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Creativity Central

This year marked the third straight season the University of Illinois did not hold a Midnight Madness event for the men's basketball team because of lack of interest by the fans. I love that the administration realized it wasn't working anymore and had the courage to end a tradition that many other schools across the nation are implementing whether it's successful or not. We often get caught up in what others are doing. Or what we've always done. Or in what the coaches want. Or what the super fans think we should do.

While none of us have any guarantee of fame or fortune, it's through those extraordinary acts that we can only hope to make an indelible mark on fans, friends and family.

See every day and every task that comes across your desk not as menial job, but an opportunity to accomplish something extraordinary. That's at least 365 opportunities a year to make great things happen.

"I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary." - Lou Holtz, American football coach

Watching the #AskVeeck video this week made me sad that I'm not friends with Mike Veeck. I met him briefly in September at Dan's wedding after his uniquely-fun reading during the ceremony, but I've always wanted to be BFFs. Imagine being able to call him up to chat about the sports biz. No idea too crazy. Having the support to implement a promotion that would be remembered for decades.

Your salespeople called on all the businesses in your market during the selling season trying to sell them season tickets. Finally, as you got close to the start of the season, you told your sales staff to make one last gasp Hail Mary and offer them the smallest ticket plan you had available.

They still said “No thanks.”

What do you call that company?

Now, don’t get nasty and use those four-letter words.

(I also capitalize it so it seems like a deep voice from beyond is calling them that)

Giving #SBThanks

Wed, 11/21/2012 - 10:06 — Dan Migala

I can’t think of a better way for us in the sports business to head into the Thanksgiving holiday than to take a moment and celebrate how fun it is to work in this industry.

Really take a minute to think about incredibly fun it is to get paid to do what we get to do.

As sports administrators, we often assume the role of a Wizard of Oz type character in our venues. From behind our mysterious curtains, we carefully execute magical game day moments that build equity in our team and create special moments for our fans.

For me, every Thanksgiving is about family, friends, food and football, especially the Dallas Cowboys. Despite being a Bears and Dolphins fan my whole life, I loved watching the Cowboys play after our Thanksgiving meal every year. So today's quote comes from a coach I supported when he took the job with the Dolphins. It's something I do everyday because it's what my parents did for me.

"Give people enough guidance to make the decisions you want them to make. Don't tell them what to do, but encourage them to do what is best." -- Jimmy Johnson, Dallas Cowboys

Fun Is Good Friday: It's That Simple

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 09:05 — Dan Migala

Fun Is Good Friday is all about having fun but it’s also about showing that fun can be serious business. As you know, we’ve been taking questions from The Migala Report followers through the hashtag #AskVeeck to ask the guru, godfather and master of fun in the sports business, Mike Veeck a question or two.

We’re in the process of finalizing the postings for the video but in the spirit of celebrating all the “good” that come in our business from having “fun,” I’d thought I’d share a little nugget that Mike told me this past week.

I have been actively reading the Migala Report for several years now. It stems from my time spent working with Dan Migala and Josh Kritzler on the Property Consulting Group website. Now working with Old Hat Creative I have had the opportunity to work Dan on a regular basis.

When I first started working with Dan was about the same time I was making my initial forays into social media and social media marketing. I remember watching teams slowly adapt Twitter and not knowing exactly what to do with it.

Consider the media goals of most, if not all sports organizations:

One of the best things about social media for any company is the ability to hear what people are saying about your product so you can do more of what they like and less of what they don't. You can fix problems in real time in the hopes of retaining that customer. If people are going to be talking about you, it's better to have them talking to your face rather than behind your back. Probably a good rule for life in general actually.

Most of my favorite quotes center around having the courage to do something different. To not be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone to see where it takes you.

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." 
- Anthony Robbins

With this in mind, we at The Migala Report challenge you to veer a little from your normal path this week. Do something you've always wanted to try, personally or professionally. Learn from the experience. Gain confidence so you can continue pushing the envelope to see different results.

#AskVeeck How To Be More Fun

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:40 — Tracie Hitz

Every Friday, The Migala Report is proud, excited and enthusiastic about "Fun is Good Fridays." Every Friday, we'll be kicking the weekend off in style by saluting some of sports businesses most fun ideas. Dare we say that this inaugural week's entry might be the most "funnest" yet as we have a fun opportunity of our own. Saluting the industry's original promoter of fun, Mike Veeck, we're proud to offer anyone who's posted question to #AskVeeck is selected in next week's Q&A with Mike a personalized signed copy of his book "Fun is Good."

I’ve watched the NHL lockout from afar this fall and seen the media make their dire predictions about how this lockout (the third in 18 years) is going to ruin the NHL and it will never rebound. Media pundits have claimed the NHL is not like the NFL with it’s rabid fan base and TV ratings. Stories have been writen that the NHL doesn’t have the superstars of the NBA for people to follow and root for or against. (Sorry LeBron, I’m a native Clevelander)

One of the things I love about The Migala Report is the insight provided is timeless. In one of the first issues Dan put out in 2004, he encouraged sports executives to take all of the fans' rejections they received train the staff to respond positively to these excuses. The team he cited as having success in doing this was the Class A Aberdeen IronBirds. Staff members wrote down every excuse fans gave as to why they weren't attending the games and then they had weekly meetings to find at least three positive things to say or do about that excuse. The example Dan gave was:

Successful business owners, authors and more suggest using the first part of your morning to clear your head, make the plan for the day and accomplish at least one important thing before getting caught up a bunch of little projects. They say people are most productive in the morning, so using the start of your day working on the core values of your job, life, etc.

Monday Morning Quote - Tom Brady

Sat, 11/03/2012 - 09:58 — Tracie Hitz

To kickoff our first Monday Morning, Dan sent along one of his favorite quotes:

"I knew I became a professional when I stop paying attention to what time it was."

Tom Brady 

Whether you work or play in sports, this quote is a good reminder that we are fortunate to do what we do. To love going to work everyday is something not everyone can say they do. Tackle this week knowing you've worked hard to get to this moment.

Monday Morning Quotes

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 15:29 — Tracie Hitz

Monday Mornings will be an inspirational start to the week for sports business executives. Stop by to get that burst of energy you need to get ready for the week ahead. The Migala Report will feature inspirational quotes from sports business executives, as well as people outside the industry because inspiration comes from all over. We hope you find it here.

Food For Thought Tuesdays

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 15:27 — Tracie Hitz

Every Tuesday, The Migala Report will post strategic sports biz tidbits to create recipes for success to increase productivity and results in your organization.

Hump Days

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 15:08 — Tracie Hitz

Every Wednesday, the crew at Old Hat Creative will help you get over the hump by sharing new marketing ideas being implemented across the country, as well as take you back in time to revisit one of the thousands of timeless revenue-generating best practice case studies from The Migala Report archives.

Ticket Sales Thursdays

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 15:02 — Tracie Hitz

Thursdays will be a potpourri of ticket sales anecdotes, ideas and lessons from around the sports industry to provide executives with information they need to hopefully test the waters in this ever-changing world of ticket sales. Steve DeLay, who has more than 20 years of ticket sales experience in the NBA, NHL, MLB and MiLB, will share his own stories, as well as the trends happening around the country.

Fun Is Good Fridays

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 14:33 — Tracie Hitz

Fun Is Good Fridays is a serious look into how fun ideas impact the business of sports. In addition to featuring insight from Mike Veeck, who believes anything is possible, and that no idea is too silly, we will be sharing examples of sports pros who live his mantra.

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