With over 17+ years in the Sports & Entertainment industry, Mike Barbato is a proven revenue generator focused on increasing the bottom line through culture, process, and innovation. Barbato is currently the Chief Business Officer for AJ Tickets, a full-service secondary market ticket broker. In this role, he is responsible for creating and implementing the day to day business operations of the company, including establishing policies that promote company culture and vision, as well as drive performance and growth.
Prior to joining AJ Tickets, Barbato spent 4 years as the Chief Operating Officer in charge of all business and revenue operations for the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, the largest multi-day junior golf tour in the world. Under his leadership and direction, the HJGT expanded to hosting over 385+ events annually in 27 states including 3 countries. With over 10,000+ juniors playing each year, the tour not only continued to set records each year, but also achieved its mission of providing all juniors the opportunity to play in competitive golf tournaments that prepare them for college golf and beyond.
Before joining the HJGT, Barbato spent the previous 13+ years as a driving force in Ticket Sales departments of some of the nation’s leading sports organizations, getting his start in sales with the New Jersey Nets as an Account Executive selling season, group, and premium ticket packages. After three seasons with the Nets, Barbato joined the New York Giants Football Team where he sold Personal Seat Licenses for the new Metlife Stadium during its construction. After one year with the Giants, Barbato moved to Charlotte, NC to manage the Ticket Sales Department, and later the Premium and Suite Sales & Service Departments for the Charlotte Bobcats and the Time Warner Cable Arena. After four years in Charlotte, Barbato and his family moved back to New Jersey where he held various Leadership roles at organizations in the NY/NJ area. First was as General Manager, Sales & Marketing with Legends Global Sales on a project opening up a remote ticket sales office for the New York Yankees. After that he worked at The Madison Square Garden Company with the New York Knicks & Rangers as the Director of Corporate Hospitality in charge of Suite Sales efforts for the transformation of MSG. He then spent the next 4 years at the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer as The Director of Business Development in charge of all Ticket Sales for the team including overseeing the Season, Premium, Inside, and Group Sales departments. After the Red Bulls, Barbato was the Director of the National Sales Center for Live Nation and the Premium Seat Sales department, in charge of selling Premium Ticket packages for Live Nation amphitheaters across the U.S.
A major accomplishment in every role Barbato has held, and every Sales team he’s led, is that he and his team have not only hit their revenue targets, but in most cases, set franchise records in revenue and tickets sold. In addition, Barbato is very proud of the countless individuals in the Sports & Entertainment industry across the country whom he has helped mentor and grow along the way.
A native of Syracuse, NY, Barbato earned his Bachelor’s degree from Saint Leo University. He currently resides in Winter Garden, FL with his wife, Michele, two children (Luca and Laila), and their dog, Lucky.