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.