The Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Miami is proving to be a lucrative location for the National Football League’s hospitality company On Location Experiences, which is expecting a 15% increase in revenue for Super Bowl LIV next month, according to league officials.
OLE, which creates one-of-a-kind, luxury Super Bowl packages that include tickets, food, entertainment and even lodging to see the game, expects to make roughly $200 million in revenue off the weekend, according to company officials. The packages cost any where from $5,000 to $35,000 per person and — depending on how much you’re willing to spend — can include private parties with NFL legends, private concerts and on-field access during the Lombardi Trophy ceremony. This year’s game in Miami, set for Feb. 2 at the Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium, is giving sales a big boost, according to OLE Chief Revenue Officer Sam Soni.
“We’ve always found [it] to be a great destination,” Soni said. “There’s a lot to do there, the weather is great.”
Last year, OLE generated roughly $175 million in revenue from Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. In 2018, the company grossed more than $140 million from Super Bowl LII in Minnesota.
The NFL, which founded OLE, sold off most of it to a group of private investors — RedBird Capital and Bruin Sports Capital — in 2015 after a controversial Super Bowl year in which ticket resellers left fans in a lurch by revoking their pricey tickets.
Many ticket brokers sell Super Bowl tickets to fans weeks before they actually buy them, hoping prices drop on secondary resale sites before they are purchased. Since the league doesn’t release Super Bowl tickets until about a week before the championship game, questions started to arise about the legitimacy of ticket inventory sold by outside agencies
Kevin LaForce, the NFL’s senior vice president of media business development, said the league has seen “improvement over the last three or four years” since RedBird and Bruin Sports bought a majority stake in 2015. The Carlyle Group later bought a small stake of OLE.
Sale to Endeavor
Last week, the group sold their holdings in OLE to entertainment agency Endeavor, which now owns more than 80% of OLE. The NFL retained the rest but wants a bigger share, looking to increase its ownership stake to about 32%, representing 1% per team, people familiar with the deal told CNBC.
The NFL declined to verify the specific details of its new agreement with Endeavor.
“By bringing together a leader like On Location with Endeavor’s access and reach, we can advance the way consumers and brands think about money-can’t-buy experiences,” Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel said in a statement announcing the transaction. “Partnering with the NFL will enable us to leverage the best-in-class executions around one of the biggest events in the world, the Super Bowl,” he said, adding that Endeavor could branch out into other sports and entertainment events.
Financial details of the transaction weren’t disclosed, but people with knowledge of the agreement confirmed that Endeavor paid roughly $660 million for its stake in OLE. Carlyle, RedBird Capital and Bruin Sports Capital purchased a majority stake in OLE from the NFL for over $70 million in 2015, according to people familiar with that deal.
LaForce said one of the reasons the league approved the sale and license transfer was the appeal of Endeavor’s entertainment portfolio, which the NFL hopes to leverage to enhance the fan experience.
Endeavor is one of the top talent agencies in the U.S., managing musicians like Adele, Bruno Mars, Drake, Camila Cabello and Kendrick Lamar.
“We thought that can really help the business and continue to make it [OLE] an increasingly strategic asset for us as a league,” LaForce said, “but also more broadly in the market place around sports and entertainment.”
Current CEO John Collins will transition to an advisory role while Paul Caine, a former executive at Bloomberg and Time Inc., takes over the helm of OLE.
‘On the Fifty’
OLE has put together four different packages with the most expensive plan, the “On the Fifty” Super Bowl LIV package, costing between $19,500 and $35,000 per person. The “On the Fifty” package includes a bottle of Dom Pérignon, tickets on the 50-yard-line behind the team’s bench, access to an all-inclusive pregame party at Miami stadium’s exclusive 72 Club with a special musical performance by a surprise “A-list” artist, post-game field access during the Lombardi Trophy presentation and celebrity meet-and-greets with football legends like Dan Marino, among other amenities.
“The 72 Club is something that we’re pretty excited to see,” Soni said. “We think it’s going to be one of the best products we’ve ever put together for the Super Bowl.”
While the least expensive packages, starting at $5,000, don’t come with on-field access and exclusive A-list parties, they do include great seats, premium food and drinks, visits from NFL legends and dedicated stadium entrances and parking, among other perks.
The Dolphins Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Walls said “people want the best experience, and they’re willing to pay for that if you provide them an experience that they can’t get somewhere else. An experience that’s above or at the standard they expect for spending that type of money.”
OLE has sold close to 90% of its 800 “On the Fifty” packages, which can include hotel accommodations in Miami, a private traffic lane into the stadium with the option of door-to-stadium black car service, said Soni.
The event is “our best example of what we do and the different experiences we offer,” he added.
Other OLE packages for Super Bowl LIV include the “Legends” offering, which starts at roughly $10,000.
The “54 Live” packages begin at $7,500 with seats located in the 100 to 200 level sections of Hard Rock Stadium, and the “Touchdown Club” for $5,000 apiece. All packages include unlimited beer, wine, cocktails, and soft drinks, including a menu curated by a celebrity chef.