From 2010 to 2012, the Philadelphia Phillies were unstoppable when it came to ticket sales generation, garner an National League record of 257 consecutive sellouts as well as leading the MLB in attendance for two straight seasons (2011-12). Derek Schuster discusses some of the “good problems to have” while overseeing that run of revenue success from the ticket sales department, telling fans that they would have to reduce their group orders because of limited inventory. Schuster talks about how the Phillies prepared for the days when the demand wouldn’t be as great, trying to create additional opportunities to build fan engagement for longer term buys later. Now, with less of a waiting list and that consecutive sellout streak over, Schuster points to the Phillies Care programming which has kept more of the fans longer than expected. Twitter: @DerekSchu13
Understanding a private university’s mission is crucial for anyone who chooses to work on campus. Mike Minyard discusses how Liberty University’s mission, since its foundation, has provided its guidance for the types of promotional activities that its athletic department implements throughout the season. Some of these may be difficult for an outside, non-Liberty University person to understand, but Minyard points out that it matters that each member of the institution point directly back to the mission statement and be able to adhere to its example as an ambassador of the university brand. Twitter: @MikeMinyard
Mike Evenson relates back to his time as the Director of Ticket Operations at the University of Oregon, as well as working at the University of Wisconsin’s ticket office, to how he judges good vendor relations while overseeing Audience View Ticketing’s customer service model. Evenson talks about the ticketing landscape, some of the factors which matter to the customer when buying online, as well as some of the technology that will likely hit the market in the next few years. Twitter: @MikeEvenson
Pricing ethics isn’t as discussed as it should be in the world of sports. Navdeep Sodhi, who has worked for Northwest Airlines in analyzing pricing, talks about some of the ways that sports franchises may not be as ethical in their dynamic ticket pricing structures and variables. Sodhi talks about pricing psychology, both when it comes to how the West, as well as China, react to different price models. This is a very good discussion in a time where teams may not be considering the long-term affects of their pricing decisions on both the customer and the marketplace as a whole. Twitter: @NavDeep_Sodhi
Many Chinese markets are awakening to the outside world in terms of sports business enterprise, but British ex-patriot Mark Thomas has been working on such developments from inside Shanghai for over 20 years. Thomas discusses some of the fallout from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, both from an infrastructure and economic examination, as well as how the Chinese view organized sports leagues in general. Thomas covers how the English Premier League, the NBA and NFL have each tried to expand into the Chinese markets, and what has worked specificially in sport growth in China. Twitter: @Tommo2012
As smart phone applications become a mainstay for the fan’s experience in a sports stadium or arena, Jamie Nelson believes his company has created a hallmark to enhance one of the largest components within that ecosystem: Concessions. Nelson’s company, VenueMenu, provides an app that users can download and order concessions brought right to their seats. Nelson discusses the several topics surrounding the app’s ability; whether it be WiFi capacity within the stadium, logistical concerns of food deliverability or the amount of data that venue operators receive back on each order. This episode is meant to be a deep look into the operational and cohesive aspects of app implementation and to show whether or not smart phone apps ideas are ready for primetime usage in stadiums throughout the world. Twitter: @VenueMenuApp
Major League Lacrosse has had some of its best success in a hotbed of ACC territory with the Charlotte Hounds, engaging fans in both an exciting and winning atmosphere. In only their second year of existence, the Hounds secured the first playoff appearance in 2013 and played for the title, losing only by one point to the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Wade Leaphart discusses his time helping develop the team’s schedule, ensuring that the Hounds are not only successful on the field of play, but also in the front office. Leaphart discusses the fan experience and ticket price points, as well as cost comparisons to other sports franchises located in town. Leaphart also discusses what it takes to sell in the Charlotte market, relating back to his time with the NBA’s Bobcats. Twitter: @Leaphart3
The world of data analytics is meeting the revenue demands of every franchise, but one of the best steps the Pittsburg Pirates made was installing Jim Alexander from as the team’s Director of Tickets into the analytics role. It is important to showcase that those who know how to generate revenue are also those determining what figures matter and what ancillaries measurements do not. Alexander discusses the various ways in which his role has changed over the years, especially transitioning from Three Rivers Stadium to PNC Park. Alexander covers the topic of fan experience, relating it to customer service, and how, when new PNC Park opened, seats weren’t automatically sold without the customer service aspect being implemented by the team.
To properly celebrate the 300th podcast episode, there is a little bit of history between the origins of the Tao of Sports and Kevin Miller, who was an original listener back with the first episode was released. Far be it from any podcast not to honor an early adopter. Miller talks about his own personal and professional goals, stemming from his time at Central Florida, Georgia State and his alma mater West Virginia, and tries to answer the pressing question of whether one can truly separate their emotional ties to a school that they now work at. Miller discusses his first fundraising calls, a remarkable 0-for-26 streak which helped him grow as a development officer into the person that he is today. The 300th episode also marks several new beginnings for the podcast, including completely original composed music and a new intro, because the worst thing anyone can ever do in the sports industry is stand still and not continue to change for improvement. Twitter: @KMillionaire
The World Series of Poker has exploded from a small, intimate game of gamblers into a gigantic mega event since the early 2000s when unknown Chris Moneymaker entered as the tournament as an online poker qualifier to become a world champion in 2003, transforming $40 into $2.5 million. Witness throughout the growth has been Director of the WSOP Jack Effel, whose leadership has helped garner ESPN televised coverage, record qualifying players, and has managed a temporary staff of over 2,000 during each annual tournament. Effel discusses some of the factors that go into the WSOP, including branding and sponsorship, as well as the impact that the tournament has had on the City of Las Vegas in terms of worldwide recognition.