A Traditional Sport With A Modern Twist
Football is has become as much about entertainment as the actual game. Fans want to buy and wear team merchandise, see live entertainment during half time and watch players dance in the end zone. If spectators want entertainment and sports, they should look no further than the newly-formed LA KISS, the newest expansion team to the arena football league.
LA KISS may be more apt to provide the level of entertainment never before seen because its owners are quite familiar with exciting an audience: they are original members of the band KISS. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley partnered with other investors to bring professional football back to Los Angeles, the perfect backdrop for a team promising to take the world by storm. We sat down with the president of LA KISS, Schuyler Hoverston for a view inside what has to be the best thing to ever happen to arena football.
How did LA KISS get off the ground?
It’s been a long time since Los Angeles has had a professional football team. I partnered with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and a few other business execs to bring it back to LA. We formed the team in August 2013 and have been living in the headlines of publications like Rolling Stone, Variety and USA Today ever since. We recruited Bob McMillan, head coach in Chicago and AFL coach of the year. He saw the value of our program and brought his staff with him to oversee all of the football operations, from player acquisitions to hiring other coaches. Our first franchise game is March 15th at Honda Center in Anaheim, a perfect location to ensure we deliver the level of entertainment our fans are expecting with KISS. Our motto is: “See it to believe it.”
What were some of the biggest challenges getting LA KISS ready for the season?
From August until March isn’t a long time. When you’re launching a new business, you have a thousand things that are “priority.” We had to build front office infrastructure, business operations, a team and branding in time for our first franchise game. One of the first things I had to do was get a communications network up and running but I didn’t have any IT staff to implement, so the infrastructure had to be simple and hosted offsite.
One of the things many people don’t realize is how huge communications is to our success. We live and die by ticket sales so we had to get a reliable phone system up and running so our frontline people could make outbound calls to sell season tickets, sponsors and partnerships. Having the needed infrastructure and tools in place from the beginning gives us the foundation we need to grow as an organization.
How do you plan on living up to the hype surrounding LA KISS?
We’re a fusion of entertainment and sports. Just like KISS has been pioneering in their careers, we will be pioneering in our brand and do things never done before. We want to be on the cutting edge. Our frame of reference isn’t what other AFL teams are doing but what all sports teams are doing. We’re introducing our players into the stadium by lowering them from the ceiling. We’re making sure there’s no downtime in the game; it will be full of entertainment with music and performers – a true spectacle. KISS will perform a special concert for season ticket holders in July. We are constantly thinking of new ways to excite our fans and promote our team. It’s amazing to be on the ground floor of something so dynamic and innovative.