Can You Judge A Book By Its Cover (Part 2)

I finished “Marketing [Even More] Outrageously Redux” and can now confidently write (at least in this instance) that you can judge a book by its cover. In part 1 of this post, I explained how I purchased a business book on marketing solely due to its covers — a captivating image of a sumo wrestler dunking a basketball.

Having finished it, I can tell you that it was a very good read. Author Jon Spoelstra is a former NBA and NHL executive who discusses various ways that he marketed sports teams. As a sports fans who loves business, this was a perfect combination for me.

My favorite anecdote was how Spoelstra was able to sell a record number of New Jersey Nets tickets even though the team was one of the worst in the NBA at the time. Among other things, he realized that they didn’t have much talent but that many of the visiting teams did. He thus created packages and ads that promoted such stars as Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller (rather than his own team). At the time, no one would dare leverage opponents so it was pretty outrageous.

My biggest take-away involved sales. Jon discussed how he is a big proponent of having a lot of sales people. While working for the Edmonton Oilers, he went from 2 ticket sales staff to 15. The larger staff was able to make more calls and, as a result, ticket sales went from 5,500 season tickets to 13,000. Spoelstra states that a business owner should pretend that sales people are free and, then, ask “how many more would you need to maximize the revenues of your company?”.

This Summer, I have an associate and intern working for us. I plan on testing Jon’s theory by using them both (at least, in part) to sell. If it works, I’ll create at least one new full-time sales position.

There are other take-aways from the book and, overall, I recommend it as a good read with interesting anecdotes.

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