SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL: Browns tap Legends to find next stadium name

Via Sports Business Journal

By Bret McCormick

Browns x Legends

The Browns have picked Legends to find a new naming rights sponsor for the team’s stadium. Legends, which won an RFP for the Browns’ business, has worked with the team’s owners, Haslam Sports Group, previously, securing the naming rights for the Columbus Crew’s Field and overseeing the $314M MLS stadium’s construction. Legends and the Browns are pursuing a long-term partner with Cleveland roots that values a national spotlight.

“We’ll look through those lenses to see what kind of companies can reap from both,” said Chris Hibbs, President, Legends Global Partnerships. “We’ll be exhaustive; that’s what our clients expect.”

The Browns have been considering a potential renovation of Cleveland Browns Stadium or a new stadium altogether, giving Legends an angle with which to pitch potential naming rights sponsors. “Whether it’s a renovated building or a new building makes it kind of fun, kind of complex,” said Hibbs. “You’re talking about a story that’s going to grow or evolve.”

Legends has clinched five naming rights deals in sports and entertainment so far this year, including the Bills’ New Highmark Stadium, Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field, and PGA of America’s Monument Realty PGA District at PGA Frisco. Its growing NFL naming rights business includes SoFi Stadium, Allegiant Stadium, and the recent New Highmark Stadium. For this project, Chad Estis (EVP, Legends), Scott Malaga (VP, Legends Global Partnerships) and Hibbs will lead Legends’ efforts, while Eric Clouse (Chief Commercial Officer), Dave Jenkins (EVP and COO) and Erica Muhleman (SVP, Corporate Partnerships) will lead the Browns’ side.

Cleveland Browns Stadium, located in downtown Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie, was called FirstEnergy Stadium from 2013 to April of this year, but the agreement was mutually ended seven years early following FirstEnergy’s complicity in a bribery scandal that sent the speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives to prison. The Browns handled the naming rights search a decade ago in-house and were receiving roughly $6M annually from FirstEnergy for the stadium naming rights until the deal was voided.

BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST: Pegulas sell AdPro Sports stake to Legends

Via Buffalo Business First

Adpro Sports

The Pegula family has sold its majority stake in Cheektowaga-based AdPro Sports to Legends, a wide-ranging sports services company that has built increasingly strong ties with Pegula Sports and Entertainment and the Buffalo Bills.

The deal closed earlier this week, according to a statement from PSE.

“We have had an ongoing partnership with Legends for the Bills’ new stadium project over the last several months,” according to the statement. “And even though this sale is separate from the stadium agreement, Legends was impressed with our team and facility, and has maintained they will continue to invest and operate out of Western New York.”

The announcement came shortly after AdPro founder Ron Raccuia left the employ of the Buffalo Bills.

Terms of the sale have not been disclosed.

In a statement, Legends Global Merchandise President Kirta Carroll said the acquisition fits into the company’s rapid growth over the last few years.

“The acquisition of ADPRO Sports and the addition of their Western New York production facility will accelerate our licensing and wholesale business and expand our in-house production capabilities, better positioning us to deliver an expanded assortment of first-class merchandise products for our partners and their fans,” she said.

AdPro, based in Cheektowaga, handles sports licensing, apparel and merchandise. It has more than 100 employees, according to its website, and works with major apparel brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and New Era. AdPro’s revenue in 2021 was $28.71 million, according to Buffalo Business First’s List of Fast Track Companies. Revenue figures were verified by the Amherst accounting firm of Dopkins & Co. LLP.

Raccuia, who founded AdPro in 1998, was named the most influential person in Western New York in Business First’s annual Power 250 listing. His prominent participation in negotiations for the Buffalo Bills stadium was one of the major reasons for his No. 1 ranking.

The Pegulas bought a majority stake in the company in 2017. Raccuia remained AdPro president, while simultaneously working for Pegula Sports and Entertainment. He most recently was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Bills.

Earlier this week, the Bills announced that team owner Terry Pegula was stepping in as president amid numerous changes to the team’s senior leadership — including Raccuia’s departure.

Legends, founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, has been assisting the Bills with the design and construction of the team’s new stadium.

In May the Bills announced that Legends will be the concessions provider at the new stadium when it opens in 2026, replacing Buffalo-based Delaware North.

Cricket Australia and Legends Partner to Deliver Enhanced E-Commerce and In-Venue Retail Experience for CA Fans

New Online Shop Debuts Today for 2024 Kit Launch Week 

Cricket Australia x Legends

Cricket Australia (CA) and Legends, a data-intelligence fueled global premium experiences company, announced today a new partnership where Legends’ global merchandise division will manage omnichannel merchandise for CA. This partnership will see Legends create an enhanced, best-in-class shopping experience for fans online and in-venue.

A new online shopping experience for CA fans around the globe is available today at ahead of the CA 2023-24 kit launch this week. The new online shop offers a more integrated, seamless experience for fans with new and more comprehensive merchandise offerings across all categories. Additional enhancements and product expansion will be added over time.

CA’s kit week includes the unveiling of the 2023-24 Big Bash League kits on Tuesday, September 19; the launch of a new partnership for the Big Bash Leagues headwear on Wednesday, September 20 and a week of excitement wraps up with the launch of the 2023-24 International men’s and women’s kits.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Legends to provide the very best service to our fans through world-class and innovative shopping experiences online and in stadiums around the country,” Stephanie Beltrame, Executive General Manager Broadcast & Commercial, CA said.

Legends will also work with CA to deliver the in-venue merchandise strategy and provide support across all match venues. As part of the relationship, Legends is building a dedicated team in Australia to grow the CA e-commerce and retail business.  

“We are proud to form this long-term partnership with Cricket Australia to support their global business growth by delivering an e-commerce and retail experience that helps CA further connect with and grow their fanbase,” said Victoria Hawksley, Executive Vice President of International Retail, Legends.

Legends’ fully integrated retail and merchandising vertical solution works with world-class clients around the globe across e-commerce, in-venue retail, large-scale live event, brick-and-mortar store operations, licensing, and customer merchandise. This includes vast experience developing and operating omnichannel retail experiences for some of the world’s largest sporting events and organizations, 2023 Rugby World Cup, 2022 and 2023 FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cup, 2023 Ryder Cup, Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, and Real Madrid.

LPGA Launches Exciting New Pro Shop in Partnership with Legends

Online retail store features enhanced merchandise offerings

from world-renown brands to reach the Association’s global fanbase

LPGA Pro Shop

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) today announced the launch of its new online merchandise shop, the LPGA Pro Shop, as part of its groundbreaking partnership with Legends, the data-intelligence-fueled global premium experiences company.

The LPGA Pro Shop offers an enhanced merchandise experience to fans worldwide, featuring an expanded selection of LPGA-branded products for on and off the golf course from renowned brands — such as Lululemon, Greyson, G/Fore, Yeti, and ’47 Brand — as well as 2023 U.S. Solheim Cup apparel from Dunning, the Official Uniform Supplier of the 2023 U.S. Solheim Cup Team, and Imperial, the Official Headwear Supplier of the 2023 U.S. Solheim Cup Team. This e-commerce platform represents a significant milestone in the LPGA’s efforts to strengthen its brand and provide fans with an additional touchpoint to connect with the organization.

“This new online retail experience will help us drive revenue and broaden the exposure of the LPGA brand all over the world,” said Matt Chmura, LPGA Chief Marketing, Communications and Brand Officer. “And this is just the beginning of this exciting relationship. The LPGA and Legends teams are already working on plans to further enhance and grow these product lines and brand partnerships into the future.”

The new e-commerce experience features an expanded offering of lifestyle products for women, men, and youth, including hoodies, t-shirts, loungewear as well as an assortment of home goods. As well, LPGA and Legends collaborated to develop new designs with non-traditional LPGA marks, including merchandise using retro LPGA logos, featuring LPGA block text, and headwear and t-shirts with modern, fashion-forward designs. 

“We are thrilled to be working alongside the LPGA to bring their fanbase an unparalleled shopping experience featuring an expansive selection of merchandise and accessories for on and off the course,” said Kevin Ring, President of Legends Golf. “Together, we’re setting a new standard for women’s golf, and this Pro Shop is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what fans can expect from our strong partnership.”

Announced in April 2023, the collaboration between the LPGA and Legends is revolutionizing the way fans connect with women’s golf, offering an unparalleled merchandise experience and utilizing data-driven strategies to raise fan engagement to new heights. Legends’ global merchandise team oversees e-commerce, licensing, and select on-site event retail for the LPGA.

To experience and purchase from the LPGA Pro Shop, visit