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.

Do you have your P’s in order?

Do you have your P’s in order?
by Kirk Wakefield – January 2018

People. Purpose. Performance. (Pictures.)

S3 2018 Board Meeting

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:

U.S. Compensation Across All Industries

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.

Leadership Style

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.

Source: KenBanchard.com

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 InstituteAre 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/S3Thanks to those who traveled to Waco to experience record-breaking cold. Check out your pics below! Click on one to begin the slide show.


A Different Kind of Sports Conference

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

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

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

The goals of the summit

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

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

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

Join us!

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

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

How the San Antonio Spurs Grow Good People

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

Defining Culture

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

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

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

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

Changing the Conversation

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

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

Develop, Grow, Lead

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

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

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

The Results

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

Pitch Perfect Alpha

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

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

Values-driven

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

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

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

How do values shape the culture?

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

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

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

Baylor S3 success stories

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

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

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

True Partnership

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

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


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

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

 

Execution: 7 Essential Behaviors of Leadership in Sales Management

Execution: 7 Essential Behaviors of Leadership in Sales Management
by Kelly Roddy – July 2015

What is leadership?

“Genuine leadership comes from the quality of your vision and your ability to spark others to extraordinary performance.” – Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric

Leadership is “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal.” As a leader, you may or may not have any formal authority. You may be the president of your organization or you may be in an entry level sales position. There are many things that determine your ability to lead, including your ability to positively interact with others, your behavior, your vision, your values, your charisma and your intelligence, among others. One of the key traits of a great leader is the ability to execute at a high level.

As a leader in charge of execution, what do you do? How do you keep from being a micromanager, caught up in the details of running the business? The answer is to exhibit the seven essential behaviors of successful execution management discussed in Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s book, “Execution.”

Seven Essential Behaviors

Know your people and your business.

Are you familiar with the details of your business? Are you spending time with your people? Are you asking questions and understanding how they spend their time? Are you only getting your information from your direct reports and peers or are you talking to others in the organization like teammates that work in other departments and customers to understand the details of your business? Leaders know what is going on in their business.

Insist on realism.

Most of us in business and sales are optimists. We always expect the best outcome. That is great, but as eternal optimists we can’t avoid reality. Make sure you are being honest with yourself. Look at the facts. Don’t hide mistakes. We can only make great decisions and execute at a high level if we understand the details and facts of the business. We must be realistic and set priorities against reality.

Set clear goals and priorities.

“We don’t think ourselves into a new way of acting, we act ourselves into a new way of thinking.” ― Bossidy & Charan, Execution

I like to set priorities in groups of five. A few clear priorities done well will produce much stronger and more sustainable results than many priorities done mediocre or not well. Focus on the few key priorities that will have real impact.

Follow through.

This is the area in which I see leaders fail too often. At the end of the day, your clear goals are meaningless if resources are not dedicated to those goals and actions are not happening. There must be follow through mechanisms put in place. You need key performance metrics and scheduled follow-up meetings. Everyone must know what their roles are in the process and what actions are needed.

Reward the doers.

“The foundation of changing behavior is linking rewards to performance and making the linkages transparent.” ― Bossidy & Charan, Execution

Do you want results? Then you must reward people who drive those results. We all need to recognize those who execute at a high level and move things forward for the organization. Sometimes the most meaningful reward is as simple as verbal recognition or a personal note, telling them “Great Job!” The doers are the people who should receive recognition and rewards.

Expand people’s capabilities.

One of your most important roles as a leader is to pass along your wisdom and experience to the next generation of leaders. This is imperative for your aggressive growth plan at your company or team. Teach others.

Know yourself.

We all know the importance of character. To lead execution, strong character is critical. You must have the strength of character to deal with the realities of your organization and the strength to give forthright assessments to others in the organization. You also must have the courage to make decisions that sometimes are not easy.

We need great leaders in business and sales. We need leaders with clear vision to execute at a high level to produce positive results. Your ability to lead execution has never been more crucial. Be a great leader of vision and of execution!

 

9 Ways to Best Use Time to Build Your Sports Career

9 Ways to Best Use Time to Build Your Sports Career
by Jeff Eldersveld – June 2015

The most valuable thing any sports professional can give is time. It doesn’t matter what stage in the career – looking for a job, recent hire at a job, or a seasoned veteran – because how time is spent defines one’s self and, ultimately, one’s career advancement.

Time management is often not formally taught in school or even at jobs for that matter. Yet it is directly mentioned in a vast majority of sports job descriptions. Entering college, students are thrust into an environment where they have to balance a workload of multiple classes, assignments, and extra-curricular activities. So, they become self-taught time management enthusiasts. Some students figure it out. But, what worked in college may not equate to success in the sports industry when it comes time to get a job, start a job, or continue as a seasoned veteran in this industry.

How to Best Use Time to Get a Job

Let’s focus on first-time job seekers.

  • 1. Intentional Internships: To get a job you have to have experience and to get experience you have to have a job. So, the most important use of your time should be finding an internship that directly translates to a desired occupation, rather than just accepting whatever will give course credit. Sometimes that means pursuing & creating an internship where one didn’t exist. You must intentionally commit scheduled time to develop relationships & connections. Your university, as well as the sports organizations in your area, often provide opportunities to network with executives. You should be first in line and last to leave after getting their business cards.
  • 2. Navigate Patience vs. Persistence: College students work their way through four years of school (or more) and have a job waiting for them when they graduate. Wrong. Not in sports! In a perfect world, sports administration programs would have rolling graduation dates to coincide with the off-seasons of the four major professional sports. Because that is not a reality, most first-time job seekers must be patient. The hiring cycle in sports does not always fit with recruiting practices of corporate America.

While patience is necessary, persistence is required to make sure your resume floats to the top of the pile when a job opens. Time must be spent reaching out to prospective employers letting them know about a related school project, something you saw in the S3 Report (duh), or some form of warm and NOT random conversation. Then when a job does open up, the decision becomes much easier on who the employer should reach out to first.

How to Best Use Time as a Recent Hire

Too many want to rush this stage without taking the time to develop their skill sets, instead diverting focus by looking for the next promotion or better job opportunity.

Figure1-Candour1
Linking Candour to Leadership
  • 3. Train like it’s a marathon, not a sprint: Rarely does someone become General Manager or Vice President before the age of 30. Developing leadership competencies (see right) don’t happen overnight or even in a few years.  Marathon runners are known for superior endurance and mental toughness. Half of running a marathon (other than the 26.2 miles) is believing it can be done. Time must be devoted to training, learning how to crash through “the wall,” and sacrificing momentary pain for long-term accomplishment.

Recent hires need to work like this. Impress the person who hired you by showing a high level of commitment and ability to accomplish delegated tasks. It may seem tough to endure while wondering if that promotion is ever going to come. That is a mental block or wall to overcome. Stay focused on the task at hand. Gradually earn more responsibility as you train, ready to go the entire distance. Don’t be the one who stops halfway and hops on the bus for the easy ride back home.

How to Best Use Time as a Seasoned Veteran

As you develop leadership skills and are in a position to lead and help others, two of the best ways to use your time are to give back and to work with the right people.

  • 4. Give Back: To become a “seasoned veteran,” others had to help along the way. Devote time to the next generation of up-and-coming sports industry superstars. These superstars could be looking for internships, first-time jobs, or taking a step to further their careers. But one thing is the same: a knowledge transfer from a veteran is what will help pave the way for the superstar’s future success.
  • 5. Hire the Right People: There is no better way to spend time than building a highly functional team. The trick is to identify resources during one’s career that produce top talent either by coming up through a highly reputable organization (led by seasoned veterans) or college students who have been given a superstar skill set by their institutions. Once these areas have been identified, finding the right people becomes much more efficient. And with efficiency comes better productivity and more time to train – making the team that much better.

Time is Always Needed for This

Here are a few exercises to practice no matter what career stage.

  • 6. Say Thank You: Handwritten notes are still king because they take time to write. But, don’t neglect a verbal thank you, either. Whether in the office or over the phone, saying thank you preaches humility – which is also why this act should be done to subordinates as much as superiors.
  • 7. Learn More to Teach More: Take time to find your inner curiosity. Discover something new like learning HTML or attending an online seminar. Better yet, gain new knowledge and disseminate that knowledge amongst peers and coworkers. It doesn’t help anyone when knowledge is concealed.
  • 8. Call Your Family: Whether it’s a special occasion like Father’s Day or just the start of a new week or month, make a point to reach out to your family – especially Mom and Dad. They are, after all, the ultimate seasoned veterans.
  • 9. Find Your Happy Place: Everyone goes through difficult days where stress pops up in unforeseen ways. Powering through it some days may work but use these opportunities to “take a lap” around the office. With most teams, a lap means walking around the arena to clear the mind and refocus but it could also be in the form of a physical workout.

Cover photo courtesy of Jeff Davidson.

 

The surprisingly simple little secret to landing a leadership position

The surprisingly simple little secret to landing a leadership position
by Kirk Madsen – October 2014

What is leadership?

For everything written about leadership and management (an Amazon.com search yields over 1 million books on the topic!), we sure seem to have a lot of questions about what it is and how to do it. One of the questions people in leadership positions get asked all the time is, “How did you get to where you are now?”

Whatever their answer is, it will probably include a surprisingly simple little secret.

Ready? There is no secret.

There really isn’t much of a mystery. Leaders follow simple, repeatable processes anyone can start immediately!

But, before we talk about these processes, let’s first establish two key ground rules:

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Ground rule #1: Consistency is king.

Ground rule #2: A positive attitude is non-negotiable.[/dropshadowbox]

These two ground rules are the cornerstones or the foundation for all you do. Over the long haul, building success without these cornerstones is impossible. From there, focus on a few key concepts:

Concept #1: Do more, now.

Leaders work harder and generate results more consistently than their peers.

Dionna Widder
Dionna Widder

Dionna Widder, the Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service with the Cleveland Cavaliers, sums this point up perfectly: “You do not need a title to be a leader. Set yourself apart with your work ethic and results.” Everyone is capable of having a great week, or even a great month. Leaders have great quarters and great years. Sure, they have their off-days. So did Michael Jordan; his were just better than everyone else’s.

Concept #2: Lead, now.

Take on a leadership role with your current team.

Joe Schiavi
Joe Schiavi

Joe Schiavi, the Director of Inside Sales with the Detroit Pistons, offers some practical advice to practice leadership now: “Teach less experienced reps and give time out of your day to make sure that your teammates have the best possible opportunity for success.  Your manager will notice your extra efforts. Your teammates will respect you because you took the time out of your day to help them when they needed assistance.”

Concept #3: Be a student.

Every day.

Consider how much more capable you are of passing a test when you’ve taken the time to study. Widder recommends, “Schedule a meeting with your manager or other leaders in the industry to learn.  Seek out resources and dedicate time to be a student.” Books, articles, TED talks, conversations with others – there are countless resources available. Use one of them every day!

Concept #4: Pick your peers.

Immediately find mentors and surround yourself with successful people.

Do you know what I love most about being a leader? Finding others who want to succeed, and empowering them to do it. On a peer-to-peer level, spend your time and energy with people who exhibit the positive personal and professional traits you see (or want to see) in yourself. On an executive level, ask the people you admire to mentor you. The benefits of surrounding yourself with successful people will be real and immediate. “Ask and welcome feedback from your leaders, peers, and friends and develop plans to improve areas that need improving,” Widder says. “Feedback can be both positive and constructive; both are valuable to your growth.”

By applying these concepts, you’ll have a greater impact on your organization. The greater the impact, the greater your chances of breaking into leadership positions.


Cover photo courtesy of MarcMo.

 

Got a Question? A New Idea? Ask the Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) Forum!

Got a Question? A New Idea? Ask the Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) Forum!
by Kirk Wakefield – May 2014

Post questions to the community

This month we introduce the Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) forum where you can post questions to others in the community. We encourage you to ask others what works for them in the area of ticket sales, sponsorship sales & activation, sponsorship metrics, sales analytics, CRM, social media, digital media, or any other category in the area of sports business.

 [dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#F7D358″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Click here to visit the S3 Forum.[/dropshadowbox]

Offer ideas & feedback

One of the options in the forum is to select “Feedback” as the category. Use that category in the forum to post ideas for new articles, ask for help, or offer insights/comments on how we can improve our service to the sports sponsorship & sales industry. We’ll check regularly and follow-up with each idea or suggestion.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#F7D358″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ] Click here to connect with members in the S3 Community.[/dropshadowbox]

Set your profile to public if you want to make friends

profileYou may not need another social network, but feel free to connect here to build friendships among like-minded, goal-oriented people committed to the sports sales industry.

So that others in the community can find you, be sure to set your profile to “public.” Members may edit profiles by clicking on the button in the upper right corner  where it says, “Howdy, Your Name.”

I want to join the community. What do I do?

Hey, I don’t see anyone saying, “Howdy” to me.

To join, just click on the social media button in the upper right corner! Or click here.

 

3 Key Insights for Women in the Business of Sports

3 Key Insights for Women in the Business of Sports
by Hannah Bouziden – May 2014

Successful Leaders in the Wide World of Sports Business

Women increasingly move up the corporate ladder across America, but have faced a greater challenge in the once male-dominant industry of professional sports. In a world where people like Donald Sterling have been operating, what is it like for females as they progress to the highest executive levels in the business of sports?

On April 14th, 2014, Baylor University’s Sports Sponsorship & Sales Club welcomed three leading women in the world of professional sports to speak about the challenges they have overcome in their careers. The panel included, Paige Farragut (Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service with the Texas Rangers Baseball Club), Tami Walker (Manager, U.S. Fuels Brand Management for Phillips 66, 76, and Conoco), and Amy Pratt (Vice President of Event & Tours with Legends/Dallas Cowboys). During the discussion, the women touched on three main topics they believed to have an effect on women in the business of sports and in corporate America. They shared their insights on how to deal with maternity leave, sexual harassment, and the glass ceiling.

1. Maternity Leave

Paige Farragut
Paige Farragut

Having the ability to balance a family life and working in the fast pace world of sports is a concern for many women. Farragut and Walker were able to handle the pressure and become successful women in their industry while raising children.

Walker’s advice is to make sure you build up enough good will prior to maternity, so that others recognize your value to the team and want to make sure the entire process flows smoothly for your return. She also advises to do what is right for your family and just roll with it!

Farragut decided to wait until she was in management to start a family. According to Farragut, “In sales, time away matters.”  Therefore, her advice is to make sure you are flexible and have the ability to put in the hours, even if that means having to manage work at night.

2. Sexual Harassment

Walker’s advice on how to handle sexual harassment in the workplace: First, define what harassment meant to you. Then, make sure you set boundaries and establish awareness among others in a gracious, but firm manner. Both Pratt and Walker stated that you should always be cautious of what you say and how you say it.  “You have no idea what the experiences of other people are,” stated Walker.

Each of the panelists urged young women to find mentors within the organization, others in whom they confide and seek counsel if/when such situations do arise. Different situations and people may require different approaches.

3. The Glass Ceiling

Amy Pratt
Amy Pratt

Although the panelists are aware of potential glass ceilings, each operates under the assumption that it doesn’t apply to them.

Walker’s advice for young women revolved around the idea of never allowing yourself to become your own worse enemy. Never doubt yourself, but instead ask, “why not me?”

Farragut’s advice was just simply proving yourself, because it will eventually pay off. If you are the very best in every position that you have, then you will not be overlooked. An issue Farragut sees among young women in the business of sports today is that she has never had a woman tell her that she would like to be in management some day.

All three of the women agreed that there are opportunities for women, they just have to have the desire to seek them. Pratt stated, “There are tons of opportunities for women to open new doors . . . to make themselves of value.”

Closing Advice

Tami Walker
Tami Walker

Women increasingly moving into senior positions in corporate America. These three women are an encouragement to all young people, especially young women who aspire to make their own success story in the world of sports. Walker left a great piece of closing advice for these young professionals, “If you have a drive as a woman to excel . . . then the opportunities are there, there is nothing that can hold you back.”