A few weeks ago, Experience welcomed Greg Foster to the family as our new Chief Executive Officer. Now that he’s settled in, we thought it would be the perfect time for our PR guru, Kelly Buday, to get his take on the company, the hot topics he keeps hearing about in both the sports and entertainment technology space, as well as Greg’s vision for Experience over the next 12 to 18 months.
Kelly: Greg, what have the last few weeks been like as you settled into your role as Chief Executive Officer of Experience?
Greg: Joining the team at Experience has been tremendous. Every single employee really lives the mission and values of the company, which is to help fans have an incredible time at live events. In meetings, phone calls, and even casual conversations, this passion really comes through. The company founders – including Tripp Rackley and Ben Ackerman – have created a phenomenal product platform. And, with the influence of Cox Enterprises providing a solid foundation, we are very well positioned. I feel very fortunate to have joined the Experience family, especially as we were just honored with the Sports Business Journal’s “Best in Mobile Fan Experience” award.
Kelly: What has been your early impression of Experience’s 300+ properties?
Greg: Amazing – the partner roster is filled with stellar teams, venues, and events. From Feld Entertainment to the NFL, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, MLBAM, Herschend Entertainment, Spectra, and the list just goes on. My excitement is rooted in the fact that, with these great partnerships, comes the ability to impact the lives of millions upon millions of fans – the number one reason we wake up every day and do what we do at Experience.
Kelly: Can you share some common initiatives on the minds of the Experience partners today? What are their priorities regarding the fan experience?
Greg: The first is driving mobile adoption to engage fans at a deeper level. This has been a universal sentiment as I’ve met with our partners over the past few weeks.
The second is attracting new audiences to events and growing the base of attendees. Gaining the mindshare of the millennial audience can be tough. That’s where our Pass product comes in. With both last-minute tickets and also our subscription ticket offering, our partners are able to provide options that are attractive to today’s younger fans.
And third, retaining lifelong, loyal fans like the season ticket holder remain very important. Our partners all want to give this valuable group of fans more flexibility and personalization, which translates into more value for the season ticket holder’s investment.
Kelly: You’ve got an impressive background – graduating from Georgia Tech and also Harvard Business School. Your resume also includes many noteworthy startups and exits. Can you name your biggest success and why?
Greg: I would have to say our successful sale of BrightWhistle about a year ago. We pioneered a space and provided solutions and technology to power hundreds of health care providers’ efforts to attract and retain new patients. We started something that hospital marketers never knew they needed and made it into something they couldn’t live without. I see so many parallels between that model and our model here at Experience. We are solving big problems for our partners through continuous innovation and building multiple ways they can delight their fans.
We are solving big problems for our partners through continuous innovation and building multiple ways they can delight their fans.
Kelly: What did you find interesting about Experience that made you want to pursue the CEO opportunity?
Greg: Being from Atlanta and a graduate of Georgia Tech, I had already come to know some of the management team and employees and was very aware of the success of the company. When I learned of Experience’s official search for a Chief Executive Officer, I immediately reached out to learn more and knew quickly it was something I would like to be part of. From the way the business has been built to the tremendous value the Cox relationship brings to our employees and partners – the business is hitting on all cylinders. In this newly created role of CEO, my goal is to grow the company to the next level and ensure our products and future innovations align with the needs of the market.
Kelly: Given your extensive background in technology, how do you see the landscape of mobile technology impacting the fan experience in the next year?
Greg: It’s very apparent that the market is focused on mobile apps and how to use mobile to impact the fan experience. Teams, fans, and venues all share a common goal – to make the event the best it can be for the fan. More importantly, how can fans use mobile to customize an event exactly like they want it? Experience is focused on providing this type of flexibility and personalization and you’ll see more from us in the future along these lines.
Kelly: What are your top three priorities for the next 12 to 18 months?
Greg: Broaden the product set to further impact the fan experience; maximize the relationships and amazing partnerships already in place today; and further expand our reach to the millions of fans attending live events every day.
Kelly: Experience has been growing by leaps and bounds, in your opinion, what has helped the company get to this level?
Greg: It’s definitely a combination of factors including partnerships like those with the NFL, Ticketmaster, MLBAM, and Live Nation. Also, our cutting edge technology such as Fluid Ticket and our Pass family of products that work in tandem with seat upgrades and experiences to give fans a variety of ways to personalize each event. And the people. The company has the smartest, most enthusiastic team leading the charge every day to be the best mobile fan experience company.
Kelly: What is the first concert you attended?
Greg: Rolling Stones (Living Color opened) at Grant Field in 1990. It was awesome.
Kelly: What is your favorite live sports moment?
Greg: Being there for the last game ever played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Unfortunately, the Braves lost that game to the Yankees in a World Series they should have won!
Kelly: What is your favorite sports food?
Greg: Brats, Brats, Brats.
Kelly: If you could attend any event, anywhere in the world, what would it be?
Greg: Probably a Wimbledon final.
Kelly: Finish this sentence, in 3 years, Experience will be…
Greg: Continuing to lead the field we invented and counting the millions of fans impacted by our platform.
Kelly: Thanks, Greg. We’re glad you are here!