Metro Atlanta’s sporting momentum surged forward in the first quarter of 2019 with the continued success of hometown teams and the city itself serving as host for Super Bowl LIII. Adding to the region’s success is the building excitement for Georgia Tech’s 2019 football season. Last month, the institute saw ticket sales for the season surge 81 percent on the first day of sales compared to 2018. Additionally, 21 percent of tickets sold on the first day went to individuals who did not purchase last year.
Georgia Tech recently welcomed new head coach Geoff Collins, contributing to fans’ excitement for the new season. Tech also worked with Atlanta-based SalesLoft to revolutionize ticket sales – creating sales processes backed up by data science to improve Georgia Tech’s connection to fans.
“The arrival of head coach Geoff Collins and his staff has energized our fan base, and that has translated to a lot of interest in 2019 season tickets. I’m grateful to Coach Collins and his staff for all that they have done to engage with our fan base, particularly on social media – that has been a huge part of our success. I’m also proud of our athletics staff for having a plan in place to take advantage of the excitement surrounding the program.” said Georgia Tech Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury. “I’m excited for the future of Georgia Tech football, and I am grateful for the fans that are joining in the excitement and supporting Coach Collins and our student-athletes by purchasing season tickets.”
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter and Tech’s Assistant Director of Athletics Mike Castle recently discussed their union of regional athletics and the digital sales platform committed to serving football fans from across Georgia and the nation.
How did you come to work together? In what areas does SalesLoft partner with Georgia Tech?
Kyle Porter, SalesLoft: Tom Noonan, also on the SalesLoft board, introduced me to Georgia Tech Athletics Associate Vice President Jim Hall. After Jim described the opportunities and goals for the team, we both realized there was a natural fit.
Georgia Tech Athletics’ biggest challenge was that they had a large database of people that they were not engaging with at the level necessary to have the highest impact on ticket sales and athletics donations. As a result of low engagement, ticket sales were not meeting expectations.
SalesLoft helps sales organizations create scalable and repeatable sales processes that empower them to deliver a better sales experience to their customers. By giving them a single place to execute on phone calls, emails and other communications, the system holds representatives accountable to the highest quality sales activities and uses data science to improve. We’re proud to have been able to do that for Georgia Tech Athletics.
You worked with SalesLoft for ticket sales. How did you come to partner with that local company, and how does their platform contribute to providing easy access for fans?
Mike Castle, Georgia Tech: SalesLoft was founded by Georgia Tech graduate Kyle Porter and has grown in to a leading sales engagement platform. A major goal of ours has always been to find an innovative way to work smarter and more efficiently as we interact with our fan base. It’s all about getting the right messages to the right people, and there is a natural synergy between Georgia Tech and SalesLoft that helps us accomplish this goal. We are now personalizing messaging directly from our sales reps in a way that allows the communication to be genuine and engaging. This level of one-to-one attention is necessary to create relationships and provide the highest level of service to our fans.
Tell us some context behind the 81 percent increase in sales. What was the source of the increase from your perspective? What was it like to be on that team watching the sales tick up to a new high?
Castle: Excitement for new head coach Geoff Collins, his vision and his increased engagement with Georgia Tech fans and the Atlanta community is the driving force behind interest and sales. It has been a thrill to see such a positive reaction to the launch of season tickets. Our fans understand that buying season tickets is a great way to support the program, but I also think they recognize that when they join the Georgia Tech football family, they are joining something special. From my perspective, is very rewarding to see the family grow.
How does the SalesLoft platform contribute to Tech’s recent record season ticket sales?
Porter: Sales engagement and overall revenue are up. In fact, the first day 2019 Georgia Tech football season tickets went on sale, total season tickets sold were up 81 percent compared to day one of sales in 2018. Georgia Tech Athletics’ sales team now makes connections more meaningful with impactful, productive conversations. They are able to have conversations with people who wanted to be reached, when they wanted to be reached.
Twenty percent of the tickets sales came from individuals who didn’t purchase tickets last year. How did you secure this new audience?
Castle: The renewed excitement around the program has been a great driver for new sales. We also took a hard look at our pricing and made some adjustments that have made Georgia Tech football more affordable than ever, which has been well-received by fans. Season-ticket memberships start at just $219 and we are offering sideline seats for just $300, which is the lowest pricing since 2014. We have also given fans access to purchase the highly popular Stinger Mobile Passes much earlier than ever before, allowing people to lock in a ticket for all seven home games for just $149.
We’ve felt some sports momentum in Atlanta with the Super Bowl and the continued success of Atlanta United. Tell us about the excitement on the college football circuit. What can we look forward to with the Georgia Tech football season?
Castle: As Coach Collins often says, Atlanta is the epicenter of college football, and since his arrival at Tech, he has put great emphasis on Atlanta being a huge part of the Georgia Tech brand. We also had a big presence during Super Bowl week here in Atlanta – including Coach Collins making various local and national media appearances, student-athlete Zach Roberts being a part of the CBS pregame show and, of course, the New England Patriots (and former Yellow Jacket Shaq Mason) practicing at our facilities while preparing for the game. All of that has been a big part of the “buzz” for Georgia Tech football in and around Atlanta. We will continue to put an emphasis on taking advantage of our place as the epicenter of college football and immersing ourselves in the culture and sports landscape of Atlanta.
What are some ways SalesLoft works within the broader innovation/technology scene in metro Atlanta?
Porter: We are founded and headquartered in Atlanta. SalesLoft does a lot of hiring from Georgia Tech and, as a champion for organizational health and the Atlanta technology ecosystem, we’re dedicated to helping SalesLoft’s employees accomplish their goals and dreams.
SalesLoft has over 100 customers in Atlanta. We are honored to serve them, but we are also focused on giving back to the broader community. SalesLoft, myself, and our employees are active in the Atlanta tech scene. We’re active with Women Who Code, Atlanta Tech Village, Year Up, and TAG. We grew up in ATDC and ATV, and we’re committed to paying it forward.
For more information on the Georgia Tech football season, visit: https://ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/
For more information on the SalesLoft platform, visit: https://salesloft.com/