Last year's season at AT&T Park was a golden opportunity for Cal Athletics. However, the university struggled to fill seats at a venue which seated 40% fewer than Old Memorial Stadium. Hoping to avoid another season of tepid interest and empty seats, Cal Athletics has made some changes to boost momentum and fan interest as we return to Memorial Stadium. One of the biggest developments is the hiring of Ashwin Puri, who will head the Ticket Sales, Marketing, and Service unit. Puri brings a decade of experience from the NBA and NFL, including work with the New York Jets and New Jersey Nets.
In his role, Puri will manage a newly reorganized unit responsible for all ticket operations, outbound ticket sales, digital marketing, fan experience, and customer service and retention, which will include development of detailed marketing plans, advertising strategy, and the hiring of qualified and knowledgeable outbound sales team. He will also establish and supervise a program designed to improve and deliver consistently positive customer service to a wide array of department constituents through the establishment of a customer service team assigned to develop relationships and assist Cal season-ticket holders.
The staffing structure is the first initiative to be implemented by newly appointed Associate Athletic Director for Revenue and Business Strategy Matt Terwilliger. "With a new stadium opening, it was critical for us to get more aggressive with a fully integrated staffing model to enhance revenues, improve customer experience and fan engagement with our program," said Terwilliger, who previously served as Cal's Associate AD for Business Development. "Though many schools are choosing to outsource their sales efforts, we believe there is a tremendous advantage to investing internally to take advantage of the synergies with our other revenues streams and provide tremendous service to our loyal fans through personal attention, social media and technology. Our fans are investing significantly with our program and deserve a high level of service in return."
Other aspects of the new structure will focus customer relationship management systems as well as improved strategic decision-making through the use of data and analytics.
"Our plan is to create the finest experience for our fans, season-ticket holders, donors, corporate partners and our University community," Puri said. "It all starts with enhancing existing relationships and creating new relationships with our patrons. It is important to understand what is important to them, and give our existing fans or potential new fans a reason to join the Cal family. Outbound sales efforts complimented with outstanding customer service will be a priority."
After the jump both basketball teams defeat Utah 60-46 and several Bears prepare to impress the scouts at the NFL Combine.
- Mel Kiper updated his top-5 by position on the eve of the Combine. Mychal Kendricks is the fourth-rated inside linebacker and Bryan Anger is the second-rated punter.
- If you haven't yet read Mike Tepper's remarkable story about his ability to bounce back from hardship after hardship, you should read this immediately.
- Marvin Jones' path the NFL Draft is also an intriguing one.
- Wilner breaks down all the Bay Area players who will head to the NFL Combine.
- Cal was among the handful of universities to vote against multi-year, guaranteed scholarships. I can't blame them, given the budget constraints.
- The men's team took advantage of a mistake-prone Utah to win 60-46.
- Both coaches discussed turnovers in the post-game press conference. Utah had 11 in the first half and 18 total. Despite having 10 fewer turnovers than Utah, Cal only outscored the Utes 13-11 off turnovers.
- The Oakland Tribune recaps the game.
- The men's team has inched into the lead for first in the conference.
- Stanford blew out Colorado in Boulder. I'm not sure whether this is good news for the Bears...
- The women's team also beat Utah by a 60-46 margin.
- Lindsay Gottlieb praised the team's energy coming out of halftime. The Bears opened the second half with a 17-0 run that sealed the win.
- Jason Kidd is now second all-time in NBA steals.
- Cal sits atop Wilner's Bay Area power rankings and Pac-12 power rankings.
- After keeping pace with no. 9 James Madison for 48 minutes, the Bears ended up falling behind 13-9.
- Caitlin Leverenz broke Natalie Coughlin's school record in the 200 yard individual medley. The Pac-12 championships continue this weekend.