Columbus Crew SC today announced that the Club has entered into a multi-year partnership with Donatos Pizza, a Columbus staple since 1963. Donatos becomes an official partner ahead of the opening of the Club’s new downtown stadium, set for July of this year, and becomes the Official Pizza of Columbus Crew SC, with Donatos’ products being sold at Crew SC home matches at both historic Crew Stadium and the New Crew Stadium.

“Today is another exciting day for Crew SC as companies continue to choose Columbus and the Crew.  We are proud to be associated with such a respected locally-based family brand in Donatos Pizza and to bring them under our new roof as the Official Pizza Partner beginning with the 2021 season,” said Crew SC Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons. “By partnering with Donatos we bring together two organizations committed to our city and committed to delivering a world-class customer and fan experience.”

Continued Lyons: “Over the coming months, we look forward to sharing the new Crew Stadium’s approach to food and beverage, reflecting the Crew’s commitment to creating the best match day experience for our supporters and fans. We look forward to celebrating the diverse, authentic, local cuisine that will blend classic offerings with an elevated approach that is distinctly Columbus.”

“When I think about the Columbus Crew, you talk about enthusiasm, the spirit of this team, the fans in the stands at the New Crew Stadium – Donatos has the same kind of energy,” said Donatos President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Krouse.

“We love to be associated with world class brands and that is exactly what the Crew is,” added Donatos Executive Chairwoman of the Board Jane Grote Abell.

A family-owned company, Donatos remains a favorite in Columbus and well beyond, with more than 150 locations in 10 states. The partnership will include entitlement rights to two New Crew Stadium concession stands, presenting partner rights to the Crew SC match ball delivery program and to the Crew SC match day pizza promotion, associate partner rights to Crew SC youth camps and clinics, in-stadium digital signage, and opportunities for Donatos to further engage with Crew SC supporters and fans through digital, social and retail activation.

The Black & Gold’s New Crew Stadium is slated to open in July of this year. Supporters interested in learning more about purchasing 2021 Season Ticket Memberships at Crew SC’s new world-class facility should visit to book an appointment.

Columbus Crew SC was represented by Legends Global Partnerships in this wide-ranging partnership with Donatos.

SPORTICO: Bucs Fans Gobble Up Gear, Setting Record for Super Bowl Stadium Spend

Via Sportico

Super Bowl attendees spent a record amount on concessions and merchandise during Sunday’s big blowout, according to stadium operations company Legends, which worked with the NFL to manage the unprecedented experience this year.

Fans spent an average of $212 in the stadium, dropping $132 on food and drinks and $80 on merchandise, both Super Bowl records, Legends announced. The average spend was up nearly 40% over fans’ average spend five years ago in Super Bowl 50. Among the crowd of 24,835 were more than 7,000 vaccinated health care workers.

Buccaneers fans likely gobbled up souvenirs as Tampa Bay cruised to a 31-9 victory. Raymond James Stadium’s concessions, meanwhile, were set up to be contactless, thanks in part to a partnership with Visa. Many fans also walked into the game with $255 gift cards as a replacement for the lack of pregame festivities offered this weekend. Inside, T-shirts went for $45 while beers could be had for $13 to $15, with some prices marked down, like the “fan-friendly” $5 hot dog, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“We’ve invested heavily in innovating the guest experience so that fans feel safe, confident and comfortable engaging with food, merchandise and other stadium amenities, all of which helped contribute to the record-breaking sales,” Legends Hospitality president Dan Smith said in an email.

It probably helped the average sales numbers that 2,000 attendees came from the stadium’s luxury suites. Ticket prices for the game were roughly in line with recent averages. Last-minute tickets went for a median of $8,300, compared to $8,500 last year.

The bump in in-stadium spending was not expected to correlate with a typical boom for the local economy, as COVID-19 dampened expectations despite a team playing a Super Bowl at home for the first time.

In 2019, Legends won the chance to manage event merchandise at key NFL events, including the Super Bowl and NFL Draft. Previously, the NFL was reportedly impressed by Legends’s work with the Cowboys, Browns, Titans, Rams and Chargers. The company was co-founded in 2008 by the Yankees and the Cowboys affiliate, Jones Concessions LP.

CBS SPORTS: Culinary Creations for Super Bowl Sunday at Raymond James Stadium

In Tampa, FL ahead of Super Bowl LV, Legends General Manager Orazio LaManna and Senior Executive Chef Jason Choate detailed what local flavors would be available at Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl Sunday.

SPORTSBUSINESS: Legends Targets Global Growth with Sixth Street Deal Done

Via SportBusiness

Premium experiences company Legends is actively targeting an aggressive international expansion plan now that its transaction for global investment firm Sixth Street to take majority control is now complete.

The deal, valuing Legends at a reported $1.35bn (€1.12bn) including debt, that was announced last month has officially closed. And with that completion, Legends after nearly 13 years of operation is broadening its ambitions.

The company already holds some key relationships outside of its United States base, notably a broad-based pact with Spanish giant Real Madrid that saw the subsequent hire of Victoria Hawksley to lead international retail operations.

But Legends is now thinking even bigger, particularly as it looks ahead to a period beyond the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a point when full attendance at stadiums and arenas is again possible.

“When we do come back, we want to be really well positioned to continue growing our international business and have that be a bigger and bigger part of our overall pie,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, Legends president and chief executive. “The fact that Sixth Street has that experience, has that presence internationally, certainly in the pan-European market as well as other locations around the world, it fits exactly our vision of where the business is and is going toward in the future. There’s going to be immense focus on our behalf to make sure that international business becomes a bigger piece of what we do.

“Given that we are a global platform and are focused on these unique experiences for global brands, Sixth Street really fits our DNA, and their experience on that global stage is really going to serve us well,” he said.

That targeted geographic expansion thematically continues a functional growth for Legends. The company started mainly as a concessions and hospitality outfit but over the years has expanded into numerous areas of sports and entertainment operations including naming rights and sponsorship sales and valuation, ticketing, merchandising, fundraising, and venue technology.

In the latest deal, Sixth Street will have a 51 per cent equity stake in Legends, with founding partners the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball and the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys holding minority positions. But even as those teams’ relative stakes have shifted, their involvement in the Legends business will not, Mirhashemi said.

“They’re going to be very much involved in the business going forward,” Mirhashemi said. “They’ve rolled their equity and they feel even more bullish about the business on a go-forward basis.”

The raising of as much as $500m in debt that was detailed shortly after the Sixth Street investment was announced has also closed, Mirhashemi said, and was part of the same overall recapitalization of the Legends.

The existing Legends management team that includes Mirhashemi and chief operating officer Mike Tomon will remain in place.


Legends (“Legends” or the “Company”) today announced the closing of its previously announced majority investment from Sixth Street, a leading global investment firm.

Sixth Street leads the Legends partnership group alongside co-founders YGE Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, and Jones Concessions LP, an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys.

The new majority investment from Sixth Street will support its current management team in its long-term growth of the Company’s global client relationships and further enhancements to its innovative 360-degree platform of premium experience offerings for the most iconic global brands in sports, entertainment, and attractions.

The transaction was originally announced on January 12, 2021.