One of the most qualified industry leaders in premium sales is Christian Molnar, who is directly responsible for the unprecedented growth that The Philadelphia Eagles had moving from Veterans Stadium to Lincoln Financial Field. Molnar talks about his legacy at building up the premium seating retention program during his initial tenure at the Eagles, then deciding to challenge himself in Los Angeles with AEG at the Staples Center during one of the worst periods for premium sales during the 2008 economic crash. Now, returning to the Eagles after three years away, Molnar has helped retain and develop some of the best fans in the business. Molnar shares some of his insights into what makes premium sales work, as well as what too many other sales departments do wrong while assuming the sale. Twitter: @Mole72
An interview that was original setup to record in North America, was instead recorded in Melbourne, Australia. A.J. Maestas discusses his analytics business model for sports, where fan engagement isn’t just about how much a fan enjoys the in-stadium experience, but also whether they interact with the corporate signage and other sponsorship activities to create activation. All of this comes down to measurements and numbers, and Maestas has quite a few, including some alarming statistics for Major League Baseball with its young audience members. Twitter: @Navigate_Res
Matt Hill comes into the sports business world from the unique perspective as a former athlete. A devout hockey fan, Hill now sells the product that he loves, but understands the business of premium and suite sales a lot better than he did as a player. Hill expands on some of his misconceptions prior to selling premium seat inventory, and what the Tampa Bay Lightning have done in order to innovate their suites, as well as cause fans to want to renew annually.
Ben Flavel represents one of the most interesting start-ups happening in sports business software, Checkinline, which allows fans to digitally find ways to mark their territory for tickets through an online queuing app. Flavel discusses how the Australian software company has grown to the point of expansion in the United States marketplace, helping Arizona State University determine queuing statuses for students looking to access athletic events. Flavel also covers some of the issues that may stem from the secondary market, and whether brokers can access and corrupt the entire process. Twitter: @NeoCogs
The New Zealand Rugby Union “All Blacks” are one of the most historical teams in all of sport. Known internationally for their high winning percentage, ambassadorship of New Zealand national pride, and “The Haka” war dance prior to each match, the All Blacks are a powerhouse sports brand that are just starting to emerge in the United States scene. David Barton-Ginger handles the All Blacks’ digital channels, and sits down to explain the historical rise of the club, as well as its bright, broad future on the international sports scene. Barton-Ginger also defines “The Haka,” and invites those curious to learn more to go to New Zealand Rugby Union’s official website: www.allblacks.com Twitter: @DBGTweets
Markeisha Everett has blazed a trail in college marketing quickly in her career, first rising from an assistant in the Bowling Green State ticket office, to working in marketing at North Dakota State, the University of Missouri, Gonzaga and now as a Director of Sports Marketing at West Virginia. Everett discusses her passion for revenue generation, how she understands the role of tickets separate from that of marketing and promotion, and what it truly takes to drive passion in fans to have them attend live sporting events. Twitter: @MarkeishaDenise
Ken Halpin has an interesting start in college athletics. Originally as a game equipment manager at a community college, Halpin used resolve to work as a third party corporate sponsorship rep for KP Sports at Eastern Washington University, then left the company for a bank, before jumping back to EWU as an associate athletic director of external affairs. Halpin discusses some of the challenges that he has had, especially in building a cohesive staff unit centering on communication, marketing and fundraising. Aside from mentioning his ardent aversion to reading fiction, Halpin talks about some of the things that drive him personally and professionally as he serves as a senior administration staff member at an FCS university athletic department. Twitter: @HalpinKr
The San Diego Padres are performing one of the more dynamic changes to ticket sales during the modern era, adopting a fan membership model which is typically in sports clubs overseas, but also adding their own sales focus mentality to the measure. Eric McKenzie discusses the ins and outs of this new process, as well as how the adoption has gone from a season ticket to a fan member in the mind of the fan being sold on the conversion. McKenzie also talks about the late Tony Gwynn, and his impact on San Diego sports. Twitter: @JEricMcKenzie
Sports Geek's Sean Callanan is one of the foremost strategists on digital. Having been on the podcast previously, but by Skype, this interview represents the first face-to-face meeting with Callanan, in Melbourne, Australia. Callanan shares his option on all things social, including Facebook, Twitter and those darn Google Hangouts, which he calls YouTube Hangouts with a Google Plus thread attached. Callanan also mentions details on his own podcasts Sports Geek as well as Beers, Blokes & Business. Twitter: @
Listen to the other part of this "Happy Days" crossover podcast with Sean right here on the Sports Geek Podcast.
Chris Thompson seems always available to provide instant and necessary prospective on the sports industry as a whole. Returning to the podcast for a second stint, Thompson discusses his life as a father and husband, as well as his ability to separate his work life from his home life. Thompson also shares his views on what allows his role at The Evergreen State College to be fulfilling along with his relationship with the student athletes, coaches and media. Twitter: @cpt1982