The fourth day of our LA Immersion Trip started off strong when we had the privilege of meeting Luc Robitaille, President of Business Operations for the LA Kings. It was incredible to hear from one of the greatest NHL players of all time (he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 and has the most goals of any left wing in the history of the NHL). As Robitaille discussed the history of the Kings, some of his memories as a player, and his current business responsibilities, he continued to return to two main themes: passion and branding. These themes resonate throughout the organization’s culture and can be seen by the King’s motto, Pride = Passion = Power, which is also present on the back of his business card. He described the community outreach programs the Kings constantly run and the need to treat everyone with respect. When asked a question about career advice, Robitaille stressed the need to be passionate, be a great salesperson, and “speak like an expert.” It is necessary to be creative, confident, and engage in activities you’re not comfortable with to broaden your experiences.
Next we headed to LA Live where we were given the opportunity to have lunch with AEG executives, such as Michael Patent and Steve Joudi. Francine Pacheco, Eva Taylor, and others from Human Resources were also there to provide some valuable insight. It was a great setting to discuss sports, entertainment, and career advice, before moving on to our tour.
Scott Hanley, Vice President of Events, led us around to many of the iconic settings on the campus such as the Nokia Theatre and Club Nokia. The tour provided a better insight into the characteristics of the various AEG-owned buildings and gave us a better feel for the culture of AEG. These buildings are very exclusive and it was truly an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Steve Joudi, Division Manager at AEG, had scheduled a world-class conference with countless AEG executives for us, including Charles Herschhom (President of AXS TV), Russel Silvers (Director of Partnership Activation), David Emanuel (VP Human Resources), and Eric Bresler (VP Event Booking and Development). The chance to meet with major AEG executives simultaneously was unbelievable. It was mind-blowing how much information and assistance we were given in such a short period of time.
Herschhom outlined future plans for AXS TV and AEG and different models that are being tested. Consumers want on-demand service at all costs and increasingly by means of online video streaming, like Youtube and Vevo. Some major challenges include growing the distribution. AXS is currently in 36 million homes but would like to increase that number to about 50 million. Herschomm has branded AXS as a distribution platform for live entertainment assets that are not all sporting events. Live entertainment became their niche and it will be increasingly valuable as video technology evolves.
While Herschomm, Silvers, and Bresler were phenomenal speakers and very informative I felt the most pertinent and relevant discussions involved David Emanuel, VP Human Resources. He explained how there is plenty of talent but it boils down to how you are able to sell yourself and differentiate yourself from the pack. How do you bring value? According to Emanuel, “resumes have to have life to them.” It is crucial to know and be comfortable with your story, shape the conversation towards your script, and expand upon what is present on the resume. There is no time for cruising! You must bring your A-game everyday or someone else will come and replace you. But the most important thing you can do is fight and claw everyday. You have to want it bad enough or you stand no chance.
After our meeting with AEG and tour of the Grammy Museum we walked over to the Staples Center for the Clippers v. Hawks game. It was nice to see so many Clippers fans after years of turmoil. Better yet, the Clippers won and Blake Griffin had a few dunks along the way. This was one of my favorite days of the trip so far and I can’t wait to see the Home Depot Center tomorrow and complete the AEG experience!