SBJ/March 25-31, 2013/Facilities

Red Sox sign jeweler Alex and Ani as presenting sponsor for redesigned banquet space

The Boston Red Sox have signed a multiyear deal with a Rhode Island jeweler to be the presenting sponsor of a renovated banquet space at Fenway Park.

The Champions Club Presented by Alex and Ani is the new name of the old Players Club, situated behind the right-field seats in an area known as the Big Concourse. It is one floor below the Royal Rooters Club, a members-only lounge that opened last year.

The Champions Club, formerly the Players Club, gets natural light from new windows.
Image: BOSTON RED SOX
Financial terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed. Carolyn Rafaelian, the jeweler’s owner, founded the company in 2004 and named it after her first two daughters. Inc. magazine last year ranked Alex and Ani among America’s 250 fastest-growing private enterprises.

The revamped Champions Club is one of three hospitality spaces the Red Sox have remodeled as part of the team’s $3 million investment in stadium upgrades.

The 3,624-square-foot banquet room has a much brighter look after the Red Sox returned the space to its original layout by adding windows to bring in natural light, said Jonathan Gilula, executive vice president of business affairs. Over the years, those openings had been blocked by concrete.

The space is reserved for pregame meals for groups of 200 with a new movable wall that can split the room in two. A comprehensive audio-visual system with new televisions, including a few 80-inch screens, provides better technology for group presentations.

The club is available for non-game-day functions, and the Red Sox believe the improvements will enable the team to book more offseason events. “We had difficulty doing that in the past because it was very unattractive … dark and dreary,” Gilula said.

The club’s theme is tied to the Red Sox’s seven World Series titles. There are photos on display from the 2004 and 2007 championship teams and the hanging of World Series banners at Fenway Park the following seasons, he said.

Separately, the Royal Rooters Club has been improved after its debut last season as a casual restaurant reserved for 1,500 to 2,000 season-ticket holders paying $250 membership fees. There are new restrooms directly tied to the space and a new full-service kitchen for Aramark, the park’s food vendor.

Jim Beam sponsors the Royal Rooters bar area. The Red Sox are searching for a title sponsor for the lounge itself, Gilula said.

The third upgrade covers the Absolut Clubhouse, a premium club on the third-base side reserved for Dugout Seat and EMC Club seat holders. The 2,150-square-foot space opened in 2004, one of the first high-end destinations to be developed during extensive renovations from 2002 to 2012.

After nine seasons, the club needed a face-lift, Gilula said. The refresh covers new flooring, lighting and furniture, plus a new permanent bar with custom millwork, granite countertops, wood paneling and glass shelving to display bottles of Absolut vodka. The liquor maker has sponsored the club since 2007.

Elsewhere in the park, the Red Sox are installing 25 weatherproof televisions on grandstand columns for fans to view game replays. The 46-inch screens are made by SunBrite.

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