The world of public relations has been drastically altered by the advent of social media and blogs; it has allowed far more opportunities for someone to become a journalist, as well as transformed the role of the practitioner who is trying to get a solid, coherent message out on behalf of a team or athlete. Melinda Travis operates effectively within these new rules, discussing some of her thoughts on how to properly manage athlete messages for both personal and brand reasons through social media and other digital channels. Travis talks about her concerns about speculation over fact when responding to inquiry, and whether the rapid-fire demand for immediate information actually harms the public consumption of a story. Twitter: @Melinda_Travis
J.P. Lutz is both a practitioner and instructor; he works in the sports industry, helping franchises boost their revenue through consulting work, while also lecturing at various Philadelphia universities, helping the next generation gain the cutting edge on new technology and techniques. Lutz discusses his passion for finding both corporate sponsorship activation, as well as driving ticket sales and above all else, move ticket. Lutz discusses some of the issues surrounding educating today's generation of sports management students, and how to best engage them in the classroom with information that will serve them long-term in the industry. Twitter: @JP_Lutz
Don Scott is at a transition point in his career. After several great years of rising through the ranks of the Samford Athletic Department, working in tickets, marketing and development, Scott is now leading Immersion Media's efforts in helping athletic departments grow revenues and eyeballs as a digital media vendor. Scott discusses some of the challenges that he faced in both driving attendance through the ticket office and marketing, as well as attempt to cultivate new relationships with Samford alumni. Twitter: @Descott4
Selling motorsports racing is a highly complex feat, especially when the majority of the ticket sales staff isn't even in the same state as the venue track. Erik Blaisdell discusses the challenges and opportunities of selling NHRA, which owns multiple tracks throughout the country, and how to properly engage fans through selling the entire motorsports product. In some ways, they might be a little behind stick and ball sports in how to sell, in other ways, they may be ahead of those team-driven sports, especially when it comes to developing membership packages that sell. Blaisdell opens up about some of the ways that NHRA cares fully about its members, growing the brand every season.
The state of the secondary ticket market is David Young's focus throughout the day, as he helps foster RCN Capital's relationship with brokers to make the big sales with teams. Young refers to RCN Capital as the 'defacto bank' of the secondary ticket market, able to buy whole blocks of inventory with guarantees for sports franchises. Young discusses some of the issues surrounding the art of selling on the secondary ticket market, as well as some of the misconceptions about what resellers do and cannot do to help drive revenue as a distribution channel. Twitter: @RCNCapital
The premium seating product has been discussed prior on the podcast with guests, but never in a situation such as Detroit, where luxury items don't always look good for companies in the middle of downsizing in an economic crisis. Detroit Tigers VP Scot Pett admits that he has his work cut out for him, along with generating ticket sales in general, despite winning on the field, given the area that his staff sells to. Pett discusses some of the harmful generalizations about selling in the Detroit/Michigan marketplace, along with how big signings of free agents have stabilized some of the season ticket sales for the team.
The Baylor S3 program aims to be completely unparallelled in its instruction compared to most academic sports management classes out there. Focusing on Sports, Sales and Sponsorship as its top three core programming components, it's Executive Director Kirk Wakefield feels that there is a shift in the paradigm toward the discrimination that most sports management programs have. Typically because there is a focus on actually selling the sports product, rather than merely talking about it. Wakefield presents his argument for changing the attitudes of students, to help them understand that being a paid spectator is not a viable option in the sports world, as well as bringing forth new ideas to ensure that the students that graduate from the Baylor S3 program at the forefront of new methodology and technology for the sports industry. Twitter: @KirkWakefield
Bill Stewart pulls no punches when discussing the state of minor league baseball and hockey ownership in today's sports marketplace. An executive who has served as team president of a minor league hockey team for 6 years, Stewart has always owned several minority shares of minor league teams across the country. Stewart shares his insight into what makes a great minor league owner, as well as some of the details of league involvement as well as arena leases that goes into the numbers that make up sports finances. Stewart makes it very clear that being an owner in today's world involves a lot of risk, as well as frequent hard work, in order to develop an entertaining product that fans come back to witness time and again.
Understanding the engagement factor with analytics in sports doesn't just come from getting more customer information, but developing better ways to use it. Jeff Schum has been working on various ways to improve the education and relationship of numbers for the Carolina Hurricanes staff for years, as well as with several other organizations. Schum examines methodology to encapsulate as well as create better lead margins for sports sales staff members, qualifying leads to ensure that every piece of measurement can be taken into account before the first phone call is made. This is crucial in a time when discovering the elusive fan is hard to master. Twitter: @JeffSchum
Andrew Goodrich has a knack for creating promotional processes that develop the fan experience further for both the University of Miami and the University of South Florida. A large component of this effort comes from a deep dive into the world of analytical structure, where Goodrich utilizes both digital media and fan information. This is part of the budding trend occurring throughout college athletic departments as administrators are asking: just who are our fans? Goodrich has a few answers, especially for the young university alumni at USF. Twitter: @ATGoodrich