ALSD VIRTUAL PANEL: The Plan to Innovate and Differentiate

In the Association of Luxury Suite Directors’ newest Virtual Panel, ALSD called on Michael Sarage, Jake Vernon and Dionna Widder to offer perspective on how best to modify and safeguard premium client benefits and experiences in a COVID-19 world.


Now is the time for sports business professionals to work on their business instead of in their business in order to rethink their business in changing circumstances.


It’s the time to reimagine the fan journey, to examine how to best attract interested fans now with a soft approach and convert them into buyers later. It’s the time to make friends, not money, to be ultra-intentional with client engagement with structured touchpoints.


It’s the time to innovate and think differently, but also to tap into sentiment and nostalgia with a handwritten note, to over-deliver on what’s contractually obligated to customers, to consider expenses beyond the original budget.


In this ALSD virtual panel discussion, the Association illustrates a variety of solutions for adapting premium benefits to a reality with restrictions on mass gatherings. Focus on safety protocols and sanitation. Be mindful of fan fears and how to remove them in venues.


Fast-track technology upgrades and shorten learning curves for fans associated with these upgrades.


Build a plan now, able and ready for execution the moment the economy opens again.


Introductions/Housekeeping Notes: 0:15

Give Back Events Initiative 8:40

Service Doesn’t Stop 10:51

The Changing Customer Journey 11:52

Over-Delivering High Levels of Service 14:40

Make Friends, Not Money 16:29

Building a New Benefits Platform 18:26

Bringing Clients Back to the Venue 22:21

Contract and Package Flexibility 25:27

Prospective Industries and Opportunities to Keep an Eye On 27:50

Fast-Tracking Digital and F&B Initiatives 34:13

Shortening Fan Learning Curves for New Experiences 39:28

Celebrating a Return of the Games 43:26


Discussion Moderated By: Amanda Verhoff, President, ALSD



Michael Sarage, Director of Premium & Business Development, Detroit Pistons
Jake Vernon, Vice President of Sales & Service, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx
Dionna Widder, Chief Revenue Officer, Houston Dynamo and Dash




ALSDvirtualpanel SportsBiz #ALSD #Hospitality #SportsHospitality 


ALSD International, Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector being held at Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium, will include a conference examining how to increase revenue through new builds, renovations & service expansions, and how to recoup lost revenue due to COVID-19. The event will also feature an exhibition hall showcasing the latest products, services & solutions, behind-the-scenes tours of Anfield, Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena, and networking events ensuring optimised opportunities to knowledge-share and do business.



#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector


#ALSD – Leading the Premium Seat industry for the last 30 years




#sportsvenuebusiness – the leading platform for sector news, views & developments


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