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Volume 22 No. 32
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Gen Z: Dan Meis

Founder and principal, Meis Architects

Dan Meis is a prominent sports architect and designer. His design portfolio at Meis Architects and previously NBBJ includes the Staples Center, UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, what is now Dignity Health Sports Park, FC Cincinnati’s new MLS stadium and Paul Brown Stadium.

— As told to Mike Sunnucks


This is the generation that will decide it doesn’t need to buy a car because there is always Uber, but will splurge on a private jet flight or a helicopter to the Hamptons through a sharing service. They will spend on unique and authentic one-off experiences but aren’t the type to invest a five-year lease on a suite. It changes the model of what product we are selling in the venues, with more focus on authentic and current experiences, merchandise and food and beverage.

They aren’t interested in a club seat halfway up the seating bowl just because it has access to a club. They want field access, tunnel/player clubs where they can see and touch the players. Sight lines and comfort are less important than access and proximity.

As a league, MLS has done very well in understanding the community aspect of their game and fan base. I think it bodes very well for that league as advertisers recognize the importance of this shift in demographics. Adidas has done well to partner with teams, athletes and fashion designers to create bespoke limited-edition products that speaks to the Gen Z craving for unique and authentic. [In five years] Gen Z will have more to spend on their experiences but will still crave immediacy, connection to the event, and communal experience.

Adidas is drawing praise for partnering with MLS teams and athletes.
Photo: getty images