Business Perking Up?

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, December 23, 2003, that was edited for clarity.

Watch Your World w/Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: America West just one of several companies showing signs of an economic revival. And my next guest says, if corporate entertaining is any link to business success, he predicts 2004 will be a great year.

Joining me now, Robert Tuchman, chairman and CEO of TSE Sports & Entertainment.

And welcome. Good to have you with us.


KEENAN: You know, we’re hearing reports that companies were pulling out the stops again when it came to their holiday entertaining. Is that indeed the case?

TUCHMAN: You know, companies want to tell you one thing and they might do something else.

But, in my business, what I have noticed is a definite increase in that type of spending. There has definitely been more end-of-year parties. There has definitely been more events where companies taking clients to events, like the Super Bowl, the Final Four, the Masters. The money is definitely being spent now, more so than I’ve seen it in at least the last six months.

KEENAN: In the last six months, but nothing like the glory days of 1999, I assume.

TUCHMAN: Well, we all wish we might be able to go back to those days, especially the people in my business. But it hasn’t quite hit that number.

But, you know, in the last couple months, before this last turnaround, it has been down pretty much. And just seeing this turnaround in the last several months has really heightened a lot of positive-ness in our industry.

KEENAN: And I would think that would be one of the first places companies would cut back on. So, if they are spending to entertain, that is definitely a good sign.

TUCHMAN: Well, it is definitely a good sign, but it really isn’t the first place that people cut.

And the reason being is, companies understand, especially Fortune 500, Fortune 2,000 companies, that they have to spend money on these types of services to get bigger business. Now, they might spend $10,000 to bring a client down to the Super Bowl, but the business that they are looking at from that client could be in the multimillion-dollar range. So it has to be spent to get the client.

KEENAN: How much do safety concerns play into all of this, I mean not just the flying, but the safety of going to a Super Bowl and the like?

TUCHMAN: Well, I think, you know, after 9/11, obviously, that first year, a lot of people were scared to get on planes. A lot of people were scared, basically, you know, to travel to different destinations.

Certainly, with the heightened alert this past week and the false calls here and there, it has really led, I think, a lot of people to maybe hesitate a little bit. I don’t think it’s anywhere near after 9/11. But, hopefully, nothing happens.

KEENAN: Companies not only cut back on taking their clients to sporting events. They also cut back dramatically on advertising for such events. Is that starting to turn around in 2004?

TUCHMAN: Well, I think so. There has definitely been a turnaround in the advertising community as well. Obviously, the turnaround in the event community shows that the advertising community as well is turning around.

KEENAN: Is this just something that happens to the bigwigs, that they’re going to be wined and dined next year? What about the little fellow? Is he going to still be able to take people out to lunch again?

TUCHMAN: Well, that is not exactly my business. You know, our business is definitely the bigger events and...

KEENAN: You only deal with the hotshots.

TUCHMAN: Well, well, you know, of course, of course.

But I really think that there is an overall turnaround. And I think that, by seeing our business and the bigger events, you know, it is a lot easier for the person or the corporate exec who is a field manager at a Fortune 500 company to be able to take a client out for lunch, for dinner, basically to expense that on his expense or her expense account.

KEENAN: And you think that will continue strongly into the new year?

TUCHMAN: I sure as hell hope so.


KEENAN: For your business, I hope so, too.


KEENAN: It was good to have you with us. And happy holidays.

TUCHMAN: Thanks so much, Terry.

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