October 17th 2009
Thank you for visiting the “Question of the Week” blog. I’m no longer posting to the “Question of the Week” blog. If you’re interested, you can see The Telios Group tweets on Twitter here, ticket sales and retention tweets here, and my personal Twitter entries here. I also have a Facebook Page with quotes, video and story links here. Thanks again for visiting the “Question of the Week” blog.
August 31st 2009
Q. It’s been challenging selling suites and luxury suites in the poor economy. Have you come across anything unique that baseball teams are doing to create a unique experience and an attractive sell when it comes to suites and luxury seats?
A. The Chicago Cubs have created a unique and attractive offer with the Batter’s Eye Seats. The luxury seats are sponsored by Bud Light and are all-inclusive single-game tickets that include unlimited food and beverage, reserved seating, private restrooms, and breathtaking views of Wrigley Field for $165 per ticket.
August 24th 2009
Q. Could you provide some examples of partial plans from various sports?
A. Here are six different links to partial plans from four different sports that include MLB, MLS, NBA, and NHL:
August 10th 2009
Q. What are your thoughts on sports teams using secret shopping companies (focused on sports and entertainment) to evaluate events and customer service?
A. It’s a terrific idea. Sports organizations should consistently evaluate their events and customer service with surveys, response cards, and periodic mystery fan event evaluations.
I’ve conducted hundreds of sporting event evaluations over the years and the detailed reports (more…)
August 3rd 2009
Q. What events would you recommend sports teams host to successfully sell season tickets?
A. Hosting events to sell season tickets is a great sales strategy. Events provide the opportunity for teams to invite hundreds of prospects to an event that could be two to four hours in duration, and it’s an efficient and successful way to sell a high percentage of season tickets to those who attend.
The fact season ticket prospects invest their time to attend your event is one of the reasons for (more…)
July 27th 2009
Q. What are some professional organizations/associations and/or journals, magazines, and websites that you find useful?
A. I’m a long-time member of the American Marketing Association, the National Association of College Athletic Marketing Administrators, and a number of other online (and offline) networks and associations.
For sports business magazines, I recommend Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily and the SportsBusiness Journal. I also enjoy Harvard Business Review, Forbes, a number of blogs and newspapers, and Alltop, an online magazine rack.
July 20th 2009
Q. Jersey night used to be popular with fans. Is this still a successful promotion and do you know of a sports team that has done it recently?
A. The Colorado Avalanche hosted its youth jersey night this past season when they gave away free youth jerseys to the first 5,000 youth 14 years old and younger.
July 13th 2009
Q. Could you share examples of how sports teams have successfully created all-you-can-eat ticket packages?
A. Here are three baseball team’s all-you-can-eat food and ticket package information:
Here are two stories related to sports teams’ all-you-can-eat programs:
Even Universal Studios has an all-you-can-eat program and they offer a 10-percent discount on the all-day pass when purchased online. You can click here for all the details of their all-you-can-eat pass.
July 6th 2009
Q. In the “Create a Sellout” eBook, three of the many ticket sales strategies you share are the “All You Can Eat” ticket package, the meal deal, and the family value days, which packages food and tickets for a reasonable price. We’d enjoy implementing these ticket/food packages, but our concessions charges a minimum of $8 per person. Add in the ticket and it’s not exactly a great value. What do other college athletic and sports teams do in similar situations?
A. This is a common challenge college athletics and sports teams face when trying to create value meal ticket programs, and one great alternative for both college athletics and sports teams is to work with the sponsorship sales team to create value meals with your sponsors. (more…)
June 29th 2009
Q. As you consult with sports teams around the country, what do you find to be an average number for minimum number of group tickets in order for a group to receive discounted group tickets?
A. The minimum number of group tickets for college athletics and sports teams varies from college to college and team to team, but it’s usually a minimum of 10 (birthday packages) to 25 group ticket, and many of the colleges and sports teams I’ve worked with establish a minimum of 20 or 25.
Here are five colleges and professional sports teams and their group ticket minimum requirements: (more…)
June 15th 2009
Q. Considering today’s economy, what are some of the creative and successful ticket promotions in sports?
A. Sports seem to always find different ways to be creative with ticket promotions, and minor league baseball seems to lead the way year after year in the creativity category.
This past weekend I read a story “Teams Get Their Day In Downturn,” which highlights some creative marketing and promotions from baseball. One promotion – Mortgage Mondays – involves raffling off a mortgage payment, which I’m sure many of the fans in attendance would enjoy winning.
June 11th 2009
Q. I am trying to get an average per person spent at concessions for sporting events; any suggestions?
A. Below is a link to an article written about the Cowboys new stadium that provides concessions figures for sporting events. I’ve also provided a link to a PowerPoint presentation – Economics of New Stadiums – from 2003 that contains concessions figures.
June 8th 2009
Q. Where do you recommend a person get started when it comes to social media?
May 25th 2009
Q. You have a lot of experience in the sports business industry. I am ready to make the next step in my career to try to move into a sales position with a Major League team. Would you have any advice on best practices other than places like Teamwork? I have begun to network with all of my connections. Is this the best way?
A. A great question and I appreciate you asking it. In true consulting fashion, I have some questions as well.
What sports business groups and networks are you connected to and how are you engaging, sharing and learning in each of those groups and networks?
As a member of several groups and networks, I know each of the members want to (more…)
May 4th 2009
Q. What strategy would you recommend as one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase the size of our prospective ticket buyer database?
A. Enter to win contests are fun, easy to implement, and can effectively increase your database.
One of the keys to developing more targeted prospects is to create enter to win contests that target the prospects you desire.
For example, if you’re goal is to increase prospective season ticket buyers, create a contest that offers (more…)
April 13th 2009
Q. What are you seeing in the way of sports teams communicating ticket specials to fans? Same old discounts or is there anything new to report?
A. The Milwaukee Brewers have created a “Fan Value Corner” on its website that includes everything from Kids and Senior Citizens Discount Days to a Brewers-State Fair Double Header Deal and concessions discounts.
The value offers and website page are well done, nicely tie-in sponsors, and highlight the Brewers season-long offers. It’s a nice presentation and a great strategy Brewers’ fans will likely appreciate.
April 6th 2009
Q. In preparation for our school commemorating the 50-year anniversary of our arena. Do you know of other athletic programs that have celebrated anniversaries for a sport or facility and strategies they executed?
A. Ironically, I answered a similar question about sports team anniversaries this same week last year. I shared two examples you can access here. In addition, Here’s the Mountain West Conference’s 10th Anniversary page, the NFL’s 50th anniversary of the American Football League page, The Port Credit Hockey Association’s 50th Anniversary page, and the page for the Anaheim Convention Center’s celebration of its 40th Anniversary and the arena’s rededication last year.
March 30th 2009
Q. Are you familiar with any college athletic programs that have successfully conducted town hall meetings with their season ticket holders and fans?
A. The University of Colorado Athletics Department conducted seven town Hall meetings between Feb 16 and Mar 2, and you can access the event information here.
Colorado conducted the town hall meetings to “gain feedback, stimulate new ideas, and educate their fans” and included on the Buff’s Town Hall meetings page are the Town Hall meeting schedule; links to the BuffsTV On-Demand of the Mar 2 Town Hall meeting; a downloadable 50-page PowerPoint presentation fused at the Town Hall meetings; an online form for fans to submit Town Hall meeting questions; and an online form for fans to provide feedback.
March 23rd 2009
Q. I keep hearing how LinkedIn is the professional social network to be on. Is this a network you recommend, or would you recommend a different social network for business?
A. I joined LinkedIn last year and it’s a great network for posting your professional credentials, blog updates and testimonials. It’s a great networking community and I’m a member of several LinkedIn groups.
March 16th 2009
Q. We’d like to conduct some fan research with surveys, but we haven’t conducted a fan or season ticket holder survey in years. Could you share insights or best practices?
A. I read a great article from the Pew Research Center – a great resource for numbers, facts and trends – that addressed the challenges and opportunities facing communication research.
March 9th 2009
Q. In this down economy, what strategies or best practices do you recommend sports teams consider for staying connected with their fans?
A. This is a great question and the right focus - your season ticket holders, group leaders and loyal fans.
With the struggling economy and less disposable income, many sports teams find themselves struggling to meet their projected ticket sales goals and therefore find themselves focusing on new ticket sales rather than remaining committed to retention efforts and new ticket sales.
Here are three strategies to consider for staying engaged with your fans: (more…)
March 2nd 2009
Q. You provided an example of a Twitter ticket offer last week and I’m wondering if you could provide an example of a sports team utilizing Facebook to build an online social community and offer ticket specials?
A. The St. Louis Blues have a link on its website that takes Blues fans to its Facebook fan Page. Once fans sign-up for this Page, they receive email alerts whenever the Blues extend a special Faceoff Facebook ticket offer, which is a link that takes fans to a Ticketmaster purchase page especially designed for the special Faceoff Facebook ticket offer.
February 23rd 2009
Q. Could you provide an example of a college athletics program that has used Twitter to promote a special ticket offer to their fans on Twitter?
A. The Oregon Athletics Department recently posted a special Twitter ticket offer for Ducks tweeps that was good for a $10 GA ticket to the Ducks men’s basketball game against Stanford. Fans were provided a special link (click here) where they could enter “TWITTER” as the promotions code.
If you’d like to follow the Ducks on Twitter to see their ticket offers first-hand and other ways they utilize Twitter, the Ducks user name is @GoDucksdotCom. My Twitter user name, not surprisingly, is @RonGoch.
February 16th 2009
Q. As a sports business consultant, you likely attend many sporting events. What’s the best fan experience you’ve had so far this year?
A. Just last week, prior to the NBA All-Star break, I had the opportunity to attend the Jazz-Lakers game, and it was an excellent overall experience.
I enjoyed the pre-, in-, and post-game events, promotions, game, entertainment, and customer service.
February 9th 2009
Q. We’ve been discussing and debating whether we should admit children for free in an effort to fill empty seats, as well as attract paying adult customers. Is this something you’d recommend college and pro sports teams consider implementing, especially with the struggling economy?
A. It’s a great question, and my answer wouldn’t be the same for all college and professional sports teams. Taking into consideration the fact a sports team is struggling to fill seats, as you’ve shared, college and professional sports teams have enjoyed successful children’s ticket promotions for designated theme nights for years. (more…)
February 2nd 2009
Q. Last week you provided a list of teams and mediums on Twitter. Could you please provide a list of some of the college athletics and professional sports teams that are on Facebook?
A. Here are three college athletics departments, three professional teams, and three sports league presently on Facebook (including number of friends for each as of Feb 4, 2009):
Three College Athletics on Facebook: Florida Gators: Over 35,000 Friends; Georgia Athletics: Over 35,000 Friends; Ohio State Buckeyes: Over 44,000 Friends. (more…)
January 26th 2009
Q. What are some of the sports teams and sports mediums that are presently using Twitter?
A. Listed below are three college athletic departments, three professional sports teams, three sports leagues, and three sports mediums presently using Twitter, along with their Twitter user names. I can also be found on Twitter - @RonGoch.
Three college athletic departments on Twitter: Clemson Athletics: @ClemsonTigers; Penn State Athletics: @PSUNittanyLions; Washington Athletics: @UWSportsNews. (more…)
January 19th 2009
Q. I’m looking for some career advice. I recently graduated from college and I’ve been looking for an entry-level sales position. With the economy in bad shape, would you recommend I continue looking or attend graduate school?
A. I’m frequently asked this question, but your observation about the economy and considering the option to attend graduate school is a fantastic idea during this time.
Colleges offer more graduate assistantships and stipends than ever before, and you not only receive hands-on, practical experience in your field of study, but your tuition, room and board, and books are paid (more…)
January 12th 2009
Q. Do you have a best practice example of a college athletics or professional sports team that has successfully created a quality enter to win contest to increase its ticket sales lead list?
A. There are many great examples of college athletics and professional sports teams successfully leveraging their corporate partnerships to build its prospective ticket buyer database.
The University of Florida Athletics Department recently sent to its eNewsletter subscribers the Alltel My Circle Hoops Getaway enter to win contest where the winner and 10 friends would have the opportunity to (more…)
January 5th 2009
Q. As a new sales manager, I’d like to know two or three important things I should do to ensure I get off to a successful start?
A. One of the things I encourage first-time managers to do is get to know their staff. Schedule weekly one-on-one meetings and ensure you’re in tune with each staff member’s day-to-day progress with their goals and development, celebrating successes and benchmarks they’ve achieve, as well as working together to overcome any challenges they may be experiencing. (more…)
December 29th 2008
Q. What strategy would you recommend for giving away tickets in the community to fill unsold seats at athletic events?
A. With the struggling economy and many non-profit organizations struggling to maintain their cash donations, sports teams that have available ticket inventory could partner with non-profit organizations in their community and donate tickets – or have a corporate partner underwrite donated tickets – so non-profit organizations could use tickets as fundraising opportunity. (more…)