SBD/March 7, 2011/People and Pop Culture
Tom Werner Talks About NESV's Big Day On Both Sides Of The Pond
Published March 7, 2011
Q: What did you expect going into yesterday?
Werner: We're working on a strategy for creating a global sports brand. I think very few people really know the connections between these entities. But yesterday was really great, a lot of fun between what was going on in Liverpool and in Las Vegas.
Q: Were you on site for either event?
Werner: No, we were watching the Liverpool match in Florida with JOHN [HENRY, principal owner] in Florida. We were down here in Ft. Myers for Spring Training over the weekend. John and I were then traveling later on [yesterday] and caught part of the race.
Q: How do these two wins advance the efforts of NESV?
Werner: We've got a really great team in place at each one. That's the thing I'm really pleased about. There's a lot of good spirit going around. Winning, as you know, is contagious.
Q: With Liverpool, in particular, there's been a speculation as to what you might do or not do, particularly with the Anfield facility. What is happening there?
Werner: We'd like to figure out a solution to add more seats because our biggest rival, Manchester United, has a big advantage when it comes to revenue coming in on match day. But we don't have a recommendation yet, and we're looking at two or three different options.
Q: With the racing, between yesterday's events and the great story out of Daytona, it seems like this is a very different year already for NASCAR, that the halo around JIMMIE JOHNSON has been punctured a bit.
Werner: The ratings thus far have been up significantly. I do think the fans are coming back to NASCAR. We've got some great drivers, not just in Sprint Cup, but what's coming up behind them, too.
Q: How does yesterday compare to the day your team bought the Red Sox or the two World Series wins?
Werner: It's pretty tough to beat bringing a World Series championship back to Boston after 86 years. But we think one of the great parts about Liverpool is that it's a global club with supporters all over the world. We were talking to IAN AYRE, our commercial director, and he thought more than 500 million people were watching the match yesterday. Now, it's hard to fully quantify Nielsen ratings around the world because the metrics aren't accurate everywhere as they are in the U.S. But we do know, as Fox said, it was "a match of the giants." And I think all Liverpool fans are smiling today.