Yes I am being a little sarcastic
32 new season tickets last year, that is amazing. If the Hawks did not give away so many tickets, and inflate the numbers, who knows what they would average.
Arkman, should I call the Hawks staff and have them bug you
Ticket hawkers bang the gong slowly
Tim Tucker - Staff
Friday, July 23, 2004
Good news for the Hawks: Already this summer, they have sold more than four times as many new full-season tickets as all of last year. Bad news for the Hawks: Quadrupling last year's number still doesn't amount to much.
Last year, at the nadir of their marketability and credibility, the Hawks sold only 32 full-season tickets to new customers, team officials confirm sheepishly. This year's sale of 145 new full-season tickets, as of
Thursday, looks good only by comparison.
Including renewals, the Hawks say they sold about 1,800 full-season tickets last year. Factor in the various partial-season plans, and the team says it sold slightly more than 3,000 "full-season equivalents," in the vernacular of the business.
By any measure, their sales were the worst in the NBA.
And that is where the team's new ownership and management come in, inheriting what might be the toughest sell in sports: Hawks tickets.
"The numbers were horrible, obviously," new CEO Bernie Mullin said softly.
On the 18th floor of downtown's Centennial Tower, where the Hawks' and Thrashers' offices are located, 15 young, enthusiastic telemarketers are smiling and dialing. They are working from computer-generated lists of fans who attended at least one Philips Arena event in the past couple of years, as well as lists of Atlanta businesses. When a call leads to a Hawks or Thrashers season-ticket sale, the telemarketer rises from his seat and loudly strikes a 22-inch gong to announce the happy news throughout the office.
Many teams treat season-ticket sales as, well, business as usual. The Hawks and Thrashers are treating each sale as cause for celebration.
"It's all a part of building the sales culture," said Mullin, president and CEO of Atlanta Spirit, the Hawks' and Thrashers' new owner. "We understand that our No. 1 job is to put butts in seats."
It is not a job limited to the sales staff. When a sales representative runs into difficulty getting a season-ticket renewal commitment, the customer often gets a phone call from a top team official: CEO Mullin, Hawks vice president Dominique Wilkins, Hawks general manager Billy Knight, Thrashers GM Don Waddell, Thrashers coach Bob Hartley or one of the owners.
"Sadly, there's not that many of them," Mullin said, referring to season-ticket holders. "We can talk to every one of them."