Rank + Rally Vice President of Retail Sean Ryan Visits LA Campus
Sean Ryan, Vice President of Retail at Rank + Rally, which handles retail operations for venue partners, sports franchises, and attractions, recently visited the Los Angeles campus as a guest speaker for the Premier Merchandise & Marketing and Merchandise Product Development Groups, an elite set of students who enjoy unique opportunities and special access such as this. Sean spoke about the retail landscape, social media, and the emotional connection sports consumers have with teams and individual players.
Sean shared his career experience with the students, including his former role as Vice President at AEG, the world’s leading sports and entertainment company. In August of 2018, he joined Rank + Rally, which partners with iconic sports franchises such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, and LA Galaxy, among others, in team venues, online, and outside the stadium. The Chicago, Illinois-based company handles everything from product design and development to pricing and promotion planning and store operations.
He spoke about the ever-changing world of retail and said he has to always be on his toes because things are constantly changing. Sean highlighted his belief that it’s important to listen to and not discount people who are young and said more experienced people in the workforce should not be afraid to grow and evolve. “That was a really big message that he gave,” said Merchandising & Marketing Director Mimi Su. “He said you have to constantly keep learning and changing with the times.”
Sean also discussed how Rank + Rally helps sports brands create their brick and mortar retail experience, which can entail merchandising, visuals, and store layouts. He said most retail purchases are emotional, but when it comes to sports, emotion plays a much bigger role because people are so passionate about their favorite teams and players. He shared how retail can be affected by how a particular team is doing, which players are signed on, and who may be injured. “The students really liked him,” added Mimi. “They had tons of questions and he was a great conversationalist."