Why the new AT&T Stadium is win-win for everyone

Why the new AT&T Stadium is win-win for everyone
by Kirk Wakefield – August 2013

Since AT&T and the Dallas Cowboys have been great supporters  of the S3 program since its inception a decade ago, apparently DFW reporters figure I might have some insight into the financial deal between the two on the naming rights. Although I’ve been quoted as saying it’s in the $18-20 million range, that’s purely an educated guess. That guess could be off by millions for all I know.

What I do know is that this deal is a win-win for everyone. Why?

  1. Technology: Setting the standard. AT&T & the Cowboys can set the standard for in-stadium experiences with AT&T’s wifi service and exclusive content. If AT&T provides flawless service with 80,000 fans at NFL games, as well as large crowds at 3rd party events, then they can do it anywhere. AT&T Stadium will be the tech showcase for the NFL, much like AT&T Park is for MLB.
  2. Branding: Image transfer. Brands sponsor teams in part for the image of the team to transfer to the brand. Teams are also careful (or should be) to partner with brands that enhance the team’s image, because image transfer can work both ways (cf., Enron).  In this case, matching leading brands in telecommunications and pro sports makes sense. Both will benefit.
  3. Activation: customer conversion. Utilities such as electricity and telecommunications directly benefit from sponsorships because customers can decide to switch services on the spot. TXU Energy (Dallas Mavs/Stars), Reliant Energy (Houston Texans), and Amigo Energy (Houston Dynamo jersey sponsor for 3 years) all benefit from the ability to activate the brand in-venue and other media communications to get customers to switch. Same goes for the wireless category. What’s more, my research shows passionate fans are unlikely to switch from the sponsor to a competitor. They stick with the sponsoring brand.
  4. Partnership: compatibility. The people who work in sponsorships at the Cowboys & AT&T are very smart people. They are professionals who know how to reach corporate objectives through sponsorships. Both parties are committed to excellence in the things they can control. Both know they can count on the other to fulfill the intent of the agreement. In short, they trust each other to seek mutual benefit and to work together.

With all of the press and publicity about this “new” deal, the bottom line is that the Cowboys and AT&T have been partners for a long time. These agreements don’t happen over night, but are based on years of knowing each other and finding the best solution for the partnership. I’m confident as fans and as stakeholders we will all be winners in this deal.

What are your thoughts? Good deal or no good deal?

Dealing with frustration in sales

Dealing with frustration in sales
by Dan Rockwell – August 2013

The way you deal with today’s frustration reflects the leader or the salesperson you’ll become tomorrow.

Frustration is an alarm clock; a spotlight pointing: a match burned too long.

Frustration is a gift that says pay attention.

Don’t get frustrated with frustration. Frustration is feedback on decisions and relationships.

Frustration’s goal

The singular message of frustration is change.

  1. Usually it’s you.
  2. Sometimes it’s others.
  3. Perhaps it’s processes and procedures.

Repeated frustration

Frustrations that return want attention like neglected children.

Ignoring frustration makes frustration mad.

Successful people choose responses. The weak react.

Choose

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Ben Milsom
Ben Milsom

“Frustration, like nerves, can either benefit or tear down. I tell our salespeople that the only person frustration hurts is yourself–it’s all internal, not external. The opportunity is still there to find out what others need or want and to find solutions.”tampa_bay_buccaneers[/dropshadowbox]Choose who to be:

  1. Welcoming. Open up don’t close down. “Come in, let’s talk.”
  2. Calm. Cool down don’t heat up. Nothing says confidence more than calmness during frustration.
  3. Able. Assume a do-something posture.

Bonus: Optimistic. Express optimism while acknowledging realities.

Choose what to do:

  1. Acknowledge don’t ignore. “That’s frustrating,” is better than, “It’s not that bad.”
  2. Run toward not away. Deal with it now or you’ll deal with it later. Curiosity coupled with courage expands leadership and productivity.
  3. Stay focused not distracted. Frustrations that distract from the big picture grow larger than they are.

Bonus: Involve others. Don’t act alone. “What can ‘we’ do,” is better than, “What can ‘I’ do.”

Three warnings

  1. Frustration in one area tends to bleed into others.
  2. Don’t let short-term frustrations make long-term decisions.
  3. Frustration’s biggest danger is its ability to create imbalance.

Rudyard Kipling wrote:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it …

How do you deal with frustration?

 

How would you describe your social media fans to sponsors?

How would you describe your social media fans to sponsors?
by Kirk Wakefield – August 2013

Brands highly prioritize social media engagement when partnering with sports properties. But who are these social media fans? Who are we reaching with the team’s social media?

Earlier this year we sampled registered users from a professional franchise (N = 469). The chart below displays the results of a cluster analysis grouping fans based on similar characteristics within the group, but significantly different between groups. These groups are not significantly different from each other in terms of ethnicity, household size or income.

Group 1: Passionately engaged

About a quarter (23%) of those studied frequently(66% of the team’s games) used social media (including texting, Facebook, Twitter) to send or receive information related to the team and games. This extremely passionate group (Passion Score = 95) is relatively young (M = 40) compared to other registered users of this team (M = 49). That the database skews older reflects typical season ticket holders, but may also indicate the need for teams to attract younger fans or at least get them to sign-up.

Looking at the chart, what else do you see? This group is more likely to follow on the team’s website, watch games on TV, and listen to games on the radio.

Since most of the sample are males (69.5%), the results show this group (64% male) is more likely to include females than the other three groups. They’re more likely to be single (61%) than the other groups. And, they’re relatively likely to have some form of season ticket plan (35%) and live within the metro area (e.g., within 20 miles).

Social Media Fan Groups

*Percentage of  all games in a season

Characteristic  Passionately
Engaged
Distant
Lovers
Passionately
Disengaged
Dispassionately
Disengaged
Social Media Usage*

  • Send/receive text messages about the game
  • Post messages/comments on social media (Facebook/Twitter/Websites) about the game.
66% 36% 10% 11%
Passion for the team (100 max) 95 90 90 63
Games reported attended* 23% 8% 21% 11%
Team Website: Visit the team website before, during, or after the game.* 73% 68% 47% 22%
Radio: Listen to games on the radio or internet.* 54% 29% 25% 13%
TV: Watch games on screen (TV, Internet, DVR).* 65% 49% 51% 24%
News: Follow the results in the newspaper or internet.* 78% 89% 85% 23%
Distance from venue (miles) 20 113 19 25
Age 40 46 49 40
Males (Overall: 69.5% male) 64% 81% 72% 68%
Married (Overall: 52.5% married) 39% 66% 64% 47%
Fan base (% of fans surveyed) 23% 10% 32% 34%
Season plan member (partial or full) 35% 13% 45% 29%

Group 2: Distant Lovers

Although not a large segment (10%), this passionate (Passion Score = 90) fan group travels in from outside of town (average distance of 113 miles) a few times a season to attend a game or two. These somewhat older (M = 46) fans sometimes use social media (36%) to find or share information about the game, but they’re most likely to follow the team news through the newspaper or online (89%).

This group is less likely to tune in to TV (49%) or the radio (25%), which may be more a function of availability in their distant markets than interest. Consequently, the team’s website (68%) is a good way to reach this crowd, in addition to the relatively frequent social media use compared to the next two groups of fans.

Group 3: Passionately Disengaged

Although this group is as passionate as the second group (PS = 90) and attend about as many games  as the first group, they rarely engage via social media (10% of games). This older group (M = 49) really don’t pay much attention to games on the radio (25%) even though they live in-market (~19 miles). Nor are they particularly avid viewers of TV broadcasts (51%). They do faithfully follow the team through the news, either print or online (85%).

apple workshops

This group is most likely to have some form of season ticket package (45%), particularly full-season.

Fans in this segment need to be energized as team partners to engage with the team. One suggestion is to partner with your local Apple store to offer fan workshops, perhaps specializing in the use of team apps. My 85 year old mother is on Facebook all the time, but would benefit from knowing what else to do with her iPad. The size and age of this segment suggest efforts like these could be worthwhile, because they also have higher discretionary income that would otherwise be spent on their grandchildren.

The Houston Astros target this older season ticket base by providing a headquarters for STHs, equipped with multiple iPads and other devices. And, as you can see from the cover photo, it’s sponsored.

Group 4: Dispassionately Disengaged

This relatively young (M = 40) are not particularly passionate fans (PS =63) and they show it by not following the team through virtually any media. They attend games (M = 9)a bit more than the out-of-towners in group two and live a little further out (M = 25 miles) than the two most frequently attending groups (1 and 3).

This group is the most likely to have mini-plans  among the four groups, which suggests they get packages to occasionally go to the game–perhaps to entertain clients or go with friends–but they aren’t big fans.

One of the best ways to enhance fan passion is to provide direct contact between players and fans. Targeting this group with relevant events may be a way to move them into one of the other passionate groups, which in turn leads to more media usage and better fans for your partners.

Market (Sell) Like a Rock Star!

Market (Sell) Like a Rock Star!
by Lynn Wittenburg – August 2013

I got this headline “Market Like a Rock Star” in an email after I read the book Radical Marketing. They were trying to sell me a book about the Grateful Dead. No sale, but it caught my attention.

What if I really did market like a rock star? What would that look like? Here are four ways I’ve come up with so far. Feel free to tweet more to the list (@lynnwitt) or comment below.

1. Rock stars have larger than life personalities.

Most rock stars (think Ozzy & cats, Bon Jovi & hair, Madonna & sex) have VERY large personalities. Some trait or characteristic they exploit to the fullest becomes their trademark.

We can do that in sales & marketing. Figure out the one thing you can hang your hat on and roll it out big time. Go with the largest “personality” your company has. For you personally, what one thing do you want customers and colleagues to know you by? Don’t hope they catch it. Make it central to who you are and what you communicate.

2. Rock stars are considered crazy.

You hear about it all the time. Rock stars are nuts. Troubled. Deemed crazy. And in this case, usually they are. :-)

But in marketing, we can be crazy in a good way. We can dare to do things that people deem unconventional. I watched an old video of Steve Jobs. The commercial at the end of the video is what sticks with me. Look at people like Jobs that the world called “crazy” and look at what they accomplished because they didn’t listen to the World.

3. Rock stars love what they do.

In Radical Marketing, the Grateful Dead talk about their passion for their music. They grew bigger than life but it was always about making music.

Do you love what you do in sales & marketing? Because if you don’t love it, how can you expect your customers to love it. Passion is contagious.

4. Rock stars dress the part.  

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin

When it comes to attire, rock stars GO BIG or GO HOME! When you are a rock star your “outfit” is as much of your personality as you are.

I attended an Aerosmith concert and Led Zeppelin opened for them. Those dudes STILL have the outfits, the beards and the long hair long long after they hit 60 years old.

When it comes to marketing your product, what is the packaging? How are you presenting it? Are you putting your best foot forward and giving your audience something to remember you by?

What about you?

Well, that’s it. I don’t want to be a ROCK STAR but I’d like to market like one. If you’re going to be a rock star in sales & marketing, what other tips do you suggest? Click the tweet button below and let me know (@lynnwitt)!


Photo cover thanks to KennySun. Led Zeppelin picture thanks to Jonathan Bayer.

 

Three Steps to Creating an Effective Entry-Level Sales Contest

Three Steps to Creating an Effective Entry-Level Sales Contest
by Brian Norman – August 2013

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

Think about a sales contest you have conducted (or participated in) that was missing something. Perhaps it did not have a specific purpose, was unorganized, anticlimactic, or even ineffective?  Rather than using a generic model, create a personalized strategy that will help your team accomplish its goals. 

Step 1: Set Specific Objectives

The first step in designing an effective sales contest is to determine the ultimate objective.  Goals for entry-level sales staffs can vary; therefore it’s imperative to set specific objectives for your sales contest.  Write down, in detail, what you hope to accomplish and how you will measure your success.

Questions that need to be answered include:

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Jake Reynolds
Jake Reynolds

“An effective sales contest, done the right way, can produce big results for your team.

The preparation leading up to it, the execution throughout and the post contest assessment are all vital in maximizing the results from your contest. In order to get the desired outcome when building the sales contest, it’s important that it’s designed to help accomplish a specific agenda, create a fun and competitive environment, engage your employees and drive big revenue.”wizards_alt_logo_hand [/dropshadowbox]Are you basing the contest solely on revenue production?

  • Are you trying to increase departmental revenue by 10%, 25%, 50%?
  • Is there a specific team revenue goal you’d like to reach?
  • Historically, what was produced during this period of the sales cycle?

Are you focused strictly on moving inventory – regardless of revenue?

  • Is there specific inventory you’re focused on selling (club seats, VIP seating, etc.)?

Are you also focusing on increased call volume, on-site appointments, or other “hustle” metrics?

  • If so, do all of these metrics directly contribute to your ultimate goal?
  • Are these metrics readily accessible throughout the day to encourage/drive individuals?

Step 2: Design the Program

Establish each of these for every sales contest.

Team, Individual, or Both?

Recognize when it’s most effective to use a team-based contest versus an individual-based contest. 

  • A team contest will help drive departmental unity.  In theory, every member of your team will work together to accomplish the goal to receive some type of incentive.  In reality, be aware of free-loaders who don’t contribute and seek the same incentive as the rest of their team.  To address this, set personal “minimum qualifiers” to motivate everyone on the team to participate.
  • Is your sales group full of competitive, result-driven employees?  If so, an individual-based contest may be the best route for your team.   Create and facilitate a program that will bring out the competitive nature of your sales team as they compete against one another.
  • Sales contests can also tie in both team and individual aspects that will build team unity while rewarding top performers.  Focus on dynamics that will motivate the team as a whole, while also pushing individual performance within the contest.  An overall team incentive can be supplemented by smaller prizes throughout the contest to key performers. 

Theme

In order to keep your team engaged throughout your sales contest, it’s crucial to design your sales contest around an exciting and entertaining theme.  Whether you use current events (Olympic Games, March Madness, Draft Lottery), movies (Fight Club) or board games (Monopoly, Scrabble) to model the contest, it should be creative, fun, and most of all, engaging!

Time frame

The length of the sales contest is one of the most important pieces of the design.  If your contest is too short, it may not give your sales team the proper time to accomplish the set objectives.  If your contest is too long, your objective will lack urgency and it can grow stale.  Refer to previous sales/hustle metrics to determine the appropriate timeframe to accomplish your objectives.

Incentives

What will truly motivate your team to increase their performance?  Simply ask them!  By [dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

Eric Platte
Eric Platte

“After running plenty of sales contests that produced different results, the underlying factor that motivates everyone is free and simple: recognition.

For example, the 2013 Final Four was in Atlanta so we capitalized with a sales contest. The winning member received two tickets to the tournament, assorted gift cards, in addition to a trophy and picture that we sent to the NBA league office and our executive team. After the hundreds of dollars we spent on the prizes, the winner was most proud of the email we sent to the league and the executive team with his picture!”hawks_50t [/dropshadowbox]asking your sales team what incentives they desire most, you’re accomplishing two things:

First, and most obvious, you’re able to put together a list of incentives they desire.  Send out an email asking your team to present you with three items (under your set budget) that they would love to have.  Whether its cash, gift cards, concert tickets, autographed memorabilia, or other prizes, you’re sure to get authentic feedback.  (Best answer to date: C.R.E.A.M: Cash rules everything around me!)

Secondly, and just as important, you’re empowering your employees with the task of helping design their very own sales contest.  This leads to increased buy-in and appreciation from your team.  Further, you are presented with ideas you never would have thought of yourself.

Step 3: Review, Recap, Revise

What could have been done better?

  • Was the contest too long? Too short?
  • Was your sales team engaged? What could you have added to make it more engaging?
  • Did the original rules work throughout, or did you have to adjust them at some point? Why?
  • Did the incentives actually motivate your sales team, or were they simply a nice reward?
  • How close did you come to accomplishing your goals? Were the goals too easy? Too hard?

Analyzing Metrics

Simply put, did the contest accomplish your set objectives?  Compare your team’s performance during the contest against previous data to measure the true impact.  Record your results as they compare to historical metrics and save for future referral.

Finally, measure your team’s output over the weeks and months following your contest to gain additional insight into the contest’s level of effectiveness.

  • How much revenue was produced compared to last month?
  • How much revenue was produced compared to the same time in the selling cycle last year?
  • What percentage of sales was from the targeted inventory?
  • How does outbound call volume compare to the average call volume for the last week? Month?

Are you the best around?

Are you the best around?
by Jeff Eldersveld – August 2013

What does “best” mean?

The word “best” is interesting. While clearly defined in sports with crowned champions, MVPs, medals and trophies, the business side of sports is a little harder to understand.

Who is the champion of website marketing? What was the best in-game promotion?

Sure, there are awards for these types of things, but they are voted on by members within the industry – based more on gut and feel rather than stats and numbers.

If I ask you who’s the best hitter in baseball, you should reply with the league leader in batting average (don’t say Yasiel Puig!). If I ask you to name the best promotion in Minor League Baseball, you could reply with a variety of answers from Brittany Spears’ Child Safety Night with the Newark Bears to Free Gas Night with the Fort Myers Miracle. Different promotions are the “best” in their own unique way.

Best in class

A characteristic of the best salespeople and managers I’ve known is that they have a clear vision to be the “best” wherever they are. If people in this business are satisfied with middle of the pack or bringing up the rear, odds are it won’t be long before they’re realizing their vision of work somewhere else. Here are some tips that have helped me stay focused on the right path.

Define what value means to your organization–>especially your boss.

dan migalaNot everyone has the same idea. You should constantly present data, statistics, or examples that prove your worth to the organization. For those already employed, this is a great way to solidify your position within the organization. For those seeking employment, this is a great way to get a foot in the door. Dan Migala, Founding Partner of Property Consulting Group, could not agree more:

“Iowa State University Associate Athletic Director, May Pink, just reminded me at NACMA this year that hiring decision-makers look for candidates that show they want the job the most. I think this is great, timeless advice. I would encourage any applicant to find multiple opportunities during the interview process to show vs. just tell why you want the job the most.”

Always encourage others. Go out of your way to compliment a job well done.

You can’t get anywhere in your career by yourself. The people who can propel your career development are the ones with whom you work most closely.

Take time to cultivate those relationships; it will strengthen the chemistry within your team and positively affect the culture within your organization.

The faster you embrace your company’s culture, the better, says Migala, “Understand that the culture and people you work with and learn from are more important than the logo on your business card.”

Be unique

You are your own person. “Be yourself, ” says Oscar Wilde,  “Everyone else is taken.”

“Legendary Notre Dame SID Roger Valdiserri taught me early in my career that each person is the sum of their own experiences,” explains Migala. “The minute I realized this, I stopped trying to guide myself into the box of what I thought the industry wanted me to be and focused instead on carving my own path.”

Start now

So start being the best around. And if you are the best, share it. Shout if from the mountaintops, market the heck out of it, or more literally, leave your comments below. Remember, we make each other better. The worst thing that you can do is keep your “best” to yourself.

 

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