TEMPE, Ariz. - Sun Devil Athletics is implementing a new fully developed professional ticketing model for fans and staff that is the first of its kind in collegiate athletics.
The new model has worked for years in professional sports and incorporates five distinct and separate teams, including Business Development, Group Events, Season Ticket Services, Premium Seating and Ticket Sales Consulting.
“Moving to this new model puts us at the forefront of the ever-changing landscape of college athletics,” Manager for New Ticket Sales Jacob Widerschein said. “It will enhance the fan experience, improve customer service, offer increased access to both long-time season ticket holders and new customers, and also give us a boost in revenue.”
Each team will include Ticket Sales Consultants, “product-focused” consultants, Senior Sales Consultants and Team Leaders to provide a seamless service experience, and also address a number of challenges the sales center regularly faces, including group ticket sales, talent recruitment, development and retention, as well as time management across multiple sports.
“We are taking a new and innovative approach to selling tickets in the collegiate athletics space by adapting our business model to improve the sales and service experience for our fans,” Rocky Harris, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations, said. “This will allow us to grow our fan base and enhance the relationships we have with our existing fans. We aim to create fans for life and collaborating with a global firm like The Aspire Group allows us to not only accomplish our goals, but help exceed them."
In addition to the full-time staff, ASU students will have the opportunity to be employed by the athletic department as part-time Ticket Sales Associates and receive world-class training and valuable experience working in a professional environment. Successful Ticket Sales Associates may receive merit-based promotions to a full-time Ticket Sales Consultant position after graduation.
Part of SDA’s commitment to the “Sun Devils For Life” initiative involves providing educational opportunities for student-athletes athletes to set them up for success after their playing careers are over. The Ticket Sales Associate program will be available for student-athletes, in addition to all ASU students, and any student-athlete applying for the Ticket Sales Associate program will be required to interview and earn the position.
This transition represents the next step in SDA’s two-year plan to improve long-term sustainability and enhance customer relationships.
The process began in November 2011 when SDA partnered with The Aspire Group, a global sports and entertainment firm dedicated to maximizing revenue, people, organizational performance and opportunities.
Vice President for University Athletics Steve Patterson formed the external relations team, which includes Ticket Operations, Ticket Sales and Customer Service, in July 2012 to improve interactions with SDA’s key constituent groups.
Patterson also added a dedicated sales and customer service staff of 30 and partnered with the Disney Institute to overhaul the customer experience and improve the organizational culture.
The Sales and Service Department introduced a live chat with its team through thesundevils.com and the SDA Ticket Office expanded its hours of operation to include Saturdays in July 2013 to allow SDA to better connect with its fan base and offer assistance on a more personal level.
The Premium Seating department accommodates businesses, groups and any fans looking to enjoy Sun Devil Athletic events from the most exclusive areas of Sun Devil Stadium, including the new Mid-First Bank Stadium Club.
Season Ticket Service and Retention Team
Season Ticket Service Consultants are a unique and valuable benefit to all Sun Devil Athletics season ticket holders. With an emphasis in customer service, Service Consultants assist in enhancing one’s experience by providing exclusive season ticket holder events and offering season ticket holder benefits.
Business Development engages the local corporate community to help grow corporate revenue and profitability through the use of season tickets and mini-plans. Business Development provides local businesses and corporations with unique and exciting options for client and employee entertainment.
Group Events creates thrilling experiences and events at ASU home games for youth sport leagues, schools or any group looking for an opportunity they can remember for the rest of their lives. For example, at every Football game this season Group Events gives kids the opportunity to stand in the North End Zone and wave the SDA flag or create a fan tunnel at the pre-game Devil Walk.
Ticket Sales Consulting
Ticket Sales Consultants connect with past ticket buyers, ASU alumni, and any new fans in the area to assist with all ticketing needs. As part of their career development, Ticket Sales Consultants are trained in all areas of the new model for eventual promotion to a product-focused team.