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SargentD

O'Neil and Hugh Weber want to reinvent the Devils as a business

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Scott O'Neil and Hugh Weber want to reinvent the Devils as a business

 

Together, they are remaking the Devils as a business under new owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer. They’ve already hired 85 employees — the entire staff before their arrival was just 72 — attempting to win back the business community, one partnership at a time.

 

Will it work? Time will tell.

 

http://www.nj.com/devils/index.ssf/2014/04/politi_scott_oneil_and_hugh_weber_want_to_reinvent_the_devils_as_a_business.html

 

 

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Good article, but I have a hard time believing they think they will make Newark as destination or as they called it a town square. I wonder if they bought up some of the property in the area like JVB did. I really don't believe people in NJ even think like this, especially in regards to the Devils. I guess maybe if it was outlets or something that might get some interest, but I see it as a drive/train in and drive/train out location.

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I don't think they mean quite so literally, at least at the start. I think they mean they wants fans and businesses to feel a connection to the experience, a community feeling and not just individual fans going to the games and going home. They want you involved, to take part of events they may throw that have a local spin to them, etc. As the community develops, and there are small signs it will and will only continue to do so - is that soon you might have the development of new business, residences that will all help the building.

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I don't think they mean quite so literally, at least at the start. I think they mean they wants fans and businesses to feel a connection to the experience, a community feeling and not just individual fans going to the games and going home. They want you involved, to take part of events they may throw that have a local spin to them, etc. As the community develops, and there are small signs it will and will only continue to do so - is that soon you might have the development of new business, residences that will all help the building.

Right, I got it and as I said, people from NJ barely know their neighbors and the people coming to the arena(from all directions and distances) come for the game and maybe a beer and a burger, then get out Dodge. If you are talking about community development, that is a whole other ball of wax that has nearly nothing to do with the team.

Edited by hystyk28

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Good article, but I have a hard time believing they think they will make Newark as destination or as they called it a town square. I wonder if they bought up some of the property in the area like JVB did. I really don't believe people in NJ even think like this, especially in regards to the Devils. I guess maybe if it was outlets or something that might get some interest, but I see it as a drive/train in and drive/train out location.

 

 

Well if was me calling the shot in Newark. i will just hire this guy and give Cart-blanche.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRD3l3rlMpo

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This is no accident. It is a business plan. The Devils arrived here in 1982. Put it this way: If consistently excellent hockey was enough to fill the arena, it would have happened a long time ago.

 

Weber is selling the experience. He wants people to feel welcome, like they are part of something.

 

 

It's nice to know someone in the organization sees this and it's good to know they're addressing the issue.

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It's nice to know someone in the organization sees this and it's good to know they're addressing the issue.

 

And that was John McMullen's and Lou's mantra for many years and thus they never bothered even having a marketing department until JVB started a small one a few years ago.

 

I am finally glad that these guys are finally having the Devils take their business and fan relations seriously.  They also pointed out in the article about how surprised they were at the really bad state JVB left the franchise in terms of relations with vendors, sponsors, and business clients.  Hopefully they will turn it around for the better.

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It's interesting to note that some of those 85 new employees are part of the new analytics department. I'm curious how much of a say Lou had (or didn't have) in that.

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They are definitely trying to remake the team from a marketing and fan relation standpoint.  Next season will be interesting to see if any of the changes they have implemented thus far have led to an increase/decrease in STH's and luxury box sales.  While it would be nice to have a sold out arena every night, at the end of the day, the only thing I care about is whether this team is successful on the ice.    

 

BTW...you better get your pictures with the cheerleaders by the end of the this season, because O'Neill's comment in the article is a telling sign that they are gone for next season. 

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They are definitely trying to remake the team from a marketing and fan relation standpoint.  Next season will be interesting to see if any of the changes they have implemented thus far have led to an increase/decrease in STH's and luxury box sales.  While it would be nice to have a sold out arena every night, at the end of the day, the only thing I care about is whether this team is successful on the ice.    

 

BTW...you better get your pictures with the cheerleaders by the end of the this season, because O'Neill's comment in the article is a telling sign that they are gone for next season. 

 

Seems like it from the comment in the article, but maybe not.  I mean they did take a little focus off of spotlighting them and their routines, but they also engaged them a little more in fans by having them greet fans when they come in, do some of the shirt tossing, and dancing on the ends and in the aisles.  Before they were just pretty much confined to that platform/stage area in that one corner.  Honestly, they should just get ice girls or have them become ice girls and be done with them.  I don't mind them but I wouldn't cry if they went away.

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Seems like it from the comment in the article, but maybe not.  I mean they did take a little focus off of spotlighting them and their routines, but they also engaged them a little more in fans by having them greet fans when they come in, do some of the shirt tossing, and dancing on the ends and in the aisles.  Before they were just pretty much confined to that platform/stage area in that one corner.  Honestly, they should just get ice girls or have them become ice girls and be done with them.  I don't mind them but I wouldn't cry if they went away.

I doubt it'd get goal song like attention.

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I doubt it'd get goal song like attention.

 

I don't think it will either.  Would like for them to stay in some capacity but again wouldn't be really upset if they got rid of their squad.

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I only skimmed the article, so it might have addressed this, but if this plan has any chance of success it has to focus on NJ based businesses.  The big companies across the river are going to take their clients to the Garden or even Barclays every time.  That means none of the big investment banks, law firms, etc, that tend to spend a lot of money on pricey seats to sporting events. 

 

I'm really skeptical this will ultimately work, or if it does, only marginally.  I'm sorry, but Newark has been dead for a while, and is never coming back.  If I owned a business, and could afford it, I would buy the pricey seats if I had enough clients that were actually Devils fans.  Otherwise, you can spruce up the surrounding area all you want, there are too many places to count where you would prefer to hang out over Newark.    If the Devils were the only hockey team the market, maybe, but obviously that's not the case.  

 

As I've said before, the only way the Dvils could truly have been a destination for more casual fans would have been if the new arena got built in Hoboken.  A lot of young professionals, including a lot of people originally from outside of the area that didn't have an allegiance to one of the other local teams, live there.  It's easily accessible from Manhattan, and the rest of NJ.  And people actually hang out in Hoboken, just because. 

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20 years ago Hoboken was a sh!thole. Everyone seems to forget that.

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I only skimmed the article, so it might have addressed this, but if this plan has any chance of success it has to focus on NJ based businesses.  The big companies across the river are going to take their clients to the Garden or even Barclays every time.  That means none of the big investment banks, law firms, etc, that tend to spend a lot of money on pricey seats to sporting events. 

 

I'm really skeptical this will ultimately work, or if it does, only marginally.  I'm sorry, but Newark has been dead for a while, and is never coming back.  If I owned a business, and could afford it, I would buy the pricey seats if I had enough clients that were actually Devils fans.  Otherwise, you can spruce up the surrounding area all you want, there are too many places to count where you would prefer to hang out over Newark.    If the Devils were the only hockey team the market, maybe, but obviously that's not the case.  

 

As I've said before, the only way the Dvils could truly have been a destination for more casual fans would have been if the new arena got built in Hoboken.  A lot of young professionals, including a lot of people originally from outside of the area that didn't have an allegiance to one of the other local teams, live there.  It's easily accessible from Manhattan, and the rest of NJ.  And people actually hang out in Hoboken, just because. 

 

I'm sorry but this line is absurd.  Easily accessbile from where in NJ?  Driving in is terrible as you have to deal with rush hour traffic heading into Manhattan, parking is not exactly ample, and the train service is not nearly as good as it is at Newark Penn.  To take the train in from Somerville, NJ, I would have to switch trains in Newark, then take the path to Hoboken after changing at either Journal Sq or Grove street.

 

Yeah that's real easily accessible.  There is a reason why McMullen's idea to build one there around 2000 was basically mocked and laughed at into oblivion.

20 years ago Hoboken was a sh!thole. Everyone seems to forget that.

 

When the drunk 20-somethings invade on weekends and during St. Patrick's day celebrations, you really would still think it is a sh!thole.

Edited by DevsMan84

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20 years ago Hoboken was a sh!thole. Everyone seems to forget that.

 

True, and so was Jersey City, but there are certain distinctions.  Hoboken (and Jersey City) are a lot closer to Manhattan.  Also, Hoboken did not have close to the same level of blight and crime that Newark does now.  (Newark is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the country).

 

But most importantly, a stadium or an arena has never, to my knowledge, spurred the revitilization that always gets promised.  So yes, Hoboken and Jersey City came back, but not because of sporting team, and their plans for revitilization did not focus on the sorts of projects that Newark has chosen. 

 

Weber ultimately works for the Devils.  His chances of success largely depend on the competence of businesses and politicians based in Newark.  Is that something you would ever bet on?  I certainly wouldn't. 

 

EDIT:  I guess when I was talking about accessiblity, I was thinking of my own circumstances.  I liver in Manhattan now, and when I was in Jersey there was a direct line to Hoboken, so yeah, can't speak for other places.  That's probably why McMullen's plan required a massive infrastructure committment to deal with parking, access by car, etc. 

Edited by Daniel

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I just want a third jersey :P

 

 

Please no.  Retro's are fine.

 

However, as posted in other threads before, a 3rd is more and more becoming inevitable with the new owners and the fact Lou is probably not going to stay on-board for too much longer.

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I'm sorry but this line is absurd.  Easily accessbile from where in NJ?  Driving in is terrible as you have to deal with rush hour traffic heading into Manhattan, parking is not exactly ample, and the train service is not nearly as good as it is at Newark Penn.  To take the train in from Somerville, NJ, I would have to switch trains in Newark, then take the path to Hoboken after changing at either Journal Sq or Grove street.

 

Yeah that's real easily accessible.  There is a reason why McMullen's idea to build one there around 2000 was basically mocked and laughed at into oblivion.

 

When the drunk 20-somethings invade on weekends and during St. Patrick's day celebrations, you really would still think it is a sh!thole.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/18/nyregion/soapbox-sticking-it-to-the-taxpayer.html

 

McMullen wanted the air rights over the proposed arena site...which the state wasn't budging on.  I forgot about some of the other intricacies of his Hoboken proposal...the most obvious eye popping one being that is was going to be in partnership with the Dolans.  

Edited by Beck27

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True, and so was Jersey City, but there are certain distinctions.  Hoboken (and Jersey City) are a lot closer to Manhattan.  Also, Hoboken did not have close to the same level of blight and crime that Newark does now.  (Newark is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the country).

 

But most importantly, a stadium or an arena has never, to my knowledge, spurred the revitilization that always gets promised.  So yes, Hoboken and Jersey City came back, but not because of sporting team, and their plans for revitilization did not focus on the sorts of projects that Newark has chosen. 

 

Weber ultimately works for the Devils.  His chances of success largely depend on the competence of businesses and politicians based in Newark.  Is that something you would ever bet on?  I certainly wouldn't. 

 

EDIT:  I guess when I was talking about accessiblity, I was thinking of my own circumstances.  I liver in Manhattan now, and when I was in Jersey there was a direct line to Hoboken, so yeah, can't speak for other places.  That's probably why McMullen's plan required a massive infrastructure committment to deal with parking, access by car, etc. 

 

One thing that you're failing to look at which is that Hoboken is 2 square mile with 50,000 people whereas Newark is 24 square miles with 280,000 people. If you change one street in a mile square city you're fast on your way to changing the whole city. The Ironbound has always been deemed safe and is around twice the size of Hoboken with about the same number of people. Downtown is right next to the Ironbound and is around the same size as Hoboken but with an eighth the population. These are the areas you need to focus on, because you're not trying to draw the average Devils fan to Springfield and Irvine Turner Boulevard. Nor are you trying to get them to Roseville and Bloomfield. You're trying to get them to Downtown. If that area can improve to a certain point (which it already has come most of the way) to where people can start to view it as a destination, the improvements will be able to continue to spread little by little through to the rest of the city. After downtown I'd predict that North Broadway will be the next area that will experience heavy redevelopment and improvement. In short, while Hoboken is really only the size of a neighborhood, Newark has neighborhoods within it that are bigger than Hoboken and thus the city as a whole will take a much longer time to achieve the turnaround that Hoboken pulled off.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/18/nyregion/soapbox-sticking-it-to-the-taxpayer.html

McMullen wanted the air rights over the proposed arena site...which the state wasn't budging on. I forgot about some of the other intricacies of his Hoboken proposal...the most obvious eye popping one being that is was going to be in partnership with the Dolans.

I also remember a radio interview that McMullen done at the time and he claimed there were tons of devils fans in New York City and that's also part of the reason why he wanted to build the arena there. I don't doubt there are at least some devils fans in the city, but he is off his rocker if the thinks it would be that much to where he would build it there and tell the good part of nj that would have trouble getting to games either via car or train to fvck off.

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I'm sorry but this line is absurd.  Easily accessbile from where in NJ?  Driving in is terrible as you have to deal with rush hour traffic heading into Manhattan, parking is not exactly ample, and the train service is not nearly as good as it is at Newark Penn.  To take the train in from Somerville, NJ, I would have to switch trains in Newark, then take the path to Hoboken after changing at either Journal Sq or Grove street.

 

Agree 100%. On paper, Newark really does make the most sense and always has, when taking into account the infrastructure. Madison Square Garden might be the only other arena in the country that's better/more connected than The Rock, when you think about it..

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I also remember a radio interview that McMullen done at the time and he claimed there were tons of devils fans in New York City and that's also part of the reason why he wanted to build the arena there. I don't doubt there are at least some devils fans in the city, but he is off his rocker if the thinks it would be that much to where he would build it there and tell the good part of nj that would have trouble getting to games either via car or train to fvck off.

 

The general feeling at the time was that he could build a poor man's MSG, where 1/2 of the stadium seating is sold to corporations who use the games for entertainiment purposes, due to the extremely close proximity to NYC.  The rest could be filled in with the average fan who buys ST's, as well as the walk up crowd which they thought would be much better in a city such as Hoboken as opposed to Newark (I actually believe this would have proven to be true).

 

Having lived in Hoboken for years, I have to agree with your prior comments on the headache it would have been to get to/from for anyone that didn't live in Hoboken, JC, Weekhawken, or NYC.  Traffic and parking is a nightmare, the roadways getting into and out of the city can't even remotely capacitate the flow of traffic that they have there now (let alone during the evening rush for a Wed. night game), and there are few train lines that run directly to the city.  It might have been better from a corporate sales standpoint, but for the average fan that arena would have sucked if it was actually built.

 

I have no problem with it being in Newark.  They are slowly getting some good bars and restaurants in the area adjacent to the arena.  And if you like Spanish/Portguese/Brazilian food, there is no better place in the State than the Ironbound which is a short walk/drive from the arena.  Hopefully the new owners can convince the corporate partners they are courting to buy seats/luxury boxes to make the team profitable. More importanly, hopefully, we can make it back to the playoffs sooner rather than later.

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Jersey city has nice parts, but still plagued by crime and is ranked up there. Then again I'm not sure.. They have Salem being the most dnageorus smaller city in jersey. And Newark over Miami. Dated a girl in Hialeah for two years, I'd take Newark everytime. And AC cracks the top 15. And as well as Camden, I'll take chances in Camden over NY or Oakland, LA( live right next to Camden and went to school their)

Edited by CarterforPresident

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