By Alfredo Bustamante, 2L, CSLP Fellow
On Friday, August 22, 2014, the Center for Sports Law and Policy (CSLP) hosted its first installment of the “Padres Speakers Series” at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The guest speaker for the event was Jarrod Dillon, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the San Diego Padres.
Dillon began the event by giving a brief introduction about his work history in sports. He joined the Padres in 2009 as Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service before being promoted to his current position in 2013. He is currently responsible for managing the Padres’ corporate relationships and growing the sponsorship revenue.
Prior to joining the Padres, Dillon worked for the San Francisco Giants and was involved in various ticket sales and special events roles. Later, he became the Director of Premium Seating & Ticket Sales for the Oakland Raiders, where he directly managed all day-to-day operations of new season tickets, group tickets, and luxury suite programs.
After his introduction, guests asked questions, which covered a wide variety of topics, including: developing corporate partnerships, marketing and ticket sales, and the different ways somebody can be involved with a sports organization.
When asked about choosing to partner with more local brands instead of national brands, Dillon responded by saying “It’s equally important to work well with both and achieve a blend, while also making sure our ballpark feels like San Diego. The best example of that is all of the local food and beverage offerings we have brought into Petco Park over the past 3 years.”
Guests of the event also gained insight from Dillon about ticket prices and what teams look for in an employee in the marketing/ticket sales department. Flexibility with ticket prices has been an important factor in increasing ticket sales. For example, if there is an empty space in a certain area of the ballpark, management has the ability to lower ticket prices for those areas if necessary, which is called “dynamic pricing.” The Padres marketing strategy allows the team to adjust “on the fly” to situations that may arise, instead of being “static” and possibly losing potential ticket buyers. It also allows the organization to reward customers who buy early and consistently.
When asked what characteristics an organization looks for when hiring in the marketing/ticket sales, Dillon responded it mostly comes down to being a good “people person.” It is not necessary to have a particular background in order to get hired. “We have people with law degrees working in several different departments with the Padres, including: corporate sponsorships, human resources, and baseball operations,” says Dillon. “As hiring manager, I look for good people who are intelligent, coachable, and adaptable.”
Overall, the event was a great success and students and guests look forward to future installments of the “Padres Speakers Series” later this semester as Erik Greupner, Senior Vice President, Business Administration & General Counsel for the San Diego Padres will be joining us.