Robert Roveta has managed some of the top MMA fighters in the sport. Roveta talks about the period in MMA from 1993-2003 known as the “Dark Ages” prior to MMA’s acceptance by the mainstream. Roveta discusses his goals for managing fighters, some of the issues that have arisen without MMA agent regulation which have caused anyone and everyone to go into the role of fighter representation, and his time as an MMA event promoter. Twitter: @DenaroSports
Chuck Johnson operates one of the most successful minor league brands in the Pacific Coast League. Johnson talks about some of the issues surrounding the 51s name as it has now been extended past two different ownership groups, as well as how the 51s deal with the struggling Las Vegas economy. Johnson discusses some of the ways that the 51s have to be creative at Cashman Stadium to draw crowds which is 10 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, as well as some of the possible future plans for the team to relocate to Summerlin, Nevada. Twitter: @51sGM
Some of the biggest names of the NFL use Jamie Fritz as a branding agent. As Fritz explains, he doesn’t deal with the contractual obligations on the field, instead focusing on the athlete’s brand for corporate America. This is a new trend in the world of sports, as more athletes are focusing on their brand and how to best affiliate themselves with the right type of products. Fritz talks about the “suited and booted” mentality that he has for his clients during any type of public appearance and some of the pitfalls of athletes not taking their brands seriously, especially in the social media sphere.
One of the most exciting pieces of sports branding properties was announced in September 2013, as an Arena Football League team in Anaheim, California cemented plans to become LAKISS. This married the brand of Arena Football with the rock band KISS, showcased by co-owners Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. LAKISS President Schuyler Hoversten breaks down the ways that the AFL team will reflect the tradition KISS brand, but also extend beyond it to create its own brand identity. Hoversten talks about the culture of LA in terms of entertainment options, competing fans, and how the LAKISS franchise will meet those challenges. Twitter: @LAKISS_AFL
For a state worker, Keith Kizer has one of the more interesting jobs in the world. In one of the state’s largest assets, Kizer operates with a small staff of five in a nook of a large building and works out of a small office unrecognizable to the popular media image of what many think the NSAC is. Kizer, along with five NSAC commissioners, is in charge of overseeing the licensing, sanctioning and officiating of Nevada’s unarmed combat matches – kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and boxing. Not that it doesn’t come without controversy and what he considers slander when the NSAC’s integrity is questions, as Kizer mentions in the podcast. Kizer talks about the role of the NSAC, how its brand is extensive enough that those outside Nevada confuse the commission’s role in worldwide unarmed combat sports affairs. Kizer covers some of the hotter topics surrounding the NSAC, including Fallon Fox, Testosterone Replacement Therapy, health & wellness of fighters, controversial judging decisions such as the Hendricks v GSP fight as well as the extensive social media aftermath.
Legacy brands, especially in the Southeastern Conference, can be a tough marketing venture for anyone seeking to relate new ideas into an older demographic. Daniel Nunes talks about the challenges and success of running one of the marketing departments a top level athletic program nationally, as well as trying to maintain both an environment for television and the in-game fan experience for 93,000 fans on a football gameday. Nunes discusses how the cultural language of Louisiana Creole French is mixed into the LSU marketing environment and creating an atmosphere around that language during Tiger events. Nunes details LSU’s efforts in drawing more student attendees to non-football events, such as basketball, in order to ensure that every program has the fan support it needs. Twitter: @DNunesLSU
Embry-Riddle, an NAIA aeronautics university athletic department in Florida has helped launch several careers of young professionals in the field of sports management. John Phillips serves as Associate Athletic Director of ER, talking about the role of the school in developing a great atmosphere for fans, student-athletes and becoming a working lab for those looking to grow while working in sports administration. Phillips discusses his side job, working as sportscaster for ER basketball games, as well as during Daytona’s Speed Week every February during the biggest event of the year for NASCAR. Twitter: @JP_Daytona
Australian Blair Hughes has performed several aspects of the fan experience model, both in sports and in music. Hughes talks about some of the crossover aspects of trying to achieve fan loyalty to the brand, discussing in detail his time as director fo the Brisbane Sounds, which produced over 50 events, five compilation albums with and featured over 100 artists. Hughes chats about his seven years as bar manager of the Gabba Sports Grounds in Woolloongabba, and some of the places where international sports have a short-fall in the fan experience realm compared to the United States. Twitter: @MrBlairHughes
Activation is the name of the game in corporate sponsorship. LaTrisha Reid has worked extensively in the field for the last 10 years, helping companies from musicians to motorcross exhibitions in the constant expansion of corporate sponsorship opportunities. Reid discusses her passion for developing great B2B, as well as some of the pitfalls that have caused companies to pull back from doing sponsorship with those asking. Twitter: @LkkinAndCompany
Cincinnati has become of an exciting epicenter of a digital ticketing start-up with international potential, that being Tixers.com. Founder Alex Burkhart details how the company started with the simple request of finding a reasonable way to trade unused season tickets into a full-fledged service that has now expanded to a small sample size of users. Burkhart discusses some of the ways in which Tixers.com is not StubHub, how buyers of local tickets in the Ohio area are gaining traction with the service, and what the future holds for the company. Twitter: @Tixers