Results tagged ‘ Legends Hospitality ’
The Yankees were named the 2012 MLB “Club Retailer of the Year” by Major League Baseball Properties for the Club’s commitment to driving merchandise sales. The Yankees and Legends Hospitality, led by Legends general manager of retail Michael Loparo, earned the honor based on significant improvements to the Yankee Stadium clubhouse store as well as consistent product innovation and reinvention.
Since its inception in 2005, the MLB “Club Retailer of the Year” Award has been awarded based on a combination of sales, vendor/customer feedback and creative marketing and merchandising efforts. In 2012, the Yankees focused on advancing the retail experience of their fans and customer base. A New Era Tajima embroidery machine was added to the Great Hall at the Stadium to offer fans a personalized experience, resulting in increased interest in headwear. The team store was completely redesigned, including a restructuring of the floor plan to create a streamlined approach for the customer. The Yankees also worked with MLB to place Astroturf in the store to feature the Authentic Collection On-field Areas.
The Yankees and Legends Hospitality worked with MLB’s design services department to create new graphics for three key locations to add dimension and consistent branding. Other areas of innovation and development were the addition of the MLB and Victoria’s Secret PINK co-branded line and a Yankees Knievel Motorcycle in front of the store.
“The demand among fans for Yankees merchandise and other licensed products is always strong given the iconic nature of the team and their brand, but the Yankees deserve special praise for not resting on their laurels and continuing to innovate and provide creative new ways for fans to express their team pride,” MLB senior vice president for licensing Howard Smith said. “The clubhouse store at Yankee Stadium has evolved considerably just in the four years since the new ballpark opened. Mike Loparo and the Yankees are especially deserving of this honor.”
“This honor is a great compliment to the talented people we have working at Legends Hospitality,” Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said. “The Yankees and Legends Hospitality have always tried to provide fans with products that reflect a variety of tastes while remaining respectful of Yankees tradition. We appreciate the recognition and look forward to building on our success by continuing to provide the best possible products and experience at Yankee Stadium.”
“We are extremely honored to be recognized by Major League Baseball,” Legends Hospitality president Dan Smith said. “Mike Loparo and his team work with great passion to develop new and original retail offerings that complement the culture and enthusiasm of the Yankees and their fan base. We are fortunate to be able to work closely with the Yankees in developing these innovations and share their unmatched devotion to delivering an unsurpassed customer service experience for their fans each and every time they come to the ballpark.”
Previous recipients of the award have been the Mariners in 2005, Mets in 2006, Phillies in 2007, Brewers in 2008, Reds in 2010 and Tigers in 2011.
Yankee Stadium may seem an odd place to hold a reception for a support group honoring the survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide until you hear Agnes Gasana speak about the Yankees.
“Of course, we know who they are,” she said. “My boys are Yankees fans. It’s a global team. My daughter now has a Yankees t-shirt.”
She is the wife of Eugene-Richard Gasana, the Rwandan Ambassador to the United Nations. Son Ivan Kagame was with her Wednesday evening in the H&R Block Lounge on the Suite Level where the women of Yankee Stadium joined forces with Same Sky to honor the HIV-positive women artisans who have hand-crafted bracelets through its trade-not-aid initiative to affect change in Rwanda.
“It’s great to showcase our cause to the world and help support the organization,” Kagame said. “It gives us some dignity and show that we are working toward something. Everybody watches the Yankees.”
Founded in 2008, Same Sky is a fair-trade company whose mission is to inspire a movement of women empowering women as part of the global effort of lifting women out of poverty by giving them tools to become entrepreneurs and lead self-sustaining lives. The bracelets are made of hand-blown glass beads and crocheted by women artisans. Each bracelet carries the signature of the woman who made it.
The event was hosted by Safe Sky founder Francine LeFrak, Yankees assistant general manager Jean Afterman, Mindy Franklin Levine and Sadye Zillo of Women of the New York Yankees organization, Legends Hospitality, the YES Network and Securitas to bring awareness to this cause. This was not some old-fashioned Ladies Day turnout.
“The Yankees’ brand is a global brand,” Ackerman said. “We can bring attention to this effort. We don’t think of it as a traditional fund-raiser. The goal is for this program to be self-sustaining. It’s great to see [team president] Randy Levine and [general manager] Brian Cashman wearing the colored bracelets. The organization brought some black bracelets for the men. It’s good to see them come out of their shell.”
“This is a dream come true,” LeFrak said. “It is our mission at Same Sky to give our artisans the freedom to make these choices. We aim to provide these women with a reliable income that will lead to independence, economic empowerment and hope for a better future. This is about empowering women. The women with the Yankees are all about empowerment.”
“That comes from Mr. [George] Steinbrenner,” Afterman said. “He used to tell people that he was a sexist, yet he was always interesting in hiring the best people, many of whom were women. When I first came here, I was really impressed with how many women were in key positions.”
Many of those women were proudly displaying bracelets Wednesday night. More information about the movement is available at http://www.samesky.com.