Greg Hylton, Indianapolis Colts VP of Premium Seating: Selling Sports in a Post-Corona World

Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged Learning at and this is the Work In Sports podcast…

As promised we’re going to continue adding an extra podcast a week as we deal with social isolation and distancing. Our Friday podcasts will aim to inform and educate you specifically on how our current situation is affecting the future of the industry or techniques and strategies you can utilize right now in this unique time.

I don’t know about you but time seems to be drifting into itself right now, I don’t know what day it is since they all seem the same. But, I am marking time personally based on podcast publish dates and I remember our last three Fridays pretty clearly -- The first Friday episode was an interview with Kenneth Shropshire CEO of the Global Sports Institute - he had deep insight into what this pandemic will mean for the sports industry moving forward. 

Last Friday we discussed ways to maximize your networking during this time ...and today, I have another special guest, Greg Hylton VP of Premium Seating for the Indianapolis Colts.

Couple of major reasons I wanted to have Greg on.

1: The NFL season is still in play, which means Greg is living a new reality right now and he can explain it.

2: He can also explain what is going on inside of the teams and leagues that aren’t playing right now and what their strategies may be moving forward when we get back to work.

3: I believe revenue-generating roles will be in high demand once normalcy returns, and that all of you should strongly consider sales training courses right now… and Greg teaches a sales training course with our friends at Sports Management Worldwide.

So without further ado, let’s get to he is Indianapolis Colts VP of Premium Seating, Greg Hylton...


Questions for Greg Hylton, Indianapolis Colts VP of Premium Seating


1: Wednesday, March 11 the NBA suspended their season, and since that time most other leagues have followed suit, it would take us too long to name all the events or seasons that have been affected.

Your league, the NFL, hasn’t had to suspend the season as of yet – what has the last 2-3 weeks been like for you personally and professionally?

2: This time of year, with free agency and the draft coming up there is a natural excitement that I’m sure would play a role in your ability to sell the upcoming season – in a normal year Phillip Rivers signing would be something you’d market and get behind – has the approach changed this off-season?

3: While there is minimal disruption to the revenue streams of the NFL as of yet, put yourself in the shoes of the VP of Premium Seating for the Pacers, or the Cleveland Indians… what would you imagine their situation is like right now?

4: When we get back to sports, if you were in one of the leagues that had to cancel their season, and lost a lot of revenue – what would be your strategy and approach?

5: Prior to joining the Colts 28 years ago, you worked for the Indianapolis Ice of the International Hockey League – I’m guessing that the NBA, NHL and other major leagues will survive this epidemic -- but what about the minor leagues, independent leagues, emerging sports – do you think they can rebound from the loss of revenue?

6: I’m old enough to remember sports after 9/11 – there was a feeling in the initial aftermath that nothing will be the same, we won’t be safe at games, fans won’t come back etc, etc. but we got back to reality, sports continued to thrive – people came to the games.

Do you see a steady return to normalcy once the worst of this has passed – or do you think it’ll take some convincing to get fans back to the stadium?

6: What can teams do to ease any concerns and make it really worthwhile to attend games in person?

7: I’ve been being asked all week by people who have lost their job or been laid off, what they should do now? And I’m of the belief revenue-creating sales jobs will be in even higher demand than normal coming out of this and that people should get sales trained. What do you think – good advice?

8: You teach an online class in sports sales and marketing with our friends at Sports Management Worldwide – can anyone be taught sales or does it take a special personality?

9: I read a great blog post you wrote recently on the SMWW blog, where you answered the question “Is a career in ticket sales right for me?” So what are the positives and negatives that someone needs to weigh in this decision?

10: You’ve worked with many salespeople over your career and you’ve taught many salespeople – what would you say are the skills that lead to success in sports sales?

11: You’ve been teaching this course online for a long time -- what is your approach to teaching sales, and what can someone expect when they take your course?

12: How often do people land sports jobs after taking the class? Have you ever hired anyone out of the class?

By Brian Clapp | March 27, 2020
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