WHEN: Today, Thursday, October 30TH at 11:50 AM ET
WHERE: CNBC's "The Call"
Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with New York Jets Owner Woody Johnson, on CNBC'S "The Call" Today.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
[Editors note: The interview includes Johnson's comments about naming rights]
DARREN ROVELL: WOODY THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US TODAY. YOU KNOW YOU PLANNED TO AUCTION A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN 2,000 OF THOSE SEATS AND YOU AUCTIONED LESS THAN HALF OF THEM. WHAT DO YOU OWE THAT TO? IS THAT THE ECONOMIC TIMES OR THE FACT THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE TRIED TO AUCTION OFF TOO MANY IN A SMALLER TIME PERIOD?
WOODY JOHNSON: WELL I THINK PART OF IT WAS, FIRST OF ALL 2,000 WAS THE ABSOLUTE LIMIT OF THE COACHES CLUB. THIS IS A FIRST TIME EVENT REALLY WITH STUB HUB AND AUCTIONING OFF THIS KIND OF PRODUCT, SO 620 OVER A NINE DAY PERIOD, WE CONSIDER A MAJOR SUCCESS. IT WAS, WE SET AND VALIDATED THAT THE FACT THAT IN THE PUBLIC MARKET, THE PSL HAS VALUE - HAS A LOT OF VALUE. AND PEOPLE ARE HAPPY ABOUT IT.
ROVELL: NOW ABOUT HALF OF THE NFL TEAMS HAVE DONE THESE PERSONAL SEAT LICENSES. FANS HAVE A CHANCE TO PURCHASE THE SEATS OR WILL PURCHASE THE SEATS ONCE THEY BUY THESE PSLs. IN EVERY MARKET THE FANS GET VERY UPSET THAT THEY ARE BEING ASKED TO DO THIS, THAT THEIR LOYALTY IS BEING UPROOTED BY FINANCIAL DEMANDS. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT LONGTIME SEASON TICKET HOLDER WHO CAN'T AFFORD WHAT, YOU KNOW, THE COACH'S CLUB OR EVEN SOMETHING LIKE THE $5,000 PSL, AND NOW HAS TO MOVE TO THE UPPER DECK?
JOHNSON: WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE TRIED TO DO IS TRIED TO END THE PRICING OF THE BUILDING. WE'VE TRIED TO HAVE PRICE AND LOCATION AND COME UP WITH A PRODUCT FOR VIRTUALLY EVERYBODY. WE'VE LEFT, AS YOU MAY BE AWARE, WE'VE LEFT A THIRD OF THE BUILDING, 27,000 SEATS WITHOUT -- WITHOUT PSLs, AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK IN DOING THAT AND OFFERING AN ARRAY OF DIFFERENT SEATS AT DIFFERENT PRICE POINTS WITH DIFFERENT CLUBS AND DIFFERENT AMENITIES I THINK HOPEFULLY EVERYBODY WILL FEEL THAT THERE'S SOMETHING FOR THEM IN THE BUILDING.
MELISSA FRANCIS: WOODY, I HAVE A MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR YOU, AND IN THE OFF SEASON -- I'M KIDDING, OF COURSE, YOU PICKED UP BRETT FAVRE. SO FAR THIS YEAR HE HAS 15 TOUCHDOWNS, 11 INTERCEPTIONS BUT HE HAS THE BEST SELLING JERSEY IN THE LEAGUE, AND, OF COURSE, HE'S TAKEN FOCUS OFF THE GIANTS. HAS IT BEEN WORTH THE $12 MILLION? AND KEEP IN MIND I'M A LITTLE BIT BITTER BECAUSE I'M A TAMPA BAY BUCS FAN.
JOHNSON: ALL RIGHT. I'M SORRY THAT THERE'S A LITTLE TINGE OF BITTERNESS IN THERE. HE'S BEEN JUST AN AMAZING ADDITION.
WE MADE A NUMBER OF ACQUISITIONS DURING THE OFF SEASON THIS YEAR. HE WAS -- HE WAS VERY IMPORTANT. HE'S PLAYING, YOU KNOW, HE'S PLAYING LIKE BRETT FAVRE. I MEAN, WE'RE THIRD IN THE LEAGUE IN SCORING OR SECOND IN THE LEAGUE IN SCORING RIGHT NOW.
HE'S, I THINK BEEN, YOU KNOW, HIS TEAMMATES LIKE HIM. HE'S ELECTED CAPTAIN AND SO WE'RE VERY HAPPY TO HAVE BRETT.
FRANCIS: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PRICE YOU PAID AT THIS POINT. WOULD YOU SAY 12 MILLION IS WORTH IT? DID YOU GET A DEAL?
JOHNSON: WELL, THAT -- WELL, KNOW, WE'RE HAPPY TO HAVE BRETT HERE. NOTHING IN FOOTBALL IS CHEAP SO, YOU KNOW, WHEN THE SEASON PROGRESSES, WE'LL DECIDE, I MEAN, I'M HAPPY WITH IT AT THIS POINT. I THINK WE MADE A VERY STRATEGIC ACQUISITION. WE DID IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. WE TRIED TO MAKE OUR FOOTBALL TEAM BETTER AS WE DO EVERY YEAR AND ALONG WITH THE OTHER PLAYERS, INCLUDING AL FANECA AND WOODY, YOU KNOW, ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE, I THINK WE'VE REALLY IMPROVED OUR TEAM.
ROVELL: SO WOODY, LET ME ASK YOU THIS QUESTION. TAKE ME TO THE END OF THE SEASON YOU'RE 4-3 RIGHT NOW. IS THERE MORE PRESSURE TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR THAN ANY OTHER YEAR BECAUSE YOU'RE SELLING THOSE SEATS TO THE NEW STADIUM?
JOHNSON: WELL, I -- YOU KNOW, WE ALWAYS APPROACH THE SEASON A GAME AT A TIME, AND I WOULDN'T SAY -- I WOULDN'T SAY THERE IS MORE PRESSURE. THERE'S ALWAYS ULTIMATE PRESSURE. WE'RE ALWAYS TRYING TO DO AS WELL AS WE CAN EVERY WEEK AND TRY TO WIN EVERY GAME. WE DON'T GO IN THINKING WE'RE GOING TO LOSE ANY GAMES. WE TRY TO WIN EVERY GAME. SO WE'RE NOT KIND OF LINKING THOSE TWO THINGS.
ROVELL: WHAT ABOUT NAMING RIGHTS? I KNOW YOU GUYS ARE TRYING TO SELL NAMING RIGHTS. THERE WAS BUZZ FOR A WHILE AROUND ALLIANCE THAT DISAPPEARED BUT, BY WHAT FACTOR DO YOU EXPECT THE NUMBERS TO BE COMPROMISED AT ALL IN TERMS OF HOW MUCH YOU CAN GET FOR THE STADIUM NAMING RIGHTS, FOR THE NEW STADIUM.
JOHNSON: I MEAN, I DON'T THINK THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BE COMPROMISED AT ALL BECAUSE THE NAMING RIGHT SPONSOR ULTIMATELY WILL BE A LARGE COMPANY THAT TAKES A LOOK AT THE NEW YORK MARKET AND THE FACT THAT THERE'S TWO NFL TEAMS, THE MOST POPULAR SPORTING KIND OF EVENTS THAT YOU HAVE NOW, SO WE'LL HAVE AN EVENT EVERY WEEK DURING THE WHOLE SEASON, DURING THE RATINGS SEASON, AND WE FEEL THAT THIS IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY AND THESE KIND OF GLOBAL COMPANIES THAT WOULD BE INTERESTED IN THIS WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE INTEREST.
ROVELL:WOODY THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AND GOOD LUCK THE REST OF THE WAY.
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