Mike Bossy Discusses His New Role As Islanders VP/Corporate Sponsorship
The Islanders yesterday promoted MIKE BOSSY to VP/Corporate Sponsorship & Partnership Marketing, beginning the third phase of a career that already has seen him go from Stanley Cup champion to sales exec. "The Islanders have always been my passion, from my years as a player to my post-playing days in a suit and tie," he said. The Hockey HOFer spoke with THE DAILY after the announcement to discuss his increased responsibilities and thoughts on the Islanders' upcoming move to Brooklyn.
Q: How do your role and your responsibilities expand under this title?
Bossy: I worked very closely with (former VP/Sponsorships) DAVE DECINA, so I guess there is a certain percentage of what I’m doing now that I was doing already. My responsibilities, like any head of a department, is putting out fires, making sure people are happy, finding creative ideas for existing partnerships and new partners and just trying to grow our revenue and our partnerships as much as possible. I’m not a real big title guy. It certainly adds to the responsibilities, but in general not very much will change about the way I’ve been doing business for the last six years or so.
Q: How has your familiarity with the Islanders and the community benefited your post-playing career?
Bossy: Let’s just be completely honest -- I am who I am and I did what I did. That will always stay with me. From that perspective, of course it’s helped me in the last six years. Although, as I tell a lot of people who think that everybody answers my phone calls and takes meetings with me, that’s absolutely false. I always say just because of who I am and what I did doesn’t mean that people who know why I’m calling now will take a message, because people who know why I’m calling now know I want them to spend money and sometimes people don’t want to spend money. But I don’t use my name in that way. I prefer to have meetings with people who don’t know who I am. It really challenges me to not go in to a meeting and have someone be sitting across from Mike Bossy the hockey player, but they are sitting across from Mike Bossy who is in partnership marketing and sponsorship.
Q: What are your thoughts about the Islanders moving to the Barclays Center in ’15?
Bossy: I’m excited about it. There’s no doubt that it’s a big move, in the sense that, as I tell people, we’re moving 20 miles from Nassau Coliseum. But I think it’s a world of difference. As far as I’m concerned in my role, it’s going to open up a lot of new and different opportunities for the Islanders. There’s a whole bunch of different corporate sponsors that we will be able to approach, not only because of our location, but I think because of the beautiful building that we’re moving to. In the back of my mind of course I’m a bit nostalgic and feel for the Long Island fans who are disappointed that their team is moving to Brooklyn. There’s no doubt that I made my name, I am who I am today, because of this building and the team that I played on in this building and the four Stanley Cups that we won.
Q: What are the challenges of entering a new market like Brooklyn?
Bossy: Right now Brooklyn is still building a basketball history. They have a baseball history. They do not have a hockey history. That will definitely be a challenge that I know that people from Brooklyn and myself are looking forward to. One of the things I’m looking forward to is introducing Brooklyn to hockey on a deeper level. We’ve always been extremely close with the community here on Long Island and I’m looking forward to introducing the Islanders into the community in Brooklyn and having them love the team for everything we can do and help with in the community.