Bill Boyce NBA D-League Executive of the Year

Bill Boyce NBA D-League Executive of the Year

Bill Boyce has been a great friend and leader in the Baylor S3 community since the launch of the the Dallas Mavericks D-league team in Frisco. The Baylor S3 program selected Bill as one of our Chevrolet S3 Outstanding Board Members in 2012. We’re excited for him and certainly agree the League made an excellent selection!  

Below is the press release from the NBA.


TEXAS LEGENDS PRESIDENT BILL BOYCE NAMED

2013 NBA DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE TEAM EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

 

NEW YORK, June 12, 2013 – Texas Legends President Bill Boyce was today named the 2013 NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year, it was announced by NBA D-League President Dan Reed.  The NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year is determined by peer voting and teams are not allowed to vote for themselves.

“On behalf of the NBA D-League, I’m pleased to honor Bill Boyce with the Team Executive of the Year Award in recognition of the Legends’ impressive season in Frisco,” said Reed.  “Bill’s energetic and creative leadership in all areas of the business – ranging from innovative marketing partnerships, outstanding in-game entertainment, and deep community outreach in the Frisco area – has helped shaped the organization into one of the best in the league.”

Under Boyce’s leadership, the Legends entered into an historic marketing partnership with the state of Veracruz, Mexico, that was highlighted by “Veracruz Incomparable” being prominently featured on the front of the Legends jersey. The new multi-year agreement makes the historic state of Veracruz the first non-team city to have its name and slogan prominently featured on the jersey of a professional sports team. As presenting partner of the Legends, the team’s home arena is now called the “Veracruz Court at Dr Pepper Arena” with the Veracruz logo displayed on center court.  Additionally, Veracruz receives significant in-arena signage and television exposure throughout the Legends’ market through the team’s family of local television networks.

Boyce also was recognized for the team’s strong community presence, including its extensive local TV rights deals, which ensure that all Legends games are broadcast locally through a state-of-the-art, mobile production trailer. In addition, he also helped create innovative theme jersey nights to benefit local charities and entertaining game presentations, which have set new standards for the NBA D-League.

“It is a great honor to be named NBA Development League Executive of the Year,” said Boyce. “This award doesn’t represent one individual but the entire Legends family, including our players, coaches, business team, and, of course, our dedicated owners – Donnie Nelson, Evan Wyly, Sonny Xiao, and Eduardo Najera.”

Previous winners of the award are David Higdon (Bakersfield, 2012), Bert Garcia (Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 2011) and Jon Jennings (Maine Red Claws, 2010).

 

NBA Development League

The NBA Development League is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 17 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the league offers professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Thirty percent of players in the NBA at the end of the 2012-13 season boasted NBA D-League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. Fans can watch all NBA D-League games on nbadleague.com

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How did the S3 Report grow over 400% in 4 months?

How did the S3 Report grow over 400% in 4 months?
by Kirk Wakefield – June 2013

Thanks to you, the growth in readership and membership at the S3 Report has been exceptional. Let’s start with who we are and then how we’ve grown.

Who are we?

The S3 Report launched in January 2013 with a following of no more than 75 members of our S3 Board and staff who write for us.  Within four months, we had 300 registered members (up 400%). Starting from scratch in January (visits = 0), where has your support taken us?

  • 4,506 unique visitors, 7,174 total visits, and 37,625 page views since January 1.
  • 1,792 unique visitors since May 1: 
    • 67% new visitors
    • Over 98% stay on the site for 3 minutes and view over 5 articles each visit.
  • Now over 400 registered members representing exec’s from:
    • Over 60 major league teams
    • NFL, NBA, and MLS league offices
    • Over 30 NCAA athletic departments
    • Over 50 corporations/agencies

How did we get here? You.

First, we started with influencers. Executives from leading teams in every league and among major sports advertisers from the Baylor S3 Advisory Board provided the foundation as our writers.

Second, more influencers like you joined the community via social media. With the help of the first 75 influencers and their followers, traffic was generated primarily through Twitter referrals. Over half of our traffic (51.3%) comes from referrals via social media and other websites, with another 16% from search traffic and 30% direct traffic to the site.

Breaking down the referrals with Google Analytics, we can see how most new visitors get here:

Bottom line? Keep on posting! As we all know from our careers in sales and marketing, referrals from friends are the most trusted source of information.

Content is _______

We get tired of hearing it, but the King is not dead. And, no, we don’t mean Elvis.

Excluding articles from the editor, what are our most popular posts so far?

Rank Article Author Organization
1 Which comes first: Happiness or success?
Shawn Achor
GoodThinkInc
2 No more cold calls: 3 steps to making informed calls & increasing close rates
Flavil Hampsten
Bobcats
3 The Sales Commandments According to This Disciple
Carson Heady
T-Mobile
4 Sales Training: How to Handle Objections
Sean Ream
MLS
5 How to get promoted in sports sales careers
Rob Zuer
Rockets
6 How to manage the new generation of sellers
Murray Cohn
NBA
7 Executing successful sales events: Three teams who are doing it right
Corey Breton
Hawks
8 So you want a job in pro sports?
Charles Johnson
Sixers
9 Part 2: Managing the next generation of sellers
Murray Cohn
NBA
10 Practice? We talkin’ about practice?
Bob Hamer
Suns
11 S3 Board Member Spotlight: Kelly Cheeseman, AEG Worldwide
Jerry Ruiz
S3 Editorial Staff
12 Social media in the NFL: Strategy and tools
Nick Schenk
Texans
13 Here’s a method to turn sponsorship assets into answers
Bill Glenn
The Marketing Arm
14 How to look good at the interview
Jeannette Salas
Texans
15 S3 Alumni Spotlight: Taylor Bergstrom, Texas Rangers
Jennifer MacIntyre
S3 Editorial Staff
16 I’ve got the golden ticket! 
Ken Troupe
KT SportsMarketing
17 Ticketing technology: How can we reduce barriers for renewals?
Chris Faulkner
Broncos
18 Just trust me
Lolly Daskal
Lead From Within
19 Are you investing enough time into training? The 3 elements of good programs
Drew Ribarchak
Blue Jackets
20 Evolution of analytics in sports: What’s next?
Aaron LeValley
LA Kings/AEG

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”400px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]If you missed any of these, the good news is our archives are always open. If you haven’t yet joined our community, the best news is it’s free. Just click here![/dropshadowbox]

 

Under Armour – The Underdog Story of Sports Merchandise

Under Armour – The Underdog Story of Sports Merchandise
by Anne Rivers – June 2013

How to break into a mature market

The giants of athletic gear (Nike, Adidas and Reebok) traditionally dominated the sports merchandising brand space through partnerships with sports franchises and collegiate athletics. In mature, lucrative industries like this, the question for others is always the same: How do you break into a market that already has strong leaders?

In the brandscape of athletic apparel, Under Armour is considered one of the newest contenders. Kevin Plank, a former University of Maryland football player,  founded the company in 1996 on the grounds of wanting to create a t-shirt that provided compression and kept perspiration off rather than absorb it. This highly differentiated product helped set Under Armour apart from its competitors, but was unable to break out of its relatively new and niche space in their desired market for several years.

UA Brand Equity Pillars

Being Different

In the BAV, UnderAmour, along with 3,500 other brands are surveyed by over 17,000 respondents on 71 metrics including 48 emotional attributes in the U.S. every quarter. Through the data, we spot key trends to help the brand grow into and/or maintain their leadership position.

Energized differentiation (ED) is a key indicator of future brand performance and a driving force for the value of sports brands. In 2007, Under Armour performed well as a differentiated brand with high esteem (E), but lacked in relevance (R) and knowledge (K). Their products set them apart from other sports merchandise giants of the United States, but needed more consumers to relate to and know about the brand and what it stood for.

Grassroots Marketing

How did they start to capitalize on their high differentiation from the other brands? Under Armour  desperately needed to increase the relevance and knowledge of their brand among the general population. Grassroots efforts to gradually grow Under Armour through influencers provided the brand with authentic, passionate advocates who generated enthusiasm for the brand.

UA Niche Market Approach

Evolving strategy

The brand had to first appeal to smaller segments of the overall desired target audience. For example, Under Armour sponsored a few professional athletes like  Ray Lewis, Tom Brady and Miles Austin, as well as college teams from Northwestern, South Florida, Texas Tech, and Boston College. By learning how to appeal to smaller segments of athletes, Under Armour gathered enough momentum to appeal to the mass market.

UA Brand Positioning

 

Understanding brand essence

Under Armour benefited from its dedicated approach to consistent, true-to-self branding efforts, becoming a leadership brand in the midst of a recession and continuing to catch up to the category leader. Today, Under Armour outperforms Nike on these key attributes of their brand essence that drive consumer choice:

  • unique
  • simple
  • innovative
  • independent

Continuing to exhibit values that resonate with Americans’ emotional needs since the recession help Under Armour maintain its leadership identity today.

Sports franchises

Using the BAV’s assessment of consumers’ perceptions of brands we can predict stock values of publicly traded companies. Using the BAV’s scores of energized differentiation for pro franchises, we can predict Forbes’ annual valuation of franchises. Sports teams, and individual players for that matter, can diagnose what elements of their brands are contributing to success and which hold opportunity for improvement. Just like Under Armour, there’s no quick fix. But, with appropriate diagnostics and strategy, teams can gain ground on the leaders in their markets.

Sales training for CRM: The 3 sales rep types & how to reach them

Sales training for CRM: The 3 sales rep types & how to reach them
by Chris Zeppenfeld – June 2013

How can CRM fail?

Numerous studies estimate that somewhere around 50% of all CRM implementations ultimately fail.   That’s scary.  Why do CRM implementations fail?

User adoption is usually at the top of the list of most of the articles on the subject.  The recurring theme is reps and managers need ongoing CRM training to fully benefit from the installation. That brings up questions like:

  • How often do you train?
  • How long are the sessions?
  • What measurables should we use?

But, the most important questions is:  HOW am I going to treat each rep in the training session?

Typical sales responses

Tell me if any of these sound familiar among sales reps:

  • motivated by instant gratification
  • want things to be fast and quick
  • paranoid about protecting leads
  • concerned about how they will be judged by their manager
  • hates anything that slows them down from selling
  • dislikes having to put info into CRM for the sake of putting info into CRM
  • expects something to happen immediately whenever a button is clicked

After training roughly 2,000 people in my career in software, I’ve boiled it down to three types of reps you are likely to encounter in CRM training sessions. The major challenges are 1) getting buy-in and 2) keeping their attention. Achieving these goals requires different approaches with each type of rep.

THE QUESTIONER

Symptoms: 

  • always asks if CRM can do something that you haven’t built yet in CRM,
  • often the most engaged reps you have,
  • potential to be managers someday, 
  • most likely to be curious about something in CRM you never trained them on

Diagnosis: Questioners aren’t your typical rep. They want to know WHY something is the way that it is.   You may only have one or two of these people on your entire sales staff.

Treatment:

  1. Important to develop good relationship since they can be your best source of ideas for new things in CRM
  2. Focus on how CRM can make them smarter than the average rep
  3. React quickly when they complain since they can “poison” everyone else with their vocal barbs
  4. If you do create a new tool in CRM based off their suggestion, make sure to give them credit so they feel engaged
  5. Spend more time explaining the logic behind the new task and less time having them repeat the task over and over again in the training session

THE SOLDIER

Symptoms: 

  • rarely raises an issue about CRM (but if they do it’s all of them at once)
  • not curious at all about the other things in CRM outside of their world,
  • uses CRM as a means to an end rather than a tool to help them improve as a sales rep

Diagnosis: Soldiers are your typical rep: Here’s what the world looks like, put your head down, and sell it!

Treatment:

  1. Focus on showing them that CRM makes them faster and more efficient
  2. Use them as showcase examples to your staff to reward good CRM habits
  3. Engage them and ask for their input when considering adding a new feature to CRM
  4. Tell them to click where and when, and they will do it (as long as it is fast)
  5. Try to get as many repetitions as possible during the training session of the new task you are showing them

THE OLD GUARD

Symptoms:

  • usually most tenured reps consistently selling at high volume,
  • stuck in their ways,
  • struggle to get notes in CRM,
  • think their way (spreadsheets, note cards, outlook, etc.) is “good enough” to do the job,
  • often say things like, “I sold XXXX without CRM then, so I don’t need to learn this new CRM thing”

Diagnosis: Old Guards are usually skilled salespeople, but are a mixed bag when it comes to CRM adoption.

Treatment:

  1. Show them indisputable statistics that using CRM helps their winning percentage
  2. Show them that the time it takes to put in a note in CRM is less than what they are doing now (literally conduct a time trial session – if his method is quicker/better, you have a design issue)
  3. Focus on the bare essentials (put your notes in) of CRM rather than all of the bells and whistles
  4. Lean on managers for enforcement of CRM when you get non-compliance
  5. If you have to resort to threats of taking away sales for lack of CRM notes, make sure that comes from the sales manager not you!
  6. Much better to have 5 CRM training sessions over 5 days that last 10 minutes each vs. 1 training that lasts 60 minutes straight

Be Sure to Drink your Ovaltine (and other sponsorship lessons from A Christmas Story)

Be Sure to Drink your Ovaltine (and other sponsorship lessons from A Christmas Story)
by Drew Mitchell – June 2013

A crummy commercial?

A Christmas Story is one of my favorite classic holiday movies, an opinion likely shared by many of you given how it seems to run 24/7 on TBS during the Christmas season.

As my family gathers around the Christmas tree each year we laugh at the great story about Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the ’40’s who dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. One of my favorite quotes is a very well known part of the movie, when Ralphie learns an important lesson in life. After working hard to break a secret code that turned out to be a promotion for the product Ovaltine, Ralphie learned that many things we want in life aren’t always “free.”

How did Ralphie react when his “prize” for cracking the code is a commercial? In case you don’t know or forgot, here’s what happened.

Ralphie’s response is an important take away. How do fans react to a “Crummy Commercial” during a sporting event or live show? Pretty much the same way.

What do fans expect?

Fans pay top dollar from their discretionary income to enjoy an event live and in-person. They don’t expect commercial interruptions.

Sherry Cassidy, Vice President of Public Relations at InTouch Credit Union, echoes the philosophy of the Legends,

Sherry Cassidy
Sherry Cassidy

The goal  for our partnership with the Texas Legends is to maximize a fan’s experience at the game by providing additional games and entertainment, contests, & interaction with the players. They make fans  a part of the experience, not just a spectator. It’s important that there are a variety of activities going on during the game… such as the High Five Tunnel, and Fan of the Game, the bounce houses, etc.  Being a part of this experience, we create a fun-filled safe environment where parents feel comfortable letting children participate in the activities throughout the arena while they enjoy watching the game.”

Drive by passion

fiat_logo

We produced a great season long promotion with FIAT to enhance fan experience and connect fans with a sponsor in a very positive way. A lucky fan received a FIAT 500 during the final home game of the season. Fans entered at each home game for the opportunity to be selected as a finalist to win the car. Fans waited in anticipation each game to see if they were selected as a finalist, keeping them engaged with the promotion and the sponsor during the course of the season. With each finalist invited back to the final home game, they lined up and tried their chance at winning the car. With about 4 finalists to go….we had a winner!

See the video of the giveaway and the fan engagement with the promotion:

http://youtu.be/CNOP_37iNMQ

You Make the Call!

Kyle Judkins
Kyle Judkins

The Legends also increased their fan experience on TV broadcasts through a social media platform allowing fans to make a play suggestion to the head coach. The coach then selects a minimum of one play per quarter with recognition to the fan whose who submitted the play.

Director of Broadcasting for the Legends, Kyle Judkins adds, “Fans have the opportunity to interact with our broadcast and have a real impact on the outcome of the game. This is such a powerful way to connect a fan with a sponsor with a positive association with the brand in an elevated experience.”

No Ralphie Moments

When a fan has a positive experience with a team they are likely to return more often. When they have a positive experience with a sponsor, they are more likely to try or adopt that brand. 

I’m sure we all have had situations where our fans felt like Ralphie. To avoid those in the future, the steps to build partnerships to mutually benefit the sponsor, team and fan are pretty simple:

  1. Remember activation means action. Try to find ways for fans to take action.
  2. Don’t disappoint fans (and sponsors) by running another “crummy commercial” during games.
  3. Develop a creative marketing program to enhance fan experience and engagement with both sponsor and team.
  4. Don’t shoot your eye out with a Red Rider BB Gun!

 

Amplifying our VOICE: How Sprint Leverages ‘Unlimited’ Content and Why Teams Could Do It Even Better

Amplifying our VOICE: How Sprint Leverages ‘Unlimited’ Content and Why Teams Could Do It Even Better
by Phillip Grieco – June 2013

Couch vs. Run?

Recently I was lounging on my couch after dinner, debating whether to make the effort to get to the gym or go outside for a run.

You can imagine which one won that battle. So, I ended up tuning into NBC’s THE VOICE. I’ve seen it from time to time until this season. Okay, so I may be a bit of a fan. No judging please.

During the show, co-host Christina Milian popped on camera to promote voting for contestants via mobile, social, and also showcase other behind-the-scenes content, all powered by Sprint. After hearing that, I decided to dig a bit deeper into the partnership and here’s what I found.

  • Sprint has been with THE VOICE from the beginning as the show’s first official sponsor and has expanded on the relationship this season.
  • Sprint’s platform is built around their overall brand campaign, ‘Unlimited’, providing fans with all the content that they crave and then some.
  • Sprint  offers a synched-to-broadcast second screen experience live during the show (voting, polls, chat rooms, Tweets, etc.). FYI, so does Walking Dead.

NBA teams build out platforms for sponsors better than most, but the full digital offering from Sprint grabbed my attention. Could teams synch scripts with games in the same way the Voice does?

Who’s on Second?

According to research firm NPD Group, 87 percent of U.S. entertainment consumers say that they use at least one second-screen device while watching television.  The average Fortune 500 company spends annually on digital approximately 20% of their promotional budgets. It’s safe to say  there’s a huge gap between that and most pro teams. We have to make digital a bigger priority.

Properties have several competitive advantages vs. our media counterparts.

  • Integration. We have the ability to bring a fully integrated, year round solution to amplify a prospect’s brand, reinforce benefits, differentiate and authenticate their messaging, create exclusivity, reinforce loyalty and ultimately drive sales.
  • Activation. Media partners cannot physically bring brands to life like we can on-site to millions of fans a year.
  • Relationship. Media partners don’t have a generational relationship with families and fans like teams do.
  • Community. Teams have an established footprint in the community.
  • DVR-Proof. Teams have eye balls here and now. You can watch The Voice later, but sports fans prioritize time to watch the game now.

Now we just need to better determine how digital can play a bigger role of the solution mix.

The Next Gold Nugget

The ability for us to bring our TV-game viewing fan base closer to the action and provide more real-time content is our next gold nugget.

We can borrow a page out of The Voice’s playbook by better monetizing digital. We can also make the idea more robust with other fan touch points, whether in-arena, community, digital and beyond. This is our next new inventory opportunity. It’s staring us in the face each week, courtesy of Adam Levine, Usher, Blake and Shakira. Well, you know what I mean. Let’s go get it.

Three ways to revitalize your franchise’s brand: Leadership Q&A with Kelly Roddy

Three ways to revitalize your franchise’s brand: Leadership Q&A with Kelly Roddy

Kelly Roddy

by Travis Martin – June 2013

Kelly Roddy is President of Schlotzsky’s, a founding partner of the S3 Report.

Leadership Challenge: Revitalizing the brand

S3 Report: Since assuming leadership at Schlotzsky’s, what has been your greatest challenge as a leader?

Kelly Roddy: After joining Schlotzsky’s in December 2007, it was clear the brand needed a makeover. Just like every sports franchise, restaurant franchises must evaluate where the brand stands in the minds of those in their respective markets.

S3 Report: What was the issue?

Kelly Roddy: Our research showed that we were no longer relevant with our customers and we needed a new look. Relevance is an important brand asset that influences overall brand value.

We are an established, well-known brand in our markets, but it was time for a change. I knew as a leader I had to guide Schlotzsky’s through a brand make over, but there were multiple challenges. I had to figure out how to quickly lay out the plan and then how to get a franchise system of more than 350 restaurants to embrace the idea.

When we began the economy was struggling and convincing our franchise partners to invest dollars into re-image was a difficult task.

S3 ReportHow did you tackle the challenge?

We held tight to the rule, “Make new friends, but keep the old.” We didn’t stray far from our roots, so we stayed true to the product that brought us success. And through our planned program, our makeover paid off. We began with three very basic steps; easy in concept, not so easy in practice.

1. Pay attention to consumer trends

It’s crucial to understand consumer needs and trends and be willing to make changes to meet those needs and get ahead of the trends. This can be a struggle for a national company, particularly a franchise system, but it allows for an opportunity to build relationships with consumers and establish a level of trust with them that you’re building your business with the consumer in mind.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”650px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]S3 ReportTrue. Sports teams must pay attention to trends like these:

  • Digital in-game experience: More fans are accessing second and third screens while attending or watching sporting events.
  • Gamification: the attention span of consumers continues to shorten, so sports and entertainment providers must find ways to incorporate game mechanics into their websites and social media (See related examples, such as the LA Kings, here: sports trends.)
  • Augmented reality/fan engagement: Teams (e.g., the Eagles) are among those adding features such as highlights, previews, player messages and stats to fans using smartphones to scan tickets. (See this Mashable article for other examples.)[/dropshadowbox]

2. Develop a clear brand strategy

While going through massive changes, it’s imperative to maintain the core of your business, but change enough for consumers to take notice.

We knew our product wasn’t the issue; it was the perception of the product. We needed to change our look and freshen up our restaurants while staying true to what our guests keep coming back for – our food.

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

S3 Report: Perception is reality, so in the same way teams should track customer perceptions of their brands to evaluate the need for revitalization.

NFL perceptions

 

[/dropshadowbox]

3. Spend wisely

Rebranding is a major company decision. It becomes an even bigger decision with a struggling economy. Spending wisely is important, because the last thing you want to do is nothing at all. We knew we had to invest so we could emerge from the recession a stronger, refreshed brand, which is exactly what we did.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”curled” width=”650px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

S3 Report: That strategy confirms what we know from the historical evidence during downturns.

Firms that budget marketing as a percent of sales during downturns follow a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sales go down and marketing goes down; because marketing is down, then sales go down more…and the cycle keeps going. In contrast, firms that invest boldly (and wisely) in marketing during downturns far outdistance themselves from competitors who have all cut budgets.[/dropshadowbox]

Conclusion

S3 Report: As you look back, what were the major changes you made to the franchises?

Kelly Roddy: Re-branding is never easy, recession or not.  But, a franchise does not have to be a casualty of its own making or even its own inertia.

Our re-image ensured our franchise partners thrived, just as teams want their fans, sponsorship partners and the community to thrive.

Through innovative new menu items such as fresh-made salads and Cinnabons and a new service model in which we delivered food to tables, we changed more than just our look. We changed the perception of Schlotzsky’s.

Sports franchises must do the same. In fact, you might start by adding one of our Cinnabon, Carvel, Seattle’s Best or Auntie Anne’s brands at Focus Brands to your menu mix!

It was a tremendous challenge that required dedication not only from me, but the leadership in our brand and the entire franchise system. Through research and strategic planning, we updated the Schlotzsky’s brand and became a relevant, in-demand franchise.

Social Media Strategy: Put your voice where the ears are

Social Media Strategy: Put your voice where the ears are
by Daniel Fleming – June 2013

“Put your voice where the ears are.” At least that’s the way Ohio University classmate and fellow S3 writer Ken Troupe puts it.

Remove the name given to the internet-based communication platforms, social media, and look at what they actually are: FREE marketing outlets with the capability to reach thousands of fans, create exponentially more impressions, and push a desired message. Put your voice where the ears or eyes are.

How does social media fit into the bigger marketing picture? Think of the hub and spokes metaphor:  With each additional spoke you create (traditional media, PR, community efforts, etc.), the stronger the wheel and the better it runs. Social media should serve as a spoke in your marketing strategy and an extension of traditional marketing strategies.

How to invest social media efforts

With so many platforms, how do you decide where to invest?

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson

When you take an objective look at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Pheed, and all the other social media platforms, Kevin Johnson, Director of Mandalay Creative Services at Mandalay Baseball Properties reinforces the realities of social media, “Content has been and always will be king. Fans love to see photos, videos, and participate in polls.” 

Start with a presence on Facebook. Facebook may be at its peak before it becomes MySpace, but you need to be there now.

Comparing the platforms, there is very little fundamental difference among the social media outlets. Understand that your content can be adjusted slightly to optimize it for the different platforms. Johnson emphasizes, “focus on the same tone, style, voice, and messaging throughout.”

Best Practices

A best practice among professional sports organizations on Instagram is the Seattle Mariners. They add production value to their posts  by creating a game summary graphic which needs no explanation. The same image can be posted to Facebook with a headline, Tweeted with 140 character or less caption, and posted on their (hypothetical) “Games Played” board on Pinterest.

[slideshow_deploy id=’2265′]

The Pittsburgh Penguins are always on the forefront of social media innovation. During the season and this year’s playoff run, the team posts 6-second videos on Vine of fans before the games, players coming on the ice, and other exciting moments easily captured with anyone with a smartphone. Click here to see a Penguins Vine in action. The Penguins are also one of the first to be on WhoSay, which is geared more to fans following individual celebrities and players like RGIII (see below).

 

 

Where am I supposed to get the additional resources?

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

white_sox_social_media_lounge
White Sox Social Media Lounge
Picture thanks to Zach Hample.

The Chicago White Sox installed a social media lounge for fans to charge devices, connect with other users, create and promote White Sox content, and ultimately serve as brand ambassadors. White Sox Vice President of Sales and Marketing was quoted on CSN Chicago saying, “It doesn’t have to be marketing and sales, but it’s the best way to communicate with your fans and give them accurate info. It’s a great way to communicate what’s going on with the team and with the ballpark.” It also creates impressions to organically increase brand affinity. The increased and continuous relevance brings fans to your building and have them wearing your gear.[/dropshadowbox]The magic of social media is the vast community of viral ideas.

  1. Try crowdsourcing for ideas.
  2. Look internally. There are people in your organization that are paid for their great ideas. And there are people that don’t need to be paid to produce great ideas.
  3. Look externally. Allow fans to produce content and create another level of connection with your fan base. Check out what the White Sox did with their social media lounge!

Cutting through the clutter

BE CREATIVE!

One of the best recent examples comes from BNP Paribas, corporate partner of the French Open, and their activation with homegrown tennis superstar, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. A social-media controlled tennis ball machine launched balls cross-court to help Tsonga train for the upcoming French Open. Fans have a unique connection with their tennis hero and feel a part of his team in helping him practice tennis.

Social media is a space intended for creativity, for innovation, and for busting down walls. It dares you to take chances, attract attention, and create viral buzz. In an incredibly competitive industry, sports, accept the challenge to beat your competitors. Create social media campaigns that leave your fans cheering and your opponents in shock and awe!

Which comes first: Happiness or success?

Which comes first: Happiness or success?
by Shawn Achor – June 2013

What is the connection between happiness and sales?  Most salespeople tell me it’s an easy question:  “When I’m selling then I’m happy.”

How could so many salespeople possibly be wrong?

Undeniably, we feel happier after a sale, but that common answer is actually holding down our happiness and lowering our sales.

Researchers at Harvard, Yale and UPenn have been studying this issue now for two decades. We found predicting who will be a good salesperson is relatively easy.  We just look for optimism.

Optimists beat pessimists

When we ran the numbers, optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 37% cross-industry.  At MetLife, the top 10% of optimists were outselling the other 90% by another 90%! That’s huge, and here’s why.

Most professionals face daily setbacks, but the life of a salesman is, almost by definition, fraught with failure and rejection. In many businesses, only one in ten pitches leads to a sale, meaning that those salesmen experience rejection 90 percent of the time.  (That was also my dating rejection rate in high school.) This can get pretty demoralizing after a while, which helps to explain why there is such high turnover, stress, and depression.

But here’s where it gets interesting: it turns out if you wait until a sale to be happy, you’re following a broken formula for happiness and success.  We think:

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Wrong thinking

I will work hard, then I’ll be successful, then I’ll be happy. [/dropshadowbox]

But every time you were successful in the past, what happened? Your brain changed the goalpost of what success looks like.  If you hit your sales target last year, what did you do this year?  Raised it.  Happiness after a success (like a sale) is very short-lived.

But flip around the formula and try to create happiness before the sale, and our success rates rise dramatically. (Want to know more about the effects? Watch this video on TED.com.)

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Right thinking

If I create happiness before the sale, then I’ll be more successful selling. [/dropshadowbox]

The Happiness Advantage

In The Happiness Advantage, I describe how positive brains have an unfair advantage over negative or neutral ones.   Positive employees:

  • have higher levels of productivity,
  • produce higher sales,
  • perform better in leadership positions, and
  • receive higher performance ratings and higher pay.

So how do we create happiness before success?

  1. Realize happiness only exists in the present, otherwise it will always be off in the future (never).
  2. Train your brain to become happier.
  3. Happiness is not only a choice, it is a work ethic:
    1. Write down 3 new things you’re grateful for each day for 21 days. This rewires your brain for optimism.
    2. Journal for 2 minutes each day about a positive experience. This is the fastest intervention for seeing the meaning embedded in your work.
    3. Write a 2 minute positive email or handwritten note to someone. This deepens social support, the greatest predictor of long term happiness. 

Evidence

One way to train your brain to become happier is to smile more.

At a group of hospitals in  post-Katrina Louisiana, we trained 11,000 employees to just smile and make eye contact in the hospital hallways.  Within 6 months, the number of unique patients rose and their likelihood to refer the hospital based on good care skyrocketed. 

At KPMG, I found that just teaching this concept (happiness first; success second) and practicing a positive habit can create greater happiness and job effectiveness 4 months later, in the middle of the worst tax season in recent history.

Happiness is a choice, but also an incredible advantage.  Do you want to see your true sales potential? See what you can do when your brain is set on positive!

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”650px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Chip MaxsonI can’t help but think back to some of the best sales people I’ve worked with and their attitude – pretty positive. I also can’t help but think of the people I’ve let go in the past year, all very pessimistic. Another interesting angle to look at would be the affect an optimistic person has on a potential client. Essentially, people like to buy from people they like and people like positive and friendly people. ~ Chip Maxon, Sr. Vice President, Business Operations, Sacramento RiverCats[/dropshadowbox]

Empower your players

Empower your players
by Eric Kussin – June 2013

Corey Gaines, head coach of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, runs a fantastic clinic each season for local coaches. A great college and pro player himself, Corey always talks about leaders he played for and the effect they had on him.

pat rileyOne of Corey’s favorites is Pat Riley. With Riley, the devil was in the details – it wasn’t about “standing out wide” or “on the wing” or “in the paint” on a particular play.  Instead, if you were asked to be in a spot in the offense, the EXACT location was repeatedly drilled into your head: “Less than the distance of a dime between your heels and the baseline, precisely one foot outside of the lane.”

Every coach taught from a similar play book, but Riley wanted his players to run “his” plays better than anyone, creating more floor space than any other team, providing an opportunity for a greater percentage of uncontested shots and ultimately made-hoops on every single possession.

Running our plays

We all have similar play books and technologies to help us track how and how many times our reps run “our plays”  in a given day, week or month.  As managers, when we meet at conferences and workshops, we end up talking very macro – comparing minimum rep requirements on categories such as calls, opportunities, appointments, etc.

How can we learn from Riley and apply the same logic to how we lead our teams?  What tools do CRM and other technologies provide that enable us to dive deeper into the details of the plays we are asking our reps to run? We run four plays that have worked well for our team.

1. Turn Over New Stones

Just about every CRM system enables you to track the number of calls reps have made, per day, by campaign. With the Devils, where we use Microsoft Dynamics, the source campaign for a particular call could look something like this:

14DH- SGB 1/14/13 =  2013-14 Devils Hockey; Single Game Buyer from the January 14, 2013 home game

The approach we use remains the same across all departments: The only way to build your business is to ensure you get comfortable making the “uncomfortable” calls. Every day. This is how we manage that:

  1. Reps put the number of the call (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) in the subject line of every call into our CRM system as the rep moves the prospect into an opportunity.  
  2. Reps must make a minimum number of “FIRST TOUCH” calls each day to ensure new prospects constantly flow into the sales funnel.
  3. The number of required first touch calls vary by day based on rep product focus (seasons, groups, premium, etc.).

crm screens

2. Manage the Sales Cycle

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Nats“Today’s business world is entirely too customizable moves way too fast to be reliant on 3×5 cards and excel spreadsheets. If we demand excellence out of our sales representatives, we must supply them with the tools necessary to maximize their daily effort. Utilizing an integrated CRM system is one of the easiest and best ways we can ensure that our reps have the power of instant and real-time information to drive sales results.” ~David McElwee, Sr. Director of Ticket Sales and Service, Washington Nationals[/dropshadowbox]Our sales cycles begin in February.

  1. We offer fans “Early Access” to full season tickets.
  2. Partial ticket plans are not available during this sales cycle.  
  3. First-touch calls with legitimate full-season objections are assigned as a “re-approach” call in another sales cycle.
  4. Re-approach calls are never considered a “FIRST TOUCH” again during that “14DH” sales season.

The goal is to ensure a minimum number of real first touch calls are made each day by all the reps.  It’s not enough to make X number of calls in a day.  We want to know what types of calls are made. Specifically, we want new prospects worked into the mix every day.

3. Define & track opportunities

An opportunity is a prospect:

  1. whose needs have been assessed,
  2. has formed a relationship with the rep,
  3. at least been invited down for a tour, and
  4. has received a specific product recommendation. 

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]devils“In using Microsoft CRM on a day-to-day basis, I’ve found my time-efficiency improved dramatically due to the system’s ability to strategically pinpoint the length and nature of calls during the sales process. By utilizing the information previously entered into the system to monitor exhausted calls and outstanding opps, I’ve been able to concentrate my energy on more fruitful opportunities. Simply stated – meticulous tracking of calls within the system simplifies the process for the reps and saves time better spent on new business.” ~Brian Proctor, Fan Development Consultant, New Jersey Devils [/dropshadowbox]The challenge with most reps is holding onto these folks for way too long without a successful close. They are afraid to give them up. Reps commonly pile these up well beyond a month.

We track opportunities based on duration since opening into three categories: 0-2 weeks, 2-4 weeks and 4+ weeks. We’ve found a qualified opportunity (all 4 above) that takes over a month to make a decision or return a call isn’t likely to close. When we meet with reps, we have them leave a “break-up” message with these folks. This message informs the prospect that despite the early interest they showed this will be the last time the rep will be reaching out to them. 

The “break-up”:

  1. allows reps to “move on” from prospects taking up their physical and emotional energy,
  2. clears out time to bring more Call #1 prospects into daily outreach, 
  3. prompts a % of the prospects to call back, knowing the rep will no longer be contacting them, and
  4. ultimately gives the rep some form of closure. 

To make the reps even more comfortable with the process of “breaking up,” if a broken up account calls back and buys something from anyone in the department within the next 60 days, the sale is credited to the rep who left the break-up message.

4. Empower Your Players to Call Their Own Plays

It’s great to have a system. It’s even better to have a system your reps believe in and follow.

Each morning reps are asked to pull up their virtual “Hustle Boards” from CRM and send an email to our management team. The email contains an evaluation of the previous day’s outreach:

  1. First touch numbers
  2. Multi-touch  numbers
  3. Other opportunity calls
  4. Opportunity break-ups
  5. Appointments set

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Madison_Square_Garden_logo“CRM allows me to track all touch points throughout the sales process from cold outreach to warm opportunities, and stay completely organized. This allows me to maximize my time and effectively manage each prospect.” ~Jared Schoenfeld, Director at the Madison Square Garden Company[/dropshadowbox]By having reps evaluate their hustle boards each morning on each bullet point, we ensure reps stick to a strategy they believe in.  If first touch calls are low on a particular day, they know they need to pick it up the following day. 

Managers could review the hustle boards on our own, but asking the reps to pull up their boards and email key learnings ensures they understand how our system works. Our system becomes their system. They can understand and run and make changes effectively on their own without our having to tell them what to do.

Winning

Riley  succeeded at every level in the NBA from coaching to the front office:  Showtime Lakers, Bruising Knicks, and now the Big Three Heat.  At each stop, the players and their individual styles have changed. Yet the attention to detail has not. Riley’s consistency resulted in NBA Finals and Championships.  Sales people change year to year. The real question is how will you use CRM and technology to pay attention to the details to ensure your team’s success?

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