Ron Goch
The Telios Group
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Networking Book Recommendations

February 28th 2006

Q. What are a few good books you’d recommend on networking?

A. There are several great books written on networking and referrals.  If you’re looking for a couple excellent short-reads, I encourage you to check out “The Referral of a Lifetime” and “Mr. Shmooze.”  Here’s the baker’s dozen of my favorite networking and referral books…in no particular order:

“The Referral of a Lifetime,” Templeton
“How to Win Friends & Influence People,” Carnegie
“Pushing the Envelope All the Way to the Top,” Mackay
“Mr. Shmooze,” Abraham
“Endless Referrals,” Burg
“Masters of Networking,” Misner and Morgan
“Networking Magic, Frishman and Lublin
“Get More Referrals Now!” Cates
“The Greatest Networker in the World,” Fogg
“Be a people Person,” Maxwell
“Make Your Contacts Count,” Baber and Waymon
“Nonstop Networking,” Nierenberg
“The Relationship Edge in Business,” Acuff and Wood

Your turn to take a swing…

What networking and referral books have you read that we didn’t include on this list and you recommend?

All the best,

Ron Goch
The Telios Group

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Join NACMA and Apply for Assistantship

February 27th 2006

Q. I’ve been an intern for two years, I love working in college sports, but I keep getting letters of regrets for everything I’ve applied for this year.  Is there anything else you can recommend to me?

A. This question was part of an e-mail I received this morning from an intern who has been working the last two years at one of the college athletic departments we work with and I provided two recommendations to her.

First, I encouraged the intern to become a member of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators; better known as NACMA.

As a student (or intern) the annual investment for NACMA is only $25 and members receive daily news articles via e-mail on collegiate athletics; job announcements via e-mail; access to a listserv with all members frequently exchanging ideas and best practices; access to the member’s only web site resource page; a tremendous network of collegiate athletics professionals all across the country; and the opportunity to attend the annual NACMA Convention in June.

I’ve been a member of NACMA for many years and know first-hand the people and resources are the best in our business and it’s THE association for collegiate athletics marketing.  If you’re interested in collegiate athletics marketing, and you’re not a member of NACMA, I strongly encourage you to make the small investment today in a Membership.

The second words of encouragement I extended to the intern were to seriously consider applying for one of the many graduate assistantships offered in college sports today.

Graduate assistantships – which I was fortunate to experience at the University of Tennessee – offer tuition waivers and stipends, and some include health insurance benefits.

An assistantship can provide you with tremendous experience in collegiate athletics business operations, while you earn a Master’s degree and prepare for full-time employment following graduation.  Along with the experience, graduate assistants build a solid network of people from across the country.

The experience and network have greatly assisted graduates make a smooth transition into a full-time job in collegiate sports.

Your turn to take a swing…

What advice do you have for undergraduate interns looking to break into the business of collegiate sports?

All the best,

Ron Goch
The Telios Group

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Commit to an Internship

February 26th 2006

Q. What can I do to make myself more marketable for a job in sports?

A. Find and commit yourself to a great internship experience.  There are many reasons to explore an internship.  Here are 10 reasons why you should commit to fulfilling a minimum of one semester of an internship before graduation:

1. You will gain practical knowledge and real world hands-on experience while earning academic credit.

2. An internship can provide you with an opportunity to apply the theory and knowledge you’ve learned in the classroom.

3. It’s a great opportunity to explore and preview your career interests.

4. You will enhance your resume.

5. You will develop and grow your network by establishing valuable relationships throughout your internship experience.

6. It’s an opportunity to develop and enhance your writing and communication skills.

7. You will increase your self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

8. You’ll learn and improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

9. It’s an opportunity to learn directly from experienced professionals.

10. The experience will enable you to be more competitive in the job market following your graduation.

Your turn to take a swing…

How have you benefited from an internship experience?

All the best,

Ron Goch
The Telios Group

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Baseball and Softball Group Ticket Sales

February 25th 2006

Q. What are some ways to increase group ticket sales for baseball and softball games? 

A. An excellent way to increase group ticket sales at your baseball and softball games is to create group ticket specialty programs that offer group attendees a unique, once in a lifetime event experience. 

Create pre-, in- and post-game experiences that groups have an opportunity to participate in for a minimum group ticket purchase.  Three examples of group ticket specialty programs for baseball and softball games could include the following: 

1. Youth Take the Field: A youth group purchasing a minimum of X group tickets would have the opportunity to take the field with – and stand next to – players during the singing of the National Anthem. 

2. Field of Dreams: A once in a lifetime opportunity for a youth baseball or softball team (or teams) to play / practice on the same field your team plays their games.  The youth game or practice could take place hours prior to your home game or on a non-game day. 

3. FUN-raisers: Schools, non-profit organizations, charitable groups and youth teams or organizations could use your tickets to raise funds for their group or an event.  The group selects the game they’d like to sell tickets, you provide the group fund-raising promotional material, and the group receives a pre-determined dollar amount for each group ticket they sell. 

Along with the unique group attendee experience opportunities, you can also include in each ticket package the group’s name in lights on your scoreboard; a group picture on your field (post on your web site for each attendee, their family and friends to visit your site and see); and conduct an enter to win contest (a great way to capture individual group attendee names and contact information) that’s exclusive for the group to win an autographed item or a merchandise item from your team shop. 

Your turn to take a swing… 

What group ticket specialty programs do you offer that have successfully increased your baseball and softball ticket sales? 

All the best, 

Ron Goch
The Telios Group 

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Season Ticket Holder Retention

February 24th 2006

Q. How can I improve retention of our football season ticket holders?

A. This is a great question and I’d be curious to learn how many of you maintain relationships with your season tickets holders.  Do you have a plan for servicing your existing season ticket holders?  What kind of season ticket holder benefits do you offer?  How do you communicate those benefits to your season ticket holders?  Many times we’re more focused on our next season ticket holder that we forget to take care of our current season ticket holders.

If you don’t already have a year-round season ticket holder touch-point strategy in place to manage and service your existing season ticket holders, invest the time now to improve your touch-points and the relationships with your season ticket holders.  You’ll be amazed what you’ll learn from your season ticket holders and how much they will appreciate your sincere efforts to stay connected with them to ensure their customer experience is excellent.

Here are two simple touch-point ideas you can implement with your season ticket holders:

1. Host a thank-a-thon with your coaches and student-athletes this off-season and have them call each of your season ticket holders to thank them for their support of your program.

2. Send a one-page (front and back) survey (or e-mail a link to a one-page survey) to each season ticket holder and ask how their event experiences were this past season, what they liked, what they’d like to see change, and any ideas they have for improving their overall experience.  If you’re wondering what renewal gift would help ensure a higher percentage of renewals, the season ticket holder survey is a great opportunity to ask your season ticket holders what gift they’d like to receive.

Your turn to take a swing…

What are some of the touch-points you implement with your season ticket holders?

All the best,

Ron Goch
The Telios Group

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