We had the special priviledge to have a quick chat with the president of Los Angeles KISS Schuyler Hoversten. During our interview he discussed everything from moving from the working for the Los Angeles Dodgers to accepting his current position with KISS as well as his day to day duties running a brand new franchise from the beginning to the season kickoff. This is part 1 of 2 of our interview with Schuyler Hoversten.
1. Let me just start off with when did you get involved with the team?
2. You left a position with the Dodgers to become President of KISS. What was the process or what was on your mind prior to accepting the job?
I was proud of everything I accomplished while I was with the Dodgers, but I also saw the opportunity with LA KISS as one that would allow me to accomplish things that have never been done before in sports; to help change the face of a sport, and just align with a culture that is more in-tune with my personality and mindset. I didn’t feel that I was living up to my true potential there. I was also intrigued by the opportunity to build something from the ground up rather than improve something that is already well established. The role of Team President was one I always wanted to conquer, and the fact that I became the youngest team president in pro-sports through this opportunity is certainly a milestone I’ll always be proud about.
3. Some people have asked why use the KISS branding for the team instead of bringing back the old Arena Football names of Avengers as well as Piranhas.
I believe the way we will use and also not use KISS is appropriate. Much like KISS, we want LA KISS to represent an attitude, a way of doing things BIG or not doing them at all; pioneers willing to take risks while avoiding our critics, but we also want the team to stand on its own so we will live by the very principles that made the band successful without having to paint our faces nor have the band play during our games. We also don’t look through the rear view mirror, nor compare ourselves to any other team in the league. With that said, we really see ourselves as a fusion of entertainment and sports so I think as long as we stand by our principles we’ll live up to our name.
4. Why Anaheim? Why not Los Angeles Staples, Sports Arena?
The Honda Center and their entire staff have been incredibly accommodating and I see our relationship with the building as a true partnership and one that will thrive for years. Success starts with a venue and staff that wants you to succeed as well, and we have that at the Honda Center. Also, given that we play our games entirely on weekends, fans from all over Orange County and Los Angeles County can make it to our games without having to fight rush hour traffic.
5. Have you gotten any flack because of not actually being in Los Angeles? Los Angeles KISS of Anaheim?
I think the whole LA-OC thing is a little crazy but one that I really witnessed with the Dodgers. We called the team LA KISS in an effort to help raise more national awareness for the Arena Football League, a sport still very much in its infancy but very well deserving of the spotlight. As LA KISS, we hope to bring in fans from all across the LA region, in addition to the country as a whole. We see Orange County as our home and will look to be great partners to the surrounding community as our organization evolves. Would you name the Yankees the Bronx Yankees?
6. What is a typical day for you in the office right now and how is it different from earlier in the year. Since the team has gone from start to hitting the field in record time.
Every day is filled with things that all need to be done NOW. It’s like having 100 things that are all priority #1 and that’s the challenge with starting a team under such tremendous time constraints. We have so much to do in so little time. I focus a good portion of my time on revenue development through sponsorship and ticketing initiatives in addition to the overall management of our brand through our marketing, press releases, and social media. I’m very particular about everything that goes out and ensuring that everything we do is major league so that can also slow things down too.
7. Also, most of your front office personnel come from the failed Chicago Rush. Why make the decision to simply move the entire football operations staff from one team to another?
Our Head Coach, Bob McMillen, is a winner and his track record speaks for itself. He hasn’t had a losing season as a player or coach and that in no small part is the reason why he was not only the coach of the year last year but will also be inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame this year. He has assembled a great support team behind him that will help him win games.
8. Also, any news on more corporate partners?
Corporate partners are a continual focus of our team and we have numerous on-going discussions with a wide variety of brands. Some of our current partners are Fiat, San Manuel Casino, Denny’s, Staples, Russell, Net 10 Wireless, Select Physical Therapy, Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic, McDonald’s, Holiday Inn, Tilted Kilt, K1 Speed, Sports One Marketing, Under Armour, Buffalo Wild Wings, Which wich, Shoretel, and several others. We continue to align with new brands weekly.
9. What else can we expect from the team?
We have a limited edition bobblehead series with all four KISS characters – Starchild, Demon, Spaceman, Catman, in LA KISS jerseys. Fans can expect a game day entertainment experience that will make going to another sporting event like watching paint dry. We’re designing and investigating a way to lower our players from the ceiling as well as other things you’ve never seen in pro-sports.
In part 2, Mr. Hoversten discusses all about the broadcasting deal and the nuts and bolts of the teams reality show and what we as fans can expect. That will be released right here on examiner.com on Friday night. Have a question or comment for Mr. Hoversten??? Let us know below in the comment section.