Dynamic parking? Who will be first?

Dynamic parking? Who will be first?
by Kirk Wakefield – March 2013

Who started dynamic pricing anyway?

Following deregulation in the early ’80s American Airlines initiated dynamic ticket pricing to deal with new low cost competitors. Extra points if anyone remembers People Express. People Express offered a simplified fare structure and was first to charge an extra fee for each checked bag. So, they had that going for them. Before they went out of business.

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Are airlines stalking me?

Don’t be so paranoid. Of course they are. Airlines have gotten so good at dynamic pricing they even use it each time you visit their websites.

Have you ever thought the price went up just because you showed interest in a flight? It’s quite possible it did. Helpful hint: Clear your browser history & cookies before going back to the site. It may not work but at least you’ll feel better for trying. [/dropshadowbox]

A short 30 years later the sports industry is coming around. Since the San Francisco Giants fully converted to dynamic pricing in 2009, many others have followed suit. Why? They understand the economics of a system that simultaneously increases total revenue and reduces average prices to the consumer.

Why not parking?

Like seemingly every other technological breakthrough, the bay area leads the way. SFPark is the first municipality to implement dynamic pricing for parking meters. Rates vary from 25¢ to $6.00 during normal hours with an original cap of $18 for special events. Just this month spots around AT&T Park on Giants’ game times moved to $5-7/hour dependent on proximity. As traffic and parking patterns change, prices adjust 25-50¢ each month around the city. Prices by location are easily viewed online. And, of course, there’s an app for that.

Teams could wait until the Giants or another bay area team does it, but with a little fan education and ingenuity, others could increase team revenue and fan satisfaction.

Some people, like me, would just as soon park further from the stadium to avoid exit traffic and maybe even get a little exercise. I have season tickets to every Baylor sport and parking passes I never use. Then again I live a block from campus. The point is teams issue parking passes and set parking prices without determining who values them and when.

If we’re willing to apply the fundamentals of economics to tickets, why not parking?

Transparency the key

My LFA
Kirk’s LFA

Years ago we researched grocery shoppers finding the majority (55%) couldn’t even tell you the price of what they just put in the basket two seconds ago. Clearly not everyone is price sensitive. Last week I heard a presentation claiming “everyone is so cost-conscious.” Really? That must explain all of the Porsche, BMW, and Lexus cars parked on the streets. And that’s just the Baylor students.

The point is some people are price-conscious and some aren’t. Let’s let those who want to pay less walk more and those who want to walk less pay more.

San Francisco is successful because they transparently communicate about the process.  Those who care enough to save a quarter will seek out the best prices, just like the same people who coupon-clip to their heart’s delight. Those who drive a Lexus LFA won’t think once about whatever price tacked on for parking.

So, who’ll be first?

We can think of plenty of reasons why we can’t or don’t want to do it. The question is: How could it work with the parking we control? For instance, some teams like the Yankees already have all parking online, so it wouldn’t be hard to go to variable pricing.

Innovators like the Giants took the first stab at tickets. Who will do it with parking?

Practice? We talkin’ about practice?

Practice? We talkin’ about practice?
by Bob Hamer – March 2013

We talkin’ about practice, man.” ~Allen Iverson, May 7, 2002,


Allen Iverson, 37, was out of the NBA before the time he reached 34. Kobe Bryant (34) spends his off-season making 2000 shots a day. With a rebounder and one ball Kobe can make 500 shots an hour.1

Former NFL Coach Jon Gruden said it best, “You never stay the same. You either get better or you get worse.”

The greatest athletes in the world spend hours in practice, working on perfecting their craft. Whether the driving range, the baseball diamond, the field or the gym, one thing is for sure: If you want to be the best, you have to put in the practice time to get there. If you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse. Why should it be different for those of us in sales?

Training

Every sport has a specific skill set required to play. There may be different styles and techniques, but there are specific skills required. In basketball there’s shooting. There may be 150 different ways to shoot a basketball, but no one can dispute that shooting is a skill required to play the game. Someone first needs to show you HOW to shoot. We call that training: Where to place your hands, how to set your feet, when and where to release the ball. After someone shows you how to do it, you practice on your own until you learn how to make shots. The more practice, the better the results.

Different styles are used in sales, but just like shooting a basketball, some skills all salespeople must have in order to play the game. These include:

  • Getting a prospect meeting,
  • Customizing a pitch to meet needs,
  • Presenting the proposal,
  • Asking for the sale, and
  • Getting a referral

Think of yourself as a sales athlete. Where do you need practice? How can you get better?

Barriers to Improvement

What’s ironic is we work in sports, so close to all of these athletes, and we watch them practice day after day. Yet some sales athletes don’t practice their own skills. Why?

Five barriers prevent us from practicing our skills, getting better, and achieving greater results.

1)      Entitlement – Because we’re out of the “training department” we think it’s OK to stop (we feel we’re above that).

2)      Complacency – We achieve some success early, get comfortable, and don’t see the need.

3)      Perception – Fear of our bosses or peers seeing us struggle and thinking differently about us.

4)      Self-UNawareness – We aren’t aware of skills holding us back and don’t know what to practice.

5)      Pleasure v. Pain – Practice isn’t always fun and we prefer activities such as contests or real calls.

Breaking down the wall

How do you break down these barriers?

1)      Attitude – It’s starts with you making a commitment to practicing your skills. Be intentional. When will you start?

2)      Have fun – Find other people who like to practice and make fun games out of it. Role Play “Fight club” for prizes.

3)      Be Vulnerable – Leave the title and sales numbers at the door. Be humble enough to admit you aren’t perfect and have room to grow.

4)      Stay Hungry – Don’t think you’ve “arrived.”Keep extending goals so you push to be the best.

5)      Get a coach/mentor – It’s tough to evaluate yourself in the game. Find someone you trust and ask them to help. Observation is the best way to identify gaps and create future practice material.

If Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan stopped practicing after their first championship, got comfortable with success and rested on laurels, we wouldn’t talk about them as two of the greatest athletes of all time. Make a commitment to practicing. If you do, years in the future we will be talking about you as one of the stars in the business of sports.

 

 

 

The Daniel Sport & Entertainment Leadership Summit

The Daniel Sport & Entertainment Leadership Summit
by Kirk Wakefield – March 2013

First Ever

Managers and executives from professional sports met for the inaugural Daniel Sport & Entertainment Leadership Summit the third weekend in February in San Diego. We plan to host this event each year to encourage each other to be leaders in our homes, at work, and in our spheres of influence.[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”300px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ][slideshow_deploy id=’1443′][/dropshadowbox]

The summit is named after the Biblical character Daniel, who set himself apart from others in the culture by pursuing excellence, being a disciplined man of character, and being confident that God was with him daily. Ultimately Daniel used the “stage” given to him to have influence on his culture.

The idea for the summit sprung from a discussion among a group of executives led by Jeremy Walls and Jason Howard. ” We all had the same vision of encouraging each other in balancing personal and professional lives,” explained Walls. 

The summit included attendees from teams/leagues (New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, Sacramento Rivercats, NBA, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns) and companies (Sports Sales Consulting, Fan Interactive, Exact Target), as well as faculty from supporting universities (Baylor, Mount Union, and Point Loma). Spouses present participated in a joint Saturday afternoon conference session.

The sessions were led by Mark Foreman, senior pastor at North Coast Calvary Chapel (“Transformed people. Transforming our world.”) and Ryan Pfeiffer, Director, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (San Diego). Some might recognize Mark Foreman as the father of Jon and Tim Foreman, leaders of the band Switchfoot

Top 10 Takeaways

The week after we asked the executives what stayed top-of-mind. We’ve boiled it down to the Top 10 Takeaways.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”550px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Top 10 Takeaways from the Daniel Conference

  1. Success in my personal life can actually make me better in your professional life. I have always thought of that in reverse and realize how wrong I have been.
  2. Change my thinking from ” I will invest into my career so I can provide for my family,” to “I will invest time and energy into my family and God will continue to bless my career.”
  3. Understand what Bob Briner means in his book, Roaring Lambs: Christians can and ought to be the movers and shakers of positive social change — ‘”roaring lambs.'”
  4. Proactively pursue carving out time with family and then apply this to those I lead, making sure they take time to disconnect from work. This may be one of the greatest witnesses of care and compassion to members of my team.
  5. There’s no plan B. God doesn’t have a special ops force he’s sending in. We’re it. We need to lead.
  6. Sabbath: God took a day to rest and reflect, we should too! If the King of the World can take a day off…so can I. I was very convicted regarding how important I think I am sometimes.
  7. The example of Daniel is “excellence in our personal lives bubbles up and carries over into professional lives.”
  8. Like Daniel, God has put you on a stage to change culture and influence lives, even years after you are gone.
  9. Believers should be more “invasive” into the world and less “retreating.” The church is the “locker room” where we prepare; “the game” is the day-to-day living out of our faith.
  10. Realize “you are” the salt and the light of the earth. We should be “shoveling the salt out as fast as we can!”[/dropshadowbox]

Join Us

Are you interested in becoming a better/more intentional father, husband, and executive? Invitations for next year’s summit are open to managers, directors, and executives in professional sports and executives in agencies and companies serving professional sports.  We will announce next year’s Daniel Sports & Entertainment Leadership Summit in the S3 Report and also post in the S3 Report LinkedIn group. If you want to make certain you receive a personal invitation, click here to sign-up!

 

Three Qualities Traditional Leaders Reject

Three Qualities Traditional Leaders Reject
by Dan Rockwell – March 2013

Image source by Petr Kratochvil


 

Regurgitating and recycling what you already know bores others, antiquates leadership, and destroys organizations.

 

Get out of yourself before you shrivel and die.

Growth, innovation, and future-building centers on what you don’t know and haven’t done.

Three surprising qualities of growing leaders:

#1. Receptivity

Traditional leaders are unwelcoming. Traditional leaders expect you to receive their ideas; they don’t receive yours. Power, prestige, and position thrive in unreceptive, threatening environments.

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

Tell-me-more leaders
go further than

I-already-know leaders.[/dropshadowbox]

Stop looking down your nose at outsiders, front line employees, and new hires. Adapt to them; don’t force them to adapt to you.

Growth lies around and outside.

#2. Withholding judgment

Traditional leaders make judgments; growing leaders withhold judgment.[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Judgment crushes baby ideas.[/dropshadowbox]

Quick minded decision makers inadvertently destroy growth. Stow what you think you know in the attic. Judgment ends growth and begins stagnation.

Keep in mind, stability requires decision making. Withhold judgment, don’t end it completely.

#3. Curiosity

Traditional leaders need to know and fear looking foolish. Curiosity celebrates what isn’t known. Courageously look foolish.[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Emptiness is opportunity.[/dropshadowbox]

The downside of curiosity:

  1. People want to know what you know as well as what you don’t.
  2. Questions feel pushy and threatening when filled with expectation.
  3. Constant curiosity spirals inward and downward.
  4. Creating options causes confusion.

Curiosity is a means not an end. Use curiosity to challenge stagnant ideas and disrupt antiquated systems.

Most importantly, curiosity unearths new goals and next steps. Curiosity builds the future. On the other hand, curiosity without progress is stagnating indulgence.

Team Discussion

What traditional leadership qualities stunt growth and innovation?

What leadership qualities inspire growth, innovation, and future-building?

 keynotes-and-workshops-3a1

How NOT to run a team Twitter account

How NOT to run a team Twitter account
by Matt Briggs – March 2013

Newcastle United fans have their say on club’s Twitter use

Newcastle United supporters – a passionate bunch.

Digital communications is now the front line of fan engagement for football clubs. The Premier League is a world wide brand and online means messages instantly disseminate around the globe.

Just look at the number of followers a typical Premier League side commands – many exceed average league attendance, with more supporters lurking elsewhere in the deep, dark bowels of the internet. Not surprisingly how clubs use social media to connect with stakeholders generates strong opinions from supporters.

Newcastle United began using Twitter a few years ago with currently around 200,000 followers, one of the largest numbers in the league. I asked supporters about the club’s use of the platform to find out whether they thought NUFC’s use of Twitter put them top of the table or that the club is in a basement battle.

What do fans (not) want?

Supporters were asked five simple questions – whether they followed the club, what they liked, what they disliked, what they wanted to see more of and what they wanted to see less of.

First off, of those fans who responded 25% didn’t officially ‘follow’ the official Twitter account. The main reason for this, mentioned by 61% of respondents, was the glut of marketing messages sent out by NUFC. It turns out that spammy and invasive tweeting will put off even the most ardent supporter.

@NUFCOfficial

This complaint was not simply restricted to those who have opted against following @NUFCOfficial84% of all respondents made reference to the use of the Twitter account as a vehicle for little more than adverts as one of their main dislikes of NUFC’s use of Twitter and it was a commented on frequently by those surveyed:

  • “Too many tweets about club shop offers”
  • “They just use it to sell stuff from the shop in the main. They never reply to genuine questions”
  • “The amount of tweets about selling items instead of news about the club”
  • Getting spammed by offers of merchandise from the club shop. The club shop should get a separate account”

Oh dear. It’s pretty apparent that the club’s policy of using Twitter to drive traffic and increase sales isn’t well liked and probably isn’t working either.85% of fans said they wanted to see much less of it. But anyway, what about plus points?

To the surprise of no one, fans said they want to hear more about new signings.

When asked what they liked about the club’s Twitter almost 55% could muster an answer that wasn’t a variation on the word “nothing”. As you’d expect many of these responses focused on information that the club could publicise before anyone else, such as team line ups, signings and other breaking news:

  • “Team news on match day”
  • “Ticket announcements”
  • “Goal updates from matches are usually the quickest on Twitter”
  • “Picture galleries”

So it turns out there are a few redeeming features of the club’s Twitter use. However that cannot escape from the fact that the feeling among many supporters is that if engagement is the name of then game then the club’s presence is not fit for purpose. When pushed on what they’d like to see from the account an increase in interaction was at the top of the pile:

  • “More interaction with supporters. Better use of social media tools in general to connect with fans”
  • “Interaction with supporters. Greater innovation in terms of how it is used too. Twitter can be used for great things but Newcastle have not embraced it.”
  • “More interaction with fans”
  • “Fan engagement. A teeny tiny bit of opinion now and then and the odd exclusive signing pictures rather than having to pay for NUFC TV”

A nice, round 40% of respondents made some mention of increased engagement with supporters in some form or another. There was also a clear interest in more exclusive, behind the scenes content similar toManchester City’s Inside City video series. Granted, that’s not strictly a comment on Twitter but more proof social media must be coordinated cross platform.

I’ll leave the final word to one respondent who was pretty damning in his assessment of Newcastle’s use of the platform…

  • “They’ve totally missed the point of Twitter”

 

The AT&T Challenge: Innovative teaching tool brings ideas to life for brands and teams

The AT&T Challenge: Innovative teaching tool brings ideas to life for brands and teams
by Darryl Lehnus – March 2013

The AT&T Challenge: The Beginning

The AT&T Challenge is the brainchild of Eric Fernandez (BU ’94), then Director of Corporate Partnerships for AT&T. Working in collaboration with Eric and AT&T’s partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, the Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) students developed sponsorship activation strategies in a team competition to see who could be the most creative and effective in reaching partnership objectives.

Since 2007, S3 students have had the privilege of working with a variety of sports properties including the Dallas Stars, San Antonio Spurs, San Diego Padres, AT&T Cotton Bowl, Baylor Athletics, and this year’s partner Circuit of the Americas. Tom Hughes (S3 Board Member, Director of Sponsorship Marketing & Promotions, Reliant Energy) helped grow the program while at AT&T. Eric continues to lead the way in developing the process.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”500px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

Eric Fernandez
Eric Fernandez

We’re constantly looking for fresh, innovative ideas. As a marketer, it’s easy to fall into a “tunnel vision trap” because you live and breath your brand every day.

The S3 students provide a unique point-of-view unconfined to traditional “corporate” thinking and challenges us to be more creative.

Relevantly connecting with 18-24 year olds is a priority for any brand.What better way to do this than a group of college students providing their points-of-view on what’s interesting and meaningful to them? The students’ ideas are creative, compelling and provide insight into how best to connect with them. [/dropshadowbox]

The Process

The AT&T Challenge is real world immersion for students. The structure and process is basic to how sponsorships work. AT&T, currently under the leadership of Bill Moseley, selects a current or prospective sports property partnership relationship. The steps mirror industry practices:

  1. Sponsor goals: AT&T presents the objectives and goals of their marketing strategy and how the sponsorship fits within that strategy.
  2. Property assets: The sports property identifies the resources, inventory, and assets available in packaging the partnership.
  3. Probing/exploration:  Representing the property, students ask questions and explore creative opportunities for the partnership.
  4. Preparation: With the goals and asset inventory available, S3 student teams create unique customized partnership proposals. Over the next six weeks, students participate in conference calls (assisted, of course, by AT&T) with the sponsor & property with clarifying questions and applications to ensure package elements are available and can be delivered.
  5. Presentation: Student teams compete to see which of their partnership proposals best meets the needs of the partners.

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”300px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

Brad Alberts

Baylor University continues to provide the finest sports marketing experiences for its students of any university I have seen. The AT&T Challenge was a tremendous opportunity to see Baylor’s students articulate a sports sponsorship and to see the young talent that ultimately could work for an NHL team like the Dallas Stars.[/dropshadowbox]

S3 students know they will face the evaluations of a panel of national leaders in the sponsorship field. The pillar of strength in this process is the ever-present Eric Fernandez. Eric interacts with our students during the process to review, advise, and critique each team’s ideas and concepts.

The panel includes five members:

Bill Moseley
Bill Moseley

Bill Moseley ultimately decides if the proposals meet the AT&T objectives. A productive outcome of this project is the proposed ideas, concepts, and promotions are frequently implemented by AT&T and the various properties.

“The AT&T Challenge is mutually beneficial to all involved,” explains Moseley. “Students get experience and develop needed skills. The innovative ideas from these outstanding young people is a value-add to our partners. And, like most of us who’ve had someone help us, we love giving back to help the careers of these students.”

Always looking for more

Students in the S3 program participate in ticket sales projects each year, generating revenue up to $25,000 for teams and events such as the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, FC Dallas, Mastercard Colonial, Valero Texas Open, Houston Shell Open, and the Alamo Bowl. Students call from our AT&T 24-seat call center and students in the S3 CRM-track manage the database tracking calls and notes through Microsoft Dynamics.

AT&T Call Center
AT&T Call Center

The S3 program is expanding opportunities to engage in more activities like the AT&T Challenge. S3 students operate in agency teams as part of the new S3 Sponsorship Incubator (SI). In two weeks time, SI teams  present creative activation approaches suited to the needs of a partnership. You can join Pizza Hut and the Houston Dynamo, the first two clients of the new SI service, by contacting me by email or calling 254.710.6189.


 

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”550px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

Jason Simpson
Jason Simpson

The S3 program is grateful to AT&T for their trust and investment of time into the preparation of the next generation of sports sponsorship leaders. In particular, we honor in memory the contributions, friendship, and the life of Jason Simpson to the S3 program. Jason passed away December 18, 2012.

[/dropshadowbox]

 

How to look good at the interview

How to look good at the interview
by Jeannette Salas – March 2013

We’ve reviewed what you need to do to get the first interview and the office interview. Now we need to get down to the really important things:  How you, your resume, and your cover letter should look.  Then maybe someday you can drive that convertible.

What do I wear to an interview?

Alicia Nevins
Alicia Nevins

Think old school. You have one time to make a first impression, as they say. Since key accounts for pro teams are corporate, dress like you belong. Cover up any visible tattoos. No facial jewelry or excessive ear jewelry (ladies).

“Psychologically, we know, ‘As I think, so I am.’ In the same way, we act like we dress! ” explains Alicia Nevins. “Taking pride in our professional appearance correlates with the importance we place on our careers, those we work with, and the respect we receive in return.”

Other tips:

Women

  1. Always wear a suit: Nothing bright or distracting. Clean and pressed.
  2. Skirts: No shorter than 3 in above knee. Not excessively tight. See how high skirt goes up when you sit down. Beware of slits!
  3. Tops: No low-cut blouses. No tank tops or spaghetti straps. Nothing sheer.
  4. Shoes: Close-toed or peep toe, no open toe sandals. Clean and simple. Not bright colored or glittery. No platform shoes. Weather appropriate: Cold outside – no open toed sandals.
  5. Makeup: Casual and mild. No smoky eyes.
  6. Hair: Neat and styled. No wild colors.
  7. Nails: Cleaned and trimmed. No bright colors.
  8. Perfume/Lotion: Don’t shower in it.

Men

  1. Always wear a suit: Nothing bright or distracting. Clean and pressed.
  2. Shoes: Clean and polished.
  3. Hair: Neatly trimmed and short. No wild colors.
  4. Facial hair: Clean shaven is BEST but if not keep it trimmed and short.
  5. Nails: Cleaned and trimmed.
  6. Cologne: Don’t shower in it.

How should the resume and cover letter look?

Resumes

  1. Presentation:  Not necessary to follow cookie-cutter resume format. Word offers various templates.
  2. Formatting: Make sure formatting is uniform! Make sure everything is aligned (dates, titles, etc.). Bolded words should be in same category (title, company name, etc.)
  3. Personal Info:  Include contact info – address, phone & email. No photos. Email address needs to be professional.

Emails 
No → datsexxygurl@yahoo.com
Yes → smalone_12@yahoo.com

  1. Objective:  Optional. Be careful—it can restrict you to a particular position when you may qualify for another in the organization. If you have one, make sure it addresses the right organization, position, etc (e.g. applying for position in NFL but objective states NBA)
  2. Course Section: List courses relevant to the position
  3. Accomplishments
    No → “I developed and executed customer focus…”
    Yes →”Reduced budget to actual variance from 11% to 3.5%.”
  4. Experience: Include dates – month/year. Make sure it is up-to-date (current job). Make sure dates are in order (recent position first). Don’t write “I ….” when listing accomplishments.
  5. Use bullet points.
  6. Quantify : Show results/accomplishments not duties . Show NUMBERS whenever possible.
  7. Length: 2 page maximum.
  8. Review:  Check spelling (spell-check), punctuation, and correct word usage. Have a qualified individual (relative, friend, professor) review and critique resume.

Cover letters

A Manager’s View

Matt Kalister
Matt Kalister

It’s no lie: A first impression can make or break chances of getting hired.

As a leadership team we see potential hires throughout the year. We look for candidates that present themselves well because they will be trusted to meet with key decision makers in our marketplace. Many of these will dismiss you in the first 10 seconds if you are not dressed appropriately.

A suit is key along with a white dress shirt and simple tie. We understand young adults don’t have the means to have high end wardrobes, but a simple suit (that fits) along with a dress shirt and tie is all you need. If you want to be taken seriously in an interview setting then dress and act like it.

We see hundreds of resumes each year. Concise, well-formatted resumes on one page stand out. Save topics for the interview. Keep the cover letter to the point. Make sure you present why you would be a great fit for that specific team and position.’

  1. No blanket cover letters – HR professionals can tell.
  2. Recipe for trashcan: Leave the previous desired employer’s name, location, or position in the letter.
  3. Address to the appropriate person (hiring manager, recruiter, etc.) when possible.
  4. Don’t repeat resume in paragraph form. Mention things not seen on resume related to desired position.
  5. IF applying to a sports team – don’t talk about your family’s history with sports. Tell what you can do for them. What value do you bring to the organization? What sets YOU apart?
  6. Review:  Same as above.

Submitting online

  1. Make sure the document you are attaching is in fact your most up-to-date resume.  A slip of the finger can cause you to attach a private or other document in error.
  2. Make sure you list your professional experience on the online application.  DO NOT write “See Resume.”

Social Media

We cover social media (tip: employees WILL check), networking, and common first-year mistakes here!

What does your Twitter and LinkedIn say about your personal brand?

What does your Twitter and LinkedIn say about your personal brand?
by Ken Troupe – March 2013

Last month we talked about the importance of laying the foundation for your personal brand.  Now let’s turn to the tools of the trade to communicate your personal brand online.

Twitter

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Twitter allows for another channel of communication with your customers outside phone calls, email, direct mail, or face-to-face meetings.Secondly, it gives the opportunity to build your personal brand by

Brandon Steffek
Brandon Steffek

sharing relevant and exclusive content others normally would not have access to.[/dropshadowbox]If you are not on Twitter, start today. Why? Because Twitter is the greatest customer service tool since the hand shake.  A few rules and tips:

Rule #1. Twitter is a business tool.   Twitter is not a place for you to give life updates on your kids, friends, and hot sports opinions…….leave that kind of stuff on Facebook (more on that later).

Rule #2. Don’t Tweet original content.  At first you have no voice.  You need to develop followers. How?

  • Get started by following people that do have something to say and start to retweet them.
  • Find interesting articles relevant to your job or sports business niche and retweet them.
  • Take part in sports business Twitter chats like #social4tixsales, #sbchat, #sportsprchat, among others.

Within these Twitter chats you can begin to develop your voice by taking part in the conversation.  You are answering questions and engaging one-on-one with other sports industry pros.  Too many treat Twitter as a monologue instead of a dialogue. There is a difference.

  • Commit to being active on Twitter.  Nothing kills your personal brand faster than a Twitter account with zero activity.

LinkedIn

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

Trent Nielsen
Trent Nielsen

When I look at a Twitter or LinkedIn page for someone in the sports industry, I may have a desire to learn more about their reach. However I’m also using the page as a window into their professional conduct. If you’re looking at a page that isn’t completely built out, has basic grammatical errors or even immature content, it’s typically a direct reflection of how that person goes about day-to-day life. I gravitate towards those who take their social media branding as seriously as their resumes and direct interpersonal communication.[/dropshadowbox]LinkedIn may be the number one social media site for learning how to do your job better and proving to others you know what you are doing. LinkedIn is so big we could do an all-day seminar, but I’ll hit the highlights.

Your profile

If someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn profile shows up near the top. What does your profile say about you?

  1. Is it complete?
  2. A complete summary section?
  3. List all your past jobs and a little detail of what you did?
  4. Are you using the “skills and expertise” section?
  5. Any recommendations?
  6. Updated contact information?
  7. A professional looking photo?

Groups

With your profile ready, head to the “Groups” section. Join industry specific groups like “Ticket Sales Best Practices,” “Ticket Sales & Technology,” or “Sports Marketing 2.0,” among others.  Within these groups you start to build your brand.

Watch the conversations and start to take part.   Avoid offering wild or opinionated comments at first.  Keep early interaction pretty vanilla. Once you have a little “street cred,” spread your wings to engage and offer divergent opinions.

Career Insight

LinkedIn is a great place to seek advice from people with a job you’d like to have one day.  Ask their advice. You will be surprised how open some sports industry vets are if you just ask.

Facebook

Here’s the thing about our old social media friend Facebook: Facebook is great. A great place to stay in touch with friends and family. To read and comments on all those cute kids’ photos, updates on meals, and whatever else in on their minds. I love it. But, I really don’t think it is essential part of building your “professional” personal brand.

Facebook is, however, a place to quickly undo all your personal branding efforts.

My advice? Especially for young people entering or wanting to enter this business? Keep it clean and simple.  No need posting photos drunk at parties or posts using bad language.  Good rule of thumb: If your mom would not approve, odds are other adults won’t either. And these other adults are hiring managers or work in human resources.

Start Now!

Developing your personal brand means so much more. But if you take just one thing away from this:

Your Personal Brand is Important!

Start developing yours today.

Soup for you!

Soup for you!
The Original Soup Nazi
The Original Soup Nazi
by Phillip Grieco – March 2013

It’s been nearly 18 years since the famous Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode aired. Yet “No soup for you!” still seems to roll off the tongue every time someone has the liquid delicacy.  For Hale & Hearty, a popular NYC lunch destination, soup is truly at the core of their business.  They understand all too well that the city they cater to can be a challenge. How do you stand out when your consumer has thousands of other choices for lunch?

Hale & Hearty decided to launch its first ever “Chef Series” as a way to break through the clutter and drive additional sales during the very competitive holiday season.  The Chef Series is a six week competition in which the local chain aligned with six New York celebrity chefs and had them each create their own distinct soup.  Each chef’s distinct soup creation was featured, one week at a time, and a portion of the soup’s sales donated to a local charity of the chef’s choice.  The soup that raised the most money for charity during the six week campaign was the champion of the Chef Series and received an additional check for their charity.

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

Express stage

When it comes to sports and entertainment, people’s love for music acts as the connective tissue. For brands, it’s trying to harness this emotional connection to music to motive behavior and ultimately purchase. Brand Synergy Group, a music marketing consulting agency, worked closely with EXPRESS to conceptualize, strategize and execute the brand’s Texas 2012 Spring Break activation in South Padre Island, TX. To bring excitement to the annual event and relevance to the brand, Brand Synergy Group paired EXPRESS with emerging acts like Theophilus London, Breathe Carolina and Chiddy Bang to bring a memorable experience through up close and energetic performances for the consumers. EXPRESS blew up spring break to be more than just a vacation from school, but an unforgettable experience.

. ~Brian Lancey[/dropshadowbox]Along with this great local community message, Hale & Hearty received plenty of press surrounding the program, including a feature in The New York Times.  Initial estimates for foot traffic and sales are up significantly over last year.  Hale & Hearty is already looking at creating other iterations of the series that fit with respective season, holiday, or major current events.

What we can learn from initiatives like Hale & Hearty (or EXPRESS, inset) is:

  1. Repackage. Take something common (soup) and bring “a red carpet and bright lights” to it.
  2. Trends. Tap into trends like the current celebrity chef craze.
  3. Competition. Everyone loves a competition.
  4. Charity. Tying in with local charities provides that additional compelling reason to buy more frequently and feel good about it.  It’s not only creating buzz, but also makes a great loyalty driver.

What do we have that we can repackage into a bigger idea?  Can we take one-off cultural game nights and turn it into a larger year-round platform?  What about our community initiatives? We have so many unique ideas we can offer as as sports properties. So find your soup and let’s get cookin’!


The original Soup Nazi photo courtesy of Mike Fox

 

How has social media changed consultative selling?

How has social media changed consultative selling?
Monika Fahlbusch
Monika Fahlbusch
by Ben Milsom – March 2013

“Business is social.  So my number one tip for impressing our recruiters is connect and interact with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter” says Monika Fahlbusch, SVP of Global Employee Success at Salesforce.com.

We have far more advanced tools than ever to find information about anyone.  For the right price you can buy software to provide detailed information about anyone you want to meet, including their friends and spouses.  I was recently on a phone call with a colleague of mine discussing a potential job candidate. He paused and said, “Let me check their LinkedIn page before calling them.”

There’s no where to hide anymore. You really can’t afford to. Social connectivity can make or break your personal brand, help you get to know your clients or prospects better, and can even get you that dream job. If you’re in sales and service, social media is critical to your success:

“Social media allows for a 360 degree view of the customer with so many more touch points to the customer and interaction it is easier to get a full view of what the customer needs and wants.” ~ Bryan Apgar, Associate Vice President of Sales and Business Development, www.websitealive.com.

Bryan Apgar
Bryan Apgar

People expect you to know more about them than in previous years.  With LinkedIn and company websites, one should never ask a prospect, “What do you do? How did you get to this position?” or “Please tell me about your company.”

Let’s get personal

I retrieved this email from my deleted folder. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”650px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Hello Ben,

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to follow up on an email that was sent to you earlier regarding Clueless.

Clueless is a global leader in support software. Our tool, Clue-On enables you to create, manage and deliver content in multiple formats with one click. I have attached some general information for your review.

I would like to schedule a quick call to chat with you about our product and see if it might benefit you and your organization. Would you be open to discussing this?

Thank you,

Bill Smith
Account Executive
Clueless, www.cluelesssoftware.com
254.710.5555
bsmith@cluelesssoftware.com[/dropshadowbox]

Bill is sending hundreds of these emails a day hoping five people will respond.  He only personalized by changing my first name. Bill even asked the dreaded open-ended question.  If Bill mentioned what I do, some potential challenges I may face, or even searched LinkedIn to find a mutual connection, I would have responded.

Jeff Eldersveld

With so much information available it only tells me Bill and his company are too clueless or lazy to use it.  I doubt I’d ever respond to this company in the future.

” Teams need to do everything within their power to provide outstanding customer service because one bad experience can be exacerbated when released in the digital and social media world.” ~ Jeff Eldersveld, Director of CRM and Analytics, Columbus Blue Jackets

What to do?

In this environment of social connectivity and transparency I recommend:

  • Be different.  Emails and texts are common, personal touches make a big impact.
  • Dig deeper.  Know your client or prospect and ask them questions you can’t read in their LinkedIn profile.
  • Care about your personal brand.  Be sure you are up to date on how you want your brand to be perceived.
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