Chelsea Piers (1995-2001)

Chelsea Piers is the premiere Sports & Entertainment facility in the tri-state area. In the summer of 1995 it was less than one year old, enjoying the induced demand and attention that comes with a new, large, state-of-the-art facility.  It was also struggling with implementing new structures, systems, policies, procedures, and ill-defined staff position-functions, particularly in the area of Adult Artistic Programs.
 
On the strength of a fully developed, related reputation, Mr. Blake was asked to join the Chelsea Piers program progenitors to assist them in developing an identity and to design and implement an Adult Artistic Gymnastics Program that would surpass all others. Furthermore, this was to be done with virtually no operational budget and no supervision.  The program was to be entirely stand-alone, succeeding or failing on its own merits.
 
To maximize exposure and generate excitement for the new program and for the new facility, Mr. Blake devised a comprehensive roll-out strategy.  To launch the program, Mr. Blake assembled the best adult artistic gymnasts in New York City for a well-planned, well-timed “demonstration class.” Next, a consistent series of peak-time classes were strategically structured, scheduled, and taught according to a well-defined system of skill progression. Completing the program was an array of individual and group private lessons — all designed to increase visibility, excitement, and enthusiastic word-of-mouth marketing. 
 
Within twelve months, the program comprised twelve regular weekly classes, regular private lessons, and was gathering momentum. To increase visibility and showcase the success of the program, Mr. Blake produced and directed the program’s first gala exhibition in the summer of 1997. The gala featured many of the adult gymnasts performing alongside New York’s most talented artistic sports performers and entertainers. The overwhelming response led Mr. Blake to produce and direct the program’s first and much anticipated, Holiday Gala in December 1997, followed by a 1998 Summer Gala, and a 1999 and 2000 Holiday Gala — all of which were televised on Manhattan New York Cable Television, featuring past Olympic gymnasts.
 
Mr. Blake eventually developed the Chelsea Piers Adult Gymnastics Program to an unprecedented 350 registrants, the largest on-record adult program of its kind in the country. Boasting New York Empire State Games Adult Division champions and medalists, regular class participants included the famed Anti-Gravity, The Radio City Rockettes, The Knick City Dancers, Circus Amok/Lava, Bam De Jesus Capoeira, Full-Circle Entertainment, and countless Broadway shows.  With featured pieces on NBC, in Harpers Bazaar, and in Teen Magazine, the program was a tremendous source of pride to the participants and to the Chelsea Piers management.