI, UFC International Fight Week, MLB at Field of Dreams and more.

“I am thrilled to join the team of leaders at Legends and to continue to advance and accelerate our bespoke premium retail offerings while serving fans and consumers where they shop, buy, and intersect with our clients’ brands,” said Carroll.

Prior to joining Legends, Carroll spent 11 years at Foot Locker in increasingly broader roles. She most recently served as Vice President and Global General Merchandising Manager for the women’s division where she led the global footwear and apparel business across Foot Locker’s portfolio of brands. Before her product leadership role, Carroll led marketing for women’s focused retail concepts at Foot Locker, including strategic positioning and brand development, social media and ecommerce strategies, in-store merchandising and visuals. Carroll has a strong marketing background, having spent time working at marketing agencies across multiple industries as well as holding a position in public relations and marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue earlier in her career

Allstate Expands its College Football Footprint with Notre Dame and NBC Sports Partnership

Notre Dame Global Partnerships (NDGP), the multimedia rightsholder for the University of Notre Dame Athletics Department, today announced an expanded multiyear affiliation with the Allstate (NYSE: ALL) Corporation, which will become a Championship Partner of the program. Through its enhanced partnership, Allstate and Notre Dame will collaborate on new community focused initiatives as well as virtually displaying its digital branding on field goal nets during Notre Dame Football broadcasts on NBC and Peacock.

“We’re excited to deepen our relationship with Allstate, a leading brand in sports and their industry,” said University of Notre Dame Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “Having the opportunity to bring together two of our great partners, NBC and Allstate, that support collegiate athletics at the highest levels was something we couldn’t pass up.”

In addition to Allstate’s unique in-game digitally infused field goal nets during home games, the brand will appear on physical nets at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on October 8 when Notre Dame takes on BYU in the 2022 Shamrock Series on NBC and Peacock.

“As Allstate kicks off its 17th year supporting college football nationwide, we could not be more excited to partner with one of the sport’s most iconic brands: the Notre Dame Fighting Irish,” said Allstate’s Director of Sponsorships and Consumer Engagement, Dan Keats.

“We’re excited to welcome Allstate as a fully-integrated partner into our Notre Dame Football broadcasts, expanding from advertisements to virtual on-field signage and presenting partner of our halftime show,” said Peter Lazarus, EVP, Ad Sales, NBC Sports. “This is the perfect example of how our three-decade relationship with Notre Dame can bring Championship-level benefits to sponsors, viewers and fans.”

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

Northwestern Athletics and Legends enter Multi-Year Partnership

Comprehensive Collaboration Includes Premium Seating, Ticket Sales,

Marketing, and Business Intelligence for Wildcats Athletics

Northwestern University Athletics and Legends, a global premium experiences company, today announced a multi-year partnership that will enhance the fan experience at Wildcats’ sporting events and maximize Northwestern Athletics revenue generation through a streamlined, data-driven sales approach. As part of the overarching agreement, Legends will manage premium seating, ticket sales, marketing and business intelligence for football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, and other ticketed Northwestern varsity sports.

“We are excited to launch this comprehensive partnership with an unparalleled industry leader as we expand our sales and marketing infrastructure,” said Northwestern’s Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Dr. Derrick Gragg. “Our external team led by Sr. Associate Athletic Director, Tyler Jones along with Legends’ expertise will immediately position Northwestern Athletics to deliver an enhanced experience to our fans and allow us to generate critical additional resources to support the holistic development of Wildcats student-athletes.”

Legends will also support Northwestern Athletics in its approach to optimizing revenue generation and curating experiences for all fans as part of the University’s efforts to reimagine and rebuild Ryan Field, inclusive of premium product development and pricing, corporate hospitality, premium seating and ticket sales. Northwestern Athletics initially engaged Legends in 2021 through its research arm, CSL, to conduct a comprehensive study on improving the overall fan experience, which included a survey and series of focus groups to solicit direct feedback from ticket holders, alumni, and other fans. Additionally, Legends Project Development and CSL are supporting the ongoing, exploratory project planning for the new Ryan Field initiative.

“Legends has proven to be an invaluable partner since our collaboration began in 2021, and we are excited to introduce the Legends Way to the Wildcats community,” said Deputy Director of Athletics Jesse Marks. “Their robust sales, data analytics and proven facility development expertise will greatly enhance Northwestern Athletics’ reach within the University, Evanston and greater Chicagoland communities, providing an innovative experience and a first-class level of service throughout the sales and development process.”

“The college athletics landscape is rapidly evolving, and Northwestern University has fully embraced what it takes to be on the leading edge of the sports fan experience today—and into the future,” said Michael Behan, Chief Operating Officer, Collegiate Partnerships, Legends. “We are excited to partner with such a renowned university and athletics program and to leverage our expertise and development strategy to help invigorate and enhance the experience for the Wildcats’ community and supporters.” 

The latest collaboration bolsters Legends’ position as the leader in advising university athletic departments on identifying opportunities to enhance fan experiences and optimize revenue streams on new and renovated facility projects, having partnered on University of Notre Dame, University of Oklahoma, University of Southern California, Villanova University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Utah, and San Diego State University, amongst others.

Legends Appoints Top Marketing Executives

Melvin Lenzy Named Chief Brand & Innovation Officer

Matt O’Neil Named Chief Content & Experience Officer

Legends announced today the appointment of two sports and entertainment industry executives to oversee marketing, creative, content, communications and events for the growing global data-intelligence fueled premium experiences company. Melvin Lenzy has joined as Chief Brand & Innovation Officer and Matt O’Neil as Chief Content & Experience Officer.

“With the accelerated growth of Legends global business, we are excited to have Melvin and Matt, two talented executives with deep industry experience, join to further advance and innovate the overall marketing efforts for our company and on behalf of our clients,” said Mike Tomon, Co-President and Chief Operating Officer, Legends.

Collectively, Lenzy and O’Neil will manage marketing, creative, content, communications and events for the company, each focusing on different business verticals with the collective goal of helping drive business growth and revenue across all areas. They will work closely with Legends’ clients to provide marketing and branding consulting to heighten the customer experience, as well as develop revenue generating strategies to optimize awareness and sales.

Lenzy is a 25+ year business, brand and strategic marketing veteran and has been the brand architect of some of the world’s biggest brand marketing campaigns. He has driven strategic business and marketing initiatives for iconic sports brands EA Sports, Konami, NBA2K, The National Football League, and NIKE, where he spent 15 years of his career. Prior to joining Legends, Lenzy was the Global Head of Marketing for the NBA2K Franchise at 2K Sports.

A seasoned sports and entertainment executive, O’Neil’s vast branding, content and marketing experience spans top professional sports teams and leagues, brands, and university athletic departments. He previously oversaw all facets of marketing, media and content creation, and game entertainment for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Red Bulls, and for the past five years ran his own content and marketing agency, Ichi Go, where he worked with the New York Jets, Boston Celtics, New Jersey Devils, Ohio State, and Genesis Motor America, among others.

TEAMTRAK CYCLING LEAGUE AND LEGENDS ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

Legends to Manage Sponsorship Sales, Omnichannel Merchandise and

Make Minority Investment in Startup League

TeamTrak Cycling League, an entity of World Cycling Limited, and Legends announced a strategic partnership today to support the launch and growth of the startup indoor cycling league. The partnership spans revenue-generating sponsorship sales and omnichannel merchandise services as well as a minority investment in TeamTrak by Legends, a data-intelligence fueled global premium experiences company. TeamTrak is an innovative, proprietary format of indoor velodrome racing that will launch with a four-event tour at U.S. arenas in 2023.

A team-oriented head-to-head track racing series, TeamTrak gives fans a front row seat to high-energy bike racing, pitting teams of men and women against each other in a heart-pumping indoor velodrome format. The new event series will also feature state-of-the-art technology designed to elevate the fan experience including real time scoring and athlete stats like speed, power output and heart rate as well as on board cameras. TeamTrak is the first privately owned and funded indoor track cycling league based upon a single entity league ownership model and will feature eight location-based teams in year one.

“TeamTrak was developed with a fan-first mentality, reimagining the best elements of track cycling into a fully accessible and easy-to-follow format. Our high energy co-ed team model is specifically designed to appeal to modern American sports fans,” said CEO of World Cycling Limited and two-time Olympic cyclist David Chauner. “We are excited to launch our first season in 2023 using our own portable indoor velodrome. This gives us the ability to bring TeamTrak to hundreds of existing arenas across the country and offers significant expansion potential.”

Legends will manage a data-driven approach for TeamTrak, leveraging data and analytics to provide fan insights and asset valuation to drive sponsorship sales and overall revenue-generating opportunities for the league. As well, Legends will provide broadcast and media rights partnership support for TeamTrak. As TeamTrak grows, the league will have access to all areas of Legends’ intelligence-fueled 360-degree service solutions, including planning, sales, and hospitality to support expansion.

“We are excited to partner with TeamTrak to bring fans and sponsors a modern take on cycling, one of the oldest and most popular sports in the world,” said Gabby Roe, President, Legends Growth Enterprises. “The TeamTrak leadership group has created a competition format that is fan and television friendly, easy to follow and features co-ed teams competing ‘elbow to elbow’ in the most exciting version of track cycling in the world. We see an incredible growth opportunity for the league.”

Earlier this year, Legends launched a Growth Enterprises division focused on leveraging the company’s 360-degree service solution to support sports and entertainment properties, attractions, events, and platforms that are positioned for accelerated development. TeamTrak is Legends’ latest partnership with a high-growth property.

WORLD RUGBY APPOINTS LEGENDS AS OFFICIAL RETAIL PARTNER FOR RUGBY WORLD CUP FRANCE 2023

Following record-breaking official merchandise sales at Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, World Rugby, via their master licensee IMG, has appointed Legends as the Official Retail Partner and operator for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France next year.

Taking place from 8 September until 28 October, the pinnacle event in the men’s fifteens game will build on the phenomenal spectator, media and commercial success of Japan 2019 where Legends served as the Official Retail Partner and operator.

Legends will operate all the official retail stores for Rugby World Cup 2023 in venues and celebration areas located within the host cities. Two flagship stores in Paris and Marseille are also set to open in August 2023. In line with World Rugby’s mission to create an exceptional fan experience, the physical stores will be stocked with merchandise featuring all 20 participating teams, exclusive event memorabilia for men, women and children, as well as a large range of official licensed products including official replica jerseys, and the official Gilbert match ball.

Rugby World Cup 2023 will set new standards in social responsibility, inclusion and sustainability for a major rugby event, with one of four key pillars focusing on respecting and protecting the environment. As the official retail partner, and in line with World Rugby’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030, Legends will support all environmental initiatives with the delivery of a retail operation for Rugby World Cup 2023 consistent with the company’s ongoing standards of delivery throughout its global business.

It has been 16 years since France last hosted the tournament, and Rugby World Cup’s 10th edition is expected to be spectacular on and off the pitch. During the tournament’s seven weeks, international fans and the French public will celebrate togetherness in rugby’s 200th birthday year.  (1823-2023).  

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said:“Our ambition is to deliver a world-class experience for rugby fans in France in 2023 and Legends will help us achieve that mission, bringing their expertise and comprehensive experience to the table to deliver an outstanding event. Through a network of official retail stores covering all hosts venues and cities, we will innovate together and give fans a tangible memory of what promises to be a spectacular tournament on and off the pitch.”

Legends Vice President of International Retail, Victoria Hawksley added: “Legends is proud of its long-standing relationship with World Rugby, and we are excited to once again bring fans a spectacular retail experience and expansive offerings for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, a location where Legends has a growing presence and commitment.” 

FORBES: New York Yankees Working With Legends In Search For Inaugural Jersey Patch Sponsor

Via Forbes

The New York Yankees are in the market for a company to serve as its jersey patch sponsor beginning in the 2023 season, the first time Major League Baseball will allow teams to sell space on their uniform sleeves.

The Yankees are working with Legends, a company it own a stake in, to manage the search. Chris Hibbs, president of Legends’ Global Partnerships division, said the Yankees are looking to sign a multi-year deal with a sponsor, but he declined to discuss the potential financial parameters.

Still, Hibbs noted that the Yankees have chosen not to have a naming rights deal for its iconic Yankee Stadium, so the organization is looking at the jersey patch as garnering what a stadium naming rights deal would be for a major sports franchise. The high water mark for stadium naming rights occurred late last year when the Los Angeles Lakers signed a 20-year deal with Crypto.com for a total that could exceed $700 million or $35 million per year.

“I would characterize the investment as a top-tier naming rights-type investment,” Hibbs said. “That’s fairly well known in North America, what a naming rights deal for a top-tier venue in a top-tier market goes for. We have those kinds of ambitions.”

MLB reportedly could generate a combined $350 million to $400 million annually through the sponsor patches for an average of up to $13.3 million per team. But the Yankees would likely get much more than the average considering their presence in the nation’s largest media and financial market, storied history (27 World Series titles) and current success as they have an MLB-best 61-26 record.

The Yankees are valued at $6 billion, according to Forbes, making them the second-most valuable franchise in the world behind the Dallas Cowboys ($6.5 billion). The MLB average franchise value is $2.07 billion.

“I would say from a value perspective, you’re talking about the most successful franchise in maybe global sports, certainly North American sports,” Hibbs said. “They’re recognized universally…They’re a fashion brand to some. They’re an iconic baseball team to others. Putting a brand on the pinstripes for the first time ever is a super unique opportunity.”

The Yankees and Dallas Cowboys founded Legends in 2008, with the company initially focused on running concessions and retail merchandising at their stadiums and other sports venues and entertainment complexes. Since then, Legends has become a major player in the sports business ecosystem and expanded to hospitality, sponsorships and numerous other areas.

Sixth Street, a multi-strategy investment firm with more than $60 billion of assets under management, acquired a majority stake in Legends last year in a deal that valued the company at $1.3 billion. The Yankees and Cowboys now own significant minority interests in Legends.

Legends’ Global Partnerships division, which was formed in February 2020, represents franchises, colleges and venues in naming rights deals, jersey sponsorships, real estate developments, events and other areas. The division’s clients include SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Chargers; Allegiant Stadium, home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders; and the University of Notre Dame.

For MLB’s jersey patches, Legends has agreed only to work with the Yankees, eschewing any overtures from other clubs. Hibbs is leading the Yankees’ assignment with colleagues Dan Migala, co-president and chief revenue officer of Legends Global Technology Solutions; Doug Smoyer, senior vice president at Legends Global Partnerships; and Chris Foy, executive vice president at Legends Global Partnerships. They will be partnering with several Yankees executives, including Michael J. Tusiani, the organization’s senior vice president of partnerships.

The patches will be 4-by-4 inches on the right or left sleeve of players’ uniforms. In April, the San Diego Padres became the first MLB club to announce a jersey patch, signing a contract with Motorola.

The NHL will allow jersey patches for the first time in the 2022-23 season, while the NBA has had jersey patches since 2017. Boardroom, a media company owned by Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and longtime sports executive Rich Kleiman, reported late last year that the total value of the NBA patches for the 2021-22 season would be $225 million, up from the $100 million that league commissioner Adam Silver envisioned a few years earlier.

For partnership inquiries, please contact Lauren Hutt, lhutt@legends.net

IU Partners with Legends to Deliver Expanded and Improved Merchandise Experience to Hoosier Fans

Whether you’re shopping for IU merchandise on-line, in-person, or on game-day, Hoosier fans can look forward to a brand-new, world-class experience.

Today, Indiana University and Legends announced a new multi-year partnership to provide Hoosier fans with the very best in officially licensed Indiana University merchandise in-store, at events and online. Last week, Legends Global Merchandise unveiled its initial line of merchandise offerings for Hoosier fans on-line at https://shop.iuhoosiers.com. Later this summer, Legends Global Merchandise will also re-open the familiar on-site retail shopping options for IU fans in both Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and at the Carmichael Center located across from the Indiana University Sample Gates on Indiana Avenue.

Hoosier fans can look forward to not only a best-in-class shopping experience that includes adidas and other top apparel manufacturers, but also an ever-expanding assortment of merchandise options in the coming weeks and months. Shirts, sweatshirts, hats, outerwear and even memorabilia will be among the offerings both on-line and in-person.

As part of its retail operations efforts, Legends Global Merchandise will also significantly expand to on-site options for Hoosier fans on IU Football gamedays at Memorial Stadium.

“We are excited to partner with Legends to offer Hoosier fans everywhere a new-and-improved experience when it comes to officially licensed Indiana University merchandise,” said IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson. “The Legends Global Merchandise team has a well-earned reputation for providing fans of all ages with a wide variety of options and a world-class shopping experience, both on-line and in-store.  As an Indianapolis-based company, they also have a first-hand feel for what Hoosier fans want. While I’m excited about what this partnership means for our department, I’m most excited about what it means for our fans who are always so proud to show off their support for IU with what they wear.”  

Added Dan Smith, President, Legends Hospitality: “We are proud to add Indiana University to our growing roster of NCAA partnerships for Legends Global Merchandise. Our team will work closely with IU, using a tailored, data informed approach, to expand the retail product assortment and deliver a best-in-class omnichannel retail experience for Indiana University students, alumni, and fans.”

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. The company is building a roster of NCAA partnerships to operate the official athletics department shops, including current partners Purdue University, Ohio State University, Villanova, and Georgia Institute of Technology. As well, this year, Legends Global Merchandise kicked off a partnership to operate merchandise for The College Football Playoffs.

Legends Acquires Minority Stake In American Ultimate Disc League

Via Forbes

Legends, a sports advisory and experiences company co-founded in 2008 by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, has acquired a minority stake in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL). The AUDL, which was founded in 2012, has 25 teams in the United States and Canada.

This is the second time Legends has made an equity investment in a sports league. In August 2021, Legends bought an ownership interest in the Professional Fighters League, a mixed martial arts organization.

Legends plans on completing more equity deals in the months and years ahead, primarily in small, recently launched leagues. The AUDL transaction is part of a strategy Legends has implemented since the company earlier this year acquired Maestroe Sports & Entertainment, a consulting and services company focused on so-called “high growth” leagues that are in their early states or have the potential to grow.

As part of that Maestroe deal, Legends launched its Legends Growth Enterprises division, through which the company invests in leagues and helps them with their sponsorships, media rights deals, merchandising and other areas.

Maestroe had been advising the AUDL since 2019, but this expands the relationship through the equity stake and providing more services such as merchandise, data analytics and possibly expanding to other countries.

“This is a very real world example of how now being a part of Legends, we’re able to do so much more for the AUDL than we previously would’ve been able to when we were just Maestroe,” said Gabby Roe, the president of Legends Growth Enterprises who founded Maestroe in 2012. “This is showcasing the vision we had for this Legends Growth Enterprises division.”

Roe would not disclose financial details of the AUDL investment. But a group led by Rob Lloyd, the former president at Cisco Systems CSCO -1.8% Inc., will hold a majority ownership stake in the AUDL. That group had bought a 90% stake in the league in December 2012.

Meanwhile, Steve Hall will remain the AUDL’s chief executive and commissioner. Hall, who started playing Ultimate in 1985 as a sophomore at Georgia Tech, worked for 13 years for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup C -0.1% and launched his own private-equity firm in 2011. He got involved in the AUDL in 2016 when he became co-owner of the league’s team in Atlanta. Two years later, he was named CEO and commissioner.

“I tell people this was the great opportunity of a lifetime where my hobby, my passion for playing Ultimate, comes together with my business acumen in terms of building companies and being in the private equity world,” Hall said. “I still have some private investments that I have on the side, but I’m pretty passive with those now. This is absolutely my full-time. I’m back to 12 to 14 hour days. I feel like I’m back to Goldman Sachs all over again, but like they say, it’s not a job if you enjoy what you’re doing, and I definitely am enjoying it. I’m fully active and fully engaged seven days per week.”

Since its founding 10 years ago, the AUDL has grown from 10 to 25 teams. The regular season runs from late April through late July, with each team playing 12 games. The games are usually on Saturday nights, but some are on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. The top 11 teams advance to the playoffs, culminating with a championship weekend on Aug. 26 and 27 at Breese Stevens Field in Madison, Wisc.

Players in the league receive a small stipend and have their uniforms and travel costs covered, separating it from other Ultimate leagues where players pay to compete. The teams also each have a physician, trainer and health and services manager that can help them train and recover from injuries. About 90% of the AUDL players are former college players who now have full-time jobs while the others are current college students.

Each team is independently owned and generates revenue through ticket sales, merchandise, concessions, local sponsorships and youth camps and clinics.

The AUDL’s league office, meanwhile, earns money primarily through national sponsorships and media and data deals. The league has a contract with Fox Sports, with the network’s Fox Sports 2 cable channel airing AUDL games on Saturday nights and showing replays on Wednesday nights. It also has its own streaming service, AUDL.tv, where fans can pay $9.99 per month to watch all the games.

In April, the AUDL signed a five-year deal LSports Data, an Israeli firm that will have access to AUDL’s player and game data and create gambling products for companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel.

Hall is looking to expand the AUDL’s betting deals and get into video games, non-fungible tokens, customized discs, shirts and gear and other areas. The AUDL plans on working with Legends’ technology group that specializes in collecting and analyzing customer data.

“We can make a lot smarter decisions in how we market and advertise to those people,” Hall said. “Now we have a lot more data behind us when we go and talk to a sponsor, discuss the breakdown and why the sponsor might really like the clientele of the AUDL.”

Last year, Sixth Street, an investment firm, acquired a majority stake in Legends that valued the company at $1.3 billion. Legends works with clients in professional and college sports and entertainment, helping them with business plans, sponsorships, arena naming rights, hospitality and numerous other areas.

“What we see Legends being able to do is they provide a level of service that we wouldn’t be able to touch for years and years,” Hall said. “We’re too small for the Legends’ typical clientele. The fact that they are excited to look at the emerging sports they think could be the next big thing and they want to partner with us is terrific. We think they’re going to really help raise our profile and provide high-quality talent at scale, which we wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.”

United Soccer League Taps Legends for Decade-Long Sales and Fan Effort

Via Sportico

The United Soccer League has inked a 10-year deal focused on maintaining growth momentum with Legends, the experiential and data and analytics business, the two companies announced this morning.

Legends will seek to boost national sponsorship sales, generate actionable fan insights and uncover innovative business solutions for the men’s and women’s teams through the USL’s leagues. The USL has professional and club teams in about 200 communities in the U.S., and has designs on challenging MLS supremacy for the sport by aligning with the global soccer norms around season timing and possibly embracing relegation, according to an April story in the Sacramento Bee.

“This long-term partnership with Legends will help us take advantage of the tremendous opportunity ahead of us,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis in a press release. “We are aligning more closely with the global game than any other American soccer property, and as we enter a critical, new growth phase for our commercial business, Legends’ unmatched expertise in both global football and the domestic sports landscape will help us achieve our key business objectives.”

The USL operates three professional leagues: the USL Championship in men’s soccer, the USL Super League in women’s soccer and USL One, another men’s league. The organization also operations two “pre-professional leagues” and two national youth leagues.

Legends, started by the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees to operate their new stadium offerings in 2008, has extensive experience in working with soccer organizations, including a recent deal to revamp Real Madrid’s stadium. Legends will work with the USL to increase its local presence and grow through stadium planning, ticketing strategies, naming rights and sales, merchandising and other areas, according to the release.

In particular, the organizations see the 2026 men’s World Cup being held mainly in the U.S. as a key event to help market and promote soccer in the U.S., according to the release. Terms of the partnership with Legends weren’t publicly disclosed.

Click here to read the full article.

 

United Soccer League and Legends Enter Transformative, 10-Year Partnership

Long-term agreement set to accelerate USL’s growth strategy and
support aggressive business objectives

The United Soccer League (USL) and Legends, a leading global premium experiences company, announced today a multi-faceted, 10-year partnership that will accelerate the USL’s already-unprecedented growth and drive the next evolution of the USL’s business.

Through a strategic, data-first approach, Legends will bolster national sponsorship sales, provide actionable fan insights, and unlock innovative business solutions for the USL’s unique suite of men’s and women’s soccer properties, including the USL Championship, USL Super League, and USL League One. Legends also will help USL clubs increase their local presence and business growth through stadium planning, development and operations, ticketing strategy, stadium naming rights and sales, merchandise, and technology and digital solutions.

“The USL is perfectly positioned to shape the future of soccer in America at all levels, for both men and women, and this long-term partnership with Legends will help us take advantage of the tremendous opportunity ahead of us,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “We are aligning more closely with the global game than any other American soccer property, and as we enter a critical, new growth phase for our commercial business, Legends’ unmatched expertise in both global football and the domestic sports landscape will help us achieve our key business objectives, while continuing to honor the passion of our fans, the dedication of our players, and the commitment of our owners.”

The USL is the largest and fastest-growing professional soccer organization in North America with more than 200 professional and pre-professional clubs across the United States. This transformative partnership with Legends comes at a time when the USL is in rapid expansion mode, looking to add more than 25 professional clubs over the next five years, highlighted by the launch of the USL Super League, a new professional women’s soccer league that will kick off in August 2023.

As an emerging commercial property with a young, diverse fan base, the USL offers collaborative flexibility to brands looking to invest in soccer ahead of the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.  

“The USL is poised for exponential business growth and has a forward-thinking leadership team that sees the incredible potential for men’s and women’s soccer in the United States,” said Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO, Legends. “Legends is proud to partner with the USL long-term to leverage our holistic expertise working with leagues, rights holders and stadiums around the globe utilizing data-driven solutions to maximize revenue. With the launch of the USL Super League, aggressive expansion plans across all USL properties, a deep commitment to stadium development, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America, interest and excitement around soccer will only continue to grow.”

Legends has provided its unique 360-degree service solution to some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment around the globe. The company’s expansive experience in worldwide football includes A.C. Milan, FC Barcelona, Liverpool F.C., Manchester City F.C., Manchester United F.C., Real Madrid and U.S. Soccer, among others.