Football Teams Winning And The Impact On Ticket Cost by TickPick

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 07:50 AM with 0 comments

”infographic

As the saying goes... on any given Sunday, any team in the NFL can beat any other team. What late NFL commissioner Bert Bell said decades ago still rings true today, as can be seen with a recent game involving my beloved Patriots and a certain team from Philadelphia. This parity in competition is good for the game of football, but not always good for the fans, especially if they can't get in to see their team due to the increasing cost of NFL tickets.

As someone who had Patriots season tickets during very lean years for the team, as well as traveling to see the team in other NFL cities where it was either extremely easy or hard to get tickets, I have known first-hand the impact on team performance and the impact on going to a football game. When the folks at TickPick created this infographic on winning and the impact on ticket cost for all NFL teams, I had to see it, and they have allowed me to share it with you here.

Click on the sample of the infographic above, or click this link to view the NFL football ticket cost infographic from TickPick full-sized.

As you can see, there's a variety of percent increases in ticket values and costs based on if a football team is a winner or not. What's also interesting to see is the difference in ticket costs. Though the value and cost of New England Patriots tickets can increase by 78% based on their winning, the cost at $479.63 is less than the Chicago Bears at $770.42, whose price only increases by 53%. Knowing a little about both teams, the Patriots base ticket costs are much less to begin with than the football team who plays a couple of blocks from me.

Where this infographic is for football, it is telling for all sports and events. Next baseball season it will be a lot easier and affordable to get a ticket to see David “Big Papi” Ortiz play in his final year here against the Chicago White Sox in US Cellular Field than it will at Fenway Park in Boston. I learned this first-hand when I moved to Chicago the day the Red Sox were playing the White Sox and everywhere I looked I saw Red Sox jerseys, a surreal scene to say the least. Other impacts, including stadium size and season ticket base, play into this as well.

Enjoy this infographic and I welcome your thoughts and stories in the comments to this post if you have experienced this as well and have traveled to see your team in another city due to ticket cost. Thank you to TickPick for letting me share this infographic.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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My Guest Post On The Barrel Of Monkeys Blog On The Big Wedding Gala Fundraiser

By Mike Maddaloni on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 at 08:47 PM with 0 comments

Barrel of Monkeys logoThis past Saturday night, Barrel of Monkeys, a non-profit education arts organization in Chicago, held its annual gala fundraiser. Barrel of Monkeys teaches creative writing to schoolchildren in Chicago, and what the kids write is adapted into sketch comedy and performed by the same actor-educators who are teaching them. It is an amazing program that gets even more amazing results, which is why I am proud to be on its Board of Directors.

The fundraiser was called “The Big Wedding” and was based on a story written by a student in a past creative writing course. A performance of the sketch was part of the event, and it was a not-to-miss event on the city’s social calendar.

You can read my thoughts on the event in my guest post on the Barrel of Monkeys blog. After you read it, I welcome you to peruse the entire Web site and learn more about the entire organization, especially its weekly showcase of sketches, That’s Weird Grandma, which is performed every Monday night year-round (and Sundays for the month of April).

If you have any questions on Barrel of Monkeys, or are thinking of taking in a show, I welcome your questions in the comments to this post.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Guest Post - We Are All Capable Of Greatness And Stupidity

By Mike Maddaloni on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 at 12:36 PM with 0 comments

photo of Seahawks loud meme

Editor’s Note: Shortly before the kick-off of Super Bowl XLIX, I made a bet with Glenn Letham, a good friend and a GeoTech professional, communication strategist, geo, location and mobile tech evangelist and community manager, as to the outcome. I was rooting for my team, the New England Patriots, and Glenn was for the Seattle Seahawks. The supporter of the losing team would write a guest post for the supporter of the winner’s team blog, extolling the virtues of the victor. Glenn’s post follows.

I will add as a disclaimer, that the Denver Broncos are my #1 team, however, as a resident of the Pacific Northwest my #2 team is always the Seattle Seahawks. I'm depressed, much like every other Seahawks fan and I'm also confused, like many of you. We all are asking ourselves, why run the ball? Indeed a good question, and apparently, even coach Pete Carroll can't provide a rational explanation for that play so we'll just move on I guess.

Football, like business, is a funny business where people constantly make rash decisions... for example, imagine having in your possession, THE best running back in the NFL, and you have 3 downs to move the ball just 1 short yard – well naturally you'll elect to pass the ball rather than trying to run it! {Insert facepalm here...}

So, here we are, celebrating the newly crowned {again} Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots. Congrats to the Pats on a fabulous 12-4 season and for being the better team on the first day of February 2015. The Pats have loads to boast about this year including Tom Brady passing for more than 4,100 yards, Gronkowski for receiving more than 1,100 yards, and a very impressive 12-win season and an undefeated postseason – not to mention, establishing themselves as a dynasty, perhaps comparable to the 49’ers of the Montana era, or Steelers, ala Terry Bradshaw.

Let the Super Bowl be a lesson to all, in sport and business, that we all are capable of making dumb, rash decisions, yet we are all also capable of greatness. Think before you leap and remember, anything is possible!

Cheers, from a disgruntled Seahawks fan who is eagerly awaiting spring training – enjoy the celebration New England, you've earned it!

Image Credit


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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My Guest Post On The CorporateStays.com Blog

By Mike Maddaloni on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 06:51 AM with 1 comments

CorporateStays.com logo

I was recently invited to write a guest post on the blog for CorporateStays.com, a service which matches luxury accommodations for travelers in select cities in the world like Montreal, Miami and Panama City. Digging into my experience with travel, I decided to write about tips for traveling in the winter months. My post, Travel Tips for Travelling to a Wintery Destination, is now live.

Where my typical writing is about business and technology, I file this under the “occasional diversion” I refer to in the description of The Hot Iron. The more I write, the more these come to mind, and the more these may be available to read by you and others.

Thanks to my good friend CT Moore and the staff at CorporateStays.com for the opportunity to write this.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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3 New Year’s Resolution for Digital Marketers

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 05:55 PM with 0 comments

photo of CT MooreEditor’s Note – This is a guest post from CT Moore, a recovering agency hack who helps brand leverage search and social media to meet their business goals online. By day, he heads up Search and Social at Publikit, a boutique web dev agency in Montreal, and also runs Socialed, a digital consultancy that provides digital strategy to both start-ups and multinational brands alike. You can find out more about him through his personal blog.

Aha! Another year is about to come to close and a new one will soon begin. And if you’re any kind of marketer (or business person for that matter), you’ve probably started thinking about what you could start doing in 2014, or at least do better in 2014 than you did in 2013.

image text – Thanks for not laughing at my absurdly unattainable New Year’s resolutions

Well, if that’s the mind frame you’ve been in, I’d like to suggest 3 potential New Year’s Resolutions that you should probably apply toward your upcoming marketing efforts. I have to warn you, though: if you’ve already made up your mind on how to tackle things in 2014 and aren’t open to feedback, you should probably read no further — I’ll just end up saying “I told you so” wink

#1 OWN Your Media

image of large and small sumo wrestlers

Paid media is the placement you pay for: ads, commercials, etc. Earned media is the PR and social media wins you get from doing awesome stuff and providing great customer service.

Owned media, however, is the stuff you produce that people actually care about. In fact, what kinda of makes it “media” is that people actually pay attention to it (unlike ads). It can be anything from just really helpful how-to’s to outright entertaining viral stuff, but the point is that it gets you exposure with the right target market, just like PR or advertising would.

The only difference is that you made it. And right now, 78% of CMOs believe that branded content is the future of marketing, with 25% of budgets going to content. So in 2014, start thinking about how to own your media.

In fact, start investing in media worth owning. Because, at the end of the day, content is a lot like tattoos: it can be either cheap or good, but not both.

Good content costs money to make, and you have to keep at it for a while before it pays-off; but when it pays-off, it really pays-off. From branding to public relations to SEO, it’s one of the few channels that also contributes something to all the other channels.

#2 Get Serious About Mobile

image of cat with an iPhone with text – OMG WTFYeah, I know: a lot of you think you’re serious about mobile? But are you really? I mean, are you anywhere near the companies whose marketing you admire/envy, and/or can you actually implement the kind of strategies they have going on??

Now, I could dig up a bunch of stats and quote them to create urgency and make you sympathetic to my point. But, instead, I’ll just guess (i.e. “assume”) that enough of you reading this have smart phones (and are sufficiently attached to them) that I don’t need to do that kinda thing. So let me leave you with a kind of barometer / checklist to figure out just how the eff you’re supposed to tackle mobile in 2014:

  • Mobile Sites: I’m still shocked by just how many top-tier companies/sites/portals fail at this. If you don’t have a mobile site, get one. And if you already have one, make sure that I’m redirect to it if I visit your site from a mobile device.
  • Mobile App: If your business is driven by user-experience (e.g. commerce) or content, release that App already! No repeat customer or returning user wants to deal with your mobile site. And even here I can think of a few content portals who have an otherwise great mobile engagement strategy but no mobile app…
  • Mobile Campaigns: If you’re already investing in display ads, PPC, and/or SEO, start looking at how you can divert some of that toward targeting mobile users; there are enough of them using mobile apps and searching via mobile devices that you can’t afford no to.

Okay, so you get the point? Good! Let’s move on….

#3 Start Listening to Your Customers

image of world’s most interesting man with text – I don’t always ask for user feedback… but when I do, I use it for actionable insightSo maybe you’re already doing the mobile and content thing, or may you’re not but (hopefully) are gonna start. Either way, you’re going to have to measure your progress. And, of course, you’re going to be measuring and monitoring what user actually do once they engage with your brand.

But are you being proactive in that measurement? In other words, are you actually trying to gage how your users specifically and the market at large feel about your industry?

For starters, start looking at what people are already saying about both you and your competitors. Tools like Salesforce Marketing Cloud are great for this kind of thing. They let you monitor not only your brand name but what people are saying about your industry and competitors, in general.

Step it up a notch, though, by finding what your actual user and site visitor think. There are a few service providers that can help you do this, but the (ubiquitous) one that comes to mind is iPerceptions. You’ve probably come across them in the form of their 4Q survey, which is a free tool. But they also offer a bunch of voice of customer measurement tools you can upgrade to to make sense of the data that you collect via the 4Q survey.

The point is (1) stop assuming you think you know better than your (potential) customers, and (2) stop looking at what your users might’ve done and start considering what they’re actually looking for. Because that’s the kind of insight that’s not only gonna help you step up your marketing game, but develop better products and services, the likes of which you might’ve not otherwise considered…

New Year, New Start

If you’ve read this far, I want to make one thing clear: I’m not saying you have to follow my advice. I’m just saying you should.

You’re free, of course, to disregard my advice, but I’m confident enough that you’d be wrong to do so that I wrote this blog post and put my name on it. So give it some thought; sleep on it; and do whatever it is that you have to do to “tear sh*t up” in 2014 that you’ll be too busy either optimizing some version of your site or developing new product/service that you won’t give this post another thought wink


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Why Consistency Is So Important to Branding

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, September 08, 2009 at 04:00 AM with 0 comments

Editor’s Note - The following is a guest post by Emily Brackett, President of Visible Logic, Inc. a Portland, Maine-based graphic design firm that works with start-ups and growing businesses to help them build compelling and comprehensive brands across media. A longtime reader of The Hot Iron and strategic partner of Dunkirk Systems, LLC, Emily shares some of her wisdom and experience here, which we hope will be the first of many guest posts from her.

photo of Emily Brackett of Visible Logic, Inc.As a business owner, you probably have the usual elements of your corporate identity: business name, logo or wordmark, business cards and a Web site. However, as you grow your business, your identity can either be strengthened by consistent branding, or dilluted by irregular use of these elements.

There are several common reasons why business owners are not consistent in their branding.

The first is that no one is in charge of watching the brand. Many times our brand identity is being added to, molded, and stretched without anyone giving it much thought. Someone should be ensuring that logo usage and graphic elements are consistent from one piece to the next and from one media to another. For a small business, this may be the business owners, or an internal marketing person. If you work with outside designers, Web developers or even a print shop who does some design/typesetting for you, make sure you instruct them on how to use your identity correctly and uniformly.

Another reason why many businesses have so little cohesiveness in their image is that they try new things too often. You may be tired of seeing the same colors and similar layouts, but your customers (or potential customers) may just be starting to grasp your unique identity. Keep with it and the payoff will arrive.

Why is consistency important?

Avoid confusion

The most obvious reason to be consistent with your brand identity is that you don't want to confuse potential clients and customers. Make it easy for someone to remember you. Frequently, people notice certain elements, but not all the details.

For example, you meet a potential client at a networking event and give her your business card which features a large, red, circular logo. A few weeks later, that person is thinking she may need your services so they Google your name and browse to your Web site. If she sees a large, red, circular logo she feels confident that she’s at the right place. If, on the other hand, your Web site shows your logo (even the same graphic) in green, she may feel confused and question whether this is indeed the same person and company she had met previously.

People trust things that they know

The first example highlights the most basic type of confusion that can cost you sales. But often it is more subtle than that. Every time a potential client hears your business name or sees your logo it gets registered, even slightly, in their memory. The stronger the bank of memories - and therefore the connection - someone has to a brand, the more likely they are to buy from that brand. Consumers choose brands that are familiar, because they seem known, established, and therefore trustworthy.

It makes business sense - increase your returns

Unfortunately, many business owners make their brand inconsistent without giving it much thought. One example is an entrepreneur who hires a Web development firm to create their Web site and another design studio for their printed work, without coordinating the two. You’ve paid for two projects but rather than having those two pieces compounding your brand and building them exponentially, you may end up with two unmatched marketing tools. Therefore, the two pieces are not as effective in building brand recognition as one coordinated effort.

How to build consistency:

  • Use the same business name, logo, and/or logotype. Typeset the name and other elements, such as a tagline in a fixed fashion. Whether you do this yourself or work with an experienced graphic designer, once the logo or wordmark is done, don't change it.
  • If you’ve hired a designer to develop your logo or wordmark, make sure you receive electronic files that you can work with. You and your staff should use these graphics in all letters, memos, proposals, etc. Do not retype or tinker with the logo, and do not allow your staff or agencies to do so either.
  • Choose a corporate color, or color palette and use them as the dominant color scheme throughout your materials - printed or online. If you’ve worked with a professional designer for your logo, make sure you’ve received your pantone (PMS) color numbers as well as CMYK and RGB equivalents. Whether you create something yourself in PowerPoint or work with a graphic designer, always use those same colors.
  • Think across media. Ensure there are design elements that are similar across all of your materials. From business card to Web site to advertisement to educational brochure, there should be a recognizable look and feel.
  • If you worked with a professional designer, have them write up some easy-to-follow guidelines and have them create templates for you. These might include a letterhead template in Word and a PowerPoint template for your presentations.


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Guest Post - My Pool Guy Called Me Cheap

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, June 22, 2009 at 04:00 AM with 18 comments

Editor’s Note – The following is a guest post by Ralph Ingrassia, President of Endeavour Technologies, LLC, and a project management consulting guru. A longtime reader of The Hot Iron – not to mention client of Dunkirk Systems, LLC and close friend of Mike Maddaloni – he shares some of his wisdom and experience here, which we hope will be the first of many guest posts.

Who isn’t trying to cut costs these days, whether those be business or personal costs? One cost I was considering cutting was my weekly pool service. But, having tried that in the past and failed miserably, I had decided that maybe this wasn’t a cost worth cutting yet.

Over the years I’ve used the larger pool servicing companies, but have always been left disappointed by the higher prices, nickel and diming and lack of professionalism. So, being a small business owner myself, I settled on an independent Pool Guy and have been happy for the last few years. I could pick up the phone and he’d be here if I was having a party or if I had any problems whatsoever and it was always clear that his priority was that I was happy with his work.

Things started to change this year. The first point of concern was that his price went up this year again for the third year in a row. Now last year I understood a price increase due to the rising cost of gas but this year’s price increase left me confused. If anything I would have anticipated a steady price this year. Still, his prices were much more competitive than the larger companies mentioned above so I didn’t say anything. Then the nickel and diming started. Not much, but a few bucks here and there. Again, I was still saving money so I decided to just keep an eye on these charges over time.

Last week, however, was the deal-breaker. After completing my service he knocked on my door for payment and I happened to be on a conference call that I had muted. I decided that it would be easier to pay cash which left me $8 over the service price. I informed him that if he didn’t have any change we could just apply it to next week. The response was, “Ralph, you’re cheap just like my Dad.” “He won’t give a tip to save his life.” Now, anyone who knows me knows that I value good service and in situations where a tip is warranted, it is awarded. I worked in the restaurant industry and completely understand how the American restaurant system makes it so gratuities make up the lion’s share of a server’s income. Jokingly, I also thought that the fact that I actually had a Pool Guy would classify me as being not cheap.

But from the customer perspective, a line had been crossed here. As small business owners, we try to price ourselves competitively, prevent scope creep to manage the need for cost increases or business losses, and provide the utmost in professional service. In most cases, I find that it is the professional and personalized service that is most valued by my customers relative to my fees. The example I’ve detailed with my Pool Guy can be applied to my own business as well.

So what has gone wrong here? Is it just a case of temporary insanity or has the service provider forgotten that I am a long term customer that he has a pleasant relationship with and not a friend? Or, is it that this particular small business owner has forgotten to holistically look at their services and fees and evaluate if his customers are really receiving a superior service for their dollar regardless of a competitor’s price? In this case maybe it’s all three.

In the end, the decision that I made was to cut back on my service to bi-weekly instead of weekly. Was this decision driven solely by the lack of professionalism? No. But, it was a factor in a decision I had been teetering back and forth on.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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