Daryl Evans began the presentation with us and he primarily spoke about the Kings on ice product. Mr. Evans provided valuable commentary not only on how the team is playing but also on broader topics such as player safety in the NHL. He commented that he sees a progression of the use of helmets in the NHL, and eventually we will see every player wearing a helmet with a full mask in front of it. As our meeting was going on Kings practice got underway, we could see through the glass windows in the area we were meeting in. After Daryl Evans was done speaking he handed it over to Mr. Cheeseman, who discussed the business side of running the Los Angeles Kings and some of his ideas and core values in his job. A few interesting notes from his discussion with us is that the numbers show that there really is no substitution for winning. After their Stanley Cup victory in 2012 they have seen a 20% growth in the fan base. Mr. Cheeseman also talked about their marketing strategy and their desire to really push the black and silver Kings jerseys back into the market place.
Perhaps the most valuable part of the presentation was when Mr. Cheeseman talked about himself and his rise to where he is today. He talked about rising his way up all the way from selling as an account executive to what he currently is today, the COO for the Los Angeles Kings. Kelly gave us strong advice to be successful in the sports world. He first mentioned to map out a business plan for yourself to set a clear path of where you are going and accompany that with hard work. He also stated to not try to become a star and outshine teammates, but instead he stressed the importance of hard work and continuity with co-workers. He believes that will help you be noticed and be successful. After the meeting, Kelly took us on a quick tour of the facility. We did not see the Lakers practice court, but he did take us downstairs to see some very exciting things. We saw the Kings coach’s office, the weight room, and the locker room. All of this was very cool and exciting to see. The morning at the Toyota Sports Center was informative and inspiring, yet our day was just getting started. We were off to continue the rest of our day at LA Live, meeting with ESPN and a whole slate of executives from AEG.
visit to ESPN’s facilities at LA Live. Our visit consisted of a three-person Q&A, led by Ilan Ben-Hanen (Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions). As ESPN continues facing challenges from Fox Sports 1 and the NBC Sports Network, Ben-Hanen emphasized the true concern for the World Wide Leader In Sports. The biggest priority is not worrying about the other competition. Instead, it’s creating a quality product that consumers will continue using regardless of what the other competitors have to offer.
It was a thrill to meet Mallory Rubin, an editor at Grantland and a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She provided an example of how hard-work pays off, as she has worked for Sports Illustrated and now ESPN early on in her young career.ESPN is showing a clear commitment to analytics. Yet, they have avoided the sequence of relying on analytics too often in their written and broadcasted content. ESPN’s growth in digital platforms has resulted in major growth of a multi-billion dollar entity. Ultimately, ESPN will continue the reign as the premier sports media and entertainment organization worldwide. And fortunately for Syracuse students, many of them have the incredible opportunity to be a special part of the company following graduation.
By Jake Polsky
The eventful day over at L.A. Live continued as we toured two of AEG’s facilities, Staples Center and Nokia Theatre. We learned some interesting information including facts and figures pertaining to these famous venues. It was just so fascinating to learn about the interaction between AEG and its venues and what it takes to put on an event. After finishing our tours of the facilities, we listened to more speakers in various areas and departments of AEG. Eric Bresler is the Vice President of Event Booking and Development for AEG facilities. He had an extremely interesting career path as he bounced around the country working for various sports organizations primarily in marketing. Then, he fell into a new role and became responsible for booking events at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, before making his way to AEG and his current role. Mr. Bresler described his job as being very unique because it’s a challenging line of work, requiring high energy and be spirited constantly to be successful. In describing the culture at AEG, he strongly felt that everyone in the organization is passionate about what they do. In addition, Mr. Bresler gave us great advice for breaking into the sport industry including the importance of taking advantage of internship experiences by being a sponge and asking questions to truly maximize the opportunity. He also mentioned that being persistent is important, but it is necessary to know when to pick your spots and be prepared for rejection. Throughout the rest of the day, we listened to many other speakers at AEG who gave us valuable words of wisdom and career advice as we try to break into the sport industry.
By Zach Chase
The second half of AEG’s presentations to us including Martha Saucedo of the external affairs department. She discussed her various efforts of community outreach for all of AEG’s properties, along with how he got started working for the government in Washington D.C. For me, the most important message I gathered from her talk was that priorities change during the day everyday and that you need to ne prepared for those items to change frequently.
The next speaker for AEG, Tom Andrus of AXS, who is AEG’s new ticket seller and website, came from a very unique background and showcased to us AEG’s vision for what the endeavor can be and turn into. He showed us a video of the company’s vision for AXS, and we were all blown away. By using it, arena managers and event planners can track just how well they’re doing and allow people to interact with them from other mediums for future events. This to me showcased the future of attending events and purchasing tickets. I was absolutely astounded by what AEG’s vision for AXS’ future is. Everyone we met at AEG not only were smart, organized, and talented, but also extremely focused on the new heights they can reach to keep making their multi-billion dollar company ever advancing and ahead of the competition,
We ended the day at Comedy Tonight, an event run by all of the programs of Syracuse University out in Los Angeles. It was a great chance to see some familiar faces and to meet and engage with our new chancellor, Mr. Kent Syverud. He acknowledged how lucky we were to be on this trip and how many students wanted to be in our shoes. I couldn’t agree more. Our opportunities on this trip are not only boundless, but have made us invaluable connections and have provided us with invaluable future career advice. And even better, it’s not over yet.