Working on the First Coast; Catering to Big-League Sports Fans 54 Sports in Ponte Vedra Arranges Events around Professional Events

By Dixon, Drew | The Florida Times Union, November 27, 2013 | Go to article overview

Working on the First Coast; Catering to Big-League Sports Fans 54 Sports in Ponte Vedra Arranges Events around Professional Events


Dixon, Drew, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Drew Dixon

When Brandon Woods and his partners Robert Miller and Mark Surles started operations at 54 Sports this year for corporate outings surrounding athletic events, they were counting on their background in the sporting world for success.

Woods, who was vice president of client services for The PGA Tour Club in Ponte Vedre Beach for seven years, said his work with corporate outings, meetings and travel scheduling made it a natural to help start up 54 Sports. Woods is now the COO at the Ponte Vedra offices for 54 Sports while Miller runs the company's operations in Charlotte, N.C.

54 Sports - named after a perfect score of a birdie on every hole of a 72-par golf course - specializes in arranging high-end corporate excursions for top-flight golf events, NFL games, Major League Baseball and other big league sporting events. Woods said his company handles everything from travel to lodging to food to tickets for corporations seeking to entertain clients or even employees.

While some of that access to sporting events can land some of the 30 clients of 54 Sports in the luxury skyboxes at some of the most notable stadiums and arenas across America, Woods said his company still lands outings for corporate officials who still want to be in the stands. Most of the outings arranged by 54 Sports handle about 20 to 50 people and can range in cost from $3,000 to $10,000 per person, depending on what is requested.

Explain exactly what 54 Sports does.

We provide high-level access to all sporting venues around the country and internationally for corporations to entertain their guests at. Whether it be behind the scenes access or great seating, it's all on a corporate platform for access that you can't really [normally] obtain or have a hard time finding.

So is it kind of like sporting event networking for corporations, corporate officers and their clients?

It's mostly client entertaining. We find a big need for client retention these days. So, as the economy improves, corporations are entertaining more. They will take them [clients] on a regional, national or even international basis to different events around the world to show appreciation.

Is it just sports or are there other events involved as well?

We're focused on sports. That's our mission that we set out to do. We are doing some sales incentives for some of our current clients as a default to the relationships we've built with them.

Why did your company, you and your partners, decide to focus on sporting events for corporate networking and entertainment?

Coming from a golf background and sports background, I worked with many companies through my tenure in that business. …

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