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Volume 25 No. 88
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Redskins' Business Ops Change Course With New COO Lafemina

Redskins fans will notice several changes this season, including a new fan zone and increased food options
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Redskins' approach since the arrival of President of Business Operations & COO Brian Lafemina has "pivoted," as the team has gone from "waiting for ticket buyers to come to them to actively courting them with promotions, incentives and a pledge to serve fans better," according to Liz Clarke of the WASHINGTON POST. Lafemina said, “There is a different type of competition now: The competition for people’s time, for their money, for everything. We needed to -- as an entire league -- really market ourselves, sell ourselves and make our fans understand what the benefits are of coming to an NFL game.” Clarke notes fans attending Sunday’s home opener against the Colts will "notice some of the changes ushered in by Lafemina." The west end zone of FedExField has been "turned into an open plaza -- a communal square, of sorts, for fans to congregate, with 30 high-definition TVs." Meanwhile, Lafemina has "created a department that will use data and analytics to better understand fans preferences, likes and dislikes." There are some "unsold tickets for Sunday’s game," but that comes as the Redskins took a "close look at the number of season ticket holders who appeared to be ticket brokers and were buying the packages primarily to sell individual games to fans of opposing teams." Lafemina said that starting last season, the Redskins "declined to renew season tickets for would-be brokers, taking control of the tickets themselves." He added that as an upshot, the Redskins "now have a larger inventory of seats" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/13). In DC, Matthew Paras notes some other changes for the Redskins this season include a "new mobile ticketing app, craft beer and cocktail stands, increased food options, a new fan zone and 'enhanced' team intros" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/13).

TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT: Redskins CMO Steve Ziff said that he has "heard the message on the radio and around town" that the team and Owner Dan Snyder are "only interested in making money." Ziff: "That was fans' internalization of our decision-making tree, was, 'How do we make money?' Now it's, 'How do we please our fans? How do we be a first-class organization? How do we protect our brand and make it something that means integrity and means class to people? All those things are more important than any decision related to revenue generation." One of those things includes "creating an in-game atmosphere that makes people want to leave home and the comforts of high-def television" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 9/13).