Canetti's Corner - November 4, 2010

Off-season is busiest time of the year for Dynamo COO

HOU_20101013_Sports_Park_3

Photo Credit: 
Jonathan Kaplan / HoustonDynamo.com

Sorry for not being
in touch over the last few weeks. It's been extremely busy, and I haven’t found
the time to write. It is still a busy time, but I wanted to make sure I got back
into some sort of blogging routine.

I often get the
question, “What do you do now that it’s the off-season?” In reality, this is the
busiest time of year for many of us. We have business plans, budgets, season ticket
sales, sponsorships sales, scouting, etc. The off-season is our time to prepare
for the party, and all of the planning and work gets done between now and March.
There is no rest. In case you are counting: 89 days until pre-season camp and
136 days until opening day.

This is shaping up
to be the busiest and most important off-season in the club’s history. Here are
the key items we are working on:

New
Stadium:
We are planning to break ground on
the new stadium over the next few months. Serious time, effort, and focus are
being dedicated to getting the project underway. It is a complex process with
many moving parts and various entities. Most of the remaining work is legal in
nature.

Team: We
are focused on making improvements to the team. There are a number of issues
that are being addressed, and a ton of work will go into it. Dom and the
coaching staff have several international scouting trips planned. He is in
Brazil this week and will go
to Colombia,
Costa Rica,
Ghana, and the Caribbean. We are hosting a player combine with about 20
internationals coming for trial later this month. Preparations for the college
draft and the expansion draft are taking place. Evaluations and determinations
on current players are being considered. Resources are being focused on our
pursuit of a designated player.

Training
Complex:
Our new training facility, called
the Houston
Amateur Sports Park
, will open in 2011. Getting it done
is another main focus and priority. This, too, is a complex deal with many moving
parts. There are several things that need to happen for this project to reach
completion. It is moving along, and I expect that we’ll have our grand opening
by April.

Jersey
Sponsorship:
One of the biggest sources of
revenue to a soccer club is its jersey sponsor. Our current deal with Amigo
Energy expires in December. We are in heavy pursuit of a new team jersey
partner. Given the size and scope of these deals, this is another major issue
and priority.

New
Stadium Sales Opportunities:
With the new
stadium on the horizon for 2012, there are new and big opportunities in front of
us. For the first time, we will have the chance to sell stadium naming rights,
stadium founding partners, and suites. These are key revenue sources for the new
stadium and a huge priority over the next few months.

Season
Tickets
:
We are working to build our season
ticket base to help grow the business and the sport. This is always an
off-season priority and clear focus. We even had Brian Ching in the office this week making calls to ask fans to renew.

Dynamo
Charities:
We are committed to the community
and always looking to enhance our charities program. We have engaged a new board
of directors and built a new business plan for Dynamo Charities events and
programs that we are focused on executing.

These are just some
of the top-line issues facing us this off-season. We are busy, but in a good
way. All of these things add up to opportunity and growth. It is an important
time and an exciting time.

I expect that there
will be positive news on all of these fronts throughout the off-season. I hope
you will stay tuned to us throughout and follow the developments around these
important issues.

As always, feel free
to send questions and comments at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com. I will also be on Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis this coming Tuesday, November 9, from 7-8 p.m. on SportsTalk 790, talking soccer and taking your questions.