As the holidays approach, society realizes how fortunate we are for the blessings we have in our lives. Many of us volunteer and give our time at shelters, food banks, or helping underprivileged families so that they can enjoy the holidays.
Lehigh University, who I've written about before (they do a phenomenal job giving back and bridging the gap between their athletic department and community), has partnered with Adopt-A-Family for the past 17 years. Students folded and taped wrapping paper around footballs and basketballs, along with other gifts for families during the holidays.
Community outreach in sports tends to happen between a player/team and the surrounding community. It sometimes occurs on a national scale to help specific causes. However, very rarely does community outreach occur across an ocean. Masa Israel, in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel, has launched the Israel Baseball Experience (IBE), which is a new sports internship program aimed to bridge the gap between the sport in the country. Just within the past few months, Art Shamsky and Shawn Green have signed on as ambassadors for the program.
How often have you heard the phrase "You can't control the product on the field/court," followed by "but you can control what happens off of it." Wins and losses are on the coaching staff, the players, and the team side. The business side can only control the fan experience, fan engagement, and tell the story for fans.
DON'T GET CARRIED AWAY WITH ANALYTICS...YOU STILL HAVE TO SELL
I ran in to a major professional team that has more people in their analytics department then they do in their sales department. Not surprisingly, that team is in the bottom five of their league in attendance.
You need salespeople to sell tickets. I'm all for analytics but don't let analytics distract you from the basic fundamentals of selling.
There was a terrific quote in last week's issue of Sports Business Journal.
Shelly Lazurus, Chairman Emeritus of Olgivy & Mather.