Barclays CEO Yormark to help run franchise as it readies for Brooklyn
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Take that little brother!
Brett Yormark, the older twin brother -- by a few fleeting seconds -- of Florida Panthers President Michael Yormark, now has an NHL team of his own to run.
Yormark, the CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, was officially named the strategic director of business operations for the New York Islanders on Wednesday as the franchise prepares to land in Downtown Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season, if not sooner.
According to a release from Brooklyn Arena, LLC., the parent company of the Barclays Center, Yormark and his personnel team will work with the Islanders’ business operations department to offer strategic direction for Islanders tickets and suites sales, sponsorship sales, marketing, and business communications during the team’s final two seasons on Long Island and following its move to Brooklyn.
Leading up to the transition, Barclays Center has been collaborating with the Islanders on their business plans for the past several months.
This news comes just as the Nassau Coliseum announced Wednesday that Forest City Ratner Companies and Madison Square Garden Company were the two finalists for a multimillion-dollar overhaul and renovation of the Islanders' current home, the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano was originally slated to make a final decision on the bid by this coming Monday, but has since pushed back that deadline to mid-August.
The Islanders, who are coming off their first playoff season since 2007 and are owned by Brooklyn Tech alum Charles Wang, announced earlier this year that they are locked in to a 25-year, iron-clad agreement to join the Nets at Barclays beginning in 2015.
Yormark, who has masterminded the Nets' business and marketing operations since Ratner assumed ownership of the franchise a decade ago before dealing his majority share to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, has already finalized a deal that will have the Islanders play an exhibition game at Barclays in September.
With Yormark running the business side, the Islanders' hockey operations will remain under the leadership of President and General Manager Garth Snow.
“We are excited to collaborate our business efforts with Barclays Center,” Wang said. “Brett Yormark and his staff have established a sound business model in Brooklyn. With the eventual move to Barclays Center, it is imperative that we begin this process to ensure the business side of the organization is fully prepared when we call Barclays Center home. By combining our talented staff with the proven practices and management at Barclays Center, this will energize our fan base and convince new fans that the future is extremely bright for the New York Islanders.”
“The Islanders are coming off a terrific season and we are excited to build on their success,” added Yormark. “Our business team at Barclays Center has met with every employee in the Islanders’ business operations and we look forward to working with them in preparation for the team’s move to Brooklyn. We plan to utilize many of the same strategies we have employed at Barclays Center in growing the Islanders fan base and building their brand. I want to thank Charles Wang for having the confidence in us to make the business side of the Islanders the most successful in the NHL.”
Coming off of their dramatic first-round playoff series with Pittsburgh, the Islanders have seen a tremendous increase in new season ticket sales and renewals, as well as new sponsorship alliances.
The Islanders have experienced a surge of 2,200 new season tickets, as well as a robust 86 percent season ticket renewal rate, an uptick of 11 percent from last season, for the upcoming campaign.
Last October, when Barclays announced its plans to host the Islanders, Yormark intimated that he had informed his brother that he was changing allegiances.
"I told him, I'm all Islanders now," he said.
Sounds like it's time for another phone call.