Steve Sims, founder of The They, has sold experience better than anyone on the planet for two decades. He’d take insult if you called him a celebrity-CEO concierge but that’s precisely what The They has mastered—simply because to do what Sims can help you to do often takes the disposable income of a CEO or entertainment personality. Table for six at the feet of Michelangelo’s David while serenaded by Andrea Bocelli? We’ll handle that reservation for you. Looking to dive the Titanic in person in a submersible? Done. Sing on stage as the new lead vocalist for Journey? Child’s play.
What The They, like Azimut, hit at just the right moment with the experiential message was timing. Any billionaire with an American Express Centurion Black Card can swipe it at the Pagani dealership and drive away in a $1.4 million Huarya Roadster. What that same billionaire can’t do, unless Sims gets them there, is fly a Mig fighter jet at Mach 4. Unless of course you already happen to be a Russian oligarch.
“Rich people want to spend money,” says Sims, “But during the 2006 financial reset it was embarrassing for a lot of wealthy people to see others losing their home and then go out and spend $400,000 to buy a car with diamond encrusted wheels. So rich people replaced buying things that were trophy purchases with experiencing weightless (at the International Space Station) or diving down to the Titanic. You can lose your watch, you can lose your car, you can lose your house. You can never lose the emotional experience of enjoying something that few people have ever done.” (More on Steve Sims in an upcoming profile).