As smart phone applications become a mainstay for the fan’s experience in a sports stadium or arena, Jamie Nelson believes his company has created a hallmark to enhance one of the largest components within that ecosystem: Concessions. Nelson’s company, VenueMenu, provides an app that users can download and order concessions brought right to their seats. Nelson discusses the several topics surrounding the app’s ability; whether it be WiFi capacity within the stadium, logistical concerns of food deliverability or the amount of data that venue operators receive back on each order. This episode is meant to be a deep look into the operational and cohesive aspects of app implementation and to show whether or not smart phone apps ideas are ready for primetime usage in stadiums throughout the world. Twitter: @VenueMenuApp
Major League Lacrosse has had some of its best success in a hotbed of ACC territory with the Charlotte Hounds, engaging fans in both an exciting and winning atmosphere. In only their second year of existence, the Hounds secured the first playoff appearance in 2013 and played for the title, losing only by one point to the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Wade Leaphart discusses his time helping develop the team’s schedule, ensuring that the Hounds are not only successful on the field of play, but also in the front office. Leaphart discusses the fan experience and ticket price points, as well as cost comparisons to other sports franchises located in town. Leaphart also discusses what it takes to sell in the Charlotte market, relating back to his time with the NBA’s Bobcats. Twitter: @Leaphart3
The world of data analytics is meeting the revenue demands of every franchise, but one of the best steps the Pittsburg Pirates made was installing Jim Alexander from as the team’s Director of Tickets into the analytics role. It is important to showcase that those who know how to generate revenue are also those determining what figures matter and what ancillaries measurements do not. Alexander discusses the various ways in which his role has changed over the years, especially transitioning from Three Rivers Stadium to PNC Park. Alexander covers the topic of fan experience, relating it to customer service, and how, when new PNC Park opened, seats weren’t automatically sold without the customer service aspect being implemented by the team.
To properly celebrate the 300th podcast episode, there is a little bit of history between the origins of the Tao of Sports and Kevin Miller, who was an original listener back with the first episode was released. Far be it from any podcast not to honor an early adopter. Miller talks about his own personal and professional goals, stemming from his time at Central Florida, Georgia State and his alma mater West Virginia, and tries to answer the pressing question of whether one can truly separate their emotional ties to a school that they now work at. Miller discusses his first fundraising calls, a remarkable 0-for-26 streak which helped him grow as a development officer into the person that he is today. The 300th episode also marks several new beginnings for the podcast, including completely original composed music and a new intro, because the worst thing anyone can ever do in the sports industry is stand still and not continue to change for improvement. Twitter: @KMillionaire
The World Series of Poker has exploded from a small, intimate game of gamblers into a gigantic mega event since the early 2000s when unknown Chris Moneymaker entered as the tournament as an online poker qualifier to become a world champion in 2003, transforming $40 into $2.5 million. Witness throughout the growth has been Director of the WSOP Jack Effel, whose leadership has helped garner ESPN televised coverage, record qualifying players, and has managed a temporary staff of over 2,000 during each annual tournament. Effel discusses some of the factors that go into the WSOP, including branding and sponsorship, as well as the impact that the tournament has had on the City of Las Vegas in terms of worldwide recognition.
The digital media landscape changes daily, especially in the sports world where teams are trying to show impact on various platforms. Peter Stringer's role at the Boston Celtics is about focusing on specific platforms and making them into viable content streams for those who follow the Celtics. Stringer talks about The Celtics "Home Court Advantage" app, the first live streaming mobile app in the NBA that he helped launch, as well as how it fits into the overall paradigm of the Celtics content strategy. Stringer discusses some of the various social media platforms available to sports teams, including Twitter and Facebook, and how the organization tries to maximize encounters on both. Stringer also highlights what he considers personal branding on social media as well as how short-term thinking can harm long-term career goals when it comes on what to post and what to say on various online platforms. Twitter: @PeterStringer
At the FCS level, everything runs on a very thin budgeted operational staff in order to carry out various tasks. The University of New Hampshire Athletic Department is no different, especially when it comes to branding and marketing efforts, overseen by Amber Lilyestrom. The means dedicating a lot of time, resources and sweat equity to various tasks personally that would otherwise be handed by a staff at the FBS level. Lilyestrom talks about her management style, including some of the promotions that she has implemented. Lilyestrom also as NACMA Board Of Director/3rd Vice President and has plenty of duties to attend to, and explains that each of these tasks doesn't distract from her biggest focus, being a new mother. Twitter: @AmberLilyestrom
The Harrisburg Senators have managed to survive and thrive amid several major metro areas that surround the franchise and its community. Senators' President Kevin Kulp explains some of the thoughts behind growing team revenue and attendance at a time when other teams are suffering from community economic issues. Kulp discusses some of the factors that he uses to help build up not only the Senators' brand in the area, but also present a family-fun entertainment option to the greater community through minor league baseball. Twitter: @senspres
Chris Syme specializes in social media for athletic departments. Social media is The Wild West in sports, however, a lot of athletic directors don't fully grasp what to do with it, and hire Syme to help navigate a direction that works for the overall university brand. Syme talks about some of the challenges that come with building a social media brand, what differing platforms to follow, and what works for individuals as well as department-wide initatives. Syme also discusses the challenges facing sports information colleagues, as well as the importance of COSIDA joining NACDA, as well as some of the issues that have been raised regarding SID health and whether or not SIDs are shut out of attending COSIDA now that it has merged with the other conferences such as NACDA and NACMA. Twitter: @CKSyme
First time athletic directors at small colleges often are overwhelmed by new tasks such as marketing, branding and communications. That's where Trip Durham comes in, running 2D Consulting, which seeks out those opportunities to help young ADs build their brand while in the top chair of the department. Durham talks about his past association as one of NACMA's leaders, which has helped increase the collective marketing acumen for the entire collegiate athletic landscape. Durham discusses his 22+ years in athletic administration and some of the challenges that new athletic directors, as a first time head of a department, who are looking to make the most of their revenue streams in marketing, communications, development and ticket sales. Twitter: @2DConsultingLLC