Driving Revenue Through Customization: Key Takeaways From Our Conversation With the Nets, Twins, and Seals

Driving Revenue Through Customization:

Key Takeaways From Our Conversation With the Nets, Twins, and Seals

On Tuesday, April 30, 2024, Sportsdigita’s EVP of Business Development Christy Grady-Murray hosted the live webinar: “Driving Revenue Through Customization: Insights from the Nets, Twins, and Seals” and sat down with a power panel of sports ticketing and sponsorship veterans from around the industry:

  • Jonathan Ketzlach – Dir. Membership Services – Brooklyn Nets 🏀
  • Kevin Nelson – Manager, Brand Partnerships – MN Twins ⚾
  • Adam Boettger – Dir. Corporate Partnerships – San Diego Seals 🥍

Jon, Kevin, and Adam all provided valuable insights on how they leverage customization in the sales process to not only close important deals but also to form impactful, lasting relationships with partners and fans. Explore the key takeaways from the conversation below, and access the webinar recording at the end!

Takeaway #1: Leverage Your Tech Stack

The first takeaway from “Driving Revenue Through Customization” discussed each of the team’s tech stacks, including how technology allows them to accomplish their goals as an organization.

Storytelling With Tech From Kevin Nelson - MN Twins

Kevin Nelson from the MN Twins provided insights on the importance of gathering personalized goals from potential partners before bringing tech into the picture. Once your team has a clear picture of the prospect, their audience, and their goals with a partnership, then you can present a story with your tech stack.

The Twins utilize DIGIDECK to build out personalized, story-forward presentations. The partnerships team leverages the ability to collaborate and comment directly within the platform to ensure everyone is on the same page in a more efficient manner.

Doing More With Less From Adam Boettger - San Diego Seals

Even though the National Lacrosse League is the third largest indoor professional sports league, the San Diego Seals don’t have the sheer headcount that the “big five” leagues have. Because of this, Adam and his team rely heavily on leveraging technology to maximize efficiency as the league continues to grow.

Adam shared that The Seals depend on their CRM and the automation capabilities of DIGIDECK to fill in the gaps of a smaller staff size. Thanks to the support from their tech stack, Adam has recently hired a new employee to join the team.

Auto-Renewal Insights From Jonathan Ketzlach - Brooklyn Nets

Jon focuses on auto-renewal sales for the Brooklyn Nets but represents BSE Global as a whole giving their audience key access to the reach + impact of the New York Liberty and Barclays Event Center, among others. 

The Nets implemented an auto-renewal season ticket process through DIGIDECK for the first time this season. In order to ensure all their members were happy with the process, they leveraged various tools in their tech stack:

  • Sandoso for gifting
  • Salesforce for text templates and cadences
  • DIGIDECK for the auto-renewal PURLs

Thanks to the support from their tech stack, Jon’s team boasted an 80% renewal rate, which was massive for the Nets’ business.

Takeaway #2: Simplify + Customize the Buying Process

Next, Christy gained insights from each panelist on how they customize the buying process for their corporate partnerships and ticket holders.

Customization Tips From the Twins

Kevin shared that his team at the MN Twins prioritizes approaching every opportunity uniquely with a personalized strategy and research— even if that means it’s not the most efficient. To Kevin, focusing on the sales process is more important than the end sale. 

Throughout these intentional conversations, the Twins are able to solidify their prospects’ pain points and the opportunities they can provide. Then, Kevin’s team moves forward with building out a visual story in DIGIDECK to demonstrate that they understand what their prospect wants and how they’re going to provide a solution to their problems.

A Unique Process at the Seals

Adam was generous enough to share the “secret sauce” that’s been working for the Seals Corporate Partnerships team. Adam uses DIGIDECK for a three step process:

  • Intro Deck
  • Ideation Deck
  • Review

The Seals’ intro deck covers the who, what, when, where, and why of a potential partnership and really allows the Seals and the prospect to have a meaningful intro conversation. 

After asking meaningful questions and gathering information, Adam puts together an ideation deck to align partner goals, create new opportunities, and present visual experiences of what the prospect can anticipate.

Finally, Adam shared that it’s vital to review the ideation deck with the partner to see what connected and what didn’t. Based on this conversation, the Seals can assemble and present a personalized package based on what’s important to the partner.

How the Nets Personalize the Buying Process

At the Nets, there are different levels of membership: General Members, Crown Club (premium) Members, and Single Game Ticket Holders. Jon shared that it’s important to leverage data about each ticket holder in order to provide the most impactful buying and attending experience possible. 

His team categorizes members into four buckets:

  • Super Fans
  • Corporate Members
  • Family-Focused Members
  • Social Members

The Nets work with Crowdplay to provide a loyalty program that provides specific value to each member based on which category they fall into.

On the other hand, the premium Crown Club members, which can offer up to 1 million dollar investments, receive an unforgettable experience complete with top-of-the-line dining experiences that scream “New York City,” trips to see the Nets play in a different city, and exclusive networking events. 

Takeaway #3: Leverage Common Ground to Engage
Partners + Fans

The final takeaway involved an insightful discussion on finding common ground with partners and fans in order to provide a valuable custom experience for everyone involved.

The Twins on “Active Listening”

Kevin shared a specific example of how the Twins brought a unique multi-year partnership with Winnebago Industries to life at Target Field. Originally, their team associated Winnebago with RVs and camping. However, after an intentional conversation with what Winnebago wanted out of a partnership, the Twins learned that they’re initiatives in the coming years are focused on their Barletta and Chris-Craft pontoon boat brands.

The Twins’ Partnerships, Ticket Sales, and Operation teams collaborated to create the idea of building a pontoon loge box in right field. The design features six captain seats and pontoon style bench seats. Kevin shared that it’s been a hit among fans and Winnebago!

Additionally, Kevin shared how the Twins’ partnership with Thrivent Financial was also born out of actively listening to what they wanted out of a partnership. Thrivent wanted a partnership with a purpose that allowed them to give back. By finding common ground, the Twins implemented an initiative related to Thrivent’s “Live Generously” program that allows fans to vote on four different nonprofit groups that the Twins and Thrivent donate to.

The Seals Think Out of the Box for Their Fans & Partners

Adam shared that a huge part of aligning with partners involves educating them on how much the National Lacrosse League is growing, and how much the sport of lacrosse as a whole is growing worldwide. Indoor lacrosse is much different than the outdoor game in that it’s an immersive, entertainment-first experience.

Crazy, out-of-the-box ideas are always on the table (think Nickelodeon slime!). Plus, providing access to the best players in the sport is a major connection point for partners and fans. Adam mentioned that the sport of lacrosse has incredibly passionate fans, so if partners care about something the fans care about, then the return is tenfold.

Adam’s team leverages DIGIDECK as an elevated presentation tool to add credibility, legitimacy, and a wow-factor when presenting out-of-the-box ideas to partners.

The Nets Strive to Find Common Ground

Jon’s team at the Nets and BSE Global utilize Medallia as a survey tool to creatively gather information on what benefits matter most to season ticket holders. He’s found that events like shows and concerts at Barclays Center allow members to feel like they’re a part of a core fanbase that’s truly a valuable part of what the Nets are building.

Personalized benefits like these allow members to feel like they’re a part of something meaningful and important on the community level— not just the individual level.

Watch the Webinar for Yourself!

“Driving Revenue Through Customization: Insights From the Nets, Twins, and Seals” was an incredibly valuable webinar for professionals in the ticketing and sponsorship spaces and for anyone looking to gain insights on customizing their sales process. 

Want to hear the full conversation of everything covered here plus an engaging Q&A session with the panelists? Check out the recording here! 👇

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