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.
Athletes, teams, and leagues are joining forces to help fight racism across the country through RISE To Win, the nonprofit that Stephen Ross started. This is a nationwide campaign that uses the unifying power of sport to advance race relations in the United States. It was launched on Saturday, October 25, 2015.
Don't just assume they know your sales pitch. Test them. Watch them live
"I don't get it." the caller sounded desperate. "We did an outside sales boot camp back in June like you have laid out in The Ultimate Toolkit. We started strong getting appointments and making sales but things have died off. We can't get appointments and the ones we do get, we aren't closing. Our season is starting soon. It should be our busiest time. What do I do?"
The earlier athletes are exposed to service learning and community service, the more likely they are to be supportive of it. For many, it starts in high school as players are mandated to perform a certain number of hours.
Colin Thompson isn’t a professional athlete… in fact, when he befriended John Shulby, Colin was still in middle school. John is a huge football fan, who happens to have been born with Down syndrome. However, his heart and passion for football is unmatched. The two met when they were in the eighth grade, when Colin was assigned to be John’s buddy at a track meet.
Seemingly back-to-back calls, travel to meetings, tight deadlines, deck creation, proposals needing to get out the door – all good ‘problems’ for us sports marketers to have, indications that we are busy and the market has responded favorably to the value in our partnerships.
A respected mentor recently provided unique insight into the concept of ‘time management.’ His comments truly resonated, with obvious applicability to both my personal and professional life. Below I paraphrase the advice slightly:
GET THE INTERVIEWER TALKING ABOUT THEMSELVES AND YOU'LL STAND OUT
I talk to a lot of young people about how to get a job in sports. I always counsel them that there are a tremendous number of opportunities to get in to ticket sales and they need to ask the right questions to make sure the team is the right place. Usually, I suggest two questions the young person ask when they are interviewing:
UMass Lowell students Daniel Schmith, Rachel Silk, and Jessica Dion, are trying to pay it forward to those who don't have as many options for physical activity. As a college student-athlete, these people have classes, practice, meets, games, and exams. However, they are trying to also getLove of the Game, their non-profit, off the ground and running to have college athletes teach sports to individuals with disabilities.
The process of marketing and selling tickets is changing, and several MiLB teams are adjusting quickly to take advantage of the changing landscape. In today’s digital world, teams now have the opportunity to understand their fans at a far deeper level than ever before, and then use this knowledge to serve highly targeted digital ads.
In NASCAR, the most expensive piece of real estate on a car is on the hood. It is shown for hours on national television as a race occurs. Over the course of a season, these partnerships can run tens of millions of dollars to be a primary sponsor of the car. In addition, these sponsorships are more expensive depending on the race team and driver of the car. This is what makes the partnership between Jeff Gordon, one of the most decorated drivers of all-time, and AARP so special. AARP is a membership organization for people 50 and over that operates as a non-profit advocate for its members.
I write from Columbus, Ohio with great excitement for the next few days ahead. This will be my first opportunity to attend Minor League Baseball’s Promo Seminar Meetings , a three day meeting of the baseball minds to network, share best practices and exchange the creative and innovative ideas that make MiLB so unique.