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Golden Nuggets: Cal Revamps its Ticket Sales and Marketing Division

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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.