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Tuesday's Food For Thought

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:

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.


Tue, 09/29/2015 - 08:02 — BenGroneman

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.

For well over twenty years I have produced or co-produced at least 1,500 events, primarily in sports. From game day football to season ending banquets and all celebrations in between, I have planned and executed a variety of programs. I am surprised (and frankly, disappointed) that I didn’t realize the power of making sports memories through music until this summer when I attended the Home Run Derby for the All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Here’s how it happened.


Tue, 08/18/2015 - 15:57 — BenGroneman

My dad took a new job when I was 12, moving our family from Cincinnati to the small Cleveland suburb of Chagrin Falls, OH. I was devastated and battled feelings of betrayal for months.

Sometimes it’s induced by a quick whiff of lacquer reminiscent of our childhood gymnasium. Or perhaps it starts with an old college t-shirt unearthed from the bottom of the drawer for an early morning run. Regardless of the trigger, we all cherish the memories of those teams we felt were elite. Whether a part of a ragtag group of middle school boys or a squad of international superstars striving for an NCAA championship, we all still feel the injection of a healthy dose of adrenaline when we venture down memory lane.


Tue, 07/21/2015 - 13:17 — BenGroneman

Combing through my usual morning readings, I suddenly found myself smiling, thinking, “WOW… that’s amazing.”

It wasn’t a jaw-dropping highlight reel. It wasn’t a new 100 million dollar sponsorship deal, nor a roster move from a top executive. No, it was Spurs’ coach Becky Hammon, who like many this summer, quickly reminded me why I love working in our amazing industry.

Swing for the Fences

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 10:36 — Brad Wurthman

Major League Baseball is in their annual All-Star break and unveiled its new look 2015 Home Run Derby last night, an annual event showcasing the game's elite power hitters. If possible, MLB may have hit the most impressive shot of the night with their decision to be bold and make changes that have earned nothing but positive reviews from media and fans alike.

Here are some of my biggest takeaways from the new-look event:


Tue, 07/07/2015 - 08:34 — Shawn K. Sullivan

How do I know if a convention was good? By the number of notes I record.

During this year’s National Association of Collegiate Marketer’s Association (NACMA) & National Association of Athletics Ticket Sales and Operation (NAATSO) convention a few weeks back, I typed in numerous notes into my Evernote app (unpaid plug - terrific app!). I didn’t always write down the exact concepts the presenters were explaining, opting to challenge myself, “How can we take that idea and mold it on our campus?”


Tue, 06/30/2015 - 13:39 — knuppnau

“A person really doesn’t become whole, until he becomes a part of something that’s bigger than himself.” -Jimmy Valvano

In February of this year, I was lucky enough to meet the Co-Founder of a small non-profit organization called Keep On Keeping On (KOKO). Their mission is to assist and raise awareness for those living with severe physical disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy. To date, the organization has helped more than 80 individuals throughout Illinois and the neighboring states.


Tue, 06/23/2015 - 10:35 — Dan Migala

Like me, so many of us in the sports industry were inspired to get in this industy by their dad’s love of sport. As we celebrate Father’s Day and the boundless love of fathers, I wanted to share my favorite dad story from time in the sports industry. It’s an excerpt from my book Dugout Wisdom and told by Goose Gossage. Best wishes for all the “Hall of Fame Dads” out there for the happiest of Father’s Days and thank you for inspiring a love of sport in all of us.

“This is for you, Dad!” - Goose Gossage


Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:01 — NDMom

I was a stay at home mom for the entire time my three children were growing up. When our youngest child, our daughter Sydney was heading off to her freshman year at Notre Dame my friend asked me what I was going to do with myself. To which I responded that I expected that something would come along that spoke to me. Shortly after that I received a call asking me if I would be interested in being a member of an advisory committee they were putting together. They explained that they were looking for a few mothers who had some personal experience with football to be a part of the committee.

Team of Tiggers

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 08:15 — Brad Wurthman

Change is inevitable. It’s frightening and invigorating and nerve-wracking and exciting all rolled in to one ball of emotion and planning. Whether it’s in your personal life, your career, or your day-to-day, change really is the only constant. Recently, I’ve gone through a transition in my professional life that brought me to Champaign, IL to join the team with the University of Illinois Fighting Illini. All of the emotions listed above, and then some, came with that decision.


Tue, 06/02/2015 - 08:50 — knuppnau

I recently guest lectured for a Northwestern University sports marketing course on the topic of non-traditional revenue. Over the course of the class we covered a handful of topics ranging from current events to different sports trends. However buried in the mix, and hopefully in the notes of those in class, was the question of “Why?” And what that means for those of us in the sports industry.

The social media sports world (#smsports for us nerds in the business) has been abuzz for a few weeks now on what proper brand voice can and should be for teams and leagues. It was all seemingly sparked by Chad Shanks, former Social Media Manager for the Houston Rockets.


Tue, 05/19/2015 - 08:50 — Shawn K. Sullivan

While on an airplane yesterday reading Sports Business Journal, I came across an excerpt from George Bodenheimer’s new book, Every Town Is A Sports Town. Bodenheimer, when asked about the ESPN business strategy the former President and Executive Chairman of the worldwide leader said, “Well, we try a lot of things…”

As a sports marketer there are several great reasons to be a strong social networker, but I would like to briefly highlight two of the most important. Mentorship and Salesmanship are both core fundamentals of social networking, and it’s important to have an understanding of why they are important and how they can help you become a better social networker. With LinkedIn and Twitter being two of the best social media channels for social networking, here are a few things to keep in mind.

When you hear the Jimmy V Foundation used in conversation, the first thought that usually comes to mind is of the name that bears the foundation: Jimmy Valvano. Almost all sports fans know the name… he’s the former North Carolina State basketball coach who led the Wolfpack to the 1983 National Championship. Valvano was a fantastic coach throughout his career, but he is better known for his contributions off the court due to his fight against cancer and his legendary ESPY speech.

Now that the baseball season is underway, here at the Brewers, we have built-in social content for our fans—there’s the daily cadence of the lineup and game highlights and recaps, in addition to player access and any number of other initiatives going on.

That’s almost “easy,” as opposed to the offseason, when baseball is not top of mind and you still want to be year-round relevant for your fan base. It takes more creativity, more planning and being able to take advantage of things that pop up.


Tue, 04/21/2015 - 08:46 — Trip Durham

It was a warm evening last July when I sat with a dear friend discussing the upcoming fifth birthday celebration for 2D Consulting in May 2015. As I stand on the precipice of this milestone, I can still hear her voice through the music in the bar and the clicking of ice in my vodka ‘n soda. “What is your on-line personality?” she challenged.

One Shining #SportsBiz Moment

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 09:20 — Dan Migala

Any fan of college hoops knows that the Luther Vandross’ song One Shining Moment is traditionally played at the end of CBS Sports' coverage of the championship game of the tournament. The song is played as the winning team's players cut down the nets, to a montage of highlights from the tournament.

While I was watching this last night with millions of others, it got me wondering what is the tournament’s One Shining Moment for us sports marketers? In other words, what promotional moment during March Madness shined above all others.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

As I sat down to write this, I discovered that I really couldn't recall my first NSF experience. At first I thought I was just having a senior moment and couldn't remember, but thankfully it came to me. I don't remember my first experience, because often we remember a first experience as being uncomfortable because it's new and we don't know anyone, The NSF was nothing like that. I was surprised by how many people I knew and how they went out of their way to introduce me to other new attendees as well as other people they thought I would enjoy meeting.

My first experience at the National Sports Forum was in Phoenix in 2009.

When asked to write this post, I dug out my agenda (yes, I have saved my books from every year—they are a great resource) to look at the types of sessions that were held back then.

When the Ice Bucket Challenge swept the nation this summer, a smaller story was burgeoning as well. Lauren Hill, a basketball player from Lawrenceburg, has been battling an inoperable brain condition called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) for almost a year, and doctors told her that she wouldn’t live beyond December 2014. Lauren had finished her senior of high school and was eagerly waiting for her freshman year of college.

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