President & CEO | Atlanta Braves
Derek Schiller is far from standing still one year after the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series. The Braves made the postseason again, and on the business side, there are still plenty of things to accomplish for Schiller, the MLB team’s president and CEO.
Additional upgrades to 5-year-old Truist Park, most on the technology front tied to food service, along with expansion of The Battery, the team’s mixed-use district next to the stadium, top Schiller’s to-do list.
Overall, it’s been a great ride for Schiller, the son of former Turner Sports executive Harvey Schiller, and a key component of the Braves’ front office for 20 seasons now. Coming off a championship year, the Braves were on pace to draw 3.1 million fans at home for the 2022 season, shattering the previous record of 2.65 million set in 2019.
In addition, the Braves are on track to generate a record $100 million in combined revenue this season for general concessions, premium dining and merchandise, with an eye toward installing a new point-of-sale system for the 2023 season.
“There’s so much that goes into these systems now, like loyalty programs, mobile offerings; the ability for fans to transact from their seats and you’ve got to do those right,” Schiller said.
Outside the ballpark, The Battery’s mix of retail, restaurants and entertainment venues, namely the 3,600 capacity Coca-Cola Roxy music hall, will attract 7 million visitors this year, another record since the initial development opened in 2017, Schiller said.
In April, Truist Securities, part of the financial services company that holds naming rights to the ballpark, announced it would move its 1,000-person headquarters to The Battery district. Construction of a new 250,000-square-foot building, squeezed between two parking garages, is expected to open in 2024.
“We will now have four Fortune 500 companies located on our campus, which is unprecedented for a mixed-use development,” Schiller said.
All this growth for the Atlanta Braves takes place for one of the few publicly traded teams in pro sports, after owner Liberty Media bought the team in 2007.
“(Liberty president and CEO) Greg Maffei has allowed us to do what we need to as a business to continue to thrive,” Schiller said. “There’s a misnomer out there that being publicly owned has some sort of negative association with it. It’s quite the opposite. The decisions that happen for the Braves are made at the team level, not at the Liberty Media level.”