As some of you may know, I’m approaching the age people often start to consider their road to retirement. The idea of slowing down just a little, maybe not working quite so hard or traveling as often becomes more of a priority. And that’s been my reality over the past 6 months – I’ve been evaluating my plan toward enjoying the “golden years” with my family.
For me, it will be more of a gradual move than a sudden one. VenueNext has been extremely near and dear to my heart since its inception in 2013, and I have no intention of saying goodbye anytime soon. More on that in a minute.
Several months ago, the VenueNext board of directors and I started looking for my successor as CEO. This person needed to obviously know their stuff when it comes to both connected venue technology and sports, but who also had a desire to further expand the power of the VenueNext platform to other industries like healthcare, hospitality and beyond, and to other geographies globally. And they had big shoes to fill in terms of their love and commitment to VenueNext customers, partners, and employees.
After months of interviewing some incredibly talented candidates, it turns out we didn’t have to look further than one of our own customers. I’m incredibly excited to announce that today, we have named Anthony Perez, former chief marketing officer for the NBA’s Orlando Magic, as the new CEO of VenueNext.
The Orlando Magic was the first NBA team to implement the VenueNext platform, an initiative Anthony was instrumental in. The Magic have since created one of the best mobile-first personalized experiences in all of sports and can boast dramatic and consistent increases in season ticket holder retention and satisfaction, as well as increased revenues in food & beverage, merchandise and more. Anthony also coined the concept of virtual currency (Magic Money) that has driven 75% of in-app purchases at Amway Center and has led other sports teams to deploy similar programs with VenueNext.
Anthony’s background in finance and sports, including roles across analytics, strategy and CMO in his 10 year tenure at the Magic, and his vision to expand the VenueNext platform beyond sports into other industries, made him an ideal choice for the position. Anthony believes VenueNext has great momentum and is excited to scale and build the next phase of the company:
“I’m incredibly excited to join VenueNext. I’ve worked closely with the VenueNext team over the past 3 years and believe in the vision and the platform that they have built and that the Magic adopted. Beyond great momentum in sports, VenueNext has huge potential to gain a foothold in other verticals as well as to expand internationally. I have a great rapport with the team and I’m honored to build upon their accomplishments.”
As for me – I will take the role of VenueNext’s vice chairman and advisor and will be actively involved in the company’s long-term strategy and customer evangelism. That includes supporting Anthony in our more aggressive expansion in Europe. Anthony’s appointment and my move will both be effective on Monday, July 30th.
It’s been an absolute pleasure and thrill to lead VenueNext for the past 5 years. I’ve never worked with a greater, more dedicated team which is an invaluable attribute to have. I have full confidence in Anthony to take the company to the next level and I’m personally very excited about what’s ahead for VenueNext (and me).