Brian Thornton has worked on both athlete and team branding for over 20 years, developing relationship with over 200 active NFL, MLB, and NBA players. His list of clients has included Larry Fitzgerald, Devin Hester, Greg Jennings, Ndamukong Suh, Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, Rod Woodson, Jairus Byrd, Richard Seymour, Steven Jackson, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Mariano Rivera, Amare Stoudemire, and Dwight Howard. Thornton talks about the personal branding side of the modern athlete, which now extends into the social media ranks to where each athlete is now a media channel for certain endorsement or corporate partnerships. Thornton talks about off-field engagements, time management for an athlete between sponsorships and their seasonal endeavors in their sport, and how to manage strategic partnerships into a cohesive relationship between the player and the brand. Twitter: @BThornton1966
The world of franchise value is explored in this episode with Michael Rapkoch, who has clients in all four major leagues, consulting on the sports value of seven MLB, four NFL, eight NHL, eight NBA teams during his company’s ten years in business. Rapkoch has performed over 90 valuation engagements within professional sports, working directly with teams, leagues and potential investors. Rapkock talks about the issues surrounding a sale, what value can truly be, and how the price can be driven up by the media if interested buyers haven’t inquired enough yet.
Understanding the role of a fundraiser while in the ticket office is perfectly fine, but Liz Menne takes it a step further. Originally starting her career in college athletics as a part of the donor management team, Menne now oversees one of the larger college athletic ticket operations in the country. Menne discusses her role in tying donor engagement with ticket operations customer service, her decision to move from her alma mater at the University of Miami to Texas Tech, and whether there are some future opportunities on social media for athletic development opportunities. Twitter: @LMenne
The world of online media platforms extend far beyond the social media buttons asking for a shares on posts. Tariq Ahmad discusses the role of check-ins at stadium, and how the realization of that impact is still in its infancy for most professional sports teams, while others such as the NBA’s Golden State Warriors have used it to their advantage. Ahmad, who also runs a Twitter chat #smsportschat, talks about the importance of social media impressions and how engagement between players and their fan base has started to change sports media forever. Twitter: @Tariq_Ahmad
Jake Vernon’s Get Real Sports is one of the third party ticket solutions taking hold in top schools like Butler. Vernon talks about how the third party industry ballooned into almost every FBS property now considering something which would have been unthinkable less than ten years ago, that is contracting-out their ticket sales division and paying commissions. Vernon discusses professional development for his sales staff, ways to help them succeed and methodology toward driving more revenue for each property. Twitter: @GetRealPrez
One of the NBADL’s premiere franchises sits in Frisco, Texas and is helmed by Bill Boyce. This is his first venture into sports operations, after serving as an attorney for several years running his own practice for thirteen years. Boyce discusses the NBADL’s emergence in minor league sports and some of the ways in which the Texas Legends have gotten noticed, including utilizing corporate imagining on the front of team uniforms for maximum impression affect. Twitter: @Bill_Boyce
The game isn’t just a game anymore, as Justin Hollander can attest to. Now, metrics and Big Data have entered the fray, making Hollander’s job of compiling an entire Major League Baseball team’s organizational information into one of his most recent tasks. Hollander talks about the different complexities of his job after graduating from law school and whether never playing professional baseball is something that can be held against him during arguments about player development.
Michael Larsen heads the ticket operations for one of the most successful independent baseball teams in the country, the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Larsen talks about the challenges with attendance, promotions, and how to garner crowds that come back several times over the year. Larsen also talks about what it takes to get into sports, some of the ways in which interns are used by a team in their first job in sports. Twitter: @FMRedhawks
E. Ken “Ziggy” Siegfried is new to the west coast, arriving from Memphis over the last few years to become CSU Bakersfield’s Sr. Associate Athletic Director for Development & Major Gifts. Siegfried brings a lot of development knowledge from his years at Memphis before & after the Tigers men’s basketball team went to the N.C.A.A. Championship Game, thus his expectations for telling the Bakersfield Roadrunner story remain high as the athletic department enters the Western Athletic Conference next season. Siegfried talks about how he works on major gifts for Bakersfield and what his plans for the department in terms of development are down the line.