Miami Heat: Short-term gains leading to long-term troubles

If I were a financial analyst looking into the long-term health of the Miami Heat, I’d be worried. Yes, the Heat just signed three young super-stars and sold out their season tickets for this upcoming season.

But where will they be 10-15 years from now?

One move that seemed like a logical, cost cutting business decision came they summarily fired their ticket sales staff this summer upon selling out for the 2010-2011 season. After all, if you have no inventory, what can you possibly sell?

For some reason, I don’t think all those tickets will resell themselves five years from now. And who’s to say that they will enjoy success in the upcoming years. Any good sports marketer knows you shouldn’t rely on selling your most variable asset: your team’s performance. Sell the sizzle, they say. Granted, I don’t know if the ticket sales staff would have had as many immediate responsibilities in the upcoming year, but there are plenty of other long-term strategic initiatives they could have been tasked to work on. Even if the Heat make the playoffs the next few years, the fan base may not be satisfied and ticket renewal and demand may plummet. I know as a ticket salesperson, I couldn’t be compelled to work for an organization that treats its staff like inventory.

In terms of sponsorship, the Heat already locked in a bunch of new sponsors right before they signed LeBron James, so they aren’t reaping much benefit there.

I am not sure what the rest of the organization looks like,  but these two examples leave me weary that the Heat are looking to establish a long-term plan that would put them among the elite sports organizations


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