– Legends Global Merchandise Will Operate the Retail Stores Throughout Gila River Arena —
The Arizona Coyotes announced today that the team has partnered with Legends Global Merchandise to operate the retail stores throughout Gila River Arena. The team store at Gila River Arena will re-open on October 1 and will feature brands including Sportique, State Forty Eight, New Era, 47 Brand, and Lululemon, as well as an expanded Adidas authentic offering.
“We are thrilled to partner with Legends Global Merchandise to enhance our fan experience,” said Coyotes President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez. “Legends is committed to offering our fans a wide variety of new products including an enhanced selection for women and youth. We look forward to our fans enjoying the new shopping experience at Gila River Arena very soon.”
“Legends Global Merchandise has partnered with the Coyotes to create an innovative and unique merchandise program for fans, with comprehensive offerings from a variety of premium brands,” said Legends Global Merchandise President Dave Moroknek. “The Coyotes vision and commitment to the fan experience is second to none and we could not be more excited to bring this vision to life.”
The Coyotes and Legends will launch curbside pickup and mobile ordering at Gila River Arena in the coming weeks.
As SoFi and Allegiant stadiums prepare to open, the depth of work by Legends on the projects has fully come into focus, including previously undisclosed details about the company’s involvement at SoFi on retail, technology and its food and beverage program.
With Allegiant Stadium announcing that no fans will be allowed at Las Vegas Raiders games this season, and SoFi Stadium announcing the same at least at the start, the extent of Legends’ work won’t be fully functioning as expected. Still, the projects gave Legends the opportunity to demonstrate the depth of its expertise.
Legends President and CEO Shervin Mirhashemi said the company was involved in both projects early on from a feasibility and planning standpoint. Later, he said, “we then were engaged with each one of those projects separately, it was really about activating our full 360 capabilities to work on two iconic, state-of-the-art NFL projects, arguably two of the greatest stadiums in the world at the exact same time.”
Legends’ involvement with SoFi Stadium was more extensive compared to its work on Allegiant, which was primarily focused on partnerships and its naming-rights deals, and a sold-out personal seat license campaign that garnered the Raiders $549 million in revenue ahead of the 2020 NFL season.
Legends is also handling the Rams’ and Chargers’ PSL campaign, which has generated more revenue than Allegiant’s thus far, but the venue’s reported sales targets have been less than expected, according to previous reports.
At SoFi, Legends handled the stadium’s $30 million-a-year naming-rights deal and project management of the adjacent 300-acre Hollywood Park entertainment district, which will have a performance venue, retail and office space, residential units and green spaces.
SoFi’s Stadium’s food and beverage program for premium and general concessions areas will be representative of Los Angeles’ diverse culinary offerings and will be inspired by the indoor and outdoor aesthetics of the aviation-inspired stadium.
“We’re going to be authentic to this vast culinary culture in Los Angeles that spans 18 to 19 million people across all walks of life,” Mirhashemi said. “So, I think what you’ll see ultimately when fans are allowed in there … you’ll see just this really unique, diverse, innovative approach to food and beverage.”
Legends also plans to roll out a customized and immersive VIP tour program for SoFi Stadium.
“That’s going to connect the applicable fan to their favorite team and go really behind the scenes of what this state-of-the-art stadium is all about,” Mirhashemi said. “So, how do you experience that venue from the perspective of the player, a broadcaster or potentially, and obviously, as a fan?”
On the retail front, SoFi stadium will feature a 7,000-square-foot retail store catering to Rams and Chargers fans. “There will be two different floors and obviously we’ll have exclusive items that we’re going to have only specifically at that location for both the teams,” Mirhashemi said.
When it comes to the disappointment of not being able to showcase Legends’ work on SoFi and Allegiant stadiums because of the absence of fans, Mirhashemi is still excited for the future.
“I would say life is a marathon, it’s not a sprint, and these venues weren’t built for 2020 only, they were built to be pillars of their respective communities and really examples of what the art-of-the-possible is,” he said. “They will have their moments to open, and hopefully, that’s going to be sooner than later in the next few months.”
— Planning and Strategy of the Cadet Seating and Premium Experience, as Part of the Comprehensive Michie Stadium Preservation Project at West Point —
— Partnership with Legends will Also Include a New Year-Round Event Hospitality Program —
Army West Point Athletic Association and Legends today announced a comprehensive new partnership focused on creating an elevated experience for both fans and cadets, as part of the Michie Stadium Preservation Project at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, home of the Army Black Knights football program. The modernization of Michie Stadium will include a complete transformation of the East Stands space, where cadets have watched games since 1962. The project will fully integrate the cadets into the reimagination process, to elevate the viewing experience in a way that is authentic to the “Duty, Honor, Country” ideals.
The project will introduce all-new premium areas for Michie Stadium guests with the addition of suite, loge, and club level seating. Army West Point football is an unparalleled experience and these upgrades will further enhance the uniqueness of being able to experience a game at Michie Stadium.
Legends previously assisted Army by conducting a comprehensive market study, soliciting feedback from West Point alumni, A Club donors, ticket holders, and Black Knight fans, to help determine the new seating experience and amenities within the East Stands. Additionally, Legends will manage sales and marketing, business intelligence, and data analytics services across the integrated partnership. Legends’ proprietary technology, data, and analytics platform will be a critical driver in delivering customized solutions and unique innovations for Army.
“Army West Point is a historic and noble brand that we protect fiercely,” said Mike Buddie, Director of Athletics, Army West Point. “Partnering with Legends makes all the sense in the world as they are an iconic brand in the hospitality business world and have a great reputation. We are excited to work with them to create the best game day experience in the nation and provide new and innovative opportunities for the alumni and public to experience the grandeur of the West Point Experience.”
Army and Legends will also partner on an event hospitality program, that will allow guests from the greater tri-state area the opportunity to experience the storied history and traditions of the U.S. Military Academy. The program will be fully customizable and specially curated for the group and the length of the visit and will highlight West Point’s heritage, values, and commitment to excellence, all set to the backdrop of West Point’s beautiful and historic campus on the western bank of the Hudson River.
“The experience at West Point is one unlike any other in collegiate athletics, and the opportunity to work alongside Army and completely reimagine the experience for Black Knight fans as part of the overall transformation of Michie Stadium, allows us to leverage our holistic acumen and develop a best-in-class hospitality program that celebrates the history and tradition of Army athletics,” said Mike Behan, Legends Vice President, Collegiate Partnerships. “As an extension of this approach, we saw an enormous opportunity to create a year-round event hospitality program that will allow guests to participate in the distinct aspects of the West Point experience.”
Legends has best-in-class experience in both sports and attractions, including working with some of the most visible teams and brands in the world, including ownership ties to the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, along with attractions experience all over the world.
The New York Yankees and Army have their own storied background, with Army playing exhibition games against the New York Yankees 22 times since 1927, including the most recent exhibition game in 2013 at West Point. The first meeting of these storied programs featured Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Additionally, playing football games at the original Yankee Stadium was a staple of the Army football program throughout much of the last century. The Black Knights returned to their New York City heritage as Army agreed to play two of its home games at the new Yankee Stadium in 2011 and 2014.
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point has signed Legends to handle sales and marketing of what’s expected to be a $100 million modernization of historic Michie Stadium.
The 96-year-old stadium has long represented what’s good about college football. The cadets, the setting along the waterfront, the awe-inspiring flyovers and the history combine to make an Army home game one of the sport’s bucket-list events.
If there was one shortcoming, however, it’s that Michie Stadium lacked most of the revenue-generating features, namely premium seating, that have become common in college athletics. The stadium renovation will largely rebuild the East stands along the Lusk Reservoir and create premium spaces for more than 2,000 fans with majestic views of the lake and the Hudson River in the distance.
Legends will take the lead on creating new premium experiences for Army fans while also tapping into the corporate hospitality opportunities that exist in the immediate area as well as in nearby New York City.
Mike Buddie, who is entering his second year as Army’s athletic director, projects that the new premium spaces could generate $3 million to $4 million annually in new revenue.
Mike Behan, Legends’ vice president for collegiate partnerships, has been talking to Army about the project since last year, and Legends recently completed a market analysis to identify the revenue potential.
“The opportunity to go to a game at West Point is really unique, but once you get in there, the hospitality options are very limited,” Behan said. “So this is a chance to become more relevant in that space. They’ll now have a hospitality platform to build stronger relationships with local businesses in addition to West Point fans.”
Army is in the fundraising stage of what it’s calling the Michie Stadium Preservation Project, which will totally renovate the East side. Philadelphia-based firm EwingCole is leading the design.
Within the updates, with a goal of completion for the 2024 season, will come a full complement of new premium spaces, including suites, club seats, loge boxes and ledge seating. Legends’ comprehensive deal with Army goes beyond the sales strategy and planning. The 12-year-old agency also will create a year-round hospitality and event program that will provide corporate opportunities to be on campus and experience different elements of the U.S. Military Academy that would fit into leadership retreats or team building.
“We’ve been compared to Wrigley Field, in terms of offering this timeless experience,” Buddie said.
Legends in the college space has selectively worked on blue-chip projects like event planning and sales strategy for stadium renovations at the Rose Bowl and Notre Dame.
Army represents another historically relevant challenge.
“We’re a national treasure, but we’re also a college campus,” Buddie said. “We’re balancing the need to provide an upgraded experience with what’s sacred. We think this design plan will do that.”