If the name sounds familiar, it’s not your imagination. The Veeck moniker is almost a baseball legend thanks to the efforts of Night Train’s grandfather (Bill) and his father (Mike). But Night Train is no slouch himself, the man learned his crazy minor league marketing as part of The First Family of Fun, working for the family’s Charleston RiverDogs as their sales manager/promotions for 12 years, working everywhere from sales, promotions to the grounds crew and gameday operations. Now at the Chicago White Sox, a franchise that his grandfather once owned, Night Train is a group sales executive with a rising future. Night Train discusses his family history, the story behind his nickname, and what the fans really want when they go to a ball game. Twitter: VeeckAsInWreck
A companion to this podcast is a minicast exclusive to premium subscribers, where Veeck talks "Online Competition"
Chris Thompson is one of the premier sports information directors in the northwest. Known by everyone in sports communication in the Puget Sound Region, Thompson has experience at every division of NCAA & NAIA athletics. Thompson sits down to talk about his tenure at the University of Puget Sound, an NCAA DIII where he managed every sport's marketing & communication while also earning a master's degree at Seattle University and what led Thompson to the decision to focus more on his health, wellness and family. Thompson also discusses his role at The Evergreen State College where the staff "embraces the weird" and as sports information director of the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference.
A companion to this episode is a minicast available to premium subscribers with Thompson, where he discusses how to find "good stories."
Pat O'Conner presented a revolutionary plan for minor league baseball's 160 teams at the 2012 Baseball Winter Meetings. Dubbed "Project Brand," the mandate aims to change how all of the teams market themselves nationally to 5-10 corporate sponsors. O'Conner talks about some of the goals of Project Brand, of how it will effect each team's marketing, revenue streams, and his belief in the "power of one." O'Conner discusses the role of the Player Development Contract Agreement with Major League Baseball which lasts until 2020 in why Project Brand is key to implement within the next year as well as how both MiLB and each minor league team will have to work together continuously to put forth the best possible activation for any corporate sponsor sold.
One of the top baseball sales minds in the country is Andrew Silverman. He’s been with four different professional teams; Director of Tickets with the Anaheim Angels; Vice President with the Columbus Blue Jackets; Executive Vice President with the Texas Rangers; and now Senior Vice President of Sales & Service with the Miami Marlins. Silverman knows the ticket game well, discussing dynamic pricing, season & packages sales, smaller ballparks of the future and gives his thoughts on the secondary market, which he sees as the biggest challenge to professional teams.
Scott Frasnelly is responsible for the ECHL's new corporate sponsorship agreements and attempts at continually branding itself as the premier AA hockey league in the country. Frasnelly oversees the ECHL's 23 teams, examining how to help each sales staff maximize growth in their marketplace. Frasnelly understands intimately what each team's sales staff is going through, a former member of three of the team's sales staff, rising up to CEO of the San Francisco Bulls prior to joining the league office. Frasnelly talks candidly about the state of the league, where it needs to go, and how corporate sponsorship revenue has changed for all sports teams following the 2008 economic crash.
A companion to this episode is a minicast, available to premium subscribers, where Frasnelly speaks about developing "Marketing Plans" for teams.
Sheldon Arsenault is a seven-year veteran of hockey administration, hiring a new sales staff at the WHL's Vancouver Giants as well as implementing several strategies for success. Arsenault eliminates some of the mythos about the Canadian hockey fan, especially the idea that it doesn't take much to get fans in the building up in the Great White North. Arsenault talks about the Giants' marketing strategies, especially growing a fan base even when its not a winning season.
Jeff Higgins talks about UNLV athletics broadscope through the lens of a marketer, especially how the college basketball & football competes on the Vegas landscape amid the casino industry of The Strip. How does a Division I FBS school sell its product with an entertainment center of free tickets and multi-million dollar marketing budgets? Higgins discusses his time as an NCAA compliance investigator as well as working as a criminal defense attorney for five years, including Death Penalty cases.
Robert Kingston oversees ticket services for the Sacramento Kings, focusing on sales, customer service and relationships. With Maloof Sports & Entertainment for the past 7 years, Kingston talks about how to keep fans around after the first initial purchase, what NBA teams look for in terms of new prospecting of potential customers, and the development of a sales staff from top to bottom. Kingston discusses identification traits in both customers and complainers, fostering one while not enabling the other.
A companion minicast to this is available exclusively to premium members on the iOS app (available in the Apple App Store). The minicast focuses on "Retention Tips" for sales staff looking to keep customers long term.
Ryan Flynn has been the CEO of Baseball New Zealand since 2011 after a 5 year stint as the Director of Guam Baseball Federation. Flynn considers the New Zealand program to be one of the fastest growing in the world, there are some credentials to back up that claim. New Zealand has 3 players under contact by MLB teams, was invited to the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Nov. 2012 and has an IBAF World Ranking of 29. New Zealand's history with baseball goes back to 1888 when Albert Spaulding hosted exhibitions in Auckland during his Asian tour. A firm believer that it can take hold in New Zealand as a hotbed for MLB talent development, Flynn talks politics, program building, Major League Baseball’s involvement, and promoting the game in general. @NZBaseball
Mike Gordon offers up various strategies of how the Wolves have positioned themselves in the major market of Chicago. The Wolves have the metropolitan area to itself while the NHL's Blackhawks are on strike, but Gordon thinks that's not a good thing, especially long term. Gordon talks about how the team markets itself, trying to make itself "cool" to the younger population, without spending into oblivion on premium giveaways, as well as consciously keeping the play on the ice from being hindered by group or promotional activities. Gordon discusses the issues surrounding how the Wolves' price point of $9 has led to its success, especially in selling out $50 glass seats.
A companion to this podcast is "Menu Item Design" which is available to all premium app subscribers by downloading the free iOS/Android podcast App.