In a sports scene overflowing with superstars — from LeBron James to Clayton Kershaw to Aaron Donald — L.A.’s premier playmaker may be somebody who never steps foot onto a court or a field.
It’s hard to overstate the contributions of Kathryn Schloessman, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission — and the subject of a Business Journal cover story this week.
With multiple major events on the horizon, thanks in large part to the efforts of Schloessman’s LASEC, this city is approaching peak sports — a period unlike any since the 1980s, when the 1984 Summer Olympics broke revenue records, and the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams and Raiders were winning playoff games and packing seats.
Schloessman, however, remains the consummate team player. She credits LASEC’s close partnership with the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (the organizations share office space downtown) for the city’s success at attracting the Super Bowl and other marquee events.
“L.A. Tourism has us to go to as its sports and entertainment department for their mega events, and (that pairing has) been one of the best things the city ever did,” Schloessman says.
“L.A. Tourism takes care of putting together the hotel packages because that’s really the first step to a sports event. Then we have to make sure dates are cleared because of so much that’s going on. For example, the MLB All-Star Game would have come to L.A. earlier (it was last here in 1980), but there has always been an overlap with the Anime Expo (at the L.A. Convention Center each July 4 weekend). We were finally able to make both events work.”
Staging these events, Schloessman reminds us, doesn’t just take a village. It takes a city with L.A.’s vast resources.
“As a nonprofit, we have so many great partnerships,” she said. “Like Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman providing us legal advice, or Deloitte doing budget forecasting for the Super Bowl, all pro bono. We have partnerships with iHeartMedia and Westfield to help promote events in the community. ... We are stronger working together.”
Tom Hoffarth contributed to this column.
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