Morning Glory: UT's New Approach To Tickets Working

Check out Andrew Gribble's "Morning Glory" Blog as he writes about Tennessee's new approach to ticketing. Here's a glimpse of the story:

UT has one of the biggest stadiums in the country and a fanbase that stretches for hundreds and hundreds of miles. Gas is expensive. TVs are bigger and better. And, most importantly, the football here hasn't exactly been dominant over the past few years.

Most schools would kill for a season ticket base of 64,000+, which doesn't count students and is where UT currently stands. But for UT, it's considered a disappointment because everyone, rightly or wrongly, associates the school with crowds of 105,000+ for every home game.

They're old standards in a new world. That's why UT deserves some credit for tackling this dilemma with new, innovative thinking.

I didn't fully understand UT's partnership with IMG College Ticket Solutions until yesterday, when I took a tour of the makeshift call center inside the bowels of the Neyland Thompson Sports Center. Packed in this tiny room are nine professional salespeople and a manager who runs the show and keeps the troops motivated. Motivational, sales-driven posters cover the walls. A huge dry erase board tracks everyone's progress and keeps tallies on every sort of statistic you can imagine.

The days of student assistants half-heartedly calling high-figure donors who buy tickets no matter what are over. Instead, this group is reaching out to everybody and anybody with a connection to UT. And when those calls are over, they ask for more names.

What's been quickly realized is that UT's fanbase is even bigger than a 100,000-seat stadium. It just took a little digging, a little data-mining and a some personal interaction to unearth those who previously chose to express their fandom from their couch at home.

Since July 1, the new sales team has sold 2,237 season ticket packages. That, according to senior associate AD Chris Fuller, is unprecedented for this late in the sales season. That amount of tickets is good for more than $1 million in revenue. Also impressive is that the team has generated more than $100,000 in additional donations to the Tennessee Fund.

MORNING GLORY: Why UT's new approach to ticket sales is working and a barrage of links

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