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Jeff Cogen (CEO) & Sean Henry (Pres. & COO) in, Ed Lang leaving front office

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08-10-2010, 12:38 PM
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Seth Lake
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Jeff Cogen (CEO) & Sean Henry (Pres. & COO) in, Ed Lang leaving front office

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#NHL Predators have hired Dallas Stars Prez Jeff Cogen as CEO and former TB Lightning COO Sean Henry as President. Two experienced execs.
http://twitter.com/trippmickle/status/20806011516

Tom Callahan has also tweeted that an announcement on the two "new guys" will be coming at 2 PM CST on NP.com...


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08-10-2010, 12:44 PM
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Jeff Cogen was named President of the Dallas Stars in November 2007 after serving for 3 years as President for the Texas Rangers (MLB). Prior to joining the Rangers, Cogen had been the COO of the Florida Panthers from 2001-2004 where he was responsible for all the business operations of both the team and the BankAtlantic Center.

http://stars.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=450076

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08-10-2010, 12:46 PM
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What does this all mean? Does Ed Lang stay on?

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08-10-2010, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
What does this all mean? Does Ed Lang stay on?
We'll find out at 2 PM I guess...I have a feeling Ed Lang will stay on with a new title, but am not sure...

Adding experienced NHL executives though for me really speaks volumes to the serious commitment of our ownership group to keep this team here long-term and make it one of the best in the business.

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08-10-2010, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLake View Post
We'll find out at 2 PM I guess...I have a feeling Ed Lang will stay on with a new title, but am not sure...

Adding experienced NHL executives though for me really speaks volumes to the serious commitment of our ownership group to keep this team here long-term and make it one of the best in the business.
I think you're right on this. Since Cigarran took over I think the team has looked even more business like in its approach to succeed. While I liked Freeman's charm and ability to get the original deal done, I think having a guy like Cigarran at the helm, with all his business acumen is going to benefit us long term

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08-10-2010, 12:53 PM
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I'll have to check back later today to find out what's happening. Going for an interview now.

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08-10-2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Sean Henry, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum, has resigned, the club announced today. Henry, who joined the Lightning in the summer of 1999, will remain with the team through December 12, 2008. He had been responsible for all business activities, business development, building improvements, governmental relations and facility and event operations.
http://blogs.tampabay.com/lightning/...ing-coo-s.html

Henry appears to have resigned exactly six months to the day that OK Hockey took over in Tampa. During his time in Tampa, Henry maintained somewhat of a low profile based on the comments in the linked blog, but was highly respected throughout the community for his work and making the St. Pete Times Forum into one of the premier venues of it's size for both entertainers, athletes, and fans alike.

Henry was hired back to Tampa in January 2009 as a business consult for OK Hockey for both team and arena issues...

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08-10-2010, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
I'll have to check back later today to find out what's happening. Going for an interview now.
Good luck! We'll try to keep on top of the story here for you...

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08-10-2010, 12:57 PM
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From the Tampa Bay press release announcing the re-hiring of Henry in January 2009:

Quote:
Beginning with the 1999-00 NHL season, Henry helped lead a revenue team that scored several off-ice wins for the Lightning over several years. The tenure was highlighted by increases in ticket and sponsorship revenue every season and the construction and development of an all-inclusive premium seating area (originally called the XO Club) that has become the nationwide standard in venue renovation, new construction and development.

He also led an arena management and event operations department which helped the company turn the St. Pete Times Forum into one of the busiest and best marketed venues in the world year after year, while securing $35 million of county tourist tax dollars earmarked over 14 years to help keep the arena at the nation’s forefront, maintaining its competitiveness in competing for events with newer venues.
http://lightning.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=485007

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08-10-2010, 12:59 PM
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Nashville Post on top of the story now:

Quote:
The Nashville Predators plan to announce the installment of a CEO and chief operating officer at a 2 p.m. news conference today, team sources told the Nashville Business Journal.

Both of the positions are new ones, and will not be filled from within the organization. The NHL hockey club’s current top leadership consists of Tom Cigarran, chairman of the ownership group; David Poile, president of hockey operations and general manager; and Ed Lang, president of business operations.

The moves are the latest of several that have been made by Cigarran since he took over as team chairman in March. He moved quickly to squelch concerns about the team’s finances and the prospect it could leave Nashville, and last month announced an agreement to acquire disgraced financier William “Boots” Del Biaggio’s ownership stake in the team.
http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville...9/daily12.html

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08-10-2010, 01:06 PM
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Dirk has another good take on this at OTF...wrapping it all up into a story along with a quote from Dallas blogger Brandon Worley that reads:

Quote:
He's very familiar with marketing a team in a non traditional market, and should do a great job in Nashville.

Dammit. This sucks.
http://www.ontheforecheck.com/2010/8...s-hire-new-ceo

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08-10-2010, 01:14 PM
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Maybe they were brought in to take some of the load off of our other execs?

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08-10-2010, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paranoid Android View Post
Maybe they were brought in to take some of the load off of our other execs?
I think more than anything this speaks to Tom Cigarran's comments regarding his leadership style from his radio interviews last month. In the interview, Cigarran said as the head of the company he has never been the smartest one at the table and should never be. He insists on hiring the brightest and best around to bring into the organizational brain trust to insure that every option is considered whenever a decision has to be made.

While we've had a great run thus far, we lost Hugh Lombardi to Boston's TDNorth Bank Gardens late last season and I think this is just a move by Cigarran to really increase the level of experience and knowledge within the organization to achieve their goal of making the Predators into a Stanley Cup Championship team and having Bridgestone Arena continue to be the best facility in the world for it's size.

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08-10-2010, 01:29 PM
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These signs are pointing to that the Predators are trying to get off the welfare system of the NHL called revenue sharing. This system was set up to aid the franchises in need but not a permanent fix. Poile I'm sure has told the owners that he can assemble a championship but they need financial help. The Del Baggio thing going away and potential buyers coming aboard and new blood in management should go along way to acheiveing this

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08-10-2010, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Cogen will be CEO of the Predators, while Sean Henry will come from Tampa Bay and become chief operating officer. Ed Lang is leaving the Predators after serving as team president since 2007.
http://starsblog.dallasnews.com/arch...ake-new-j.html

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08-10-2010, 02:27 PM
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Cigarran and possibly others (ie: new hires?) to go on 104.5 FM this afternoon in 3 PM hour, possibly extending over into 4 PM hour again...

I'll be driving around during that time and am about 350 miles outside the reach of The Zone's signal, so anyone that is planning on listening and providing a recap would be greatly appreciated!

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08-10-2010, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLake View Post
I think more than anything this speaks to Tom Cigarran's comments regarding his leadership style from his radio interviews last month. In the interview, Cigarran said as the head of the company he has never been the smartest one at the table and should never be. He insists on hiring the brightest and best around to bring into the organizational brain trust to insure that every option is considered whenever a decision has to be made.

While we've had a great run thus far, we lost Hugh Lombardi to Boston's TDNorth Bank Gardens late last season and I think this is just a move by Cigarran to really increase the level of experience and knowledge within the organization to achieve their goal of making the Predators into a Stanley Cup Championship team and having Bridgestone Arena continue to be the best facility in the world for it's size.
I'd like to see the marketing department bolstered. Last year, through 3 quarters of the season, I think we had the best advertising\promotion in team history, and it reflected in the fact that we didn't take an attendance hit, despite the economy\lost STHs. When the previous marketing director left, the promotion came to an almost dead halt, with little advertising done even for the playoffs. I think getting in people's faces is key.

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08-10-2010, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrytrotzsneck View Post
I'd like to see the marketing department bolstered. Last year, through 3 quarters of the season, I think we had the best advertising\promotion in team history, and it reflected in the fact that we didn't take an attendance hit, despite the economy\lost STHs. When the previous marketing director left, the promotion came to an almost dead halt, with little advertising done even for the playoffs. I think getting in people's faces is key.
The Predators have hired several marketing positions this summer, but I'm not sure what, if anything, has been done yet to replace Derek Perez. I agree that this is one of the key areas where the team continues to need to improve and hope that the experience of both Cogen and Henry having worked for successful teams in non-traditional markets will pay off here in that respect.

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08-10-2010, 02:46 PM
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To me, it appears that there's been a cleaning of house and a commitment to making things work. Larger staffs.

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08-10-2010, 02:58 PM
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Press release from team:

Quote:
The Nashville Predators and the Bridgestone Arena are strengthening their top leadership with the addition of a new Chief Executive Officer and a new President/Chief Operating Officer for the NHL franchise and arena.

In a move aimed at continuing the positive momentum of the organization and strengthening business operations, the ownership group announced today that Jeff Cogen has been named CEO and Sean Henry will serve as President/COO.

Jeff Cogen comes to the Predators from the Dallas Stars, where he served as the franchise’s President and alternate league governor and was a Board Member overseeing the operation of Dallas’s American Airlines Center. Under Cogen’s leadership, the Stars were consistently in the top 10 in the NHL in attendance and considered the preeminent NHL Sun Belt franchise over the last 15 years.

“Jeff has an absolutely exceptional track record of transforming the business operations of major league sports teams, specifically hockey, and we are excited to bring his expertise and experience to our top business leadership position,” said Tom Cigarran, a member of the ownership group and Predators Chairman. “His ability to not only manage the business side of our organization, but to also expand the excitement of Predators hockey and the Bridgestone Arena on a citywide, regional and national level makes him the perfect person for the job.” Cogen will report directly to the Board. David Poile, President of Hockey Operations, will also continue to report directly to the Board. Cigarran continues as Predators Chairman.

Sean Henry comes to the Predators from the Tampa Bay Lightning and The St. Pete Times Forum, where he served as the interim CEO and, prior to that, as the team and arena’s COO since 1999. During his 11 years with the Lightning, Henry was instrumental in turning the franchise around by significantly growing suite and ticket revenues, expanding sponsorship revenues, structuring new partnerships with the city/county, and turning The St. Pete Times Forum into one of the busiest venues in the country. Henry brings a long history of success in the sports and entertainment industry, created by centering the organization on continuously improving the fan experience. Said Cigarran, “Sean is an exceptionally talented sports and entertainment executive whose experience, skill and commitment will add a major new dimension to our leadership team.”

Ed Lang, who served as President of the Nashville Predators since December 2007, will be leaving the organization after a transition period. “Being a part of the Predators has been gratifying professionally and personally,” Lang said. “However, at this stage of my career, it is time to move forward to the next chapter. I am excited about a number of new opportunities that I am considering. I will always be a Predators fan and look forward to the day the Predators win Nashville’s first Stanley Cup.” “Ed has worked tirelessly to build a foundation for future Predators’ success and we owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for his management of the team’s business operations,” Cigarran said. “Thanks to his hard work, the team is now positioned to greatly expand its reach, visibility and support in Tennessee and beyond.”
http://predators.nhl.com/club/news.h...id=DL|NSH|home

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08-10-2010, 03:14 PM
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Jeremy Gover from CellBlock 303 is at the press conference and tweeting updates @cellblock303

Quote:
Gerry Helper summarizing the #Preds summer and introducing the panel. http://twitpic.com/2dh09b
http://twitter.com/cellblock303/status/20818056857

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08-10-2010, 04:50 PM
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(EDITED FOR CLARITY)

Recap from the interview on 104.5: (Tom Cigarran, Sean and Jeff)

TOM CIGARRAN
- Bring years of experience in Southern markets where they had to compete with football, baseball and basketball, both succeeded in driving to financial and fan acceptance



- After he became Chairman, Cigarran realized after 3 weeks on the job that sports management is very different from general business, and he wasn't equipped to provide the level of excellence in decision-making; said to other owners they need to find "world class leadership" not just in hockey but in the type of market they were in. They started a search, interviewed lots of people, a head of an NFL team, baseball team, 3 NHL teams, other entertainment leaders. They were originally looking for 1 person, but Cigarran went to ownership after he met Jeff and Sean and said if they could get both these guys, this would be a home-run, and one of the strongest management teams not just in hockey, but in all of sports.



- Trying to build for the long-term, all about management, experience and leadership.


JEFF
- Jeff started with the circus (lol), one of the first places he took the Barnum circus to was Nashville, for 3-5 years. Fell in love with the community. Went to Red Wings after that, left to go to Dallas in 1993 as a moving franchise, in 1996 hopped over to Texas Rangers when Hicks bought that, doing both teams at the same time. Now back to Nashville.



- The mission is to be the elite franchise and Bridgestone to be the elite arena in the USA.



- Short-term goals are to drive television ratings, fill Bridgestone, and support Poile. Watched Poile as a competitor, great respect, he's a guy who can bring a championship if given the right tools, that's what this new management team needs to do, give Poile the tools he needs.



- On how they made Dallas a success, built skaing facilities in Dallas, went from 1 to 14 sheets of ice, and 4 to 144 hockey teams in high school. The best way to grow hockey is to put a stick in kids hands. Job 1 is to start exploring how to build facilities to grow youth and amateur hockey.



- Overcame football in Dallas, first commercial in Dallas "It's a lot like football, just on ice". It's football country, but sports fans are sports fans, football fans are being impacted by Predators, and there's room for everybody. Wish the Titans a lot of success, not competitors, they're complementary.


SEAN
- Sean started as a bus boy at 13, spent 10 years with the company that does food and beverage at Titan stadium, learned that industry, bounced around the country. After 20 years, brought on as chief operating officer at Tampa Bay.



- Best memory of the Stanley Cup year, year before, going into the summer, something was special. Buccaneers won the Superbowl, arena football team won championship, and there just seemed to be a sense that it was the Lightning's turn. First step is to fill the building. Also the year before the Cup, Martin St. Louis, a tiny player who no one thought would make the league, ended up winning the MVP which united youth hockey around the inspirational story of "if he can do it, anyone can".



- Primary duty for everyone in the organization is to fill the building, first and foremost. For Sean, it's to build on the foundation to solidify the brand and enhance the fan experience, no matter what happens on the ice or the stage. Emphasize that a great foundation already exists.



- Sean doesn't like the term "non-traditional hockey market". He defines Nashville as a "traditional entertainment market". Nashville is a smaller market, but that allows more intimacy. Look at Greenbay, wants Nashville to become that in hockey.



- Jeff notes that Dallas has all big-four sports, but Nashville only has NHL (though he does note college sports). Wants to take advantage of intimacy, touch fans at a greater level and create new ones.



- Jeff, networking is an acquired skills, under Ed Lang's leadership, team averages 14,500 fans, so not building from scratch, goal of Sean and Jeff is to grow to next level. Build on existing relationships.



- Has Jeff met with Jordin Tootoo? = Went to dinner with Poile and Sean last night, Tootoo came up, joked about the obnoxious whistles. They all laughed, I must be missing something.



- Enough time to put own stamp on organization?
Renewals up over 1/3 from last year.
Do not need a cultural change.
Predators are a community asset, this is a long-term play. Probably not much impact in October/November, ownership sees this as a long-term initiative.


Last edited by MarkMM: 08-10-2010 at 05:41 PM.
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08-10-2010, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMM View Post
Recap from the interview on 104.5: (Tom Cigarran, Sean and Jeff)
YOU ROCK!!! Got home in time to listen, but wasn't looking forward to typing out the notes...glad you did it!

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08-10-2010, 05:03 PM
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Quick interview this afternoon with outgoing Dallas Stars president Jeff Cogen...

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfa...n_talks_ve.php

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08-10-2010, 05:05 PM
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Video from afternoon press conference in the Patron Platinum Suite Level Club:

Sean Henry (new President and COO):
http://video.predators.nhl.com/video...d=737&id=74488

Jeff Cogen (new CEO):
http://video.predators.nhl.com/video...d=737&id=74487

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