Jay Finnerty sells college basketball tickets in the third largest city in America, where the men's basketball team may not win very many Big East games, but the attendance is never down below seven thousand a game. Finnerty talks about the issues that DePaul has embraced, using an inhouse ticket sales model of two sales people, two on the marketing staff, as DePaul goes after one of the largest alumni bases for a school in the US.
BJ Pickard operates one of the largest fan engagement operations in professional sports. The Arena Football League's social media efforts rival that of that larger professional leagues, and Pickard discusses where the AFL was in terms of fan support prior to the 2009 lockout and how the AFL has managed to re-engage fans back into the fold since its rebirth in 2010. Twitter: @BJPickard
In Barcelona, Rutger Hoorn oversees ticket sales for Euroleague Basketball's Final Four, which is watched by over 197 million in over 40 countries each May. The Final Four is set to be played in London for the next two years, even though the British are not generally basketball fans. Hoorn talks about the issues facing Euroleague Basketball, some of the differences of American versions European sales models, as well as some of the efforts that the Euroleague is making in order to sell more tickets to their fan base while sharing best practices league-wide.
"Super Agent" Leigh Steinberg has represented some of the biggest athletes in the world of sports. The inspiration for the main character in "Jerry Maguire" and a technical advisor on "Any Given Sunday," Steinberg has represented more than 60 First Round selections of the NFL Draft, including a record eight straight No. 1 overall picks. Now rebooting his representation practice with a NFLPA recertification in the summer of 2012, Steinberg talks about several issues in regard to sports representation, examining several problems facing sport, especially football, regarding CTE & concussion research. Twitter: @Steinbergsports
Chris Gallagher has been helped re-engage a rabid fanbase with its hometown Browns in the last two seasons. Deciding to do his podcast interview while in a vehicle, off the road during a Ohio snowstorm, Gallagher talks about the different promotions, technologies and methods of ensuring quality customer service despite the on-field record whether at the Browns, Miami Dolphins, NHL Panthers. Gallagher speaks on the rigors of moving for the next job, including a stint in New York while reseating fans & high ticket costs in new Yankee Stadium in mid-2009.
In less than a year on the job at Ole Miss, Ross Bjork has made a name for himself as its athletic director. His football coach, Hugh Freeze, signed the No. 1 recruit in the nation, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, only a few months after the team went 7-6 in 2012 compared to a 2-10 in 2011. Bjork details his ideas on leadership during times of highs and lows in an athletic department and talks about some of the major issues facing college athletics, especially those in the Southeastern Conference; particularly the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit with its financial ramifications looming over the NCAA's operations, whether the BCS should split the haves from the haves-nots in several divisions, and how to properly maintain prevent fan expectations from expectations as an athletic director with the reality of the job ahead. Also discussed is Bjork's twitter strategy, why he hasn't logged into his LinkedIn account in over 5 years, the lost art of handwritten notes, and the best practices of networking in the world of college athletics. Twitter: RossBjorkAD
Is there an ROI in social media? Jeff Lillibridge may have the answers to that. He’s worked for several years with two NBA teams, both in web services and as a sales representative. Now a VP of Social Media with Phizzle, Inc., Lillibridge explains why some teams don’t really understand the new marketplace like they should, especially search and social media, and what teams should be doing to increase their activity online to help develop an ROI.
He might be considered a ticket heretic by the time listeners are done with this episode. Why? Because Steve DeLay thinks outside the box and provides his opinion contrary to what the norm is. DeLay doesn’t subscribe to the notion of heavy discounting, free tickets or premium items, especially to those single game buyers. A 20-year veteran of sports sales with 1 NBA team, 2 NHL teams, and Mandalay Baseball Properties, DeLay talks about some of his issues with dynamic pricing and whether social media has an ROI.
Jeff Yocom leads a staff division focused on finding the next best sports executives in the country for his pro team clients. GameFace, Inc.’s legendary status as a pioneer of training and executive search has created an environment of trust with clients during the placement process. Yocom talks about some of the various models for success, especially good career development and how to ensure sports executives are moving to the right job and not jumping too quick.
In 17 years, Barry Gibson has amassed a wealth of knowledge on how to sell any type of ticket package. His focus remains on strategy and training of new staff, creating different scenarios in order to ensure that every question is answered by a prospect and no business is not served correctly during the process of a sale. Gibson discusses selling tickets during stints at the Indianapolis Speedway, the Detroit Tigers, The Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Durham Bulls, West Michigan Whitecaps and Mandalay Baseball Properties.