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


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#1 95Crash

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:57 PM

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/de...a_business.html

 

 


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#2 hystyk28

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:27 PM

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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#3 HellOnICE

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:30 AM

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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#4 hystyk28

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:06 AM

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, 03 April 2014 - 01:08 AM.

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#5 Cachorro Louco

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:10 AM

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.

 


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#6 Jerzey Devil

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:25 AM

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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#7 DevsMan84

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:36 AM

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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#8 DJ Eco

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:40 AM

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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#9 MadDog2020

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:04 AM

Interesting read.


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#10 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:12 AM

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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#11 DevsMan84

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:15 AM

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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#12 roomtemp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:52 AM

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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#13 DevsMan84

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:03 AM

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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#14 Daniel

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:38 AM

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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#15 MadDog2020

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:41 AM

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


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#16 DevsMan84

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:45 AM

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, 03 April 2014 - 11:48 AM.

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#17 Daniel

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:50 AM

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, 03 April 2014 - 11:52 AM.

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#18 Scottie2Hottie

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:54 AM

I just want a third jersey :P
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#19 DevsMan84

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:58 AM

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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#20 Beck27

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:53 PM

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.c...e-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, 03 April 2014 - 12:54 PM.

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