On Friday, the Miami Heat fired its season ticket staff of about 30 people. The team’s reasoning was simple — tickets were so hot, they sold out.
They didn’t need a staff to sell anything.
On one hand, I understand. It’s business. It’s not like most businesses where if your product is blowing out the doors, you just make more. The Heat can’t sell more season tickets.
That being said, in my decade of reporting on the business of sports, I have never heard of a team firing an entire staff as a result of a sellout.
Perhaps the Heat could have taken a lesson out of the book of the Chicago Bulls, who sold out for 13 straight years thanks in large part to Michael Jordan.
What did the Bulls do? They didn’t fire people. They just shifted them from ticket sales to sponsorship sales, to customer service or to database marketing. The database came in handy when Jordan left and the Bulls knew exactly who to call when tickets to the United Center became available.
I don’t know the Heat and how many people they have staffed in those other areas. I’m willing to guess it’s enough for now as LeBron, Dwyane and Chris will make fans plenty happy.
The better business though is to invest in the future as the Bulls did. Make those who are fortunate to be in the building as happy as possible and keep track of those who are on the outside looking in for the times that you will one day need it.
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