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Creativity Central

It's Our Fault

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 10:04 — Steve DeLay

Is this why millenials can't communicate?

The request seemed innocent enough.

A college professor friend of mine introduced me to a student who wanted to interview me for a class project. Happy to oblige, I said sure. I set a time for the student to call me. The student even went as far as to send me the questions he had prepared that he wanted to discuss.

The time for our 'interview call' came and went. I sent an email to the student wanting to make sure I hadn't scheduled the wrong time or something else was amiss.

Develop Your Brain Daily

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 08:34 — ericshainock

In college, we all have the opportunity to try new things and learn what we like and don't like both in a personal and professional setting. Those four years are an incubator for teenagers to turn them into young adults. There are more opportunities to be exposed to a variety of people and environments than at any other time in one's life.

See a Spieth in front of you

Thu, 03/24/2016 - 09:05 — Steve DeLay

Jordan Spieth signed up with a new golf coach when he was 13 years old.

The coach told him, “If you really want to improve, you’re going to have to practice what I teach you instead of just going out and playing golf. It won’t be easy. You will be really uncomfortable for four or five months but you will get better.”

Jordan Spieth did what the coach said. After all, he was just 13 years old at the time.

Blue Tuesdays

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 10:00 — ericshainock

As the quarterback during my senior year at UW-Madison, Russell Wilson was as great of a person off-the-field as he was on-the-field. He led our team to the Big Ten Championship and to the Rose Bowl that year. Two years ago, he took the Seattle Seahawks to their first NFL Championship in just his second year in the National Football League. He tied an NFL record for most touchdown passes as a rookie and has surpassed everyone’s expectations except his own. Wilson is the first to arrive each morning and one of the last to leave. He studies film and always strives to get better.

NCAA Student Giving

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 09:09 — ericshainock

On the eve of the craziest two weeks in college basketball, it seemed only appropriate to highlight what all of these student-athletes do off of the court. While March is when stars are made and legacies are cemented on the court, these students spend up to four years creating the same legacy in their communities.

As a national organization, the NCAA has its own program called Team Works. There are multiple community programs that fall under this umbrella:

NCAA Back Pack and Literacy Programs

The Sheriff's Ride into the Sunset

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 09:41 — ericshainock

On Monday, March 7, Peyton Manning retired from the NFL. After 18 years, Manning hung up his cleats and rode off into the sunset. Throughout his career, Peyton's accolades include:

-2 Super Bowl wins
-NFL comeback Player of the Year
-Single season passing records
-All time Passing Yards Records
-All time Touchdown passes records
-Tied for most wins in NFL History
-Only QB to win a Super Bowl for two teams


Fri, 03/04/2016 - 09:42 — Steve DeLay

When you were growing up, your mother reminded you over and over, “Don’t talk to strangers.”

Now, I want to remind you to have your salespeople talk to strangers. In fact, we want them to be very comfortable talking to strangers.

We know getting an appointment with the top executive of a company is the toughest part of making a sale. Yep, the appointment. The untrained salesperson fumbles all over the place in trying to get an appointment. The trained salesperson knows when to dial a prospect, what to say on the phone, and how to handle objections.

Each year, there are numerous sports conferences that exist to bring sport executives together for a few days to share ideas and best practices. The conference is filled with panels and speakers that either lead the conversations, share career experiences, or moderate the discussions. The real strength in a conference outside of the knowledge gained is the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals. Typically, relationships are formed at meals or at the bar at night. Sharing stories and in-depth conversations are the norm in these settings.

If you’re a ticket sales manager, which one of your salespeople is a potential Steph Curry?

Whoa! What type of crazy point am I trying to make? A Steph Curry in your midst? Working for you? Hah!

Well, your salespeople are probably developing their craft, just like Steph once did years ago. How did that early development go for Steph? Here’s Steph describing himself in his early stages of building his skills: “All summer, when I was at camps, people were like, 'Who are you, why are you playing basketball?' I was really that bad… [before] I finally figured it out."

Disney's #ShareYourEars

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 09:22 — ericshainock

Disney has long been a partner of Make-A-Wish as the two organizations have worked in conjunction to grant thousands of wishes. Over the past 35 years, the relationship has touched millions of people around the world, from the children and their families, to doctors, donors, celebrities, and volunteers. Disney says it best: Each wish experience is unique - fulfilling the one true wish of the child.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Sports is just that - it's a collection of experiences, memories, and pictures that create a unique opportunity to engage with fans in a stadium/arena setting. In particular, this is true when trying to connect athletes, brands, and teams within its community. In today's world of instant gratification and social media, these short videos and pictures help tell a story for thousands of fans across the country, in market and outside it.


Thu, 02/11/2016 - 11:49 — Steve DeLay

I didn’t think this was going to be a difficult question. Or be embarrassing for those that answered.

The question was asked to VP-Ticket Sales teams for three teams in three different leagues. One thing these teams had in common was that each had told me that they wanted to dramatically ramp up ticket sales to corporations.

I asked, “How do you now make sure your sales staff is calling on every single qualified company in your market?”

Since we were on the phone, I couldn’t see their faces. I imagined, however, that thousand mile stare.

Fighting Hunger: Taste of the NFL

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 12:34 — ericshainock

One of the leading issues in our country and worldwide is hunger. 1 out of 6 people struggle with hunger, with many of them being children and older adults. Over the last 24 years, the Taste of the NFL has raised over $22 million for this population of people.

The Taste of the NFL has combined the NFL's greatest players and the country's top chefs to raise awareness and money in support of food banks across the country. There are three main fundraising streams:

1. On-line donations during the Kick Hunger Challenge (September - January).

That’s what the Director of Ticket Sales for a major college told me.

He said, “We had no strategy, no plan, no direction in ticket sales. We were just shooting blindly following the latest trends. First it was text messaging. Then it was analytics. Then it was social selling like Linkedin. They all sort of helped but none felt like a system.”

Super Bowl 50 Community Events

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 08:55 — ericshainock

If you're wondering what type of community or charitable events will occur during Super Bowl week, look no further. With the largest gathering of NFL executives, players, media, and corporations, on top of it being the 50th Super Bowl, there is sure to be major events throughout the week.

January 30 - Play your Part Campaign

Is cutting in line fair? Well, let’s put it this way: cutting in line is opportunistic. You get the job with the team you want.

If you read the rest of this article, I will tell you how to get that job in sports.

But, let me ask you a question. I’m curious about your response. I asked this very same question to a sports management class on their first day of the semester. Let me tell you, only one person raised their hand when I asked the question. She was even a bit embarrassed.

Sports at the Service of Humanity

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 09:07 — ericshainock

Pope Francis hopes to change the world through sports starting in 2016. According to the Sports Business Journal, Pope Francis will "make sports a focus of his papacy’s third global initiative on education, following his efforts to highlight income disparity and climate change."


Thu, 01/21/2016 - 11:01 — Steve DeLay

Okay, I’m making you the CEO of a company that has about 50 employees. Yep, we’re doing some role playing.

Your company also has four salespeople that call on local businesses. As CEO, you’re always concerned about new business. Alas, your salespeople aren’t. You’ve tried various incentives to get your salespeople focused on new business without moving the needle. Now, enter me, Steve DeLay. I’m a ticket salesperson from your local team.

You say to me after you hear my pitch, “You want me to buy season tickets?”

I nod.

As Super Bowl 50 approaches in a little less than 3 weeks, there's another 50 year anniversary that's receiving a little less fanfare... however it has helped mold past, current, and future, sport executives. This is the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Sports Administration program at Ohio University. The first of its kind, the OU Sports Ad program has seen some of the best and brightest in the industry step foot on campus in Athens, Ohio.


Thu, 01/14/2016 - 09:45 — Steve DeLay


A young outside salesperson for a team I work with was fired up. "Third sale in two days to an apartment complex. In fact, these guys bought 20 seats on a ten game plan." he told me beaming when he came back to the office.

"Really? Great sale. How are they using the tickets?" I asked since apartment complexes are a bit of a non-traditional ticket sale. After all, they don't really have 'salespeople' in the normal sense.

As owners met in Houston yesterday the NFL will officially be returning to the second largest market in the country: Los Angeles. After more than twenty years without it, there were two proposals on the table: a Raiders/Chargers joint venture in Carson and a Rams/TBD proposal in Inglewood. Either way, it seemed as if we'd go from having no teams in Los Angeles to two teams in time for the 2016 season. In the end, it looks like we'll have one team for 2016 and a second team join in 2017.


Thu, 01/07/2016 - 12:04 — Steve DeLay

When the pressure comes to focus on the dog games, stand strong

If emails could talk, this one would have sounded panic stricken.

Here's what it said.

"We've sold out our first two targeted sellout games. Our next big game is the first Saturday in December and it looks good. But, we struggled on Halloween night and our owner wants to know what we're going to do to sell some of our weaker attractions. What do I do?"

My answer was quite simple. "Don't do it."

As 2016 has just kicked off, I want to take a look at some of the top sports trends as it relates to community relations both in a professional setting as well as with brands.

1. Cause Marketing Will Grow Exponentially

5 Things to Look Back on in 2015

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 12:49 — ericshainock

As 2015 comes to a close in the next few days, I wanted to take a look at five big events or campaigns that happened in the sports community relations world.

1. Leah and Devon Still take center stage at the ESPYs.

The next two weeks are great weeks for getting appointments and training

Most spring/summer sports shut down during the week between Christmas and New Year. I'm all for giving staff and salespeople some time off but don't discount the value of at least a few days of office time the next two weeks.

True, some business executives also take the week off between Christmas and New Year. However, I've found in my career that those that are in their office between the two holidays are much more likely to answer the phone and agree to meetings after the first of the year.

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