Sunday, February 24, 2013

And the Oscar goes to...

Capitol Broadcasting Co. held its annual Salesperson of the Year luncheon in early February. The company's top Account Executives received congratz and a plaque from CEO Jim Goodmon, but I waited until the Academy Awards to give our sports division AEs the red carpet treatment:

At the Durham Bulls Elizabeth Pritchett is a repeat winner. She was the 2012 leader in new business and contract renewals.

"My favorite thing about being in sales is finding the right prospect, putting the right idea in front of them, and having them go for it. It is so fulfilling when it all works out! And it's easy to sell for a company that is so committed to the community."

Elizabeth’s keys to success in sales: honesty & hard work.

At our sports radio stations Ben Johnson was the top salesperson. He was 32% ahead of his budget in 2012, and that was 51% better than the previous year! He is our digital expert and sales leader with the Internet components of sports radio.

"I always believe that I work for my clients. Both of us have to be successful. And I love selling for CBC because of the support from everyone. It is amazing to work for a company where egos are checked at the door."

Persistence & pride in your product are Ben's keys to success.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Save the date: 7/16/14

Needless to say I am very excited about hosting the Triple-A All-Star Game. We announced today that the 2014 site is downtown Durham and the DBAP. The game is Wednesday, July 16th, airing on the MLB Network. It will be preceded by a weekend fanfest, a Monday home run derby and a handful of related events. It will be a grand, Triangle-wide celebration of America's pastime. 

We've been thinking about this for several years. As the American Tobacco Campus came on-line and downtown Durham revived, we decided to put in a bid for the event. 

We had a shot at 2010. Because of continuing construction at ATC, we backed off. Then, we took a swing at 2012. Buffalo was chosen, so we opted for the 2012 National Championship Game to test our mettle. The next All-Star opportunity was 2014, and we were approved by the two Triple-A leagues, the International and the Pacific Coast Leagues, at the Baseball Winter Meetings last December. Everyone involved took an oath of confidentiality that expired today!

While the players are minor leaguers, the event has some major league magic. The Triple-A All-Stars are soon to be household names in MLB. We made that point at today's press conference in the Bulls' clubhouse. Chipper Jones (noted above) played in the 1993 All-Star Game for the Richmond Braves; the team has since moved to the Atlanta 'burbs. 

Trot Nixon played in the '98 game for Pawtucket 
paving the way for his storied career with Boston.

In '95 Derek Jeter was an All-Star farmhand
in Columbus OH. The rest is Yankee's history!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Battle of the Blues

Last week's gargantuan sports story was the Duke-UNC game...for good reason. The ratings in the Raleigh-Durham television market were remarkable as the Blue Devils beat the Tar Heels 73-68. I have some "inside the rivalry" TV ratings from Nielsen and WRAL television:

The regional ACC Network telecast - on TV5 - pulled a 15.2 household rating. The closest competitor was American Idol at 7.6, and that popular show is usually no slouch in the ratings.

A separate production of the game aired nationally on ESPN. Most viewers in the Triangle had a choice of either broadcast, but the ESPN cablecast drew a household rating of 6.2. 

These Tobacco Road rivalries are incredibly popular, and it seems the "locals" prefer the regional broadcast over the national brand by an impressive margin.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A picture is worth... $1,000,000

A tip of the ball cap to our Capitol Broadcasting brethren at MIX 101.5. The station's annual radiothon for Duke Children's Hospital raised...

Congratz to Bill Jordan, Lynda Loveland, the MIX staff and volunteers for their labor of love. Kudos to the LISTENERS for their amazing generosity.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Launching Pad

During the baseball season about 150 people work at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The permanent staff, however, totals a mere 25.  

With that small group of full-timers a career path in our front office is not available to everyone. For many, a first or second job at the Durham Bulls is their launching pad. (The baseball farm team analogy would be appropriate here, but I'm partial to launching pad!)

Our alumni club is impressive: A former Assistant GM is the president of a NASCAR speedway. Two of our sales managers went to the NHL. Last year, our long-time AGM, Jon Bishop, went to the NBA league office. Broadcaster Neil Solondz joined the Tampa Bay Rays staff, and our corporate sales director Chris Overby moved up within Capitol to the CBC New Media Group.

I will admit that this level of upward mobility can be an internal challenge, but you have to feel good about the launching pad effect - about the training and the career prep we provide.

All of the above is the countdown to yet another launch: Molly Boyce is leaving us for the NBA Houston Rockets. She will be the team's Partnership Activation Manager, and she begins work there during NBA All-Star Week!

With our Business Manager, Rhonda Carlile, 
at Molly's Leadership Triangle graduation.
Molly was the Bulls' Sponsorship Services Manager, but she may be best known for appearing (with her twin sister) in University Ford-Kia tv and radio spots.

Her very classy parting shot: “I grew up both professionally and personally over the past five seasons with the Durham Bulls and wouldn’t be anywhere without them. My co-workers are as close as you can get to brothers and sisters...and I will always be a Bull, no matter where life takes me next.”

Godspeed, Molly. You did an incredi-BULL job!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our Sacred Cows

Which of these organizations is tax exempt? United Way, Red Cross, SPCA, NFL, NHL. 

"All of the above" is the correct answer. Like the charities listed, the tax code treats the NFL and NHL as a non-profit. The same holds true for the NCAA, ACC, PGA...even some private golf clubs!  

WRAL News presented a thought provoking series on the issue this week. Click here for the reports from TV5's Cullen Browder...on the NFL & ACC...on private golf clubs.

FYI: The MLB office surrendered its tax exempt status rather than report executive salaries.