MLS Expands Ticket Sales Training Effort

The Sports Business Journal is reporting that the recently opened MLS National Sales Center is expanding its offerings after a successful first year of operation.  Major League Soccer announced the formation of the MLS National Sales Center to assist MLS teams with ticket sales and staffing last May.  The Center was slated to offer a 45 day program that included placing graduate ticket sales professionals in employment with individual MLS teams.

At the time it opened we reported the following:  “Ticket sales are the lifeblood of any professional sports team, and this new initiative will provide our clubs with a deeper and more talented pool of ticket sales professionals,” said MLS President Mark Abbott. “We believe the combination of classroom instruction and real-life sales experience will prepare these young men and women with the skills necessary to make an immediate impact when they join an MLS club.”

The newly increased offerings will include regional outreach and week long sessions directed at existing MLS sales personnel.  According to the SBJ report, 39 of 41 program graduates have found employment with MLS franchises.  FC Dallas, which has had a successful ticket sales year, has hired 5 program graduates.

This remains an innovative effort by MLS to improve ticket sales with a grass roots effort.  The willingness to invest in the Center seems like a great step towards improving attendance for comparatively little cost.  MLS teams will have a venue to trial ticketing initiatives and learn from the successful (and unsuccessful) campaigns developed in the new ticket sales incubator.  At the same time, the opportunity to use the center to train existing employees will ensure that current staffers are kept informed about new techniques and constantly increasing their knowledge base.