Over the past several years, former Adelphia Communications Corp. regional vice president of sales and marketing John Cimperman helped develop a great deal of synergy between the MSO and the company-owned Buffalo Sabres National Hockey League team.
But when Adelphia lost control of the Sabres as part of its recent financial scandal, Cimperman began to see those synergies come undone.
As executive vice president of integrated marketing for the Sabres — a post he held in addition to his role at Adelphia — Cimperman helped to create a customer-loyalty program that drove consumers back and forth between the two properties. He also helped install an Adelphia retail outlet at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, where the cable operator could demonstrate new technology.
"We made sales every night," said Cimperman of the store, which he now expects to be disbanded once the National Hockey League, which has taken over operation of the Sabres, finds a new buyer for the team.
"It's been very difficult over the past few months, seeing this pulled apart," Cimperman said. "I'm a product of cross-promotions and integrated marketing, so the opportunity to do what I do best was taken away from me."
Cimperman used the current Adelphia situation as a catalyst to open his own business, as a way to control his own destiny. Early in July, Cimperman left Adelphia and set up shop as Cenergy Sports & Entertainment, designed to help sports teams, arenas, cable operators and networks with event marketing programs.
The name "Cenergy" was created as a hybrid of synergy, energy and the letter "C" for Cimperman, he noted.
Last month, Cimperman spent much of his time on the road in talks with different sports properties, pitching the benefits of loyalty programs tied between a sports team and a monthly subscription service, whether a cable, telecom or wireless provider.
In August, Cimperman said he plans to turn his focus to cable operators and networks.
"We had extremely strong relationships with programmers in Western New York," Cimperman said. At one grass-roots event sponsored by Oxygen Network, Adelphia helped introduce ice hockey to 150 local girls.
Cenergy plans to find the best integrated marketing solutions for its clients and then outsource the work to the "best-of-breed" agencies, Cimperman said. Those partners include Carlsen Marketing Group, SME, Wyse Advertising, STMotorsports and the George P. Johnson Co., according to a press release.
The new company's web site can be found at www.cenergy-sports.com.