P1000601Last week, the ACG membership was honored to host Dennis Greene, President of Business Operations for the Washington Redskins, at the November monthly meeting.

Mr. Greene offered audience members a glimpse into what it takes to keep a sports club as popular and valuable as the Washington Redskins at the top of its game. With a current value of $1.7 billion and an operating income of $104.3 million, the team is one of only five American franchises represented among the eight most valuable sports teams in the world.

Mr. Greene began his presentation by stating a little-known fact; the Redskins logo is the second most recognized logo in the DC region, second only behind the presidential seal. Mr. Greene then shifted focus to discuss the challenges facing the team, and how the Redskins worked to overcome them.

Challenge 1: New Training Camp

The first challenge, according to Mr. Greene, was moving to a new training camp. The coach and general manager’s desire for a state-of-the-art facility made the search considerably more difficult, and finding an ideal location and the funds to finance it was definitely a challenge.

“First, we moved to Richmond, capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s centrally located for our fans, and that’s great. We were then able to leverage a creative situation with the state to help finance some of it, and we also got some of our sponsors to finance some it. What we ended with was a win-win situation for everybody.”

The investment certainly paid-off; in a 15-day period during training camp, over 155,000 fans showed up, more than 4,500 rooms were rented, and over 15,000 meals were purchased. “We also generated over $250,000 for charity, which is great for 15 days worth of work.” added Greene.

Challenge 2: Aging Stadium

Another key challenge is that the stadium is now 15 years old. The useful life of a stadium is generally about 30 years, so they have been continuously updating and renovating the facilities.

“Just like with technology, it constantly needs to be upgraded. We needed to invest large sums of money in order to make the stadium state-of-the-art so that all of our patrons get the best of the best.”

“It’s also essential to keep revenue in the back of your mind at all times”, continued Greene. Some of the renovations that were made included adding 62 suites, a Budweiser pavilion, new seating and party decks, as well as state of the art video recorders and scoreboards, which simultaneously provide better information to the patrons while also providing additional advertising revenue.

Challenge 3: Acquiring Talent

All NFL teams have the exact same problem. Since there’s a fixed salary that everybody has to work with, you need to recruit players to play for you based on the facilities you offer.

“So again, we had to come up with a way to get the best facilities. What we did is that we upgraded Redskins Park and made it the kind of facility where players want to come and be a part of the Redskins.” Some of the upgrades include a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility, a new kitchen with first-class chefs and dietitians to make sure that players are getting exactly what they need out of their food, as well as a state-of-the-art lounge with the best video equipment around.

The Redskins continue to be a huge influence on the DC Metro area. In the state of Virginia alone, the Redskins employ over 1,800 people, and the team led to a $200 million increase in revenue for the state.

Being the iconic brand that it is, the Redskins franchise understands how important it is to give back to the community. “The more revenue we make, the more we give back. Our focus is on helping children and underprivileged children, specifically in health and education.”

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