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Athletics and The Sports Management Program Team Up

Feb. 6, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Department of Athletics, the University of Southern Mississippi's Sport Management Program and IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions have partnered together to create a new Sports Sales class on the Hattiesburg campus of Southern Miss.

The Sports Sales Methods and Techniques Class (SM 395) will provide students hands-on experience in the ticket office along with direct communication with ticket holders of football and baseball. Each student enrolled in the class will be given a portfolio of current season ticket holders with very specific requirements and engagement items that will assist and help the Athletic Department better interact and understand the ticket holders in the future.

"We are extremely excited about this collaborative partnership with the Sport Management program and the College of Business," said Brent Jones, Senior Associate Athletics Director of External Affairs. "This partnership allows for  a unique, creative and dynamic opportunity for Southern Miss students to gain valuable firsthand knowledge and experience of working inside college athletics while focusing on enhancing ticket sales, increasing attendance, improving customer service, measuring fan engagement and using data and analytics to better understand our fan base and improve the overall fan experience."

This class will allow students to learn and experience everything relating to the sales process including: pricing, data base marketing, customer service, sales techniques, retention strategies, analytics, ticketing software and many other principles related to the sales and ticketing field. Also, as a part of the class, featured speakers from Southern Miss Athletics, IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions and various local and regional leaders in the sports sales industry will be presenting to the class.

"The partnership with IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions, Southern Miss Athletics, and our Sport Management program in the College of Business is a great example of how we provide distinctive experiences for our faculty, students and corporate partners," said Faye W. Gilbert, Ph.D, the Dean of College of Business. "This collaborative effort will challenge students to meet industry standards as it connects our faculty with leaders in this field."

Along with the sales class, Southern Miss Athletics plans to launch a massive and targeted retention plan spanning over 12 months aimed to inform, engage and communicate with season ticket holders. This plan will offer special incentives and exclusive opportunities and promotions for these Southern Miss season ticket holders.

As part of the partnership a sales and service academy will be created and housed in the Southern Miss ticket office. The sales and service academy will be a highly selective and competitive program that will accept three to five students annually beginning in August. This academy will act as a lab of the best practices in sales, customer service analytics, retention, data and engagement allowing Southern Miss Athletics to better engage, understand and interact with ticket holders.

The selected students will assist in all ticket operations, analytics and surveys to understand trends and patterns of ticket holders.

The class can also be used as a gateway to a new career as IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions is always looking for qualified sales reps with experience and this academy will be used as a pipeline to find these students full-time work and or graduate assistantships.

The class and the future sales and service academy will allow current Southern Miss students to gain valuable instruction, hands on knowledge and experience that will place them ahead of most graduates.

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