Dick Vertlieb (General Manager – Golden State Warriors) . . . Weeks after taking this position, he became my first client in pro sports . Moving to the Bay Area from Seattle, he sought to understand his fans so that he could better direct his ticket sales, advertising, promotions, public/media relations, game staging and community development functions.
In response, I drew on insight from a meeting with Jack Kent Cooke, then owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings, who was introduced to me by Alan Rothenberg, subsequently major domo of the U.S.-staged FIFA World Cup soccer event in 1994, conceiving what became known as the Audience Audit™ , the first self-administered marketing research tool of its kind in the sports world. That season the Warriors won the NBA Championship and Vertlieb was selected NBA “Executive of the Year” by The Sporting News. Dame Fortune had smiled. And a career was born.
The tool provided us with quantitative insights into decision making behavior, attitudes and the seven mutually exclusive attender combinations that accounted for two-thirds of attendance, helping us concentrate resources, messaging and experiential changes at the arena on their preferences.
In subsequent years have applied the same tool to assist clients seeking to build live event audiences across a spectrum of sports, entertainment and arts industries.