Mount Union Hosts 3rd Annual Sport Sales Workshop

April 22, 2010

Mount Union College, in conjunction with the college's sport management program, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Flash Seats held its Third Annual Sport Sales Workshop at the Westfield Group's Blair Center in Westfield Center, Ohio on Monday, February 12.

Buffy Filippel provided a special ticket sales presentation at the event.

More than 80 students from six colleges and universities participated in the sold out one-day training workshop, including Brock University (Canada), Kent State, Memphis (TN), Mount Union, Robert Morris (PA), and Slippery Rock (PA). The Sport Sales Workshop is designed to provide participants with valuable insights and proven successful sales techniques from some of the most successful professionals in the industry.

"The idea for the workshop is to provide students with an opportunity to experience firsthand what sport sales is all about," said Jim Kadlecek, Department Chair of Human Performance and Sport Management at Mount Union College.

"The best portal of entry into professional sports is through ticket sales and the industry is looking for candidates who are ready to hit the ground running. The opportunity to be trained by sport industry sales executives provides students with valuable insight into sales-more than just attending a conference or just listening to a speaker. At the Sport Sales Workshop they are being trained the same way that these sales executives train their own staffs."

The workshop's keynote speaker was Chad Estis, Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer for the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Charlie Chislaghi, one of the premier sport sales consultants for the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL), served as the moderator. Buffy Filippel, President and Founder of TeamWork Consulting Inc. and TeamWorkOnline also provided a special ticket sales presentation and resume overview sessions.

Chad Estis served as the keynote speaker.

Estis discussed the current state of the industry and explained the Cavaliers new ticket sales technology, Flash Seats, which is revolutionizing the sales industry.

"Hearing from Chad Estis was one of the high points of the day,"said Kadlecek. "What a fantastic opportunity for students to hear from a highly respected and innovative leader in the industry talk about challenges facing the industry as well as FlashSeats and their cutting edge ticketless technology and customer database capabilities."

Chislaghi stressed the importance of "distinguishing yourself" as a student entering the business.

Following an opening session that overviewed ticket sales, participants received four hours of personalized sales training, resume feedback, and interview opportunities for full-time ticket sales positions, part-time positions, internships, and the opportunity to be invited to the NBA Job Fair.

"As usual, they (Mount Union) assembled an incredible cast of some of the finest ticket sales managers from around the country," noted Filippel. "The value of training that the students received was at the highest level anyone could ever get. As for the resume workshop, I hope that the session inspired and gave the students more confidence. For me, that is really gratifying."

Successful sales professionals conducting the sales training included Mount Union graduates Brent Stehlik '99, chief operating officer for the Frisco Rough Riders, a property of Mandalay Sports, Todd Fleming '00, director of inside sales for the New Jersey Nets; Jordan Taylor '00, assistant general manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers; David Melfi '01, director of ticket sales for the Columbus Crew, Ryan Robbins '00, manager of ticket sales for the Cleveland Browns, and Mike Zatchey '02, manager of group sales for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Also, Jennifer Farrell '06, tourism account representative for the Orlando Magic, assisted the workshop staff with event coordination.

Pictured (L-R) Mount Union alumni: Jordan Taylor '00, Ryan Robbins '00, Brent Stehlik '99, Todd Fleming '00, Mike Zatchey '02, and David Melfi '01

"This workshop gives sport management majors a tremendous opportunity to meet professionals in the field who bring years of experience and a tremendous amount of knowledge to the table," added Stehlik. "It also gives us a chance to meet and answer questions from a prospective employment pool. Dr. (Jim) Kadlecek's Sports Sales Workshop is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for all involved."

Other sales professionals involved in the sales training included Renee Boerner, manager of group sales for the Cleveland Indians, Murray Cohn, senior director of ticket sales for the Orlando Magic, Matt DiFebo, assistant athletics director and director of sales and service for the University of Central Florida, Al Guido, senior director of ticket sales for the Phoenix Coyotes, Mike Mulhall, director of tickets and premium sales for the Cleveland Indians and Bob Sivik, business development manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Also on hand conducting interviews were Dave Murray, manager of customer service and sales for the Cleveland Indians, Jeremy Stauffer, manager of ticket sales for New Orleans Hornets, and Karen Rundle, manager of human resources for the Orlando Magic.

"I am so grateful for the sacrifice and commitment made by these industry professionals to be part of the Sport Sales Workshop," noted Kadlecek.

"Their willingness to give back really impacted all of those in attendance."

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