In an industry where administrators jump from job to job every few years, John Gruppo has only been in two positions during his 13 year career. Gruppo served as a jack of all trades at Northeastern, in the capacity of Assistant Athletic Director of Business and Ticketing for over 10 years, then left for George Washington University, to work as the Assistant Athletic Director of Budget and Finance. Gruppo talks about having to do it all alone when it comes to certain duties as folks start out in this industry, as well as why its good to move, but it can also raise institutionalization questions if people stay too long at a job as well. Twitter: @JohnGruppo
Mike Mossholder has sold marketing inventory for the NFL, NASCAR, Horse Racing, and MLS Soccer, but for the last three years has sold the UFC globally. Mossholder talks about what the differences are with brand managers between perception and reality, as well as how he utilizes UFC President Dana White to help facilitate some of the biggest brands in the business. Mossholder discusses where the UFC is expanding globally, reaching into the Southeast Asian and Oceania markets, and specifically tailoring those fight match-ups to those countries timezones in order to reach maximum impact.
Chuck Lamson brings over 30 years to his sports consulting business, trying to help potential owners understand exactly what they need to know about running a franchise. Not everyone heeds the advice, but Lamson talks about some of the easiest ways that owners avoid making revenue in sports business. Lamson talks about his time with the Tulsa Drillers, as well as how drawing people to a sports event is one of the hardest things in the world to do.
In 2012, The Big Sky Conference reformed their logo and brought in several changes both on and off the college field. Associate Commissioner Ron Loghry discusses the challenges that were presented and met by the Conference’s leadership, as well as how the conference expansion led to some unique opportunities with new school membership. And Loghry also confirms one of the stories about University of Montana fans calling the conference office, outraged by a certain young ticket manager’s policies back in 2010.
From the first moment that Charlie Hildbold walked into the indoor football league franchise in Allen, Texas, he has been fighting to keep the franchise alive. Hildbold talks about the early days of the former IFL Allen Wranglers, where NFL Wide Receiver Terrell Owens played for half a summer and the corporate sponsors were trying to revolt. Hildbold talks about the Wranglers franchise folding and the birth of the IFL Texas Revolution, which has improved on several of the issues that the Wranglers could not seem to control. Twitter: @CharlieHildbold
Guest services takes on a whole new meaning at the Washington Capitals. Rick Olivieri explains that the title means really focusing on retention of season ticket holders, ensuring that the VIP customer service is promoted heavily, rather than simply a concierge service for high-end fans. Olivieri discusses some of the ways that the Washington Capitals have chosen to grow their audience as well as maintain some of their loyal fans. Twitter: @RickOlivieri
CJ Johnson knows the Winston-Salem market well. In his second stint with the Carolina League franchise, Johnson talks about some of the changes that have gone in over the last few years, including a team name change and venue upgrade into a new ballpark. Johnson discusses his plans for selling in the Winston-Salem community as well as communications with season ticket holders as well as growing their fanbase.
Long-time sports marketing legend David Hersh has formed a new company to change over how college athletics promotes and sells their teams. Hersh has formed the Viking Athletic Partnership with Portland State University, which he considers wholly different than the third party concept used by most major university athletic departments in terms of ticket sales. The VAP examines ways to use the entire sports revenue ecosystem; tickets, marketing, promotions, corporate sponsorship, etc., to build a better, more sound product to sell to the greater Portland area. Hersh discusses his background in running two versions of the Portland Beavers baseball franchise as well as his twenty-plus year career in the world of professional sports, and how he looks to extend those metrics to the college athletic landscape.
Robert Roveta has managed some of the top MMA fighters in the sport. Roveta talks about the period in MMA from 1993-2003 known as the “Dark Ages” prior to MMA’s acceptance by the mainstream. Roveta discusses his goals for managing fighters, some of the issues that have arisen without MMA agent regulation which have caused anyone and everyone to go into the role of fighter representation, and his time as an MMA event promoter. Twitter: @DenaroSports
Chuck Johnson operates one of the most successful minor league brands in the Pacific Coast League. Johnson talks about some of the issues surrounding the 51s name as it has now been extended past two different ownership groups, as well as how the 51s deal with the struggling Las Vegas economy. Johnson discusses some of the ways that the 51s have to be creative at Cashman Stadium to draw crowds which is 10 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, as well as some of the possible future plans for the team to relocate to Summerlin, Nevada. Twitter: @51sGM