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Minnesota Vikings | Top Business Role | Minneapolis, MN


Background

In 1960, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul were awarded an expansion franchise within the National Football League, with the Minnesota Vikings taking the field in 1961 behind Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton.  Bolstered by a dominant defense, the Vikings won the 1969 NFL Championship, the last league championship before the NFL/AFL merger. This laid the foundation for what has been a decades-long commitment to excellence and winning on and off the field.  With four NFC Championships, 20 Central Divisional Championships and 29 overall post-season appearances, the Vikings’ dedication to winning Championships for the community and serving as a model for success in the industry is well-recognized.

Owned by the Wilf family since 2005, the franchise has only further cemented its position as a winner on the field and in the industry. Having made the playoffs in two of the last four years, while being celebrated as one of the most forward-facing business operations, the team is well-positioned for both short-term and long-term success.Led by two-time NFC North Champion Head Coach Mike Zimmer, as well as quarterback Kirk Cousins and a dominant defense, the Vikings are well-positioned for on-going success on the field. Woven into the fabric of the region, the Vikings ownership, players and staff are wholly committed to the betterment of the community, serving the local area through the recently launched Minnesota Vikings Foundation, youth programs and social justice initiatives.Under Wilf ownership and led by outgoing COO Kevin Warren, the franchise has become known for progressive diversity and inclusion measures that bring a wealth of perspective, outside knowledge and creativity to the organization.The Vikings vision is to maintain a consistent culture focused on winning championships and fostering these core values:

  • Unity: Make selfless decisions in the best interests of the team, value diversity and emphasize the importance of relationships.

  • Commitment: Be relentless in our pursuit of excellence and accountability to each other, our fans and our community.

  • Integrity: Act in a transparent and ethical manner that inspires trust and demonstrates respect.

In the Fall of 2016, the Vikings opened the state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium.  In three short years, the venue has become a premier destination for the world’s biggest events, including Super Bowl LII, a record-setting NCAA Men’s Final Four, X-Games, International Champions Cup, concerts, family entertainment and the future home to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship.  U.S. Bank Stadium is a LEED Gold certified venue, recognized as the 2018 Innovator of the Year by the Green Sports Alliance and staged the first “Zero Waste” Super Bowl.

Then, just one year ago, on June 15, 2018, the Vikings cut the ribbon on the NFL’s newest, largest and most innovative training center, the TCO Performance Center.  TCOPC is the most advanced training center in the world, with 227,000 sf of training space, 94,000 sf in the indoor Field House, 184,000 sf of additional office space, all housing Vikings football and business team members at the center of an award-winning 40-acre campus. The TCOPC is yet another commitment to winning Championships for the community.

And now, surrounding that 40-acre TCO campus, the Vikings are driving a bold, visionary 165-acre mixed-use development project; a world-class destination for corporate, retail, hospitality, entertainment and housing anchored by the TCO Performance Center, and other properties.  Incorporating key land for preservation and significant outdoor activities in the promotion of healthy lifestyles for Minnesotans, Vikings Lakes is creating a vibrant, diverse and sustainable environment for the next 150 years:  https://www.explorevikinglakes.com/.

There isn’t a sports organization in the world that has newer or better facilities right now, setting the stage for sustained winning.  The facilities are tangible evidence of ownership’s deep, abiding commitment to winning on the field, winning as a business enterprise and winning as a community asset for doing good.

Candidates should contact Turnkey Search directly. Contacting The Vikings will delay your consideration.

Position(s) Summary

Ownership seeks to add (or internally promote) a seasoned, executive leader for the top business operations role of these MN Properties, responsible for day-to-day leadership and management, as well as forward-looking strategies for further growth opportunities.  The exact EVP title shall be commensurate with the experience of the chosen candidate (e.g., Chief Operating Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Business Operations Officer, etc.; the “Role”).  The crux of the Role is that it shall serve as the primary representative of ownership in the market and assist & advise ownership in NFL league matters.  The Role shall be responsible for overall business operations, overall financial performance, strategic business development initiatives and administrative execution & reporting.  

The Role carries significant responsibility externally, acting always with the highest integrity in all interactions with a multitude of stakeholders, including but not limited to: local governmental, community, corporate & opinion leaders; clients, guests, customers & fans; the media as well as the NFL, other NFL Clubs, marketing & media partners; promoters, artist managers, vendors, etc.   While the Role does NOT oversee football operations, which continue to report directly to ownership, the Role is responsible for supporting football operations in all ways, giving the organization the best chance of winning on the field.  This Role is crucial in partnering with football operations for continued on-field success.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Maintain (and retain) a best-in-class organizational business team, including developing, attracting and retaining best-in-class team members across all departments, including:  administration; legal; finance & financial reporting; business intelligence & data analytics; human resources, inclusion & retention; ticket sales; premium hospitality; marketing; communications; social; digital; media; content production; marketing partnership sales & activation; venue and event operations, renovations & development; guest experience; community relations; NFL league liaison; real estate; enforcement and protection of the Vikings brand; etc. 

  • Sustain a standard of excellence and a culture of inclusivity and respect both internally and externally.

  • Full integration of business operations for the NFL Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium, Viking Lakes and/or other potential future properties which may deliver a strategic fit to the organization.

  • Direct the P&L for the Organization with a strong financial/bottom line focus; grow existing and new revenue lines while delivering a best-in-class experience for customers, partners, tenants & vendors.

  • Embrace and utilize the power of business intelligence and data analytics, promoting an insights-driven organizational culture across all business units, including, most importantly, the sales environment to incentivize, measure and reward positive performance throughout the organization.

  • Sustainably grow all revenue lines, including partnership revenue, ticket and premium sales, retail sales, food & beverage net revenues, media, marketing partnerships, 3rd party events, etc.

  • Maximize ticket, suite and premium sales through the development of sales goals, data-driven pricing models and promotional elements aimed to create value and increase revenue.

  • Lead the strategy and tactics for advertising, promotions, content creation & production, social, digital, communications and community relations across the organization.

  • Leverage corporate and media resources and partners to drive revenue and fan engagement.

  • Consistently deliver a best-in-class fan and partner experience; create and implement cutting-edge engagement platforms utilizing multiple resources, including technology, new media and entertainment.

  • Control expenses without compromising quality, especially as it relates to the fan experience; fully understand and “walk-in-the-shoes” of the consumer.

  • Manage the capital expenditure budget with a focus on projects that improve the fan and partner experience and achieve high returns on investment.

  • Represent the Organization positively in interactions with fans, customers, media, corporate partners, community leaders and community groups.

  • Serve as primary liaison with the NFL league office and league protocols, and, when requested by Ownership, represent (and advocate for) Ownership vis-à-vis the League; represent the Minnesota Vikings at NFL Ownership meetings.

  • Serve as the voice for the organization in the community and the media.

Qualifications, Skills and Education Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in general business or other applicable field of study.

  • J.D., M.B.A. and/or other relevant advanced degree strongly preferred.

  • 20+ years of relevant, applicable sports team/venue/real estate business experience across a variety of disciplines; experience in sports/entertainment media/new media a plus.

  • Sports franchise/sport team business operations experience strongly preferred; NFL experience a plus.

  • Strong financial background and understanding of financial statements and Profit & Loss statements.

  • A high integrity/high character individual desiring to serve, support & mentor others; servant leader.

  • Conviction on key values of doing business and conviction on a strong set of personal values.

  • A high energy, hands-on team player who loves being part of a business team, embraces the opportunity to roll up his/her sleeves, work long hours, inspire zealous followership and make great things happen.

  • An inspiring “winner” who derives satisfaction from organizational, rather than individual, success.

  • A high degree of comfort with current media & technology trends and a deep working knowledge of business intelligence technology tools including data security, Customer Relationship Management, etc.

  • Fluency with data analytics, with the ability to instill a data-driven decision-making culture.

  • Extremely strong, dynamic, persuasive written and oral communication skills, along with the ability to work productively with all levels of the organization, including game day staff, administrative personnel, business unit managers, and Ownership.

  • An ability to develop meaningful, trust-based relationships inside and outside of the organization, with the charisma necessary to represent the team externally and in the media.

  • Experience leveraging social media tools and the ability to create cutting-edge fan engagement.

  • Significant experience and demonstrated success across all functional areas.

  • A demonstrated ability to attract, develop, manage and retain high-performing employees across different functional areas.