Blake Pallansch (S3 2015), Phoenix Suns, New Business Team Manager
How did S3 prepare you for a sales management position?
“S3 did a great job of preparing me for a management role. I felt very knowledgeable about the structure of an organization and the amount of time and hard work associated to make a move into leadership. S3 also prepared me for how to succeed in the role early on with a high level of integrity.”
What is one piece of advice you have for S3 students looking for jobs or internships in sports sales?
“Learn as much as you can at every event and opportunity you have to meet people through S3. Fully utilize the platform S3 provides to you. You have so many opportunities to meet with and learn from some of the best leaders in this business. S3 provides the groundwork for students to gain a head start on long-term success in an exceedingly competitive industry.”
S3 UPCOMING EVENTS Data Strategy Day
When: October 5th, 2018
Where: Foster 250, Baylor University
Why: To engage, educate, and recruit students interested in careers in data science, data strategy, or digital marketing.
“What we learn in adaptive selling is a great foundation for what you do as an intern with the Mets. Dr. Lehnus’ class equips you to apply what we learn much more in-depth once you are on-board with a MLB team. The highlight away from work was taking a sunset cruise around New York to see so much history and amazing sights like Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge.”
Tatum Lowe – BBVA Compass
“I learned how to effectively manage partnership relationships and evaluate those partnerships and the ROI from partnerships like the BBVA Compass Stadium and the Houston Rockets. S3 more than prepares you for internships. Dr. Wakefield and Dr. Lehnus gave us all the necessary skills to succeed in the workplace to build relationships and exhibit a strong work ethic. So many people don’t understand these two basic issues. Having these skills definitely gives us (S3 majors) a leg up on the competition in the sports industry.”
Change is good. We can say, “One day….” or “Day one….” Around here, everyday is Day One.
What’s changing with Baylor S3?
New S3 brand
In 2018 we re-positioned as the Center for Sports Strategy & Sales (S3). Why? Because sponsorships is so 2006, when we graduated our first class in Sports Sponsorship & Sales (see below for a fun blast from the past). Brands engage with fans of properties (and S3) as a partnership not a donation. Thanks to Jose Lozano and The Company, we have a cool new logo.
New S3 Tracks
The strategy in S3 is shifting to build career paths in Brand Strategy, Data Strategy & Sales Leadership. Each track has seven senior-level S3 alumni who advise, create and participate in relevant activities. All S3 partners are invited to join us for any and all of these events.
Brand Strategy: Corporations design brand strategies as partners with leagues & teams to attract, engage and keep customers. Agencies help guide brand strategy to reach corporate objectives. Media partners execute brand strategies through event broadcasts and related media. We prepare students for careers negotiating, planning and executing strategic partnerships employing branded content and experiences. The best fit for this track are creative strategists. Partners include:
Agencies & 3rd Parties: The Company, BAV Consulting, The Marketing Arm, Baylor IMG, Learfield, Peak Sports, Friedkin Group, 4Front
Properties/Teams: Dallas Cowboys, Houston Rockets, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints/Pels, Texas Rangers, PGA Tour, Space Center Houston, On Location Experiences, Circuit of the Americas, Baylor Athletics
Media: Fox Sports Southwest, Root Sports
Data Strategy: Sound data strategy enables brands, (eSports) teams, media and agencies to (a) plan, lead, organize and control marketing & sales strategies, and (b) execute digital marketing strategies. We prepare students to create, manage, analyze, report, and deliver actionable data insights & campaigns to drive revenue. The best fit for this track are analytical problem-solvers. Partners include:
Companies: 4Front, KORE Software, Stone Timber River, E-15 Group, SSB Info, SEAT Consortium
Properties/Teams: Madison Square Garden, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, LA FC, LA Kings/AEG, NBA, New York Yankees, Orlando Magic, Texas Rangers, Utah Jazz
Sales Leadership: Sales is the lifeblood of any organization. We prepare students to generate revenue through ticket & partnership sales representing professional & collegiate teams, eSports or third-party rights holders (for NCAA properties). As future servant leaders we value people, purpose and performance, in that order. The best fit for this track are competitive high-achievers.
This track isn’t new, but our approach to developing sales leaders and professional selling is. We now have eight Premier Partners helping us change the face of sports sales: Las Vegas Golden Knights, Madison Square Garden, Houston Rockets, Houston Texans, Phoenix Suns, San Diego Padres, Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Read more here under “Sales Leadership Partners.”
No Big Board Meeting, but Big Fridays
To enable equal opportunity for students to pursue and partners to recruit to S3 career paths, we have three separate days for partners, alumni and others wishing to join us. These events are on Fridays, typically before an on-campus sporting event.
Data Strategy Day
October 5, 2018. StubHub, Stone Timber River, KORE, 4Front & SSB join us for a day of data drama and excitement. Read more & register here.
Premier Partner Preview Day
November 9, 2018. Premier partners are invited to campus to meet students at the S3 Club Lunch (11:45-1:15) and interview juniors (internships) and seniors (careers) in the afternoon.
Brand Strategy Day
January TBA (until NBA schedule is released) in Houston, TX at BBVA Compass Stadium for day sessions featuring partnership strategy sessions with BBVA Compass, Phillips 66, Toyota, and The Company, followed by activation in action the same evening at a Houston Rockets game. Stay tuned to www.baylor.edu/business/s3 for updates & registration.
Sales Leadership Day
February 15, 2019. Hands-on training seminars with team sales managers and partnership sales professionals, followed by panel sessions and interviews for internships & careers. Read more & register here.
Our S3 Leadership Partners and many industry friends built Baylor S3 into what it is today. With our highly selective major, we continue to place over 96% before graduation across every major league and among leading agencies and brands. Working with distinctly innovative minds like Tami Walker (Phillips 66), Patrick Ryan (Eventellect), Kelly Roddy (Schlotzsky’s), Derek Blake (LQ), Adam Budelli (StubHub), Mary Hyink (Fox Sports SW), Heidi Weingartner (Dallas Cowboys), Greg Grissom (Houston Texans), George Killebrew (Dallas Mavericks) and Marc Jackson (Madison Square Garden), S3 students intern, learn and work with the best in the business.
Starting this year, Baylor S3 and Baylor Athletics, with Mitch Mann and Ryan Eklund, will work hand-in-hand on data strategy and student ticket sales projects. Thanks to support from Baylor Athletics, S3 graduate Ian Young is on-board as S3 Research Assistant while splitting time as Research Analyst for Team Sports Marketing LLC.
If you’re interested in learning more about our program and potential involvement, please feel free to inquire.
Paul Epstein challenged the room of executives, managers and students to truly put people first. With over a decade of managerial experience in pro sports, most recently as Director of Sales at the San Francisco 49ers, Paul shared how their sales organization was transformed by helping people “find their WHY.” When organizations put people and purpose first, performance takes care of itself.
Tim Salier, Vice President of Franchise Operations at Spurs Sports & Entertainment, shared how the Austin Spurs G-League team faced high sales force turnover and low productivity. Putting people first, the sales structure was flattened, base salaries of account executives increased above $30,000 and career planning began with stretch assignments to strengthen skill sets in other areas. The results? Revenue rose 300% and more sales reps stayed in place after rampant turnover in the years prior.
Putting Your Money Where…
Chase Jolesch, Director of Ticketing & Premium for the Vegas Golden Knights, stated, “If people truly come before purpose and performance, we must act upon it. We can’t say we care and then ask people to work for less just because it’s sports.” Shawn McGee, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Homestead Miami Speedway added:
I’ve seen both sides—low base and high commission and higher base with less commission. In the past, I fully subscribed to mitigating risk by paying a lower base and providing a more substantial commission, as well as forcing the salespeople to drive revenue in order to increase compensation. However, at my current company, we pay a higher base and little commission. At first I thought it would lead to lazy salespeople and lack of urgency to hit numbers. We actually found it allows us to source better talent who are still driven to reach the goals…and we can retain those sales people.
Research from the NBA suggests sales reps accept positions with a team for the potential career path and that a lack of clear career path is the main reason for leaving. We agree. Millennials, like most of us, want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to see a future and purpose in what we do.
Some studies report compensation is rarely a reason for entering a sports sales career. That’s because starting salaries are often far below other industries. The table (right) offers pay comparisons to similar positions across all industries (i.e., not sports). If we want the top talent, will we get it by paying under market rates? If we want to maximize revenue, can we do that by offering the minimum?
Those on the brand, data and agency side of sports are largely competitive with the general market. We look forward to those responsible for ticket sales to lead the way in attracting and keeping top talent.
As leaders it comes down to our own personal purpose, values and approach to managing and leading others. Do we see our relationship with employees as more parent-child (Theory X) or adult-adult (Theory Y)? Which do you think achieves the best results with today’s generation? (Hint: Same as when this first came out in 1960. You have to know your Y.)
People are different. Some more different than others. We think most S3 graduates are ready to perform, but variance exists. Learning new skills requires more direction, but once learned need more support and coaching. Research shows over half of leaders use the same leadership style regardless of situation or person, which translates into not meeting the needs of employees at least half the time.
Situational leadership adjusts to the person-situation. The best leaders know when to delegate, support, coach or direct, based on the employee’s skill development. (See Situational Leadership Model below.) Managers who put people first focus on knowing individuals, what makes them tick (their why) and adapt to meet their needs. Results follow.
The Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SSE) organization puts situational leadership into action. When Allen Schlesinger took an innovative approach to social selling that gave up on cold-calling leads, SSE unleashed Allen to become the leading revenue generator in the NBA’s developmental league (now G-league).
The Cost of Leadership Failure
Replacing a sales rep takes 3-4 months and typically costs at least 150% of the reps’ compensation in lost revenue and added recruiting & training costs. We might have a different view of turnover if we pictured $75,000 walking out the door each time one leaves.
Average turnover in sales across all industries generally hovers around 25% each year. Common thinking is (a) if turnover is over 25%, the problem is management not the employees, and (b) employees leave managers not companies.
Why do employees leave managers? In the sports industry, not unlike others, we promote the best salespeople to become managers. Unfortunately, great sales people make terrible sales managers, as about 1 in 6 suited for sales are good fits for management. We know this is true in sports–the best players are rarely good coaches or managers–so why do we think it works in business?
The Secret of Success
The good news is other ways work. Members of the S3 Advisory Board, like Eric Platte at the Atlanta Hawks, have sales management training programs that identify quality candidates with the right mixture of sales competency and openness to servant leadership to develop into future managers.
The 49ers Sales Academy is a result of a culture shift based on People–Purpose–Performance, in that order. How did they transform the sales force?
First, the focus changed from a “manage up or out” to a retention approach. They asked, “How can we find people who have not only the basics to succeed but whose strengths can shine in the organization for years to come?” The search is for great talents, great people–those who want to do something special.
Second, they took the external sales philosophy of “every seat has a story” for customers and applied it internally to employees. In recruiting, that means taking deep dives into why they are in this business and their values that determine how they do what (sell) they want to do.
Third, once a part of the team, management continues the process of starting with WHY to engage and listen to employees to identify themes to incorporate systems and behaviors to accomplish purposes important to employees. (See diagram, right.) Performance is not the objective, but the result of a people→purpose orientation.
Thanks again to Paul Epstein for bringing these words and illustrations to life–and who now continues his journey to inspire others at the BW Leadership Institute. Are you interested in learning more about the Center for Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) at Baylor? Do you identify with the WHY & HOW of what you’ve just read–and want to join us? Visit www.Baylor.edu/Business/S3. Thanks to those who traveled to Waco to experience record-breaking cold. Check out your pics below! Click on one to begin the slide show.
Moving: From one sports/entertainment related position to another
Other stupendous feats of possible interest to readers.
In in this month’s newsletter we learned of:
S3 Track Rebranding & New Faculty
To better align the curriculum with the needs of the industry, Baylor S3 now offers three tracks: Ticket Sales, Strategic Partnerships & Branded Content, and CRM & Analytics. After completing her Ph.D. at Rutgers, Dr. Tyrha M. Lindsey-Williams joins the faculty in the Department of Marketing this fall to teach advertising & digital marketing as part of the partnerships track.
S3 Club Record
The S3 Club includes all junior & senior majors and underclassmen interested in S3. With 138 active members, we surpassed the previous high membership set the year before by over 50%. Thank you board members and alumni for your support!
Thanks to our partners for another great year placing S3 students in careers & internships. See who went where here.
Want to be involved next year? Register now for January 2018 Pro Day & Board Meetings! We are currently accepting new supporting and leadership partners.
AT&T Challenge Winners
As part of Pro Sales II with Dr. Lehnus, juniors teamed with AT&T to create strategic partnership solutions for the Dallas Mavericks to reach fans in Mexico. This year’s winners of the competition were Diane Siri, Dodge Bludau, Courtney Ulrich and Ian Young.
The Bright Futures Award goes to the male and female seniors who best exemplify the S3 values of WINS: Work ethic + Integrity + Networking + Spirit. Winners are honored at spring events, awarded plaques, and receive $1000 toward attending the Daniel Summit after completing one year in their careers in the business of sports.
Mitch Mann (2009) – Associate Athletic Director, Baylor Athletics
Tommy Wright (2011) – Marketing Sponsorship & Partnership Manager, Houston Space Center
After arranging & supervising hundreds of sports internships for the last dozen or so years, Dr. Darryl Lehnus and I devised a system that works well for us.
Ideally, partners provide the internship with the same objective of developing and evaluating talent in view of future employment there or elsewhere. Our partners see intern successes as their successes, as it reflects on their abilities to train, motivate, and model excellent performance.
Among others, the Pittsburgh Pirates B.U.C.S Academy and the New York Mets are ahead of the game in organizing internships and recruiting to careers. While many teams and companies provide summer internships, the Houston Texans (sponsorships) and Houston Astros (CRM) provide 9-12 month postgraduate internships specifically for our graduates to gain more in-depth training before launching careers.
Initiate follow-up with interviews to (a) hire or (b) refer for hiring.
Five Not-So-Easy Steps
From a process standpoint, partners follow these five steps. We’ll explain each in turn.
Prepare students for careers.
Determine parameters & responsibilities.
Define, communicate and evaluate on criteria that predict success.
Hold students responsible.
Review insights & follow-through with students.
Prepare students for careers
Ask employers what they want. Continue to ask.
Too many prepare students for sports marketing or sports management jobs. The only problem is no entry level positions exist for “sports marketer” or “sports manager.” Entry level positions do exist in ticket sales, sponsorship sales & service/fulfillment, CRM, and analytics. Design coursework and programs accordingly.
Business schools have courses in professional selling, database management, statistics and predictive modeling, and data visualization (Excel, Tableau, etc.). Take advantage of these courses in planning curriculum requirements. When employers see you take them seriously, they’ll line up for your students.
Determine Parameters & Responsibilities
Once employers agree, we send them a link to an online form to identify the supervisor, time frame (start, finish, hours per week, pay or course credit), and responsibilities. Most likely you’ve already discussed this, but best to not be surprised at the end of the term that the internship didn’t include a vital part of what they needed to experience.
After selecting the type of internship, the employer completes the appropriate section for what the intern will do. Our forms are below.
Define, communicate and evaluate criteria for success
Every year the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) publish a list of attributes most desired of new hires. These could differ among some, but odds are they are the same. With a little adaptation, we use these for midterm and final evaluations by the intern’s direct supervisor.
Responses on the primary criteria (below) are shared with the intern in a meeting with the academic advisor. We also ask about punctuality, attitude, performance, and overall grade from the direct supervisor of the internship at the employer. The entire form may be downloaded here.
Sports Internship Evaluation Criteria
Specific to our own preparation and values, we ask students to be 2nd milers. When asked to do something (walk a mile), go above and beyond expectations (go the second mile). Supervisors rate the intern accordingly (below).
Hold students responsible
Students should perform well in the internship. We expect that.
We also expect them to reflect on what they learn. Keeping a daily or weekly journal is recommended.At the end of the term, students must submit the S3 Internship Report Form (click to download) regarding a weekly log of hours, assignments, volunteering, accomplishments, application of class material, issues (problems or challenges & resolutions), culture, behavioral adaptation, recommendations, and net promoter score rating for the internship.
Review insights & follow-through with students
Meet with each student to get his or her take on the evaluation provided in Step 3. Usually there are no surprises. Employers do a good job of picking up on areas for improvement that you’ve likely noticed in class. So, it’s nice to have someone else see it and say it.
Generally, these are great times to encourage students in careers. On occasion, you can use these to give appropriate kicks in the pants. We’ve seen these have fairly drastic effects on capable students who needed to get with the program. On occasion, you find some who need to find another program. The wide world of sports, perhaps the same as other industries (but we think more so),demands a high level of commitment. We help students by holding them to a high standard.
Providing good internship experiences takes effort on the part of the academic advisor, student, and employer. But, working together, internships are the foundation for successful careers. No class, book or assignment can substitute for on-the-job reality training.
The very best part of what we do is to see students succeed in their careers.
Feel free to borrow, steal, or adapt any or all of the attached materials! If you’ve found other things that work well, please let us know!
Business intelligence is old school. Business analytics is new school. Sport business analytics is finally going to school. In the past decade, interest grew beyond the 100 or so nerds at the first MIT Sports Analytics Conference to sellout crowds (>3000 geeks and wannabes) today. At the same time, courses and programs have emerged to educate tomorrow’s sports business analysts.
In all fairness, I acknowledge a number of the chapter authors are associates. My intent, then, in this book review is to not treat them as I do my friends, but will instead try to be considerate and complimentary.
The Evolution & Impact of Business Analytics in Sport
The question, “What is analytics? Really?” is often raised among academics. Professors and data scientists tend to think of analytics as using advanced statistical techniques to model and predict behaviors based on (big) data. Practitioners may refer to analytics when they really mean reporting.
In the opening chapter overview of the text, Scott Bukstein states the core purpose of sport business analytics is “to convert raw data into meaningful, value-added and actionable information that enables sport business professionals to make strategic business decisions, which then result in improved company financial performance and a measurable and sustainable competitive advantage.” In short, analytics is any “data-driven process as well as any actionable insights derived from data.”
Consistent with this understanding, the book chapters provide good case examples of data-driven processes that produce actionable insights. In large part, many of the chapters read as a series of case studies with examples of how organizations implement analytics. The chapters provide instruction to understand what leading teams and companies do on a day-to-day basis, as well as propose thought-provoking ideas for practitioners.
In Chapter 2, Jay Riola offers replicable examples of how the Orlando Magic use customer data to target and engage fan segments through appropriate digital channels and devices. Other teams would do well to learn from the success of the Magic’s Fast Break Pass and season ticket holder app, as thoroughly explained by Jay in this chapter.
Using ticket pricing analytics, Troy Kirby does a great job explaining how the secondary market is the primary market, in Chapter 3. Troy makes the argument that a ticket may eventually evolve beyond its current revocable license legal status to a material good, allowing greater freedom for fans to use and resell however they wish. The practical upshot of these two chapters is teams must more quickly adapt to digital channels–whether owned by the team or others–to provide value to fans. Teams with NIH attitudes will suffer.
Data Management & Marketing
Ray Mathew offers a basic understanding of how teams use CRM to gather and analyze customer data for use in targeted marketing campaigns in Chapter 4. Since CRM coordinators are typical entry-level positions, interested learners should be motivated to self-learn, intern, or take courses in CRM to prepare for careers in data management in sports. This chapter provides a good foundation for students to understand if this is a viable career path for them.
Michael Farris provides an overview of the Aspire Group’s 8-point ticket marketing, sales and service philosophy in Chapter 5. Academic programs lacking courses in marketing strategy will benefit from the Aspire Group’s marriage of marketing with analytics. Programs housed in business schools will also appreciate founder Bernie Mullin‘s sound approach to management and marketing. The application of the model to the experiences of Georgia Tech are particularly insightful for NCAA programs. Plus, students in classes adopting this text will go into interviews with Aspire knowing what they’re all about!
Research & Applications
Chapter 6 leans closer to the professor or data scientist’s POV of business analytics. Michael Lewis, Manish Tripathi and Michael Byman address the importance of calculating, tracking, and managing customer lifetime value (CLT) and related functions of brand and fan equity. CLV is critical to model retention and seat-buying decisions. The authors present insights into NFL team’s fan equity and social media equity to pinpoint pricing and promotion opportunities. Updates among leagues are available on Michael Lewis’ blog at Emory University (follow link here).
John Breedlove illustrates how teams use analytics to improve the performance of sales reps with targeted campaigns to open the door to warm leads. In this chapter (7), John illustrates the importance of keeping analytics simple to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Combining public (secondary) and private (primary) data can provide insights to make decisions, as when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used public geodemographic information to help set prices and target customer segments. This chapter provides a good explanation and case study for A/B testing.
Digital Media Analytics
Duke University serves its huge fan base through its crowdsourced data visualization platform know as #DukeMBBStats. Ryan Craig provides an engaging explanation of the process Duke followed to grow the platform. Ryan’s chapter (8) offers direction for other NCAA and pro organizations to create fan profiles to authentically and personally engage fans with effective marketing strategies to enhance renewals.
Michael Lorenc and Alexandra Gonzalez present a fascinating chapter (9) on leveraging digital marketing to drive revenue, relying on data from their employer (Google) to paint a picture of today’s digital buyer. Evidence shows the potential ROI on digital marketing informed by audience, acquisition, and behavioral and conversions data via Google Analytics. You’ll be analyzing your own website and digital marketing before you finish the chapter.
Sponsorship Valuation & Affinity Groups
Adam Grossman and Irving Rein provide one of the best summaries I’ve read on the state-of-the art in sponsorship valuation. [dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”200px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]”Where audience analysis often fails is the inability to recognize that it is never static.” ~Grossman & Rein[/dropshadowbox] The authors provide descriptions of inherent valuation (profits generated by sponsorship assets), relative valuation (comparing CPMs across channels), and comparable valuation (comparing the price of assets offered by different properties), as well as how best to communicate to particular audiences. In addition to teaching at Northwestern (along with Professor Rein), Adam founded Block Six Analytics, using analytics and technology to help brands and teams generate revenue.
Co-editor C. Keith Harrison of the text, along with Suzanne Malia Lawrence, introduce the concept of “live analytics” in Chapter 11 to study and understand affinity groups and develop marketing plans accordingly. Live analytics, in this case, means distributing surveys during events, collecting and analyzing the results, and then creating innovative ways to engage fans. They provide an example of the Gridiron Girls football clinic at Montana State University. Another good example at the pro level is the Dallas Cowboys 5-Points Blue designed for female fans, based on extensive primary research and analysis of other NFL teams to differentiate the affinity group.
Talent Analytics & Data-Driven Storytelling
Brandon Moyer explains how the Aspire Group and others use analytics to hire and develop talent in the business of sports. At Aspire, they look for employees with WHOPPPP:
Honesty, integrity & character
Openness to learning
Passion for sport business & sales
Potential for leadership
This chapter (12) provides other examples of how teams and companies (should) use data-driven approaches to hire and evaluate personnel.
Ryan Sleeper illustrates a variety of data visualization approaches to enhance storytelling–or communication–with the intended audience in Chapter 13. Effective visualization reduces time to insight, increases accuracy and improves engagement. The lesson here, again, is: Keep it simple. Ryan offers engaging examples of how to hook an audience–like converting a league standings table into a map to quickly gauge relative team performance. See more of his Tableau tips at his website. While we are at it, we strongly recommend taking a course in Tableau if your goal is to succeed in the business of sports.
Michael Mondello provides a concluding chapter on how to teach a sports business analytics course. Dr. Mondello provides helpful examples of his approach to class relative to content delivery, class assignments, and exams.
The approach in the Sport Sponsorship & Sales (S3) program is to combine the Sport Business Analytics text (most Mondays) followed by lab instruction (most Wednesdays) using Microsoft Dynamics 365 to learn CRM and marketing automation processes reliant upon analytics. Microsoft IT Imagine Academy provides video instruction for learners at member Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance schools. Code Academy offers free courses on related data management topics, such as SQL.
To assist others using the text, below is a list of key terms for each chapter. To give the reader of this review an idea of the concepts and content, the first and last chapter are complete with definitions. The first chapter outline also provides tips on studying, just in case some students are still trying to figure that out. Other chapters contain key terms/concepts only. Feel free to download, edit and use for your own class purposes.
Meaningful Careers Begin With Meaningful Relationships
We need meaningful relationships. Young employees thrive or dive on the strength of positive relationships in the workplace. Such important relationships should start well before college students graduate.
We spend the bulk of adult life with people at work (see chart). According to research, the top three reasons people leave jobs are relationship driven:
Supervisor: People leave managers not companies.
Co-workers: Appreciation, recognition and respect from peers make or break us.
Culture: How we personally fit with the values of those we work for and with points us to open doors or out the door.
Wouldn’t it be a good idea to get a head start on knowing the nature and culture of these people before launching a career?
When is turnover too high?
The most productive recruitment strategy would seek more, not less, information on candidates. Too often recruiters make decisions based on a resume, references or referrals, and a few hours in an interview. The average turnover rate in sales is 25%. Many believe if the employee churn rate is higher than 10% the problem is the manager not the employees. None of us want to be that person.
As professionals, now is the time to invest in the lives of young people while they are still in school. They need your experience, guidance and counsel to understand and discern the best fit to start careers. Your organization gets the best read on recruits by getting to know them 12-24 months in advance of hiring decisions. You–and they–will make better, more informed decisions. Internships provide the needed edge to make good decisions and the opportunity to give back like others have done for us.
Commit this to be your best year yet in relationships and recruitment.
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:
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!
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 organization 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.
Lindsay Beale (S3 ’10) started as a summer intern her junior year and joined SS&E after graduation as a group sales account executive. Mr. 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 ’10) 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.”
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).