SBJ/August 27-September 2, 2012/Facilities

Retail therapy: Panthers maximize space in team store refurb

Don Muret
The Carolina Panthers and Delaware North Sportservice have revamped the team store at Bank of America Stadium to improve customer flow and give it a fresh look tied to the team’s refined logo and new NFL licensees Nike, New Era and ’47 Brand.

The Panthers and food and retail concessionaire Sportservice shared the investment to renovate the 16-year-old stadium’s 3,500-square-foot store, which is smaller than pro shops at newer NFL facilities Cowboys Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium and MetLife Stadium.

To free up space in Charlotte, officials relocated cash registers from the center of the store toward the west wall, similar to the setup at fast-food restaurants. The store now has six registers, two more than the old layout, Sportservice general manager Tom Crocker said.

The Carolina Panthers moved registers to one side of their team store to help improve customer flow.
Photo by: DON MURET / STAFF
In addition, the Panthers and their vendor removed the low ceilings, creating more room to hang more products on the walls, effectively doubling the number of items Sportservice can put on display, Crocker said.

As part of its leaguewide deal, Nike supplied new fixtures and graphics and installed a mannequin in motion showcasing the No. 15 jersey of Joe Adams, the Panthers’ rookie return specialist.

The facelift has paid off during the Panthers’ two preseason games. Sales of branded, licensed product are up 25 percent over last year’s exhibitions, Crocker said.

The timing of the project was perfect for the Panthers given the tweaks they made to their primary logo during the offseason and Nike taking over the NFL apparel deal, team President Danny Morrison said.

In total, the team store upgrades, along with new HD cameras in the control room connected to the stadium’s video boards and improvements to the team’s meeting rooms and dining facilities, amount to a seven-figure investment, Morrison said.

On the food side, Sportservice added 100 more points of sale at Bank of America Stadium to meet the halftime crush by increasing the number of portable food carts and coolers stocking soft drinks and bottled water. Qdoba and NoDa Brewing Co., a local microbrewery, are among the new food and drink brands in the building.

MAYNE MAN: Brad Mayne discovered the magnitude of the Super Bowl when he arrived in New Jersey to interview for the job as president and CEO of MetLife Stadium.

Joining Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch and Jets owner Woody Johnson for the interview process was Al Kelly, CEO of the 2014 Super Bowl Host Committee. The game is set for MetLife Stadium, the first Super Bowl to be played outdoors in a winter climate.

“That tells me how important a role the stadium will play for that event,” said Mayne, who got the job.

Mayne has been a facility manager for 30 years, including the past 14 years with American Airlines Center in Dallas, where he worked for Center Operating Co., co-owned by the Mavericks and the Stars. The organizational structure is similar to the one used by MetLife Stadium’s joint venture.

For Mayne’s first official event at MetLife on Sept. 5, the Giants will play host to the Cowboys. “It is a fitting welcome to my new home,” he said.

Don Muret can be reached at dmuret@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @breakground.


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