Associate Director of Athletics for Ticket Sales and Operations at the University of Virginia
The associate director of athletics for ticket sales and operations at the University of Virginia is tasked with directing and managing the ticket sales and marketing for the University of Virginia Athletics Department. The responsibilities that come with this job include overseeing ticket sales, especially priority ticketing through the Virginia Athletics Foundation (VAF), marketing tickets with promotions staff, and developing and implementing web based ticket sales and marketing strategies.
An associate athletic director at a university has the same responsibilities of an athletic director, but with a smaller focus. Associate AD's at universities are heads of different sectors of the athletic department. Given this, the associate AD for ticket sales and operations at the University of Virginia is tasked with managing the ticket sales for the whole athletic department while reporting to the Athletic Director of the University. Therefore, the tasks bestowed upon the associate AD for ticket sales and operations on a daily basis are more than just the tasks explained above. These sport managers are required to hire new employees who are ethical and “buy-in” to the established traditions and norms of the program. Also, they must meet with the public to discuss the state of the program while reporting to the athletic director.
When an athletic department becomes successful in different sports, the job of an associate AD for ticket sales and operations becomes more difficult. Due to the heightened success within the program and pride among the fan base, more young alumni, donors, and average fans will want tickets to attend athletic events. With success, the associate AD for ticket sales and operations must ensure that donors and season ticket holders maintain their seats while also satisfying non-season ticket holders and donors with a sufficient amount of tickets sold to the general public. Just like other jobs within an athletic department at a university, the job of the associate AD for ticket sales and operations becomes more stressful with success which is ultimately more enjoyable.
Corbin Hunt - Associate AD for Ticket Sales and Operations at UVa
Currently, the associate director of athletics for ticket sales and operations at the University of Virginia is Corbin Hunt; he has held this position for over 11 years (since 2006). At the University of Virginia, Hunt oversees ticket sales and operations for the whole athletic department. Also, he coordinates priority ticketing with the VAF, markets tickets with his staff, and develops implements all web based ticket sales and marketing strategies. Prior to arriving in Charlottesville in August of 2006, he held the same position at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Mr. Hunt oversaw the ticket sales and operations in Madison 4 years (2002 - 2006). Most notably, he was tasked with allocating tickets for football, men's basketball, women's basketball, and men's hockey for Wisconsin using the Badger Fund (similar to the VAF).
Corbin Hunt received a Bachelor's degree in business management from Lynchburg College in Virginia (1988) where he was a varsity lacrosse player. After graduation from Lynchburg College, Hunt attended St. Thomas University in Miami to continue his education. From St.Thomas, Hunt graduated with a Master's degree in sports Administration (1990). Hunt completed his education in 2007 after he participated in the Sports Management Institute Executive Education program through the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business and the University of Texas - Austin, McCombs School of Business.
After completing his Master's degree at St. Thomas, Corbin Hunt was an Event Management Intern at the University of Miami (FL). After completing this internship, he received another internship with the University of Virginia in the Athletics Ticket Office. This eventually led to him becoming the Assistant Ticket Manager in June of 1993. Hunt held this position for 6 years before he left for the University of Wisconsin.
Given the success of athletics at the University of Virginia, especially in the basketball, baseball, and soccer programs, Hunt is tasked with properly allocating tickets based on priority in the VAF. Also, he is tasked with the ticket sales of NCAA and ACC Championship events held on grounds at the University of Virginia. Mr. Hunt's job within the Virginia athletic program is important and should not go unnoticed since his foremost priority within the department is to promote the brand and ensure ticket sales creating the “home field advantage.”
Steps to Obtain this Job
In order to obtain this job, I will need to continue my education towards a Master's degree with a focus on business, economics, and/or sport management. During my time as a student, I will need to research and pursue different internships and entry-level positions within this same department: ticket sales. During summers between school years, I would like to intern with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Double-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, in their ticket sales department. This would give me first hand experience from within a box office and a direct look at the managerial duties of these directors. After completing my education, I would need to look for entry-level positions within a ticket office at a university or with a low-level professional team, similar to what Corbin Hunt pursued after graduating. In order to become known around the University of Virginia, an internship or assistant position within their athletics ticket sales would be a great job for this point in time. This will help with improving my leadership skills and give me a look at the life within a college athletics department. Hopefully from this point, I would have enough experience within the department to pursue the dream of becoming a director at a smaller university before becoming a director at a “Power 5” university.
Throughout my time studying the sport management industry and examining college athletic departments, the process of selling tickets to donors, students, and avid fans has always been of keen interest to me. These directors and assistants in these invigorating but stressful positions are solely responsible for promoting the brand of the team and selling tickets to provide the best “home court advantage.” From seeing both the lows and highs of a college athletic program, these individuals in ticket sale positions always are looking for new, interesting ways to put people in the seats at their venues. Much like the coaches at these universities, if these directors aren't successful, they will be let go. This high stress environment is what I am looking for; it will always keep me on my toes.
Through the use of networking, creativity, and ethical decision making, I hope to obtain this dream job. By participating in different internships through well-known organizations like the Flying Squirrels, I hope to get a foot in the door with the ticket sales department. Hopefully, these directors will help in my pursuits of this dream job. Also, I will provide creative ways to promote the brand and sell tickets for the athletic department/organization. However, these different different decisions will be ethical in nature to ensure success of the program.
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