Help us help you: How to utilize your marketing team to grow sales

Help us help you: How to utilize your marketing team to grow sales
by Alexis Sidney – October 2015

Successful sales teams build strong relationships. Client relationships are important. Building strong relationships within the company and specifically with the marketing department is also important. Marketers support revenue generating goals by crafting a strong and memorable message, building an effective and integrated promotional plan, and reaching beyond the typical target audience.

The sales staff and management can work effectively with the marketing team to maximize sales and revenue by following these five guidelines: 

  1. Build a relationship. As with any coworker, build a rapport with your marketing contact so you aren’t only reaching out when you need something. Show an interest in his or her job and learn what responsibilities s/he has. Encourage them to get familiar with your role as well.
  2. Share your strategy. Let marketing know your goals. What does success looks like for each project? In general, salespeople and marketers provide unique perspectives on the same task. Inter-department collaboration on a marketing and sales plan will encourage teamwork and promote an understanding of each other’s goals.
  3. Get a point person. At the Mavs, a marketing position serves as the primary liaison for ticket sales creative and promotional requests. The marketing contact collaborates with ticket sales and gains a thorough understanding of their needs while maintaining final creative approval. It also encourages a sales focused perspective when making marketing decisions such as theme nights, promotions, premium items, etc.
  4. Plan ahead. One of the most important factors in creating a successful marketing campaign is preparation. Sales employees are sometimes shocked to learn the lead time required to send a seemingly simple message. Many moving pieces need to be coordinated internally before going public. Marketing needs time to design graphics, create messaging, schedule promotions and advertisements, and ensure accuracy before moving forward. Messages can change quickly during a season, so it is important to prioritize major or recurring sales goals in advance to ensure that these messages get necessary time and attention.
  5. Keep open lines of communication. Marketing contacts are usually the most informed on the upcoming communication priorities across the organization. Be sure to include at least one marketing contact in your annual planning and relevant department meetings. Keep them up-to-date on your upcoming priorities. This will allow them to integrate fresh sales messages into promotional schedules and recommend additional sales opportunities throughout the year that might otherwise be overlooked.

Although we work in different departments, we are all on the same team. It’s everyone’s job to sell tickets, “put butts in seats,” generate revenue, drive fan engagement and create memories. Help us help you (and hopefully you’ll help us too).

8 Tips to Getting Promoted in the Sports Industry

8 Tips to Getting Promoted in the Sports Industry
by Rocky Harris – October 2015

Managing expectations

I get asked all the time what it takes to get promoted in the sports industry. Over the last 15 years the industry has encountered rapid growth, which has provided more professional opportunities and raised expectations for getting promoted faster.

When I got my first full-time job with the San Francisco 49ers, I felt lucky to have an entry-level position. It was highly competitive. No one seemed to get promoted or leave for other jobs. Upward mobility was more aspirational than realistic. Today, people enter the industry expecting to become athletics director, president or general manager by the time they are 30. Somewhere along the way, we stopped worrying about excelling at our current jobs and only focused on reaching the next step.

How to advance in 8 easy steps

Instead of trying to reverse the course of the industry, I have some direction for those looking to advance their careers.

  1. nickbakerExcel at your current job: Many people think all they have to do to get promoted is meet the minimum expectations for their current positions. I always tell my staff that the first step is to excel at what you were hired to accomplish. AEG Senior Vice President Nick Baker, who started at AEG as an intern and worked his way up, explained: “You have to have proven excellence in your current role before you can be considered for additional responsibilities and opportunities.”
  2. Impact other departments: Once you effectively manage all current responsibilities, the next step is to positively impact and contribute to other departments. It shows you are a team player. Other leaders within the organization will notice your contribution in helping them reach their goals.
  3. Focus on solving organizational objectives: I was told early in my career to solve the problems of the most senior decision-maker in the department (president, athletics director, owner, etc.). After perfecting the job you are hired to do and helping other departments reach their goals, spend your spare time figuring out ways to solve organizational problems. Delivering a solution to an issue that keeps the team owner up at night will help you get noticed and promoted.
  4. Know your strengths and weaknesses: Focus on using your strengths to deliver short-term results. Develop and display a skill set relevant to the objectives of the organization. Example: If your boss is a luddite, and you are tech-savvy, your technology skills can deliver value to the organization that no one else can that sets you apart.
  5. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have: One employee asked for a promotion because he felt he was ready to take on a more senior role. I told my boss about his desire for advancement and we were considering it. The next day, the employee walked in to the office with tennis shoes and his shirt un-tucked. My boss said he refused to promote him, regardless of the work he produces, until he learns professionalism.
  6. Find mentors: I wouldn’t be where I am without the help of others. It is critical to your professional development. Mentors can help you develop your personal plan and provide much-needed guidance.
  7. Build relationships: Have a positive attitude. Be the kind of person people want to work with. Leaders can easily identify divisive people. Dividers will not be promoted regardless of the results they drive.
  8. stevewebbBe open to change: Executive Director of Compliance at Arizona State University, Steve Webb, has lived in four different states to pursue his goals in the sports industry. Webb said, “In the sports industry, you have to be willing to change jobs, move and take on new roles in order to grow. The more flexible you are, the more likely you will move up the ladder quicker.”

 

These steps do not guarantee you will fast-track to the top of an organization. But, if that is your goal, these pointers will give you the best chance to reach your career goals.


Cover photo courtesy of Pascal.

 

2015 Baylor S3 Board Meeting in Pictures

2015 Baylor S3 Board Meeting in Pictures
by Kirk Wakefield – October 2015

The 2015 Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) Board Meeting was held October 20-21 along the banks of the Brazos in beautiful Waco, Texas. With over 80 executives and managers attending and over 40 managers interviewing S3 juniors and seniors for internships and positions, it marked the 12th year of continuous growth for the program. The S3 program admits up to 38 highly qualified students into its junior class each year to focus on sports sales, CRM & sales analytics. In 2015, 97% of graduating seniors were placed in industry positions.

2015 S3 Board Meeting Attendees

First Last Organization First Last Organization First Last Organization
Alan Aldwell Pittsburgh Pirates George Killebrew Dallas Mavs Bryan Apgar Website Alive
Spencer Ambrosius LA FC Kenny Koperda Minnesota Timberwolves Jody Bell Pizza Hut
Deno Anagnost Tampa Bay Bucs Andre Luck Houston Astros Derek Blake La Quinta Inns & Suites
Lindsay Beale San Antonio Spurs Clark McCormack Dallas Mavericks Larry Brantley The Company of Others
Derek Beeman Houston Texans Matt McInnis FC Dallas John Burnett Consulting
Brandon Bittel AEG/LA Kings Shawn McIntosh Houston Dynamo Brooks Byers Sports Desk Media
Joe Clark San Antonio Spurs Eric McKenzie San Diego Padres Laura Cade La Quinta Inns & Suites
Matt Clark San Diego Padres Nick McNeil Pittsburgh Pirates Lynda Carrier-Metz Pizza Hut
Murray Cohn NBA Drew Mitchell Texas Legends Tory Castillo Jack Morton Agency
Elliott Crichfield Denver Nuggets Jayson Morgan Dallas Cowboys Travis Dillon The Marketing Arm
Hayley DiNaso Minnesota Timberwolves Brian Norman Philadelphia 76ers Eric Fernandez Sports Desk Media
Justin Dunn Columbus Blue Jackets Pat O’Connor MiLB Tom Fletcher IMG
Jeff Eldersveld Columbus Blue Jackets Sean O’Connor Charlotte Hornets Bill Guertin 800 Pound Gorilla
Rob Erwin Dallas Mavs Sarah Proctor Philadelphia 76ers Jon Heidtke Fox Sports Southwest
Chelsea Fenstermacher Philadelphis 76ers Mitch Ried Cleveland Cavs Hunter Klop General Motors
Shannon Fischer Houston Rockets Jay Riola Orlando Magic Jose Lozano The Company of Others
Makinzie Foos Memphis Grizzlies Joe Schiavi Detroit Pistons Ryan Luckey AT&T
Sean Foster Houston Dynamo Andrew Sidney Houston Rockets Dan Migala PCG
Travis Gafford Dallas Stars Steve Timms Houston Golf Assoc. Bill Moseley AT&T
Mitch Gall Air Force Academy Jake Vernon Minnesota Timberwolves Jay Ory IMG
Brian George IMG-Baylor Andrew Vitale Memphis Grizzlies Tom Parsons Time Warner Cable Business
Stephen Gray Austin Spurs Adam Vogel NY Mets David Peart Root Sports
Greg Grissom Houston Texans Wil Walters Minnesota Timberwolves Katie Scallan Gulf States Toyota
Flavil Hampsten San Jose Sharks Lauren Ward Houston Rockets Jake Shockley State Farm
Leslie Horn Dallas Stars Heidi Weingartner Dallas Cowboys Bill Spicer Consulting
Anthony Horton San Antonio Spurs Jake Winowich Houston Astros Tami Walker Phillips 66
Tyler Howell Portland Trail Blazers Tommy Wright Houston Golf Assoc.
Chase Jolesch Baylor Athletics Tickets Justin Wynter Austin Spurs
Chase Kanaly Houston Astros Rob Zuer Denver Nuggets

2015 S3 Awards

Hunter Klop, District Sales Manager, presented the Chevrolet 2015 awards for outstanding service to the S3 program. Heidi Weingartner, Chief HR Officer of the Dallas Cowboys, received the Chevrolet Award for Outstanding Team Board Member. Kelly Roddy, President of Schlotzsky’s, was recognized as the Chevrolet Outstanding Corporate Board Member. The Chevrolet Award for Outstanding S3 Alumnus went to Brian George (S3 ’07), General Manager of IMG/Baylor. The Chevrolet Outstanding S3 Report Writer Award went to Andre Luck, Manager of Inside Sales at the Houston Astros, for his article, “5 Characteristics of the Best Salespeople.”

S3 Board in Pictures

Tami T. Walker
Tami T. Walker

The Phillips 66 S3 Banquet was held at the Hilton in Waco, Texas. Special thanks to Tami T. Walker, Phillips 66, for helping us enjoy the evening with fine food & festivities! Pat O’Conner, President & CEO of MiLB, was guest speaker, hosted by Dan Migala (see cover photo).

 

 

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The board meeting was held at the new Paul L. Foster Campus for Innovation and Business on the Baylor campus. Drew Mitchell (S3 ’06), CRO of the Texas Legends, led a panel discussion on “Branding you: Making yourself stand out in the business of sports,” with Tami T. Walker (BU ’86), Phillips 66; Derek Blake (BU ’86), La Quinta Inns & Suites and Greg Grissom (BU ’94), Houston Texans. Murray Cohn, the NBA’s Vice President Team Ticket Sales, led a group of All-Star Managers to guide S3 majors to position themselves with positivity, work ethic, coachability, honesty & integrity and remembering that good is the enemy of great.

nba panel

Dan Migala led a panel discussion on “The Art of the Deal: Emerging Trends in Structuring Partnerships,” with panelists Jose Lozano (BU ’93), The Company, Brian George (S3 ’07), and Ryan Luckey, AT&T.  Bryan Apgar (S3 ’08), Website Alive, moderated a panel on “Selling in the Social Space,” with Joe Schaivi, Palace Sports, Mitch Ried, Cleveland Cavaliers, Andrew Vitale (S3 ’14), Memphis Grizzlies, and Brooks Byers (S3 ’14), Sports Desk Media.  You can find these and many more in the slideshow below!

We look forward to next year’s board meeting on October 11 & 12, 2016. For more information, contact Dr. Darryl Lehnus or Dr. Kirk Wakefield.

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How to Win Fans Regardless of Team Performance

How to Win Fans Regardless of Team Performance
by Scott Adamek – October 2015

Winning is the lone word too many people think will solve every single problem in a sports organization.  Don’t get me wrong; when team performance flourishes most things get better. Personally, I don’t have much experience with such situations. You might call me unlucky, but I consider myself one of the luckiest people. Why? Because I’ve learned and developed ways to sell a losing team.  Team performance is one of the biggest objections we face in selling sports.   Below are three tips for success, regardless of how the team is doing in the standings.

1. Win the heart or mind of your prospect

What kind of person are you dealing with? Is emotion (heart) or logic (mind) the best route to talk with them?

Connect with emotions by sharing personal anecdotes. Have them open up about experiences with your team or venue. Ask about personal game-day stories. Reminisce in the great times they’ve had.  For many people, buying tickets is an emotionally-driven buy.

Win the minds of analytical, price/data-driven people by helping them solve a complex problem. Selling to businesses and partnerships requires developing a partnership approach. You are helping them identify a need. They may not have been able to specify the real need. Use proof to discuss your ticket/partnership solution in very tangible ways.

“Always sell the experiences and the memories. I vividly remember going to games when I was young. The things I remember are the fun experiences I had with the people close to me, not the win or loss. Sales execs need to tap into those experiences, and who they spent them with.  Those are the things you’re after. Not wins and losses.”  – Rob Kristiniak, Director of Group Sales, Florida Panthers

2. Groups, groups, groups

Group tickets are the heart and soul of an organization not performing well on the field or court.  Theme nights attract groups. Groups mean hundreds or thousands of tickets bought by people who would not come to that specific game in the first place.  Some successful theme nights include sports disability night, singles night, breast cancer awareness day, and armed forces day.

Provide a unique experience and purpose to sell the group leader.  The group event or theme night exposes thousands of new people to your product who you can now prospect as warm leads. In turn, they may progress into partial plans and season tickets. Successful theme nights require planning and attention to detail, but the experience will be memorable for both you and the attendees.

3. Sell hope

Hope can be defined by “a feeling of expectation, trust, and desire for a certain thing to happen.”  How do you think the Baylors of the world got so good at football? Coach Art Briles sold two and three star recruits on the belief and hope of where the football program was going.

We will always have bandwagon fans. You won’t win them all over. But, tap into their hearts and minds about the hope of good things to come, the tradition of coming to games, and how it’s a “party” no matter what.  Hope and tradition can go a long way if you know your product and [act like you] know where your team is going. When the team is down:

“The best recourse to take is high energy. People won’t get excited about the team if you’re not excited about the team. Stand up, talk with your hands and really get into it when you’re on the phone. You have to sell the energy and excitement that will be there regardless of team performance. When we sell our home games, we are selling 40 hockey parties a year, and going to make sure it’s truly a party.” –Travis Gafford, Premium Sales Executive, Dallas Stars

Conclusion

Just remember, improvement is a process. Success is a process. Becoming the best is a process.  Success takes time. Being one of the best is hard. It does not happen overnight. Work with passion. Mentally prepare to give your best. The best salespeople can push past hard – don’t let it stop you!

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