The Brooklyn Cyclones represent one of the feats of the modern minor league baseball era in sports marketing. Not only did the franchise establish itself in one of the relics of a bygone time in Coney Island, but it created a stadium landmark that became an anchor tenant in a revitalization of a formerly notorious area for urban decay. Cyclones VP Steven Cohen discusses how the team shot right out of the gates with full stands and happy crowds, establishing itself for over 16 years as one of the perennial success stories of the New York-Penn League. Cohen talks about the image of Coney Island, and how the Cyclones have managed to continue to build more of a family-friendly atmosphere, eliminating some of the stereotypes that used to plague that area during the 1970s to 1990s.
Danita Johnson is a WNBA home-grown ticket sales talent, developing her skills with the Washington Mystics, Tulsa Shock and now as Vice President of Ticket Sales at the LA Sparks. Johnson talks about selling in the Los Angeles market, and creating not just a niche for the WNBA product, but a community-based support system which extends all season long. Johnson shares her thoughts on how to ensure that the perception of what the Sparks are selling on and off the court is comparable to the fan experience of other leagues, as well as how the Sparks foster greater group sales efforts overall. Twitter: @DanitaDJohnson
David Gravenkemper is caught between two wholly different worlds in sports business, the modern day Australian way of selling and the United States version. Gravenkemper took the leap less than a year ago, leaving his Associate Athletic Director position at the University of Washington to held up National Sales for the Australian Baseball League. Gravenkemper discusses the dynamic changes, especially in the way that the ABL sells to its sports fan community, amid membership and personal tastes in specific sports leagues. Gravenkemper talks about his time in his home city of Seattle, both with the UW Huskies and Seattle SuperSonics. Twitter: @DGravenkemper
Director of Season Seat Membership and Group Sales Chris Atack discusses how the conversion from season ticket holders to members began, and how it is has helped continued foster a solid renewal base for the team. Atack mentions that while hockey in Canada is always close to being considered a sports religion, second most may be a Montreal Canadiens' fan. However, selling the Ottawa Senators only two hours away does have its advantages, especially when it comes to targeting those nearby Canadiens fans into the Senators' home ice and converting them into members as well as group leaders. Twitter: @atackc
With over 20 years of sports selling experience in the industry, John Davis has seen various trends come and go. Davis talks about his time in the NFL, MLB, MiLB and NHL at selling the ticket product and driving revenue for teams. Davis discusses how the secondary market has a foothold on specific areas of ticket sales, but also how the fan experience reigns supreme.
The New York Lizards have established themselves as a professional lacrosse dynasty over the past 15 years, winning the Major League Lacrosse championship three times. Jason Velez has been part of that wave over the past 2 years, and shares his vision of where the Lizards have created a foothold with their brand. While the game of lacrosse may be somewhat niche, Velez talks about the opportunities that exist in selling the game to its most rabid fans, the young club lacrosse players in the New York/Long Island area. Velez discusses how he pushes younger account reps toward more efficient sales calls, as well as the dynamics of group sales overall. Twitter: @JasonVelezNYL
For a couple of years, Lance Tyson and PRSPX has started to shake up the sports sales training model with dynamic B2B and B2C concepts. This has enabled PRSPX to become a major player for franchise sales floors nationally. Tyson discusses the concepts which have separated him from the pack, including his view of tickets, marketing and revenue generation. A former owner of Dale Carnegie Training in Ohio & Indiana, Tyson oversees a team of sports sales trainers with a mission toward pushing the envelope of establishing new B2B concepts in each sports franchise. Twitter: @LanceTyson
The Citadel is one of the most storied institutions in the United States, but growing its revenue for its athletic programs takes time and care. Assistant Athletic Director of Ticket Sales & Revenue Chris Baretta has helped transform the paradigm by building a sales training academy with interns and student workers. Leveraging his experience with the Seattle Seahawks & Sounders FC, Baretta discusses what he looks for in an academy candidate, as well as how he looks to strategically sell-out the house, including premium inventory. Baretta discusses the issue of discounting and complimentary tickets, as well as how to create a buying public in the rich-tradition of The Citadel athletic department. Twitter: @Chris_Baretta
NASCAR has few tracks that stand up to the legendary status of Talladega, which in racing lore may also be cursed in the minds of some drivers and racing fans. Josh Harris discusses how to sell a massive track in the Deep South, especially when all eyes go on one of the centerpieces in the state of Alabama annually. Not just for racing, but for tailgating culture, which can extend two entire weeks of "The Big One" in multiple speedway formats. At one time, Talladega boasted a seating capacity of 175,000. Harris talks about the current seating capacity of 80,000 and the strategy of filling it for each of the many races throughout the year.
For 12 of the last 15 years, Jim McNamara has been part of the Lakewood BlueClaw's success in leading in the South Atlantic League in attendance amid all fellow Single A clubs. McNamara discusses his start, as a Group Sales Assistant with the BlueClaws, and rising through the ranks, until serving at his current position as the Vice President of Ticket Sales for the past 2 seasons. McNamara talks about the New Jersey marketplace, and how affiliation doesn't matter as much as the promotion put in front of the customer, especially when it comes to packing the house.