While working in minor league sports, we learned a few things: the hours are crazy, the pay is relatively low, and the reward is tremendous. Being a part of a championship winning team is something I’ll never forget. How many people can say they have their name on a professional trophy? Here at Sellout, we have two team members who can say that. It’s a nice icebreaker, bragging right, and ego booster to talk about.
However, we stepped out of sports to become skilled marketers through our work at agencies or other companies. The one thing that never left us was the passion for the industry. We started to think, how can we connect our passion to our skill (marketing)? It came to me over a dinner with my wife. We could either jump back into sports working for the marketing department of a large team to help them grow. Or, we could find a way to fill a gap that the market has exposed.
We decided on the latter. We quickly realized from our experience in sports, that the minor league system doesn’t have the materials, money, or always the know-how to get the job done right. Also, the turnover can be crazy high. With the way marketing is moving towards the digital space, there is an opportunity to come in and help those minor league teams with digital marketing. There are a few main reasons why we felt this was so huge:
(1) There Aren’t Many Agencies Focused on Sports Marketing
There are thousands of agencies out there and a new one comes to market everyday. We know this is a business where partnerships and relationships matter. Lucky for us, we do that better than anyone else. There are however, agencies focused in sports. Whether it’s branding, traditional marketing, or in-arena production. With some market research, there was a missing gap – the minor league teams.
There are a lot of agencies geared towards small businesses, but not small sports organizations. That’s where we come in. We have the experience of a big-box agency, but the pricing of a smaller agency to help minor league teams with their marketing. And, we flat out admire the minor league system.
(2) Digital Marketing is Taking Over
Marketing has been around since the stone age and has evolved countless times since. Over the last few years, marketing mixes are changing more than they ever had. We’re living in a time where marketers are shifting money away from radio, TV, and print in favor of digital channels. There are many reasons for this, like the tracking capabilities or speed to market, but ultimately it just provides a better ROI.
There are companies out there specializing in tracking radio effectiveness or TV viewership. When it comes to paid search, we already have those tools and can track things from the moment a user clicked an ad to the moment they purchase. All of this allows for a solid 1:1 relationship on what works and what doesn’t. It allows us to focus our efforts on what works to drive sales.
Knowing the industry, we know how frequent trades go on between corporate sponsorships and teams. Instead of making the amount of trades most teams do, pocket the sponsorship money and turn it around to an agency to help where you need it most – ticket sales.
By shifting the dollars and utilizing an agency who has the experience and expertise to get the job done, it allows teams to grow profit margins. Looking around at the industry, there is a lot of room for growth from social media marketing to paid search. By using these channels, we can cut your marketing budget down while maximizing return.
Finally, there are some solid marketing managers at sports teams with a lot of talent. On the flip side, we also know there’s some room for growth. With the low salary wages in sports, it’s hard to lure in a real expert in marketing. Then when you do, they leave after a few years because of the grind. Here at Sellout, we have more than 15 years combined in the marketing space and aren’t going anywhere.
Think of it this way: instead of spending $20,000 on a graduating student to fill a role at the team, Sellout can come in at a fraction of the price and we already know how to move the needle. With management prices starting as low as $599, a yearly salary of $20,000 can be cut down to $7,188. That’s over $12,000 in savings.
Now, we’re not saying let go of your staff! Keep them, but shift their focus from marketing to ticket sales to sellout your arena. By shifting that focus, think about how many more sales calls they can make or how many group ticket sales they can sell. Not a bad return, right?
All in all, we LOVE the sports industry – specifically the minor league teams because there is so much potential to change the game. If you’re reading this, and nodding in agreement, reach out to us because we want to chat. Our goal is to help those teams who are struggling in ticket sales get a leg up in the market.