Jason Wright touts Commanders ticket sales and sponsorships

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Washington Commanders team president Jason Wright said the team’s sponsorship and ticket sales were up, its rebranding went better than he expected and that he would continue to weigh in on social media if he felt his players and team were “disrespected”.

In an extensive interview with reporters ahead of Washington’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Saturday at FedEx Field, Wright spoke on a myriad of topics about the team — including its business and marketing operations and its workplace culture – as well as his recent social media comments. media about a local television interview, which caught everyone’s attention.

Washington has already sold more tickets this season than it did in its entire 2021 campaign, according to Wright.

“But a big part of that is that the subscription membership base has grown so much,” Wright said. “And that’s the foundation on which attendance is built. … We couldn’t be happier with the progress that has been made. We have the impression of being at the maximum. »

Wright, 40, declined to provide specific numbers on sequel and ticket sales because he “doesn’t want to get ahead of my team so he can tell his story.” But he said the overall renewal rate for commanders on subscriptions has increased by 15% and the renewal rate for sequels has increased by almost 30%.

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Joey Colby-Begovich, Washington vice president of customer experience, detailed the team’s ongoing rebranding, including installing more local food options at the stadium, kiosks to improve the efficiency of grants and art commissions. There’s a new 44-member animation team and the marching band is back. The team also unveiled its revamped fight song on Saturday and will soon be holding a fan vote for a new mascot, which will be revealed early next year.

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The Commanders’ renaming – which saw the team evolve from its controversial former moniker to the temporary name “Washington Football Team” for Commanders in February – has created challenges. Wright admitted that Washington lost season ticket holders during the first stage of this name change, when it operated as the Washington Football Team.

“Little by little we are getting these people back, but it’s definitely not because of the new name and identity,” he said. “There is a set of fans, which I would say is probably smaller, who came back to the team because the old name was canceled, but if you talk about the balance, probably more on the left than on the left. come back.”

Wright said much of Washington’s transformation has gone back in time and reopened to old-timers. The rebranding is ‘intentionally not meant to feel like an expansion team’, he said, so several alumni appearances have been timed to stay close to ‘legacy’ of the team.

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Anheuser-Busch did not renew its beer sponsorship this year, and a naming rights deal with Inova for the Washington training center in Ashburn expired. Still, overall sponsorship was another area Wright said the team improved significantly.

“You’d think that with the public headwinds we’ve been facing, we’d be out of sponsorship,” he said. “But we are up in categories, in total, year after year. We anticipate a double-digit increase in overall sponsorship. This will be our biggest sponsorship [revenue] total since 2005.

During Wright’s tenure as team president, Washington operated amid multiple investigations stemming from allegations of sexual harassment by former employees, as well as an ongoing investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on the work culture of the team and the owner Daniel Snyder.

Wright said on Saturday that “Ghosts of the Christmas Past” added challenges to his work, but “all of us here signed up knowing that” and “all the big issues and headlines that no longer exist in the world.” ‘organization”.

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He continued, “But everyone who came here had an aspiration to completely overturn something, and it’s really in the day-to-day interactions, because although there were great things that made headlines, the real change and change in the culture of this organization is how we interact with people on a daily basis. … It’s very different.”

Wright made headlines on Friday when he responded to a reporter who published an excerpt from an interview with Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz. The reporter asked Wentz about his careers in Philadelphia and Indianapolis, and Wright was the exception.

“Thankfully Carson has shown grace and class in response to this pompous and unprofessional mess,” Wright tweeted. “I recognize that you have earned your living through childish provocation, but it must be exposed. Don’t expect special access and good luck building relationships with the guys.

On Saturday, Wright said he thought it was “appropriate to defend our guy and defend our team in a direct and equal way.”

“I think what you’ll see me doing more often is making sure we treat each other more positively,” he said. “I think we’ve done enough work over the past two years to create a healthy culture within the organization and an honest way of working with all of you, that we can take a lot of criticism. … But it has to be done with respect.

Stage progression: Wright touched on a number of other topics, including the ongoing search for a new location for the stadium. He said the team is closer to finding a location in Maryland, DC or Virginia than last year, and said he expects the team “to be able to meet our calendar “. Commanders are contractually obligated to perform at FedEx Field through 2027.

Week 1 attendance projection: Wright said he expects a 15% increase in tickets sold for Washington’s season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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