Eric Sudol Named Forty Under 40, Class of 2019, by SportsBusiness Journal

via SportsBusiness Daily


Eric Sudol grew up in a town of 1,500 in the cornfields of Iowa, part of a family of teachers. He figured that was his calling when he went off to a tiny college in the state.


In one way, Sudol did become a teacher, teaching sales to his staff, first at the Memphis Grizzlies and now at the Dallas Cowboys and Legends, where he sells sponsorships for AT&T Stadium, The Star in Frisco, Texas, and the under-construction Raiders stadium in Las Vegas.


“I always tell our sales team, it’s the last three to five minutes” of a pitch that is most important, he said. Why? Because that’s when the salesperson should detect red flags and know whether it’s worth pursuing the prospect.


“A lot of salespeople fall for the false prisoner of hope,” Sudol said. Sales reps can get taken in by the flash of a project and not see caution in the responses that might not make follow-ups worthwhile. A lot of time is wasted on those follow-ups, he explained. “I have a lot of comfort in letting go.”


Sudol quickly let go of his plans to teach when he was exposed to college. A five-sport athlete in high school, he decided sports business was for him. Coming from small-town Iowa, that could mean one thing: becoming the athletic director of the University of Iowa.


He enrolled in a sports management program at Ohio University, and like undergraduate school before, it similarly opened his eyes to more jobs in sports business than just Iowa’s AD.


He cold-called the Grizzlies because of the high concentration of Ohio graduates there and secured a summer internship. The team hired him soon after and he’s been selling ever since.


Sudol doesn’t rule out one day returning to Iowa, but for now, he has some sales prospects to go meet — and just maybe not call back.

Kimberly Ostiller Honored as Rising25, Class of 2019, by Front Office Sports

via Front Office Sports


It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to the Rising 25 Class of 2019,presented by AB InBev.

This year, we received more than 350 nominations from across the industry, making this the single most competitive of the three years that the award has been given out.

Before we get to this year’s winners, we’d like to point out that J’Ron Erby, one of the members of the Class of 2019, lost his job yesterday when the AAF decided to suspend operations.

If you are looking to hire a talented social/marketing person, he would be one to consider.

Now, for the announcement of the rest of the Class of 2019.

Kimberly Ostiller
Global Partnerships Coordinator, Legends

Sports Business Journal Honors Legends’ Power Players


Recognized by Sports Business Journal/Daily as 2019 Power Players: The Culinary Influence, Legends is thrilled to have five culinary leaders honored for spearheading Legends’ hospitality division, which features some of the best premium experiences in all of sports and entertainment.

From the article:

“The individuals highlighted in the following pages have demonstrated a vision to deliver across the entire range of fan experience, from creative menus and dining spaces, to ease of ordering and pickup, to local sourcing of ingredients. They are executives leading some of the largest food, beverage, hospitality and fan experience companies in the industry, consultants and designers offering a fresh perspective on the sports space, and some of the most gifted chefs and experts on cuisine.”

President, Legends Hospitality Division

Regional Vice President-East

Regional Vice President-Central

Regional Vice President-West

Smith, who worked in high school as a vendor at Yankee Stadium, leads Legends’ concessions and hospitality division, which recently added Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to its client list.

Lippman introduced diverse menus to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, including themed food items after Japanese star Shohei Ohtani joined the Angels, and partnered with local ethnic eateries and food truck operators at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

At Yankee Stadium, Porteus opened new communal areas, a wine bar and grab-n-go spaces aimed at younger fans attending games for the social experiences.

At AT&T Stadium, Nice delivers for myriad special and mega events with expansive and diverse food and beverage needs.


Regional Executive Chef

LaManna has overseen culinary and concessions and premium food operations at AT&T Stadium and helps engineer new menu items and pricing for Legends’ concessions arm. The Canadian-born chef earned high honors from the Culinary Institute of America and worked at high-end hotels including the Four Seasons in Ottawa. LaManna got his start in the food business as dishwasher at a hotel in Thunder Bay, Ontario, when he was 15.

Forty Under 40: Todd Fleming

Via Sports Business Journal


Mention Todd Fleming’s name among colleagues and friends and a consistent picture emerges: One of a leader, communicator and above all, motivator. 


Those skills can be traced to Fleming’s college days as a point guard for Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio., and he’s quick to say they’ve helped him rise through the industry, from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ sales department to one of the most instrumental voices at Legends. Since joining Legends in 2010 after stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Charlotte Bobcats, Fleming has helped complete the New York Yankees’ $40 million renovation to George M. Steinbrenner Field, assisted the Chargers in their move to Los Angeles and helped the company win the right to sell premium seats for the Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas. 

Asked what he’s most proud of in this early stage of his career, Fleming stressed the experiences he’s had abroad on behalf of Legends. In late 2016, Fleming took a leading role in helping to assimilate International Stadia Group’s business after Legends’ acquisition of the London-based outfit. At the time of the acquisition, ISG was in a joint venture with Centerplate on the Atlético Madrid stadium project, whose premium sales were falling well below expectations. Ten months from the stadium’s opening, Fleming flew to Madrid, took over the project, and (in his second language, Spanish) steered the stadium to a smooth September 2017 opening, complete with a projected 175 percent increase in premium revenue. 


What makes Fleming the man who can get these things done? “I’m energetic. You try not to ever be down. A lot of my job is managing managers of projects that we have. I enjoy being able to dive in with the sales staff, and a huge part of that is motivation. You have to keep them motivated on a daily basis.


“At the end of the day the success that we have is all because of our clients’ trust in us.”