Posts Tagged ‘Lee Zeidman’

THE STAPLES CENTER / LA LIVE

May 24, 2009

With the exception of how we procured our tickets  (at the very last minute…thank you Lee) to the Taylor Swift show on Friday night, we did everything the way any other paying customer would…but felt like a VIP at the Staples Center / LA Live complex. 

Now I know in the past I’ve said that the Nokia Theatres are “a little too AMC Theater” looking for me, but my families experience was so good at The Staples Center, it took me out of my writing cocoon that I’ve been in for a while (sorry about that everyone).  Let’s start with driving to the venue.  It couldn’t be easier.  If you know me, than you know that after 4-years living in LA (in July… god how time flies), I still don’t know my way around at all.  Now I have a navigation system in my car…a car I’ve had since 2005…but I’m still not exactly sure how to use it.  None of this mattered.   We drove straight from our house in Woodland Hills to The Staples Center. 

The parking garage we pulled into is across the street from the arena on the “LA Live” side and has valet parking.  $25 to valet your car in downtown Los Angeles for an event, that’s pretty good when you consider it cost just as much to park in a shitty lot down the street.  My wife and kids were just blown away by the cleanliness of the garage and escalators (the girls thought the blue lights were really cool), and proficiency of the staff.  We were soon up on the sidewalk where there is a plethora of restaurants, bars and distractions.  Right across the street, the box office to the Staples Center. 

No lines at the box office, I show my I.D. and the polite woman at the window asks me to wait one moment…”sign here please”…and away we go.  There’s an entrance right next to the box office and there were lines at every door since they were using metal detectors.  But the lines moved fast and the staff, very friendly. 

The next thing that impressed me was the men’s room.  As I started to pee, I read a placard on the side of the urinal that talked about how it was an Eco-friendly urinal and each saves 40,000 gallons of water per year.  Boy, makes you feel good to go to the bathroom.  Maybe I should pee more?

I could go on and on about concessions, ushers, security, etc, but lets just say that Lee Zeidman and his crew run a great operation.  When leaving we thought about the big mistake we made…valet parking.  How long would it take us to get our car with a concert letting out at Staples and Nokia at the exact same time???  Well, they have that covered too.  You put your ticket into the machine to pay.  It takes cash or credit.  Once you pay, the machine automatically orders your car and it is sitting in front of you in minutes.  We were back in Woodland Hills in half-an-hour…where the real party began. 

I’ll pay for service like that any day.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Congratulations to everyone at The Staples Center for running one great venue.  We could all learn a few lessons from them.

Speak with you soon…and I promise to write about the WMA / Endeavor merger soon.

Jim

p.s. – yes I paid for my tickets.

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IT’S OFFICIAL…LIVE NATION AND TICKETMASTER TO MERGE

February 10, 2009

It has been reported…. well, everywhere but I took it from the Wall Street Journal’s online “MarketWatch” newsletter that…well they can say it better than me.

By MarketWatch
Last update: 1:50 p.m. EST Feb. 10, 2009
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Live Nation Inc. and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. said Tuesday that they’ve agreed to merge in a $2.5 billion all-stock deal that would create the nation’s top ticket provider, artist-management group and concert promoter.

Wow, that’s a lot…”the nation’s top ticket provider, artist-management group and concert promoter.”  What does this mean to you and me for 2009?  Probably not much.  Although almost everyone who writes on the subject believes that this deal with pass national and international antitrust regulators (although there may have to be some concessions made), there will still likely be scrutiny on both sides of the the Atlantic…which takes time.  The all-stock deal is expected to be completed in the second half of 2009 according to MarketWatch, so one would assume that operations of the combined companies wouldn’t begin till January, 2010.  But what then?

Live Nation Entertainment, Inc will control most concert and professional sports venue ticketing, there is no question.  So fans, show producers and independent promoters won’t see “convenience charges” and other ticketing fees coming down anytime soon.  Frontline’s client’s aren’t going to drop their guarantees, so ticket prices aren’t coming down either.  Again, there is nothing really changing here.  The real bright spot in this deal could be fan service.

There are plenty of smart people at Live Nation and TicketMaster.  Put them together with talent, buildings, and technology, and the fan could actually end-up being the winner of this merger.  Call me a dreamer, but think about it for a second.  The buildings, sports teams and bands can’t put-up with poor customer service.  Lee Zeidman from the Staples Center/Nokia Live told me that if there is a customer with a ticketing problem of any kind, it doesn’t matter who is at fault (promoter, ticketing company, fan club, radio station, etc) it becomes his staff’s job to solve that problem.  The fan doesn’t know the difference, only that their sound sucks, can’t see the stage, didn’t get the seats they were promised, or whatever the issue is. 

So if everything we read is true and there is a merger, we should be able to count on better service for fans in 2010.  It only makes sense since it is in the artist, manager, promoter, producer, and ticketing company…everyone’s best interest to keep the fan happy. 

Talk with you soon…

Jim

CMO AT LIVE NATION???

January 29, 2009

There is a rumor circulating that Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, has hired former CAA Marketing agent Seth Matlins in the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer.  If it is true (and I believe it is), it will be the first time that I’m aware of that a concert promoter has brought in someone from outside music to oversee marketing.  This would be big news. 

Seth is also a good fit in the world of Branded Live Entertainment.  Matlins was one of the senior people at CAA Marketing.  While at CAA he oversaw big-brand accounts including Coke, Visa, Starwood Hotels, eBay, Delta Airlines, Harley Davidson, and Hasbro…and he is smart.  Seth knows how to put the pieces together and is well connected in Hollywood as well as Madison Avenue.  Russell Wallach(who runs the sponsorship side of Live Nation) could find new ways to work with his clients through Seth.  Points to Live Nation on this one.  Now it’s time to tackle customer service.

Speaking of customer service, I’m moderating the Customer Service in the Concert Industry panel at the Concert Industry Consortium tomorrow, January 30th @ 3:30 pm in the Santa Monica Room @ the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in LA.  The panelists are Geoff Boucher, The Los Angeles Times; Rick Mueller, Live Nation; Lee Zeidman, Staples Center/Nokia Theatre, and Patrick May, Skyline Music.  We will have free beer and wine at the event to serve you better.  Please come by.

Talk with you soon…

Jim