Wilmingtonbiz logo
Print
Hospitality

New Owners Of Wilmington Sharks Baseball Aim For Bigger Bite Of Market

By Cece Nunn, posted May 8, 2017
The new owners of Wilmington Sharks Baseball have big plans to expand the reach of the team.

Matt Perry and Bill Davidson, partners in Kansas-based sports industry support firm National Sports Services, recently purchased the summer collegiate baseball franchise for an undisclosed sum from Brad Smith.

"We've always known that Wilmington's a great and growing market, including the surrounding area," Perry, who lived in Wilmington in the 1990s, said Monday. "And we thought there was a lot of upside potential, bringing in a larger staff and more promotions and enhancing the stadium." 

That "upside potential" Perry sees is also "from the standpoint of attracting more fans and driving revenue and being more heavily entrenched in the community," he said.

Perry said he plans to share more future plans at a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the home of the Wilmington Sharks, Buck Hardee Field at Legion Stadium, 2149 Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington.

Of National Sports Services, Perry said, "We've worked for over 50 teams over the last 30 years and mainly in the capacity of helping teams enhance their operations. We've also been involved in some stadium development projects and building and selling franchises for clients."

Perry is president of National Sports Services and Davidson is CEO.

Perry said he and his partner have had ownership interest in teams in the past, "but we liked the opportunity of this when we decided to go ahead and jump in and take on the ownership. We're looking at adding capacity and making some aesthetic changes, buying a lot of new equipment to enhance our food and beverage operations. We've restructured the seating behind home plate." 

Over the next couple of years, Perry said, the new owners plan to identify a very small group of potential local owners to add to the partnership.

Perry said he sees the Wilmington Sharks appealing to baseball fans and families in and outside of the Port City, considering the team's "bite radius" to include Pender, Brunswick and Columbus counties, in addition to New Hanover County.

"I want people to understand that we're jumping in with both feet and dramatically enhancing our budget because we think there's a lot more we can offer in the region with our family entertainment option in the summer," Perry said. "We'll almost double the operating budget this first year in an effort to really start pounding stakes and showing growth."

He said the team's coaching staff is coming back and the team will have a lot of new players. Mike Kardamis, who has a background in baseball team operations, is coming in as chief revenue officer. Pat Hutchins will remain the general manager, while Sara Goodwin is directing group sales and Carson Bowen is handling ticket operations and other elements, Perry said.

The Wilmington Sharks, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, plays a home opener May 30, according to the team's website

Story On The Map

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT

Book On Business

Bob2017

The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$24.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

New Owner Plans Mall Changes

Some of the same strategies Rouse Properties, the new owners of Independence Mall, has used in other centers it has bought sound similar to what it might have in store for the Wilmington property.

Nunalee Pediatric Clinics Move Into Autumn Hall

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center Nunnelee Pediatric Specialty Clinics relocated last month to Autumn Hall....

Mega Projects: Breaking Down The Big-Ticket Projects That Could Reshape The Region

Four major infrastructure proposals in the Wilmington area would require billions in investment into the region. But as the region continues...

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

UNCW Announces 2 New Online Business Master's Degrees

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jul 21, 2017 Trending News

Local Real Estate Leaders Discuss Hurdles In Current Market

Cece Nunn - Jul 21, 2017

WHQR Announces New Station Manager

Cece Nunn - Jul 20, 2017

Developers Share Plans For Leland's Next Major Retail Center

Cece Nunn - Jul 20, 2017
Insurance Brokers

James E. Moore Insurance Agency, Inc.

The James E. Moore Insurance Agency was founded in 1954 and since that time has continued to be one of the Independent Insurance industry’s leaders in bringing quality products to our clients across t ...more

Ico trending Trending News

UNCW Announces 2 New Online Business Master's Degrees

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jul 21, 2017

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Power Breakfast: Coach C.B. McGrath - June 2017
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2016

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!


There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:



Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad