Leadership / 04.07.20
Simone Hogan Is a Maverick in NBA Ticketing
This story is brought to you by the INTIX Women in Entertainment Technology Program.
Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted in February for our Women in Ticketing series before the coronavirus pandemic took hold and prompted the NBA to suspend the remainder of its season “until further notice.”
As a Dallas native who has spent nearly two decades in the ticketing business working for different box offices, music venues, nonprofit arts groups and now a professional sports team, Simone Hogan finally has her dream job. She is the Senior Manager of Ticket Operations for the Dallas Mavericks. The team, owned by the charismatic billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, has been one of the NBA’s hottest tickets for many years. How hot? The Mavericks have the longest currently running sellout streak in North American major league sports!
Hogan is very proud of the accomplishment and will almost certainly look to keep the streak going once the COVID-19 crisis subsides and hoops fans can return to the American Airlines Center, the Mavericks’ home arena. “[The streak] is astonishing,” she says, “and it’s an honor to be a part of this organization. Two things are our focus. One, the Mavs try to keep an affordable price point available. And, two, there is a huge focus on the in-game fan experience. This has been essential to fan and brand loyalty.”
Hogan says the franchise especially loves trying new deals and throwing lots of promotions and offers at fans to keep them guessing in a good way. “The newest on tap we have is the Mavs Fan Pass. Fan Pass is the perfect way for Mavs fans to get great, last-minute seats at a discounted price for Dallas Mavericks games.”
Fan Pass is easy, and there is no commitment. Fans go online and enter an email address and mobile phone number. No purchase is necessary to sign up. Then, approximately 48 hours before game time, the enrolled fan will get a text from the Mavericks with a special offer just for college students. They can either accept the offer or wait for the next one. If accepted, the fan will get a second text message about three hours before the game with venue access ticket(s) and seat location(s).
Another popular promotion is the Mavericks’ “On the Floor Before the Door.” Billed as the “ultimate insider fan experience,” it enables ticket holders to pay an additional fee to watch their favorite players warm up courtside. To buy, valid ticket holders simply log onto the team’s official website and select the game they want to attend. An email will be sent prior to the game with more details on where and when to meet.
Keeping fans engaged, seats filled and a general feeling of excitement at every home game are challenges Hogan and her staffers face. But she nor any of her colleagues shrink from the challenge. “In ticket operations, as you know, every day is a new task that is thrown at you, whether it is a new promo that someone wants on sale as soon as possible or a challenge on how to protect your inventory from fraudulent purchases. You have to be ready,” she says. “But I love that every day is a new challenge. The entertainment industry is ever-changing due to many factors, the main one being technological advancements. The world of ticketing is no different, and we must keep up with the consumer’s ability to get things done efficiently and quickly. At the same time, counteracting the fraudulent ticket market is my biggest challenge.”
That was February. Now, of course, the ongoing pandemic and its effect on live events is Hogan’s biggest challenge. Gameplay was stopped just as the team was looking to commemorate a milestone. The Mavericks were founded in 1980, making this the franchise’s 40th anniversary year. And next year, the team will look to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its 2011 NBA championship.
Hogan kept celebration and special ticketing plans close to vest during our February chat, but she did say, “We do a lot of in-game experiences. Commemorative tickets to Dirk [Nowitzki’s] last game was one of my favorites. Fans will just have to be a part of the season to see what we have in store.”
Finally, when asked if she had any advice for other ticketing professionals — especially women — who are young and up and coming in the business, Hogan says she attributes her success to a very simple formula. “Work hard, and always, always challenge yourself!”
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Tags: Sports , Stadium , Leadership , Women in Ticketing