The Seven Choices of Exceptional Leaders

The Seven Choices of Exceptional Leaders
by Dan Rockwell – September 2013

1. Choose to be known for what’s in your heart.

Intelligence and skill matter most when they express your heart. Leaders who bypass their hearts end up cold.

2. Choose small now.

Don’t wait for dramatic. Don’t despise small steps that produce small results. Do something small rather than nothing at all.

Small beginnings that express your heart
take you further than no beginnings.

3. Choose to develop people.

Your future is others. Without people the greatest program, project, or initiative dies.

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Who precedes what.

Begin with their current state.

Identify a strength.

Put it to use.

Fix weaknesses that limit strengths.[/dropshadowbox]

Wishing people were different is a self-protective excuse for keeping things the same.

Spend time with “dumb” people who are willing to learn; forget smart people who won’t. Those who refuse to grow must go!

4. Choose to help others do most of the things you do.

Work yourself out of jobs. Develop people who develop people, create programs, and solve problems. The reason you’re buried is you haven’t lifted others.

5. Choose imperfect now over perfect later.

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Jeff Ianello
Jeff Ianello

“You can only be successful if the people that work for you are successful. Identify a core philosophy that guides all. Then surrender responsibility so that those who work for you can do their jobs and more can get done.”[/dropshadowbox]Launch – Fix – Re-launch – Repeat. Apologies to all the gasping perfectionists.

Dreams of perfection are nightmares to progress. The inability to identify “launch and grow” opportunities is one reason you’re stuck. For the record, I’m not suggesting a “let’s try this” approach with patients having heart surgery.

6. Choose to fuel fires.

Lousy leaders spend their time putting out fires – solving problems and fixing things. See #4.

Walk around with a gas tank on your back. Pour gas on every flicker of passion you see. It won’t be long before the passions you fuel will consume the problems you fear.

7. Choose to narrow your focus.

The greatest courage is the courage to say, “No,” to things that matter less.

Which choice is most important? Why?

What other choices do exceptional leaders make?

The Six Choices of New Leaders

The Six Choices of New Leaders
by Lynn Wittenburg – September 2013

People just starting to climb the ladder in this business often ask: How do I become a leader? I do not have ALL the answers, but here are six tips that will help.

1. Learn to follow

Say what? I asked you to tell me how to be a leader and you say to learn to follow? Yep, that’s right. You can’t lead until you know how to follow. And the best leaders are constantly following. Trust me, you don’t have all the answers. And solutions can come from anywhere in the ranks or from outside sources such as books, mentors, etc.

He who has never learned to obey can not be a good commander – Aristotle

There are 3 essentials to leadership: humility, clarity & courage – Fuchan Yuan

2. Be a part of the solution (not the problem)

Trust me, there will be plenty of your co-workers complaining about all the problems with whatever organization you happen to work for.  An easy way to set yourself apart is to think of solutions rather than join in the bickering.  First, your superiors will notice, but more importantly, it’s just a better way to live life. Don’t get caught up in the negativity. Have a vision & problem solve.

Where there is no vision, the people perish – Proverbs 29:18

3. Lead by example

People do not want to be told what to do. They want to be shown. It’s OK to get in the trenches.

Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow – Chinese Proverb

4. Surround yourself with the best

Don’t micromanage. It’s OK to hire people smarter than you. For me to be the best, I want to hire the best. There will be many things my people can do better than I can and that’s great. Give people rope. There are other solutions than just the one in your head.

The best executive is the one who has enough sense to pick good men to do what he wants, and the self restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it – Theodore Roosevelt

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity – General George Patton

5. Stand up for what matters

Pick your battles. This is probably the hardest thing to learn. When I was younger, I battled for everything. I thought it had to be my way or it would be wrong. The key to leadership is fighting for the important stuff, not every stuff.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock – Thomas Jefferson

6. Believe in your vision & act

One of my favorite sayings from Mark Twain is “No one told them it was impossible, so they did it.”

There are so many naysayers in our world and everyday life. People will tell you your plan can’t get done. They will point out all the reasons why you will fail. And this is where you can set yourself apart as a leader. Believe in your plan. But, most importantly, ACT on it.  And allow others to act. As a leader, I truly believe half of my job is to just say YES.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has – Margaret Mead


Picture courtesy of ExpoundInteractive.

 

Is your CRM team paying enough attention to data quality?

Is your CRM team paying enough attention to data quality?
by Katie Morgan – September 2013

With insights from the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, and San Diego Padres

Whether you work with Microsoft Dynamics, Sales Force, or any other system, the key to maintaining a quality database system lies in the validity of data.

Teams constantly struggle with data from different sources.  For example, at the Texas Rangers, we import data with a variety of formats and quality levels including:

  • a nightly ticketing feed,
  • secondary market buyers,
  • appended demographic information for purchasers, and
  • leads generated from a variety of sources.

What does that mean on a daily basis? We must:

  • verify the accuracy of personal information,
  • find and remove duplicated records,
  • find existing records and update or add additional information, and
  • verify revenues and other sales numbers.

In case you forgot…

Without the proper measures the data quality suffers and the organization misses revenue opportunities.

Diny
Diny Hurwitz

Diny Hurwitz, Data Analyst for the Milwaukee Brewers, works with Microsoft CRM throughout the year in Major League Baseball.  Diny explains the critical issues,

“The general purpose of CRM is to get a 360 degree view of your customers. If that view is not accurate, your reps will spend time selling products that are not geared towards your customers’ needs. By having accurate data (e.g. rolling up duplicate account information into a single contact), you will be able to target correct products using whatever purchase criteria your organization chooses. Plus, you will have better match rates appending demographic data.  By maintaining a clean database, you will also see cost savings if you do any direct mail.  You will avoid sending multiple mail pieces to the same household/business and you will again be targeting the correct product to your customers.”

As Diny points out, data quality is important for several aspects of your business processes.

  1. Use the database to target specific products. The more well-rounded view of the customer allows your sales representatives the ability to create personalized sales pitches for each potential buyer they contact.
  2. Increase ROI from your database.  You save money on direct mail campaigns if the addresses for potential buyers are up to date and accurate.
  3. Increase sales volume and efficiency.  Better quality leads distributed to sales representatives equals more sales.

Building confidence

Data quality builds confidence in the system. If we want our team to use the system we need buy-in.

Mark Bashuk
Mark Bashuk

Database systems can also be used to report revenues to ownership and management when needing quick and easy reporting methods.  If your data quality is up to par you won’t have any reservations reporting these numbers out of your respective database, and can rest assured you are reporting accurate numbers.

Mark Bashuk, Database Services Manager with the Oakland A’s, speaks more to this point,

“They key benefit of a successful data quality initiative is confidence. If the ticket history and other details on each account are correct, the sales reps and other system users will trust what you are telling them and use the system as designed. They won’t waste time double-checking the ticket history or previous activities on each account. When management and other departments (especially finance) are able to use and trust CRM-based reports – it reflects positively on the entire department.”

Quality vs. Quantity

One common mistake teams make is focusing more on data quantity than quality. Without quality data it doesn’t matter how much data you have in your system. You won’t be able to build a successful environment for your data, users, or organization.  

Ben Roller
Ben Roller

Ben Roller, Director of CRM & Ticket Analytics with the San Diego Padres, touches on this,“There is virtually no difference between 100 records or 10 million records if the quality of data is lacking.  Analysis of such data only provides mediocre and sometimes false information leading to poor business decisions.  Compiling a CRM database with quality information, not only about who your customers are but their behavioral tendencies as well, will provide more accurate forecasting to better predict sales, retention, and possible customer service issues ultimately resulting in a better fan experience and increased revenue.”

The bottom line: Make or break

When beginning to work with a database or implementing a new one, keep data quality at the forefront of your mind.  Data quality can make or break the success of your implementation and usage of the system if the proper measures are not taken to ensure high levels of correct information.

 


 

Cover photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/sineimago/

 

Sponsorship Success is Defined by the Numbers You Measure

Sponsorship Success is Defined by the Numbers You Measure
by Tom Hughes – September 2013

“If I had a dollar to spend on marketing why would I spend it on sponsorship?”

                                                                                                                                        –Typical CMO

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked a variation of that question over the years, I could probably afford a nice presenting sponsorship somewhere.

One of the many challenges facing CMO’s these days is how to best deliver a return on investment on their marketing spend.  Unfortunately, sponsorship marketing is one of the least understood marketing channels and it is often one of the first channels to be asked to take a cut when those are necessary.

We marketers could potentially avoid that cut if we’re able to effectively capture (and communicate) our sponsorship return.  In order to do so, we have to collect and measure numerous direct and indirect variables.  We’ll need to measure the various elements included in exchange for our spend and the broader impact of your activation programs while also having a solid understanding of your market share, target customer, annual & lifetime value and a variety of other internal metrics.

Ultimately, since every sponsorship has different entitlements and each business has different metrics, there’s not one easy way to measure a return.  It’s not like some other channels where $1 spent will get me xxx impressions or xx click-throughs.

No Soup For You!  Next…

The result of this complicated sponsorship measurement process is that many companies have shied away from trying to truly measure their sponsorship return.  In this era of short attention spans and “just bottom-line it for me” management it’s often easier for a Marketing Exec to justify to a CEO that we’re going to spend $XX get this many impressions/clicks or this TV rating or hit these listeners than to try explain the many different variables that should go into capturing sponsorship return.

But I Was Told There Would Be No Math…

If you’re looking for a short, easy response to the question of why sponsorships are valuable, then choose any one (or all) of these:   Sponsorships…

  • Provide our brand with a way to break through the clutter in ways that traditional media can’t do.
  • Result in getting our customers to buy more product at a higher prices and stay with us longer.
  • Offers our business a completive advantage and force our competitors to spend more to keep up.
  • Amplify the results of all our other marketing channels leading to better results overall.

It’s Not Just Tickets and Signs?

No.  Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with some really smart people and together we’ve defined, redefined and refined the various elements that go into measuring sponsorship return for the brands we’ve worked with.

While every business is different there are some “typical” elements that you should be capturing when measuring a return on your sponsorship spend.   Here are just a few:

  • Brand Metrics (Awareness, Preference, Selection) – Numerous studies over the years have shown than sponsorships can move the needle for brand metrics when consumers are aware of the sponsorship.  You need to figure out how an increase in any or all of these metrics impacts your revenue?
  • Traditional Media (TV, Radio, Print, etc.) – What’s the traditional media value of the assets and how did they perform against expectations?  This may be the most straight-forward of all of them…
  • Digital Media (Online, Social, Mobile) – Brands have increasingly stressed the need to engage consumer beyond the stadium.  Online, Social and Mobile elements should be part of any activation plan but you should also have a plan for not just tracking but also placing a value on the engagement you get from those elements.
  • Sales Metrics (Both New & Retained) – How many direct sales did your sponsorship deliver, how many customers did it help to retain?  How much money are you saving by keeping the old customers?  How did your sponsorship impact the broader market – the people who knew you were a sponsor but didn’t buy directly or right away.
  • Hospitality – We often measure this in how much did a ticket or the access cost, but you should also consider how valuable the people you’re inviting are and how much additional business you are able to generate from them.
  • Customer Engagement – None of the other metrics matter much if people don’t know that you’re a sponsor of the property.  You should be working to develop activation programs that try to engage the largest possible, relevant audience.
  • Employee Engagement – Do you use you sponsorship to motivate employees?  How much more productivity to you get from employees with higher morale?  Does it have an impact on employee retention?
  • Property Alignment – The property itself can make a difference.  You don’t have to be aligned with the biggest and most popular property in your target market but you should be aligned with the right property.  You need to understand how the property lines up with your target customer, how you’ll fit in with the property’s other sponsors and how good (or difficult) they are to work with.  Any or all of these can impact overall performance.

Again, this list isn’t meant to be an all-inclusive list or the right list for every business.  Hopefully, it’s gotten you thinking about how you’re currently measuring your sponsorship ROI and given you some additional ammunition to answer the “$1 to spend” question the next time you’re asked.

This Is Great But How Does This Apply to the Property Side? 

Having worked with hundreds of properties and reviewed thousands of proposals, I can probably count on two hands the number of times a property asked me about how we’re going to measure the results.  By asking the question and gaining an understanding of exactly what the sponsor is going to measure, properties can help themselves by delivering the assets that are going to drive the best results for the sponsor.  A sponsor that can point to a positive ROI on sponsorship spend is more likely to renew or increase their spend than a sponsor that doesn’t have any results to speak of.  Just saying…

Thanks for reading.  Now it’s your turn.  What elements are you measuring to capture sponsorship return?

Are you coachable?

Are you coachable?
Jason's Fortune Cookie
Jason’s Fortune Cookie
by Jason Fortune – September 2013

Simple question, one would think. When we ask ourselves if we are coachable, most of us would say,  “Absolutely I am.”

But let’s dig a little deeper. Would your manager say you are coachable? If so, you will do four things.

1. Be Open Minded.

Simple questions you should ask yourself to make sure you are as open minded as you can possibly be:  

    1. Do you apply the feedback that you receive from your manager?
    2. Are you open to new ways of doing things, even if you have to step outside your comfort zone?
    3. Are you willing to give something a try that works for others, that you are not doing currently?

Managers don’t ask you to do something they don’t believe would work.  Be open to change. Step out of your comfort zone. If you’re uncomfortable trying new approaches, you may not be as coachable as you think.

2. Be Willing to Learn.

You can always expand your knowledge of the industry or company. Whether you are a rookie or a veteran, challenge yourself to learn new techniques. Don’t just use the knowledge from your manager; seek out your colleagues too.  If you haven’t asked for help lately, you may not be as coachable as you think.

Coach K (Duke Blue Devils Basketball Coach) said it best: When I first started with USA Basketball, people would say, ‘You’ve won three national championships, you’re in the Hall of Fame.  You know it.’  No, you don’t.  There’s always something to learn.  To think otherwise would be arrogant and narrow-minded, and not very smart.”  

When you reach your sales goals, what do you do? Does being at the top of the sales charts mean you know everything there is to know about selling?  Never stop learning.  The day you think you know it all is the day you ought to get out of the business. 

3. Plan and partner for success

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Wade Graf
Wade Graf

“When hiring new reps, we always look for those looking to advance professionally. When we ask someone during an interview where they see themselves in five years, it is very impressive when they discuss how they want to have success as a sales representative, but ultimately want to be a sales manager. As sales managers, we love to invest significant amount of time and energy preparing our staff for career advancement, so it is imperative for the representative to share that same desire to learn, grow and develop their skill sets.” [/dropshadowbox]First, do you have a plan?  What specific steps do you need to implement to reach your goals?

Second, if you’ve not met with your manager to discuss this plan and how to work together to reach the goals, you may not be as coachable as you think.

Develop a strategic plan with your manager. Invite your manager to be a part of your personal goals, not just your company goals. The biggest hurdle in success is complacency.  It can be a career killer.

4. Listen. Really.

This is the most challenging and important characteristics of coachable people. Too often we spend too much time speaking, suggesting, solving, and selling!  We forget to listen.

You must listen to know client needs. You must listen to know what your manager expects.  What’s the difference between hearing and listening? Hearing doesn’t become listening until you allow in what is being said and actually apply it. If you haven’t changed behavior based on what your manager said lately, you might not be as coachable as you think.

Good coaching

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Chris Faulkner
Chris Faulkner

“The best sales people I have had over the years have the unique ability to be quiet and listen to the client or prospective buyer. Buyers will tell you exactly what they are looking for if you give them the opportunity. Too often sales people think they need to fill dead air with conversation, when in actuality they need to just ‘shut up’ and listen.” [/dropshadowbox]

As a manager, we are searching for superstars to coach.  Anyone can be a part of the team, but superstars are open minded, have a strong desire to learn, are 100% determined to succeed with our help, and most important, employ a willingness to listen to direction.

We would love to hear some feedback or characteristics that you have noticed that makes someone coachable. In fact, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what makes a good coach!


Cover photo courtesy of Kevin Krause.

 

How can leagues and teams build excitement? Step outside your box! Literally.

How can leagues and teams build excitement? Step outside your box! Literally.
by Kelly Cheeseman – September 2013

When the NHL announced in May that they will be expanding their highly successful outdoor game concept showcased by their New Year’s day Winter Classic, many critics asked how much is too much? I’d like to think of it as stepping outside the box, since so much of what we do is focused on what goes on inside a big box we call our arena.

With the announcement of the Stadium Series presented by Coors Light, the NHL will be adding 5 additional games to the lineup. Gary Bettman was noted as saying,

Gary Bettman“The reason we’re doing more outdoor games is really what it’s now doing locally,” Bettman said. “This is an incomparable event and what happens is fans get connected to the game in ways they never imagined, we get new fans who, for the first time, will come and be a part of this. This is a fan-oriented, fan-driven event, and that’s why we’re doing so many games so we can bring it to more fans.” (Thursday, 08.08.2013 / 4:55 PM / The Canadian Press)

Outdoor Hockey in LA

If you were in LA looking for an outdoor venue for hockey, where would you look? What about Dodger Stadium?

  • Opened April 10, 1962; the third-oldest continually used park in Major League Baseball.
  • Hosted more than 147 million fans since it opened
  • Hosted eight World Series and close to 4,000 regular-season games.
  • Zero hockey games.

With a remarkable view of Chavez Ravine overlooking downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel mountains, Dodger Stadium has been called one of the treasured cathedrals of baseball with one of the most unique and picturesque settings in sports. Of course, critics ask how a hockey game is possible in a “warm weather city”? Doesn’t it need to be freezing cold?

weather

The Kings actually have some history with outdoor hockey events. The NHL’s first outdoor game was an exhibition in the parking lot of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Sept. 27, 1991. That game took place in 85-degree weather. But, further evidence as to the possibility of this game is simple science. The average high in January in Los Angeles is 68 and the average nighttime low is 48 degrees. Translation? If we play the averages, we are slated to have one of the best settings for a hockey game imaginable. In fact, with a little luck, we’ll have temperatures more pleasurable than a full NHL venue on a game night.

With all of this in mind, when the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks were asked to participate in an outdoor game in our market in one of the most iconic and historical venues in the history of our country, Gary Bettman’s words “incomparable”, “innovative”, “fan driven” all came to mind.

Since the arrival of the Kings in Los Angeles in 1967 many stepping stones have been passed to spur the growth of the game on the West Coast:

  • The Gretzky trade in 1988,
  • The arrival of the San Jose Sharks in 1991,
  • The Kings 1993 Stanley Cup Finals participation,
  • The arrival of the Anaheim Ducks (also 1993), and
  • The marquee moments of Stanley Cup Championships for the Ducks in 2006 and Kings in 2012.

All have lead us to this moment where the Kings and Ducks can showcase the game on one of the most unique stages during the Grammy Awards’ weekend in Los Angeles.

Measures of success

As we plan ahead for this moment in January we often ask ourselves what will be the measuring stick of success for this game? Will it be a sold out venue? Big NBC national ratings?

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Luc Robitaille
Luc Robitaille

“This is a credit to our fans and the amazing support they have shown to us and the NHL these past few years. This will be a sporting event like no other that has ever been seen in Southern California and we are proud to be a part of it.” [/dropshadowbox]With this platform these two outcomes are almost certainties. A sell out and a big national rating are almost a given. Broadcast partners indicate an excitement for this game and ticket sales trends are ahead of all historical trends of other outdoor games.

But for us, the growth of the game on the west coast is the most important measuring stick. Big local ratings, attention to the Ducks and Kings Freeway Faceoff rivalry, and the ability for as many hockey and sports fans in Los Angeles to be touched by this game will create the sustainable impact we are looking for short and long term. Plans are still in the works to capitalize on this moment, but these are the objectives we are focused on. We welcome any constructive comments or creative ideas below!

In a game slated to be one of the most historical hockey events ever, the NHL has a chance to garner the attention of the local and national media like never before. As, the host and participating home club, we have a platform to grow the game in a way never available to a market like Southern California.


Cover photo courtesy of Marian Stanton.

 

GenX and GenY: Tips for working with each other on the same team

GenX and GenY: Tips for working with each other on the same team
by Brian Erenrich – September 2013

Co-authored with David Quill.


At times it feels as if Generation X and Y have declared “war” on one another. Yet, instead of looking at the negatives (highlighted below), we need to focus on the positives and how we can collaborate.

So let’s look at the good, the bad, the ugly. But let’s also examine the opportunity for great teams to achieve great results with in the sport business industry.

Gen x vs. Gen Y

Generation X (born 1965-1981)

  • Enjoy projects with deadlines and little supervision (freedom)
  • Resilient
  • Critical thinking
  • Career first then work-life balance and money
  • Sales presentation: one speech with no feedback

Generation Y (born 1982-2000)

  • Narcissistic, entitled
  • Enjoy working on projects that involve multi-tasking and technology (engagement)
  • Education vs. experience
  • Impact now
  • Money and work-life balance then career
  • Sales presentation: work the room (many small conversations telling a story)

Similar values

  1. Intrinsic: interesting work, learning opportunities, being challenged
  2. Extrinsic: pay, promotions, status
  3. Altruistic: helping others, contributing to society
  4. Leisure: vacation time, work life balance
  5. Social: interacting with others, making friends

Advice for Gen X dealing with Gen Y (Gen Y Perspective):

  • Be patient! We want all the answers now but we don’t need them. Challenge us by asking questions to our questions.
  • Mentor us! We need to be guided. We think we have the answers but we really do not. Learning from you, will helps us in the long run.
  • Teach us how to perform tasks independently.

Advice for Gen Y (Gen Y Perspective):

  • Slow down, take notice of your surroundings instead of your 3 screens (cell phone, computer, TV)
  • Spend more time getting to know others face to face opposed to text and email
  • Concentrate on the journey not the end result or money
  • Be patient with others and yourself, in business there is little instant gratification, not everybody moves at your speed

When it comes to the values of both generations there are many similarities.  To succeed in sport business we need to work together and adapt.

With both generations bringing so much value from the old business world and new business world it only makes sense that collaboration is a must.

Learning from each other will not only enhance the work place but the sport business as a whole.

How to create a successful university season ticket holder retention program

How to create a successful university season ticket holder retention program
by Bryce Killingsworth – September 2013

Connecting Fans

What is customer service?

Customer service is taking an ordinary situation and making it extraordinary. At Oklahoma State University, we implemented a newly developed retention program to build long-term relationships while providing supreme customer service.

The retention program includes four representatives focused on (1) connecting with the fans, (2) moving fans through the buying funnel, and (3) cultivating fans for life. We believe our best marketing plan includes a superb customer service plan.

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Bill Sutton
Bill Sutton

“As a three time graduate of Oklahoma State University, and as an academic leader and consultant in the area of sport marketing – particularly as it relates to sales and retention, I am excited to see OSU Athletics realizing the importance of retention activities. OSU has decided to keep its sales and retention activities in house and is taking responsibility for the revenue generation necessitated by that approach. Having dedicated retention specialists, much like the majority of pro sport franchises, shows the Cowboys’ commitment to their customers and shows a deep understanding and strategic approach to not only customer satisfaction – but customer happiness.” [/dropshadowbox]

How we do it

The stadium sections are divided among the four reps. Each rep takes full responsibility for providing customer service for the assigned fan base and increasing renewal rate percentages. By assigning specific sections we can target more personal messages toward customers. We provide a personal touch by:

  1. Personally calling or e-mailing every season ticket holder as the first touch point.
  2. As relationships build, we make arrangements to meet season ticket holders at their tailgates on game day and bring them a small gift (poster, lapel pin, etc.) as a gesture of appreciation.
  3. This season we are leaving a personal thank you card on the seat of season ticket holders to display appreciation. Reps will provide their business card inside the note to personalize the relationship.
  4. We invite football season ticket holders over for a basketball game with complimentary tickets. When they come in to retrieve the tickets we offer refreshments, adding another touch point.

Anytime we have an opportunity to meet a fan in person is an advantage for us, as we provide that personal connection and increase the level of the relationship between the fan and Oklahoma State University.

Seizing first impression opportunities

Last season, I helped a dad buy single game tickets to take his son to his first ever football game on his birthday. I took notes of their names and seat locations and just before kickoff I went up to their seats to introduce myself and wish the boy a Happy Birthday. I also gave him a gift bag that included an OSU poster. Both the father and son were overjoyed. Seizing first impression opportunities produces a significant impact on the buyer’s connection to the program.

Results

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]“To me, the best part of the program is that it falls perfectly in line with our long term approach to relationship building. We want our fans to feel connected to our program and our university. This is just another aspect of how we do this.” Adam J. Haukap [/dropshadowbox]The most notable benefits from the program?

  1. Decreased complaints. That means not only happier fans but also saved time by administration not putting out fires. The complaints are virtually non-existent at this point.
  2. Improved process for dealing with issues. Problems still come up. But with the retention program each one is addressed in a timely manner with full communication throughout the process with the fan. The issues are managed at the lower level and rarely need reach the AD. This creates a great working environment for everyone. Fans are able to speak with a rep instead of feeling like they are battling an organization.
  3. Increased interaction. One indication our program is being productive is our direct lines ring more than our general office line. Customers directly reach out to their reps rather than dialing the 1-800 line.
  4. Increased referrals. Customers voluntarily give out referrals of friends, family, and co-workers on a regular basis to help extend the Oklahoma State family. This translates into less reliance on finding new leads each off-season to reach department goals.

We now have better quality data when making decisions and developing strategies in our retention program as we continue to increase our renewal rate percentages. OSU just broke their personal record of public season ticket sales for the fifth time in six years, in large part to increased motivation of our reps in providing great customer service in-season and out-of-season to the OSU fan base.

S3 Back to School

S3 Back to School
by Kirk Wakefield – September 2013

Our Back-to-School September issue of the S3 Report includes two articles focused on selling NCAA sports:

  • Bryce Killingsworth (Oklahoma State University) explains how and why their innovative STH retention program has been successful. Read more…
  • Brian Erenrich and David Quill (both with Aspire at Georgia Tech) report on how Gen Y salespeople and Gen X managers differ and how they can learn to play well together. Read more…

We look to add more content aimed at NCAA sports. Let us know if you have ideas or interests in contributing. Thanks to Bryce, Brian & David for stepping up!


In news on the Baylor home front, we ended the summer with our first ever Baylor S3 DFW Summer Bash!

Lisa DePoy, Senior Marketing Director for On the Border, hosted the event at On the Border in Addison, Texas. Paige Phillips (S3 ’10), Account Manager at GMR Marketing, also helped host.

Lisa Depoy
Lisa Depoy
Tommy Wright
Tommy Wright
John Burnett
John Burnett

Tommy Wright (S3 ’11), Regional Sales Manager at Legends Sales & Marketing, and John Burnett, Executive Director of Marketing at Southwest Media Group, created the event. Wright and Burnett put their heads together earlier in the summer and came up with the idea for the gathering, realizing how many Baylor S3 interns, board members, alumni and friends were located in the DFW area.

Interns shared summer experiences and received feedback from executives about next steps to take on possible entry-level jobs next year.  Most of all, interns, alumni, and executives alike enjoyed networking and catching-up, while continuing to support Baylor and the S3 program.

Feedback & insights

We asked some of the attendees about their involvement and interest in supporting the Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) program at Baylor.

Bill Boyce
Bill Boyce
Stan Wagnon
Stan Wagnon
Brian Christensen
Brian Christensen

“Partnering with the Baylor S3 Program is a win/win/win: Every student, graduate, faculty member, sponsor, and team who contributes also benefits. I attended the event to support the interns, the program, and the people who had the vision to invent and implement the event. Great job! I came away from the event energized from interacting with the interns, sponsors, and teams and from hearing about so many great things happening in the industry.” ~Bill Boyce, President, Texas Legends

 “My first exposure to the Baylor S3 program dates back to last fall when Tommy Wright was hired by Legends to represent the Lone Star Conference in corporate sales efforts. This summer the quality of the S3 program came into full view as we added Brian Christensen as a summer intern. Having had two S3 products in our office daily, it is clear to see the program instills a good sense of purpose and direction in its students. It’s refreshing to have employees who are intentional and strategic about the way they approach their business, confident in their ability to do the work, and eager enough to ask the right questions.” ~Stan Wagnon, Commissioner, Lone Star Conference

“One of the main reasons I chose the S3 major was the fact that at the time I attended Baylor, I saw many people around me graduating with no job lined up. The S3 major’s curriculum, board of directors, and internship opportunities guarantee you will find success as long as you are willing to put in the work. I came to see old friends and meet new faces. I love hearing success stories from other S3 members.” ~Paige Phillips (S3 ’10), Account Manager, GMR Marketing

Brian Christensen (S3 ’14) helped organize the event and provided the report and pictures of the event. Nice work, Brian!

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