SBD/August 3, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Red Bulls Part Ways With Chris Heck After Just Over One Year With Club

Heck may have alienated Red Bulls fans by raising season-ticket prices
MLS Red Bulls President of Business Operations CHRIS HECK is "no longer with the organization," according to Brian Lewis of the N.Y. POST. Heck "had come under fire among the Red Bulls' supporters, blamed for middling ticket sales and a continued disconnect with the fan base." Heck was hired by the Red Bulls in June '11 after having served as an NBA exec since '04, most recently as league Senior VP/Marketing Partnerships (NYPOST.com, 8/2). In N.Y, Jack Bell wrote while Heck’s position had “been tenuous for several months, the final straw was the club’s midweek, midday game on July 25 that was played in stifling heat and drew critical comments" from the team’s star player.” Red Bulls F THIERRY HENRY said, “I don’t know who put the time of the game we’re going to play. Sorry, I’m not having a go; but playing at 4, playing at 1, are you thinking about the players? I don’t know.” Bell noted “thousands of season-ticket holders stayed away from the match, which was billed as Camp Day, to attract youngsters on a day away from camp.” Heck had “apparently blamed MLS for putting the midday game on its schedule, a game that was sandwiched between a match that began at 4 p.m. the previous Sunday and at 2:30 p.m. the next Saturday.” Heck also managed to “alienate many of the team’s most ardent fans by raising season-ticket prices and committing what seemed to be some relatively minor missteps, like barring a popular food truck from its regular spot outside the team’s stadium.” It seems “unlikely that Heck will be replaced immediately” (NYTIMES.com, 8/2).
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