Q’s With Climate Pledge Arena VP Of Marketing Rosie Selle: ‘We Strive To Do Things Differently’

Rosie Selle
– Rosie Selle
It’s a sort of homecoming for Rosie Selle, who worked at the old KeyArena in Seattle and says the new Climate Pledge Arena has unique amenities for artists and fans.

Creating a world-class arena and NHL hockey operation from scratch is no small feat, but people like Rosie Selle, VP of marketing at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, have the experience and attitude to do just that.

“It’s building a brand-new NHL franchise from scratch, a brand-new arena, a new arena team, then all of this over the last 18 months has been during a global pandemic,” says Selle, who most recently was part of the Target Center reopening but previously worked at the old KeyArena. 

“Think about building a staff and cohesive culture on Zoom for the most part. It’s been challenging, but I have to say it feels really authentic to who we are as an organization on both sides of the business – our arena team and the Kraken, really striving to do things a little bit differently, think a little differently, be really focused on our fans and what this community in Seattle has been missing out on. It‘s like an extra level of special.”

Pollstar caught up with Selle just days before CPA’s grand public opening with Coldplay, which takes place oct. 22.

Pollstar: What’s it like seeing the transformation as someone who worked at the previous iteration of what is now Climate Pledge Arena?
Rosie Selle: It’s a completely different building. The only thing we kept is the landmark roof, which I have a soft spot for. It has this really beautiful architecture, being from 1962, so being able to preserve that, and with the naming rights partnership and our sustainability efforts, it all fits together beautifully. There is something special about having that sort of history, but still getting to participate in the brand new. I joke that it’s like going from a Model T to a Tesla because it is a brand-new building underneath. It’s going to definitely feel like you’re stepping into the future with this building. What’s also really cool, changing from the old building to the new, personally to me, you walk into the bowl and it feels like a cathedral. It’s just beautiful because you have the north window curtain, which is also a landmark piece of the building, a wall of windows. I’ve been in a lot of arenas, it’s truly special when you walk in there.

What is your day-to-day like right now with so much happening so quickly?
We’ve got five of us on the arena marketing team right now, it’s everything from putting the shows on sale, all of our MarCom platform, social strategy, website development, email marketing, day to day working with our BI team to make sure we’re getting the right message to the right people at the right time to ultimately drive ticket sales. We’re so fortunate we’re kind of hitting right at the time where we’re putting shows on sale literally every single week while we’re still building everything out. We’re only going to get better at it as we go, but we feel really proud of our processes we’ve put into place and leveraging all the opportunities we have being on the Seattle Center Campus with our partners in the city. We launched the Climate Pledge Arena in summer of last year with our partners at Amazon. It’s a brand-new brand for us, obviously, and certainly re-branding a building that’s been in the market for so long as so many different things is always a challenge. And we’re driving the narrative that we can do all of this while still being sustainable as a building. It’s one we’re really excited to take on, and obviously we have great partners at Amazon to help us do all of this.
How do you feel about opening night?
You feel like you always want more time but can’t wait to get open so we can start the business we love, the shows and events, understanding how everyone reacts and how to make things better. For me, personally, when you’ve worked for something so long and so hard, and such long nights and so many Zoom meetings, and to build a culture and all the processes and everything in place, there’s two moments. One, when we open the doors and finally let people in, to see what we created and just being able to witness those reactions. But I get goosebumps thinking of waiting in the bowl when everyone’s excited and fidgeting and waiting for the show to start, and then all of a sudden the house lights go dark and then the whole crowd just loses their minds and you have that first trigger of production, the first light or sound or note or whatever it is. I am fully anticipating that I will break down and bawl. Happy, exhausted tears (laughs). s