After a Supporters Shield winning season in 2015, the New York Red Bulls are looking to replicate their winning ways on the field. And off the field, they are winning as well.
It has been a pretty good offseason for the Red Bulls front office, who have seen growth by nearly every standard. Season tickets are up, sponsorship remains strong and the franchise is seeing interest in the naming rights for Red Bull Arena.
All of which points towards sustainability for the franchise and ownership moving forward.
"We rebranded the season ticket with the creation of the Red Member Campaign, which won the ‘MLS 2015 Ticket Sales Innovation Award.’ The campaign focused on adding value; showing our members how much we appreciate and cherish their commitment. Most importantly, it was our intention to create a sense of unity between the fan and team,” general manager Marc de Grandpre told Metro New York.
“As we head into the 2016 season, we currently have [an] 87 percent renewal rate, highest in club history. In addition, season tickets are up 17 percent vs. our record-setting 2015.
“These numbers speak volumes about the passion our fans have for the club and for our absolute commitment to them. In a marketplace where there so many sports and entertainment options, we are very thankful and privileged that they want to spend both their time and hard earned money with us.
Our group sales have also spiked and we are up over 30 percent from last year. That tells me that Red Bull Arena continues to be a desirable destination for people to host parties and business functions.
And this is all good news for the franchise, especially since last year’s season ticket numbers were the highest since, well, ever.
Winning helps, last season’s Supporters Shield was the second time in three years that the Red Bulls have finished with the league’s best record. But credit also goes to an organization that has settled in nicely under de Grandpre. He navigated some choppy waters last year but the organization emerged on solid footing, with attendance and television ratings on MSG both up en route to the the Independent Supporters Council naming the Red Bulls their front office of the year.
He’s been praised for being hands-on, especially with the sales staff, and being a constant presence in every department in the front office. He was the first general manager put in place by Red Bull when the franchise formerly known as the MetroStars was bought by the energy drink corporation in 2006. That tenure was filled with growing pains and de Grandpre eventually left.
Now back and with two full offseasons under his belt, the front office has found a certain measure of stability. It doesn’t hurt that the team looks to be one of the best in MLS this year.
And the excitement is spreading to the business end of things, with de Grandpre noting that the Red Bulls “have renewed over 100 percent of partner revenue with investments and commitments going forward.”
And the positives could include stadium naming rights as well.
"We are currently actively engaging with potential naming rights partners,” de Grandpre said. “We are very excited and optimistic about this developing opportunity happening in the near future."