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The Ultimate Toolkit Secrets Revealed

Stay up-to-date on everything going on in the world of ticketing, sponsorship and marketing

with one of the best: Steve DeLay

Congratulations to Jon Spoelstra for being named one of Sports Business Journal’s Champions of the Sports Business Industry.

Click here to view the article.

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  • 29 Sep 2019 11:21 AM | Steve DeLay (Administrator)

    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. 

    You say, “And you tell me I can increase my new business by my salespeople using your tickets?”

    I nod again.

    You say, “Explain that again.”

    I ask you a question: “When your salesperson takes a new prospect out to lunch, what makes that memorable?”

    “Well, it would be a nice restaurant,” you say.

    “That same prospect may go to a nice restaurant every day that week with your competitors,” I say.  “What makes your salesperson’s lunch more memorable than your competitors’?”

    You nod.  You realize lunches isn’t the way to a memorable experience.

    “Golf?” I ask.  “Do your salespeople invite prospects to play golf?

    You answer, “No, but I’ve thought about it.  Except I played golf with two of my salespeople and they were idiots.  It wasn’t fun at all.  I can’t imagine them with prospects.  And besides, you gotta play private courses or really expensive resort courses—you just can’t take a prospect out to some dog track.”

    “By the way,” I say, “have you ever been to one of our games?”

    You say, “Yes, a couple of years ago.  I went with my kids.”

    “How old are your kids?”

    “Eleven and thirteen.  Both boys,” you say.

    I say, “How would they like to go to a game, but come before the gates open and take in batting practice?  They’d be on the field with all the players.  It’s a great time to take photos and get a bunch of autographs.”  (This, of course, would change depending on the sport.)

    You say, “You can do that?  That would be fabulous.”

    I say, “We could also take a tour of places few fans ever see like the locker room, the video room, the indoor batting cage, the offices. 

    You say, “That sounds terrific.”

    I say, “Well, that’s what I propose your salespeople do with new prospects.  You’re my new prospect and you got excited about going to one of my games.  Your salespeople can do the same thing with their prospects.  Three hours of bonding at a game is far better than 45-minute lunch. And besides, if I would have asked you to lunch, you would have yawned.  .”

    You laugh and say, “Okay, you got me.  I’ll buy four season tickets.  But, get your calendar out.  Which game can we go to?”

    Relationships may be important for your corporate prospect but why your games and not a fancy steakhouse??

    Last week, I went to a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for the first time ever.  I was celebrating a birthday with a good friend of mine and had been holding on to a gift card we figured it was a good way to live it up.. .

    “No limits,” I said when we walked in.  “Order whatever you want.  Drink whatever you want.  It’s your birthday.”  Heck, I figured the gift card was substantial enough that I’d barely spend much more.  We ate and drank and enjoyed ourselves.  When the bill came, my first thought was “good thing for that gift card.”

    Sure Ruth’s Chris was tasty and we had fun but it wasn’t so memorable that I’m clamoring to go back (and pay full price for the bill at that).   We could celebrate my friend’s birthday next year at Old Chicago playing Golden Tee and video trivia and probably have as much fun and pay 1/3 as much.


    Those companies may have even thought about using your team’s tickets.  They most likely haven’t bought because nobody has shown them why your games are better than steak dinners or hunting trips.  That’s where you come in as a salesperson.


    Once someone tells you relationships are important in their business, it’s your job to convince the prospect your games are where they should develop those relationships.  How do you do it?

    You can’t just tell a prospect, “Bring your clients out to our baseball (or hockey, or basketball or football) game and spend 2-3 hours with them.  Wouldn’t that be great.”

    Now, if you have Steph Curry or LeBron James or Cam Newton or your team is regularly contending for a title, you may not need much else.  If you’re a minor league team in a major league market or even a downtrodden major league team, you have use stories, pictures and anecdotes to convince your prospect your games are the place to be.  That means selling the sizzle.

    Selling the sizzle means explaining why your games are more than just going to a game.  What else could you do as a salesperson to make the games special and memorable to your prospect’s clients and employees?

    Could you…

    • ·       Meet the client before the doors open to the rest of the crowd gets in and take the client down to the field or courtside to watch batting practice or warmups?
    • ·       Stop by their seats during the game and drop off a few hats or other team premium items (empty out the storage cage of stuff you gave away last season.)
    • ·       Have them shoot a few free throws right after the game on the court or throw out the first pitch?
    • ·       Take them on a behind the scenes tour to places in the stadium that the general public can’t see?

    How do you create memorable experiences for your ticket buying client’s client or prospect or employee to show them that buying tickets is more than just coming to a game?  This is the perfect place to bust out the testimonial letters or emails or videos of your existing clients benefiting from these extras.  Tell stories and show pictures of fans interacting with the players or down courtside or right behind the players on the bench.

    Your games are a terrific place to build relationships.  You just have to show examples of how it’s worked.

    Next week, we’ll discuss making those stories concrete, descriptive and visual.

  • 18 Sep 2019 11:22 AM | Steve DeLay (Administrator)

    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.

    Here’s the question I had asked:  “How many of you want to get a job in ticket sales?”

    When I asked the lone student who raised her hand why, she said simply, “I know it’s the best way to get a job in sports.”  It turns out she had done an internship the previous summer with the the NBA team in her hometown and saw that the team had nearly 40 ticket salespeople. They had three in marketing and two in public relations.  She was smart enough to realize that the odds were in her favor if she learned tickets.

    When I pressed the other students in class about why they didn’t want to go in to ticket sales, the answers were pretty consistent.  “I don’t know anything about ticket sales.” Or “Sales scares me.” Or “Sales? Yuk!”  or something like that.

    After talking about ticket sales for a while and how it has become the best stepping stone to get hired by a teama, the students’ demeanor started to change.  They realized ticket sales wasn’t a life-long job; it was a gateway to other important jobs with a team.  They became more enthusiastic.


    I then told them their University had done them a huge favor by using The Ultimate Toolkit to teach their class in ticket sales.  You see, there aremore than 160 teams using The Ultimate Toolkit, and they are continually looking to to hire salespeople who have already learned the sales techniques in The Ultimate Toolkit before they get to the team. 

    Let me repeat that:

    There are more than 160 teams continually looking to hire salespeople that have learned The Ultimate Toolkit principles and tactics.  Heck, a lot of these teams are desperate to hire a student of The Ultimate Toolkit,

    Just by taking the class and completing the sales training videos, these students were going to cut to the head of the line for any future job opportunities. 

    Not only do the students learn sales techniques and marketing strategy, we post their resumes and sales videos of the students on our website, www.theultimatetoolkit.com so our teams can easily find them.  The Ultimate Toolkit graduates are not competing with thousands of other candidates on a Teamworkonline posting.  These students in effect cut to the front of the line for any job openings our 160 teams have.  Just by successfully completing the class and their videos.  Talk about an unfair advantage.


    That advantage has caused a bit of a problem.  We don’t have enough qualified salespeople to fill the jobs our teams have available.

    To solve that problem, we’ve launched The Ultimate Toolkit Online Ticket Sales Boot Camp in conjunction with the University of Iowa.  Anyone taking the Ultimate Toolkit Online Ticket Sales Boot Camp will learn the exact same stuff students taking it in class will learn.  You’ll learn the sales techniques that our teams are looking to hire for.  Just click here for more information.

    There are three types of people who should take this online class:

    • 1.     You’re not in sports right now.   The Ultimate Toolkit Online Ticket Sales Boot Camp is a huge plus for anyone outside of the sports world interested in getting a job in sports.   You need specific ticket sales skills for sports teams and you’ll learn those skills with us..  The training you’ll get in this class and the videos you produce of yourself will show teams that you can sell.
    • 2.     Sports management students.  Students in a sport management program know that there usually aren’t classes about ticket sales.  Sports Law and Sport Finance and the Essence of Sport were probably interesting but those classes don’t compel teams to grab you.  Having the skills from The Ultimate Toolkit Boot Camp will make teams want to interview you.
    • 3.     You’re already with a sports team.   Someone who already works for a sports team in sales or some other position that wants to dramatically improve their chances of career growth.  You’ll learn more in this eight week class then you’d learn at your existing team in a year.

    Anyone who completes The Ultimate Toolkit Online Ticket Sales Boot Camp will have their resume and video posted on our website for our teams to view.  I will also personally send emails out to our teams letting them know those videos and resumes are posted.  It’s the quickest way to cut to the front of the line to get a job in sports. 

    So, let me answer for you a variation of that first question.  Your answer is ‘Yes.’

    The questions is“Do you want a special advantage to get a job with a sports team that you want to work for?”  

    To get that special advantage, click here:http://clas.uiowa.edu/hhp/undergraduate/bs/sport-and-recreation-management/ultimate-toolkit


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