Southern Miss Sport Management collaborates with New Orleans Pelicans on group ticket sales

Tue, 01/04/2022 – 09:34 | By: Van Arnold

In the fall 2021 semester, the University of Southern Mississippi’s sports management program collaborated with neighboring NBA organization New Orleans Pelicans in a sports marketing course that allowed undergraduate students to get involved in the sports sales process.

Dr. Chris Croft, Assistant Professor of Sports Management, and Jesse Nantz, New Orleans Pelicans Premium Sales Account Manager, hosted the experiential learning opportunity.

“Since ticket selling is one of the best avenues to get into the sports industry, we thought it would be beneficial for our students to get real-world experience selling game tickets,” Croft said.

Nantz said: “We were thrilled to have full fans back at Pelicans games this season and to work with Professor Croft’s sports marketing class again. This was the second time the Pelicans had been able to work with Southern Miss students and both parties were eager and able to learn and build on the latest experience. Students again encountered many hurdles in selling Pelicans tickets, including injuries to key players and ever-changing COVID-19 protocols, among others. However, it was a great opportunity for students to learn how to overcome challenges and gain real-world sales experience. Students participated in all of our virtual learning sessions, and Professor Croft was again accommodating and a pleasure to work with. »

Nantz orchestrated three training sessions during the semester which included:

Sales process including promotions

· Role-playing and cross-selling

· Close the deal and complete the challenges.

The initial session included presentations on the Pelicans franchise, including recent events with a new head coach, player updates, sales process with group tickets, including promotions and COVID restrictions -19 from the city. The students presented their list of targeted buyers to sell Pels tickets during this session.

The next session focused on role play situations and cross-selling. Students were able to take on seller and buyer roles to better connect to the sales process and learned how to expand their sales reach through their contacts.

The final session included closing the sale deal and addressing challenges related to the team’s slow start, injuries to top players and the fluid situation with local COVID-19 guidelines.

“It was certainly a difficult project for the students with COVID-19 protocols in the city of New Orleans on top of the hurricane combined with the team’s slow start and player injuries, but those hurdles allowed our students to fully understand the heightened challenges of sports marketing and sales that are beyond the control of ticket office staff,” Croft said.

Nantz noted, “The class was able to help the Pelicans raise nearly $7,000 in financial revenue through their efforts, and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the future.”

Croft added, “We are so grateful to the New Orleans Pelicans and Jesse Nantz for allowing our class to be included in this project for the second time.”

To learn more about the Sports Management Graduate Program at USM, call 601.266.6057 or visit: https://www.usm.edu/graduate-programs/sport-management.php#Sport% 20Management%20MS

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