In the world of selling anything, making the customer interested in the product is the key. In the world of Seton Hall University basketball, the product usually sells itself, especially in the case of this year.
This is especially the case for Joseph Papandrea, a former student at Seton Hall and current Learfield IMG employee. In the partnership between Seton Hall and Learfield IMG, Learfield is responsible for all of the day-to-day operations of a ticket office. This includes taking phone calls from perspective and former season and single-game ticket holders. Usually, the pitch for Seton Hall Basketball comes with promise of an exciting season that keeps you on the edge of your seat. However, the pitch for the preseason ranked number 12 team in the country sold itself.
Even though this is Papandrea’s first full year with IMG Learfield, he was an intern in the very same office when he was a student. “When I was a student during the internship, I really grew a passion for working in the sports industry,” he said. The internship and what he gets paid for now are basically the same job, and that’s what has led Joe to the success he’s had. “Being in the public service industry, everything has to be about the customer,” said Papandrea, “And the quicker you learn that, the easier the job will be.”
As with any job, there’s always a difference between being “good” and “great.” When asked what he thought a salesperson needs to do to be great, he only had one answer. In his experiences, just being cordial and inviting on the phone call can go a long way.
He says, “Considering that you’re about to take a decent amount of the person’s bi-weekly paycheck, putting them at ease that they are going to have such a great night at “The Rock” can go a long way to closing the sale.”
Another part of Papandrea’s job is to book large bookings for Seton Hall games at the Prudential Center.
For example, at the Maryland game on Dec. 19, there was a large group of kids in from various public schools in the area that got to take the court at halftime to play a quick 12-minute game in front of the nearly sold out crowd. The man responsible for making that moment happen? Papandrea. “The smile on their faces when they get to the Prudential Center and see the crowd for the first time? Priceless.”
As is well documented, the easiest way into the sports industry of any kind, either collegiate or professional, is through the ticket sales window. “Would I like to make the jump up from ticket sales one day? Maybe. But for right now, Seton Hall and with the Pirates faithful is where I want to be,” said Papandrea. Seton Hall is where he got his start in ticket sales, and he’s not eager to leave just yet.
Rich Behan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @rbehan12.