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How the Dolphins Landed a Shark

July 13th, 2009

The South Florida Business Journal has an article on how the relationship evolved between the Miami Dolphins and Jimmy Buffett:

Ross, recalling the familiar tune, then turned to Buffett, a Florida icon with national appeal. Talks started last year about a promotional partnership, and Buffett bought into the concept immediately. The relationship grew to include naming rights to the Dolphins’ home field. Buffett explained the attraction in early May at a concert when the lid was taken off the deal that rechristened the Dolphins home as Land Shark Stadium.

“What’s Miami about?” he asked. “Entertainment, celebrities and lifestyle. So we have to play to those strengths. I know what puts people in the seats is winning, but you need to do these things to compete and get people in the stadium.”

The Dolphins have sold 6,000 to 7,000 additional season tickets this offseason. Whether it was the addition of Buffett, or the turnaround from a 1-15 season to an 11-5 playoff squad ¬ tying the biggest single-season turnaround in league history ¬ isn’t important. If NFL football is the steak, then Ross sees entertainers like Buffett and his new minority partners, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, as the sizzle in the Dolphins brand.

The parallels between Ross’ interest in expanding the live experience at an NFL game and the popular music business forged an early bond with Buffett.

“There’s not as much money left in recorded music, so our emphasis has been to make the live experience something fun and memorable,” said John Cohlan, Buffett’s manager and CEO of Margaritaville Holdings, the singer’s marketing and merchandising company. “The tailgating that is now such a big part of our shows originated at football games. So maybe we’ve come full circle.”

Read the full article here.

Tagged in In The News, Landshark Stadium