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Volume 24 No. 156
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Rutgers May Outsource Ticket Sales To The Aspire Group

Rutgers Univ. is "in talks to hire" The Aspire Group to help "mediocre ticket sales and a sports program that remains in the red," according to Kelly Heyboer of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Neither Rutgers nor the Atlanta-based firm "would discuss their potential deal while negotiations are continuing." But members of the Rutgers BOG "discussed the possibility of a deal with Aspire at a public meeting in Newark this month." Several board members said that they "were intrigued by Aspire’s commission-based sales plan, which would not require the cash-strapped university to put up much money up front." Rutgers officials said that football ticket revenue "peaked at $10.6 million in 2009, before falling slightly last year." Men’s basketball sales "climbed to $1.5 million in 2007-08, but declined each of the last two years." Heyboer noted Aspire already has "made a name for itself at Georgia Tech, where it used a similar sales plan to increase ticket sales for football and men’s basketball." Georgia Tech Associate AD/PR Wayne Hogan said, "From a Georgia Tech standpoint, it’s been a huge success. They’re just pounding the phones." In addition to GT, Aspire works with the Univ. of Colorado, a "minor league Canadian hockey team and two English soccer teams" (NJ.com, 2/27).