The participants of the Event & Arena Marketing Conference were in the presence of legends yesterday.
The first full day of the conference should have put awe in all that were sitting in the general session room. As per tradition honors were given out. This includes the GiGi award and new inductees to the Arena Marketing Hall of Fame. The board got it right!
The GiGi award named after GiGi Pilhofer was given to Larry Rubin. Larry is considered to be one of the best arena PR people ever! He is one of those rare people who “get it”.
The Hall of Fame inductees included Linda Deckard, Rich Krezwick, Lynn Plage, Linc Cavalieri, and Bob Reed. The “wow” moment came when we found out the contributions that 92 year old Linc has done for the arena business. He invented both the glass around the hockey rink dashers and box suites. Both were created from necessity. The glass was because fans were losing teeth when the puck would fly through the chicken wire fence. The box suites, because his boss (the owner of the Red Wings) was sitting near the fans and getting shit when the team was losing. Today, those suites pay for new buildings.
I know I am old when a kid of one of my early bosses is now attending the conference. Ian Adler is an Assistant Marketing Manager with Comcast-Spectacor in Philly. His dad Richard Adler was not only one of my bosses at Ringling Bros., he was President of the Atlanta Knights hockey team when I was there. The last time I saw Ian he was 12.
WTF Bad Business?
At the end of the conference day yesterday Jim Delaney and I walked over to the official Blackhawks store in the heart of downtown Chicago to buy some championship merch for our kids. We got to the store at 6:30 PM. The store closed at 6:00 PM. Why wouldn’t this store stay open late the day after they won the Stanley Cup? The downtown area was packed with people. We went across the street to another sports store. They were jamed with people buying Blackhawks shirts. The store was going through boxes of shirts. Jim and I shook our heads and said someone was not thinking.