New In-House, Privatized Ticketing Solution Sets Sales Mark in Just Eight Weeks
Efforts to expand and increase the outreach of the University of Tennessee’s athletics ticket sales department have produced immediate results: more than $1 million in season ticket sales this summer.
IMG College Ticket Solutions, a division of IMG Worldwide, began assisting Tennessee with ticket sales on July 1, fostering the school’s current athletics ticket sales efforts with a full-time, professional sales staff comprised of eight account reps and a general manager located within the athletic department. The sales milestone reached this week is the equivalent of more than 2,000 season tickets to Tennessee college football. The ticket department has also sold more than 5,000 group football tickets as well as men’s and women’s basketball season tickets.
“The IMG College Ticket Sales operation has really filled a void for Tennessee. It’s given us the resources to provide first-class, personal customer service to a much larger group of our customers than our full-time staff could ever accommodate. IMG has been professional, effective and have proven to be first-class representatives of not only IMG but the University of Tennessee,” said Chris Fuller, Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Operations for Tennessee.
While among major schools, the University of Tennessee traditionally ranks in the top five in attendance for football and men’s and women’s basketball, the school decided to partner with IMG College primarily to expand season ticket sales, mini-plans and group sales for individual games at three premier venues: Neyland Stadium, one of the nation’s largest football stadiums; Thompson-Boling arena, at one time the largest U.S. facility ever built for basketball; and newly renovated Lindsey Nelson stadium for baseball.
“Tennessee is a tradition-rich, established athletics program with a large and loyal fan base,” said A.J. Arem, General Manager for IMG College Ticket Solutions, overseeing the Tennessee program. “We’ve supplemented the schools’ existing efforts by adopting best sales practices that focus on a proactive, relationship-building approach. We’re reaching out to Tennessee fans in a more personal way than ever before.”
IMG College, through its 2007 acquisition of Host Communications Company, has a 22-year partnership with Tennessee through the Vol Network in media and sponsorship marketing. Arem, the General Manager of the Tennessee ticket solutions program, worked alongside outsourced ticketing innovator Matt DiFebo at the University of Central Florida in the pioneering effort before joining University of Tennessee this summer. DiFebo is now Vice President of IMG Ticket Solutions, overseeing the operation that continues to add new school partners.
“We are thrilled to meet this $1 million sales milestone for Tennessee, because it validates that our model of a professional, customer-service oriented sales team can yield incredible results, even at a university with such storied athletic success like Tennessee,” added Matt DiFebo, Vice President of IMG Ticket Solutions. “Our sales programs were developed in college athletics for college athletics, and I believe our results prove our model works.”
Tennessee marks the second IMG College Ticket Solutions partner to achieve $1million in new sales this year. Temple University surpassed the milestone earlier this year, growing ticket sales revenue by more than 500% just one year since the inception of its Ticket Solutions program.