Bryan Killingsworth has one of the most dynamic positions in the NFL today. The VP of Marketing & Brand Strategy for the St. Louis Rams, his task is to alter the perception of each home gameday, reinvigorate fans and ensure a high attendance mark even if the team isn’t winning many games on the field. Killingsworth talks about different marketing & brand affinity concepts he’s employing, as well as his time with the Tampa Bay Rays as Sr. Director of Marketing & Promotions, where the team finally decided to drop the “Devil” from the hometown moniker.
Collegiate Consulting Founder Russell Wright started out with a simple third-party sales concept for university athletic departments: while other third party sales focused on the big schools, Collegiate Consulting would try to help the small schools as well. Since opening their doors, Collegiate Consulting has serviced over 300 institutions, conferences, and organizations in 45 starts in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. Wright talks about selling university athletic departments on sales model concepts and the push-back often felt from change.
Director of Sales & Marketing Ted Tseng has his work cut out for him at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Denver Outlaws are one of eight teams in Major League Lacrosse but have set massive attendance records in their seven-year franchise existence. Tseng talks about how the Outlaws have engaged non-lacrosse fans to provoke some of the largest attendances in the history of the outdoor sport with upwards of 29,000 or more, and make some of the other local professional teams a little jealous. Twitter: @Tseng44
Mets VP of Ticket Sales & Service Leigh Castergine has been utilizing various promotional opportunities to sell a MLB team & CITI Field to the masses. She talks about the “quiet” section for families with autistic children and her thoughts on selling out the house. Castergine has had a lot of experience with full buildings, also serving in a top sales role for the Boston Bruins, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers & Flyers during her tenure.
Jay Finnerty sells college basketball tickets in the third largest city in America, where the men's basketball team may not win very many Big East games, but the attendance is never down below seven thousand a game. Finnerty talks about the issues that DePaul has embraced, using an inhouse ticket sales model of two sales people, two on the marketing staff, as DePaul goes after one of the largest alumni bases for a school in the US.
BJ Pickard operates one of the largest fan engagement operations in professional sports. The Arena Football League's social media efforts rival that of that larger professional leagues, and Pickard discusses where the AFL was in terms of fan support prior to the 2009 lockout and how the AFL has managed to re-engage fans back into the fold since its rebirth in 2010. Twitter: @BJPickard
In Barcelona, Rutger Hoorn oversees ticket sales for Euroleague Basketball's Final Four, which is watched by over 197 million in over 40 countries each May. The Final Four is set to be played in London for the next two years, even though the British are not generally basketball fans. Hoorn talks about the issues facing Euroleague Basketball, some of the differences of American versions European sales models, as well as some of the efforts that the Euroleague is making in order to sell more tickets to their fan base while sharing best practices league-wide.
"Super Agent" Leigh Steinberg has represented some of the biggest athletes in the world of sports. The inspiration for the main character in "Jerry Maguire" and a technical advisor on "Any Given Sunday," Steinberg has represented more than 60 First Round selections of the NFL Draft, including a record eight straight No. 1 overall picks. Now rebooting his representation practice with a NFLPA recertification in the summer of 2012, Steinberg talks about several issues in regard to sports representation, examining several problems facing sport, especially football, regarding CTE & concussion research. Twitter: @Steinbergsports
Chris Gallagher has been helped re-engage a rabid fanbase with its hometown Browns in the last two seasons. Deciding to do his podcast interview while in a vehicle, off the road during a Ohio snowstorm, Gallagher talks about the different promotions, technologies and methods of ensuring quality customer service despite the on-field record whether at the Browns, Miami Dolphins, NHL Panthers. Gallagher speaks on the rigors of moving for the next job, including a stint in New York while reseating fans & high ticket costs in new Yankee Stadium in mid-2009.
In less than a year on the job at Ole Miss, Ross Bjork has made a name for himself as its athletic director. His football coach, Hugh Freeze, signed the No. 1 recruit in the nation, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, only a few months after the team went 7-6 in 2012 compared to a 2-10 in 2011. Bjork details his ideas on leadership during times of highs and lows in an athletic department and talks about some of the major issues facing college athletics, especially those in the Southeastern Conference; particularly the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit with its financial ramifications looming over the NCAA's operations, whether the BCS should split the haves from the haves-nots in several divisions, and how to properly maintain prevent fan expectations from expectations as an athletic director with the reality of the job ahead. Also discussed is Bjork's twitter strategy, why he hasn't logged into his LinkedIn account in over 5 years, the lost art of handwritten notes, and the best practices of networking in the world of college athletics. Twitter: RossBjorkAD