In 2008, a revolution occurred on the campus of Georgia Tech. The Aspire Group, Inc. became one of the first third-party organizations to assume the ticket selling duties of a college campus. What was viewed originally with skepticism by athletic departments across the nation became the norm in only a few short years. Bill Fagan oversees one of the largest third-party operations and offers up some of the details on how marketing to college sports fans has changed, especially with students, and why proactive ticket selling is important to capture an ever-elusive fan.
One of the newest ways to build ticket retention online is the world of “retargeting.” AdRoll is a San Francisco tech company focused on retargeting that has helped manage several online ticket initiatives for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS franchises. J. Ryan Williams explains exactly what retargeting is and some of the tactics that can be used to generate more revenue out of fans already interested in your product. An added bonus is that he can do the Arkansas Razorbacks “hog call” if you ask him.
The Fresno Grizzlies have been one of the most successful franchises in minor league baseball. No small part of that comes from their commitment to sales & promotion, exemplified by Derek Franks and his staff. Franks talks about coming into the franchise right out of college, how the club looks at promotions to the central California area, and some of the various aspects of creating a good sales menu. By the way, if any Grizzlies has information on why a fan keeps inquiring about a certain “Ghostbusters Promotion” that she thinks the Grizzlies are running, Franks would like to talk to them.
Matt O’Neill competes in the toughest media & sports market in the country, while trying to also expand the brand of the NY Red Bulls into the world’s biggest stage. O’Neill discusses how the Red Bulls have gone after capturing fans, why he doesn’t believe in premium items, and why he chooses to “hold the line” on discounting, fan erosion, and mini-packs by comparison of selling a fan on the entire season.
Vince Gennaro has been president of The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) since 2009 & has witnessed some of the sweeping changes as Moneyball's influence changed the way those inside the front office's of Major League Baseball teams thought about analytics in general. SABR is set to have its second annual analytics conference in Phoenix, March 7-9, 2013 and Gennaro talks about the role that SABR is having on understanding analytics in sport. Gennaro also speaks about the Baseball Hall of Fame, PEDs, and the historical influence of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. Twitter: @SABR
Scott O’Connell has witnessed many of the changes to Minnesota baseball since the Twins hired him in 1984, including two World Series wins, two different ball parks, and the implementation of CRMs & dynamic pricing. O’Connell talks about the state of ticket sales back in the 1980s, when prospects were overlapped by sales staff several times over and the state of Minnesota sports as new venues come online. As 2012-13 president of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors, O’Connell provides his expertise on the state of the suite marketplace and where he believes it is headed in the next 5-10 years.
Nic Barlage is part of a fascinating new territory when it comes to the NBA and dynamic ticket sales. Not only do the Cavs dynamically price their seats and/or premium seating, but they also use the same model for their suites while also considering concessions to put in the variable pricing mix. Barlage discusses some of the new enhancements that the Cavs had pioneered, including Flash Seats, which has allowed them to earn the second-highest renewal rate in 2012-13 of non-NBA playoff teams at 89 percent.
A companion to this podcast is a special minicast exclusively for premium subscribers, where Nic Barlage discusses how to implement a proper “pricing communication plan” to a sales staff.
The Las Vegas Wranglers ECHL team is known for its crazy hockey promotions; they do two midnight games annually. Two of the people behind this trend to give the fans a dose of something different are Todd Hutton (VP of Sales & Marketing) and Matt Langseth (Director of Tickets). And while the rest of Vegas may be considered a "comp city," Hutton and Langseth move a ton of tickets through dynamic promotions, massive group buys and attempt to stay away from giving out a lot of premium items. They even break through the idea that people stop spending right after the holidays and talk about what really attracts fans to their product.
A companion to this podcast is an exclusive minicast for premium subscribers, where Langseth and Hutton talk about "Marketing Minors."
If the name sounds familiar, it’s not your imagination. The Veeck moniker is almost a baseball legend thanks to the efforts of Night Train’s grandfather (Bill) and his father (Mike). But Night Train is no slouch himself, the man learned his crazy minor league marketing as part of The First Family of Fun, working for the family’s Charleston RiverDogs as their sales manager/promotions for 12 years, working everywhere from sales, promotions to the grounds crew and gameday operations. Now at the Chicago White Sox, a franchise that his grandfather once owned, Night Train is a group sales executive with a rising future. Night Train discusses his family history, the story behind his nickname, and what the fans really want when they go to a ball game. Twitter: VeeckAsInWreck
A companion to this podcast is a minicast exclusive to premium subscribers, where Veeck talks "Online Competition"
Chris Thompson is one of the premier sports information directors in the northwest. Known by everyone in sports communication in the Puget Sound Region, Thompson has experience at every division of NCAA & NAIA athletics. Thompson sits down to talk about his tenure at the University of Puget Sound, an NCAA DIII where he managed every sport's marketing & communication while also earning a master's degree at Seattle University and what led Thompson to the decision to focus more on his health, wellness and family. Thompson also discusses his role at The Evergreen State College where the staff "embraces the weird" and as sports information director of the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference.
A companion to this episode is a minicast available to premium subscribers with Thompson, where he discusses how to find "good stories."