For the past 15 years, Brandiose has been at the cutting edge of developing and reworking sports team logos and identity. This goes beyond the simple piece of creating a hat or uniform, and transforms into a deep-dive into how the team reflects the local area around it. Jason Klein is co-founder of Brandiose with his childhood friend, Casey White. Klein discusses some of the rehabbing, as well as redevelopment of major and minor league brands, from the ground up. Klein shares his insight about the intensive process as well as respect to symbolism especially Native American monikers or identifiers. Twitter: @Brandiose
The Seattle Storm have proven that the WNBA product can work and be highly effective without an NBA parent company behind it. A member of the Storm since the early 2000s, when they did have the Seattle Sonics in the Key Arena, Kyle Waters has worked his way up from an Inside Sales Rep in 2005 to SVP in 2015. Waters talks about how the WNBA brand is pushed out into the community, showcasing an inclusive atmosphere that has continued to catch-hold with various constituencies and result in sold-out audiences in an NBA-quality arena. Waters shares insight into the branding effort with the Storm's mascot Doppler, as well as how the roster transitions from former stars Lauren Jackson & Sue Bird have yielded two back-to-back No. 1 WNBA draft picks in order to keep the Storm front-and-center within the Seattle sports landscape throughout the summer.
Look no further than Shawn Smith for the digital strategy success of the NBA Development League, where Facebook "likes" and Twitter "followers" for each team and the NBADL are at astronomical highs, outpacing even some major league professional teams around the globe. Smith speaks about the way that engagement goes beyond just a few metrics, and how the NBADL product was pushed out to build a following that would last for decades. Smith talks about some of the ways to understand how digital channels can be used to foster marketing interest, as well as live attendance growth through a constant content approach. Smith also discusses his new consulting company, From The Stretch, and how he is starting to build real digital strategy for each sports client, starting with the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League.
Brad Wolverton covers college sports for the Chronicle of Higher Education, seeing it from the view of academia reporting, and analyzing several of the issues that affect a campus as a whole. Wolverton discusses the Missouri protests which removed both the university president and chancellor, started by Mizzo football player who went on a hunger strike and showed the true power that student-athletes have now with social media. Wolverton then talks about student fees, and the amount of income that pushes forward various departments, and whether students fully understand the fees that they are paying. The conversation results into a discussion of higher education as a whole, and athletics place within it. Twitter: @BradWolverton
Kevin Kleps represents the changing world of sports business, crossing over from traditional financial coverage at Crains Cleveland Business to cover the sports business segmentation of the major Ohio city. Kleps starts off with his assessment of how to build not only a reputation within the sports business beat, but also sources that can help yield information otherwise not found anywhere else. Kleps talks about his surprise at how the internal coverage of sports radio stations locally can grab the attention of the readership, as well as his re-enforcement of bringing a blog and podcast into the mix of his weekly print writing. Kleps reassures everyone listening that the Cleveland Browns are still the major sports business news item, right down to the coverage of the Browns ownership, amid outside legal issues and draft decisions which haven't worked in the NFL franchise's favor. Twitter: @KevinKleps
Michael Rust is part of the analytics revolution for third party ticket sales groups, serving as the coordinator for database marketing at the Aspire Group, on the campus of Miami-Ohio University. Rust discusses how he goes about merging a lot of different segmentations together, from various campus constituencies, then presenting that information to administration. Rust says that he doesn't expect everyone to fully understand data, but that the same group should be able to engage with what Rust is saying the data tells him about a specific customer group. Rust talks about how to drive not only sales through data, but also specific marketing campaigns to make impactful choices that translate to real revenue.
Dustin Toms has been utilizing his background in journalism and public relations, not just to help build the social media and communications plan for the Spokane Indians minor league baseball team, but to improve his sales tactics and marketing plan throughout the season. Toms shares his viewpoint of coming into sports sales, as well as how he has prepared himself for expanding his abilities to increase efficiencies through task management. Toms talks about how well he thinks Twitter has served delivery of information, and where the direction that the platform will likely go in the future. Twitter: @Dustin_Toms
Lindsey Boggs has started to blaze a trail in the sales world, through her early adoption of LinkedIn as a social selling tool. On the LinkedIn platform, Boggs has a 99% Social Selling Index (SSI), and has trained three teams to generate more leads, convert more prospects into sales, using her system of connecting through the Sales Navigator system. LinkedIn's head of marketing Justin Shriber calls Boggs a “Legend in the Realm of Social Selling” and someone who “knows how to sell”. Boggs talks about her beginnings in social selling, coming from a background as a classically-trained Opera singer, into a situation where Boggs is one of the leaders in the social selling movement. Boggs speaks about the changing way in which connections are made, bypassing the gate-keepers completely, and how to better understand the LinkedIn platform overall. Twitter: @LindseyBoggs
Jim Fiore was once on the fast-track for college athletics administration stardom. After a decade of leading Stony Brook University into an FCS powerhouse, with a phenomenal turnaround, including capturing the 2011-12 UnderArmour Northeast Region AD of the Year, to being terminated by the school in 2013 amid allegations that surfaced in an ESPNW article. Fiore discusses some of his thoughts on the role of an athletic director overall, especially when it comes to developing a house-cleaning mentality entering into an athletic department in the AD chair. Fiore talks about the 2008 financial collapse of Wall Street, and how it drastically affected fundraising efforts and donors at Stony Brook. Fiore covers the issues with the allegations against him, the fallout from his termination, and what he says he's learned along the way. Twitter: @Jim_Fiore_
The Stockton Heat are part of the American Hockey League revolution to extend to the west coast, and have taken over the operations of the Stockton Thunder, an ECHL team that last north of the San Francisco bay for over a decade. Jason Camp describes the challenges ahead of the franchise, rebranding with a new type of hockey in an area long though to be part of the Sacramento media market, which is 55 miles north of the arena location. Camp talks about the efforts in building up the ticket base, especially when it means attacking with a new product on the ice, as well as getting those Thunder fans to understand the new affiliation with the Calgary Heat. Camp also shares his views on why the AHL effort on the West Coast was so exciting, and worth the opportunity of him leaving Binghamton, where he had worked for almost a decade.