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Scott Orn

Scott Orn, CFA

Andrew Miller, Chief Operating Officer of the Minnesota Vikings, talks about overseeing the business operations for an NFL franchise

Posted on: 09/06/2022

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller

Chief Operating Officer - Minnesota Vikings

Andrew Miller of Minnesota Vikings - Podcast Summary

Andrew Miller, Chief Operating Officer of the Minnesota Vikings, talks about his sports and educational background and how that led him into operations management for two MLB teams and into his current position, overseeing the business operations for an NFL franchise.

Andrew Miller of Minnesota Vikings - Podcast Transcript

Scott: Hey. It’s Scott Orn of Kruze Consulting and thanks for joining us on Founders and Friends for another awesome podcast. Let’s give a quick shout out to the Kruze Consulting accounting team. We’re very fortunate. We have a ton of people at Kruze who work on the monthly books for our clients and get them all set up, due diligence ready, rocking every month, answering all the clients’ questions, making all those adjustments, and there’s no better moment for a founder and for us really, when a founder says, “Hey. I think I’m going to get a term sheet. Are my books ready for diligence?” And we get to say, “Yes. They are. Fire away. Send them over. Give them access.” That is a great feeling. It’s the feeling that lets us know we’ve done a job very well done and nothing is better than watching that cash hit the bank account.
Scott: So if you are a venture-backed startup, you’re going out to fundraise, maybe check us out. Check us out at We love what we do. At taping here, I think we have 575 clients. Clients raised over a billion dollars this year so we know what we’re doing and hopefully we can help you be successful in your fundraise. All right. Let’s get to the podcast. Thanks.
Singer: So when your troubles are mounting in tax or accounting, you go to Kruze from Founders and Friends. It’s Kruze Consulting. Founders and Friends with your host, Scotty Orn.
Scott: To Founders and Friends podcast with Scott Orn at Kruze Consulting and today my very special guest is Andrew Miller of the Minnesota Vikings. Welcome Andrew.
Andrew: Thanks for having me Scott.
Scott: He’s flying the company/football team colors hair with the beautiful purple shirt there. Andrew’s a longtime friend of mine and you’ve got an amazing story. So maybe just retrace your career a little bit and tell us how you ended up at the Vikings.
Andrew: Absolutely. I don’t want to be redundant to the past episode I did on your show, but I grew up in Southern California, a huge sports fan, played sports growing up, and was really fortunate to walk onto the Cal baseball team, was on the team there for four years as a pitcher, graduated with a business major from Haas, and really always wanted to be around sports. So I thought as a left-handed pitcher maybe I’ll become a major leaguer, play professionally, and I think really quickly within my Cal career I realized that there’s a totally different level of baseball player you’re seeing both on your team and the teams you play against. So at that point it became much more about how do I find things I can do around sports and took a little bit of a detour, graduated from Cal and went the finance route. Did about seven years in investment banking and venture capital. Went through the .com boom and bust. Was in Silicon valley, went through .com boom in the late 90s in banking and then venture capital, and then everything turned pretty quickly when the market busted and ended up realizing at a certain point it’s time to go to grad school and that’s really what led me to Northwestern.
Andrew: So our paths crossed obviously at Cal and at Northwestern and I went there not necessarily to become a lawyer. I did a JD-MBA and was really thinking about the intersection of law and business, but wasn’t thinking about sports. I was thinking about rounding out my education, getting those degrees, expanding my network, and then going probably back into private equity or going into tech somewhere. And it was really my first year of law school I started thinking much more about sports and in baseball. I’d read Moneyball. The book had come out a couple years before we started grad school and I’d realized it happened literally down the hallway from me in Oakland when I was an intern there and I realized that in just six or seven years the world may have changed. And so with three years of school, I felt like, “I can explore this. There’s really no risk for me to learn more about an industry I’m passionate about. And if it works out great,” and got really lucky.
Andrew: At some point met Chris Antonetti, the current president of baseball operations for the Cleveland Guardians. And at the time he was assistant general manager and Cleveland hired me as an intern. So, between second and third year at Northwestern, went out to Cleveland, did an internship in baseball operations. I wanted to be a general manager. So, I wanted to work on the baseball side of things, work on player trades and contracts and salary arbitration, and was really fortunate. Cleveland with Chris, with Mark Shapiro, with Chris Hanson, with Mike Chernoff, what became Derek Falvey of the Twins and Carter Hawkins of the Cubs and Ross Atkins who I worked with in Toronto. Derek Falvey started his internship a couple months after I started full-time. Same with Carter Hawkins, the Cubs general manager.
Scott: That’s amazing. That’s so fantastic. Yeah.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: By the way, all those guys came to your wedding and it was like seeing the Rolling Stones or something like that for all of us baseball dorks. It was great.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: Yeah. You’re being pretty modest on the Cleveland stuff. I remember, didn’t you just go to the baseball conference and then the Kansas City Royals helped you out or something like that. And it was like three degrees of connection to even talking to the Indians I thought.
Andrew: No. I mean, I spent a lot of time networking, which is really outside my comfort zone, but just talking to anyone who would talk to me about their role in sports, not just baseball. I talk to people across football, basketball, whoever would talk to me just to try and understand how people got to where they are and what people do in different roles and what I might be interested in. No. I got to Chris, it was kind of a circuitous route, but there was someone else who had interned for another team that was in business school, different business school, and I got connected to him and talked to him and at the end of the conversation he just said, “I don’t really know Chris well. I don’t think I can make an introduction for you, but I actually think Chris would really value a conversation with someone like you. Your background would resonate with him. You should just try and get in touch.”
Andrew: And I emailed Chris that night. It was a completely cold email, blind email. And I was fortunate. Chris responded a few days later. We talked a week later and I got an internship probably within a month.
Scott: That’s amazing. Do you think the investment banking and then the law degree really helped on paper or in just real practical experience?
Andrew: 100%. There’s a lot of people. I talk to people all the time that are interested in sports. A lot of students. We’re really fortunate in this industry that there’s so many people that are passionate sports fans that are interested in coming in and working for a team or working for a league or a sponsor. And that question comes up all the time. I was fortunate that Cleveland was the right group of people to look at that background and value it, but the ability to combine things from finance, from investment banking, and venture capital type work, the legal aspects absolutely helped. And I think what we look for every day, what Cleveland was looking for at the time, how can you come in and help us get better as an organization? There’re so many people that are talented.
Andrew: There’s so many people that are interested in sports. For us as an organization, we’re looking for someone that can come in and help us get better. And so, I was lucky. Cleveland, what they said was, “You have a background that is different from ours and you can come in and compliment what we’re doing and we’re not looking for you to get us coffee. We’re not looking for you to buy us lunch. We want to win the World Series and you can help us try and achieve that.” I think that’s the mentality we try and take here as well is we’re trying to find talented people in whatever function we have, whatever role we have, and the ultimate goal is to win Superbowl championships and to create a world class fan experience for Vikings fans and there’s people with all kinds of talents in this world that can help us do that.
Scott: Yeah. I totally agree. I have a little saying, whenever new people start a Kruze, I always say, “I love it. It’s a sign of someone’s going to be a huge contributor if two weeks into the job, they’ve got some type of improvement or advice for us,” because we don’t pretend to have invented everything about startup accounting, but we’re perfectionist and process people. And when someone comes in whose new and can be like, “Oh, you should be doing this,” or, “Have you ever tried that?” Or, “I found this works really well.” Not only does it help us get better right away like you’re kind of talking about, but it’s also a signal that they’re going to be a huge contributor down the road and we’re like that too. We’re not too proud to learn from everyone and not invented here does not exist for us. I’m sure it’s the same for you guys at the Vikings.
Andrew: No. Absolutely. Sports is really interesting because people actually focus on it as a hobby, not even necessarily at their full job. So, you see people writing for websites and blogs that are just really interested fans. And so, working for a team, we actually look for people who write for some of those organizations or do their own work because then it’s not even within a week or two, you literally can see their work, their thought process, and say, “That can actually make us better today.”
Scott: Yeah.
Andrew: So, a good example, there’s a guy named Victor Wong that actually still works in Cleveland in baseball operations and he was writing for, at the time, a site called Hardball Times and he was writing really interesting articles about valuing prospects and creating a model that values trades. And we were reading these articles and thinking, “Wow. This is a really interesting perspective saying-
Scott: That’s awesome. Yeah.
Andrew: We don’t have any idea what his background is. It just says Victor works for the Hardball Times and we’re like, “Okay.”
Scott: Yeah because LinkedIn didn’t have a whole lot going on it, but he’s a genius on the side.
Andrew: No, but he sent all of us hard copies of his resumes and literally all of us got back the same time from lunch together and we all have the same envelopes on our desk and we open them and we’re like, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” This guy Victor’s a freshman at Northwestern. And so, we-
Scott: No way.
Andrew: Immediately reached out and thought, “Hey. If he’s sending resumes out to teams, we should try and hire him and-
Scott: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Andrew: Be intern for us for four straight summers. And then we hired him full-time and he’s been there since. When you look at a number of people that have broken into the industry, there was some track record in baseball, writing for Baseball Prospectus or Hardball Times or Baseball America or just scouting because you can go out for free and scout your high school team or your college team and get better and talk to the scouts who are there about, “What are you looking for and how do you write reports?” You can start seeing the track record, like you said, of going beyond just being interested in sports, but doing something that is directly what you’re going to be asked to do working for a team.
Scott: Totally. Also, you’re kind of touching on demonstrating your work. Like not asking for permission to demonstrate your work. I’m huge on that too. Even for me, the podcast is a hobby and I get to talk to these super interesting people, but it’s out there in the world and people can find it. Or for Vanessa, it was writing a bunch of blog posts about how to do startup accounting and taxes and all that kind of stuff. I mean, Andrew, if you think about when we were at Cal, it wasn’t as easy to do that. Even blogging. I don’t even know. I wasn’t aware of it, but that’s one of the exciting things about the world today is you can demonstrate your work, demonstrate how smart you are, get better, because also, this is another kind of thing, which I think you’re touching on is no one expects you to be a genius or fully polished when you start. Just get into it, start doing it, and then the Victor’s of the world create so much more opportunity for themselves by doing this.
Andrew: No doubt. I mean, the technology has changed. Again, I mean, we both kind of came up through both Cal, but also Silicon Valley in the late 90s and we were all really excited. We were all in our early 20s, but we thought we were changing the world. And you thought the technologies that are coming that people are investing in, that’s going to change the way we all live our lives and the truth is it has, right? And looking back 20, 25 years, the whole world has changed based on those technologies. Now there was probably an over capitalization of a number of type of companies that the world may not have needed a thousand of some type of startup. But the technologies that were being conceptualized and funded at the time have totally changed even this conversation, the ability to do that.
Scott: We’re using Kruze client SquadCast to record this remotely. Last time we did the podcast, I think we had to do it over the phone. I don’t even remember how we did it. Recording on our phones or something like that. And now this is so much easier. The other thing is you talked about Moneyball. Actually, I forgot. I did work for sports. I worked for Steinberg & Moorad, the agent firm, when I was in college. So, I have worked in sports and seen it a little bit, but you’re talking about the technology in the Silicon Valley, but Moneyball changed the way the sports world worked. And it was really interesting hearing you say that happened two doors down from me or down the hallway when you were interning with the A’s. Did reading that book, did it give you more confidence or believe in yourself that you could actually do what you’re doing these days? I feel like it made it more tangible.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: Does that make sense?
Andrew: It does. So, my internship with the A’s senior year at Cal fall semester once a week in their business administration office. So, I was not working in baseball operations.
Scott: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: But reading the book you realize, “Okay. Well Billy Beane was there as assistant GM at the time.”
Scott: Yeah.
Andrew: So, that was just at the start of that process. I think it did give me some of that confidence. I think it also gave me the insight that, “Hey. The world has maybe changed to value either my background or be more interesting for me in the type of analysis and work that people are looking at in baseball.” When you look back it was a very natural progression for baseball and for sports because in the early 90s, big contracts were only a few million dollars. That exploded. It was exponential. A-Rod signs a $200 million deal-
Scott: I remember that.
Andrew: 10 years later in the late 90s, early 2000’s.
Scott: It was almost like A-Rod’s deal was almost worth more than the Texas Rangers as a franchise were worth probably.
Andrew: So that’s right. So, when you have billionaire owners, no one wants to lose money on a deal. No one wants to get the player wrong or the contract wrong. That’s true in any industry, but a few million dollars, that’s not going to bankrupt your organization. $200 million was. I mean, that contract was worth more than a number of teams or close to the value of a number teams or something like that. So that changed and when you look at transactions throughout your career or your listeners do, when you think about a two million dollar or a five-million dollar investment versus a 200 million dollar investment, the level of sophistication of risk analysis, of rigor, of decision making, it’s all much more scrutinized and much more heightened in any company.
Scott: Yeah. You know what’s funny about that? I have never thought about this connection before, but it’s actually one of the drivers of why people work with us on the accounting and tax side because an entrepreneur only has one company and they’ve taken a bunch of funding and they’re trying to get to an exit. And so, screwing up that exit, it’s like screwing up the A-Rod contract. You can’t afford to do it so therefore you’re going to plan ahead, hire specialists, hire people who are really thoughtful to actually make it work so you don’t have these giant mistakes. It’s actually kind of crazy. I just made this connection just now in my head. But yeah. It’s this specialization. I guess what you’re saying also is as a dollar gets bigger, you can afford to hire or invest more resources around the decision making, right? That’s kind of what you’re saying in sports?
Andrew: Yeah. I’m not sure you can afford to or not. It’s more you-
Scott: You have to.
Andrew: Need to.
Scott: Yeah.
Andrew: You need to look at it as a different level of risk that you’re assessing. And that skillset may be different from the skillset that identifies the talented player. Right?
Scott: Totally. Yeah.
Andrew: So you probably need both. You need the ability to identify the player that you want to invest in, but then you need some level of risk assessment as part of the process. Going back to my background, so I worked in baseball ops for four or five years and then switched to the business side in Cleveland. Was there for about six years on the business side and then moved to Toronto. Was there for four seasons and then came here. And the business side of things, one of the things that was really interesting to me at the time, because I wasn’t looking to switch.
Andrew: I wanted to be a general manager. I loved what I was doing. I loved where I was doing it and who I was doing it with and the idea that in baseball, there’s no salary cap. 75% of your revenue is local. You need to be very successful in running your business to be able to compete. And so Moneyball was about how do you look for advantages? How do you find ways specifically dedicated to the player side of things, but what we realized and it took another 10 years or so was we need to be operating that way on the business side, as well.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah.
Andrew: And very similar to your clients and people in Silicon Valley, you need to be running a successful business and ultimately what are we? We are a customer facing business. We are-
Scott: You’re a consumer brand really. It’s like Clorox. But you know what’s interesting? I just watched a clip of Moneyball the other day on YouTube and Jonah Hill has this whole thing where he’s like, “Billy likes to keep the money on the field.” And he’s telling David Justice that in the movie because David Justice has to pay for his own sodas. But what you’re saying is that’s thinking of a finite amount of money to be kept invested in the players, but you’re saying is make the pie a lot bigger off the field so that you can continue to reinvest in the players and make the team better, right?
Andrew: Yeah. So, the decision for me to switch, so I switched to the business side. Mark Shapiro moved from general manager to team president. And he had been in Cleveland for 20 years in baseball ops and we’re a very small organization. We have roughly 200 plus or minus full-time employees. So that’s not very big compared to the media spotlight or the awareness of our brands. You would think we’re a much bigger company. And so, you know the people across the organization, but you’re not necessarily thinking about the challenges and how to solve and what problems in those roles. And so, when Mark started to switch to team president, he was going to oversee the business side and the baseball side and he wanted someone to help him learn the business and ultimately run the business. I was exactly where I wanted to be. It was a really difficult personal decision. But, ultimately, I switched for a couple of reasons.
Andrew: One was because I’m really passionate about sports and almost no one works on the business side and the sports side. It’s a very rare transition to experience both. And so, I just thought, “I’m going to have this really unique perspective on an industry I really love. I don’t know where that’ll take me, but I’ll enjoy kind of learning that.” And then much more important, I was there because I wanted to win a World Series and the way baseball works, we needed to find every way we could to create competitive advantages and it wasn’t enough to just be good on the baseball side, which we were good and we were continuing to get better at, but we needed to also think about how do we create fan engagement and build our brand and improve the ballpark experience and connect with people over different technologies at the time, social media. How do we engage people in a different way? Ultimately that’s going to lead to both short and long-term revenue, which is going to fund baseball, right? And so how do you-
Scott: That’s how you win the World Series from that. That’s that business contribution to winning the World Series, right?
Andrew: That’s exactly right. And so that was the piece that really drove me was maybe given all the talent we had in the front office in Cleveland, maybe my role can actually be more impactful if I help us think about how do we reimagine our business and contribute in a different way.
Scott: Hey. It’s Scott Orn and we’re going to take a quick break from the podcast to give a shout out to the Kruze tax team. Gosh. It’s so nice to have an in-house tax team. I can’t even tell you. We have some really amazing professionals on team. It’s over I think it’s 13 people now. And we do everything from your federal and state income tax return, state franchise tax filings, and R&D tax credits. Those are pretty popular these days. And guess what? They’re there for you when you go through diligence. A lot of people don’t know this, but you actually go through tax diligence, not just operational kind of financial diligence, but you do go through tax diligence.
Scott: So it’s nice to have Vanessa Kruze on the phone with your VCs and with the accounting firm they hired to diligence all your stuff and the law firm they hired to diligence all your stuff. Vanessa knows what she’s doing. She’s done this a million times. And it’s not just Vanessa. We have a really great team of tax professionals that will do those calls too. Sometimes the difference between getting around close or having it take another two weeks because something was disorganized and the task compliance wasn’t done correctly. We hear those horror stories from clients that come to us. So, hey. If you want Kruze’s tax team on your side, we’re here for you. Check us out at Thanks.
Scott: There’s something we were talking about before we turned the mics on, which was, because we were reminiscing of course because we’re all friends.
And I remember you having this problem with the Indians where, like you said, 75% of revenue is local. And so, ticket sales were super important, but there was a lot of discounting and the Cleveland marketplace was smaller than some of the other marketplaces across the country. And then you went to Toronto and had a different thing happening and now you’re in the NFL. Can you talk about it a little bit because I found it super fascinating the way you look at the business of sports, especially attendance, how you think about that?  
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I think one of the questions I get asked a lot coming into football is what’s the big difference? I’m about to start my fourth season at the Vikings. Was in baseball for 14 seasons in Cleveland and Toronto. And so, the question about, “Well, okay. What’s the biggest difference?” And this is going to not sound all that sophisticated or smart, but the number of games is really different from a business perspective. And that’s pretty obvious for all fans. Everyone knows there’s 162 baseball games. There’s 81 home baseball games and we only play 10 home football games. We play one or two preseason games and then eight or nine regular season games and then potentially the playoffs, but, really, it’s 10 versus 81. And you can easily calculate the difference in what that means from an inventory standpoint, but that changes your business challenge. So, in Toronto we had almost four million tickets to sell or roughly four million tickets to sell.
Scott: 81 times whatever the what? 45,000 or 50,000.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: Seats.
Andrew: Yeah. We had just below 50,000 seats in 81 games. So that’s four million tickets. And in Minnesota in the NFL we have 67,000 seats times 10. So, we have 670,000 tickets. So, there’s a supply and demand difference. Our supply is much, much lower and our demand is high in Minnesota. So that’s good, but you don’t have that inventory. In baseball, the biggest business challenge is how do you sell incremental tickets to the lower demand games? By definition, you have some games that are higher demand than others. And how do you sell tickets to the ones that aren’t as high demand without pulling people from the higher demand games, right?
Scott: Yeah. We were talking about this too earlier was it’s not just the ticket revenue, but it’s the Cokes and hot dogs and parking and buying a t-shirt for your kid and all that kind of stuff. It’s the opportunity cost of not selling those 20% of tickets for baseball is even worse. It’s humongous. It’s almost like the movie theater business in a way. The popcorn and things like that can actually be really high in margin for the teams, right?
Andrew: Yeah. So, you’re trying to look you at said a movie theater or an airplane. Once the airplane leaves, you can’t sell that seat. Once a game occurs, you can’t sell a seat. And so, what’s the trade off in value for someone buying a ticket at potentially a lower price and what’s the additional revenue you get while they’re there, if they attend? So, buying concessions or merchandise and there is some trade off and there’s different economics on each of those revenue streams. So the idea that just, “Well we’ll just throw the doors open and discount all the tickets,” that may not be the ideal mix for your entire season or for long-term.
Scott: Yeah.
Andrew: And so-
Scott: Because the fans get used to discounts. It’s like sporting goods. If everyone thinks they can buy their sporting goods on discount, they just wait. So, you have to balance that as well.
Andrew: Yeah. There’s a behavioral piece for sure. Again, we’re a consumer business, right?
Scott: Yeah.
Andrew: So, there’s different strategies that you could take in a consumer business depending on your brand positioning and depending on competition and we’re no different. We just happen to sell content and access to watch sporting events.
Scott: So with the NFL, like the Vikings, and I think part of this is just good management over the years too, but they have a ravenous fan base. They’re kind of like the 49ers. They’re always going to do well in Minnesota. I don’t want to speak for you, but Minnesota’s kind of a football town I think. And you guys have a new stadium or relatively new stadium. So, some of the stuff you’re working around are like, “Wow. There’s so much demand for these games. How do I think about the marginal,” not marginal, but the person. How do we activate the next generation of fans or someone who hasn’t come to the game as well in a while, right?
Andrew: Absolutely. I mean, we’re really fortunate. We have a really strong, passionate fan base, a strong brand, a rich history and legacy in Minnesota. We have world class facilities that are effectively brand new in US Bank Stadium and TCO Performance Center. We have great relationships in the community and with businesses. Minnesota has a great corporate base here. There’s 17 Fortune 500 companies in Minnesota. So, it’s a really unique environment. We have great people, we have talented employees. So, our challenge is like how do you take all of that and go to the next level as an organization and as a business? And from a fan standpoint, we’re going to have people that are very passionate Vikings fans that may not live in Minnesota or may not live near enough to attend games. Again, there’s only 10 games including our preseason. So, there’s a limitation on capacity for people to attend in person our games.
Andrew: Then how do you engage people? How do you build content that is engaging to people? How do you build in other experiences that may engage people outside of those games? How do you cultivate the next generation of fans and fans that may not otherwise be able to attend every single game? That’s our business challenge is how do we create such a special experience, both in our stadium on game days and then outside of it to continue to keep people captivated? And the NFL is a truly unique business and it’s a really strong league and the league does a great job of marketing the sport as do teams and there’s attention, there’s interest on the NFL and on football every single day of the year. That was another one of the big differences coming in from baseball. And not that there’s not in baseball. Baseball, there’s a ton of attention and interest. Football, just people are ravenous to try and get content and interest in players and team moves all year long.
Scott: I’m sure you do a lot of stuff on social media, but are you helping the players package themselves or teaching them how to connect with the fans directly or maybe even the management team or the coaching staff or the ownership? Because to me, especially in this generation, I’m going to sound like a really old guy here, but it is that kind of personal touch, but doing it through media or doing it through digital. Is that something you guys think about?
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I guess it is and it isn’t, right. I mean, 10 plus years ago when we were trying to roll out our social media strategy in Cleveland, there was an education component of what is this? How do I sign up for it? Do I need to be on it or not? I think everybody’s gotten so much more sophisticated in this world.
Scott: That’s true actually. Yeah.
Andrew: And so there’s not a lot of, “Hey. Here’s what social media-
Scott: The players are probably teaching you guys how to do stuff is probably what it is.
Andrew: For sure. And I think everyone’s different. Every player’s different, every organization’s different in what their approach is to that. But if someone’s interested in connecting with fans or building a social media presence, it’s available to them and I think they’re aware of it well before they walk into our doors.
Scott: Yeah. I think that stuff starts in college now, maybe even high school because the guys who were playing in NFL are always the superstars in high school and college. This is more of just a general question, but you’re doing this podcast. This is a great example and this will be watched by a bunch of people, but does the coaching staff do stuff because I always think of it like I remember the coaches would always do a local radio show a couple times a week or something like that, which I always love to listen to, but there’s so many more avenues for that kind of stuff nowadays, like the Instagram chats or TikTok chats or whatever. Are there other stuff you guys are doing to make that connection?
Andrew: For sure. We have a new coach in Kevin O’Connell. We have a new general manager in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. You’re trying to figure out what’s the right balance to providing exposure to fans, doing chats in different mediums either through members of the media or through our own content platforms. And frankly allowing your coaching staff, your executives, to be successful in their roles outside of that because-
Scott: Yeah. Do their job, right?
Andrew: Yeah. And so, I think, again, we live in an industry that there’s a ton of interest. And so I think part of our job is to create access and to provide content to fans to satisfy that interest and to build our brand and to engage fans and we need to do it in a way that is allowing people to be successful at their jobs.
Scott: Yeah. There’s something you said about baseball being 75% local. Is the NFL more national or TV contract driven? Not broad strokes.
Andrew: Yeah.
Scott: NFL is different, right?
Andrew: Yeah. It’s roughly the opposite, right. It’s much more skewed towards national revenue. The media deals, it’s league level or the sponsorship deals, the league level. And so that is very different in terms of what that means from decision making at a team level and the interactions with the league. That changes a lot of the dynamics.
Scott: Does it feel like, because you’ve worked in both, I would think, and by the way, we need to let you go here in a second because we’re taking too much of your time, but does that facilitate more cooperation amongst the teams to grow the overall league pie versus the Yankees and Cleveland Indians? They’re so different in their local economic perspectives. They may not work together as much. This is a hypothetical, I’m just asking this question. Versus you and the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. These are teams in your division, working together to build the game in the Midwest or Northern part of the United States. Does it facilitate more cooperation amongst the teams?
Andrew: Yeah. That’s a good question. I think each league is slightly different. We all have a collective interest in growing the sport and growing the interest in our respective leagues, whether it’s baseball or football or basketball or soccer or whichever league, you’re competing fiercely on the field.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Andrew: And so it’s sort of-
Scott: I’m talking about the business side here.
Andrew: Yeah. So, working on the sports side versus the business side, the business side’s much more you have the ability to connect and share best practices because you may not be directly competing. If we’re thinking about, “Hey. What’s your marketing strategy and how do you think about this type of business challenge?” That may not necessarily be pulling a customer from one team to another. Whereas you’re not sharing those secrets for on field, right?
Scott: Yeah. You’re not sharing the CRM data is what you’re saying, but it’s more of a conceptual. I’m just flashing back to business school where if you’re the market leader, you want to grow the overall pie versus if you’re a challenger, you’re usually trying to take share from the market leader. If you were to draw big circles of all the sports leagues, the NFL would be the market leader amongst all sports. And so, you’re trying to grow the NFL game, but it’s just kind of interesting. I actually think the NFL was really smart to structure the league that way because there is a cooperation level, I would think, that’s probably maybe a little stronger than baseball, but I’ve never worked in those leagues.
Andrew: Yeah. I think you’re always thinking about trying to grow the industry and grow the interest from a league perspective. But again, you want to be successful on the field and you want to be successful as a business. And so, there’s always some trade off there, but yeah. I mean, the NFL’s been very, very successful.
Scott: Yeah. It’s amazing and it’s a great product. Okay. I got to let you go. We went over here. Thank you so much. Great to see you. If the 49ers don’t win the Super Bowl this year, then the Minnesota Vikings win the Super Bowl. It’s time for you guys to do it.
Andrew: Not necessarily in that order, right? Let’s say-
Scott: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know who you’re rooting for though. The Vikings. Bye buddy. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it.
Andrew: It was great chatting with you.
Scott: All right buddy. Take care.
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