This past week I’ve been fortunate enough to talk with two amazing people who can bring so much to sports teams. It’s been refreshing having conversations like these, as we focus on preparing our sports for 2020 and beyond.
The first area was Finance. Since the movie Moneyball, analytics has become a way of life with sports teams. We analyze who our people are, where they come from, their likes/dislikes, focus our concessions around it, our hospitality around it, our brand strategy around it, our communications around it, and our sales around it. We analyze buying habits and our social media responses. We are starting to hire ticket operations members who can bring analytics together with the ticket operations and make recommendations to all sales departments. We use it to decide our athletes. But one area many teams do not utilize analytics in is Finance. Some may have an analytics person, but not to the degree they could be used.
The person I spoke with has a strong background in accounting, analytics, and business analytics. She works closely with individual departments from sales to concessions to you name it, helping them use bring in money more wisely as well as use their money more wisely. Upon discussing her roles, I realized more and more how we haven’t grown our Finance departments to the degree they can grow. We haven’t given them the empowerment, guidance, or personnel to help them grow our team business through Financial analytics, making recommendations to all departments after working with them each for a bit. Her methods were unlike many analytics methods as she works to understand the business before making recommendations. She is looking to get into a similar role with a sports team where she can bring the model and ideas to share with a team, and I found her to be someone I believe could make a team impact.
I look at so many of the analytics roles out there. They check the numbers, and make recommendations based on patterns. Many don’t meet with the team staff members. They don’t get a pulse on what is going on. They don’t spend time understanding the sport, the area it is located in, and what the market will bear.
Analytics isn’t meant to be the end all of decisions; rather it is meant to be a recommendation based on many areas of data. Financial Analytics working with all of our departments individually could bring a lot of insight into pricing, income and expenses by department. Instead of having our departments submit a budget, having someone who works with them and helps them get their needs met while understanding how to keep the organizational growth moving forward can be invaluable. Let’s face it…most of us were never math majors and the word ‘budget’ sends us into the annual closed door room feverishly pounding out numbers. Just maybe bringing aboard someone from the business world such as the person I spoke with today who works with the departments to analyze then help them can be a huge asset to our teams.
The second is a C level exec who has worked for sports teams using her knowledge to solidly increase revenue both in season and out of season. Her ideas are amazing; her ability to tie it into sponsorship is unbelievable. Her results are proven. Many teams do not have a CRO, yet could use the expertise. She is now starting consulting to analyze what the team currently has and share how she can help the revenue grow in and out of season. She is not afraid to talk with potential sponsors and help sell the vision.
As teams, we can’t rely on strictly doing what we are doing with throwing in a concert each year to make sure we are bringing in strong revenue. To be able to have someone who has a strong background in revenue generation look at our teams, look at our market, and create ideas along with sponsorship ideas to make a strong financial impact is a huge bonus for any team.
The world is changing, just as hopefully we are. We need to evolve using others expertise to help us get to the levels we hope to get to. Where could we best grow in our offices to bring the change we need?
Kathy Burrows, Chief Energy Officer, Sold Out Seating
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