Importance of RedHawks ticket sales

Michael Byrnes, Oklahoma City RedHawks

The RedHawks have always been a very sales-driven organization. All of the revenue streams within the team functions are really intertwined and it all goes back to ticket sales.

The key revenue streams for us are ticket sales, sponsorship sales, and a distant third is concessions and merchandise sales. Concessions and merchandise obviously are impacted by the number of people in attendance and our sponsorship relationships are certainly driven by attendance. It all goes back to what we do on the ticket sales side and we take that very seriously.

We have about 36 full time staff members and 20 of those have a ticket sales function. So, that gives you some idea of the emphasis we put in that portion of our business. Many other minor league teams usually only have 20 staff members total. That staff is very carefully selected.

We attend an annual job fair with about 400 job seekers who are looking to work with a minor league baseball team. When we interview these candidates, they’ve often been told by professors or peers that they need to learn to sell if they want a career in baseball. So, they tell us in the interview process that they’re “willing to work in sales because I know that’s my foot in the door to your business.”

We’re very intentional about letting them know that if they don’t have a passion for sales, they’re going to have a challenge working in our organization and in our culture.

We typically recruit 3 types of ticket sales professionals: outside sales, group sales, and inside sales. They’re going to spend a lot of time interacting with people on the phone and in person. If they don’t have a passion for that they’re certainly going to run into some challenges.

Group sales people make 100 calls a day, outside sales make 40-60 calls a day and try to make 12 appointments a week to fill their sales funnel. Inside sales professionals make 100 calls a day and do tasks in response to our marketing efforts, like direct mail and calling on past buyers.

We emphasize to new recruits that they really need to dedicate 3 years of selling really well in their position to take advantage of advancement opportunities. We take a very professional approach in the sales and marketing of our team.

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