How long does it take to get to top of the business side in sports? We researched how many years from graduation to making it as CEOs or Presidents, and CIOs (or equivalent), among MLB teams.
Quarter of a Century
The average time from leaving school to first stepping into the role for the 27 CEO’S and 21 CIO’S included in our study was 25.4 years for CEOs and 17.69 years for CIOs. CEOs in MLB make a livable wage, typically into the seven-figure range.
The range was 13 to 46 years for CEOs and 3 to 34 for CIOs. Stan Kastan took 13 years to get to the top of the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Ron Fowler of the San Diego Padres took the longer route (46 years). In technology, Corey Kmichik of the Milwaukee Brewers, reached the CIO spot in 3 years and Don Brown of the Chicago White Sox took 34 years.
We also wanted to visualize where these major players received their education. As you can tell from the following the large majority did come from D1 level schools for both CEO’s and CIO’S.
Proportion of D1, D2 and D3 schools for each path.
We found a few interesting facts about the types of degrees that these leaders received. All CEO’s have bachelor’s degrees, but the spread of degree type is more varied than CIO. You have anything from psychology and American history to business and economics. Some CEO’s have MBA degrees, with one from Harvard and one from Wharton. Of the CIO’S, seven of the 29 have master’s degrees. The majority of the bachelor’s degrees are in engineering, with a few in MIS and computer science. There is even one CIO, Scott Swist, that has only a high school diploma and a lot of technical experience.
If you want to be a CEO the chances are higher if you have a law degree and come from a D1 school. To become a CIO, engineering degrees from a good school is a likely starting point, but other paths exist to get to the top of tech.
As an Inside Sales Manager I am often asked what the best salespeople do to be the best. Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to manage or mentor over 100 salespeople so far in my career. I have seen many times what the top performing salespeople have done to separate themselves from their peers. What makes these salespeople great?
One of the most important characteristics of a successful salesperson is the attitude you bring to the office every single day. Although, being positive and having a smile on your face is important, bringing the right attitude to the office is more than just that. As a salesperson it means fully embracing your role as a salesperson that is tasked with generating revenue for your organization. It means having a confidence and assertiveness that will help you close sales and overcome tough objections from customers. And most importantly it means being in total control of how you react to all situations. One of my favorite quotes that I share with every one of my new hires is from Charles Swindoll that says “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” I tell my salespeople that no one else is in control of your attitude but you.
When I was a sales rep I took great pride in my work ethic. I look to hire salespeople with a strong work ethic as well. Sales is a numbers game. More times than not, the people who put in the most work are at or near the top of the sales board. Come early, stay late, make five more phone calls, set one more face to face appointment, do whatever is needed to put yourself in the best situation to succeed. Hard work is not the only recipe to success, but long term success is impossible without it.
It seems simple: Be consistent. Do the little things right every single day. But, it’s tough to do. Consistency requires great discipline. It’s easy to fall into bad habits.
Travis Baker, Inside Sales Manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks says, “There isn’t much that separates the good reps from the great reps on our staff. Because of our hiring process everyone is talented and everyone works hard. So it comes down to day in and day out consistency, as well as a refusal to lose.”
Make a conscious effort to stick to the fundamentals. Do the little things right every day that others do not have the discipline to do. It adds up after a full sales campaign. I always feel more confident in a salesperson’s long term success if s/he produces revenue consistently instead of making a big sale every now and again.
Some of the best advice I ever received: If you are not stepping out of your comfort zone, then you are not challenging yourself to grow.
For most new salespeople, it’s uncomfortable to strike up a conversation with a random stranger. It’s uncomfortable to ask someone you just met (and then tells you no multiple times) to spend thousands of dollars. But, you are tasked with doing this as a salesperson. The fear of the unknown is too much of a risk for some. They play it safe. They stick with comfortable. The best salespeople understand that if they do not take risks–do not get out of their comfort zones–then they will not reach their full potential.
All sales reps typically have the same resources at their disposal. They receive the same training, same types of leads to call, and the same products to sell.
Success comes down to what you do with the opportunity. Look at inside sales as more than just another job. The best reps see it as the start to their careers. They are all-in. They give 100% commitment to whatever it takes to be the best. Losing is never an option. When things don’t go their way they don’t make excuses. The best reps proactively seek help from a boss, a mentor, or peers. Even when there’s little overall sales momentum, they find ways to create momentum for themselves and their sales team. During training with new hires I always share a quote from Will Rogers, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
The Baylor Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) program graduated 30 students in the 2015 class. Two, Erin O’Neill and Travis Roeder, opted to pursue law degrees at Tulane and Alabama, respectively. We congratulate them and the others in the 2015 class with this slide show highlighting their placements. We offer a special thanks to Murray Cohn, Vice President of Team Ticket Sales (NBA), for his dedication and help, as well as to the many other great people and organizations who give back their time to help these newcomers into the sports industry.
In addition to the 30 graduating seniors, the S3 program also placed 28 juniors for training in one of the three S3 tracks offered to students: Sales, CRM & Analytics, or Brand Activation & Service.
Manchester United, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, have the most fans outside their own country. They can count on fans in emerging markets, especially Asia and Africa.
The Red Devils may be suffering on the pitch currently, with the tenure of David Moyes, Sir Alex Ferguson’s anointed heir, currently a stuttering work of bathos, but their relentless commercialization shows no signs of abating. Indeed, it has become something of a running joke that United cannot seem to win much at the moment except for a slew of endorsements and commercial partnerships ranging from Japanese snacks to diesel engines.
Manchester United has an active, if fairly staid, social presence, but they have recently become one of two clubs (Real Madrid being the other) to begin exploiting the burgeoning potential of Google+. With some 1.15 billion registered users, Google+ is a more dynamic, interactive social platform than the less agile social media such as Twitter and Facebook. United has hosted chats with the team on Hangout, and, most recently, launched Front Row, a campaign to encourage that global fan-base mentioned above to participate in the match day experience.
Using a hashtag-based competition, similar to Juventus’ #LoveJu fan choreography campaign, Manchester United invited fans to submit a picture via Twitter or Facebook using the #MUFrontRow hashtag to show their passion for the Red Devils. Winners were then selected from this group to participate in a Google+ hangout, which displayed their faces on the pitch-side advertising hoardings at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, during the showpiece match against north-west rivals Liverpool.
Why the hold up?
Google+ has been around a while, so why has it taken so long for football clubs to recognise and develop its potential?
Clubs’ use of social seems to fall largely into two camps:
the sometimes successful tongue-in-cheek conversation with fans via Twitter, and
the rather generic release of team information, photos, and match reports via all platforms.
Google+ requires thought in order not to be simply yet another platform on which to post the same pictures and comments. But, with thought, Google+ can be perhaps the most useful of all platforms for clubs.
Google+ fan interaction = community
Fans love nothing more than to debate and discuss, to put questions directly to their heroes, and to feel part of a community. This is especially so when it comes to fans of a team in a foreign country.
If you are a die-hard United fan from Thailand or Ghana, you might never get the chance to go to Old Trafford. Google+ hangouts allow a level of engagement and participation that is immediate, actual, and generates the kind of fan engagement that builds a genuine sense of community.
Circles = Global reach for sponsors
The use of ‘circles’ on Google+ also allows the content managers for United’s social team to tailor material specifically to fans in different countries. This, in turn, has an obvious benefit for a club with specific sponsorship partners in different locations. Those commercial tie-ins can be used only in the circles where the have an impact for the sponsoring partner.
The use of Circles is not the only benefit for sponsors. DHL already hosts the Hangouts with players. AON, the title sponsor of United, sees their logo emblazoned across shirts in every Hangout.
The tailoring of commercial messages across specific circles can also benefit sponsors. The main plus point, though, is surely that Google+ allows fans across the world to feel connected in a way that other platforms cannot. It creates a direct, bespoke level of conversation, at times a genuinely two-way conversation, with a variety of content that realises and solidifies a fan’s passion for her team.
Football clubs benefit sponsors mostly by positive association rather than direct messaging. The global reach of Google+, married to its ability to create more of a genuine feeling of community than any other social platform, means it could be the most significant vehicle for generating earned media for clubs yet, with all the commercial benefits that entails.
Manchester United might be struggling on the pitch, but in the social space, they’re setting the pace.
Why do brands line up to sponsor The Olympics & the Super Bowl? Below are five truths you might have suspected, but didn’t have the evidence or the details that explain why brands do what they do.
1. The Super Bowl and The Olympics are the two most powerful sports brands in the United States.
2. Across all leagues the final game is always more powerful in terms of brand strength and stature.
3. The Super Bowl and The Olympics have the most avid fans.
When broken down into percentages of dedication from respective fan bases, the NFL & Olympics have more avid fans than the other leagues, providing tremendous brand rub for sponsors.
4. The Super Bowl and the Olympics Match up with Unique Brand Images
The dedication of each fan base, especially when describing The Super Bowl or The Olympics, originates from what each sporting event stands for. The Super Bowl stands for iconic performance and fun and can be compared to similar brands as the image below indicates. The Olympics, on the other hand, are usually characterized by originality, authenticity, and grace.
5. The Seahawks’ image stands for fan passion, but the Broncos stand taller for perceived skill.
In anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl this weekend, we, and avid NFL fans, see the Denver Broncos taking home the Lombardi trophy.
Special thanks to Emily Buratowski for helping with this article.
Why should brands pay for the rights to be an anchor sponsor of an NFL, MLB, or NASCAR property? Can these properties defend their rate cards that afford brands the rights to communicate with their fans via the property’s venue, television, radio, website, social media, special events, and logos/marks?
“We have been very successful showing the success of sponsorship to build brand equity, and in turn firm value, which has been harder for those trying to use impressions to capture ROI.” ~Anne Rivers, SVP, Global Director of Brand Strategy, BAV Consulting
Sponsorships activate the brand in the minds of passionate fans across multiple channels to achieve brand objectives. If it were just about buying media and exposures to gain a particular audience, there are typically cheaper (CPM) options than sponsorships. But, exposures can be important, because it gives some idea about the potential to reach passionate fans. What it doesn’t tell us is if they are paying attention.
So, the question becomes less about media and more about meaning.
Brand managers are smart. They know single exposures (or even a few) of a brand message have no meaningful impact on consumers. They know people pay more attention when they are highly engaged and passionate, which is what people are about their favorite sports, teams, and players. They also know consumers think, feel, and act more positively toward a brand if the message is received and reinforced through multiple channels.
This brings us to the sponsorship question of the day: Is paying the property for the rights to use their assets worth it?
Evidence for rate card support
[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”350px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ] “Brands have had an overwhelmingly positive response to our analytical approach to measurement. Our ability to provide our partners with measurable, goal-oriented results is invaluable and allows us to truly be a solutions provider.” ~ Matt Webb, Director, Corporate Partnerships, Cleveland Browns[/dropshadowbox]After years working with brands such as AT&T, TXU Energy, HEB, and a variety of other brands in cooperation with The Marketing Arm, this past year I began working with clients in NASCAR, MLB, and the NFL to determine if anchor sponsors receive more bang for the buck than mid or lower level sponsors.
We learned two simple lessons that we’ll complicate with colored charts and graphs.
#1 Attendance means nothing. Engagement means everything.
Fans can spend up to 36 hours over three days at a NASCAR racing event. And many do. But the number of hours at the track has no significant correlation with whether or not fans recognize the activation of brands like Ford, Coke, Sprint, and SpeedTV. Instead, it’s the frequency of engagement with sponsors–which we measured using RFID tags connecting fans with sponsor activation locations–that predicts whether or not fans distinguish the brand as a sponsor and not its competitors.
#2 More channels increase relative brand equity.
With our partner, BAV Consulting, we measure a brand’s energized differentiation (see inset) for not only the sponsor, but also competing brands who may be sponsors or ambushers. In short, sponsors routinely outperform non-sponsors (see our MIT Sports Analytics paper). But, what about anchor sponsors versus secondary sponsorships?
Working with our NFL and MLB team partners, we compare multiple categories of anchor versus secondary sponsors in terms of fans’ recognition of the sponsors’ use of property assets: stadium signage, stadium messages, special game promotions, website, social media, television, radio, and use of team marks in advertising/POP.
If you’re the kind of stats nerd that attends and understands the data analytics presentations at the MIT or Wharton conferences where we’ve presented, then the charts below are for you. If not, here it is in words:
Activation not exposures. How often the fan attends, watches or listens to games increases the odds of recognizing the brand’s sponsorship activation (the green boxes), but does not have a direct effect on the brand’s energized differentiation (the red boxes). This reinforces our NASCAR findings: Just being there doesn’t count. The brand must be activated in the minds of the fans.
Multi-channel communication. The greater the multi-channel activation among the property’ eight assets, the greater the energized brand differentiation of the sponsor (dark green boxes).
Anchors = activation. Fans recognize anchor sponsor communications across more channels than they do for mid-level or low-level sponsors in the same categories (tan boxes). In other words, the additional assets pay off with greater activation of the brand among fans.
Brand equity effects. For the eight categories we tested, each additional effective channel increases energized brand differentiation by 6-7% (the regression equation in Table 2 is an example of one anchor sponsor for the NFL team). Overall, the number of effective channels explains over 90% of a brand’s asset value in the minds of fans. This is a big number.
Some might still say, “So, what? Where’s the big payoff?” We’re glad you asked.
Consistent with our findings in each category, the chart below shows what happens to market share among those fans who recognize activation across multiple channels between the anchor sponsor and the low-level sponsor in the same category.
Both sponsors are national brands with otherwise strong brand equity according to BAV Consulting. But, the payoff for being the anchor sponsor for the NFL team brings substantive market share increases (4.4% ) for each additional effective channel.
If your team or brand would like to learn more, please tweet (@kirkwakefield) below or email. Happy to help!
My favorite is AT&T Park. You don’t have to love baseball to love going there. And that really is the business issue: How do you build or maintain a park that attracts people who don’t really care about baseball? The Cubs aren’t spending $500 million in renovations because baseball fans don’t love Wrigley. They’re concerned about the long-term attractiveness of the park and providing all fans, baseball lovers or not, with a good experience.
What makes a good park?
In the past two weeks I visited Dodgers Stadium, Petco Park (Padres), and Citizens Bank Park (Phillies). On this three-park trip I focused more on the team stores in addition to the sportscape. Let’s take a quick look at the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s start with the good.
San Diego’s Petco Parkis also one of my favorite parks. The location is perfect, adjacent to the Gaslight District for fine eating and close to major thoroughfares and public transportation for easy access. Walk two blocks and you’re good for a stroll along the bay. I’ve been here many times, so the pictures highlight a few things you might not notice if you’ve only been here once or twice.
Many team stores are designed as an after-thought. Not so at Petco Park. The Padres team store opens to an exterior retail street. The merchandise assortment, displays, lighting, and layout are as nice as any comparable upscale retail store. (Place cursor over pictures to pause & read comments.)
Philadelphia’s Citizen’s Bank Park is located in the same area as all of the Philly sports facilities. Public transportation is great (take the Phillies Express to the AT&T subway station), parking is fine, but if you plan to do anything else besides go to the game, forget about it. Outside of the Xfinity Live! establishment on the corner by the football and baseball stadiums, there’s nothing but concrete for miles.
Great parks have signature foods and restaurants–not only in the club level–that fans actually want to consume beyond standard hot dog & beer fare. Outside of maybe the Philly cheese steaks, this is not one of them. The food service on the club level is above average, but the general access food is typical. Overall, the layout and design of the park is easy to navigate and the size of the stadium makes for good sight lines and seats all around.
With respect to the team store, fans may be deceived by the relatively small storefront visible from the concourse. The store is very large and contains an extensive collections of kids and women’s clothing. As with the Padres, the Phillies offer some exclusive items you can only get at the park. Good call.
Dodger Stadium is iconic. Any baseball fan will love it.
Any non-fan? Not so sure. You may have heard it’s in a ravine. From a traffic standpoint, the vast majority of fans assume the only entrance is off the 110 via I-5 or the 101 (blue line on map). The reality is not that LA fans are fashionably late. They are all stuck in traffic about a mile from the stadium.
After sitting at a complete standstill for 15 minutes coming off the 101, I took off to explore an alternate route (the black line) away from the traffic jam. (“Yes, dear, it IS better to move no matter what than to stand still in traffic.”)
In short order I ended up parked–for free–on a nearby street where all the locals obviously go. Traffic was still piled up at the bottle-necked entrance as I walked past the $20 parking. All it would take would be a few traffic cops directing to the less traveled routes. Alternately, like the San Antonio Spurs and others have done, teams can place traffic directions on the website for newcomers. Better yet, email to new ticket buyers.
Now to the apparel and a few other things. Since I love Magic Johnson and the Dodgers I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.
The smaller team store, drab concrete floors and facades, and cramped serving areas are problems with any park built back in the Stone Age of stadiums (1950-70s). Food service areas, passageways, restrooms, and virtually anything that should provide amenities were designed as discomforts. That said, the lower levels have better food service, but fans aren’t allowed to go below their seated level.
Franchises can make some changes. The Dodgers could generate millions in new revenue by moving the press box out of its prime space directly behind home plate. Other parks (e.g., White Sox, Astros, etc.) moved press boxes and immediately sold out all of the new premium seats.
These are just snapshots of a few things baseball franchises (MiLB and MLB) should be monitoring. As part of Baylor’s Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) program, we go into these issues and many more. If interested in an in-depth treatment of sportscape management, you may want to read more at www.teamsportsmarketing.com. As information, this text contains frequent attempts at humor.
The AT&T Challenge is the brainchild of Eric Fernandez (BU ’94), then Director of Corporate Partnerships for AT&T. Working in collaboration with Eric and AT&T’s partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, the Sports Sponsorship & Sales (S3) students developed sponsorship activation strategies in a team competition to see who could be the most creative and effective in reaching partnership objectives.
Since 2007, S3 students have had the privilege of working with a variety of sports properties including the Dallas Stars, San Antonio Spurs, San Diego Padres, AT&T Cotton Bowl, Baylor Athletics, and this year’s partner Circuit of the Americas. Tom Hughes (S3 Board Member, Director of Sponsorship Marketing & Promotions, Reliant Energy) helped grow the program while at AT&T. Eric continues to lead the way in developing the process.
We’re constantly looking for fresh, innovative ideas. As a marketer, it’s easy to fall into a “tunnel vision trap” because you live and breath your brand every day.
The S3 students provide a unique point-of-view unconfined to traditional “corporate” thinking and challenges us to be more creative.
Relevantly connecting with 18-24 year olds is a priority for any brand.What better way to do this than a group of college students providing their points-of-view on what’s interesting and meaningful to them? The students’ ideas are creative, compelling and provide insight into how best to connect with them. [/dropshadowbox]
The AT&T Challenge is real world immersion for students. The structure and process is basic to how sponsorships work. AT&T, currently under the leadership of Bill Moseley, selects a current or prospective sports property partnership relationship. The steps mirror industry practices:
Sponsor goals: AT&T presents the objectives and goals of their marketing strategy and how the sponsorship fits within that strategy.
Property assets: The sports property identifies the resources, inventory, and assets available in packaging the partnership.
Probing/exploration: Representing the property, students ask questions and explore creative opportunities for the partnership.
Preparation: With the goals and asset inventory available, S3 student teams create unique customized partnership proposals. Over the next six weeks, students participate in conference calls (assisted, of course, by AT&T) with the sponsor & property with clarifying questions and applications to ensure package elements are available and can be delivered.
Presentation: Student teams compete to see which of their partnership proposals best meets the needs of the partners.
Baylor University continues to provide the finest sports marketing experiences for its students of any university I have seen. The AT&T Challenge was a tremendous opportunity to see Baylor’s students articulate a sports sponsorship and to see the young talent that ultimately could work for an NHL team like the Dallas Stars.[/dropshadowbox]
S3 students know they will face the evaluations of a panel of national leaders in the sponsorship field. The pillar of strength in this process is the ever-present Eric Fernandez. Eric interacts with our students during the process to review, advise, and critique each team’s ideas and concepts.
Bill Moseley ultimately decides if the proposals meet the AT&T objectives. A productive outcome of this project is the proposed ideas, concepts, and promotions are frequently implemented by AT&T and the various properties.
“The AT&T Challenge is mutually beneficial to all involved,” explains Moseley. “Students get experience and develop needed skills. The innovative ideas from these outstanding young people is a value-add to our partners. And, like most of us who’ve had someone help us, we love giving back to help the careers of these students.”
Always looking for more
Students in the S3 program participate in ticket sales projects each year, generating revenue up to $25,000 for teams and events such as the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, FC Dallas, Mastercard Colonial, Valero Texas Open, Houston Shell Open, and the Alamo Bowl. Students call from our AT&T 24-seat call center and students in the S3 CRM-track manage the database tracking calls and notes through Microsoft Dynamics.
The S3 program is expanding opportunities to engage in more activities like the AT&T Challenge. S3 students operate in agency teams as part of the new S3 Sponsorship Incubator (SI). In two weeks time, SI teams present creative activation approaches suited to the needs of a partnership. You can join Pizza Hut and the Houston Dynamo, the first two clients of the new SI service, by contacting me by email or calling 254.710.6189.
The S3 program is grateful to AT&T for their trust and investment of time into the preparation of the next generation of sports sponsorship leaders. In particular, we honor in memory the contributions, friendship, and the life of Jason Simpson to the S3 program. Jason passed away December 18, 2012.
S3 Spotlight on alumni and board members[/dropshadowbox]
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