SBD/Issue 41/Franchises

MSG President To Add Three Sales Execs To Help Grow MSG Sports

O'Neil To Add Execs In
Ticket, Sponsorship Sales
MSG Sports President Scott O'Neil is "putting his stamp on the organization with plans to hire three new top executives as O'Neil charts a course of aggressive growth to coincide with the renovation" of MSG, according to John Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. O'Neil said that he "will hire two senior vice presidents and another vice president to help lead ticket and sponsorship sales across MSG Sports' Knicks, Rangers and Liberty franchises." The new hires are "additions to the staff and not replacements and are expected to be completed within a few weeks." The Rangers have "capped their season-ticket sales at 14,000, while the Knicks work to turn around their business after the past few disastrous seasons both on and off the court." O'Neil "would not disclose the exact season-ticket base for the Knicks," but he said that he expects to "surpass 10,000 this season." The Knicks' renewal rate stands at about 85%, "above the league's" 80% average. MSG also has 25 corporate partners who "spend at least $1[M] annually with both franchises, and one change under O'Neil has been to add value to some of MSG's top spending partners." The Knicks are "creating a 'coach for a day program' for top sponsors who will tag along" with Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni for a day. The team has "set 10 dates for the program." While O'Neil "beefs up MSG's sales staff, he also is focusing on creating, acquiring or partnering with other sports-related properties." O'Neil said that MSG has "looked at about 15 potential deals in and around" N.Y. O'Neil: "We are open for business and we have a mandate to grow the business" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/10 issue).

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