Richman, Comcast Spectacor’s vice president of public relations, has formed Ike Richman Communications, which officially launches Oct. 3. He won’t stray far from his roots. Richman’s first client is his employer for the past 28 years.
“We’re looking forward to working with Ike as an outside adviser in the years ahead,” said Dave Scott, Comcast Spectacor’s president and CEO.
Richman expects to sign more PR consulting deals with teams and facilities after gaining vast experience working for the group that owns the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center, plus affiliate Spectra, which runs arenas, stadiums and food service across the country.
“I look at something that Ed Snider taught us, to take what you do well and grow it,” Richman said, referring to the late Flyers owner and the entrepreneurial spirit he brought to Comcast Spectacor.
“I bring expertise to teams, owners and venues, and it’s not just limited to sports,” said Richman, always quick to deliver a pun tied to song lyrics from his favorite bands, including Phish and Van Halen. “A lot of teams bring concerts to their buildings now and I’ll be helping on that end as well.”
It’s been an impressive run for Richman, 51, whose bloodlines run deep in Philly sports lore. He was named for his grandfather, Ike Richman, who founded the Philadelphia 76ers after buying the old Syracuse Nationals and relocating the NBA team to Philly in 1963.
|Ike Richman makes a point at HBO’s premiere of “Broad Street Bullies” with (from left) the Flyers’ Ed Snider and HBO’s Ross Greenburg and Ray Stallone in 2010.
Over time, Richman’s role expanded outside of Philly as Snider grew his empire to include facility management, food service, ticketing and marketing at arenas and stadiums. In those instances, Richman helped Spectra staff and local clients on site promote their operations.
“When we started working with other buildings … Ike became a mentor to others,” said Peter Luukko, the Florida Panthers’ executive chairman and Comcast Spectacor’s former president and chief operating officer. “I think this is a great move for him.”
Frank Brown, NHL group vice president of communications, said, “Although we’ve worked together a number of times, I thought Ike really showed his professional stripes when Ed Snider passed away. While there were so many details to track in preparing the celebration of Ed’s life, and so many people to comfort, I thought Ike set aside his own grief and handled his duties impeccably.”
Richman’s last day with Comcast Spectacor is Sept. 28.
> WAKE-UP CALL: Greensboro Coliseum officials think Wake Forest’s football stadium, BB&T Field, has proved itself as a concert venue after Guns N’ Roses grossed $3 million in ticket sales from a crowd of 35,000. The Aug. 11 concert was the stadium’s first in 27 years.
In 2013, the Greensboro group signed a five-year deal with the school to book special events at BB&T Field and Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum, Wake Forest’s basketball arena. Greensboro and Winston-Salem sit 30 miles apart in North Carolina.
Several concerts have played Lawrence Joel since the deal took effect, but it took a few years to secure a stadium concert at Wake Forest. It was Guns N’ Roses’ only college venue among nine U.S. tour dates.
Spectra runs the food at Greensboro Coliseum and Wake Forest’s sports venues. Guns N’ Roses generated a food per cap of $19.50, driven largely by beer sales. Those numbers match country acts Jason Aldean and Eric Church at the Greensboro arena, said Scott Johnson, the coliseum’s deputy director.
“Our goal is to solidify the region as an independent market apart from Charlotte and Raleigh,” said Matt Brown, Greensboro Coliseum’s managing director. The two parties are negotiating a five-year extension beyond the agreement, which expires next September.