Had the pleasure of being a guest on the twitter chat #social4tixsales tonight. In case you missed it, here’s the Q&A. Keep in mind, this is Twitter, so i didn’t have alot of characters to expand upon.

Q1A  What % of your marketing mix are focused on tickets? 75-80%. We do a little branding to kick off the season but then it’s all about selling tickets.


Q1B  And to take that a step further, what % do you focus on single game? Season? Partial? Group? Premium?Usually about 60-70% is single game and the rest is packages.


Q2.   How closely do you work with the ticket sales department when developing concepts/ideas?We work together on everything. Tons of pre-season planning & we have weekly meetings to know what the sales focus is.


Q3A  Do you believe in direct mail?   & what are a few keys to using it well?Yes! I believe in targeted direct mail. Now, more than before as getting “mail” these days is actually a novelty. The right message to the right people can have a huge impact.


Q3B  How do you determine the investment per direct mail piece versus the cost of the package you are selling? In general we try to get a 4:1 return on direct mail. We also do a lot of sample testing to make sure we have the right mix.


Q4A  How much emphasize do you put on using social media? Social media is incorporated into everything that we do. It’s always part of the marketing mix on all sales initiatives.

Q4B  How do you think sales reps can use social media better to develop leads and sell more tickets? 
Like anything else, YOU are a brand.  Form relationships and soft sell when you can. Or set up groups of like minded people you can network with.

Q5: What are your top 5 marketing channels relating to ticket sales, in order please?  
Some of this is hard to measure so a lot of this is my gut feeling but…

Digital, TV, Email, Social, Direct Mail.

Keeping an eye on Mobile. Our creative is strong so i like channels that can “show our sport” through video.


Q6: When launching a specific sales effort, how many channels & touches do you need on average before making a sale? I’m not sure this applies anymore. I used to hear 7x to get them to buy.  I’m more interested in what medium made them take action and hitting them up in multiple channels with the same message.

You need a mobile strategy. Now!

I’ve been on a mobile kick for about 5 years now. As a marketer, I’m constantly thinking about how to effectively play in the mobile space.

Recently, I attended a TicketMaster conference in LA and was very impressed with their mobile strategy and how they plan to engage fans through mobile.

Heck, we even got a tour of Google in Venice.

Mobile strategy is too long for a blog so I figured out a better way to SHOW you why you need a mobile strategy. I dare you to look at these photos and not act.

The photos are a simple comparison. The first one is a picture from St Peters Basillica in 2005. The second, the same event 8 years later. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

The world is constantly changing and how people consume your product is as well. Are you changing with it?









Google Venice

Sometimes in life you get lucky.

Like today, when as part of an industry conference I got to tour Google HQ in Venice, CA.

Believe the hype people. It was everything i had expected and more.

Google BuildingIt was cool.

Starting with the building.

Originally designed by Frank Gehry, even the space was designed to inspire.

And of course, the people. Laid back. Good sense of humor.

My favorite quote was by an employee who when I asked if we could take pictures quickly responded “Sure, go ahead. If we don’t like it, we’ll just erase it remotely”.

Even their rooms were cool. The one we were in was called the Big Lebowski and it had it’s own rules.

IMG_6379[1]It had employee perks that made us all want to apply. Like a coffee bar, a juice bar, complete meals anytime you want (all FREE) a work out area, outdoor spaces to die for, ability to take bikes or surfboards out at any time and my personal fav, a dog park inside the facility.

And of course, it had it quirky stuff. Like random things all over. A wall with all the variations of Google logos so far. Space ships, a rock climbing wall and random signs.

Amazing space. Amazing day with some great colleagues.

Of course, we learned some things as well. I actually took notes!

Here’s some stats provided by Google that made me think:

  •  3.2 billion google searches a day
  • 100+ hrs uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • YouTube is the LARGEST cable network currently available to reach young adults.
  • Most live streams in internet history was the Felix Baumgartner skydive from space. Second, was the Royal Wedding.
  • Self defined role of Google: To envision the Future

Here are some stats specific to sports/entertainment industry:

  • Tickets & live events comprised 2.5% of google traffic in 2012. If you think that’s a small number consider Google traffice is north of 1.5 Trillion (that’s Trillion with a T).
  • 79% of all online sports tickets purchased start with a search engine.
  • 3.9 is the average number of searches BEFORE a live event conversion.
  • NHL attendee’s are 13x more likely to visit YouTube than the average.
  • Google display and YouTube account for 20% of referrals to sports sites in the last year.
  • YouTube reached 27.7M of sports fans yesterday.

I’ll end with this. My favorite sign of the day and so very, very true.




Marketing – Napa Style


So, I went to Napa with some college sorority sisters this past weekend. And I had an amazing time. Sidebar: Life is short people, go spend some time with those you care about.

Our goal: Drink wine, celebrate turning 40 and catch up (oh, and laugh until we pee which I’m proud to say without naming names that at least one of us accomplished).

Before we begin, here’s what I know about wine:

1. I like red better than white

2. My favorite kind is Pinot Noir (although I’m pretty sure that’s only b/c the first time I had it, I was in Capetown, South Africa and it sounded cool)

3. I mainly drink to be social

Basically, I’m a disgrace to wine connessieurs everywhere and I’m perfectly ok with that.

In fact, our bed & breakfast guy called our group “a bunch of yahoos”.  When I asked him to describe what he meant he said “people that don’t really know anything about wine & will only buy a bottle or 2 per place”.

Well, excuse us!

I would be offended but he had a point. At one place we took turns trying to guess ingredients and one of my friends said “pine” as in the tree. I’ll let you all marinate on that statement for a minute.

Basically, we are the dead opposite of a master sommelier.

I admit this to you for one reason only. To prove that for me (and my group) it was not about the wine.

And I think that’s the #1 mistake marketers make, they only cater to their core audience.

Now, before anyone freaks out, I firmly believe you HAVE to cater to the core which is why Napa has wineries that only allow 8 people a day, have a wait list of over 2 years and charge $500+ bottle. And why we in sports, give our best perks to our Season Ticket Members.

But my point is, as a Marketer, what you need to do to “grow” your market is figure out why someone like me is coming to Napa and get me to buy/engage/etc.

Two wineries did this well and stood out above the rest.

Here’s why.

1. Failla Wines – this was NOT the best wine of the trip. But, it was good wine at a good price in a good atmosphere. AND,  it is the only place that every single person in my group bought 2 bottles of wine. Why? They waived the tasting fee when you bought 2 bottles of wine. Not a hard concept, yet no other winery we went to or that I saw did this. Simple, basic marketing principle of make it easy for people to try your product. And guess what? IT worked.

IMG_5965[1]2. Duck Horn Vineyards – You have probably heard of this wine. My friends were all raving about it. And when we went to check our party in the hostess said “if you check in on FaceBook, you’ll get 10% off any wine you purchaase”. So, we all checked in immediately and we were flooded with various friends around the country oohing and ahhing with jealousy over where we were at. Which resulted in me buying 4 bottles b/c i had friends validating the wine & I got a discount. Simple, basic marketing principle of believe in your product and let your fans talk for you. And guess what? IT worked.

So there it is.

2 different strategies of gaining audience share that should work for any buisness. And 2 different ways, people got sales from people not intending to buy.


So, I’ve been depressed and haven’t felt like writing. In fact, my last post was 3/31.

My grandpa died and it put me in a funk.

And I went through a fairly dramatic (at least in my own head) “everyone is getting old and dying and so am I phase” so writing was not the top of my priority.

I think about my grandpa everyday and not sure that will stop nor sure I ever want it too.

I cry more (specifically around family but in general as well)

I shifted priorities to things I think matter more.

I’m sad alot.

But, today I decided that what my grandpa would want more than anything is for me to keep on living.

To keep doing the things I love and spending time with those I love.

So, that is what I’m going to do.

And since writing is one of the things I enjoy, you can expect to see more blog posts soon.




Harold Engelking – My Grandpa

IMG_4107[1]It’s a weird feeling to be so sad and yet feel so blessed.

My grandfather passed away last night at the age of 93. He died peacefully in his sleep.

It’s hard to put into words how much i will miss him.

I’ll miss him calling me Dumpling.

I’ll miss never giving him another Farmer’s Almanac for Christmas.

I’ll miss him saying “I’ll go” no matter when or where anyone was going for whatever trivial reason. If someone needed company, he was your guy.

I’ll miss his love of politics. To the day he died, he could give you facts about any of the Presidents.

I’ll miss his compliments. And his ability to always say something positive.

I’ll miss his kindness most of all.

He set the bar impossibly high for men in my life.

At 6’4″, he was truly a gentle giant.

And he loved his family well.

Very well.

I know he’s in Heaven & that he’s in a much better place.

In fact, he probably picked last night to leave Earth so he could be in Heaven for the big ole party you know is happening up there celebrating Jesus on Easter Sunday.

See you again soon Grandpa.

Til then.

Love you.



The Art of StoryTelling

I have long been fascinated by a good story.

As a child, I spent alot of time camping with the family and one of my favorite times was the “campfire” story.

Most recently, I’ve been very interested in storytelling as it relates to your brand.

Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

My man, Bill Cosby.

I could go on and on about him, but since he’s famous I’m betting most people are familar with his work. But just in case, watch this video. It’s one of my favorites


He is a true artist & I was fortunate to see him perform live and meet him in person.

Here’s 3 things everyone can learn about how to tell your brand’s story from the master himself.

1. Let your story develop.

Bill Cosby get’s his message across in T  I  M  E.  He doesn’t rush it. In this world of social media everything is immediate and fast and I think sometimes, we, as brands can actually wait, & allow our story to develop.

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

One of the greatest thing about an authentic brand is that it’s something people can relate too. Find common ground between your brand and it’s constituents. Then, have fun and understand how to use humor.

3. Be Yourself

Bill Cosby showed up Saturday in a sweat shirt and sweat pants. He sat in a chair on the stage with nothing more than a bottle of water and a box of tissues and he entertained an audience of thousands for over 2 hours with nothing more than stories.

Is your brand strong enough to stand on its own? What other things have you seen matter when story telling your brand?

You have to Want the Ball…

Today, i attended one of my favorite annual events.

The Women of Distinction Girl Scout luncheon.

I love empowering women therefore, this is right up my alley. However, the message went way beyond gender.

The speaker was a lady named Deborah Roberts. After reading her credentials, I still didn’t know her. They mentioned she’s Al Roker’s wife. Still didn’t know her.

She seems like a great lady and was an excellent speaker. You can find out more about her here. Who knows, you probably already know her.

My point is the message was worth listening too no matter who did the delivery. It’s something everyone should know.

She summed up her success in two points:

1. She wanted the ball. 

This lady grew up with a mother that couldn’t wear pants b/c at the time women only wore dresses. She grew up in rural Alabama where she had to wait in a “black only” section to be served. When she started working she applied for jobs in a male dominated field and was told she could be their secretary and nothing more. She was paid 50% of her male counterparts doing the same role.

But, it didn’t dissade her. She took extra jobs no one wanted. She kept asking for more. She wanted the ball.

2. She encouraged others to take the ball.

When she was in 3rd grade a teacher told her “Deborah, your a smart girl. You can go far in life”. This teacher encouraged her when society said they shouldnt.  Not many people at the time were telling young, black girls they could amount to much. But this teacher did, and more importantly Deborah believed her.

Encouraging others is a rare thing.

I’m always surprised by it b/c it’s so easy to give.

When was the last time someone brought you an idea and you said:

Good idea. I think that will work. Go for it.

I remember being a small child & my grandma asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I said I didn’t know & her response was “You can be anything you want in this life. And it’s fine if you want to collect garbage, I know if you do you’ll be the best one there is”. I was fortunate to have this encouragement in my life and I hope I’m able to do the same for others.

Bottom line is, successful people want the ball and then they share & encourage others.

And that’s a lesson for us all.

No need to boil the Ocean

Every once in awhile life throws you some changes…

You start a new job

You start a new project

You get married, you have a kid, you lose someone close to you.

It may seem overwhelming.

So much to do, where can you start?

I know one thing.

Start with a small piece.

Win the little victories.

Knock tiny things off your plate while keeping your eye on the big prize.

In other words, don’t start by trying to boil the ocean.

Flat Stanley Meets Mister Derrick Brooks

Hi kids, this is my last post on Auntie Lynn’s blog. It’s a short one but very important.

Today, I got to meet one of Auntie Lynn’s favorite people, Mister Derrick Brooks. Before we met him, Auntie Lynn made me watch a video about him. She kept laughing the entire time during this video.

Mister Derrick Brooks is a huge NFL star and even has a Super Bowl Ring. He’s a very big guy and when we told people we were going to meet him someone said “Good thing you are already Flat, Stanley b/c on the football field, Derrick used to flatten his opponents”.

I didn’t really get that one but it must be a good joke b/c everyone laughed.

Anyway, after watching that United Way video I was a little scared to meet him but Auntie Lynn assured me that the video was just a joke and he was a really nice guy.

When I met him, Mister Derrick Brooks was very nice to me & told me he went to the same college as Auntie Lynn.

Auntie Lynn says Florida State is the best college in the whole wide world and she really hopes Kaleigh and Noah go to college there. Mister Derrick Brooks agreed with her.

I asked her if we could visit her college but Tallahassee, FL is almost 4 hours away from Tampa so there wasn’t enough time to visit this trip. Next time though, she promised to take me to a FSU football game so I can cheer on the NOLES as long as I bring Kaleigh and Noah with me.

Mr Derrick is President of the other team Auntie Lynn works for, The Tampa Bay Storm, they are an Arena Football team and Mr. Derrick and Auntie Lynn hope they can win a Arena Football Bowl and get championship rings of their own very soon.

Anyway, despite the scary video where he yells at kids, Mister Derrick Brooks was a really nice guy and it was great to meet him.