Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., is expanding its reach.
With the goal of “creating some scale in New York,” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) has announced a reorganization of the programming department, said Keith Sheldon, newly named VP of booking, in charge of music, family entertainment and special events. That expansion will include a full-time, L.A.-based booking director. Timing and title are to be announced, though Sheldon predicted it will be within the next three months.
Keith Sheldon, VP of Booking
Besides Barclays Center and Cushman & Wakefield Theater at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the expanded programming department will book a “reimagined” Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y., which will be closed this summer for renovation, to reopen in December 2016; and LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre, which will be closed for renovation soon and will reopen in 24 months. The latter is in partnership with Long Island University.
Top-ranked Kentucky will play in the first sporting event at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island in December 2016.
And the New York Islanders will move to Barclays Center, helping hype a lot of the announcements on new initiatives flying out of Brooklyn at least once a month.
Sheldon, who has been with BSE for six months after five years with AEG, most recently at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., is joined by Jordan Harding, senior director of Event Finance & Development, responsible for coordinating the activities of the booking department, building operations, and finance; and Ed Manetta, director of Sports Programming, on the leadership team of the BSE programming department.
Tim Kemp, director of booking
Two new hires, announced April 10, include Tim Kemp as the new director of Booking, who will handle day-to-day programming operations and support booking initiatives. Kemp was with Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., handling programming and integrated revenue generation for the arena. Prior to that, he worked at XL Center, Hartford, Conn. Kemp will report to Sheldon.
Also new to the programming department at Barclays Center is James Snodgrass, new manager of Sports Programming. Snodgrass previously served as general manager of Hartman Arena in Park City, Kan. and, prior to that, as general manager of the Phil Long Expo Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Snodgrass will report to Manetta.
James Snodgrass, manager, Sports Programming
BSE is also expanding its customer relationship management (CRM) and industry outreach program to further cultivate relationships with artists, managers, agents, and promoters. This program will be overseen by Arianna Kane, who is manager of Artist Experience & Events.
Sheldon, who attended law school in Brooklyn and is glad to be home again, said BSE is in the “big event business. Whereas we were about volume and variety, today we are in the big event business.”
To that end, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark also announced formation of a 30+ sports and entertainment advisory board, formed in December and made up of sports, music and media leaders; and the launch of Brooklyn Direct in February, a new programming division which will work directly with agents and managers to book nontouring artists and to curate live content which will grow to play Barclays Center.
The Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Advisory Board has been instrumental in an “opportunity to bring in major awards shows,” Sheldon said, adding that the first announcement is imminent. A dedicated person in Los Angeles will also help in that sort of booking. “We want a consistent presence on the West Coast.”
“We’re looking for content unique to Brooklyn,” Sheldon continued. Managing and booking the Paramount will give BSE a 3,200- to 3,500-seat theater, a fully restored 1928 movie house, right in the heart of Brooklyn. “As we develop artists in that venue, we’ll build affinity for BSE and, eventually, some arena plays.”
Interviewed for this story: Keith Sheldon, (917) 618-6100