From The Editor's Desk

Dinosaurs Never See Asteroids Coming

No matter how many millions of years ago it was, or if you are somehow in the camp with former baseball player Carl Everett who believes that dinosaurs never existed, there is a lesson to be learned from the entire matter of their extinction. They never saw what was about to kill them coming.

This blindspot madness is something that should concern sports sales organizations, whether it is at the professional or college athletic department ranks. And its not the idea of 50-inch flat screens that may kill the fan experience. It’s the fact that inside sales is a model out of the 1990s, not 2015.

No one cares that Eastman Kodiak is dead. Yet, if sports executives were in charge of photographs, they would resist all digital photography efforts and restrict buyers to access photographs only through film. Which in turn they would develop at Rite Aids. Because, that’s what they’ve always done. And the customer should like it, damn it.

Notice how silly that scenario looks above when you read it. Yet, sports organizations do the same thing in how they sell their product. Everything is still counted via season tickets sold. Or the idea that customers have to call them in order to access the best deals, at the best price points. Because the best way to retain a customer is through a personalized relationship with an inside sales representative.

Really? I seem to buy from Amazon just fine. I’ve never chatted with a soul on their website, yet I have purchased items worth thousands of dollars, basing my buying decisions on their customer reviews, as well as how well their analytics shape what I want with available inventory.

Think of how stark and different that scenario is, to the online buying experience of a prospective ticket customer. No ticket system has exact seats for sale, with past customers reviewing those exact individual seats, for a prospective customer to buy. In fact, a lot of times, online ticketing is considered the last resort for sports executives, who want to “fit customers with their needs.” Even movie theaters have decided that they need to funnel more business through their online portals.

Making something harder for a prospective customer to use doesn’t force them to use the channels that you dictate they use. It makes you lose a customer.

Yet sports sales tends to be the dinosaur, looking up at that asteroid coming down from the sky, and instead of getting out of the way, they are right in the asteroid’s path, waiting for impact.

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