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Sr. Manager of Merchant Development for Shareasale.com’s Client Services Department
5087 people in attendance
Jon Spoelstra – Keynote Speaker
He has a message on his phone that he will call back anyone that calls his number and leaves his name and number. He always does until he thought a phone call from someone calling from Ms. America was a prank.
He enjoyed the experience, shares an anecdote.
He wrote Marketing Outrageously. He found out that he did his best stuff in a bad economy. Tried to figure out why. He knows the economy is bad now and doesn’t look to get better anytime soon.
He shows a list of years that he has done well, and they are all official Recession years.
Wants us to write down 3 things.
1) New as a way of life. He was part of the New Jersey Nets and they don’t have many fans, even in New Jersey. They had to sell tickets and sponsorships. He decided to call on people in Japan. There are many Japanese companies based in New York and New Jersey. They did well getting sponsorships. He got to know the presidents of major corporations. He is out to dinner with the President of Sony. He asked him if his engineers are under a lot of pressure to come up with new ideas. He replied that new as a way of life. If we don’t do new we die in the marketplace. On the plane flight back that is all that he thought of for marketing. He realized it is something that has to be ongoing not just at a think tank. He talks about a tri-fold brochure. Every team in sports has one as their ticket brochure. He asked the founder of Blue Blockers why they used a catalog and not a trifold. He replied that they don’t work. So they decided to do a ticket catalog. It was 8 pages and sent to a list they developed themselves. People who had bought single game tickets. They sent out 70,000. For every dollar it cost them they got $10 back. They decided to do it again the following year, they sent out 6 times and got the same response. He isn’t recommending that we get into the catalog business, just to rethink how we do things. He bought all his clothes online and not anything from a catalog. Yet companies still send many of them out. With Mandalay Baseball Properties they ran newspaper ads to get people to come to their websites. Usually many ads at a minor league baseball stadium. They did a wall of advertising with an LED sign. A well run team can make 450,000 dollars on ads. With the LED wall they make $2.5 million. They wanted to make it bigger and better. Steve Jobs in coming up with the iPod, he moved quickly to pay for exclusive rights to Toshiba technology that would allow them to store 1,000 songs on a drive the size of a quarter. They now make more money selling music then the do on computers.
2) What’s it gonna take? In pro sports there are only a handful of teams that even think about winning. They are focused on just getting a little bit better. He wanted to know what it would take to compete for a championship in two years. The answer was money so he wanted to know how much. The answer was $5 million. He figured that was easy to get. But they needed to have two superstars and they only had one. So he went to the VP of tickets to ask what’s it going to take to have the best ticketing selling department. The answer was money, so they sat down to figure out how much. Companies that he consult with never have the answer. They need to know. 12 years ago he started the Dayton Dragons. At the time no minor league team had sold out every ticket for the whole season. He wanted to know what it was going to take to do that. They set that as their goal. They did it that season. They have now done it for 11 straight years. 7500 people per game.
3) Push the outrageous envelope. Ad guy that wrote George Be Careful. Did some VW ads. He asked Jon what they were doing to improve the Nets image. He said the answer is jock straps. Give one to every man, woman and child that comes to the game. It will get people talking about the New Jersey Nets. He said it without a smile on his face, it was intimidating to Jon. So he went back to his office and wrote it down on a piece of paper. Put it in an envelope. Wrote on the outside of the envelope too. Started pushing it across his desk to come up with naysayers would say. He is also thinking of the things he has to do before he tells anyone about the idea. So he went to a supplier to see what it would take to get 500,000 jock straps. Two weeks later he gets a price of $3. They did hats for $.91. That was $3.5 million. They would rather spend that on a player that can’t play. So he thought about doing it for just 4 games. His supplier told him that there wasn’t enough time, too many stitches. He never did the jockstraps. He brings it up because it is good to vet the idea before you go to someone else so you know what the naysayer is going to whack you with. He shows the Aflac duck. He wants us to imagine the board of Aflac, as traditional company when they proposed the duck campaign. Their sales have gone up. He proposes that it was an outrageous idea for that company.
They regarded newspaper ads as direct response, with ads they wanted a 3 to 1 ratio. If it pulls that then run it until the readers tell you to stop. When they quit buying.