Connect with us

Ticket Sales

Inside The Huddle: Premium Membership with Andrew Puzyk

Thuzio’s Director of Business Development discusses the importance of premium membership programs and succeeding in sales within sports.

Front Office Sports

Published

on

In the buildup to Front Office Sports’ Ticketing Huddle at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 10 we’re introducing you to the huddle leaders who will be lending their expertise to the conversation.

Today, meet Andrew Puzyk, director of business development at Thuzio. Puzyk will be one of the leaders of the huddle “More Than a Ticketholder: Why Membership Programs Have the Attention of the Industry.”

A 2012 graduate of Rutgers, Puzyk joined Thuzio in 2014. The company provides members-only access to events where celebrated athletes and sports figures share their insights and their stories. Puzyk embraced the company’s vision from the start.

“I loved the entire model of what Thuzio was, which was to bring business leaders together in a membership community type setting,” Puzyk states. “It was right up my alley, doing all these events with all these different athletes as well as just building my network with decision makers and execs. I love it because I’m able to do great thing things in the business realm as well as work alongside some of my childhood sports idols.”

Puzyk even cites being able to expand Thuzio into different markets as one of his proudest accomplishments. Thuzio originally hosted a handful of events every year in New York and Philadelphia, but now host over 100 events all across the United States.

“When I first started here, we were only throwing events in New York and Philadelphia. Then we realized there was a need for these enterprise-type customers that needed to entertain and give their sales team an arsenal all across the country, not just being here in New York.”

In his quick rise to his current role, Puzyk recalls that the best piece of professional advice he ever received came from a former superior from his college days: have the hunger to separate yourself from the pack, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

“You need that drive to keep going and become successful, but at the same time, don’t forget to live and enjoy life.”

Working in ticketing and sales, Puzyk believes, has more than adequately prepared him for the rest of his professional life. In fact, regardless of if sales is their ultimate destination, Puzyk believes that all young sports professionals should make an attempt at sales early in their career.

“I think everybody should start in ticket sales because it’s going to teach you one of two things. One, you might be really good at it and it’s going to open up a lot of doors for you. Sales is one of the few sides of working in sports where you can make a lot of money. Two, you’ll find out really quickly if you’re not good at sales. If you’re not, that’s totally fine, but now you know. Either way, if you’re humble, hungry. and you come into work every day and do your job, doors will start opening for you.”

Meet Andrew and hear more of his thoughts on the ticketing space at the Front Office Sports Ticketing Huddle at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CA on May 10. For tickets and additional info, click here.

Ticket Sales

Inside The Huddle: Selling A New Team with Nick Forro

Avatar

Published

on

In the buildup to Front Office Sports’ Ticketing Huddle at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 10, we’re introducing you to the huddle leaders who will be lending their expertise to the conversation.

Today, meet Nick Forro: Vice President of Sales at NHL Seattle. Forro will be one of the leaders of the huddle “Breaking Through: Inside the Process of Selling a New Team.”

Forro completed his undergraduate study at Youngstown State, where he played football for the Penguins. It was a connection made through the football program that helped push him to pursue a career within ticket sales.

“During my junior year of college, Bob Sivik (Current VP, Browns) was the Inside Sales Manager at the Cleveland Cavaliers,” Forro remembers. “As I was trying to decide what kind of career I wanted to jump into, one of my coaches recommended I connect with Bob, who was having success in the industry. From there, I was able to learn about what selling in sports is and what it can become.”

It quickly became apparent to Forro that he had found his calling. Forro started his career with the Phoenix Suns and rose to become the Director of Sales. From there, he had a productive stint with the New York Yankees before spending five years with the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium as the Vice President of Sales and Service.

“I really enjoy selling. To be able to combine that passion with the culture of and business of sports is a perfect match for me. I thought that was a perfect match for me. I knew I had to perform, but I liked leading people and impacting them from a personal and professional side. That gets me fired up. Life is short, so do something that you’re passionate about.”

Being a team leader continues to be a big motivator for Forro in his current role after having the chance to connect with a number of other reps over the course of his career.

“The thing I’m most proud of is when people that I’ve worked with over the years reconnect with me and tell me that I was able to help them in a certain situation or give them guidance on their careers,” he says. “When I get those calls, that’s really special to me, as I feel there is a true impact made.”

Forro joined the NHL Seattle project in November of 2018. The expansion team is set to begin play in 2021. Forro enjoys the unique challenge of selling a team that has yet to take the ice, particularly in a market like Seattle, where anticipation continues to build exponentially.

“It’s been incredible experience this far. We have a great team on the Elevate and NHL Seattle side that will make this one of the most successful arena projects to date,” he says. “What drew me from moving up here from the Miami Dolphins was really the leadership and vision of Tim and Tod Leiweke. What this project is going to do for the city of Seattle is incredible. Helping start an organization from the ground up and lead the business development efforts on a special project in a special city is an honor.”

For Forro, experience has been the most powerful teacher, but having quality leaders has helped him to excel. He advises recent graduates looking to build their career in sales to seek out similar situations.

“You’ve got to do internships and get whatever experience you can,” he says. “You can find out what you liked to do and and, sometimes even more importantly, what you don’t like doing. Ultimately, if you know what you want to do and you find great people to work for, you can set yourself up for a very fulfilling career.”

Meet Nick and hear more of his thoughts on the current ticketing space at the Front Office Sports Ticketing Huddle at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CA on May 10. For tickets and additional info, click here.

Continue Reading

Ticket Sales

Inside The Huddle: Membership Programs with Aaron Lampkin

Seattle Sounders FC’s Director of Ticket Sales shares his insights on breaking into and succeeding within the sports industry.

Front Office Sports

Published

on

In the buildup to Front Office Sports’ Ticketing Huddle at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 10, we’re introducing you to the huddle leaders who will be lending their expertise to the conversation.

Today, meet Aaron Lampkin, Director of Ticket Sales with Seattle Sounders FC. A Spokane, Washington native, Lampkin graduated from Johnson and Wales University in Denver where he was also a basketball student-athlete. There, Lampkin first realized his desire to turn his passion for sports into a career.

“I realized my junior year of college that my time playing basketball was pretty much over. When I started to think about career options, I wanted to be in a situation where I control my destiny. In sales, you definitely can and having a background made it a little bit more my cup of tea to sell sports.”

After graduation, Lampkin interned with the Colorado Rapids, which is a part of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment. Lampkin utilized his time as an intern to learn as much as he could and make a positive impression in hopes of landing a full-time job.

“The Rapids didn’t have an inside sales training program at the time. So I put 15 minutes on my calendar with every single department head, discussed my career goals and how I was going to attain those, and basically said if there’s a full-time opportunity, I want to at least be in consideration.”

Lampkin was then hired as a sales rep for Kroenke Sports and Entertainment before working in membership services specifically for the Colorado Avalanche (another Kroenke entity) for nearly five years, including two as the team’s manager of membership services.

“I really wanted to just prove and show that I could teach value better than anybody else regardless of position and just because your position doesn’t really limit what you can do on the sales side,” he says. “I want to teach people to be the strongest in their routine and in bringing in new business. My teams embody that.”

Lampkin came to the Sounders in June of 2018. As a sales director, Lampkin takes great pride in managing young reps for advancement. Reps that Lampkin has trained have moved onto management positions in the NFL, NBA and other major sports leagues. This is a point of great personal pride for him. Conversely, with several years of teaching under his belt, Lampkin says the biggest mistake he sees young reps make is giving up before realizing their potential.

The thing that hurts me the most is knowing that we do have reps who have potential to be extraordinary that are early in the learning process and/or they want that promotion tomorrow instead of focusing on the process and perfecting their craft,” he says. “It limits their overall growth. I see reps give up too early and not see the vision fully through [rather] than spending time to understand their why.”

In order to take the first big step in their career, Lampkin advises young reps to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack that is getting more competitive by the day.

“Be proactive in interviews or conversations,” he says. “Get to know reps and managers and directors and the industry of what they’ve done to be successful. I would tell anybody who’s looking to get into the industry to start early because there are hundreds of applications that come in for every opening. If you can differentiate yourself before an interview starts, you have a much higher chance.”

Meet Aaron and hear more of his thoughts on the current ticketing space at the Front Office Sports Ticketing Huddle at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CA on May 10. For tickets and additional info, click here.

Continue Reading

Ticket Sales

Giants Search for Ways to Weather Attendance Dip

The team, which finished third or fourth in attendance each of the last eight seasons, currently finds itself 13th in the league.

Front Office Sports

Published

on

Photo Credit: Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else. 

From 2010 through 2014, the San Francisco Giants were dominant on the field, scooping up three World Series victories in five seasons. Since then, the team has only made the playoffs once in the last four years.

Boasting a seven-year sellout streak until 2017, the team is now looking at new ways to keep fans engaged with an on-field product that hasn’t lived up to expectations set by past success, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

What do you need to know?

1. The team, which finished 3rd or 4th in attendance each of the last eight seasons, currently finds itself 13th in the league.

2. One of the changes includes having weekday games start at 6:45 p.m. instead of 7:15 p.m., giving fans the opportunity to be home earlier during the week.

3. Another change includes forgoing the annual hike in season-ticket prices this season.

4. In an effort to improve the fan experience in the venue, the team unveiled a new $10 million scoreboard this season. At over 150-feet-by-70-feet, it is the third-largest in the league.

Focus groups prove successful…

After another poor on-field performance last year, the team turned to focus groups to make sure they were getting a pulse on their 30,000 season ticket holders. Hosting 10 of these focus groups after the season, many of the strategies implemented this season have come as a direct result of those groups.

The biggest, according to Schulman, was the team reducing their season-ticket base by 2,500 by limiting sales to legal ticket brokers. The goal? Give season-ticket holders the chance to get more money for their tickets on the secondary market.

“We need to learn as much as we can from them so we can be selling more of what the customer wants and not what we want to sell.” – Russ Stanley, the Giants’ managing vice president of ticket sales and services, to Schulman about the benefits of the groups.

Is it all bad?

While the total butts in seats might not be ideal for the team, there are other metrics that ownership is likely very pleased with.

For one, according to Forbes, the team, now valued at $3 billion, is the fifth-most valuable team in Major League Baseball.

The team has also done a good job at maximizing the fans it has when it comes to revenue opportunities. According to the same Forbes report, the Giants make $183 in revenue per fan, far and away the most in the league. The next closest? The Red Sox at $105 per fan.

Continue Reading

Trending