Marketing Lessons Learned from a Sports and Entertainment Perspective

In order to successfully differentiate yourself as a brand, you need to be doing things that aren’t being done by your competitors. This might mean trying new strategies or techniques that have never been used before. This might also involve learning from other marketing industries and implementing some ideas that work best for them. 

In a recent episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, Bill Guertin – Chief Learning Officer at ISBI 360 LLC – shared his unique perspective from the sports and entertainment industry. He explained what successful sales and marketing looks like for them and how it applies to the B2B industry. 

How to get People Excited to Buy Entertainment Products (and B2B application)

“Every product has a story,” stated Guertin at the beginning of the podcast.

In sports sales you’re not selling the game; you’re selling what happens to people as a result of the sporting event. That includes building relationships with friends, family, or even a client or two that you might bring to the game. If you are focused on the end result – the product of your product – then people will be less likely to be disappointed. 

It is also important to always see the good that comes from an event itself. Even if your team loses a lot of the time, you can look at each game as a success because of the experiences customers have had with the people they’ve been with. 

Going to a sporting event is not always about seeing your team win or lose, but to enjoy the moment and the experience. Therefore, it’s important to remember that the experience starts when you buy the ticket. There’s an anticipation value that takes place. 

On the B2B side of things, there’s also an anticipation value that you sell in being able to cure the problem that your software or product provides. No matter what that happens to be, part of the sales process is helping people get excited about being involved with you from the very beginning.

As soon as you get a lead, it’s necessary to get to know them as well as you can. You need to get a feel for their experience and their interests. Whether you are selling entertainment or software, knowing your customer and understanding what they are expecting from your product is essential from to know in order to help them.

Attributes of Successful Sales Reps

One of the traits Guertin notices in his most successful sales reps is resilience.

As explained in the Angela Duckworth book called Grit, resilience is a never-can-die sort of attitude. It’s the courage and resolve to get things done even when facing challenges or setbacks. In sales, you may make a whole lot of phone calls and reach out to a whole lot of people. You may have seven or eight different conversations in one day, only one of which may turn into success. That is where the grit and resilience factor plays a huge role. 

Another trait is the desire to learn from others.

“If someone comes in and says, ‘I know exactly what I’m doing, just leave me alone,’ we know they’re going to fail,” stated Guertin. “We have best practices that we have to apply for them.” They have to be willing to learn from what others before them have learned. That doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be successful down the road doing their own thing, but as they are willing to learn, they will be successful sooner. 

Lastly, its important that they have a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed as well. 

When you go to work for a big company, you still have a brand that’s you. Your individual brand, and the entrepreneurship that you bring to the table as a representative of the company, has to be front and center. You have to be self-confident and true to yourself. You have to risk some of the things that you do every day to be able to receive the rewards that come from a great sales effort. Don’t be afraid to bet on yourself. 


Sports and entertainment salesmen sell what happens to people as a result of the sporting event. It isn’t all about what happens on the field. It’s about what happens in the seats. What really matters is how you affect others lives positively. B2B salesman sell what happens as a result of their product. It isn’t always about the features that you have, because competitors may have similar features down the road. It’s the way you present yourself, combined with the service that you provide someone in helping them accomplish what they need to accomplish. You need to sell a combination of you and your product, not just the product itself. 


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