SBD/April 11, 2012/Franchises

Pistons' Mannion Adds Live Entertainment To Halftime To Boost Fans' Game Experience

Mannion designed communal office space for all of PS&E's marketing, creative staff
The halftime break during Pistons' games “is no longer dead time” as Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment President Dennis Mannion has “brought a new attitude in his move to Auburn Hills from the West Coast,” according to Ashley Woods of the GRAND RAPIDS PRESS. Mannion, who previously was Dodgers President, arrived “with Harlan Hendrickson in tow, whom he quickly hired into the newly-designed role of ‘Vice President of Lifestyle Marketing.’” Hendrickson is in charge of the halftime show and is “committed to signing national artists with hit singles under their belts.” Woods noted the arena's YouTube channel “has helped sweeten the deal for some performers; who have begun to contact Hendrickson with inquiries.” Hendrickson said, “They've seen the videos. We make them look very good -- performing with lighting and stage props and 50 dancers. It's only helped." The halftime performers are one of Hendrickson’s ideas “to reposition Pistons game as a stylish, cool nighttime entertainment option,” while another is in ticketing. PS&E VP/PR Jeff Corey said that low attendance numbers are "partly due to management's new policy of eliminating multiple-ticket discount offers.” Corey: “Their goal is to keep the value of the tickets up, and to increase the value of the game experience by boosting the entertainment taking place during the games." Hendrickson added, "We don't have a lot of that tongue-in-cheek nonsense that's at a lot of NBA games. What we're trying to get at right now is more class. More of a production." Meanwhile, Woods noted the Pistons' staff used to be “spread across multiple floors of the Palace's front office building,” but Mannion “blew out the walls of a department on the second floor, designing one large communal office space for all of PS&E's marketing and creative staff for the first time in the Palace's 24-year history” (, 4/10).

SEASON TICKETS STAYING THE SAME: In Grand Rapids, David Mayo reported the Pistons yesterday announced that "season-ticket sales are under way for next season, with no increase in costs from this season's levels." In one promotion for the '12-13 season, season-ticket buyers "will receive a team jacket with a microchip planted in the sleeve which will allow the wearer" a 20% discount on concessions and 30% on merchandise purchased at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Current season-ticket holders "will begin receiving renewal notices this week" (, 4/10).
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