Like many athletic directors, Brian Wickstrom of ULM entered his role with a number of challenges and opportunities to seize. He needed to grow revenues to increase the operating budget of the department so that they could invest in modernizing facilities and give their student athletes a better experience and improve their level of competition and ability to win college championships.
Setting that vision was the easy part. Getting through the barriers in order to be successful reaching these goals would be the challenge. These included:
- A very small donor base
- A community that lacked information on what it takes to run a D-I athletics department and why funds are needed to run the program and recruit successful student athletes
- A low connection and voice with their community of supporters
Wickstrom knew he and his team needed to make changes. While surveying students and the community to better understand how they wanted to be engaged during and outside of athletic events, he also got to work on understanding the systems and tools ULM would need on the inside to tackle the job and drive their organization forward. In order to move athletics forward, he knew they had to move the fan and community experience forward as well.
“We did a lot of homework when looking at ticketing solutions,” says Wickstrom. “We talked to peers and then looked up to trends in the Pros. We found that the Veritix ticketing and business solution was making a lot of teams’ lives easier. The Pros have a more complicated job than any teams in the country. If it’s making their lives easier and helping them not only sell tickets – but move their organizations forward – I knew it was a first class solution and we had to have it.”
- Capturing insights, including both purchasing and donation habits of their fans and donors
- Creating cross-selling opportunities between athletics, events and fundraising
- Opening new avenues for revenue
- Engaging and communicating more effectively with the community
“Our Veritix system is going to really help us grow our revenues and achieve our goals.”
– Brian Wickstrom
Director of Athletics, ULM Warhawks