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The Tao of Sports Podcast – The Definitive Sports, Marketing, Business Industry News Podcast

Sports Revenue Analytics veteran Troy Kirby interviews the team behind the teams in Front Offices and Athletics Departments throughout the world, revealing an industry of specialists and minds unseen by the local or national media. Examined in this podcast are current or long-standing industry topics; tickets, business, analytics, moneyball, revenue, finance, economy, sales and jobs of the NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. Also included are topics surrounding third party vendors, sports business, revenue, marketing, mentoring interns, facilities, managing employees, as well as how to not only break into sports, but stay in the industry long-term. The often-invisible side of the industry is where the Tao of Sports Podcast attempts to pull back the elusive curtain, providing information both to industry insiders and those who want to work in sports.
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The Tao of Sports Podcast – The Definitive Sports, Marketing, Business Industry News Podcast
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Jul 29, 2015

Understanding the rights of a ticket holder is part of what Fan Freedom has been doing since 2011. It comes down to a question of asking 'who owns the ticket' and whether enough is being done on the behalf of ticket buyers to protect their ability to resale if they want. Fan Freedom's Chris Grimm discusses these issues on both a macro and micro level, especially when it comes to the ability for resale. Grimm sets the stage with several scenarios facing fans today, as well as how the secondary market has pushed down the price of tickets as more brokers create a competitive marketplace offering. Grimm also shares his opinions on consolidation deals, believing that they are price-fixing fans out of finding the lowest possible price for a ticket. Twitter: @FanFreedom

Jul 27, 2015

Jim Rushton has got a special shorthand when talking sports business. Rushton has served in sports business for over 20 years, including CRO of the Miami Dolphins and VP of Sales Sports Radio WEEI, including Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and New England Patriots Monday. Now, Rushton is bringing forth an evangelism of connection with IBM, from the stadium to the fan, in a way that is set to revolutionize the industry. This doesn't just mean getting another digital advertisement. This means enhancing the stadium experience for a fan altogether. Rushton talks about the changes going on internally throughout the sports industry, how the inside sales model of calling fans for tickets is giving way to a connected one to ensuring additional touchpoints throughout the lifetime membership between the fan and team. Rushton shares his thoughts on one of the more telling things he heard at the 2015 SBJ Ticketing Symposium in Santa Clara in early June, and how it reinforced some of the things he's talking about today. Twitter: @Jim_Rushton

Jul 24, 2015

Understanding the goals of the University of Denver in athletics takes extra time, since their values are deeply rooted in their mission statement toward student-athletes. Their success isn't as common place as one might think, as lacrosse's 2015 national championship, 7 NCAA Titles For hockey, and 22 for skiing. This means Ryan Peck must pay close attention to fostering each of those priorities in terms of development and external affairs, especially with an across-the-board mentality toward unique sports and their branding opportunities. Peck discusses how the Denver brand is pushed out into the community, as well as ways that he fosters dynamic relationships with alumni over the giving choices that they make. Part of it also becomes a discussion on why Peck has an Associate Vice Chancellor title instead of the common athletic department ones, specifically to provide a continuity across campus in how each person is perceive and their role in the community. Twitter: @Ryan_Peck

Jul 22, 2015

Kathy Burrows has provided extensive consulting, workshops and direct sales training with various teams in the MLB, NBA, WNBA, Champ Car Open Wheel Racing, and AHL. Burrows shares some of her passion for selling sports, including how to open up the framework of painting more than just a picture, but an entire season. Burrows points out that there are never enough groups, and all of the groups within an area can never be tapped out, breaking an illusion that the job is ever done. Burrows talks about her philosophy when getting C-Level buy-in for her training, as well as how to develop a sell-out strategy that doesn't erode current business for old.

Jul 20, 2015

Moving a minor league baseball team 13 miles from one location to another is not supposed to be a heavy-lifting task, yet when the Hartford Yard Goats announced their intentions to move from New Britain to downtown Hartford in 2014, it became an issue with the locals. Senior Vice President Michael Abramson discusses the intangibles with the move, including creating a name change from the Rock Cats to Yard Goats, and all of the controversy that became of the switch. Abramson talks about the increased visibility of the Hartford Yard Goat brand in the downtown area, as well as some of the ways in which the team is expanding its reach in local municipality.

Jul 17, 2015

While the majority of the secondary is reserved for the cheaper bucket seats, it is the luxury suite experience that is beginning to transform into its own secondary resale platform. Scott Spencer works in this small segmentation as does Ep. 514's Todd Lindenbaum, trying to engage with a high-end customer through a resold product, helping both the suite owner as well as the new prospect. Spencer utilizes his case for why resold suites are a valuable edition to any team's arsenal, especially in keeping the suite holder happy when the premium space would otherwise be empty or dark on a gameday. Spencer also explains the demand curve when dealing with suites and premium seating, and how a Tuesday night may actually yield a higher demand for the resold product than that of a Saturday. Twitter: @SuiteExperience

Jul 15, 2015

The role of Chief Ticketing Officer is such a new title in sports, that only Ben Milsom seems to have it. But it shows where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to go, and how driven as well as passionate Milsom is toward the area of ticket sales in overall franchise revenue model. Milsom discusses his background in training, development and pushing the needle further for sales reps, as well as why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are always in a hiring mode in order to avoid the cattle call method. Milsom brings up various topics, surrounding how the NFL as well as NBA are starting to perfect outbound calls, in order to avoid random cold calling, via a CRM. Twitter: @Milsomben

Jul 13, 2015

49ers' Legendary Wide Receiver Dwight Clark shares his thoughts on a wide variety of topics, ranging from "The Catch," playing in the NFL, serving as a general manager, and beginning a second career in sports. Clark also mentions his disdain for appearing in the 1994 direct-to-video Kindergarten Ninja, the loss of Candlestick Park compared to Levi Stadium, and working for the 1999 expansion franchise Cleveland Browns organization as GM. Clark spoke at the Corporate Ticket Impact Conference on July 9, 2015 at the Marquis Marriott in San Francisco and was interviewed by Troy Kirby.

Note: There is a video version of this conversation on www.sportstao.com

Jul 10, 2015

With the advent of the Power 5 schools starting to separate, yet be beholden to the same rules as the smaller schools, it requires a lot of patience when working at Presbyterian College, which has one of the smallest budgets in Division I athletics. James Downer oversees sports supervision, as well as compliance and other details, and tries to build a relationship with each coach and student-athlete. Downer discusses how some of the issues regarding cost of attendance will affect Presbyterian College, as well as how they plan to continue to compete at the Division I level. With an eye toward becoming an athletic director of the future, Downer has to also prepare himself for the unknown realities that may be a key or core part of the NCAA in the years to come. Twitter: @JamesDownerPC

Jul 8, 2015

The role of sports management education is changing, but that also requires a lot from its student base, especially as the amount of programs offered throughout the country expand to over 300 with options for actual jobs somewhat limited. Indiana State Professor Matthew Blaszka discusses some of the perils of the industry, especially with students who believe that achievements earned in the classroom will translate to avoiding certain jobs or duties in the sports industry. Blaszka expands his view on the Paid Spectator issue, where students believe that they are merely going to be at the centerpiece of the action, rather than just helping put it on. Twitter: @Mblaszka

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