Crew SC's President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane made an appearance on Monday's Massive Report Podcast and touched on a wide range of issues that face the business team in the recent past and looked ahead to the future.
Looking back, Loughnane said the rebrand achieved it's goal of making the team matter in Columbus. "Merchandise sales are up double digits. It's helped drive the relevance in our market."
"The city was dominated with Crew SC branding from October, November, December, and beyond", Loughnane said the goal was to get people talking and thinking about the team again.
Loughnane also keyed in on the top priorities of the club. Some were obvious, including growing attendance. Others will be a welcome acknowledgment of pain points for many fans, such as Crew SC's broadcast situation.
"We want to continue our in stadium attendance growth." Loughnane stated, "That's through season ticket, single match tickets... that has to happen through active effort."
When asked about season ticket numbers and the old Goal 10k number, Loughnane conceded the team hasn't crossed that threshold. "We want to get there. We are not there yet, but we are more focused on sellouts."
Loughnane elaborated, "We think sellouts create business momentum. It creates relevance." The goal being to create a better atmosphere that engages fans and partners alike. The team previously announced they have added 1,000 full season ticket equivalents in the last year.
When it comes to ticket number, Loughnane is focused on a couple key numbers, "The most important metric... it's paid attendance." He added "Complimentary seats are down nearly 45%, year over year."
While attendance trails last year, Paid attendance is up 7.5 according to a recent Sports Business Journal article.
Loughnane changed gears a bit, "We would love to be able to expand our TV distribution." adding, "Dead seriously, that’s a club priority. That's come up in the past and I understand that may be a pain point for some."
"We are working on identifying ways to increase our distribution. It's not an easy challenge." said Loughnane. "Not everybody has the room, the capacity, the programming blocks to give to sports."
Loughnane added, "It's our job to try and find a way to make them believe that we are a growing and relevant product, especially in Central Ohio." reiterating again the goal of increased distribution.
When asked about the ultimate goal. "We would love to have (another) MLS Championship." Loughnane sees it as a virtuous cycle. "Our (business) team is focused on growing our season ticket base. A healthy season ticket base, equals healthy attendance, equals happy team, equals wins. They are all interconnected."
You can hear the full discussion on this week's Massive Report Podcast.