Cleveland State University names Aspire official ticket sales and service partner

September 7, 2017

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ATLANTA, GA – The Aspire Sport Marketing Group announced a partnership with Cleveland State University (CSU) to form an on-campus Fan Relationship Management Center (FRMC) for outsourced Ticket Marketing, Sales and Service (TiMSS) support. The 2-person sales and service staff will be primarily focused on selling the full ticket menu for Vikings men’s basketball.

“Cleveland State Athletics is excited about the opportunity to partner with The Aspire Group and continue to grow our brand externally,” CSU Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said. “The Aspire Group is the industry leader in ticket sales and service and has proven results for a number of collegiate athletics programs. This partnership will help broaden our reach within the local community and assist in building relationships with Viking fans.”

Aspire has hired Youngstown, Ohio-native Stephen Platz to run the operation. Platz graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2011 before moving to Phoenix to start his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Platz has been promoted three times within the Diamondback’s system, primarily in roles focused on new season ticket sales. Platz will begin his duties on September 18.

“We are honored to partner with Cleveland State and their athletic administration leaders who have helped to shape the industry in the development of NAATSO,” said Bernie Mullin, Chairman & Founder of The Aspire Group. “With Aspire’s growing network of basketball-led athletic programs and our expertise in selling collegiate sports in major metropolitan markets, we are confident that we can support CSU revenue growth while providing Vikings fans with the best-in industry customer service.”

CJ Wiatr, VP of Fan Relationship Management, will act as the liaison between Aspire and Cleveland State. Wiatr currently manages 18 of Aspire’s 36 FRMCs, including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware.

Cleveland State is the 18th property of 2017 to join Aspire’s portfolio of over 200 professional and collegiate properties in its nine years of operation.


About Cleveland State University

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, nine colleges and more than 200 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2017 as one of America’s best colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Find more information at, on Facebook and by following @CLE_state on Twitter.

About The Aspire Group

The Aspire Group is a global sports and entertainment marketing firm specializing in driving revenues and attendance for our partners with industry-leading customer service and the most innovative ticket marketing, sales & service operations. Aspire created the outsourced ticketing niche, revolutionizing Intercollegiate Athletics with the first Fan Relationship Management Center (FRMCSM) at Georgia Tech in 2009. Over 200 collegiate and professional sports properties have trusted Aspire to drive revenue, attendance and enterprise value growth through the combination of strategic consulting and research services, data insights and best-in-industry fan relationship management. For more information, visit

For inquiries, contact A.J. Smith at 404-389-9100 or

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