Blues Owner Stillman Putting Stamp On Club As Team Sees Strong Sponsorship Growth
Blues Owner Tom Stillman in his first year at the helm has "overhauled just about every part of the organization, from beer deals to sponsorships to player contracts to selling its minor league affiliate," the AHL Peoria Rivermen, according to Samantha Liss of the ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. He "cut 40 employees from the payroll" and has "grown ticket revenue 27 percent on a per-game basis this season over last, although Stillman declined to give attendance or revenue numbers because of last season’s lockout." One of Stillman’s first moves was "renegotiating a deal" with A-B InBev. Stillman said that he negotiated "a five-year extension deal ... estimated at seven-figures annually, that allowed his team to go after other liquor sponsorships." He then landed a "joint liquor sponsorship with Grey Goose and the local Sub Zero Vodka Bar." The deal includes "signage around the rink and a Grey Goose Club suite near the Blues locker room, plus additional bars around the arena." Sources said that it is "worth six-figures annually to the franchise." The Blues "did not clarify" liquor distributor Luxco CEO Donn Lux' role in the deal. On the sponsorship side, Stillman "extended a five-year sponsorship with BJC HealthCare and locked down major sponsorship deals with Missouri Lottery, Anthem, BMO Harris Bank, Famous Footwear and Jimmy John’s." He declined to give revenue figures, but said that sponsorship dollars "are outpacing last year." One deal that Stillman "can’t change is the Blues' concession agreement with Levy Restaurants." Stillman was "at the table as a minority owner when former Blues majority owner Dave Checketts negotiated a 20-year deal that included a revenue sharing clause that was front loaded, giving the team smaller commissions on concession sales for the remaining 15 years" (ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/16 issue).