Leadership / 12.17.19
Stevie Gray Is an All-Star in Ticketing for the Golden State Warriors
This story is brought to you by the INTIX Women in Entertainment Technology Program.
The Golden State Warriors have been the team of the decade, having played the Cleveland Cavaliers in four consecutive NBA Finals — a record — and winning three of those championships. Along the way, they established one of the greatest backcourts in league history (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson); broke the franchise record for most wins in a regular season; then set the NBA record for most wins of any team in a single season, compiling an incredible record of 73-9 in 2015-16. They also became the first team in NBA history to start the playoffs with a perfect 12-0 record in 2017.
A great team certainly calls for a great ticketing executive, and Golden State has one in Stevie Gray. As Vice President of Ticket Operations, she is responsible for overseeing the Warriors and Chase Center ticket operations and box office functions. A member of the International Ticketing Association (INTIX), Gray’s responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the Chase Center Box Office, as well as working with promoters, tours and other clients on the development and execution of their ticketing strategies. In addition, she oversees key ticketing projects and initiatives for the Warriors, ranging from mobile ticketing to annual ticket mailings to inventory and data management.
You would think that working for a franchise that has had such an amazing run as the Warriors have had this decade, it would make Gray’s job easier. Don’t tell that to her! “Win or lose on the court, we are behind the scenes working just as hard,” she says. “Organizationally, we continue to challenge ourselves to invest in technology, create new revenue opportunities, and continuing to better engage and improve our guest and member experience. We challenge ourselves to be the best in every area possible.”
Innovation abounds. For instance, Golden State recently created the NBA’s first exchange platform for luxury suites. In terms of pricing, to celebrate their first year at the new Chase Center, the Warriors are offering a new season-long affordability program that will allow fans to register for a chance to purchase home game tickets for $25 each. Discounted tickets have also been made available for fans who want to be seated in the arena’s “Splash Zone” fan club section. And even though star guard Curry suffered a bad hand injury that will have him out for several months, the team is still a hot ticket in the Bay Area.
“Ticket operations continue to evolve,” says Gray, who received her master’s degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco. “The box office is taking on larger roles in ticket technology and emerging third-party tech companies to help everyone advance sales and customer experience goals. I personally love the ever-changing landscape, my awesome staff and the opportunities to give back to others like speaking to youth and mentoring.”
But still, when working at the highest level of professional sports, the challenges are many, both on the job and off. “There is an extreme balance of family, career and self,” Gray says. “My calendar is stacked, and some days I’m exhausted. But it’s never work, if you love what you do.”
Now in her 17th year with Golden State and nearing her second as VP of Ticket Operations, Gray also takes great pride in the success she’s had as a woman executive in the male-dominated NBA. She sees many opportunities for women in ticketing today and for years to come. “I love that successful women in this sports and entertainment space show up in their most authentic selves every day,” she says, “open and transparent about their individual journeys. The opportunities are endless. I will continue to pave the way for others, so women and people of color see representation in meetings, in conferences and in the ticketing space.”
She continues, “A mentor once told me that ‘fear has never been honest with me.’ And that changed my perspective on everything. It is how I was able to overcome rejections, new challenges and obstacles. I’ve sustained an 18-year career in this industry because I consistently choose to honor and value my vision over my comfort.”
And just as someone mentored her once and gave her good counsel at a crucial time in her career, so, too, is Gray eager to give advice to young people — especially young women — reading this who are just starting out in the ticketing industry and hoping to achieve some of the success she has had.
“It’s important to have one person to look up to (a mentor/champion), one person on your same level to push and challenge you, and one person who’s not your equal for you to mentor and pull up and guide. Pull … push … give! This journey isn’t an easy one. It’s about hustle, heart and persistence. Along the way, there will be doubters, nonbelievers and naysayers. And then there will be you, proving them wrong — if you travel confidently and courageously, that is.”
You May Also Like
Want news like this delivered to your inbox weekly? Subscribe to the Access Weekly newsletter, your ticket to industry excellence.
Tags: Sports , Stadium , Leadership , Women in Ticketing