Brent Jones has been working to meld the duties of marketing and communications into one department at the University of Southern Mississippi. Those tasks entail a plethora of duties, including promotions, communications, licensing, sponsorship fulfillment, branding, advertising, ticket sales campaigns, in game production, fan engagement, video operations, public relations, social media, community relations, the athletic department website, digital assets and the spirit squads for Southern Miss Athletics. Yes, that is a lot to digest, except Jones also oversees departments for sports information, broadcasting, sports technology and video operations, IMG College, LRG, M-Club ( Letter winners association) sports marketing department, digital marketing and creative services. So, basically, Jones has only a short window to chat on the podcast before catching his breath and continuing on. Jones covers the gamut in terms of different ways to attract fans to S. Mississippi as well as live the brand of the institution, and get most departments working together, instead of apart. Twitter: @BrentJones4
The Western Bulldogs of the Australia Football League are a perfect example of revenue generation. Despite some lackluster results on the field of play, the Bulldogs' Chief Commercial Officer Nick Truelson and his team were able to generate a men's health program in partnership with Liverpool FC, generating over $1 million in revenue, along with bringing in 25 new partners to the club. It is a great example of business development with new product creation that no one else in the AFL was doing. Truelson speaks about the reasons behind the men's health program, fixated on the poor health stats of the local community which has resonated with the area fans and has become a great new opportunity to grow the fan base. Twitter: @nicktruelson
Community relations is a new component for college athletics, although it has been in the professional sports ranks for a long time. Meaghan Brooks has overseen the program at the University of Oklahoma since its inception in 2012, describing what seems like a political campaign as the Sooners perform over 100 school visits annually. Brooks shares her secret for staying on top of things: Organization. That may sound simple enough, but when she gets into the details, she reveals a complex world of ensuring that everything is in place, even when someone still notices the smallest issue and magnifies it post-event. Brooks talks about the main goal, which is showing how her department improves the attendance and revenue situation for Oklahoma, as well as her continued desire to make sure that the goodwill toward the community is long-term in the activities that UO athletic department perform on a weekly basis. Twitter: @MixMasterMegs
Dr. Darin White is part of the new contingent of academia attempting to improve the sports business acumen available in sports management programs, starting with his own program at Samford University's Brock School of Business. White doesn't just stop there, also chairing the Sports Marketing Academic Society, as part of the American Marketing Association. The goal is to develop a framework that builds the best graduating student who is prepared to meet the challenges of today's professional sports franchises and athletic departments worldwide. White discusses how he arranges his curriculum with the help of various sports business leaders, as well as lays out the facts to any would-be student seeking to gain employment in sports. Twitter: @Sports_Biz_Prof
The Huntsville Havoc are a mainstay of the Southern Professional Hockey League, one of 10 outlaw minor league hockey teams affixed together in a region of the United States that isn't known for its winter ice sports. Havoc Director of Ticket Sales Cline Thompson explains why the SPHL and the team have been able to be successful, despite the unification of several other minor league hockey teams in the CHL, which helped cause a drastic ripple effect across the sports business landscape. Thompson discusses the Havoc's methods of marketing, especially against SEC football and other "town closers" in order to fill the stands during their season and continue to pack the house with crazy promotions such as "Weiner Dog Racing On Ice." Twitter: @Cline_Thompson
The New York Cosmos' legacy from the 1970s has re-emerged as an NASL team fighting itself way toward revenue generation amid a rising trend of soccer awareness and excitement. Richard Searls describes some of the ways that the Cosmos have grown their own base on the Hofstra college campus, despite not having alcohol sales to bouy their bottom line. For Searls, it comes down to a unifying sense of ownership by the fans themselves. Searls also talks about his commitment to the franchise, which includes one of the longest daily commutes for a franchise executive ever. Twitter: @RichSearls
Understanding how priority points and loyalty marketing work for a sports franchise is something that John Lemke has been dealing with for a long, long time. His career has spanned from loyalty marketing programs for the airlines, hospitality to setting up various sports franchise models with EFan. Lemke sorts out some of the issues regarding a loyalty marketing plan and implementation, in order to ensure that when a customer buys into a rewards program, that they stay in, long-term and continue to build up those points.
Brock Wissmiller is providing that NCAA Division II has just as many revenue opportunities as the big boys at Division I. Wissmiller has several years of development, fundraising, media and sales experience, all of which he brings to the table daily at the Upper Iowa Athletic Department. Wissmiller discusses some of the perceptions and misconceptions at working at a small university athletic department, as well as how anyone can become an asset on staff if they are willing to try. Twitter: @bwissmiller
The Charlotte Knights in a unique position within the MiLB landscape: A franchise with a continual sold-out situation that is drawing the interest of the local secondary ticket market, as well as some national attention for one of the best new ballparks in America. Knights' Director of Ticket Operations Matt Millward discusses some of the various ways in which the team has utilized every revenue stream imaginable during its first year in downtown Charlotte in 2014, and how the team was able to carry a brand that didn't sell out in Fort Mills, South Carolina up the road, across state lines, and turn it into a turnstyle phenomena. Twitter: @IMPennSt
The podcast headed to Charlotte, North Carolina for Ticket Forum 15 and conducted a group interview with Kevin Wilson, Associate AD of Development - North Carolina Central University Athletics, Heather Lutz, Assistant AD of Marketing & Sales - University of Toledo and Eric Leach, Assistant General Manager, Bowling Green Hot Rods. Each brings something interesting to the table, especially on how to draw an audience, keep fans happy and live the brand every day. Special thanks to Ticket Return which facilitated the interviews as well as the location at the beautiful new Charlotte Knights' baseball park in downtown Charlotte, NC.