Perhaps the two most polarizing owners in all of sports, Jerry Jones and George Steinbrenner, and their teams have forged a partnership that will handle the food concessions and merchandise sales at their new stadiums. Both the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees will be moving into new stadiums prior to their 2009 seasons.
The arrangement brings together two of the world’s most-expensive sports franchises and locks up their lucrative concessions operations, one of the big four revenue generators with tickets, television contracts and stadium parking.
“Mr. Jones and my dad have had a mutual respect for each other for decades,” Yankees co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner said at a news conference Monday, the Associated Press reports. “So it made perfect sense for us.”
The Yankees and Cowboys each will own 34 percent of the company, which will be named Legends Hospitality Management, LLC or just “Legends”, with the other third of the company owned by Goldman Sachs, which is headquartered in New York, and CIC Partners, which is based in Dallas.
“The old model of stadium concessions is broken,” Steinbrenner said in statement which announced the deal. “Fans want and deserve a better experience for their sports entertainment dollar. Working with Legends to leverage the talent and experience resident in the Yankees’ and Cowboys’ organizations will enable us to set a higher bar for sports franchises while delivering greater value to fans.”
While Legends will originally just handle the concessions for the new Yankees Stadium and the Cowboys new stadium, they will be looking to expand and handle the service for other teams and other facilities. It will be another avenue for these two franchises to increase their ever growing revenue stream.
The Yankees division rival Boston Red Sox have looked to expand their brand since 2004 with the Fenway Sports Group. Now, two of the most well known teams in sports have made more strides to grow their own brands, potentially through cross-marketing initiatives and other joint programs.
“Our mission at Legends is simple,” Legends CEO and Chairman Mike Rawlings said in a press release, “We want to become the authority on fan experience so that we can provide team and stadium owners, athletic directors and venue operators with innovative ways to build business value for their sports franchises off the playing field.”
(The image accompanying this story is from Newsday)