The students POV on interviews for internships & careers

The students POV on interviews for internships & careers

After the first round of the Baylor S3 Pro Day of virtual recruiting with 30 interviewers, 54 of the students rated each of the interviewers, selected their favorite two interviewers, and commented on one that didn’t go as well as hoped. After the second round of S3 Pro Days on March 5 (click here for more info), we will distribute information to interviewers (who also get the chance to rate the students on their interviewing skills). The S3 Best Interviewer Awards for S3 Sales and S3 Analytics will be announced for the S3 Awards Banquet on April 14.

These evaluations are much like teaching evaluations. We certainly prefer students enjoy the experience. Admittedly, sometimes learning experiences can cause user discomfort. So, good on you as professor or recruiter if you can do both: Supply enjoyable learning experiences that serve the welfare of all parties for both the short and long term. To that end, we offer 45 comments about what students liked best about interviewers, which thankfully outweigh the 24 comments on areas of improvement. Learn as you will from these.


Student POV

Interviews for Sports Sales & Analytics Internships & Careers


45 Areas of Excellence

1.       Intentionally listened and asked good questions.
2.       Asked very thoughtful questions and really answered my questions well.
3.       Most enthusiastic and didn’t make it feel like there was a power difference between him and me.
4.       Most willing to show me things like what they do in Tableau.
5.       Just fun to talk to.
6.       Really easy going and easy to talk to.
7.       They stood out above the rest for their openness while discussing their roles and the company culture at their respective teams. They came across as completely genuine, giving me their unfiltered opinions on their workplace instead of telling me any kind of pitch.
8.       Made me feel instantly comfortable during both conversations I had.
9.       Super genuine and friendly; They were not intimidating at all and very helpful in explaining their role and answering my questions.
10.   Very easy to talk to and did a great job answering any questions I had. I very much enjoyed talking and felt at ease and was disappointed when our time was up.
11.   Asked unique and challenging questions that kept me on my toes.
12.   Was genuine and kind while also getting down to business without any unnecessary conversation.
13.   Very personable and made a hectic time feel relaxed, calm and helpful. Made the conversation feel mutually beneficial which was great. Super informative and helpful.
14.   We had a really great conversation about just life. We shared a lot of similarities; was informational, and I got to walk through my resume.
15.   Took an interest in me beyond my job qualifications and wanted to get to know me better on a personal level. They made me feel like they wanted to speak with me and told me I could reach out any time in the future.
16.   Asked great questions and directed good conversation! Awesome at engaging and made me feel really comfortable.
17.   I was able to see how well they enjoyed not only working in their field but with each other too.  I also felt relaxed in the interview and it was one of the ones that I actually had fun being interviewed.
18.   They were the two most enthusiastic people I talked to.  I made really good connections with both of them. They also were very interested in making it clear that if I were hired that they would invest in my career to the fullest extent.
19.   Was very specific and had the 30 min interview laid out in sections of what to accomplish. I got to do a mock phone sale and a 45sec pitch.
20.   Genuine and engaging during our talk.
21.   Very open to answer any and all questions and truly share passion for the job and role as a manger. Provided an open and transparent look at goals for those new to the organization and what managers seek to get out of them.
22.   They made the conversations really smooth and easy and showed a genuine interest in me.
23.   Was very open and had great energy. Seemed very invested in our interview and even joked around a little bit. Overall a great interview and I was incredibly impressed with the organization.
24.   They gave great insights on what their companies did and gave in-depth analysis of the field of analytics, especially CRM and BI. Also, they made the effort to personally connect with me.
25.   Asked challenging questions and, in the interview, pushed me to do better. Charismatic and has good leadership.
26.   It felt like they were actually interested in getting to know me.
27.   They had amazing humor and personality and seemed really interested in talking to me! They acknowledge all of what I said and asked follow-up questions accordingly. They made the speed dating a lot of fun because it may have been an interview, but it seemed more like catching up with an old friend!
28.   Seemed very interested throughout our entire call and even asked for a second interview to better our connection in order to be a future reference for myself.
29.   Discussed the many ways they took care of employees during the ongoing pandemic, both with their mental health and with their paychecks. Detailed how the team handles the social issues that have become as prevalent as ever in recent times.
30.   Open, friendly, and honest. Made me feel more comfortable.
31.   Extremely genuine and excited to hear about why I want to get into sports. They asked very good questions and went into detail when answering questions that I asked about their organizations. Both came across as wanting to help me in my journey in any way they could.
32.   Very interested in me and my future goals, very engaging.
33.   Super high energy and gave me an awesome description of time with the team. Super helpful and seemed genuinely interested in my career growth.
34.   Asked questions about my personality and we were able to chat and have a great conversation!
35.   Gave me a whole lot of advice on how I could answer interview questions better. Offered to connect me with other people within the organization, which was awesome.
36.   Truly took the time to know me and understand what I was looking for in a future job opportunity.
37.   Very encouraging.
38.   Let us know that no matter what happens they were here to help us. Even if that means we go for a decision and it does not include their organization. That is admirable.
39.   Took the time to know me knowing that I am only a sophomore yet was intrigued when looking at my LinkedIn profile. So kind and just wanting to help.
40.   Extremely kind, was prepared with knowledge about me, insightful answers to my questions, willing to help, relatable.
41.   Very interested in what I had to say and gave me great advice.
42.   Very kind and helpful.
43.   Gave great advice, flowing conversation, tremendous insight into job and analytics in sports. Willing to help.
44.   Seemed very genuine in wanting to get to know us. Gave me some valuable advice and perspective.
45.   We had a fantastic conversation about the importance of mental health in the workplace (and in general) and the emphasis put on it.

24 Areas of Improvement

1.       Really didn’t have much of an interview experience. It was too casual.
2.       Questions were very vanilla. Couldn’t get a good read off them.
3.       Didn’t really seem like they wanted to be there.
4.       Wasn’t easy to talk to.
5.       I sort of felt like I had to lead the conversation, where with the other recruiters, they were the ones guiding it.
6.       Seemed not to take our 10-minute call seriously. Never made eye contact and was constantly looking around the room. Gave cookie-cutter monologue and nothing more.
7.       Asked very structured concrete questions. I heard from others that they kept people over time and shorted others. Didn’t appear open.
8.       Informational but it was very cold. It wasn’t a natural conversation like the rest of my 10 min talks.
9.       Rapid fire questions, less conversational interview (granted, we only had 10 minutes).
10.   Asked a lot of questions that didn’t pertain to anything important and also not related to S3 or internships.
11.   Did not feel a connection with the organization or interviewer specifically.  Nothing against, is a great person.  I just did not find myself enjoying the interview or the chemistry.
12.   A stand-in for my interview didn’t seem too ecstatic to be there. Seemed very dry.
13.   Not very engaging and didn’t show a lot of emotion.
14.   Had one short interview where I was asked very off-topic and slightly offensive questions.
15.   I was confused on the style of the interview. Seemed harsh.
16.   Seemed very distracted; like the focus was elsewhere from the start. It threw me off a little bit and it felt like we never really got into the interview at all.
17.   Didn’t have a lot of emotion and didn’t seem that interested in talking to me. It felt like more they were just doing this to put a check mark on their calendar.
18.   Felt more like an actual interview and less of a conversation. It was intense, which is fine, but I enjoyed some other conversations more since they were more chilled.
19.   Conversation was not engaging and was not very interested in me or what I was saying.
20.   Didn’t really seem very interested in being at the event. Wasn’t super open about time with organization, which made the interview pretty difficult to stay engaged with.
21.   Not all that open to talking much about the organization and the conversation was hard to get through.
22.   Impersonal and mechanical conversation. Improved in the second round of interviews but felt like they were checking boxes rather than trying to make a connection or be a resource.
23.   Typing the entire time.
24.   It was so awkward; I was given short answers to questions that I asked.

The Sports Strategy & Sales (S3) Program Expands!

The Sports Strategy & Sales (S3) Program Expands!
S3 in LA circa 2009

When the S3 program launched in 2004 we were—and are—the only academic program in a business school devoted to developing talent aimed specifically at generating revenue in the business of sports. After placing more than 270 professionals in sales and analytics positions we see even greater demand for Baylor S3 graduates. Notable S3 alumni in management and executive positions at scores of professional teams, corporations, and agencies now mentor, train, hire, and advise students right alongside us, as do many outstanding professionals from coast-to-coast.

As we look forward to the next 15 years we must set the stage for success for those who follow. Much has changed in the past 15 years. Think about it. After the first graduating class of S3 majors in 2006, the iPhone was introduced in 2007. This mobile revolution transformed how fans search, buy and go to the game. Augmented and virtual reality are changing how fans engage with our experiences and sponsors. Venues are beginning to use facial recognition as admission.

With the onslaught of data and digital selling, properties and brands recruit and pay for the talent to manage and analyze data to more effectively and efficiently reach fans where they are—which is mostly (online) on their phones, tablets or desktops. The most productive organizations invest heavily in technology capabilities (in-house and/or outsourced) to enable the salesforce to connect and engage with fans in ways we couldn’t even imagine even 10 years ago.

Our position has always been at the forefront leading the way into the future. In keeping with our WINS values, we need more hard-working, integrated, relationship-driven, spirited people to join us.

Missing Talent

The advantage and disadvantage of the S3 major in the Hankamer School of Business has been its exclusivity. The most successful students consciously committed to a career in the business of sports no matter what the costs. That is still the case. As a side note—conscientious commitment to excelling in your craft, to your career, is still the price to be paid for success no matter the business. Companies still buy from people who know where they are going.

At the same time, S3 missed potential sales superstars. Great salespeople love to keep options open. Not wanting to be constrained to sports, they didn’t take the chance to be sold themselves. The Vice President of Sales at the San Antonio Spurs, along with many executives at other teams, often say, “Hey, just let me have a chance to talk to them!”

S3 missed out on problem-solvers keen to manage and analyze data to answer big questions businesses have in a digital-first marketing world. Marketing majors with a double-major with MIS, Accounting or Finance took their talents elsewhere. The Wide World of Sports has been slow to get up to speed. But, like every company today, they now demand more highly skilled analytically-minded graduates to close the gap.

Opening the Doors

S3 majors have always been well-rounded. Salespeople understand analytics and analysts understand sales. All understand the importance of living lives of integrity. Having integrity means having the courage to face the demands of reality. The reality is sales-oriented students thrive in the sales courses. Analytic types want the freedom to build out technical and quantitative skills.

Recognizing these realities, and the realities of marketplace demands and opportunities, the S3 program has moved to open courses to all Marketing majors. Students may choose an emphasis in S3 Sales (MKT 3310 and 4341) or S3 Analytics (MKT 4342 and 4360), plus an internship, for a total of 9 hours. They can still take all S3 courses (15 hours) if they use additional upper-level business electives. All S3 students selecting one of the two areas of emphasis will complete an internship in sales or analytics in the summer after the junior year. Read more here.

Internships

Our stock & trade has always been internships at the highest levels of professional sports, as well as associated brands and agencies. As Colin Faulkner, Senior Vice President of the Chicago Cubs, famously said in our first S3 promotional video, “In sports, to get a job you need experience. But to get experience you need a job.” Internships provide the job that provides the experience that gets you started in your career in sports.

We will continue placing students in internships for those that declare an S3 emphasis and take the sales or the analytics courses in succession during the junior year. Others may take the courses and interview for internships and positions as available, with priority going to declared S3 program students.

Graduates in the 2021 class and beyond may submit their declarations as S3 program members by completing this form.

The S3 Club

S3 Mentors

Further priority for internships and positions is given to those active in the S3 Club. The S3 Club will continue under S3 faculty advisement but will be wholly and completely run by students, supported by an S3 Alumni Advisory Group. The objectives of the club will continue to be to network with sports business executives and to learn more about relevant careers.

The End Goal

With the end in mind, our vision continues to be to instill integrity in the business of sports & entertainment. What’s changed? Nothing, except we want more students to catch the vision, to consider the opportunities, and to join us! We’ve removed every obstacle to keep superstars from exploring business careers in sports. Want to talk some more?

Interested in sports sales? Contact Darryl_Lehnus@Baylor.edu

Interested in sports marketing analytics? Contact Kirk_Wakefield@baylor.edu

How Sales Management in Pro Sports Can Catch Up to Corporate America

Why do parents, teachers, politicians, managers and salespeople continue bad practices? Four reasons and the ways we express them are:

  1. We do what was done to us and assume it was best practice.
    • “Look at me, I turned out OK didn’t I?”
  2. We lack the depth and breadth of relevant education to recognize bad practices.
    • “See, you can succeed with any background!”
  3. We judge outcomes based on the exception rather than the rule.
    • “Look at her, she started here and is now vice-president!”
  4. We lack the courage to meet the demands of reality.
    • “I know this isn’t working, but I can’t change what I’m doing now.”

Sports sales recruiters often ask applicants, “Why do you want this job?” The wrong answer is, “I just love sports.” The irony is when it comes to pay, work hours and benefits, they literally bank on the applicant’s love for sports to compensate for, well, real compensation.

How Do We Know the Sports Sales Management Model is Broken?

Sales 101

First, consider some basic 101 principles of sales management. These quotes are directly from a leading sales textbook 1

  1. To attract and keep the best talent compensation must be uniform within the company and in line with what competitors’ salespeople receive.
  2. Salespeople who perceive the system as unfair may give up or leave.
  3. A constantly changing system may lead [salespeople] to constantly change their activities but never make any [more] money.
  4. Companies that do not emphasize service or do not anticipate long-term customer relationships typically rely heavily on commission plans.
  5. Salespeople working primarily on commission have little company loyalty and certainly are less willing to perform activities that do not directly lead to sales.

Inside sales reps in sports do not receive compensation in line with what they can get anywhere else. Top salespeople often see the system as unfair (given effort & reward) and leave as soon as a client sees how good they are (and offers multiples of current pay). Teams frequently “play with the lights” changing compensation systems in ways that rarely favor the rep by making the rep more money. The shift toward service-only reps leaves inside sales reps relying heavily upon commission and sacrificing customer welfare and service. As a result, few have loyalty and are certainly unwilling to do non-sales related activities.

Turnover

Second, consider the effects and costs of turnover. Average sales turnover across industries annually hovers around 25%. 2 Typical sports sales practice is to recruit a new class of inside salespeople every 4-6 months, suggesting something closer to the average turnover among car salespeople (~70-75%). 3 Some are promoted (internally or externally), but most leave the industry voluntarily or involuntarily.

Costs of turnover are estimated between $75,000 to $200,000 per salesperson4, taking into account recruiting, training, and lost sales. You can calculate yours here. The NBA estimates third-year reps generate 3.4 times the revenue as first-year reps. Unfortunately, relatively few get to the third year.

If I fail over half of my students each year, you wouldn’t say I’m a good teacher. In our program, we can’t blame the students. We recruited them. The same is true for teams. If annual turnover is anything much more than the non-sports corporate average (25%), at some point we must have the courage to start looking at the system and grasp the reality.

Training

Most sports sales managers are interested in training. The problem is the low proportion of these with any professional training in personnel management, compensation structure, leadership, and other sales management responsibilities. Many make great effort to learn to compensate for the lack of formal training (i.e., business management-related degrees). A few have had professional selling courses. A few have MBAs. Most were selected on the basis of being great salespeople, rather than management skills–which are two quite different things.

Sales students not taking the sports route are often hired by companies like Oracle, IBM and other major corporations who offer starting pay closer to $100,000 than $30,000, even while spending months in training before ever making a sale. We don’t expect teams to be on par with Oracle. But, $10-$20 an hour and first year commissions won’t attract the best talent among graduates who just spent tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars getting an education and accruing student loans.5

A New Model

Sales executives and managers (in sports) routinely bring in motivational sales speakers and hold weekly pep talks. Why? Because the nature of the role and associated benefits of the job aren’t intrinsically motivating on their own merits.

One of our partners, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, decided to do something about it with the support of leadership, including Frank Miceli and Tim Salier. Lindsay Beale, Director of Business Development at SS&E, walks us through the four steps they undertook.

Step 1: Look at the hard truth

We studied our sales work force and realized we were recruiting talent, investing resources into their professional training and development and they were leaving our organizations for other local corporations in sales roles.  We thought we had the hiring and recruiting figured out. We found individuals who really wanted to sell. For years we felt our compensation was competitive to other sports organizations. This helped with recruiting, but when you hire talented salespeople, they have opportunities outside of the sports & entertainment business.

Corporations look for talented salespeople from reputable organizations. They use aggressive recruiters, signing bonuses, high base salaries and competitive compensation packages to attract them.  We realized we couldn’t compete with them–specifically with our representatives with under 3 years of tenure.

We worked with finance and HR to evaluate our current sales structure to establish a plan to address our top concern of retention.  Through our research it was also clear compensation wasn’t the only place sports sales are behind the corporate sales world.  We are currently in the process of addressing sales retention by reviewing three areas: compensation, sales enablement and culture.

Step 2: Create competitive compensation

Teams may think their compensation is competitive with other teams, but that is the wrong comparison point if the goal is to retain talented salespeople. We restructured in four ways.

  1. Supplement commission in the first few years with a higher base salary to provide stability while the sales representatives build their books of business. [Among S3 partners moving in this direction, this ranges from $30,000 up to $42,000 for base pay.]
  2. Restructure commission to reward all sales revenue. We realized our commission structure heavily rewarded products that more tenured representatives were selling but weren’t incentivizing newer representatives.
  3. Provide a strong upside for top sales representatives, with clear rewards and recognition for high achievement.
  4. Hire sales representatives at a full time, full benefits position. No seasonal positions.

Step 3: Give them the tools

We established a Sales Enablement strategy applying digital tools, analytics and strategic processes to allow our sales team to excel in their jobs.

  1. Utilize data and analytics.
    • Lead Scoring
    • Appending data to sales leads to target individuals for specific campaigns
      • Examples: Outer markets for weekend plans or high net worth individuals for premium events.
  2. Invest in technology to improve sales efficiency.
    • Conversica, artificial intelligent sales assistant
    • Zip Whip, texting platform
    • ZoomInfo, business to business prospecting tool
    • Linked-In Sales Navigator
  3. Train and develop adaptive selling skills.
    • SS&EU: 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.
    • Internal and external sales trainers
    • On the job sales training

Step 4: Create a people first culture. Really.

  • Provide a clear path for internal promotions.
  • Recognize each seller has an individual selling style. Coach, develop and set metrics to fit each representative.
  • Promote work life balance for everyone.
    • Eliminate the following phrases from management vocabulary:
      • Grind.
      • First one in, last one out.
      • Outwork everyone else.
    • Focus on quality of work and their commitment to the sales process, goals and team.
      • Commitment (you want) vs. Compliance (you must)
  • Allow flexible hours that still meet business needs.
  • Increase self-empowerment. Encourage reps to make their own decisions on how to manage time and activities to reach goals rather than micromanage to the numbers.
    • Coach reps to improve each day and strive for stretch goals they set for themselves.

Conclusion

We believe the S3 program can recruit more and better talent to the major the more teams buy into the new model aimed at development and retention. Just because teams can recruit people to fill each sales class with low wages and benefits doesn’t make it the right thing to do–either for the candidate or the team’s welfare. Basic sales management principles show us how we can do better.

Some teams are taking the lead. Since word has gotten out, others have reached out to say they are following suit. Do you want to join them? Are you in?

  1. Selling: Building Partnerships, 2014, Castleberry & Tanner, New York: McGraw-Hill. Quotes straight from the book are in italics.
  2. https://www.ringdna.com/blog/work-to-retain-sales-reps.
  3. https://www.wardsauto.com/dealer/maxdigital-out-stem-74-turnover-rate-among-dealer-salespeople.
  4. Sales Management: Analysis & Decision Making, 2012 Ingram et al., London: Sharpe.
  5. Even if it isn’t a private school (average ~$35k/year), public school still costs at least $10k/year for tuition/fees alone.

S3 Summer 2022 Update

S3 Summer 2022 Update

What’s happening in S3?

New in 2022-23

All S3 Club meetings (schedule TBA) will be open to S3 Club members, alumni, recruiters and long-time supporters to join on Zoom or drop by in-person if you’re in town. These Wednesday/Thursday lunch meetings (12:15-1pm) feature Shorty’s Pizza, the official pizza of S3! The S3 Awards Show in April is also open to S3 club members, alumni, recruiters, and long-time supporters. Complete the form at the bottom of this page to be notified about dates, times, people and places.

Program Growth

S3 Club Six-Year Expansion = +74%: Membership in the S3 Club, which feeds into the S3 Marketing major, has recovered from Covid to set an all-time high along with enrollment in the S3 program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S3 Major → S3 Marketing Major Growth = +58%: Moving from a dedicated S3 major to the MKT major with S3 Sales and/or S3 Analytics tracks for the first full class in 2022-2023 continues to attract quality students into the program. The first two classes (2022-23 and 2023-24) in the new program exceed 40 students each. The S3 major averaged 26 for the previous six years.

Placement: Historically, over 95% of S3 seniors find full-time positions by the month of graduation. Half (50%) of these work in professional sports.  In 2022, the program placed over 40 students in professional internships. Click here to see the internship and placement list dating back to 2016.

Student & Professional Engagement

The S3 program generated and expended over $53,000 on S3 student activities to engage with teams, agencies and brands in 2021-2.

The Values Based Leadership Program

Supported by corporate and professional sports partners, students in each class took trips to San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Boston to engage professionals in SIC ‘EM Discussion Panels. SIC ‘EM stands for Spirit, Integrity, Commitment, Empowerment, and Motivation.

With corporate support from BirdieBox, WOWorks, 9th Wonder, and team support from the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Dynamo, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs, S3 students learn how to make better decisions with fewer regrets. Check below on the form if your organization is interested in participating. Read more about S3 Values Based Leadership here.

The National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship (NCSSC)

Registration for the ’21-‘22 event included 61 schools (+50%) and 185 students (+42%) for the online qualifier round. The Championship hosted nearly 200 people at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA and was co-hosted by the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club. Recruiting and limited sponsorship opportunities are available for ’22-’23. Click here to learn more about the 2022-23 Sales and Analytics Championships.

Recruiting at S3 Pro Days

Recruiters for interns and full-time positions in sales and/or analytics can register here. Pro Days will be virtual on November 11th and January 27th.

Demonstrated Leadership

Online reach: The Baylor S3 program (1600+ followers) and NCSSC (2000+ followers) each has more followers than any other sports-related academic program, such as Michigan, Texas A&M, Oregon, UCF, USF, and Ohio University, on Linked-In. Join us!

Research: Lane Wakefield and Kirk Wakefield, with co-author Kevin Keller, co-authored the 2021 “Paper of the Year in Sports Marketing” by the American Marketing Association’s Sport Special Interest Group (AMA SportSIG) published in the Journal of Advertising. Lane Wakefield was awarded the “Emerging Scholar in Sport Marketing” by the AMA SportSIG on the strength of publications in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Service Research and Sport Management Review. Kirk Wakefield, awarded the AMA SportsSig Career Achievement Award, publishes in the leading marketing journals, including Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Service Research, and many more.

 

S3 News & Events Notification

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Baylor S3 Welcomes New Director | Kicks-off S3 Zoom Class Reunions

Baylor S3 welcomes Lane Wakefield as new S3 Director

Welcome to the new S3 Director


S3 Alumni + Business Professionals: Would you like to be involved in S3 this coming school year? Dr. Lane Wakefield invites you to let us know how! Click here.


With co-founder of the S3 program, Dr. Darryl Lehnus, retiring close of Fall 2020, Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business is bringing in Dr. Lane Wakefield (Baylor MS ’11) as the incoming Director of the Center for Sports Strategy and Sales (S3). Lane followed in his father, Dr. Kirk Wakefield’s footsteps to create a program patterned after S3 at Mercer University after completing his PhD at Texas A&M in 2016. After a national search, Lane was selected as the incoming S3 Director.

At Mercer University (Macon, GA), Lane helped build their Sports Marketing & Analytics program and launched the National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship. He has published research in prestigious marketing journals, including the Journal of Service Research and Journal of Interactive Marketing, as well as upcoming articles in the Journal of Advertising and Journal of Advertising Research. At Mercer, Lane worked closely with the professional sports teams in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast, as well as with companies and agencies, to educate, train and place students.

With two Dr. W’s in the Center for Sports Strategy & Sales in the Marketing Department, Kirk will continue as the Executive Director, while Lane is the Program Director. As Marketing Department faculty members, both report to the Department Chair, Dr. Chris Pullig, and together will continue the innovative efforts initiated by Dr. Lehnus and the senior Dr. Wakefield.  As Lane noted,

“We have always worked well together. Not only through childhood, but even the last few years on research papers. The potential synergy is exciting. It usually takes years to get to know your colleagues, to develop trust and an understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses—we’ve got that in spades,” Lane said.

Lane added how it will be an honor to follow the leadership modeled by Dr. Lehnus,

“There should be another version of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary ‘Doc and Darryl’ to share what Baylor S3’s Dr.’s Kirk and Darryl accomplished. Most everyone in the sports business world knows and respects S3. A key reason is the Center’s mission to instill integrity. Darryl shared with me how central integrity is to his S3 courses and relationship-building with students. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to build on what he’s done through the Values-Based Leadership course and how the two together established integrity as a hallmark of the program.”

S3 Zoom Class Reunions with Dr. Lehnus

As Professor Lehnus enters his final semester at Baylor this fall, we schedule S3 Class Reunions on Zoom to chat with Dr. Lehnus, each other, and we’ll save a little time to meet the old and new Dr. W’s.

Each meeting will start at 5pm, Thursdays, as follows, with designated class captains helping us get everyone Zoomed in. Click here to register. You’ll need the Eventbrite (free) ticket to access.

  • September 10 | Classes 2006-2007 | Todd Pollock + Brian George
  • September 17 | Classes 2008-2009 | Mike Vogelaar + Lauren Ward
  • September 24 | Classes 2010-2011  | Chase Jolesch + Evin Martinez
  • October 1 | Classes 2012-2013 | Michael Hurley + Sarah Proctor
  • October 8 | Classes 2014-2015 | Austin Avery + Blake Pallansch
  • October 15 | Classes 2016-2017 | Julio Pineda +  Erica Moulder
  • October 22 | Classes 2018-2019 | Ali Harman + Tanner Clark

Other previous or current advisors and friends in the professional ranks are invited to join any of the class meetings.

 

S3 News Fall 2019

S3 News Fall 2019

New S3 Center Space

The new Center for Sports Strategy & Sales (S3) on the second floor of the business school offers great opportunities to engage with students on a daily basis. With three offices and visiting area, we can readily welcome students, guests, and families. Come by to visit us anytime!

S3 Free Fridays

To take advantage of our location we are launching #S3FreeFridays. We invite teams, corporations and agencies to promote themselves to Baylor students by providing branded items (caps, shirts, etc.) and/or a prize (signed jerseys, 2-4 tickets, a cruise to the Bahamas 😊) to distribute to office visitors on a Friday devoted to the organization. Click here to request a week!

For the team, corporation or agency, we will (a) run your PPT or videos on our office and classroom video board (located in main hallway on the first floor of the business school) all week, (b) collect the names of students interested in interviewing for internships or careers, and (c) facilitate recruitment via phone, video conference and in-person on our S3 recruitment days in January & February (see below).

S3 Save the Dates

Are you interested in recruiting S3 Sales or S3 Analytics students? Mark your calendars for:

1. S3 Analytics Careers Conference on Thursday/Friday on January 31 and February 1, 2020.

2. S3 Sales Careers Conference on Thursday/Friday on February 13-14, 2020.

We will host S3 alumni and guests for meals, conference sessions, and recruitment spaces to interview juniors for internships and seniors for careers. Premier Sales partners are welcome to schedule days in the fall to coincide with S3 Free Fridays to conduct virtual or in-person interviews.

Corporations and agencies associated with S3 can select which conference best suits their interests and attend one or both. As Kelly Roddy shared, demand for talent in analytics continues to rapidly grow for brands and agencies. At the same time, S3 has always produced graduates that excel in sponsorship activation, selling and measurement. Those with that interest may choose to attend the S3 Sales Careers Conference where others in partnership sales & activation will attend.

S3 & BU Athletics Official Partnership

The brainchild of Ryan Eklund, in a one-of-a-kind groundbreaking agreement, the Baylor Athletic Department is partnering with the Center for Sports Strategy & Sales (S3) to place S3 sales and S3 analytics students into paid positions working on the business side of the Athletics Department.  Thanks to the vision of Jeramiah Dickey, Jovan Overshown and Cody Gougler, the top students in S3 Sales and S3 Analytics will have the opportunity to gain two years of work experience in Baylor Athletics in one or more of the following roles:

  1. Analytics: CRM Campaign Management, CRM Campaign Analytics, Direct Marketing, Website/Google Analytics, Digital Applications/Yinzcam, and Data Engineer.
  2. Sales: Season memberships, ticket plans, group sales (Fan Engagement), and sponsorship sales (Baylor Bear Sports Properties)

The net result will be highly seasoned, experienced graduates ready to assume greater responsibilities and higher compensation than other recent graduates competing for jobs in the business of sports. Read more here from Baylor University about the announcement.

S3 Leadership Partners

Are you a leader? Does your organization develop strong leaders?

S3 Leadership Partners are committed to improving the industry through education and talent development. Financial support goes directly to place S3 students into paid sales & analytics positions in the Baylor University Athletic Department. Leadership Partners receive preferential treatment with prominent displays in the S3 classroom, S3 office suite, S3 materials, S3 website, and first crack at recruiting and event registration.

Let us know if your organization would like to join the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Texas Rangers, Baylor Athletics, Phillips 66 and Eventellect in this prestigious circle of S3 Leadership Partners.

In addition, our S3 Premier Sales Partners offer qualified S3 Sales graduates entry level positions as account executives with compensation and benefits competitive with other corporate professional sales positions. Read more about these partners here.

S3 Director Search

As we chart the future for the S3 program, we seek an innovative faculty member to come alongside and shepherd the students in the S3 program to continue the legacy Dr. Darryl Lehnus has set for us. Dr. Lehnus is officially retiring in December of 2020, but will always remain connected through our S3 Alumni Network and Friends. We look for someone similarly like minded dedicated to following Christ in service to others, with experience and motivation to continue the growth of the S3 program. Please help us spread the word! A Masters is required and a PhD is preferred. The full job announcement and application is located here. Initial interviews begin in August 2019 at the AMA National Meetings in Chicago and can also be arranged via video conference.

November Newsletter

by Will Evans – November 2018

S3 Alumni Spotlight

Vishal Nagarajan

Vishal Nagarajan (S3 2018), KORE Software, Junior Associate

Tell us about your experience at Data Strategy Day?

“S3’s Data Strategy Day was a great experience. For the students there, being exposed to the information the various speakers provided is invaluable and will go a long way to jump start their careers. For alumni and other business professionals in attendance, it was a great opportunity to reconnect, network, and learn how other areas of the industry are growing and advancing. Very much looking forward to next year’s Data Strategy Day!”

S3 UPCOMING EVENTS

Premier Partner Day

  • When: November 9th, 2018
  • Where: Foster 143/144, Baylor University
  • Why: To introduce S3 seniors and juniors to the best sales career opportunities and internships in the sports industry.
Brand Strategy Day

  • When: January 25th, 2019
  • Where: BBVA Compass Stadium (daytime) and Toyota Center (evening)
  • Why: To engage, educate, and recruit students interested in careers in brand strategy and partnership sales, service and activation in sports & entertainment.
  • Register: baylor.edu/business/s3/brand

Data Strategy Day Speaker Highlights

S3 Alumni at Data Strategy Day Top: Colby Conner, Matthew Burke, Chase Kanaly Bottom: Vishal Nagarajan, Leslie Horn, Brooks Byers, Alex Karp

Leslie Horn (S3 2012) – StoneTimberRiver and SSB
StoneTimberRiver, now a part of SSB, is a third party vendor for CRM solutions serving over 60 professional sports teams and entertainment events. Horn serves as the manager for Client Services. At Data Strategy Day, Horn spoke about the importance of proper training for using CRM at teams and organizations. She noted that the biggest problems she sees with teams are bad data and bad usage of data.

“CRM can be an amazing tool to increase the efficiency of your organization. However, you get out what you put in. If you have bad data, you are going to have bad results, no matter how good your salespeople are.”

Grant Bills – (S3 2009) – FISH Technologies

FISH provides strategy and services to derive optimal results, and derive meaningful insights from events and conferences. Fish has worked with hundreds of events including the NBA and NHL All-Star Games and the 2018 College Football Playoff. Fan interaction at events begins with gaining data through app-signups and tablet registration. All data is tracked through the fan’s app, and gamified experiences engage fans and reward them for active participation. As Bills explains,

“The FISH Platform ensures that the entire event ecosystem is connected and measurable. This ensures fan engagement is tracked throughout the entire event footprint: understanding where they engage, what they collect, what they share, and how that behavior applies to a refined Unified Fan Profile.”

Thank you to our guest speakers from 4FRONT, StoneTimberRiver/SSB, and FISH Technologies!

Want to get involved with S3? Click here or email Ian_Young@baylor.edu

Do MLB giveaways and special events influence attendance?

Do MLB giveaways and special events influence attendance?
by Kirk Wakefield – October 2018

Forbes reported before the 2018 season started that clubs planned over 1800 special event promotions, including about 28 giveaways per team on average. The Cardinals (49), Dodgers (42), and Cubs (41) all topped 40 giveaways. The Marlins (11), Athletics (14), and Diamondbacks (15) were the least giving. If you’re already seeing a pattern, you may be onto something.

Not everyone follows MLB attendance with the same passion as I do. I’ve been tracking and analyzing MLB attendance trends decade by decade since 1990. In the 1990s and early 2000s, it was the rash of new stadiums drawing fans to the game. As we move into the current decade, the strongest predictor of attendance is the presence of star players (represented by total payroll) and the fact that each new year brings overall lower attendance. Winning has always been important, but always behind star power and stadium-related factors (including capacity). Ticket prices, as we’ll see shortly, rarely influence annual attendance. Instead, we can reliably predict next year’s prices based on this year’s attendance.

What about giveaways and special events?

We don’t have historical, annual data on the number of giveaways and special events offered by team. But, thanks to Forbes, we have them for 2018.

It’s not enough to ask, “Are more giveaways and special events correlated with attendance?” You must account for anything else that might influence attendance. Thankfully we did this for you.

To explain average attendance (right) we include the following factors for each team:

  1. Total payroll in dollars
  2. Won/loss percentage
  3. Stadium capacity
  4. Special Events
  5. Giveaways
  6. Population/Franchise Index 1
  • Fan Cost Index (see Team Marketing)
  • Park factors: Runs scored; Home runs

 

The results

We can explain 91.3% of the variance in attendance with these factors. If you think that is high, you are correct. We rarely explain over 90% of anything. If you’d like to play with the data yourself, click here to download. 2

We numbered the factors above for a reason. They represent, in order, those factors with the most influence on attendance. Total payroll (B = .411), winning (B = .328), and size of the stadium (B = .313; i.e., bigger stadiums like the Yankees and Dodgers) each strongly predict average attendance.

Special events (B = .224) and giveaways (B = .198) significantly influence attendance (p < .05). But, not so fast. We took a deeper dive on the relationship of giveaways on attendance. The relationship is not linear.


As most readers likely guessed, what we see is the classic sideways-S curve of a cubic function. Ok, maybe you don’t hit these kinds of curves very well. But, you can see from the graph that teams offering few giveaways (e.g., Marlins and A’s) fared poorly.  As teams offer 10-20 giveaways, attendance increases. However, the dip in the curve shows a good many teams with 20-40 giveaways actually decrease in attendance. This is bad.

What is good? Going all out. The teams offering 40 or more fared very well. This finding is consistent with the philosophy of making the big even bigger. Rather than using promotions only to shore up lousy games, make the big game weekends too big to ignore. The spillover excitement offers a windfall to attendance overall.

What is better? More giveaways and special events give fans more reasons to go. Without, you’re just selling baseball. With, you’re selling entertainment. Want baseball fans to bring less motivated family members and friends? Give them a reason. Many reasons.

The unconvinced are saying, well, those are the Dodgers, Cubs and Cardinals. They have bigger or better stadiums, or winning teams, or maybe bigger markets. We accounted for all of that, remember? These numbers don’t lie. The number of giveaways explain or predict attendance (apart from everything else), and the effect increases at an increasing rate.

Conclusion

The results also show that special events significantly increase attendance. Teams like the Padres (172), Brewers (136), and Royals (126) benefitted from these appeals to different market segments to increase attendance above what it would have been without them. We can argue those with the fewest special events (Red Sox, Mets & Yankees) didn’t need them because of the other factors going in their favor. What might they have done with them?

Finally, it’s always interesting to note the cost of going to the game doesn’t influence average attendance. Neither did any of the park factors, like runs scored or home runs. The total market size and inter-city rivalries help attendance, but just as it has from 1990-2015, it is the least (although significant) effect.

 

  1. The PFI accounts for larger markets + total major league franchises in the DMA. The New York teams lead the way with the largest population and the most (9) major league teams.
  2. To get 91.3% R-Squared you need to include the quadratic and cubic functions for giveaways.

S3 September-October Newsletter

S3 September-October Newsletter
by Ian Young – October 2018

S3 Alumni Spotlight

Blake Pallansch

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.
  • Register and find details online at www.baylor.edu/business/s3/data.

S3 Internship Spotlights

Collin Kensinger – New York Mets

“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.”

S3 Summer Internships

 

 

Want to get involved with S3? Visit www.baylor.edu/business/s3 or email Ian_Young@Baylor.edu

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