JD: Switching gears to Magic fans and your corporate partners, how impressed were you with your fan base last season with the way that they continued to support the team even throughout some struggles on the court? The Magic were still 15th in the league in attendance and averaged more fans at games than six teams that made the playoffs last season. Also, you were able to add Chase as a major sponsor during a season in which the Magic didn’t win as much as they had in the previous six seasons.
MARTINS: ``It was incredibly impressive and we’ve got the best fans in the NBA in my opinion. They understand what we’re doing now and they buy into what we’re doing. They know that history has shown that this organization is about winning. Even though we’ve had to go through a transition these couple of years, they know it’s not going to be long before we’re back in contention again. They’ve shown that loyalty to us and we’ve shown that loyalty back to them. Acquiring the right kinds of players, players that they can be proud of, and players whose jerseys they can be proud of wearing – those are the kinds of guys we want here. They know it’s just going to be a short period of time before we’re back in the playoffs and contending for a championship again.
``Our fans want it as badly or maybe even worse than we do in terms of winning a championship. So I’m incredibly impressed and proud with the loyalty of our fans. But again, I’m not surprised because I think we have the best fans in the NBA and they understand that this is going to be a short window of transition and then we’ll be back among the best again.
``I can’t say enough about how our staff has embraced being one of the best brands in sports. Not just the NBA, but in all of sports. We’re striving to be champions on and off the court, like our mission statement says. Our staff takes that to heart, and thus we deliver excellent service and personalized experiences.
``For our corporate sponsors, we deliver a true return on their investment. We’ve proven that to them every year and we can show it to them in metrics. If you do business with the Orlando Magic, it’s not just about putting up a sign in a building; it’s about connecting you with our fans so that we can drive a better business model. And it’s about connecting you with our other sponsors so that they all can do business with one another. I think we have delivered the reputation that we will deliver on our promise. Corporate America sees us as a sound investment. Whether it was last season with a year that wasn’t as great as we’re accustomed to on the court, our corporate sponsors continue to support us.
``This upcoming season we already know that it will be the best year we’ve had in terms of corporate sponsorship and partnership – in a year that we know the expectations aren’t necessarily there for us to be competing for the championship. I think Corporate America realizes that we’re a strong brand and they want to be associated with us and we’ll deliver on our brand promise. I give our staff all of the credit for that.’’
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