Case Studies

Purdue and Aspire Collaboration Produces Record Results

April 29, 2021

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Purdue Athletics and The Aspire Group continue to innovate with a uniquely integrated approach to outsourced relationships in college athletics. Training on industry best practices honed on Aspire campuses nationwide has enabled both Aspire and Purdue staff on-site to maximize existing revenue streams while prioritizing high margin inventory.

Since 2018, Aspire’s sales and service teams in West Lafayette have engaged with 250K Boilermaker fans, generating $7.4M in revenue from more than 6,000 buyer accounts. An early focus to grow Purdue football’s sales funnel saw Aspire more than double new ticket sales from 12K before their arrival in 2017, to 20K in 2018, and 27K in 2019, while Aspire’s relationship-building efforts improved high yield premium seating sell-through rates from 60% to over 90%.

“Aspire brings 13 years of experience across 260+ partners to the Purdue Athletics team. We trust the training and methods put in place here because they’ve been tested across the country, and frankly, because the numbers speak for themselves,” stated Joe Kronander, Senior Director of Sales at Purdue.

The COVID pandemic highlighted the importance of donations in college athletics. Even after venues fully reopen, it will be crucial to lean into the 365 day a year development season. Aspire and Purdue Athletics have established a unique pod system, in which an in-house major gift officer, an annual giving officer, and a consultant for the John Purdue Club, Purdue’s athletic support non-profit, all collaborate on campaigns and share donor relationship responsibilities. In their time on-campus, Aspire has generated $1.6M for the John Purdue Club and contributed to a 122% increase in donations from 2018 to 2019.

 “Aspire is extremely grateful for the true partnership we have with the Purdue Boilermakers. Not only is Purdue a top-tier academic and athletic institution, but they have allowed us to fully integrate our staff with theirs and we are structured to win together,” stated Bill Fagan, CEO of The Aspire Group

Purdue and Aspire’s partnership does not end at ticket sales and donor stewardship. Aspire’s Strategic Consulting and Research (SC&R) team has worked with Purdue Athletics staff on numerous fan sentiment assessments and ticket pricing analyses.

When asked about the impact of this research, Associate AD of Strategic Initiatives Tom Moreland said, “Aspire’s SC&R team enables us to conduct research we otherwise wouldn’t have the time to do. Most important to us, is that we work through each project together and set goals as a team. There is no cookie-cutter solution, but instead a scope that is tailored to our needs and, more importantly, recommendations on the other side that make sense for our unique campus and community”

Aspire and Purdue’s staff have iterated on more than a dozen surveys collecting responses from nearly 10K fans. Analysis of that feedback and implementation of subsequent recommendations from the SC&R team drove Purdue football’s net promoter score up 12% points from 2018 to 2019 and revealed facility and gameday improvement priorities for fans visiting basketball’s Mackey arena. A 2018 analysis of Purdue’s football ticket pricing led to simplified inventory options and a 19% year over year increase in season ticket revenue.

Aspire and Purdue look forward to many more years of innovation and collaboration in ticket sales, donation management, and fan research.

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