Sunday, October 20, 2013

Barclays Center Chief Legal Officer Jeff Gewirtz: "we are there to make money" and driving revenue is "what we think about all the time"

Jeff Gewirtz, the Chief Legal Officer of the Barclays Center, recently answered questions from LawInSport, an online international sports law publication, including one that seems particularly relevant right now, given reports of lagging first-year arena revenues, "How important is the commercial aspect of sport to any league or team?"



Shortly before that question, he outlined "revenue-generating activities. So, whether it's sponsorship, merchandising, licensing, our media rights deals, both radio or televison, that is at least 50% of our practice... and once the contracts are done... issues... as a result of that exclusivity, can we do a deal with company X?

Then, he explained,"The revenue side of the equation is very, very important for the governing bodies that are run as nonprofits, but we are a for-profit."

And the Barclays Center and Nets, he said, "are there to make money, whether it's through ticket sales, or suite licensing, or sponsorship, or media. So, the lawyer's role in that, whether for an NBA team, or an arena... whether it's in sport or entertainment... is absolutely critical."

"So it's what my CEO, Brett Yormark, spends most of his waking hours thinking of... look, we have expenses, we pay players... we have other expenses... the Nets have to pay rent to the Barclays Center... there's a lot of expense pressure, and therefore there's a lot of revenue pressure. And we want to offset as much of those expenses as possible with robust revenues. So it's what we think about all the time."

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