MIAMI — When Caroline O’Connor joined the Marlins in October 2017, she shortly found how passionate the fanbase can get within the tight-knit South Florida neighborhood.
O’Connor, who’s getting into her sixth 12 months with the group, will attempt to drive that ahead in her new position as president of enterprise operations. She will oversee the entire membership’s enterprise operations, together with gross sales, partnerships, advertising and marketing, human sources and variety, fairness and inclusion, finance, authorized, communications, neighborhood outreach, know-how, safety, ballpark amenities and particular tasks.
“I’ve all the time labored for first-class organizations, and that is actually what [chairman and principal owner] Bruce [Sherman] needs to see right here and actually what the mandate is,” O’Connor mentioned. “I feel utilizing finest practices and being the type of group that folks wish to work for and wish to assist the neighborhood, that is precisely what we would like right here, and quite a lot of the place I got here from.”
With O’Connor and common supervisor Kim Ng on the helm, the Marlins are led by two of the highest-ranking girls in skilled sports activities — turning into what the group believes to be the primary group to have girls working everything of the group day – to-day enterprise.
Unlike Ng, O’Connor didn’t start her skilled profession within the sports activities realm. She spent 5 years as managing director at Morgan Stanley and 6 years as director at UBS Investment Bank earlier than being named Miami’s senior vice president and chief of workers in 2017. She later climbed to chief working officer in ’19.
“I feel it is big,” O’Connor mentioned. “I feel we’re a extremely particular group. Bruce’s put quite a lot of belief in us, and he actually checked out benefit and who can do the job. I’m actually enthusiastic about it. I feel it makes our group distinctive and stand out, and exhibits what girls can do and the roles that they will maintain.”
Under O’Connor’s management, the Marlins have discovered methods to extend income streams and publicity to Marlins baseball and the loanDepot park expertise.
Attendance elevated 12 p.c throughout the 2022 season in comparison with ’19 — the final time there was year-round open seating — to indicate one of many largest jumps in Major League Baseball. Initiatives consisted of member base progress (season-ticket holders) and single-game ticket presents like $1 youngsters nights on Mondays and the return of 4 for $44. loanDepot park, in the meantime, will turn out to be the primary venue to host each spherical of the World Baseball Classic in March and can maintain the Caribbean Series in February 2024 — the primary time the occasion will happen at an MLB facility.
O’Connor helped spearhead the Marlins’ funding in bettering baseball amenities in South Florida and the Dominican Republic. A member of the Florida Council of 100 and the Board of Directors of the Florida Sports Foundation, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade County, O’Connor was acknowledged in 2021 as an Influential Businesswoman by the South Florida Business Journal.
“We are lucky to have somebody with Caroline’s enterprise acumen and imaginative and prescient main our day-to-day enterprise operations,” Sherman mentioned in a launch. “Her ardour and drive for fulfillment is unmatched in our sport and the South Florida market. Her management will proceed to information the Marlins group towards our aim of sustained success whereas strategizing extra new ventures to develop our enterprise and improve our model recognition.”
Arguably O’Connor’s best impression has come by way of the Marlins’ give attention to neighborhood outreach, together with the tee-ball initiative that has almost doubled in measurement since its institution in 2019. Count O’Connor’s youngest little one amongst its members. In order to develop the sport and curiosity within the hometown group, the Marlins are reaching out to the youthful generations.
“I feel what I’m most pleased with is simply the connection we have made with the neighborhood, and the way in which that’s beginning to play out in our attendance,” O’Connor mentioned. “We’re fairly deep with the tee-ball and the Youth Baseball League, the actions that we do with the colleges across the neighborhood. We have been seeing quite a lot of younger Marlins followers out in the neighborhood and at our video games, and that is actually thrilling for us. We have to hold pushing on that and hold getting the bigger neighborhood coming to our video games as a daily occasion once they’re pondering of what to do on their nights and weekends.”