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.
Dave Chase has served every type of role within the world of baseball. Chase served as president/publisher of Baseball America for 17 years, President of Baseball Concessions, Inc. for 14 years, and was President/General Manager of the Memphis Redbirds for 7 years, prior to joining a Collegiate Summer League’s front office as Commissioner. Chase talks about the role of baseball in the community, why the game has changed, and his involvement as a consultant for an aborted move of the Minnesota Twins to North Carolina in 1997.
In 2008, a revolution occurred on the campus of Georgia Tech. The Aspire Group, Inc. became one of the first third-party organizations to assume the ticket selling duties of a college campus. What was viewed originally with skepticism by athletic departments across the nation became the norm in only a few short years. Bill Fagan oversees one of the largest third-party operations and offers up some of the details on how marketing to college sports fans has changed, especially with students, and why proactive ticket selling is important to capture an ever-elusive fan.
One of the newest ways to build ticket retention online is the world of “retargeting.” AdRoll is a San Francisco tech company focused on retargeting that has helped manage several online ticket initiatives for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS franchises. J. Ryan Williams explains exactly what retargeting is and some of the tactics that can be used to generate more revenue out of fans already interested in your product. An added bonus is that he can do the Arkansas Razorbacks “hog call” if you ask him.
The Fresno Grizzlies have been one of the most successful franchises in minor league baseball. No small part of that comes from their commitment to sales & promotion, exemplified by Derek Franks and his staff. Franks talks about coming into the franchise right out of college, how the club looks at promotions to the central California area, and some of the various aspects of creating a good sales menu. By the way, if any Grizzlies has information on why a fan keeps inquiring about a certain “Ghostbusters Promotion” that she thinks the Grizzlies are running, Franks would like to talk to them.
Matt O’Neill competes in the toughest media & sports market in the country, while trying to also expand the brand of the NY Red Bulls into the world’s biggest stage. O’Neill discusses how the Red Bulls have gone after capturing fans, why he doesn’t believe in premium items, and why he chooses to “hold the line” on discounting, fan erosion, and mini-packs by comparison of selling a fan on the entire season.
Vince Gennaro has been president of The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) since 2009 & has witnessed some of the sweeping changes as Moneyball's influence changed the way those inside the front office's of Major League Baseball teams thought about analytics in general. SABR is set to have its second annual analytics conference in Phoenix, March 7-9, 2013 and Gennaro talks about the role that SABR is having on understanding analytics in sport. Gennaro also speaks about the Baseball Hall of Fame, PEDs, and the historical influence of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. Twitter: @SABR
Scott O’Connell has witnessed many of the changes to Minnesota baseball since the Twins hired him in 1984, including two World Series wins, two different ball parks, and the implementation of CRMs & dynamic pricing. O’Connell talks about the state of ticket sales back in the 1980s, when prospects were overlapped by sales staff several times over and the state of Minnesota sports as new venues come online. As 2012-13 president of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors, O’Connell provides his expertise on the state of the suite marketplace and where he believes it is headed in the next 5-10 years.
Nic Barlage is part of a fascinating new territory when it comes to the NBA and dynamic ticket sales. Not only do the Cavs dynamically price their seats and/or premium seating, but they also use the same model for their suites while also considering concessions to put in the variable pricing mix. Barlage discusses some of the new enhancements that the Cavs had pioneered, including Flash Seats, which has allowed them to earn the second-highest renewal rate in 2012-13 of non-NBA playoff teams at 89 percent.
A companion to this podcast is a special minicast exclusively for premium subscribers, where Nic Barlage discusses how to implement a proper “pricing communication plan” to a sales staff.
The Las Vegas Wranglers ECHL team is known for its crazy hockey promotions; they do two midnight games annually. Two of the people behind this trend to give the fans a dose of something different are Todd Hutton (VP of Sales & Marketing) and Matt Langseth (Director of Tickets). And while the rest of Vegas may be considered a "comp city," Hutton and Langseth move a ton of tickets through dynamic promotions, massive group buys and attempt to stay away from giving out a lot of premium items. They even break through the idea that people stop spending right after the holidays and talk about what really attracts fans to their product.
A companion to this podcast is an exclusive minicast for premium subscribers, where Langseth and Hutton talk about "Marketing Minors."