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Inside the Organization: Preds President Sean Henry Radio Interview on 104.5 The Zone

Wednesday, 04.18.2012 / 4:27 PM CT / Features
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Inside the Organization: Preds President Sean Henry Radio Interview on 104.5 The Zone
Sean Henry, president and COO of the Nashville Predators, was recently interviewed on 104.5 The Zone’s business segment. Several topics were discussed, including the benefits of playoff hockey, tremendous fan support, translating the team’s success into season tickets sales, the challenge in scheduling games in such a busy arena and the increasing respect the team is receiving from national and international media.


104.5: Exciting times for the franchise, tell us about it.
Sean Henry: It’s a fun time of year. You’re up 3 to 1. The first two playoff games had very little red, and I think Friday will be another example of maturation for our franchise.


104.5:  How do you make everything work with season ticket push?
Sean Henry: We are where we want to be. Five years ago when the franchise was saved, we knew this day would come. The only way to get tickets to Friday’s game is by being a season ticket holder next year. Leveraging playoffs into a galvanized fan base is what we need and want to do to continue to establish this franchise.


104.5: 22 sellouts this year (25, interjects Sean)!
Sean Henry:  It’s fun when the players are discussing that there is a sellout rather than business writers wondering if there are 14,000 in the building. Once we get fans in once or twice, we know we will have them hooked. There is nothing like playoff hockey to get fans excited and in the building.


104.5: How are individual sponsorships sold, and what are some of the playoff revenue streams?
Sean Henry: Our sponsors can take their message and make them more focused for the playoffs. You can put your brand on top of the extreme excitement being created - example: gold T-shirts.

Bridgestone renewed their deal two to three years early, and Nissan has furthered their brand. The playoffs make it a little bit easier to make that brand known.


104.5: What are franchises doing to combat ticket brokers?
Sean Henry: This is how you see visiting fans flooding arenas. Ten years ago scalping became legal. During the playoffs, we try to lock people into long-term commitments. We still do $10 day-of tickets where one guy can only buy two tickets. With scalpers, we get 50 people who have a fake ticket, and there is nothing they can do. Whether it is online or in person, the best way to get a ticket is through a sales rep.


104.5: What is tough about scheduling games with concerts and other events?
Sean Henry: When we get to April, May, June, we try not to book events on back-to-back dates. We have more shows than we’ve ever had before. It’s exciting when we have to talk to the league every day about how we will lay games out. Going from music to hockey to music is great.


104.5: Tell us about the dehumidifier.
Sean Henry: We brought one in for the last game of season and now have six. We will install permanent dehumidifiers for future seasons. Our goal is to give players consistent ice in front of the fans.


104.5: How much does a long run in the playoffs help the bottom line of the franchise?
Sean Henry: It doesn’t for each round. What happens is it sets you up for legacy sales for five to six years. The memories and attachment is what does it. A lot of money goes to revenue-sharing of the league, so the best part is growing the fans in the building.


104.5: What pride do you and CEO Jeff Cogen take of the ambiance in the arena?
Sean Henry: It’s always been here. I think the national and international audiences are taking note because of our wins in last year’s playoffs. It’s nice to hear the hockey experts say how great the games are here, and we want to build the legacy.

You just don’t read the negative articles as much. It’s like the Canadian media from Vancouver came down and realized this is a growing market, and there is just not much to criticize.

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 8 2 4 2 6
S. Weber 8 2 3 -3 5
R. Johansen 8 2 3 1 5
R. Josi 8 0 4 -3 4
M. Ekholm 8 2 1 1 3
J. Neal 8 2 1 -2 3
F. Forsberg 8 1 2 -4 3
M. Fisher 8 2 0 -4 2
C. Smith 5 1 1 3 2
R. Ellis 8 0 2 0 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 4 4 0 .915 2.53
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .000 0.00