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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 1, 2016

Jess Root represents the new form of digital sports journalism, even if he himself doesn't consider the term "journalist" to fit what he's doing. Root has overseen a passion project call CardsWire over the last 6 years, and is now affiliated with USA Today in the hopes of covering the Arizona Cardinals with the intensity of a fan, but the writing coverage of the press. Root discusses how he has managed to do both CardsWire and his full-time regular job, as well as create engaging content throughout an entire week. Root's coverage means expanding on certain points, Cardinals personnel quotes and statistics in order to foster a greater growth of information for each CardsWire reader. Twitter: @senorjessroot

Jun 29, 2016

The racing world in Northern California is one that Michelle La Sala has helped define in San Francisco and Sacramento, overseeing some of the most complex marathon management events in the area's history. La Sala discusses some of the intangibles surrounding the racing community, how 2013 was a year of perfection in participant sign-ups, which ended up translated to a glut of races which has potentially watered down legacy marathons overall. La Sala talks about the participant experience, and some of the issues that each operator must face as they decide to implement a new day of racing, and some of the lessons learned along the way.

Jun 27, 2016

The end of this episode probably has one of the largest "drop the mic" moments recorded from all of the guests on the Tao of Sports. Sr. Associate Athletic Director Bill Lansden discusses the greater financial landscape of college athletics, where even in the Power 5 Conferences, there are have-nots, and may end up being less sports in order to financially compete with the upper, upper echelon. Lansden has been in several scenarios where fundraising is not only a component, but crucial to making up the shortfalls left by bad media rights estimations, coach departures, and even sports being eliminated such as at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. It boils down to a complex discussion with donor intention, as well as where college fundraising overall is potentially headed. Twitter: @BillLansden

Jun 24, 2016

Chris Thompson returns for a third appearance on the podcast, bewildered that it has taken him two years to grace the audience with his presence. Thompson discusses the idea of NAATSO (National Association of Athletic Ticket Sales & Operations) as an outsider, from the original inception in 2014, to the second year of the association at the NACDA conference. Thompson shares his thoughts on how learning about tickets relates to sports information, what he has learned from the growth of the association overall. Thompson also talks about the psychology of sports information directors, mental health and wellness, and what he has learned in his time as an SID. Twitter: @CPT1982

Jun 22, 2016

In 30 years of sports media, Joe Favorito has separated himself from the pack with a dynamic look at how to penetrate weak attention spans with some of the most effective, contagious branding in the industry today. Favorito discusses his time at the New York Knicks as the Vice President of Communications, and his eventual building up a massive 36,000 email list which continues onto this day. Favorito talks about his foray into comic conventions, MMA, and education, as well as what current students are not getting from a sports management degree. Favorito presents his case on why networking face-to-face is a lost art to the young and his thoughts on sports management degrees in general. Twitter: @joefav

Jun 20, 2016

For Levis Stadium, the signal breaks through the noise in the digital sales world of Paul Epstein, who knows his fair share of data analytics business development. Epstein talks about some of the issues surrounding the applications of buzzwords such as "data" and why egress is just as important toward customer experience as the actual seats. Epstein shares his vision of values, of how to ensure that each of the sales reps under his watch not only translate and interact with different data points, but set forth a valued culture within the entire office space. Epstein discusses the value of a 365 stadium, the new normal of not just having NFL football as the sole tenant, and how to build more from the various opportunities around the stadium footprint. Twitter: @pepstein3

Jun 17, 2016

A returning guest to the podcast (Ep. 493), John Ruhlin discusses his new book, Giftology, which is a concept of how to maximize gifting which benefits relationship building through unique strides in care. Ruhlin is quick to point out that this isn't a mass distribution of a monetary item that creates the large impact, but the honest focus of understanding what the recipient will find specifically appealing to them. Ruhlin shares small little ways that change the dynamics of a relationship between two people, and how to ensure that it is never viewed as manipulative, but more instead as cross-beneficial. Twitter: @Ruhlin

Jun 15, 2016

Ray Austin represents a budding revolution of tech in the sports world, with a crowd funding platform which is gaining media attention and fan support, called Project FANchise. Austin discusses how this unique idea is taking hold in the Indoor Football League, where the fans vote on every component: team location, name, uniform colors, beer, and everything else imaginable. Austin covers the early days when he and his partners had to present the idea to IFL owners, and how those voting on team location surprised him with a team location in Utah instead of Oklahoma. Austin talks about his NFL & XFL playing days, as well as some lessons learned along the way. Twitter: @RayAustin36

Jun 13, 2016

Looking beyond the simple platform chasing of social media, the central focus arises as to what digital as a brand can do for a sports team. James Royer oversees the Kansas City Chiefs digital endeavors which was recognized as one of the most “Contagious” brands on Facebook by a study done by author and professor Jonah Berger and Digitas lbi. Royer also discusses his recent NFL Digital Summit speech in April, how the Chiefs are utilizing paid social advertising through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, specifically in the realm of supporting ticket and merchandise sales despite most NFL teams being very slow to adopt paid social. Twitter: @JamesRoyer

Jun 10, 2016

After nearly 7 years as an Assistant Commissioner at the American Association, Mark Hodgkin has struck out on his own while bringing his unique insight into the world of digital media. Hodgkin is quick to point out that he doesn't believe in the expert label for social media, and in fact, runs away from anyone making that claim. Hodgkin shares his vision of providing a great overall brand messaging strategy to an organization's digital channels, and to avoid the habit of platform chasing. Twitter: @Mark_Hodgkin

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