Marc de Grandpre is responsible for the overall commercial health of the New York Red Bulls. In an interview with ROI-NJ, the RBNY General Manager revealed his club enjoyed a very good year from the perspective of its key commercial vital signs:
We generated the highest revenue figures in franchise history this year, which included ticket sales revenue growing by 14 percent. For the first time in club history, we had 100 percent renewal from our marketing partners, and increased the number of total partners by 25 percent. The food and beverage per-caps at Red Bull Arena reached an all-time high, culminating in a total revenue record for the organization.
He went on to note merchandise sales were up significantly both at Red Bull Arena and online. And he gave special mention to the creators of RBNY’s Official Empanada: local restaurant and bakery, Brisas.
Their specialty empanadas have taken on a cult following at Red Bull Arena and sales have exceeded all expectations on match days. The viral social media presence has been unprecedented for a local marketing partner.
There is evidence to suggest all Red Bull Global Soccer teams are under pressure to make themselves viable and sustainable businesses, increasingly able to stand on their own feet without relying on the helping hand of billionaire beverage magnate Papa Red Bull. If that is the goal for RBNY, it isn’t entirely clear how close it is getting to it. But surely it is closer now than it was before. De Grandpre’s 2018 end-of-year report seems likely to be pleasing to the RBGS leadership that appointed him.
RBNY fans are of course entitled to more mixed feelings. Supporting a healthy balance sheet isn’t perhaps as rewarding as cheering for a winning team - though RBNY has supplied both options this year - and the experience of contributing to the Red Bulls’ winning commercial strategy is occasionally difficult to separate from the sensation that one is slowly slipping into insolvency.