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Posted: Tuesday, October 30th 2012 at 11:10am

Falcons win-over South Hall biz leaders

By Marc Eggers Staff
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Greg Beadles
FLOWERY BRANCH – The South Hall Business Coalition held its monthly meeting Tuesday morning at the headquarters of one of south Hall County’s largest, and most closely followed, businesses: the Atlanta Falcons.

This annual event has become so well-attended that reservations are now required. Add to that a perfect 7-0 start by the Falcons and the level of excitement among the guests was noticeable as they settled into the team meeting room.

Rob Geoffroy, controller for the Falcons, is a board member of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, parent organization of the South Hall Business Coalition.

"We don’t just reside here, we live here," Geoffrey said. "We sit in a little slice of heaven here. We’re 120 associates plus 50 players…they’re invested here. And we appreciate your investment in us."

Greg Beadles, senior vice president and CFO of the team, talked to the chamber members about the current business climate for his company. Beadles explained that the NFL is a $9 billion enterprise, and would be near the middle of the Fortune 500 list of largest businesses if it was listed.

Nick Polk handles the player contract negotiations for the team as director of football administration. Polk likened his role with the Falcons to that of many of the chamber members, negotiating deals that are profitable for their businesses.

"You have to set a policy as an organization on what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do," Polk explained. "There are a lot of different types of contracts; you have to decide what are you willing to negotiate and what do you want to set as a policy that you’re not willing to negotiate."

Polk said one of the things the Falcons have chosen not to negotiate into their player contracts are incentives, or bonuses connected to performance levels. Polk said that creates too many unpredictable costs which in turn make staying under the mandated salary cap too difficult.

Apparently that strategy is working: the Falcons are within the salary cap and are near the top in winning percentage since 2005.

Beadles and Polk fielded several questions from the chamber members.

Beadles said that the team’s lease at the Georgia Dome expires in 2017 and decisions regarding the long-term situation for the team are under serious consideration, a business decision just like those encountered by members of the South Hall Business Coalition.

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