Brian Watson is the Director of Sales, Event Suites & Special Events at The Staples Center in Los Angeles. Watson talks about filling the suites regardless of whether the anchor tenants have CBA issues or what to do when playoff formats strike, as well as how luxury packages are sold compared to only a few years ago. Watson expands on the Staples Center property, speaking about non-team sport events such as Golden Boy Promotions, the NHL Draft, Walking With Dinosaurs and various concerts.
University of Memphis Professor & Associate Dean Richard Irwin knows the bad rap that some sport management degrees earn in the field. The Memphis program has set itself apart by focusing on revenue streams & sales management. Irwin talks about the state of ticket sales in college & professional sports, as well as the Sports Sales Combine in Atlanta where 40-50 prospects will train for opportunity to join professional teams after the course’s culmination. http://www.sportsalescombine.com
Brian DiTucci has spent over 11 years with the Oakland Athletics, moving up the ranks from a Ticket Sales Representative to the Director of Ticket Sales, focusing on new season ticket sales, group sales, and suite bookings. DiTucci talks about the Service & Value concepts with his sales floor methodology, why discounting randomly can harm a franchise’s ticket base, and how to develop new fans by providing “added value” to the entire experience. Twitter: @BDIT10
Jim Weyermann operates one of the newest pro sports franchise operations in the country, The Santa Cruz Warriors, an NBA Development League team. The SC Warriors have a long championship history during the organization’s incarnation as the Dakota Wizards, winning titles in the International Basketball Association (2000-01), The Continental Basketball League (2001-02, 2003-04) and the NBADL Championship (2006-07). Purchased by the Golden State Warriors, the team became the fourth in the NBADL to be fully owned by an NBA franchise. Moving to Santa Cruz in time for the 2012-13 season, the newly-named Warriors have a brand new facility in a public-private partnership, as well as the challenge of building up a fanbase from scratch. Weyermann talks about how his twenty-six years of professional sports experience will help make Santa Cruz the perfect location for a minor league basketball franchise. Twitter: @DLeagueWarriors
The Tschour name has been around Muncie, Indiana longer than most people can remember. Adam’s legacy at Ball State is generations deep and it’s the school where Adam got his start in the ticket office. Adam worked his way up from a graduate assistant in the box office to Director of Ticket Sales & Premium Seating, cutting his teeth on the allure of FBS football with head coach Brady Hoke’s 2008 12-1 run with a GMAC bowl appearance the CAA’s Buffalo Bulls. Tschuor talks about finally leaving Ball State in order to push forward with his career, landing at a unique situation at Dayton where the football is non-scholarship FCS at an off-campus site and the men’s basketball team averages almost 13,000 each home game. Tschuor also speaks of the importance of those new in the sports industry to join NACMA and attended the conference each June. Twitter: @aktschuor
Yates is the guy that a franchise ownership group calls when they are either looking to buy into a market or sell out of one. Yates is part of the W.B. Grimes Sports Advisory Group, which evaluates the value of franchises, puts together the deals with discretion, while pulling off major and minor league deals across the country. Yates talks about going into team situations, understanding the details behind the deals, and ensuring that the general fan base does not get agitated along the way. Yates has pulled off some of the larger major league franchise deals lately, but also has sold several hockey and baseball franchises in the minor leagues. Yates describes various marketplace nuances and how to overcome obstacles on his way to a sale. Twitter: @YatesieTweets
O’Day spent 7 years at the helm of his alma mater’s athletic department, overseeing the Griz football team that went 77-17, appeared in two FCS national championship games and secured a conference title every year but one season during that stretch. Yet, Montana’s student-athletes had trouble off of the field, including nine sexual assault allegations in a two-year period, which led to the March 29, 2012 dismissal of O’Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad, who had just won coach of the year in the conference. O’Day talks about running a successful school program on a tight, FCS budget, the stresses of being an athletic director or coach in today’s college landscape, and his new work in the realm of social media with Division I institutions. Twitter: @JimODay57
Harmon is organizing the premier senior competition of the Asian Football Confederation for host city Sydney, Australia in 2015, featuring the top 16 national teams of the AFC. Harmon previously served for 4 years in Wellington, New Zealand as GM of Marketing and Communications for the New Zealand Rugby All Blacks, a legendary team in which Harmon hit a ticket sales target of $268.5m NZD ($220m USD) for the Rugby World Cup in 2011, ten times higher than any event ever held in New Zealand. Harmon’s World Cup social media reach drove enough revenue that it is considered by Facebook, Inc., to be a definitive case study on how to successfully use Facebook to sell tickets online. Prior to that, Harmon was GM of Marketing for the Australian Rugby Union for 5 years in Sydney, overseeing the World Cup in 2003, the biggest global sporting event of the year, delivering $200 million in ticket sales for his tenure. Reach him on Twitter: @ShaneHarmon
Eiges spent 29 years with the NFL Raiders’ franchise, starting as the team’s ball boy out of college before being hired on as then-Head Coach Tom Flores’ executive assistant in 1980, the year the Raiders stunned the Philadelphia Eagles to win Superbowl XV. During the 1982 NFL strike, Eiges was named Director of Ticket Operations, a position he held for 27 years, moving the team to Los Angeles before transplanting the team 14 years later back to Oakland. Eiges describes the L.A. years as well as the situation with return to Oakland in 1995 where the P.S.L. ruled & “Mount Davis” became an eyesore to a baseball-focused community. Eiges left the Raiders in 2008 to join the UFL, describing the league in its second year of existence with the Omaha franchise’s success and Las Vegas’ dismal failures.
Ken Troupe has 18 years of professional sports experience and was willing to come on the podcast with Troy, talking about some of the newer technologies that have enhanced the sales portion of the sports industry. Troupe is a consultant for several sports franchises, currently the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, and co-hosts a twitter conversation #social4tixsales about new ticket sales ideas with some of the industry's top performers. From 1996-2008, Troupe work for the Texas Rangers' franchise, moving up from account executive to Sr. Director of Ticket Sales by the end of his tenure. The conversation goes into various areas of how exactly a franchise can generate revenue, have a staff that builds a customer base in the right ways and what operations can do to survive as well as grow in the new economy.