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.
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