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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 6, 2015

The future dissection of what customers want has extended past the argument of the single game bucket seat ticket in the upper deck, now the secondary market focus is turning toward the luxury suite and premium seating options available. Todd Lindenbaum created Sports Shares as a piece of that model, providing a membership accessible option to those customers who simply want to experience premium for the top games on a Saturday night, while not having to coordinate a suite being filled on a Tuesday. Lindenbaum discusses the new marketplace as it emerges, as well as some of the challenges keeping up with demand. Twitter: @Sports_Shares

Jul 1, 2015

As the Minnesota Vikings transition to a new football stadium in 2016, the goal is to seek out every potential qualified lead in order to continually grow the customer base. Rich Wang serves as an associate director for the NFL team's analytics and fan engagement, having worked at several teams, such as Madison Square Garden, The San Francisco 49ers, Legends Hospitality and the Minnesota Timberwolves prior to his tenure at the Vikings. For Wang, the goal is to develop a better resource to understand who each sales person is talking to, and how to ensure that any effort put forth is a quality one leading to a rapid-growth sales initiative. Wang discusses the challenges of implementing such a system, as well as educating sales staff on the opportunities that lie ahead by building an analytics warehouse of customer knowledge. Twitter: @RichWang3

Jun 29, 2015

Premium seating has been around since the Romans, but Bill Dorsey has seen the growth of the VIP areas in sports facilities since he started the Association of Luxury Suite Directors with 13 members. Dorsey explains some of the origins in modern sports, and why the luxury space has become a mainstay in state of the art facilities, only rivaling broadcasting rights as a top franchise revenue generator. Dorsey discusses the advent of conferences, and why they are so valuable to build up a key network when seeking jobs in sports, as well as how they can continue to be an asset long-term in career development. The ALSD Conference is celebrating its' 25th Anniversary July 6-9, 2015 in San Francisco, and features some of the largest sports executive parties of the year, along with some great programming. Twitter: @TheALSD

Jun 26, 2015

When discussing the athletic director's chair and the challenges that go with it, a consultant is required to have a short-hand knowledge of every component that happens within that role. Mark Majeski has had over 25 years of athletic administration experience at the small college level, serving as Athletic Director at two Division III institutions. Majeski describes his time at UC Santa Cruz, which had a media storm descend on campus during the mid-1990s from national and international press due to its mascot being featured in the film 'Pulp Fiction' and whether Santa Cruz ever changed as a result, or missed on an opportunity to capitalize on the attention. Majeski also shares his tenure at Williamette University, where he served over a decade in the athletic director's position, and some of the differing challenges that rose up until the end of his tenure in 2011. Majeski details some of the issues facing college athletics, especially at the small college level, and not just financial, but philosophic, as athletic administration and coaching change with the times of both expectations from the student-athlete as well as the education system on campus. Twitter: @MajeskiMark

Jun 24, 2015

Understanding the sports hiring realm only works if you've really been in the game for a long time. Luckily for young professionals, M3W's Michael Warren has served in multiple capacities with professional teams, including his current stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates' spring training home, working in Ticket Operations. Warren discusses the playing field in terms of sports hiring, especially on how candidates coming into the field can hurt themselves by not understanding exactly how a search is undertaken. Warren describes the industry as a whole, then dissects specific areas where job candidates can separate themselves when launching into their sports career. Twitter: @M3WSports

Jun 22, 2015

The undisputed king of secondary market distribution channels is StubHub, a company that Geoff Lester helped drive partnerships for in the last four years. Lester has a background in traditional sports business, with 12 years at NASCAR prior to his time with the secondary market king. Lester discusses some of the issues surrounding legal action over what a ticket really is - a revocable license or a good to be sold as well as traded. Lester focuses in on the legislative front, where several key states are making decisions which make create vertical monopolies that may not be in the public's best interest. Lester also speaks to why its a great thing that multiple platforms sell tickets, keeping the price lower, as well as the issue of fraud or counterfeit tickets isn't as large as the mainstream media makes it out to be. Twitter: @geoff_lester

Jun 19, 2015

Overseeing a NCAA Division III athletic department means being able to handle multiple duties within the administration space. Steve Thompson isn't just the athletic director, he's also the women's basketball coach. And that's part of the diverse nature of Eureka College and athletic administration at the Division III level. Thompson discusses some of the ways that he implements fair but necessary standards for both coaches and student athletes, as well as ensures that the entire college, of which the student-athletes make up a large portion of the student body itself, is recognized through its athletic efforts. Twitter: @EurekaAD

Jun 17, 2015

The relationship between a third-party and a college athletic department is a new paradigm for sports revenue. Overseeing sales for Comcast-Spectacor at Providence College, Erin Dunn faces the challenge daily of ensuring that she conveys the best interests of the university's athletic department in tandem with revenue generation. Dunn describes her focus on ensuring that each component of the sales plan is initiated with care, especially when it comes to training young professionals to become representatives selling tickets. And that's the key there, selling tickets. Dunn discusses her initiation into the sports sales culture, from her short stint with the Philadelphia Flyers only months prior to a league-wide lockout, to her role in Minor League Baseball, Lacrosse and now college athletics, all with the same company, building a focused plan that pushed both revenue and new fans into the building. Twitter: @EDunn03

Jun 15, 2015

The interesting challenge facing Jonathan Benedek is working within the modern era of marketing, against the traditions of Indiana University. Although Assembly Hall may be packed for a men's basketball game on television, that doesn't mean that conducting the entire marketing plan is anything but complex. Benedek discusses why having every home basketball game on television can be both an asset and a challenge, as well as seeking out continual support from young alumni and students attending. Benedek describes the overall landscape of Indiana athletics, especially when it comes to showing additional marketing support for Olympic sports which may not earn the eyeballs of television, but are just as important to the campus community. Twitter: @JBuihoosiers

Jun 12, 2015

Stadium security is a subject that no one wants to talk about, but it affects the fan experience in every facet. James DeMeo has helped open several high profile sports facilities, including The Barclay Center in Brooklyn and Cedar Park Center in Texas. The goal is always the same: enhance the fan experience by protecting them from unnecessary risks. DeMeo discusses his philosophy on engaging staff early, and that doesn't mean simple five minute huddles prior to game time. DeMeo is adamant about a focused plan which ensures that every team member is competent of the procedures of operation, including emergency. DeMeo's aim is to ensure that every ticket sold, every market plan implement, carries with it the overlapping view that safety can affect revenue when it isn't taken into account and disaster happens. Twitter: JDeMeo007

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