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鈿金煣煍fter the World Cup: MLS Brand Can Expand!

Today’s ‘Talking Tickets’ newsletter: GET IT DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX…FREE!


Happy Holidays!聽

You鈥檒l get a little less ticket heavy newsletter this week as I can teach y鈥檃ll stuff using:

  • SNL
  • Santa
  • The Wordman himself

Next week and the week after, I鈥檓 on a holiday. 

Miami, next week. I鈥檓 hoping to catch the Heat game on Tuesday and not much else. 

The week after, I鈥檒l be throwing an old folk鈥檚 dance party at my place so that the kids can hang out with their parents and rock out. 

The next two weeks, I鈥檓 going to look back on the year that was. 

Let me know about your plans for INTIX. I鈥檝e got something I鈥檓 working on for my first trip back to Seattle in a few years. 

But make sure to catch up with me and the folks at Booking Protect. 

To the Tickets!

BTW, who do you have in the World Cup Final? 

I. As the World Cup winds down, 5 ideas on building the brand of MLS further

My webinar this week talked about the streaming wars and Apple鈥檚 investment in MLS. 

Last week, I discussed lessons I learned dealing with some of the largest sports鈥 brands in the world

Today, I鈥檓 going to use the lens of my upcoming teaching on brand management to share some tips to grow a brand after the World Cup capturing so many people鈥檚 attention.

FYI: These will all matter to you no matter what size your venue, team, league, or other sector of the business you work in. 

In fact, doing them might be more important for smaller organizations. 

  1. Research: Remember this: Market research is a proactive activity built on developing a hypothesis of the market or asking a question that you are looking to answer. In this piece, the article talks about 83% of MLS鈥檚 current fans watching on streaming devices. What about the fans you need to reach? 
  2. Focus on your brand associations: Do people feel and think about you in the way that you want them to think about you. What associations do you have with MLS鈥檚 brand? Are they associations you鈥檇 want with your own brand? Now do your brand.
  3. Two steps: Diagnosis first. Strategy second: The first step you take is a step back: Brand tracking, segmentation, heritage, talking to fans, and figuring out what you鈥檝e learned that you should apply next year. Second, build a strategy by understanding what you will and won鈥檛 do. As I鈥檒l discuss in an upcoming episode with Chris Furnell from On the Mark, figuring out what you won鈥檛 do is the most important step. 
  4. Brand Strategy is three questions: a) Who are we targeting? b) What鈥檚 our position? c) What codes are we going to use to communicate this? 
  5. Radical Focus helps you: ESPN and FOX have been MLS partners for a long time. Apple has signed on for 10 years. These are long-term commitments. One big failure I see in branding and marketing is too much change. I鈥檝e done a bunch of research and work on this and I find that it can take 11 or more touches to make a sale. I鈥檝e found that your touchpoints start earlier and last longer than you imagine. And, I鈥檝e seen that the effectiveness of an ad doesn鈥檛 really decline over time, but marketers get tired of the old ad and change it because they feel they have to do something. 

For you:

  • Do your research. Start with your most dedicated customers/fans. Find out why they love you. 
  • Understand what the market really thinks of you. Do the associations your brand generate meet the expectations you want? 
  • Strategy before tactics鈥iagnosis first. Spend a lot of time on getting the question and the map right. 

II. SNL looks at discounts: 鈥淒iscounts are for Dummies!鈥

Discounts are for Dummies! (God, this piece has been so good to me. Translated into 6 languages: Mandarin, French, German, Spanish, Portugese, and Russian.)

The Big Idea: Price is about value. Value is about perception. 

SNL nails pricing. 

It isn鈥檛 about what you think. It is about what the customer thinks. 

When you offer a discount: imagine what the customer is thinking. 

Better yet: find out. 

Remember: Discounts:

  • Undermine brand equity
  • Kill profits
  • Train customers to wait for a better deal

III. Dave Harland comes on the podcast and we talk not being boring

Big Idea: The biggest challenge any brand has is standing out in a competitive market. 

Spoiler: all markets are competitive now. Think alternatives, not competition. 

Dave lays out a really helpful set of examples on:

  • Using humor to standout in your marketing.
  • Developing a voice. 
  • Not being afraid to say to the market, 鈥淚t鈥檚 okay mate, you aren鈥檛 for me.鈥

The best bit of the podcast is how he breaks down subject lines and offers the observation that 80% of the job of copywriting is getting the headline correct. 

The More You Know: 2-3% open rates aren鈥檛 wins! They are losers! BIG FAT LOSERS. It is all in the headline. 

Listen to the podcast. 

We use examples from sports, concerts, professional services, insurance, and more to make the case that being creative is a process and being boring is a choice. 

Give the full conversation a listen

IV. Natick Mall鈥檚 trip to the North Pole shows us what an elevated experience looks like:

Santa鈥檚 experience gets elevated in Massachusetts. 

The Big Ideas: A few things to notice here that stand out:

  • Every touchpoint matters. 
  • Get into the mind of your customer. This is a good example of getting a premium because you know who the buyer is and the big point of influence. The parent is buying, but the real decision is being made because they want to blow their kids鈥 minds with an unbelievable experience. 
  • Nothing is destined to be a commodity. Mall pictures with Santa are a pretty standard Christmas commodity鈥ot any longer. 

V. Links:

Mark Cuban talks about basketball in Seattle

As we say in the Seattle basketball community: Bring 鈥楨m Back. 

Clyde Lawrence of the band, Lawrence, weighs in on an artist鈥檚 relationship with Live Nation:

Writing a song with lyrics about a monopoly is next level鈥f you ask me. 

In my experience, I鈥檝e never seen an artist take part in settlements. But even in my nightclub days when we worked with bigger artists, the deals I was part of were pretty straightforward. 

I have seen some pretty heated settlement meetings though. 

Senator Klobuchar talks about monopolies, competition, and legislation about transparency in tickets:

7 minutes on monopoly power, legislation, and Taylor Swift fans. 

Give it a listen. 

Amlo asks Bad Bunny to come back to Mexico City to give a concert to make up for this past weekend鈥檚 troubles

Check out the article. 

The Mexican government has some pretty far-reaching powers to support customers and fight back against bad behavior. 

But the best thing is that the President of Mexico offers to pay production costs if Bad Bunny comes back. Maybe this will catch on as a way to get people back into the cities, hotels, and other locations. 

UK Touts ordered to pay 拢6 M fine

First, if you have a US Mac: Option & 3 gets you the Pound symbol. 

You learn something new everyday. 

This ruling is another example of how differently professional resale is taken in markets outside of the US. 

Do I think this will eliminate ticket touting? Not at all. 

20 Metaverse tools you need to know about to sell tickets and more

Last week I talked about 10.7 M people attending Fortnite concerts now other folks are catching on to the ideas I鈥檝e been offering up. 

Here are a list of tools that you can check out and look at when you start thinking about whether or not the Metaverse fits into your strategy. 

Linktree: Find everything I鈥檓 up to.

Join the 鈥楾alking Tickets鈥 Slack Group. Almost 300 people from around the world.

Booking Protect:

The folks from Booking Protect will be at INTIX in Seattle in January. You鈥檒l be able to meet the Booking Protect team in person.

Offering your customers refund protection:

  • Gives customers certainty in their purchase.
  • Gives you a new revenue stream.
  • Improves your customer service.

Great podcast conversations: Take your business to new heights by learning from the best in the business.

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  • Aren Murray
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