number of important business issues including some very difficult financial situations. While our financial situation has stabilized under the ownership of Eugene Melnyk, our financial performance is still a critical indicator of our business performance and a priority for our executive team.
Naturally, hockey operations have always been the top priority of the Ottawa Senators; however, we realized that the business and market environments we operate within had been changing as quickly as the world of professional hockey. The high tech boom was certainly over and money had become tight in our market area. Fans and corporate sponsors were demanding more for their dollar, particularly as prices increased to support increasing player salaries. The focus on excellence across service industries was at an all time high. Perhaps most importantly, we knew we were going to need to be at the top of our game to not only win back the fan support we enjoyed prior to the lockout, but to also grow the fan base in order to provide the financial wherewithal and stability required to fund hockey operations in the new NHL.
We knew we had to make some changes in our off-ice performance. The lockout gave us the opportunity of being able to take a step back and look at our business as a whole, without having to deal with the pressures of a 100+ game hockey season.
Cyril Leeder, Chief Operating Officer, CSG --- While we did perform some strategic planning at the department or individual management level, it was not being conducted in a consistent enterprise-wide approach. As a result, we found ourselves reacting to situations, not being proactive.
It also became apparent that communications within our quickly growing organization was not as effective as it needed to be. The combination of limited internal communications, the lack of a comprehensive business game plan, and the day to day workload of operating a professional sports franchise negatively impacted employee morale. As a result, we were not delivering the fan experience we desired --- nor were we delivering the financial results we expected.
The timing was right --- we had a management team that was committed to excellence, we had a strong desire to improve employee morale and, most importantly, we wanted to provide the best fan experience in professional sports and entertainment. The final piece of the puzzle came into place when we partnered with the Wren Group to guide us through a systematic approach to assessing, developing and implementing a performance management program tailored to CSG’s requirements.
End of Part A Case Study