January 31st 2007
Q. Is there a sports event workshop or Symposium you could recommend for professional development and networking?
A. The 2007 National Association of Sports Commissions will be hosting its annual Sports Event Symposium April 16-20 in Dallas, Texas. You can check out the details here.
January 30th 2007
Q. Do you have a book you can recommend on entrepreneurship for someone who would like to start his own business?
A. I picked up a book and have only read the first two chapters of “You Call the Shots,” by Cameron Johnson, who started 12 successful businesses before he turned 21; quite amazing to say the least.
January 29th 2007
Q. Is there a sports management association, or several different associations, available for young sports professionals?
A. There are several sport management associations for the young and not so young. A few to get you started would be the National Sports Marketing Network and the North American Society for Sport Management.
You can find a list of sports association links here.
January 26th 2007
Q. Any new book recommendations on sales?
A. We’re always looking for that one “new” book on sales strategies and techniques versus the old, tested and true books. You’re in luck, though, because I did recently pick up a couple new books on sales.
The first is “Selling Results” by Bill Stinnett and so far it’s a winner. The other is “Achieve Sales Excellence” by Howard Stevens and Theodore Kinni and it’s filled with a lot of basics, which are all good reminders.
Here’s a link to other books – the old ones! – I’d recommend.
January 25th 2007
Q. Could you provide a list or link to college sports management programs in the United States?
A. Check out the list on the North American Society for Sport Management web site and the list they’ve provided of sport management programs.
January 24th 2007
Q. I read The Telios Group blog post “Real Manly Men Aren’t Afraid,” and although your blog – unlike the Question of the Day blog and the Telios Tips blog – isn’t always about sports, I thought I’d pose the question, how can we use sports to extend this public service announcement and inform and educate through sporting events?
A. Great question and a great opportunity! Since my blog post yesterday in The Telios Group Blog, I visited the National Cancer Institute web site where I found several links to resources and facts, as well as information on prostate cancer screening and testing. (more…)
January 23rd 2007
Q. I’d like to start a program where our employees are recognized for excellent customer service. We train our staff on how to assist our fans and answer their questions, and I believe we could better reinforce if we offer some kind of award or incentive program. Are there any good examples in sports?
A. This is a great idea and I’d encourage you to consider implementing a Mystery Fan or secret fan program – similar to a mystery shopper program – which we offer our clients to evaluate their event presentation, fan engagement, and overall customer service. (more…)
January 22nd 2007
Q. We are in a slump with selling our merchandise and looking for a few strategies to sell more team merchandise?
A. There are a number of colleges and professional sports teams that do a great job of displaying merchandise animated icons in highly visible areas on their web site as well as include special merchandise offers in an electronic newsletters and magazines (ezines) that are a few basic strategies that should assist with keeping your merchandise visible and help increase sales. (more…)
January 19th 2007
Q. We’re considering some type of credit for unused tickets in a season ticket, and we’re curios to know if any sports teams offer a credit for unused tickets as part of a season ticket holder’s benefits?
A. There are some sports teams who offer credit for unused season tickets, and the New York Yankee’s are one of those teams who have an Unused Ticket Credit Program, providing season ticket holders a $5 credit for each unused ticket.
January 18th 2007
Q. We’re kicking off our baseball season tickets and I’d like to know whether we should offer full and mini plans now, or if we should only offer full season tickets and then sell mini plans closer to the start of the season?
A. I recommend selling both full and partial plans now to maximize your time to sell full and partial plans, and I’ve included a link to the Mets ticket page so you can see an example of how a baseball team is promote a variety of partial plans online, as well as its full 81-game season ticket plan.
January 17th 2007
Q. In preparation for next season’s college football season, and the upcoming signing day in February, do you have any suggestions on how a college could work with its corporate partners to offer fans a nice incentive to either place a season ticket deposit or invest in season tickets?
A. The Charlotte Bobcats partnered with Lowe’s to offer fans gift cards with each season ticket purchase during this past year’s season ticket campaign, and you can read about this offer as well as view their commercials here.
January 16th 2007
Q. Are there any marketing, promotions or advertising strategies that have been implemented during the NFL Playoffs that could be successful strategies college athletics could implement next fall?
A. I’ve been able to catch bits and pieces of games, and a few things have stood out that I thought were pretty neat strategies this past weekend. (more…)
January 15th 2007
Q. What do you think of the Dodger’s new all-you-can-eat season ticket plan?
A. I like the Los Angeles Dodgers All-You-Can-Eat Season Ticket plan they unveiled last week that will be offered in a 3,000-seat bleacher section in right field. It’s creative, affordable and I look forward to seeing how well it sells for the Dodgers.
January 12th 2007
Q. Are you aware of any sports teams that offer season ticket holder rewards, or tie in sponsors who offer special discounts for season ticket holders?
A. This is a great idea to provide added value to your season tickets as well as offer your corporate partners opportunities to connect with your most valued customers.
Check out the Columbus Blue Jackets Ultimate Fan Rewards Program as an example of offers they extend to their season ticket offers.
January 11th 2007
Q. We’re in the middle of basketball but we’d like to begin selling football season tickets. Besides public address announcements at our basketball games, what strategies do you recommend for leveraging home basketball games to sell football season tickets or at the very least, gain season ticket deposits?
A. There are a number of strategies you could implement at home basketball games, but a few to consider are airing your 2007 season ticket TV commercial on your video board and conduct an enter to win 2007 season tickets on the concourse and the box office, and promote the enter to win with public address announcements, reader board messages, and radio and TV drop-ins.
January 10th 2007
Q. I work in ticket sales and would like to move into sponsorship sales. What do you recommend I do?
A. I always recommend some good advice I once received, which was in order to get the job you want, you need to do a great job with the one you have now.
January 9th 2007
Q. We’d like to begin offering web only discount offers to our fans and curious to know if this would have any negative effect on our season ticket sales?
A. Many sports teams offer exclusive web-only ticket offers, which is now common practice for many businesses, and it hasn’t impacted season ticket sales in a negative way.
Most sports teams have attractive season ticket holder benefits, so even if they offer an exclusive discounted ticket on its web site – for example, Web Wednesdays – season ticket holders still receive the best price and benefits.
January 8th 2007
Q. When was the last time you had a “Wow” experience at a sporting event and what made you say, “Wow?”
A. Last week, our youngest daughter and I attended a basketball game. That alone for me is a “wow” moment, because of all the sporting events I attend, the ones with my kids or the family are the ones I enjoy most.
Before the game, we went to the concession stand and we were greeted by the friendly lady behind the counter. She asked my daughter, “What would you like cutie?” My daughter smiled and provided her order. “How about you young fella,” she asked. Of course I smiled and then communicated my order.
It was evident this person enjoyed her job and interaction with people, and little doubt fans enjoyed their interactions with her.
As she handed us our order, we thanked her and started to walk away when she said, “Enjoy the game young lady!” My daughter looked back, smiled and said, “thank you.” I thanked her as well and appreciated her enthusiasm, which only added to our overall experience that evening.
January 5th 2007
Q. We’ve had a number of discussions about the responsibilities of our mascot and would like to know your thoughts on whether a mascot’s responsibilities should be more of a cheerleader at games or be engaged in events throughout the community to promote the sports team?
A. Sports teams mascot responsibilities usually include pre-, in- and post-game activities (fan engagement and entertainment), as well as non-game day appearances, community service and other team events and activities on a year-round basis. Some college athletic programs, unlike professional sports – due to the number of sports and sporting events – usually have multiple individuals who fill the role of the school’s mascot at sporting events.
January 4th 2007
Q. If you had to sum up in one word how to be successful in the sports business, what one word would you choose?
January 3rd 2007
Q. As a newcomer to consulting, what book, or books, would you recommend?
A. There are many books I could recommend, but Alan Weiss wrote “Getting Started in Consulting,” along with the Ultimate Consulting Series, which I’d recommend you invest in no matter what field you choose to be a consultant.
January 2nd 2007
Q. With the New Year, I’m curious to know your thoughts of college athletic departments reviewing marketing and business plans following each sports season or if college athletic staff members should evaluate all sports at the mid-year point?
A. Over the years, I’ve always recapped immediately following each sport’s season, as well as each game and each event. Additionally, I recommend a year-end department review, as well as a staff retreat to review and prepare for the next year.
January 1st 2007
Q. We’re debating whether we should sell full and mini season tickets for football now, or whether we should wait to sell mini season tickets closer to the season. What do you recommend?
A. I recommend selling full season tickets, mini season ticket plans, as well as group ticket plans…the full menu of plans.
Keep in mind, your full season ticket holders are great prospects for group tickets, and also, your group leaders make good season ticket prospects, or at the very least, could refer you to prospective season ticket holders.