Sports Revenue & Marketing Consultant Troy Kirby interviews those in the front office within the professional and amateur sports industry, focusing on the details of the business. Ranging topics include ticket sales, marketing, administration, compliance and facility operations.
Stagefront's Mike Guiffre co-hosts this podcast with Troy, discussing various components of searching for the hidden fan. In this episode, data is discussed, along with what that data actually means, in a constructive conversation toward driving revenue in different ways. Including the Don Cherry firing.
Sarah Uhran has taken the concept of personal branding for athletes and turned it on its head. Uhran represents a new type of dynamic that showcases not only the athlete brand from what the public sees, but also the consistent advisor role of ensuring athlete success in their personal or professional interactions with others. Uhran discusses how she has helped guide athletes toward the best decisions possible throughout her involvement with her clients. Twitter: @SarahUhran
Chris Spano ties various components of the primary and secondary ticket markets together, working for MLB, NFL and NHL teams, along with working at StubHub. Now, at the American Hockey League, Spano discusses some of the ways that the secondary ticket market can even help minor league hockey survive and thrive in a constant push for new inventory sales to the open market. Spano also talks about ways to train staff, along with the understanding that group sales, not season tickets, tend to be the main focus of every AHL team moving forward. @CSpano1980
Graham Oliphant has helped the growth of rugby in the United States and the United Kingdom, creating a strategic planning effort that other sport organizations have begun to follow. Oliphant talks about the impact of Major League Rugby in America, which has launched successfully with the Seattle Seawolves beginning a sellout streak and developing a winning format for other MLR teams to follow as expansion of the league nears. Oliphant also runs the London 9 Festival due for July 2018. Twitter: @Jumbo230
Jim Sweeney is just getting started in a period when most people are looking at retirement. Sweeny serves as an international board member and the head of FIMBA USA (Federation of International Masters Basketball Association). The International Olympic Committee calls FIMBA the best senior sports federation in the world. Sweeney talks about how FIMBA hosted its 15th world championship in 2017 in Italy, with over 367 teams, and almost 6,000 players from around the world. Twitter: @FIMBA
The BMW Championship represents a unique challenge for Jeff Lapsansky, since he has to sell tickets to a PGA Tour event that moves every other year to a different city. Lapsansky discusses some of the ways that he drives ticket sales and marketing for the event, as well as ensures that pricing maximizes the possibility of a return for the non-profit organization running the BMW Championship. Twitter: @JeffLaps
The weather doesn't stop a great ticket sales staff from selling. John Markiewicz shares his knowledge about selling in cold weather for baseball and hot weather for hockey. Markiewicz talks about his strategy in driving group ticket sales for Chicago White Sox games in April where the temperature is a high of 8 degrees, and selling hockey in Florida, where it is always hot out, and yet, the goal is to get everyone inside a building to watch a winter sport. Markiewicz covers some of the details of selling third party tickets for Purdue. Twitter: @johnm_whitesox
As if it couldn't get confusing enough, Troy King comes on the podcast to share a funny episode at the 2018 National Sports Forum regarding Troy Kirby, Troy Tutt and Troy Kirby and one confused gentleman who said "Hi Troy" when all three turned around at once. King talks about his time at Churchill Downs, selling over 70 events beyond the Oaks & Derby. King shares his experiences in selling horse racing, as well as major and minor league baseball.
Zach Dayton returns to the podcast after nearly four years since his original one (Ep. 328). Dayton talks about his transition from Pace University, a D2 school, to Fairfield University, which is Division 1. Dayton shares his insight into bringing not only fresh ideas, but also ways to help implement those ideas beyond the presentation stage with traditionalists in a group. Twitter: @Zach_Dayton
Fresh off her departure of a second stint with the Corvallis Knights, former COO Holly Marie Jones shares her insight into the West Coast League baseball franchise's brand, and how she was able to enhance it through merchandise, ticket sales and concessions. Jones discusses how the presence of the mascot, along with a sidekick, helped boost the Knights' community efforts as well as shaping the overall food & beverage experience for the fans by bringing it all in-house. Twitter: @HollyMarieJones
Back in 2010, if Dominic Laico had been able to get his work done for a secondary market reseller on time, the entire resale market would have never been revolutionized. Laico would launch AutoProcessor in 2011, with the set goal of mass uploading e-tickets to all secondary distribution channels at once. Laico compares notes on what the market was before and after his company was formed, as well as some of the issues that have created consumer frustration today, including short-selling. Laico may not be very recognizable even at industry functions, but he has had a major impact on how the primary and secondary markets interact.
Glenn Wong has had a continual front-row seat to the evolving world of sports law education, citing his enrollment in one of the first sports-focused legal classes in the country. After a long tenure at U-Mass, Wong is helping broaden the sports legal education on the west coast at Arizona State University. Wong discusses various components of sports law; from NCAA issues and FBI probes to potential labor collusion. Twitter: @WongSportsLaw
The biggest dog in the fight is sometimes a little yapper. That's what El Paso Chihuahuas' general manager Brad Taylor discusses as he joins the podcast, covering exactly how the MiLB team has created one of the hottest merchandise brands across the country. Taylor talks about perception versus reality with the El Paso, Texas/Juarez, Mexico marketplace, as well as how the El Paso Chihuahuas' mascot is the biggest ambassador of the team in the greater community. Taylor specifically mentions his advocacy against discounted or free tickets, pushing for group sales over even season tickets, as well as how the Bowling Green Hot Rods became a top group sales effort with a small county population. Twitter: @BTinEP
Since 2012, Alicia Jessop has had one of the premiere sports legal blogs called Ruling Sports. Jessop has parlayed that platform into a full-fledged website, as well as a career change from a practicing assistant city attorney to an assistant professor at the University of Miami and Pepperdine University. Jessop discusses her path, as well as provides insight into various aspects of sport law, especially on how it impacts cultural norms and society as a whole. Twitter: @RulingSports
David Crawford is one of the top industry advocates for the game of Floorball, which is fast becoming one of newest off-season training options and intramural sports in the world. Crawford shares his story of how he first engaged with the sport of Floorball, and quickly because one of its staunchest promoters. Crawford talks about launching his own business, Floorball Guru, LLC, and some of the new endeavors it has allowed him to do. Twitter: @FloorballGuru
Mackie Feierstein doesn't have the ability to focus on a single successful sport, because the University of Miami athletic department has several winning programs to sell. Feierstein talks about serving several masters, including men's basketball and football, as well as picking up prospects between both. Feierstein discusses the issue of playing in an NFL stadium, with a heavy-premium focus, and how he trains his staff to work toward selling out the house. Twitter: @MackieFire
Harris Peskin works for the leading esports law firm in the world, ESG Law. Peskin talks about representing various ownership groups and teams in leagues throughout esports, and how that shakes out as the landscape begins to solidify from a wild west atmosphere into a structured tier system. Peskin describes governance and esports economics, as well as where the industry has to go in order to be successful long term. Twitter: @HarrisPeskin
The core principles of design and branding are discussed beyond the idea of logo, focusing on environment for both the staff member and the fan. John Roberson covers some of the dynamics of what his company, Advent, has done in the marketplace in order to create an atmosphere that people want to touch and feel connected by, that includes the Stanford Cardinal's Home of Champions and the Dallas Cowboy's The Star display of The Ring of Honor Walk.
Indoor football has had hundreds of defunct teams or franchises switching leagues. The practice is considered almost common place. Yet when the Bloomington Edge decided to depart the Champions Indoor Football League for another, they were sued. Edge general manager Charles Welde talks as much as he can about the lawsuit and where the team sits today, as well as how it trains its staff and interns to sell experiences in such an uncertain environment.
Growing an account representative into a skilled sports sales professional is Eric Platte's goal at the Atlanta Hawks. Platte discusses his mindset in how to foster growth from each new hire to develop a pipeline of success for the Hawks organization. Platte talks about allowing the curtain to be pulled back on what selling in sports is, as well as the time commitment required up front of all employees. Twitter: @EricPlatte
The bridge between the accumulation of consumer data and actionable data in sports revenue generation is narrowing in focus daily. Lenny Goh discusses how the advent of social media data collection is now starting to yield out measurable returns for sports teams and concert ticket buyers, as clients are starting to figure out exactly what makes an online transaction occur. Goh talks about the methodology that transforms a message into a marketing sale. Twitter: @lennygoh
As the esports revolution continues, so does the separation from the original game tournament structure to an actual revenue generation model focused on corporate sponsor activation and player rights. Strategic Project Partners' David MacKay shares his knowledge of the esports space from Australia's arena, discussing how the growth of the vertical within the sports industry has shown some dynamic growth, but also some cautious issues still to be worked out. MacKay presents a vision of where players have to continue to build their brands in order to stave off the inability to capitalize on them effectively.
Mike Forman has entered into the unique experience of helping on-board his new ownership group at the Carolina Hurricanes, which has helped re-invigorate the local fan base as well as create dynamic, outside the box thinking. Forman describes the process of meetings, which has solidified direction toward a fan-focused model of customer service and branding. Forman talks about his new ownership group has also connected older fans from the Hartford Whalers days in a way not thought possible under the old regime. Twitter: @MForman5
Debra Fine's latest book, The Fine Art of Small Talk, is about revolutionizing how we engage with each other in ways that lead toward relationship building, as well as business development. Fine discusses ways to not only break the ice, but avoid a "Stage Five Clinger" who isn't going to buy but merely absorb your time. Fine talks about how to engage with people on a personal level and move it toward getting them to want to buy from you. Twitter: @DebraFine
The Los Angeles Dodgers have found a key way to innovate off of the field, combining forces with R/GA studios to create the Global Sports Venture Studio, a technology accelerator. GSVS Managing Director Tim Katt discusses what all of that means, and why a professional sports franchise is smart to infuse itself into the tech-development space of start-ups. Katt talks about the types of innovation already realized as well as the commitment level needed to succeed long term. Twitter: @tim_katt
Erin Dutcher may have a famous name around San Diego sports, but she refused to trade on it, earning her own way by gaining a position with the San Diego Seals, the new lacrosse team. Dutcher talks about how important it was for her to be hired for her own skills, rather than the coaching lineage of her father or grandfather, and how the Seals became that perfect opportunity. Dutcher shares how she seeks to impact the front office staff in a positive way every time she enters the room.
Andrew Brandt has sat on both sides of the table in a NFL player contract negotiation; both as a player agent and as legal counsel of the NFL's Green Bay Packers. Brandt also has an interesting distinction of being the agent of Ricky Williams, dropped in favor of rapper Master P, who guided Williams to one of the worst contracts in NFL history. Brandt discusses the nuances of NFL player representation, how it varies from other sports in terms of contract terms and length. Brandt talks about how his passion for sports law brought him to Villanova, to direct the Study of Sports Law in the Jeffrey Moorad Center. Twitter: @AndrewBrandt
Tom McMillen oversees 129 Football Bowl Subdivision athletic directors, working on mentoring and advocacy, as president/CEO of LEAD1 Association. The organization has been around since 1986 and has fostered a conduit of growth of athletic directors, as well as giving voice their challenges to legal matters happening in the nation's capitol. McMillen, a former Congressman, shares his insights into the new tax legislation which erases seat donation write-offs and the fall-out that new law can do to Olympic sports programming. Twitter: @LEAD1ACOM
Eric Jackson has managed to create one of the more remarkable weekly emails to date, focused on the financing of media and technology. Jackson covers several topics in-depth, providing reasoning for his investment strategy as well as the different issues cropping up with various companies. Jackson discusses the recent departure of ESPN's John Skipper, focusing on those who might serve as heir-apparent, the Amazon Prime sports streaming model and Bill Simmons' success/failure of The Ringer. Twitter: @EricJackson
Injured Marine Captain Eric McElvenny came back from Afghanistan, recovering from a below knee amputation, with a goal set to run an Ironman competition. He's now going for the world record for an amputee with zero sign of stopping. McElvenny discusses his return from injury, how he looked at staying positive, and what goals he has for the future beyond sport. Twitter: @EricMcElvenny
Since 1959, Lee Landers has worked in minor league baseball, seeing the various trends and attitudes of sports marketing. Landers discusses how he started out as well as how the game has changed off of the field in the perception of promotion. Landers talks about crazy promotions gone bad because of weather, and some of the ways that ownership groups have finally come to terms with sharing ideas.
Mark Burns returns to the podcast for a second go-around after Ep. 697, leaving two online publications behind to start his own digital venture, the Sports Business Chronicle. Burns reflects on some of the choices that he made in order to initiate his own reporting microsite, including taking a chance on himself and whether enough subscribers would buy-in to what he built. Burns talks about the negativism he encountered and how he shrugged it off. Twitter: @markjburns88
Christopher Asa returns to the podcast after almost five years in between episodes (Ep. 161). In that time, he's worked for MiLB at the Montgomery Biscuits, the ACC's Florida Seminoles and with the Florida A&M Rattlers. Asa's role with FAMU oversees revenue generation for ticket sales, fundraising and overall external relations. Asa talks about the challenges as well as the successes of working at a HBCU, especially when it comes to the impact on student-athletes of working at FAMU. Asa shares his story of tweeting NCAA critic Jay Bilas about a FAMU "money game" against Arkansas, and the positive impact it had on how donors viewed the FAMU transportation fund. Twitter: @ChrisAsa1
Jennifer Piorkowski has an ambition to kill the porta-potty in all tailgate lots national wide. Piorkowski discusses her disdain for the plastic wall commode and suggests the alternative of using a portable bathroom solution. Piorkowski talks about the growing fan experience outside of the stadium which influences attendance, especially when it comes to female fans. Not to mention all of the data that can be harvested from a portable bathroom solution as well. Twitter: @tgsmsportsmktg
As the world of esports gaming explodes, so does the opportunity for player representation. Matt Jessep is a sports agent in Australia's National Rugby League, who is helping redefine player rights and values within the esports industry. Jessep discusses some of the issues surrounding the game today, including how promoters treat esports players as well as whether the prize money guarantees are legitimate. Jessep talks about some of the newer aspects of getting in front of the top esports players to share why an association is so vital.
Dr. Chad McEvoy comes on the podcast to chat about sports management degrees and their viability in the marketplace. Are sports management programs expected to generate job opportunities or to develop critical thinking skills? Is it an either-or scenario? McEvoy discusses whether sports sales managers even want sports management programs to train students on sales, or if that is still training preferred done by the sports sales managers themselves. Twitter: @ChadMcEvoy
Dave Rowan oversees the financial operations for the 32-year-old National Lacrosse League, which is focused on smart, efficient franchise expansion with great partners such as ownership groups like Comcast-Spectacor and Alibaba. Rowan shares his vision of how the digital growth of the NLL on Twitter and OTT has increased not only awareness of the sport of box lacrosse, but also gained traction with younger demographics. Rowan talks about the challenges of ensuring that ownership protects the integrity of the sport, understanding its values within a marketplace. Twitter: @dro1120
The Rochester Rhinos of the USL have announced that they won't be playing for the 2018 season. Chief Business Officer Mark Washo returns to the podcast (Ep. 113) to discuss how the decision came down, as well as his return to sports after spending time in the cruiseliner industry. Washo discusses some of the issues around professional soccer, including how one of the biggest problems is an internal one, with soccer's hardcore fans. Twitter: @SoccerWasho
Before 2017, Jim Hayes never thought about who owned his Denver Broncos tickets. He always thought that he did. Since 2011, after being on a 75,000+ waiting list for 6 years prior, Hayes had been a Denver Broncos season ticket holder. But when he decided to resell his tickets through the official Ticketmaster exchange, he unwittingly had his information weaponized against him. Hayes' story goes beyond the issues of resale, and explore the issues of customer service, season ticket investment loyalty. Twitter: @jamesrhayes
In her 20 years with the San Francisco Giants, Annemarie Hastings helped craft one of the largest client relations programs for a Major League Baseball team front office. Hastings discusses how the Giants approached season ticket holders, renewals, and high-level client retention as well as building a strong brand through their front-line ambassadors at the ballpark and through their call staff. Hastings is quick to mention that "listening" is as much selling as anything, as well as build client passion for the brand. Twitter: @KCAnnemarie
As the president of NACMA for 2017-18, Ayo Taylor-Dixon comes on the podcast to present the 2020 strategic plan for the marketing arm of college athletics administration. Taylor-Dixon discusses how the organization has taken a deep-dive into understand what its membership want, both at convention as attendees and as non-attending members in their athletic departments. Taylor-Dixon talks about the role of networking and the power it has to help increase job opportunities by attending the annual NACDA convention. Twitter: @AyoTaylorDixon
Rick Horrow has a media sports business legacy that spans over two decades, along with a sports consultancy firm which has amassed a portfolio of clients ranging from major leagues to individual sports stars. Horrow discusses his approach to the industry, interviewing well-known and unknown front office personalities, and working with inside information without divulging everything to the viewing public. Horrow talks about the role of sports education since his days co-teaching a sports law class at his alma mater Harvard, and where sports business is headed in the next two decades. Twitter: @RickHorrow
John Barrows represents a new type of sales training with old school skills, focused on technology companies and building relationships through workflows. Barrows discusses the process of creating a dynamic relationship within the sales team, and initiating it into a formidable strategy. Twitter: @JohnMBarrows
Richard Harris is known as one of the top sales trainers in the country and has come on the podcast to take on the tactics and acumen applied to sports ticket sales. Harris goes through scenarios of how to engage with a prospect, as well as to transition the conversation into a buying experience. Harris refers to his thoughts on management and improving the sales pipeline for a sales team. Twitter: @rharris415
The Vodafone Warriors may sit one of the rugby hotbeds of the world, but that doesn't mean that the National Rugby League team doesn't have to fight for attention, especially given that one of the top rugby squads internationally, The All-Blacks, is nearby. Glenn Critchley discusses the challenges for the Vodafone Warriors, which do not designate their brand with a city name, but instead a corporate sponsorship. Critchley shares his insight into making the brand successful off of the field, despite the on-field struggles of the squad. Twitter: @glenncritchley
Kenneth "Ziggy" Siegfried was on the podcast back in 2013 (Ep. 15), as the Sr. Associate Athletic Director of Major Gifts for CSU Bakersfield. Now serving in the Athletic Director's chair, Siegfried gets to announce a move for the athletic department to the Big West Conference from the WAC. This is a long time coming for CSUB, as Siegfried explains, and helps bolster the expectations for the school and the community overall. Twitter: @CSUBZiggy
Tibor Shanto has honed his B2B sales training in Toronto over the last 25 years. Shanto discusses how he works with business development teams to get them focused on improving their pipelines from prospecting to actual closing. Shanto presents the argument that sometimes, the best sales people aren't your future managers. Twitter: @TiborShanto
Few NHL journeymen can claim to have an amazing second career like Kevin Westgarth, who won a Stanley Cup with the LA Kings and now transitioning to developing the game of hockey in China for the NHL with an eye on the 2022 Olympics. Westgarth talks about growing the game the right way in Asia along with how other countries are embracing the sport. Westgarth also talks about his role as an enforcer in the NHL and how that feature of the game is being phased out overall. Twitter: @KWesty19
Malcolm Bordelon represents a 20-year legacy with the San Jose Sharks (1993-2013) where the NHL franchise was one of the highest revenue drivers in all of professional hockey. Bordelon discusses his tenure with the club, which created waves in Silicon Valley and the tech industry, stemming from the birth of building naming rights to the secondary market. Bordelon chats about leaving the Sharks to work at various tech start-ups, then the Silicon Valley Business Journal and now as president of the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in San Diego. Twitter: @SVBizMalcolm
Charlie Kaufman launched Ticket Talk on WLINY Radio in Brooklyn in 2017, and asked me to come on the show Nov. 9. We chatted about the secondary market, the issue of whether a closed market is about protecting the consumer or locking the consumer into a limited option system. You can listen to the other Ticket Talk episodes here, which are also video livestreamed.
Maury Brown has redefined the investigative sports business reporting game published in the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN/Money and Forbes. Brown discusses the issues of breaking news compared to well-sourced reporting, as well as he develops his sources long-term. Brown chats about young people trying to break into the sports industry, as well as leading the Portland, Oregon effort to nab the Montreal Expos relocation. Twitter: @BizBallMaury