About 18 months ago, Haute Living sat down with founder, chairman, and CEO of the Related Companies Stephen Ross to discuss the current state of the economic situation. At the time, he was bullish on the marketplace, as he well should have been. Related had recently taken a $1.4 billion infusion from Goldman Sachs, Abu Dhabi, and MSD Capital, bringing the total worth of Related above the $5 billion marker. My conversation with the fearless real estate leader took place mere days before he made the announcement that he was to become 50% owner of the Miami Dolphins, and also months before the Greatest Depression rocked Wall Street.
Last night, millions around the country tuned in to see Ross’ Dolphins in their 2009 season Monday Night Football debut against the Colts. The game took place at the newly renamed Land Shark Stadium, part of a lucrative marketing deal with Jimmy Buffet’s Land Shark Lager. Ross has been instrumental in bringing a number of high-profile names into the Dolphins ranks to increase the allure of the stadium, including the likes of Buffet, the Estefans, JLo and Marc Anthony, and the Williams sisters. The media blitz started hours before the game as a number of these personalities walked the “Orange Carpet” into the packed stadium under the glow of a national spotlight.
While the Dolphins may have suffered a loss last night, it was certainly a win for Ross. He instituted changes at the stadium that will increase the appeal amongst the notoriously fickle Miami fans. But it is all part of his overall business plan. Today, the New York Observer ran an op-ed column by Ross himself, where the mogul stresses that, despite the current economic circumstances, now is the time to take risks. He writes: “The financial crisis of the past year presents a unique opportunity to consider and actually undertake major changes that are not achievable in good economic times. Rather than bemoaning the lack of demand in the commercial real estate market, we must seize this opportunity to take steps to create future demand and ensure the financial viability of our economy so that New York continues to grow and remain competitive in a global marketplace.”
These tactics were so readily applied to the Dolphins franchise over the course of the off-season, and, as a Miamian (albeit not native—the Patriots will always be my team), I hope that he is able to take his untarnished record of industry domination and apply it to this NFL team.
Via New York Observer