Wakeham + Associates Marketing, Inc. (WAM) announced that it has secured a naming rights agreement with CAA Club Group for the former the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario, on behalf of its owner operator, Realstar Group. The multi-million-dollar agreement is for a 10-year term. The facility will be named CAA Centre.
WAM was responsible for establishing a strategic plan and sponsorship valuation for the naming rights associated with the facility, conducting the naming rights sales campaign, and negotiating the agreement.
It is expected that the rebranding transition from Powerade Centre to CAA Centre will be completed by late Spring 2018. Built in 1998, the multi-purpose arena has become the city’s sports and culture hub, hosting hundreds of events each year including major sporting events, headlining concerts, and trade shows, and is the home of ECHL’s Brampton Beast Hockey Club.
“On behalf of the City and my colleagues on the Council, we welcome CAA’s investment in Brampton. We look forward to many years of working together to bring Bramptonians exciting sporting and cultural experiences,” said Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “This arena has been a visible landmark to the Brampton community and surrounding area. It has hosted and supported local sports teams and significant cultural events that showcase the wonderful diversity of our vibrant city.”
CAA recently made a significant investment to relocate and renovate its Brampton retail store, and the new CAA Centre builds on that established community presence. The CAA Centre is part of a strategy to provide the 56 million CAA and AAA members across North America with increased access to cultural experiences and benefits beyond roadside assistance. As part of the deal, CAA members will gain access to special offers, events, and unique experiences at the Centre. “We are thrilled that CAA’s name will appear on this iconic building for the next 10 years,” said Rhonda English, chief marketing officer, CAA SCO. “We are dedicated to bringing our members value and havemade it a priority to invest in their communities.”
“Sports and entertainment venues are the epicentre of a community, so it was important for us to find a partner understanding of the fabric of such a diverse and lively city as Brampton,” said Jonas Prince, Chairman, Realstar Group. “With CAA we have found a dedicated and collaborative partner interested in building a synergistic relationship with our many stakeholders.”
Hugh Wakeham, President of Wakeham + Associates Marketing, Inc. said, “We are pleased to have secured CAA Club Group as the naming rights partner for the former Powerade Centre. We look forward to helping them to activate their partnership and create special offers for their two million members in the south-central Ontario area. The CAA Centre serves the Greater Toronto Area and is one of Canada’s most utilized sports and entertainment facilities with 1.2 million annual visitors.”
Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Convention Center, was recently honored as the inaugural winner of the “Catalyst for Change” at the Women of Influence Awards. This first-of-its-kind award “recognizes a man who has shown by deed, actions and accomplishments the advancement of other businesswomen and has a track record of success and accomplishments by mentoring and/or supporting women in their profession, industry or enterprise.”
Rip’s executive team at the San Diego Convention Center is led by a diverse group of professionals, the majority of whom are women including Executive Vice President & General Manager Karen Totaro, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Mardeen Mattix, Executive Director of Communications Barbara Moreno, and Executive Director of Human Resources Terry Kurtenbach.
IAVM congratulates Rip for his work at the venue, in the community, and in serving as a true catalyst for change!
As someone who has worked the biggest, boldest, and brightest events to light up a marquee for more than 25 years, Frank Supovitz is more than familiar with the subject of what to do when things go wrong. Supovitz, founder of Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment in 2014, an event management and consulting company based in New York, will keynote that exact topic during the Stadiums track session at VenueConnect this July in Toronto.
Supovitz is an award-winning event producer who client list over the years includes the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, New York City’s South Street Seaport, the BIG EAST Conference, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Australia’s National Rugby League, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Supovitz also served as senior vice president, events, for the National Football League, overseeing the meteoric growth of the Super Bowl, Pro Bow, and the NFL Draft.
“We work in an industry where the law of averages simply work against us,” Supovitz said during a break before traveling to speak before another conference. “We bring hundreds of thousands of people through our buildings each year for anywhere from a dozen to multiple dozens of events. We have a diverse number of experiences and environments, from the seating bowl to clubs, restaurants, hospitality venues, back-of-house, and fan plazas.
“We operate facilities with systems for security, ticket sales, dining and drinking, guest services, presentation technologies, connectivity, and points-of-sale. There are processes, procedures, load-ins, load-outs, and routine events operations. With that many details, something large or insignificant is going to go wrong every single event, maybe every single day. What’s funny is that I speak almost as much to organizations that are not in our industry as those who are, because every organization in every kind of business if faced with the challenge of making things NOT go wrong or dealing with them when they do anyway.”
Prior to joining the NFL, Supovitz led the National Hockey League’s Events & Entertainment department from 1992 to 2005, managing and producing the NHL All-Star Weekend, the Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL Awards Television Special, and international competitions across the globe in Canada, Europe, and Japan. So, yes, things can and do go wrong not just in the good old USA, but at all points of the world.
With that backdrop and expertise, Supovitz is sure to have plenty of takeaways for attendees in Toronto in a session where the format will differ as Supovitz is interviewed and asked questions rather than the standard keynote address.
“I generally talk less about how to plan to avoid a crisis or disaster to people like us because we plan for a living,” he said. “I concentrate more on what to do in real-time when trouble happens, and as much on what not-to-do, and when time is not on your side. Because I’ve managed or produced mega-events in a stadium, arena, or public setting for almost 30 years, lots of things have gone wrong under my watch. Some have been minor, some have been miserable, and some have been very public, but in looking at all those experiences and how they were handled, or could have been avoided, I’ve noticed a number of patterns and consistent truths. I call them Mega-Truths, and I’ll share a list of 10 of them that have helped to guide me though some tough spots, like the blackout at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, or when the Stanley Cup proved that gravity is still a law on its 100th birthday. It’s fun to laugh about those things now. But, they were serious business at the time.”
Supovitz is the first to admit he has led a charmed life in getting to do things he often dreamed about.
Managing events like the Super Bowl and NFL Draft for the National Football League my dream job for nearly a decade, and 13 seasons at the NHL before that provided a great launching pad for that experience,” Supovitz said. “I left the NFL in 2014 to start my own event management, production and consulting business and have since been able to contribute to, and learn about sports, events, and venues that are new to me like the Indy 500, the National Rugby League in Australia, the BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Tournament, even beach volleyball and extreme calisthenics. But, it all started as a 15-year old usher at Radio City Music Hall, where I worked my way through the organization to usher captain, upholsterer’s helper, mail room clerk, marketing manager, and eventually, the director of special events.
“I learned something really important about training and customer service on my very first day at Radio City, something that I remind myself of all the time, and worth sharing with you: the people that you most rely on to provide the best service experience to your fans and guests are often the ones that are the least paid, the least appreciated. The secret sauce is getting them invested in your venue’s success. Take that from a guy who’s walked miles of aisles.”
The Wisconsin Center District (WCD) has named Doug Johnson as Vice President of Entertainment and Sports, effective April 16, 2018. The WCD owns and operates the Miller High Life Theatre, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, and Wisconsin Center.
Johnson’s hire comes just weeks after the WCD announced the start of new President and CEO, Marty Brooks. Brooks has been tasked by the WCD Board to increase both utilization and profitability of all properties, especially the Miller High Life Theatre.
“A building as beautiful and versatile as the Miller High Life Theatre cannot go underutilized,” Brooks said. “It seemed to me that we needed the right person with the right relationships to book the space. I created this new position and we were lucky to find that person just down the road. The future of entertainment for the WCD is very exciting.”
With more than 25 years of consistent and progressive entertainment management, agent, and promoter relationships, Johnson will influence the future of entertainment and non-traditional sports programming across WCD properties.
“The WCD facilities and administrative staff are in a great position to take entertainment to the next level for the people of Wisconsin,” Johnson said. “I am really excited to bring local, regional, and national promoters into the superb properties of the Wisconsin Center District.”
Most recently Johnson has been the Senior Director of Arena Entertainment for the BMO Harris Bradley Center. While there, Johnson positively influenced the routing of significant shows and productions, bringing them into the Milwaukee market.
“The way to increase utilization is to increase meaningful relationships,” he said.
Prior to his tenure at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, Johnson spent nearly two decades as Senior Entertainment Director for Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., better known as Summerfest. While there he influenced all facets of the global festival, including operations, marketing and communications, logistics, hospitality, security, and production.
The Houston City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Brenda Bazan as the new president and CEO of the Houston First Corporation (HFC). Bazan assumed immediate responsibilities in her no position.
Bazan is no stranger to Houston First, having been with the organization since its inception in 2011, serving as the chief financial officer where she oversaw finance, human resources and purchasing functions of the organization. Her career with the city of Houston began in 1993 where she held several positions in the Controller’s Office including director of finance and accounting and also with the Convention & Entertainment Facilities department where she served as deputy director. She has also worked on citywide endeavors such as property insurance, energy procurement and management and debt-related issues.
“It’s an honor to be selected by Mayor Turner and confirmed by Houston City Council,” Bazan said. “The Houston First model is the first of its kind in the destination marketing industry and has achieved record successes across the organization, including sales, tourism, marketing and public relations. I’m fortunate to have such an awesome team of professionals at Houston First, and together I know we will continue transforming our big dreams into big successes for our beloved city. The future of Houston is bright and I am committed to making sure HFC serves as a beacon of light.”