FINANCIAL TIMES: Sixth Street Nears Deal to Take Control of Sports Group Legends Hospitality

Via Financial Times

The private investment group Sixth Street Partners is nearing a deal to take a majority stake in Legends Hospitality, the sports and entertainment company co-owned by New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, that would value the group at $1.35bn, according to people briefed on the discussions.

The deal, which could be announced as soon as Monday night, would give Sixth Street a majority ownership of the company, which offers services including stadium concessions, naming rights and merchandise sales for a variety of professional and college sports teams. Baseball team Yankees and American football’s Cowboys would continue their involvement in the company, the people said.

The transaction underscores the influx of private capital into the realm of professional sports during the pandemic, as leagues and teams look to shore up financing as they contend with depressed or nonexistent ticket sales and associated concessions.

News of the deal was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Legends deal by Sixth Street Partners, which has more than $50bn in assets under management, is its latest investment into an industry hard-hit by pandemic restrictions. In April the firm joined Silver Lake in raising $1bn in debt and equity for Airbnb, the short-term accommodations platform. In addition to Legends’ businesses for sport franchises, whose clients include the University of Notre Dame and Spain’s Real Madrid, the company also provides sales and experience planning at attractions including London’s View from the Shard and the One World Observatory at New York’s World Trade Center.

Sports leagues across the US and around the world have been hamstrung by the surging Covid-19 pandemic, particularly Major League Baseball, which relied on ticket sales and stadium concessions for almost 40 per cent of its revenues in 2019.

At the same time, valuations of clubs have only accelerated over the past year. In October the hedge fund titan Steve Cohen bought baseball team New York Mets for more than $2.4bn, a North American record. Last month Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith finalised a purchase of basketball team Utah Jazz for more than $1.6bn, according to a person familiar with the deal, up from the $24m paid by the previous owners in the mid-1980s.

In recent months private capital has been undeterred by pandemic distress and encouraged by steady or increasing appreciation of sports assets, seeking investments in the industry in anticipation of an eventual return to normalcy. “People are going to want to go to sports events, they’re going to want to go to concerts — whether that’s six months from now or 12 months from now, it’s going to come back at some point,” said one of the people briefed on the Legends deal.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Sixth Street Partners Near Deal for Majority Stake in Legends Hospitality Group

Via The Wall Street Journal

Investment firm Sixth Street Partners is nearing a deal to buy a majority stake in sports-and-entertainment events company Legends Hospitality LLC, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal, which could be announced Monday, is expected to value Legends at $1.3 billion including debt, the people said.

Founded in 2008 by a group that included the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys, Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and the merchant bank of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., GS 1.29% Legends partners with top sports and entertainment brands to design, plan and manage special events and live experiences.

The company, which also has divisions that focus on sponsorships, merchandise and technology, counts Real Madrid, SoFi Stadium, the University of Notre Dame, the Los Angeles Clippers and Live Nation Entertainment Inc. among its partners.

Goldman sold its stake in 2012. The remaining owners sold a significant minority stake to private-equity firm New Mountain Capital in 2017 in a deal that valued the company at more than $700 million, according to PitchBook.

In the transaction being discussed, Sixth Street would primarily be buying the stake owned by New Mountain, with the Cowboys and Yankees remaining sizable owners of Legends, according to people familiar with the matter.

A former affiliate of private-equity firm TPG, Sixth Street has more than $50 billion in assets under management, including its open-ended flagship vehicle, which last year became one of the largest pools of private capital.

A deal for Legends would be Sixth Street’s latest bet on an industry hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. In April the firm partnered with private-equity firm Silver Lake to invest $1 billion in home-sharing company Airbnb Inc., which was being battered by a wave of pandemic-related cancellations. Warrants it received as part of the deal valued the company at $18 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Airbnb went public in December at a roughly $47 billion valuation, and it currently has a market capitalization of nearly $90 billion.

SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL: Legends Signs Mega Rights Deal with Georgia Tech

Via Sports Business Journal

Georgia Tech has signed one of the most comprehensive rights partnerships in college sports in a long-term deal with Legends.

In a rare move, the Yellow Jackets combined their traditional multimedia rights, which includes corporate sponsorship, with ticket sales and marketing, premium seating sales, fundraising, events, hospitality and e-commerce. They are all included in the arrangement with Legends, with the hope of exceeding the school’s estimated $6 million per year received from its current multimedia rights deal with Learfield IMG College.

“All of their revenue streams are going to be flowing in the same direction now,” said Michael Behan, Legends’ vice president of sales. “It’s probably a first-of-its-kind deal in college sports.”

The Yellow Jackets previously outsourced the rights to different partners. In addition to the Learfield deal for multimedia rights, The Aspire Group had ticketing, Fanatics handled e-commerce and Georgia Tech managed seating and events in-house.

Now, all of those revenue-generating functions will be under one umbrella with Legends, which is making an aggressive push into the college rights space with more deals expected to be announced soon. Financial terms with Georgia Tech were not released. The Learfield deal is in its final year, with Legends assuming the rights on July 1, 2021. The structure of the Legends deal is believed to be a guarantee plus revenue sharing on its sales.

Chicago-based Navigate consulted with Georgia Tech’s athletic department on the deal.

“Timing is everything, and it’s really exciting to know that we’re going to have a partner like Legends developing a revenue strategy with us as we’re coming out of COVID,” Georgia Tech Athletic Director Todd Stansbury said.

Stansbury, a Tech alum who played linebacker on the football team, wasn’t convinced that this was the best time to take Tech’s multimedia rights to market. But the school’s contract with Learfield IMG College was near an end, and the Yellow Jackets had to make a move, pandemic or not.

Stansbury was pleasantly surprised by the response from the marketplace. Seven companies submitted bids for the Yellow Jackets’ rights, some of which included a guarantee while others were straight revenue-share.

“COVID complicated matters,” Stansbury said. “This is not the kind of decision you want to make from Zoom calls, but that’s what we had to do. Now we can pull all of our revenue levers at once and have them working in conjunction.”

It remains to be seen what kind of revenue increase Legends can generate for the Jackets. Two clear challenges are programming more events at Bobby Dodd Stadium and creating more premium spaces at the stadium, which was built in 1913.

Georgia Tech has sold all of its football premium seating and needs more inventory. CSL, Legends’ project planning business, will review the fan experience at Tech’s football and basketball venues.

“The financial implications of COVID on the schools are well-documented,” Behan said. “Schools are willing to step back and have conversations about revenue and reimagining how they’re going to do that.”

Stansbury’s senior leadership team of Deputy AD Mark Rountree, Senior Associate AD Ayo Taylor-Dixon and CFO Marvin Lewis were involved in the negotiations. Legends also has a joint venture with JMI Sports at Notre Dame for multimedia rights.

SPORTSPRO MEDIA: Georgia Tech Brings Revenue Streams Under One Umbrella in Legends Deal

Via SportsPro Media

US college sports’ Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA) has announced a ‘first-of-its-kind’, multifaceted partnership with sales and experiential agency Legends.

The deal incorporates opportunities across multimedia rights, premium seating, ticketing, annual fundraising, corporate hospitality, data analytics, business intelligence, and ecommerce, essentially bringing all of the Yellow Jackets’ revenue streams under one umbrella.

As part of the deal, Legends will introduce a technology, data, and analytics platform to provide Georgia Tech with greater insights into its fans, including a complete view of their relationship to the athletic department, specific interests, brand affinities, behaviours, and how to most effectively engage.

In addition, CSL, Legends’ project planning consultancy, will carry out a market study to evaluate the overall fan experience and identify opportunities at Bobby Dodd Stadium, which is the Division One school’s football venue, and McCamish Pavilion, where the college’s basketball teams play.

Speaking to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, which reported that the deal will run for 11 years from July, Georgia Tech athletics director Todd Stansbury said the two parties expect the partnership to generate more than US$400 million over the course of the arrangement.

“Georgia Tech fans and corporate partners will benefit from the expertise that Legends brings in designing, planning, and implementing world-class experiences,” Stansbury added in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to begin this first-of-its-kind partnership and for the bright future for Georgia Tech athletics, our fans, and our corporate partners.”

The deal signals the end of Georgia Tech’s long-term association with Learfield IMG College, whose multimedia rights deal with the school expires in June.

It also sees Legends expand its college client portfolio, which includes partnerships with the University of Notre Dame and San Diego State University.

“This past year has introduced new challenges in the collegiate athletics landscape, and we believe the path forward will require a strong vision and modernised approach,” added Mike Behan, vice president of collegiate partnerships for Legends.

“In collaboration with the athletic department’s innovative leadership team, Legends will engage our entire 360-degree platform – with deep acumen across partnerships, ticketing and premium seating, fundraising, corporate hospitality, retail, and technology – to create a customised, long-term blueprint for growing the business and creating memorable experiences for Yellow Jacket fans.”

ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE: Georgia Tech Mega Media Deal with Legends Expected to Generate over $400M

Via Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Tech athletics department signed an 11-year multimedia rights deal with sports hospitality management company Legends. The new agreement is set to begin in July, with Legends becoming Tech’s exclusive corporate partnership and multimedia rights partner.

Tech agreed to a multi-faceted partnership with Legends, where the company will be involved across a variety of business areas from ticketing (premium seating) and e-commerce, to assisting the association with fundraising efforts — which has become vital amid the ongoing pandemic.

Legends plans to integrate new technology and data analytics systems to bolster current revenue streams while finding other money-making opportunities. Georgia Tech Athletic Director Todd Stansbury and Legends anticipate the deal will generate over $400 million over its lifespan.

“Having someone with that experience and a track record of success in not only other markets but in revenue areas is really what gives me the confidence that this is going to be a great partnership and provide us with opportunities that we may not have had in the past,” Stansbury said.

This new agreement marks the end of Tech’s longtime partnership with Learfield IMG College, which has reportedly sought to restructure deals during the pandemic. Tech’s current media rights deal with IMG expires at the end of next June. Several full-service firms sought Tech’s multimedia rights despite budget shortfall across the industry, according to a source familiar with the situation. The association will lean on Legends to navigate the bevy of unknowns surrounding the college athletics landscape that ranges from the future of ticketing to student-athlete compensation.

Breaking the mold

Legends was co-founded in 2008 in joint venture between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and owners of the New York Yankees. The New York-based company in the last decade has transformed itself from stadium concessionaire to a billion-dollar sports marketing business.

Legends has become more aggressive in college athletics — working in different capacities with high-profile programs including the University of Notre Dame and University of Oklahoma. Tech’s deal is unique, though, with Legends overseeing virtually all aspects of business, allowing the program to sync its revenue streams under one umbrella.

This synergy is commonly found with professional sports teams, but intercollegiate athletic departments traditionally have these areas segmented between third-party companies.

“I think it just makes it so much easier,” Stansbury said. “So, when [Legends reps] are out there on the street, they have more assets in their back pocket and can coordinate those assets with potential corporate partners to fit what they’re looking for.”

Atlanta-based marketing firm Aspire Group is among the third-party companies impacted by this agreement with Legends. Tech said it remains in communication with all of its third-party contractors affected by the partnership about the transition.

The deal also coincides with the association’s push to upgrade athletic facilities across campus, including the Edge-Rice Center and Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium. Legends will be tasked with not only improving the fan experience at Bobby Dodd Stadium and McCamish Pavilion but also identifying corporate sponsors who want to be involved in major capital facility projects as well.

Legends, which recently added a safety consultant aspect to its business, bought facility marketer CSL International in 2011. CSL will reexamine the overall fan experience at Tech sporting venues using technology-based market studies.

“In order for Georgia Tech to continue to move forward and be a top-echelon program in the Power Five, it’s important to drive all revenue streams and add innovation to each of those,” said Mike Behan, Legends vice president of collegiate partnerships. “That made us a unique partner for them because of our acumen in those areas.”

‘It’s a prime location’

Legends has experience in the Atlanta market after previously working with Mercedes-Benz Stadium to oversee sales for tickets, suites and personal seat licenses. Tech looks to leverage Legends’ wealth of resources and knowledge in running franchises. Legends now returns to Atlanta where it sees untapped potential at Tech, especially with the campus located in the heart of one of the largest media markets in the country. The global company works with collegiate programs that have close proximity to large cities, but Tech is alone in that it’s located directly in a major city. This opens up a realm of possibilities, nearby top companies like Home Depot and The Coca-Cola Co.

“It’s such a prime location compared to other colleges out there,” Behan added. “Georgia Tech is situated in one of the biggest corporate cities in the country. I think there’s a lot of commercial and branding opportunities. We’re excited to get deeper in that market.”

Tech aims to revolutionize how college sports venues are used post COVID-19 by hosting an array of events outside of athletics and student programming. This means exploring new opportunities at these facilities like potentially turning Bobby Dodd Stadium into a year-round venue that hosts concerts, company outings and corporate events. Legends managed a similar business model for Mercedes-Benz Stadium and now looks to do the same for Tech.

Tech was originally scheduled to play Notre Dame at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to kick off its ‘Mayhem at MBS’ series this season, but those plans were put on hold due to the pandemic. Tech instead will begin the series in 2021 with an annual game at the stadium for the next six years.

With a new team soon to be on board, Tech can reposition what it wants that series to look like for its fans and donors. There’s likely to be more synergy in the rollout for that event with Tech bringing its new multimedia partner into the home of one of Legends’ former clients.

“That puts us on the fast track to really identifying how we make the most of that series,” Stansbury said.

SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL: Detroit Pistons E-Commerce Rights Assumed by Legends

Via Sports Business Journal

The Pistons’ e-commerce rights have been assumed by Legends, and the team’s URL is now active. Legends takes rights that were held by Delaware North, which continues to operate the Pistons’ brick-and-mortar merchandise sales. The new e-commerce site will also sell licensed merchandise for the Pistons’ Motor City Cruise G League team, and its NBA 2K League eSports franchise, the Pistons Gaming Team.

SPORTSPRO MEDIA: Detroit Pistons Turn to Legends for eCommerce Merchandising

Via SportsPro Media

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Detroit Pistons have appointed experiential services agency Legends to operate their ecommerce merchandising.

The agreement has already led to the launch of as the new official team merchandise website for the Pistons.

As well as featuring designer apparel and official NBA team-licensed gear, the site will also serve as the merchandise home for the Motor City Cruise, the Pistons’ NBA G League affiliate, and the club’s NBA 2K League esports outfit, Pistons Gaming Team.

In conjunction with the launch of the online store, the Pistons also unveiled new ‘313’ and ‘DET’ logo treatments as part of a new fashionable lifestyle-inspired line of off-court apparel called ‘DETail Threads’. Sold exclusively on, the private label offering focuses on unique silhouettes and designs that celebrate the city, team and history of the franchise.

In partnering with Legends, the Pistons will look to lean on the company’s strategic relationships with high quality and boutique vendors to help broaden selection and increase value for consumers.

Legends already has a number of high-profile partnerships in sport, including with Spanish soccer giants Real Madrid, who appointed the agency in July to manage their vast retail operation.

“We are pleased to partner with Legends on the creation of a new merchandising partnership that will deliver fans unparalleled selection with an easy and reliable online shopping experience,” said Mike Zavodsky, chief business officer for the Detroit Pistons.

“Our DETail Threads private label and new ‘313’ and ‘DET’ logo treatments provide fans a directional glimpse of our merchandising future and how we intend to utilise the power of Legends’ global expertise to diversify the look and feel of our team apparel offerings.”

Dave Moroknek, president of Legends Global Merchandise, added: “It was important for us to deliver exclusive merchandise that is true to Detroit, which offers a unique way for fans to support their teams.

“We put an emphasis on making the site easy to navigate and are thrilled with the end product. It’s been rewarding to work with the Pistons organisation and can’t wait to tip-off this partnership.”

SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL: 2020 Power Players: Legends

The 2020 Power Players, featuring Shervin Mirhashemi, Bill Rhoda, Paula Portz and Cameron Curtis

Via Sports Business Journal

Sports Business Journal recognizes the leaders in facility design and development. From architects and construction firms to acoustics and retractable roof experts, these are the folks who are at the planning table at the beginning and whose visions ultimately make each venue unique.

Our Power Players series launched on April 18, 2016, with a look at the influencers in the design and construction world. This is the first time that we have revisited a sector, but with a record $8.9 billion in facility openings this year, we thought it was an appropriate time.

You might notice a slight change in the scope of companies compared with our first Power Players. Changes in security requirements, media production, environmental concerns, game-day expectations and the increase in the number of these venues that serve as anchors to mixed-use sites mean there are more shareholders involved on day one than there used to be.

But while the editorial staff of SBJ made the final decisions on who would make this list, the primary source of information came from industry peers. We asked things like: “What competitor do you respect the most?” and “What vendor do you want with you at the table from the beginning?” As you read through these pages, you’ll see a lot of familiar faces. But you will also see some folks you have never heard of, even though they’ve been behind the scenes for years.

The result was a total of 89 people and 45 companies who stood out for their ability to develop new concepts that would stand the test of time, renovate existing spaces to maximize revenue, secure funding and public support, and push the boundaries of technology so fans feel safe, entertained and wanting to come back.


Shervin Mirhashemi
President and Chief Executive Officer

Bill Rhoda
President, Legends Global Planning

Paula Portz
Chief Operating Officer, Legends Project Development

Cameron Curtis
Senior Vice President, Operations, Legends Project Development

Led by Mirhashemi, Legends manages merchandising and concessions at the $5 billion SoFi Stadium, brokered its $30 million a year naming-rights agreement and is project manager for the adjacent 300-acre Hollywood Park entertainment district. Legends also landed Allegiant Stadium’s naming-rights deal and spearheaded the Raiders’ personal seat-license campaign, bringing in $549 million ahead of the 2020 season.

“Being an operator ourselves is a huge benefit for our clients,” Mirhashemi said, “as our planning and design decisions are influenced by our overall stadium and live experiences acumen.”

Rhoda, who led planning and project development for Banc of California Stadium and The Star, home of the Dallas Cowboys world headquarters, said he was particularly proud of Legends’ ability to oversee SoFi’s planning and construction while also working on the new stadium and training facility for the Columbus Crew and San Diego State’s new Aztec Stadium.

Portz oversaw the project management for SoFi and continues to work on the Hollywood Park entertainment district along with the Crew’s new home. She joined Legends in 2017 from PC Sports, where she was president and worked on such projects as KFC Yum! Center, FedEx Forum, Sprint Center and the renovation of Texas A&M’s Kyle Field.

Curtis, whose first sports project was the then-revolutionary SkyDome (now Rogers Centre), is working with the Los Angeles Clippers on their new arena near SoFi Stadium.

SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL 2020 SBJ AWARDS: Legends Wins Best In Property Consulting, Sales & Client Services

Via Sports Business Journal’s 2020 SBJ Awards

Here is the full list of tonight’s winners:

• Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services: Legends

• Best in Digital Sports Media: Bleacher Report

• Best in Mobile Fan Experience: The Masters Tournament App, produced by Augusta National and IBM  

• Best in Sports Social Media: Louisiana State University  

• Best in Sports Technology: Mixed Reality Baltimore Raven

• Best in Sports Media: CBS Sports

• Sports Event of the Year: 2019 NFL Draft

• Sports Breakthrough of the Year: Premier Lacrosse League  

• Sports Sponsor of the Year: Visa

• Athletic Director of the Year: Scott Stricklin, University of Florida

• Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing: Bespoke Sports & Entertainment

• Best in Talent Representation: Wasserman

• Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Services: Octagon  

• Sports Facility of the Year: Chase Center

• Sports Team of the Year: St. Louis Blues

• Sports League of the Year: Major League Soccer

• Sports Executive of the Year: Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN  

• Celebration of Service Award: Team IMPACT

• Lifetime Achievement: Larry Tanenbaum

SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL: Legends Puts Large Stamp on SoFi Stadium, Allegiant Stadium

Via Sports Business Journal

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.”

SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL: Legends to Lead Redesign of Army’s Classic Stadium

Via Sports Business Journal

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.”