Minor League Baseball has had luxury suites in its stadiums for years, but few team personnel have been solely dedicated to creating the high-end premium experience for their fans. Evelyn White just finished her first season with the Arkansas Travelers, as the Director of Luxury Suites, and explains some of the ways that she enhances the overall experience for those fans committing to 3-to-5-to-10 year contractual agreements in the Travelers' premium areas. White discusses her understanding in what makes up the suite experience, as well as being as organized as possible to help in any way required. White also talks about her experience with USA Football, coordinating various aspects of a complicated, but fun job. Twitter: @EvelynRose04
While the majority of the secondary is reserved for the cheaper bucket seats, it is the luxury suite experience that is beginning to transform into its own secondary resale platform. Scott Spencer works in this small segmentation as does Ep. 514's Todd Lindenbaum, trying to engage with a high-end customer through a resold product, helping both the suite owner as well as the new prospect. Spencer utilizes his case for why resold suites are a valuable edition to any team's arsenal, especially in keeping the suite holder happy when the premium space would otherwise be empty or dark on a gameday. Spencer also explains the demand curve when dealing with suites and premium seating, and how a Tuesday night may actually yield a higher demand for the resold product than that of a Saturday. Twitter: @SuiteExperience
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
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
High level gifting as a sign of customer appreciation is far different than the mass giveaways that happen at the gates in exchange for a ticket. John Ruhlin specializes is crafting the best ways for a franchise or company to show their commitment back to the larger customers within their suite and premium levels. Ruhlin discusses why some of the things that franchises choose to aren't valued, and tend to be regifted, and how to ensure that every gift is quality and treasured by the customer forever. Ruhlin also talks about some of the ways to ensure that the entire process is both unique, as well as continual for each fan involved. Twitter: @Ruhlin
Steven Ziff is no stranger to the podcast, having been a guest on Ep. 181 as VP of Brand Marketing for the Florida Panthers of the NHL. Now at the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, Ziff has unveiled a sweeping new premium hospitality program called "Jaguars Black" which may revolutionize how local businesses and sponsorships interact with professional luxury experiences. Ziff frames some of the challenges that he saw coming into the Jaguars, especially when the team had half of the NFL's norm for business involvement, as well as how to engage those community members to be a part of the team's overall scope of brand. Twitter: @SteveZiff
Jared Frank has edited SEAT Magazine for the Association of Luxury Suite Directors for the past nine years, witnessing changes in the premium market. The ALSD Conference will be its 25th year when it kicks off in San Francisco July 6-9, 2015 and Frank says that some of the best is yet to come. Frank talks about some of the things which have made up the premium space, as well as how the entire industry has developed a feel for luxury seating options. Frank also is very touchy when it comes to the print media, defending its viability vigorously as he puts out a publication with over 100 pages of content quarterly. Frank also shares a few stories about what makes the ALSD a unique family atmosphere, including what happens when a co-worker calls in sick for the first time. Twitter: @JChrstophrFrank
Chris Quinn has the task of filling up the premium seating experience against several new stadium renovations within the Detroit landscape. That includes a new NFL, MLB and NHL stadium coming online as well as the challenges of the Detroit economic situation. Quinn takes on some of the issues with premium seating, and whether there is something to be said about the luxury experience for Detroit Pistons fans and what they are seeking. Twitter: @Chris_J_Quinn
Matt Hill comes into the sports business world from the unique perspective as a former athlete. A devout hockey fan, Hill now sells the product that he loves, but understands the business of premium and suite sales a lot better than he did as a player. Hill expands on some of his misconceptions prior to selling premium seat inventory, and what the Tampa Bay Lightning have done in order to innovate their suites, as well as cause fans to want to renew annually.
Brian Watson is the Director of Sales, Event Suites & Special Events at The Staples Center in Los Angeles. Watson talks about filling the suites regardless of whether the anchor tenants have CBA issues or what to do when playoff formats strike, as well as how luxury packages are sold compared to only a few years ago. Watson expands on the Staples Center property, speaking about non-team sport events such as Golden Boy Promotions, the NHL Draft, Walking With Dinosaurs and various concerts.