SBJ/20090803/Offseason Report

Spurs go young; Bruins look to Classic

With NBA and NHL teams in the midst of the offseason, we asked top team executives what sits atop their to-do list this summer as they look to the 2009-10 season. Responses were edited for clarity and brevity.

Rick Pych
President of business operations
San Antonio Spurs

“We’ve won four championships in the past 10 years, and while we’ve had a great run, there have been a number of fans who have been with us for a long time that have dropped off this year and last year, so our effort this summer has been to focus on a new group of younger fans.

“Our fans typically are older than the average NBA fan. Well over 50 percent of our fan base is between the ages of 35 and 54, while only 10 percent are younger than 35. There are big opportunities for us, so we are trying to create things that are attractive to a younger demographic, things like additional entertainment after the game [and] refreshing the balcony level to turn it into a singles area that includes food and drink. We think that there is another generation of Spurs fans coming up and we are spending the summer going after that group.”

Charlie Jacobs
Boston Bruins

“Our terrestrial radio rights were up, so we were working hard on that. It was not an easy experience. Local AM and FM radio is really tough right now. We struck a deal [with CBS Radio Boston] and it was announced a few weeks ago.

“On the sponsorship side, we’re looking for smaller deals in the auto and bank categories. We had ancillary deals with regional banks that blew up during the credit crisis. But the main thing is the Winter Classic. We’ve been doing a lot of planning with the Boston Red Sox about what to do with the ice and are working with a community organization to have it open for fans a week before the game. I’m working with Fenway Sports Group’s Sam Kennedy on that. We expect a [season] ticket bump from the game. We’re at 13,000-plus now and we’re looking to break the 14,000 barrier.”

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