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NYC FC Details How It Will Co-Exist With Yankees; Pernetti Talks Tickets, Marketing
Published April 22, 2014
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GET YOUR TICKETS: The club yesterday also announced it will start accepting down payments on season-ticket plans. While the plan prices will not be released until summer, the team sold 1,100 deposits in the last 24 hours. There are three different tiers: standing-room supporter group ($30 deposit); general admission ($50); and premium seats ($200). Pernetti said the club will look to work with the Yankees where it can to create crossover season-ticket holders for both clubs. He noted NYC FC will consider using dynamic pricing for single-game tickets depending on several factors, including how initial season-ticket sales go. The club has already made about 25 hires on the business side and is looking to approximately double that number by next season. That includes positions in ticket sales, fan services, a head of marketing and communications.
CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Pernetti said that the MLS club will embark on a marketing campaign over the coming months centered around fan engagement initiatives similar to when NYC FC used a fan vote to determine its logo. He added, "Beyond that, I think we'll look to take advantage of the World Cup this year and activate as much as we can in New York when the awareness of soccer is at its height." Pernetti said merchandise sales on NYC FC’s Legends-run e-commerce website have been brisk so far, with more than $25,000 sold in the first week of availability. Team gear also is beginning to pop up at retail shops throughout the city. The club is projected to unveil its first kit in either late summer or early fall. Pernetti noted the Yankees and NYC FC have been looking for sponsorship deals that encompass both teams - deals he thinks will eventually come to fruition. Pernetti said as part of Yankee Stadium’s design for soccer, the outfield wall "will be something that we can brand, and we intend to utilize for branding at NYC FC and potentially some other partners. And I think there will be other areas of Yankee Stadium that will be branded as you see it today." However, fans should not make too much of a potential cross-town rivalry with the nearby Red Bulls. Pernetti said, "I'm of the mind when it comes to rivalries that they need to hatch organically. I think that's something that probably will more develop itself more than it can be developed by the guys in the suits behind the desks."
OUT OF SCHOOL: The move to the soccer world is a change for Pernetti, who had spent the majority of his professional life in the college realm before resigning as Rutgers AD last year as part of the Mike Rice scandal. He said the transition from colleges to pro soccer has been “eye-opening.” Pernetti: “Sports business is a really tight-knit industry; everybody knows everybody. I had existing relationships with people at the Yankees. But the people at Manchester City I was meeting for the first time. For me, it's been really educational to kind of witness the sport and how it's growing here in the U.S. as part of MLS. The opportunity to build a pro sports franchise in New York City is something that I feel really lucky to have been selected to be a part of.”