Thursday, July 14, 2011

Red Bulls Cleaning House on Marketing Side

Heck is Not Wasting Time
When the Red Bulls replaced General Manager Erik Stover with longtime NBA executive Chris Heck a few weeks ago, it was a signal that an era had ended. Stover, a specialist in stadium operations, was the right man to lead the club through the transition from East Rutherford to Harrison, but perhaps not the right person to take the club forward as a legitimate force on the New York sports scene.

Today, Heck began the process of transition, first with the firing of longtime Hispanic executives Ernesto Motta and Robert Sierra. This has been followed, sources tell The Viper's Nest, with the dismissal of the Red Bulls' Vice President of Marketing Andrew Lafiosca, who had been with the organization since 2006, after arriving from Red Bull North America.

Taken together, the moves are a strong signal that Red Bull has grown impatient with sub-20,000 crowds at Red Bull Arena and the almost complete lack of marketing presence in the greater New York market. Expect to see additional personnel moves in the coming weeks, as Heck implements a more aggressive sales and marketing strategy.

P.S. Also released as part of the marketing purge was John Gangone, RBNY's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Clearly the focus is on getting more butts in seats at Red Bull Arena. Both Lafiosca and Gangone's names have been removed from the staff list on the Red Bulls' website. They don't waste any time...
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