Fan Development Manager Ryan McKee is making every attempt to show Australian Rules Football’s Essendon Club some of the newest promotions to engage fans. McKee talks about his time with the club, the adjustment to the AFL and the country of Australia, as well as discusses his native Canada, detailing his time with the Vancouver Canucks and MLS WhiteCaps.
Jerry Seltzer’s father Leo created the sport of roller derby in 1935, but Jerry has carried the legacy as the World Skating League’s Commissioner since Leo’s death in 1978. Jerry talks about some of the different situations in which roller derby managed to draw upwards of 20,000 to 30,000 people to a single event. Jerry also talks about his industry influential decision found BASS Ticketing Systems, eventual working with both Ticketmaster and Brown Paper Tickets. Seltzer discusses how Ticketmaster's issues with Pearl Jam created a backlash in ticketing, resulting in Brown Paper Tickets, which allowed standup comedians like Louis CK and Doug Stanhope to control their own customer base in exchange for smaller service fees. Twitter: @jeryseltzer
Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling deals with a 1980s hit movie, a historical minor league club and a new ballpark. Birling talks about promotions within the ballpark, refusing to provide giveaways or heavy discounts to single game customers, in order to protect the valuable price point. Birling also talks about the misconceptions of the duties of a minor league general manager and some of the new revenue streams that are just being realized by each club in the MiLB.
George Stieren oversees communications for the final three races in the NASCAR series at Miami-Homestead Speedway. Stieren talks about NASCAR’s involvement with social media, its acceptance of new media, and how to innovate in a world where communication changes daily. Stieren also talks about his involvement with the San Diego Padres organization.
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