As we start the 2021 year, let’s not waste time looking back at a 2020 that was a train-wreck of a disaster. Let’s look forward to 2021 and starting thinking about what a return to sports normalcy could look like. But, there will be challenges. How will you handle them?
WHAT IF you’re told by ownership you have to operate with 50% fewer salespeople than you had before but still sell the same number of tickets as before? What digital tools can replace salespeople?
WHAT IF when you do get the go-ahead to hire your sales staff back, every other sports team in the country is hiring at the same time? How are you going to present your ‘career’ opportunity in a way to make it seem like the best place in the country to work? Have you built your organization’s culture and brand up in a way to get the best and the brightest or will you have the same old job descriptions, posted in the same places?
WHAT IF when you do get the go-ahead, you only have 30 days to sell tickets until your home opener? How are you going to get your sales staff up and running and trained quickly to be effective? Cram everyone into a crowded conference room for two days of training…two days you can’t afford to lose in such a short sales season?
WHAT IF what you thought were your loyal season ticket holders don’t return as quickly as you hope? They’ve lived a season without you and a season without the fun of going to full sports venues and decided they don’t need to spend the money on season tickets? Instead, they’ll buy game by game. How will you adjust your ticket product marketing mix, post-pandemic?
WHAT IF your ad budget is cut in half and the same tried and true forms of advertising like radio and TV don’t work? What if, as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram usage levels out, even those strategies don’t work as well as they used to for you? What are you going to do next to sell more tickets and develop personal relationships with your fans?
WHAT IF you took some time to study businesses outside of sports that have survived and prospered in this nightmare and learned their customer experience secrets? Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas and author of “Find Your Yellow Tux” has turned the Bananas in to a wildly successful business, not just a wildly successful summer collegiate baseball team. He’s done it by turning his business upside-down and copying the best outside of the sports industry. He studies companies like My Cookie Dealer, a cookie maker out of New York who has created a fanatical following selling 5 lb. cookies.
WHAT IF at the start of 2021, as you return to work with new energy and vigor, you and your staff took a step back and reviewed every single thing you do to sell tickets, sell merchandise and sell sponsorships and decided the same old, same old isn’t going to work any more? Would you have the guts to change? Would you have the perseverance to see change through like this little bear cub? Do you have this much determination??
If you want some help answering these WHAT IF questions, give me a call at 702-493-2661 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.