Traditional sports ticket sales have followed a basic model of tickets in exchange for cash or credit. In an evolving and competitive market, sports marketing professionals must adapt and consider alternate forms of ticket sales. This case study follows Julie Lin, the director of ticket sales for a fictional National Hockey League expansion team, the Seattle Salmon. In an effort to align with the strategic vision of being considered a highly innovative sports franchise, Lin is considering accepting Bitcoin, a virtual currency, as a form of payment. Considered a “cryptocurrency,” Bitcoin is awarded through the solving of complex computer riddles, is devoid of a physical form, has no government or regulatory body backing it, and has value based largely on speculation. Bitcoin has found popularity and legitimacy among technology companies and companies considered to be innovative. At the present time, three professional sports accept Bitcoin for the purchase of tickets. This case will follow Lin and her exploration of Bitcoin within her franchise. Readers will consider positive and negative aspects of Bitcoin in a sports ticketing environment, and ultimately present an educated and data-driven recommendation regarding the details of this case.
David Rolfe and Steve Dittmore
Seungbum Lee and Matthew Juravich
Outsourcing in sport is not a new phenomenon. Specifically, outsourcing in intercollegiate sport has become common among athletic departments across the NCAA. While outsourcing can be employed to generate increased revenues via enhanced sales, marketing, or fundraising functions, many midmajor institutions are utilizing outsourcing partners exclusively to manage ticket sales. As such, this case presents a scenario in which an athletic director and her management team are faced with assessing three options related to ticket sales outsourcing at a midmajor NCAA Division 1 institution. Utilizing the lens of multi criteria decision-making, financial, nonfinancial, and circumstantial data are provided for readers to address an outsourcing decision in the context of intercollegiate athletics. By examining three options including maintaining the status quo, considering another outsourcing partner, or bringing ticket sales operations in-house, this case provides an opportunity for students to investigate the role of ticket sales outsourcing as it relates to revenue generation, a pertinent issue for athletic departments across the NCAA.
David A. Pierce and Jeffrey C. Petersen
This educational review provides an overview of the application of experiential learning in the area of sport sales. Insights are provided for sport management academicians that relate to planning and initiating experiential client-based sales projects, and the analysis of the benefits and drawbacks associated with four approaches to lead generation (promotional lead approach, sales table approach, upselling approach, and retention approach), delivery of sales training methods (professor driven, team driven, and practice), and operation of a call center within three distinct frameworks (remote, on-site, or independent). Guidance for project assessment, both during the project and after project completion, is discussed, and the article concludes with a strong connection of the inherent value of such training with the added value of client-based sport sales training to the sport industry.
Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, Kyle Kashuck, Joshua Law and Alexandra Speck
from three sources: media contracts, ticket sales, and donations. Previous research has shown that television ratings are correlated with attendance ( McEvoy & Morse, 2007 ). However, considering that 41% of the total revenue at FBS schools in 2014 came from ticket sales and donations ( NCAA, 2015b
Beth A. Cianfrone, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove and Alyssa L. Tavormina
use by sport organizations to propose practical implications, such as appropriate sales tactics and best practices. Literature Review Marketing and Ticketing Strategies It has been well documented that ticket sales are an important revenue source for sport teams ( Borland & Macdonald, 2003 ; Howard
Ricky Malott, Noah Jackson, William Strome, Joe Bisson and Nola Agha
Experience, LLC is a start-up company that sells in-game seat upgrades during live sporting events using text messaging and cell phone apps. From a user standpoint, a small upgrade fee results in better seats and a better game experience. From a venue or team standpoint, Experience fills unused inventory resulting in increased revenues and more satisfied fans with higher repurchase intentions. Experience is looking to expand its services beyond single-game upgrades to a full-season ticket that is based on filling open, but previously sold, inventory. This case illustrates the forces at play in the ticketing industry, describes the features of each service, and provides an opportunity to decide on the expansion strategy for a fast-growing start-up company.
James T. Reese Jr., Mark A. Dodds, Brett Burchette and J.P. Lutz
After eight years on staff, Katie Harris was recently promoted from director of ticket operations to a new position as associate athletic director at Montgomery University (MU). Several months into her new position, Katie is faced with a difficult challenge. Several thousand fans from conference rival Bucks State College (BSC) attended a men’s basketball game at the 15,000-seat MU Convocation Center. The large presence of BSC fans did nothing worthy of ejection, but was able to negatively impact the experience for many MU fans. MU’s high profile men’s basketball coach contacted the director of athletics requesting if something could be done to reduce the impact of visiting fans. Though the coach understands that dealing with opposing fans is part of sport, even on a team’s home court, the environment has become a distraction for coaches, players, and many significant athletic department donors who pay premium prices for season tickets. The coach received complaints from numerous supporters indicating that unless something is done they are considering cancelling their season tickets. Though complicated by logistics, financial, and legal consequences, Katie has been asked to research the issue and share recommendations for policy development.
Katharine Kelley, Michelle G. Harrolle and Jonathan M. Casper
Game day spending is critical for National Hockey League (NHL) teams’ profitability as nearly half the NHL franchises generate more than two-thirds of their annual income from ticket sales. The purpose of our study was to analyze financial data for 123 regular season home games to understand the influence of day of week, special promotions, opponent, month in season, time of game, and season on ticket sales, merchandise per cap sales, and food and beverage per cap sales for a NHL team. Ordinary Least Squares regression results revealed that the game day variables included in the models explained 52% of the variance in ticket sales, 70% of the variance in merchandise per cap sales, and 48% of the variance in food and beverage per cap sales (p < .05). Findings provide practical implications for teams who hope to maximize game day revenue.
Jeffrey Graham and Sylvia Trendafilova
This case challenges future sport managers to consider the importance of organizational structure and the impact structure has on job performance and motivation. In the case, students are presented with a university ticket sales department with a traditionally tall bureaucratic organizational structure. In 2014, the department struggled with poor performance, high turnover, and low levels of employee morale. However, the department took drastic steps and adopted an organizational structure that is based on the idea of self-managed teams. Now in 2016 the department is undergoing a thorough evaluation to see whether the organizational change made two years ago has had a positive impact. Even though the case uses a fictional university (i.e., Western Field University), the issues and challenges involved in changing an organizational structure, motivating employees, and leading change stem from real-world situations. The case contains ticket sales data, employee turnover information, and sample quotes from employees that aid in the analysis. This case is intended for use in human resource management classes, but it also has implications for organizational behavior or leadership courses.
Semoon Chang and Shelia Canode
This study is a summary of our report that measured the potential economic impact of a football program that the University of South Alabama was considering developing at the Division 1-A level. In our study, direct expenditures impact is limited to net additional expenditures that are expected to be generated by the new football program. Direct expenditures impact has three components: (a) expenditures by visitors to home games, excluding expenditures made by visiting team athletes, coaches, cheerleaders, band members, and their family members that are likely reciprocated when the home team visits opponents; (b) expenditures by the athletic department on operating the football program from which the amount of ticket sales and concession sales made to county residents is subtracted; and (c) expenditures by increased enrollment including athletes, cheerleaders, band members, and other support group members. The employment impact and the tax impact of the new football program are also presented.