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Volume 21 No. 22
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Legends’ 360-degree services help LAFC build team from scratch

Legends will use the commercial success of the Los Angeles Football Club to pitch its scope of services to other teams.

 

The company refers to its “360-degree services” approach, which for LAFC called on Legends to serve as the owner’s representative for project management of the new Banc of California Stadium, manage suites, ticket sales, food and beverage, and hospitality, and represent the team in sponsorship sales. 

LAFC launched this past weekend in MLS after selling out all of its 17,500 full-season memberships and all of its premium seating, and notching several of the league’s highest revenue partnerships.

While the club’s 30-strong ownership group, its $350 million stadium and its already deep bond with supporters have all driven that success, so has the relationship with Legends.

“Everyone has asked me how do you build a club from nothing?” said Tom Penn, LAFC president and co-owner. “When we acquired it, there was such an enormous set of challenges in front of us, so the first person I remember connecting with was [President and CEO] Shervin [Mirhashemi] and Legends.

Penn said the goal was to integrate Legends to the degree that they’ve been “part of our actual operation and super familiar with every aspect of what we’re doing.” That has meant having Legends staff sitting alongside LAFC staff in the team’s makeshift offices through its build-up process. Penn credited Legends for helping to build out the team’s staff and training them, as many LAFC employees are new to the sports industry.

“In a situation where we’re a brand-new club, building out all of this infrastructure, stadium, the food experience and this whole development, you have to lean on a partner in those spaces,” said Jamie Guin, LAFC senior vice president of corporate partnerships. “They’ve been in our four walls since day one like they’ve been part of our executive team.”

Legends’ suite of services has been built out under Mirhashemi, who joined Legends in 2013 and was named president and CEO in January 2017.

“We want to be a turnkey solution for our clients regardless of what industry they’re in, and LAFC represents the first of those who landed on the majority of our services,” Mirhashemi said. “We think this 360-degree platform is even more impactful when it’s all done with one vision.”

Now that the team has launched, the relationship is beginning to change. Legends will continue operating hospitality at the stadium, including working with LAFC on launching a food hall at the venue. But it is also working on elements of the club’s practice facility. Penn said the club is seeking additional investments and entrepreneurial ventures “where I envision us having these guys on speed dial.”

Mirhashemi said that as Legends continues to assist LAFC, it will seek additional clients to leverage the company’s expertise.

“This is our first full 360, and we know it’s not for everyone, but when I look at LAFC and how we were able to help them realize their vision without compromise, I think it’s a great calling card,” said Mirhashemi.