Two Mount Union Sport Business Students Recognized at Cleveland Cavaliers Game for Being Top Ticket Sellers
February 10, 2010
Two senior sport business students, Tiffany Oster and Kristin Strah, were recognized at the Cleveland Cavaliers game on Wednesday, January 27 for being the top ticket sellers in last semester’s Sales and Marketing of Sport class at Mount Union.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers ticket sales project at Mount Union is set up like an actual sales staff for a professional sports team,” said Jim Kadlecek, associate professor and chair of the Department of Human Performance and Sport Business and professor of the sales and marketing sport class. “We start with training at Quicken Loans Arena that is conducted by the Cavaliers’ sales staff. The class then selects accounts such as organizations, groups, businesses and individuals that they plan to target for ticket sales. Students are expected to make a minimum of 10 sales contacts per week and turn in weekly sales logs of their activities.”
Kadlecek noted that the class kept a sales leader board, they had incentives and prizes – they ran the effort as if they were actually working for the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the seventh year that students at Mount Union have been involved with the group sales project with the Cavaliers. The project is recognized by the NBA in their "Best Practices" for ticket sales, encouraging other NBA teams to adopt the project by collaborating with a college in their marketplace. The project lasts the entire semester, providing students with the opportunity to learn the value of multi-tasking between other assignments and projects in the class.
Tiffany Oster, a senior business administration major with minors in communication and sport business from Newbury, OH, sold 158 tickets throughout the fall semester. Her ticket sales alone generated $3,980 in revenue for the professional sports team. Strah, a senior business administration major with minors in communication and sport business from Lyndhurst, OH, sold 87 tickets. Her revenue of $2,346 added to the final class’ revenue of $9,474.
“Starting the whole selling process was a bit nerve wrecking,” said Oster. “My major concern was fear of rejection but I did majority of my sales here on campus so I knew the people I was interacting with. I enjoyed it and I definitely learned a lot about the business.”
A total of 13 student were involved in the project, but Oster and Strah proved themselves as the top sellers of the class. They both were recognized for their achievement at the pre-ceremony on half court on Wednesday at the Cleveland Cavaliers game.
“Being recognized at the Cleveland Cavaliers game was really nice – it made me realize that hard work really does pay off,” explained Strah. “I appreciated being recognized for all the hard work that I put into this project for class.”
Emily (Crow ‘03) Blair, a group events specialist for the Cavs, worked closely with the class from start to finish.
“For the past three seasons I have had the pleasure of working with students from Mount Union College through the Sales and Marketing of Sport class,” said Blair. “As a former sport business student, I feel that it is important to give back to the College by providing the students with real world experience. Each year the students rise to the challenge by making connections in their communities to fulfill sales requirements for the project.”
“There is no substitute for real world experience, especially demonstrating to a sport or any organization the ability to generate revenue,” explained Kadlecek when asked how this sales project will help Mount Union students land a job after graduation. “In addition, learning the sales process has universal application, even a job interview is a sales call. The more a student learns how to ask good questions, determine needs, overcome objections and communicate value, the better prepared they are to differentiate themselves when looking for an entry-level position after graduation.”
“This project made me a lot more comfortable talking to people,” said Strah. “Being able to work with Emily gave me the opportunity to have real life experience into what it is like to sell group tickets. I think that this class has positively prepared me for life after graduation. It was a great experience.”
The class not only focused on the importance of ticket sales, but the class also covered topics such as marketing theory, the role of sponsorship in sports, current trends and developments in sport marketing and the difference between sport marketing and traditional marketing.
In the spring semester the sales and marketing of sport class is selling group tickets for the Cleveland Indians.