Legends, the premium sporting experiences company, has appointed Tom Funk as president of hospitality as part of a leadership shuffle.
Funk succeeds long-time hospitality president Dan Smith, who is moving into a new role as a senior advisor, and will start on February 1 after a two-year stint at multinational food services company Compass Group where he led its healthcare division – the largest arm of the business.
He brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, previously spending a decade at restaurant brand Levy, a sister company of Compass, which works with several sports organizations, including Major League Baseball’s LA Dodgers and Houston Rockets.
Before that, he spent eight years at US food services and facilities provider Aramark as director of operations and general manager of Delaware North.
Funk said: “I have been very fortunate in my career to work with many of the best in the hospitality and sports and entertainment industry, Dan Smith and the entire Legends organization sit firmly in that group. They have built an amazing business poised for growth.
“Food & beverage and merchandise play a critical role in delivering an exceptional fan and guest experience, and we have a significant responsibility to represent our partners’ brands in the best way possible.
“I’m excited to continue to evolve and grow our capabilities to ensure we do this, while also providing innovative concepts and solutions that will deliver great outcomes for our partners.”
Founded in 2008, Legends is financially backed by private equity investment firm Sixth Street and its retail and merchandising vertical solution spans e-commerce, in-venue retail, large-scale live events, brick-and-mortar store operations, licensing, and customer merchandise.
It services sports brands including Real Madrid, Dallas Cowboys, FC Barcelona, New York Yankees, Ryder Cup, the NFL, MLB, Nascar, PGA of America, and FIFA World Cup.
Legends chief executive Shervin Mirhashemi said: “The incredible growth and success of Legends’ hospitality business is attributed to Dan’s [Smith’s] leadership and guidance since day one. We are grateful for his immeasurable contributions over the past 15 years.
“As we continue to focus on growing the business and delivering first-class hospitality experiences for our partners, we are fortunate to have Tom take the reins and lead this next phase. Tom’s stellar reputation as an innovator and operator and his experience growing global platforms ensures he is the right leader for the future.”
The appointment comes after Legends acquired major venue management and events company ASM Global last November.
At the time, the company said the acquisition would support its clients from the project conception and planning stages to venue development and management, content and event booking, revenue strategy and sales execution, as well as omnichannel merchandising and hospitality services.
ASM Global manages live event entertainment venues including ICC Sydney Convention Center, Avicii Arena in Stockholm, OVO Arena Wembley in London, Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, and State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
The same month, Legends formally launched a Legends College division, appointing Mike Behan as president of the new arm to “provide the company’s integrated 360-degree service solution to support leading universities, collegiate organizations, and events.”