By Eric Renner Brown
For Brittanie Boyd, breaking into the venues biz was about location, location, location.
“When I went to get my MBA, I chose to go to the University of Texas, Arlington, because the Dallas Cowboys were in close proximity, the Rangers were across the street, and the Mavericks were about 15 minutes away,” said Boyd, a Dallas native. “I was banking on getting an internship with one of those three professional sports teams at the start of my career — and I landed one with the Dallas Cowboys.”
In the decade since that 2009 internship, which coincided with the opening of AT&T Stadium, Boyd has racked up experience across several disciplines in the venues business, while working for multiple esteemed franchises.
“The really fun and most rewarding part of my career with these different teams and venues has been that my career path has not been linear,” Boyd said. “I’ve done operations, premium services, guest experience, business operations, corporate partnerships and now marketing. All of those experiences combined have just really given me a comprehensive vantage point on the customer experiences and a really inclusive outlook of the business of sports and entertainment.”
After two years in the Cowboys’ guest services and events operations department, Boyd relocated to Brooklyn, where she helped open Barclays Center in fall 2012 as premium services manager.
“I was on the inaugural opening team for both the Cowboys Stadium, now AT&T Stadium, and Barclays Center,” she said. “From a venue standpoint, getting to open up and be a part of that team that was there to hire all of the people that work there and helped train and put together standard operating procedures and really understand how the building was going to work and create phenomenal fan experiences for both AT&T Stadium and Barclays Center is something that I’m incredibly proud of.”
In 2014, Boyd joined the New Jersey Devils as director of guest experience and remained with the organization when it came under the purview of newly formed Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment in 2017. She was vice president of business operations for two years before assuming the role of vice president of corporate sponsorships in 2019.
As Boyd moved from venue to venue and department to department, she identified commonalities.
“Our business is all about our guests or our fans, and the way that we engage with them,” she said. “Fan first, customer first, guest first. Then it’s just learning how that particular discipline impacts the guest.”
In September, Boyd transitioned to another new role, senior vice president of marketing for the Philadelphia 76ers, where she’ll put her thesis to the test.
“Nothing really moves without marketing,” she said. “Marketing helps to generate revenue, retain ticket sales, to create content and packages for all of your sponsors, to build your youth programming, to go after the community, to message just how safe (your venue is) and why your fans should return to your building post-COVID. If I’ve learned anything already, it’s that marketing touches every part of the organization. I’m really excited to be a part of that.”
Simultaneously, Boyd has played an important role within HBSE as the chair of its diversity and inclusion advisory board. Working closely with the company’s chief human resources officer and chief diversity and impact officer, she’s helped HBSE to develop a racial equity plan and to think more deeply about the communities its venues call home.
“I’m really excited to see (the plan) come to life,” she said. “It was really in and around how HBSE can change the way that we do business to have an impact on the communities where we live, work and play, from the lens of diversity.”
One initiative Boyd cites is the Buy Black Partnership Program, in which the 76ers and Devils will contribute upwards of $5 million in marketing assets to local Black-owned businesses.
“We’re really excited about that program and working with local businesses and seeing what the power of our brands can do for their businesses,” she said.
Like many of her fellow All-Stars, Boyd said she and her peers have used the pause to hone innovative technologies and practices for live’s return.
“Venues are just so special,” she said. “You have people coming from all over your city, sometimes all over the world to cheer together, to sing together. I think that we’re going to come back stronger and better than ever.”