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Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

Posted on: July 30, 2010 6:20 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 6:39 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Typically, if you do your job really, really well, you get a promotion. Or you get a raise. Or at the very least, you get to keep your job.

But that didn't happen in Miami as the Heat fired its season ticket sales staff after the team sold out of season tickets. Ouch.

In a statement, the team confirmed the terminations Friday afternoon, saying that with an "exhausted'' inventory of season-tickets "we no longer require a season ticket sales team to sell tickets.''

Stephen Weber, vice president of sales, delivered the news to about 30 ticket sales people Friday morning, according to the story from the Miami Herald. Currently, the team's waiting list has more than 6,000 names on it. It's pretty evident that at this point, the Heat can sell tickets without even trying.

"They let us go because there was really nothing left to do anymore,'' a fired staffer told the Herald.

The statement also said: "While the decision to release part of our sales force was a difficult one, we greatly appreciate their contributions to the company. We have also hired a placement service to assist those individuals find new employment. Should any season tickets become available, they will be handled through our season ticket deposit program. We thank those employees for their time with the company and wish them success in their future endeavors.''

Obviously this seems like a major low blow. But as the staffer said, what were they really going to do? I wonder what places like Green Bay do with waiting lists that long. Still, firing a group of 30 after a job well done, has a funny taste to it. Or actually, is just downright mean.

Evidently, the Heat aren't worried about retaining the new season ticket holders. I guess LeBron, Wade and Bosh are supposed to take care of that.


Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: July 31, 2010 7:39 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

Actually, I am a premium seat holder. We do have an account rep. These people are TOTALLY different. Funny thing is (before the Big 3) signed, is that I would get periodic calls from them trying to sell me tickets when I already had them.
These people collect names from people registering on the internet, people going to arena events and registering for prizes, etc.
If there are no tickets to sell, then honestly, they can't do their job, so in effect there is no job.
I feel bad for anyone who loses theri job, but what is Heat supposed to do?

Since: Jul 31, 2010
Posted on: July 31, 2010 6:40 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

I can not believe this, absolutely F'n wrong!  You are going to just send 30+ people packing... Gone to look for another job in a dismal market right now. Think of the families affected by this. I completely understand that their job is probably is no longer necessary for the next 6 years or so, but that's when you find these workers new jobs in the organization. It might not be the job the want, but you owe them that opportunity!  Still can't believe the organization would allow such an act.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2010 3:36 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

Before we get into more of the "Heat = Evil" jockeying, please at least read a more thorough account of what happened from the Sun Sentinel:

Stuff that Royce is overlooking in this article:

 -- Some of the 30 ARE being offered jobs within the organization.
 -- Those laid off are receiving up to a year's worth of severence (in other words, still collecting base salaries through next summer without having to show up to work).
 -- Season tickets were sold out on July 8, so there has been nothing to sell for three weeks.  
 -- Some of those displaced will be brought back as the season ticket account reps.

Is the Heat still evil?

Look at the NFL. The Packers, Giants, Broncos, Bears have waiting lists that will take decades to get through. Do they have a season ticket staff making cold calls? I doubt it. Maybe they did, at some point, but once you have a long waiting list (and the Heat's waiting list has grown from 0 to 6,500 this month alone) the emphasis is on supporting current accounts.

At least twice in recent years the Heat staff have taken pay cuts to keep necessary staff. Why should the staff -- or the players, as some have incredulously suggested -- take a hit for folks that have nothing to sell? Given all of the attention the Heat's getting, I'm sure the Dolphins, Marlins, and Panthers -- and even the college teams -- are ramping up their sales forces. Between internal jobs, the positive economic impact of what is going on with the Heat, and the industry jobs in other leagues, I trust that most of those 30 will be just fine at the other end of the severence checks.

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: July 31, 2010 2:24 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

Supply and demand my friend.  You are right with your statement.  If the line is too long, raise the prices. 

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2010 2:17 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

"They let us go because there was really nothing left to do anymore,''A classy organization would have retrained and retained employees.  It is nice that they hired a placement service but this could have been handled in a much better manner.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: July 31, 2010 1:46 am

Make the "big" three pay like BP

They cost 30 people their jobs.  That's 30 families, probably at least 30 kids in those families and much grief in a bad economy while the "company"/team makes money hand over fist.  Assuming the 30 made $50,000 that $1,500,000-split it 3 ways-that $500,000 per for the "big" three-a drop in the bucket.

LeBron probably spent that much on his party.  The 30 peoples lives are in ruins now.  They caused the disaster (like BP did) now let them pay!!!!!!!

Since: Jul 31, 2010
Posted on: July 31, 2010 1:39 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

Wow ... that's pretty bad. Do your job well, then get canned? Couldn't the Heat have found something else for them to have done within the organization? Guess not ...

Since: Aug 5, 2009
Posted on: July 31, 2010 1:37 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

doesnt matter, the championship still runs through L.A. As long as Phil Jackson is coaching they are the favorites. 

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: July 31, 2010 12:30 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

Has it right. The only person who has any true ethos on this issue is MoonOverMiami. Everybody else is simply whining without having any idea of what they are talking about. This was a business decision. The writer of this article is simply playing to the bitter Cavs, Celtics, Bulls, Knicks and Lakers fans who have a strong hatred for the Heat. Are the Heat supposed to pay 30 people to sit around to make you feel better? Some of you really shouldnt take the Heat's acquistion of two players so personal

Lakers fans generally dont have any hatred for the Miami Heat. There isn't any rivalry yet to be bitter about. Lakers and Celtics......Yes because there is a history. They beat us, we beat them. What most of the NBA fan hate is the Heat fan acted like their team should be crown the next seven championships, no question ask. They misreading into everything on this board like everyone are against them.
I think the Heat have everyright to let these 30 workers go. There is no more job for them. The problem was they shouldn't have been hired in the first place. Who need a saleman when you selling season tickets?
But as a business brand.....This lay-off should have done in different way. Like transfered them to other temp. department and kept this as low key as you can. Untill you absolutely have to let them go when the time is right. That time is not right now because there is so much media coverage on the Heat due to their new acquisitions in freeagency. This situation is being over blowned into a very bad light by the media, but the top management should have foreseen this problem before they execute the lay-off notice.
Bad management decision.

Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: July 31, 2010 12:08 am

Heat sell out season tickets, fire sales staff

A ticket sales staff of 30 is actually REALLY big for a sports franchise.  Most teams have around 10-12.  I could totally see them letting go of 20-25 or so, but you need people to do day-to-day things.  There's more that goes on than just the season tickets.  You have to have an allotment of ticket for groups to buy, the general public to buy, for other teams to use, scouts, etc.  It's not just cut and dry, "all the tickets are gone", there's more to it.  If they really fired everybody, i have a feeling that at least 5 or 6 people will be hired back in some sort of capacity, a higher salary, but no commission role of just tending to the season ticket holders needs, etc.  Someone has to manage the tickets, renewals, seat upgrades etc, that's not done via a machine.  Plus you have to have some people to kiss the ticket holder's asses, and help them get extra seats when they need them.  This is a pretty bonehead move.

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