SBD/July 10, 2012/Franchises

Chargers VP & CEO Spanos Calls Recent Ticket Sales Pitch "Disappointing"

Spanos says team has been trying to "pack the stadium with Chargers fans"
A Chargers ticket sales rep via e-mail recently “sought out rival fans to come" to Qualcomm Stadium, but team Exec VP & CEO A.G. Spanos said that is "not standard practice" of the team, according to Michael Gehlken of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The team insisted that the sales pitch, inviting Chiefs fans to attend the Nov. 1 game in San Diego, “wasn’t by design ... calling the email ‘disappointing’ and a point of emphasis during a Monday staff meeting.” The story first broke last Thursday, and by Friday the incident had “gone viral on the Internet." Many Chargers fans “gave a scathing response, filling up comment sections with words like ‘pathetic’ and ‘weak.’” Spanos said, “I totally understand that reaction. It’s disappointing because we’ve been so aggressive this year with trying to sell to new Chargers fans. We hired 18 new people. We’re launching a season-ticket holder referral program, where season-ticket holders are going to be able to get rewards if they refer a new Chargers season-ticket holder customer. ... We’ve been very aggressive. We’re trying our best to pack the stadium with Chargers fans. This article, it hurt.” Spanos added, “This was an overeager sales rep, I would say, who was selling groups. He acted on his own without checking with his manager. We have sold to visiting fan groups in the past. We don’t proactively solicit them for new business. That’s not a standard practice of the Chargers. I was disappointed the story made headlines. It paints the organization in a poor light, and that’s not how we operate.” A team spokesperson when asked if the sales rep in question still works for the Chargers said the team "will not comment on any disciplinary action" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/10).
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