Michele Kajiwara is the Senior Vice President of Premium Seating for STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater, two world-class venues owned and operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. (“AEG”), the largest sports and entertainment company in the world. STAPLES Center is the home of four professional sports franchises – the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks – and hosts over 250 events and over 4 million guests annually with events ranging from professional sports, live music, family shows, boxing and special events, including the GRAMMY Awards, NBA All-Star Games and NHL All-Star Games among others. Additionally, Microsoft Theater hosts over 120 music, family, dance and comedy acts, award shows, televised productions, conventions and product launches with over 500,000 people passing through the doors annually. Kajiwara is responsible for overseeing 12 theater boxes at Microsoft Theater and STAPLES Center’s Premium Seating division, including 2,500-plus premier seats, 27 Tables & Lounges in the San Manuel Club and 154 Private Suites. In addition, Kajiwara leads a team of premium-seating executives in all areas of sales, service, analytics, database marketing, event management and manages retention of client relationships and revenue that exceeds $110 million annually.
Now in her 15th year at AEG, Kajiwara’s tenure has resulted in tremendous success and growth for Premium Seating at STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater, and she has helped achieve a number of records and milestones for the company. Under Kajiwara’s directive, the premium sales’ bottom line has been consistently maximized, and she was intimately involved in developing a unique premium seating area, which led to an additional $4 million in new revenue. Her innovative approach to sales and retention efforts led to record-breaking revenue of $100 million at STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater in the 2014-2015 season and continues to climb year over year.
Kajiwara got her start at AEG in 2003 as a Service Manager and after a year transitioned to sales and quickly became the No. 1 revenue generator. She has since evolved within the company by retaining, selling, innovating and building meaningful relationships at STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater, and also at StubHub Center where she spent a year managing all verticals of the Premium Seating Department. Kajiwara began her career in entertainment with New Regency Productions then moved to New York to begin work as a Catering Sales Manager for the Chelsea Piers. Under her direction, she sold events ranging in value from $25,000 to $1,500,000 and exceeded sales goals by over 50 percent.
Kajiwara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Southern California, is President of the Board for the Association of Luxury Suite Directors, recently received AEG’s coveted Chairman’s Award, is a 2018 Women of Inspiration for WISE and was just names as one of Variety’s Deal Makers. Kajiwara currently resides in El Segundo, CA, with her husband and two dogs.