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Our Blues Connections

June 21, 2019

Several members of the JBS community were mentioned in the June 21 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal in a special section devoted to the Blues' Stanley Cup win, including Tom Stillman, past parent; Jack Danforth, past grandparent; Andy Taylor '66; Steve Maritz '76; Jo Ann Taylor Kindle '76; John Ross '80; Lyda Krewson, past parent; and Bill DeWitt, parent: 

"The Blues’ route to the Cup was an improbable one, with the team going from worst in the league in early January to becoming champions in mid-June. But that remarkable five-month turnaround was only the final, dramatic conclusion to a championship odyssey that began in May 2012, when the NHL approved a bid led by St. Louis beer distributor Tom Stillmanto acquire the Blues.

The Stillman-led ownership group — which includes a host of St. Louis dignitaries, such as former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, Enterprise Holdings CEO and Chairman Andy Taylor and World Wide Technology Chairman David Steward — at the time were taking over a franchise that Forbes had just rated as the least valuable in the NHL, at $130 million.

Stillman, chairman and CEO of Summit Distributing, made immediate and drastic changes to the team’s operation after his ownership group took control. He reworked beer deals, sponsorships and player contracts; slimmed the team’s employment; sold the team’s minor league affiliate; and boosted ticket revenue...along the way, the Stillman group — which on Wednesday received league approval to buy out the minority share of the club's prior ownership group, Sports Capital Holdings LLC, giving them the total ownership stake — believes it has proven to the league that the Blues belong in the upper echelon of NHL franchises.

“We’ve really repositioned ourselves in the top tier, I think, of teams in terms of the value that we can bring to the NHL. That was witnessed first by us attracting the (2017) Winter Classic, partnering with the Cardinals and delivering a world-class event both to our city and the hockey world and to the NHL,” Zimmerman said. “I can just tell you that the league in general is so pleased and, quite honestly, very grateful to the way we are executing when we get these opportunities to partner. It’s quite clear that their interest in continuing to bring us some of their marque events continues to grow.” Read the special section here (requires subscription access).