A Different Kind of Sports Conference

A Different Kind of Sports Conference
by Kirk Wakefield – April 2016

We have all been to sports conferences that focus on best practices at work. But, can we be the best at work while also being the best at home? The Daniel Summit focuses on leadership, personal and character development. We don’t have to choose between being the best at home or the best at work. We can do both!

With that idea in mind, the Daniel Summit was founded in 2013 by several top sports executives across all leagues. The summit gathers men and women within the sports & entertainment industry, committed to excellence personally and professionally. Participants share a common goal of using the platform God has provided to positively influence the personal and professional lives of others. Check out the vision here to learn more.

The goals of the summit

  • To challenge & encourage attendees to use the sports and entertainment platform/influence they have been given for God
  • To equip attendees to be better leaders/executives, spouses and parents
  • To provide attendees a year-round support system of like-minded men and women within the sports and entertainment industries

We expect over 100 people to participate this year. The speaker line up is strong. Below are a few of them:

  • Mitch Barnhart, Athletic Director @University of Kentucky
  • Bobby Evans, SVP/GM @San Francisco Giants
  • Erik Greupner, EVP/General Counsel @San Diego Padres
  • Mark Foreman, Lead Pastor @North Coast Calvary Chapel

Join us!

Do you work in the sports industry? Are you passionate about excellence personally and professionally? We hope you will join us this July 15-16 in Carlsbad, California.

If you have more questions, need more information, or would like to register, please visit www.danielsummit.com. Follow on Twitter to get updates and leadership insights @TheDanielSummit.

How the San Antonio Spurs Grow Good People

How the San Antonio Spurs Grow Good People
by Laural Logan-Fain – April 2016

Defining Culture

Culture is defined as the customs, rituals, and values shared with the members of an organization. You can see it by watching the way people interact every day. Culture is ever evolving. Culture is not something you can necessarily control; but it is something about which you can be purposeful. Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.” At Spurs Sports & Entertainment, we recognize that every employee plays a part in shaping our culture. Like any worthwhile venture, it takes consistent effort with all of us working together as a team to create a culture that is reflective of our values: Integrity, Caring, Success!

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Biologist and educator Thomas Huxley noted, “The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.”

When we hire at Spurs Sports & Entertainment, we actively seek people who are not only highly proficient in their roles, but also fit with our culture and reflect our corporate values. Many of our staff have grown up in the organization, starting out as interns or assistants, but over time have grown to become our managers, directors, and vice presidents. This is great for stability, but as with any company, our staff (especially our ever-growing Millennial population) are eager to climb the proverbial corporate ladder. However, as a relatively small organization with many long-tenured members, the ladder may seem to some more like a step stool with only a few rungs.

Changing the Conversation

Author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “Too many people spend more time planning how to get the job than on how to become productive and successful in that job.”

Like most organizations, we are mindful of increasing employee satisfaction and decreasing turnover rates. To accomplish this, we began to shift the conversation. Instead of focusing on promotion and ladder climbing, we emphasize continual personal growth and ongoing professional development. We implemented an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and began having career discovery (or as we lovingly call them “What do I want to be when I grow up?”) conversations with staff. As part of the IDP, staff also set short- and long-term goals and identify support they need to achieve their goals. The focus is on the whole person. We still talk about career paths and promotions, but the conversation has expanded to include “How can I grow personally? How can I develop professionally?”

Develop, Grow, Lead

As author and leadership guru John Maxwell states, “Success each day should be judged by the seeds sown, not the harvest reaped.”

In an effort to assist employee development we launched our corporate university, Spurs Sports & Entertainment University (SSEU). Our SSEU tagline reads: “Growing human capital is our number one priority.” Classes are offered during work hours, are hands-on, and cover a variety of topics. They are facilitated live by in-house experts to encourage the cultivation of ideas and relationships across departments. SSEU is supported at the highest level of the organization and every executive teaches a different course. Staff are invited to have breakfast with the president and discuss culture. They can learn about strategic planning, including the development of major vs. minor league sports, from an executive vice president.

We offer values based leadership courses that reinforce our corporate values and provide tools for staff to better handle conflict and work more effectively with one another. Our Leadership 101 series helps managers make the transition from being an individual contributor to an effective leader of people. Other course topics include game presentation, presentation skills, using data, creativity, writing skills, and much, much more. We also offer facilitated team building sessions for departments and cross-functional teams to help break down silos and build trust. Critical to having a successful culture is recognizing that employees are our greatest asset. Through SSEU, we continually invest in our human capital.

The Results

A year after launching the IDP and SSEU, our company culture survey reported increases in employee satisfaction. Employees identified that someone at work encourages their development (88%, up 15%); their manager takes time to talk with them about their professional goals (91%, up 10%); and they have a good understanding of their strengths and areas of improvement (82%, up 17%). Our culture continues to reflect our values of Integrity, Caring, Success, but it has evolved to include greater opportunities and support for staff to grow personally and develop professionally.

Pitch Perfect Alpha

How a Team’s Values Can Shape Lives

How a Team’s Values Can Shape Lives
by Joey Harvey – April 2016

HOW THE SPURS’ VALUES SHAPED MY CAREER LIFE

Spurs Sports & Entertainment operates its business on a daily basis under the umbrella of three primary values: integrity, success, and caring. The aim is to make every decision while upholding each value. These three values have led to growth not only in my career, but my personal life.

Start with integrity

It begins with integrity. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has said multiple times that he looks to bring in players and coaches that are “over themselves.” That is, people who are able to put aside their own egos and realize the betterment of the team is the most important.

On the business side, the people that stick around and build good careers do so while doing things the right way. Treating coworkers with respect, avoiding office drama, rumors, and politics, and focusing on being the best person at your job are the simplest ways to uphold your integrity and build a name for yourself.

Add attitude & effort to get results

The order or formula of what leads to success was taught to me as: Attitude + Effort = Results. When you combine a positive attitude with maximum effort, the results will come. Effort isn’t all about repetition, but it’s about repeating (or practicing) the right way. It’s not about making 100 phone calls a day, but rather perfecting your technique on those calls and using each one as an opportunity to make yourself better.

The right attitude and effort leads to success. You can be the nicest person in the world and have the highest level of integrity, but if you don’t effectively do the job you’re hired to do, there is no place for you with the company. We are a business, after all.

Ticket sales is much like a sport. Regardless of success rate or revenue you’ve brought in, the landscape constantly moves forward. You have to adjust. If you don’t adapt and think ahead about what’s next, you’ll fall behind. Always be open to sharpening your skills and learning more. Take something from each trainer or manager you come across and figure out how it could apply to your own approach. Never stop learning and striving to become better. The more open you are to being coached, the more success you will have.

Give a care

Most importantly, to me, is caring. When I approached a few of my managers to discuss some personal issues that might cause me to miss some time at work, the response was “We love you man, and we are here to support you.” Do you know how powerful that is to hear? You don’t find that level of care at just any company.

We don’t try to force caring; it’s just who you are. I sat in on a session led by Spurs General Manager RC Buford a few years ago. He said it simply: “A company’s culture is developed by the kind of people you bring in.” When the right people are brought in, the culture essentially develops itself.

My closest friends now are current coworkers or have worked for the Spurs in the past. I’m in a wedding in June between two former Spurs coworkers. The groom’s bachelor party? Mostly members of our 2010 inside sales class. Many of them live in different states now across the country. When you have a culture that treats employees like family, it allows you to invest in each other as people, develop lasting relationships, and create a network of support that only translates into more cohesiveness in the workplace.

I can’t help but believe that the values of integrity, success and caring have led to so much success for the Spurs on the basketball court. I can say with certainty it’s what’s led to my personal success in the business office.

 

What’s new in S3 for 2016-17?

What’s new in S3 for 2016-17?
by Kirk Wakefield – April 2016

April 2016 Newsletter

We have big plans for the 2016-17 academic year. Here’s some of what’s in store!


Friday, November 4, 2016

S3 Senior Pro Day

  • Texas BBQ on Thursday Night:  S3 Advisory Board members meet the students & network with managers the night before interviews.
  • S3 Senior Interviews All-Day Friday: Managers meet each senior for 10 minutes in the morning, speed-dating style; then call back your top draft picks for afternoon interviews.
  • Stay over for the TCU-BU game on Saturday, November 5, 2016.
  • All S3 Advisory board teams and companies are invited to interview our 40 seniors for 2016-17! Board members should feel free to invite HR personnel to join us for the Senior Pro Day!
  • Virtual interviews may also be set-up for those who cannot make the physical trip to Waco.
  • Mark your calendars now. Official invites will arrive via email.

Tuesday & Wednesday, January 17 & 18, 2017

S3 Board Meeting

Based on insights provided by the S3 Executive Council and input from board members, we recognize that focusing on recruiting seniors in November and juniors in January better fits the schedules of many teams and companies. Hiring managers will get to meet every senior at the fall Pro Day and can still interview seniors at the January meetings. An additional benefit is that juniors will have a semester completed in the S3 program and be better prepared to meet board members and interview for internships.

Held right after Martin Luther King Day (1-16-17), the S3 Board meetings will include:

  • Junior Internship Recruitment & Senior Follow-up Interviews:
  • Phillips 66 Banquet & Corporate-Property Networking: Focused time to develop relationships with other S3 Board members.
  • Mentorship Hour: Share career advice with your mentorship group of S3 students. Board members will have the opportunity to volunteer as mentors and role models as a way of giving back to students as they begin their careers.
  • Ticket Insights: Roundtable discussion on pricing analytics presented by new S3 partners Eventellect & Stubhub.
  • Campaign Management: Roundtable discussion on best practices in strategy. Stay tuned, board members, for the opportunity to submit your best campaign strategy to present at the meetings.
  • S3 Brand-Building Brain & Barnstorming: Board members will discuss ways to strengthen and spread the good word about S3, as we continue to grow on a national and international basis.

We thank the S3 Board Members who recruit seniors for full-time positions and juniors for summer internships, as well as provide financial support for the program. We especially thank our anchor (1) corporate partners at Phillips 66, Eventellect, Schlotzsky’s, and La Quinta Inns & Suites, and (2) team partners at the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Dallas Mavericks. These organizations have gone above and beyond!


Welcome to New Board Members!

Dan Fleetwood, Vice President, Global Sponsorships, SAP

Patrick Ryan, Co-Founder of Eventellect

Geoff Lester, Head of Partnerships & Business Development, StubHub

Katie Scallan, Senior Manager, Engagement Marketing, Gulf States Toyota

Chris Talley, Vice President, Corporate Communications, USAA

Garrett Smith, Manager, National Soccer HOF Club Sales, FC Dallas

Doug McNamee, Senior Associate AD, Baylor

Katy Young, Director of Recruiting, Learfield

We also welcome, Christine Stoffel, CEO, SEAT Consortium, who will share some exciting news with us next month!


This month in the S3 Report we begin features on the culture, values and practices of some of our great team partners. This month, read about the San Antonio Spurs Sports & Entertainment:


Cover Photo: April S3 Club Meeting with San Antonio Spurs Brooke Gaddie (S3 2014) and Lindsay Beale (S3 2010) sharing insights with S3 students.

 

Floor or Front Office: It’s all the same at Spurs Sports & Entertainment

Floor or Front Office: It’s all the same at Spurs Sports & Entertainment
by Kirk Wakefield – April 2016

Values-driven

What values drive your organization? What values drive you, personally? If you had to choose one word–one value–to describe what is most important to you, what would it be?

Integrity–doing the right thing–is the most important value of the San Antonio Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) organization. You can’t miss it. The values of the organisse valueszation are posted throughout all the offices, meeting rooms and on the desks of the over 250 employees, which is sure to grow as SS&E recently added a fifth franchise, San Antonio FC, in the USL.

The success of the Spurs on the floor and front office is no accident. From ownership to the coaches and players to the interns, the values are clear. As Frank Miceli, Senior Vice President, Sales & Franchise Business Operations, shared, “They are openly discussed and shape everything we do from our ownership down to every member of the staff. We have a common vision,  engage in transparent communication and everyone has a voice. We are deliberate in our decision-making and are open about questioning everything in an attempt for continuous improvement.”

How do values shape the culture?

The three values of integrity, success and caring are the basis for daily operations. The same respect you see on the court you see in the offices, as employees are encouraged to collaborate, display humility and demonstrate a team orientation where no one person is more important than the team.

As Mr. Miceli points out, “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but of strength, to utilize the many talents and resources of SS&E.” Employees are more likely to ask for help and achieve personal and professional growth in a place where they know caring, respect, sincerity, support and compassion are part of the DNA of ownership and management.

Success is important at SS&E, but the process is as important as the outcome. An individual may have great personal success, but it must not come at the expense of the team. Rather, the team achieves targeted goals together, each pulling together and demonstrating care for others in the process. It’s not all about work for the sake of work; employees are encouraged for being creative and innovative and having fun along the way as they enjoy the journey together.

Baylor S3 success stories

Thanks to the leadership which began with Russ Bookbinder and continued thanks to Rick Pych, Frank Miceli, Joe Clark, Tim Salier, and Lawrence Payne, SS&E has hired the most graduates from the S3 program than any other partner.

Lindsay Beale (S3 ’10) started as a summer intern her junior year and joined SS&E after graduation as a group sales account executive. Mlindsay bealer. Miceli observes that Lindsay consistently exhibits all of the traits valued by the organization and climbed the ladder with patience and humility from account executive, to senior account executive, and now Group Sales Manager for all the SS&E properties.

Stephen Gray (S3 ’10stephen gray) joined the SS&E inside sales department after graduating from the S3 program. Stephen’s hard work led to a promotion with the organization’s AHL team, the Rampage. Stephen did very well selling, setting Rampage individual sales records. But, more importantly, as Mr. Miceli points out, “Stephen really understood the sales process and how to motivate others. He became Manager of Ticket Sales for our NBA D-League franchise in Austin and has really helped turn the franchise around.”

True Partnership

Many of the teams and companies who partner with the Baylor S3 program do so because of shared values. The relationship between the Baylor S3 program and SS&E operates as a true partnership, where the values of both organizations closely match. Issues and opportunities are discussed with transparency. Each is concerned for the welfare of each other, but most importantly, for the welfare of the young people entering and growing in the industry.

As Mr. Miceli shares, “We are honored to be members of the Baylor S3 Board. The relationship with the program and students has been very valuable for us from the standpoint of meeting(and hiring many) well-trained students ready to join the sports world in sales and customer data management.” In return, Baylor is deeply indebted to the leadership of the SS&E organization and their contributions to the school and the program.


The Baylor Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) program is the only academic program housed in a business school with a complete major focused entirely upon sports sales & analytics. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about the Baylor S3 program by visiting www.baylor.edu/business/S3

Cover photo courtesy of Chris Covatta, SS&E and USL Soccer.

 

Skip to toolbar