I describe myself as a Revenue Architect because throughout my career, not matter the role, I have used whatever tools at my disposal to design and execute plans to generate revenue and create a flywheel of repetitive success.
I have been fortunate enough in my career to lead highly successful ticket sales, sponsorship sales, and marketing teams. At every stop on my career my teams have been league leaders and organizational record breakers. I have achieved this by leveraging a diverse skillset and my two greatest, intangible attributes: tenacity and curiosity.
Success in Multiple Sports
Baseball - Hockey - Motorsports
Success in Multiple Markets
South Carolina - New England - Virginia
National Sales Team with Offices in Daytona Beach - Phoenix - Charlotte - Kansas City
Social Media Marketing
Theme Night Development
Leading Sales Teams
Shelton, C. (2018). From Bottom to Top. The GM's Handbook, 120-134.
2008 - 2010
Season Ticket Manager
Promoted from Account Executive to Manager in a matter of months after leading the ECHL in Season Ticket Sales. Started first Inside Sales Program.
2010 - 2013
Senior Director of Ticket Sales
Promoted twice from Season Ticket Manager to Director and then to Senior Director.
Grew Season Ticket sales for three straight years and produced two highest Group Sales Seasons in team history.
2013 - 2019
President and General Manager
Promoted from Vice President of Ticket Sales to General Manager in four months. Two years later promoted to President and General Manager.
Six highest revenue and most profitable years of FSM ownership.
Hosted 45 of 50 highested attended games in team's 14 year history
2019 - current
Managing Director, National Consumer Sales and Strategy
Promoted from track role at the league level after increasing attendance at Michigan International Speedway for both races for the first time in 15 years.
Built a 102 person National Sales team charged with selling all NASCAR-owned tracks and events.
Exceeded Revenue budget by 127% over three years (+$80.5MM).
The Sell out
the building block of organizational success
Selling out an event ads instant credibility to an organization and is the first push on the flywheel toward repetitive success. Sell-outs beget sell-outs, they are contagious.
A full building and manufactured demand then serves to create cash flow through concessions and merchandise sales.
The attention driven by sell-outs then increase value (and eventually average spend) for sponsors and for rights fees.
Sold out seven (7) races in 2022 compared to four (4) in 2019. This includes selling out the Daytona 500 more than a month earlier than ever before (a feat repeated in 2023) and the NASCAR Cup Championship race five months in advance.
These sell-outs have led to increased lead gen, waitlists and ancillary revenue from our secondary market partners.
I arrived in Manchester, a former league attendance leader, after five years of decline. At that point they had not sold out a game in more than three years.
We proceeded to sell out 11 games over three years, creating demand for a team that previously had none. This drove increased sponsorship revenue and helped negotiate a more favorable lease with the arena.
My favorite sport is ticket sales!
-C. Ryan Shelton
Prior to my arrival in Salem, the only sell-out in club history was the first game as the Red Sox on Opening Day, 2009. In my first season, largely as VP of Ticket Sales and Service, I focused the team on identifying three games we could have a shot at selling out. We sold out the first game in four years on July 28, 2013 and did so again on August 28, 2013.
These were the first of thirty (30) sell-outs that would occur over the next six seasons. These first sell-outs were key drivers in a 3x growth in season tickets for the following season and the 10x growth over six seasons, as well as increasing sponsorship revenue, merchandise and food and beverage sales.
The four sell-outs in the second season were vital to strengthening the club position in negotiating a more favorable lease with the city.
In Manchester, Salem and Michigan I either directly oversaw or heavily influenced the team's social media strategy. I strongly believe in the importance of creating compelling, engaging content and audience building as a vehicle to drive business objectives.
A well cultivated social media following can be an incredibly powerful tool to drive online ticket sales as become an intriguing platform for sponsors.
Salem Red Sox Digital Reach
Salem had a limited marketing/advertising budget, so expanding our reach on social media and growing the email database was imperative to our financial success.
Throughout my time leading Salem, I was extremely hands on with our social media, treating it as though our business depended on it, because in many ways it did.
At Michigan International Speedway introduced the concept of running a wide array of hyper-targeted paid social ads. We developed a matrix of ads targeting fans of specific drivers in specific cities then crafted our copy and creative to those specific individuals.
We ran 50 different ads at one time against very targeted audiences and found tremendous success driving online ticket sales.
Always looking for "what's next," in late 2018, the Salem Red Sox were the first team in the Carolina League and one of the first baseball teams at any level to have a TikTok account and produce content on the platform.
negotiation - deal making
Throughout my career I have been successful in developing and fostering relationships that have allowed me to broker deals that help our partners achieve their objectives. These deals have been structured in a way to be extremely lucrative for the organization as well.
dynamic pricing partners
Used a growing season ticket base,
increasing attendance, and the excitement of six sell-outs during my tenure as evidence of an engaged, supportive community.
On that premise, I was able to negotiate a new 10-year lease with the city that greatly reduced expenses and required capital improvements to the stadium over the first four years of the agreement.
The deal also featured a favorable buyout clause should we decide to relcate the team.
On the strength of two attendance increases at Michigan International Speedway, partnered with Dynamic Pricing Partners (now a part of Elevate Sports Ventures) as the exclusive ticket broker partner.
The deal featured an 80/20 (in our favor) revenue split after DPP recovered 120% of their investment. Additionally we received the buyer information for all DPP buyers of our events.
This deal was then expanded the entire enterprise in 2022, in a roughly $5MM deal.
In 2021, negotiated a first of it's kind, three-year sponsorship of the NASCAR Ticket Sales team.
This deal has an average annual value of more than $100,000 per year. This partnership has been used to help offset various group sales asset expenses across the enterprise, including performance stages.
As part of the partnership, our group performance stages are branded with FEVO marks and the sales team promotes FEVO through LinkedIn content.
Partnered with QuintEvents as the exclusive travel and experience provider for the NASCAR Chicago Street Race.
In this deal QuintEvents has purchased $5.3MM in admission and hospitality inventory for the event over July 4th weekend in Chicago. We will work together to create experiences which will include meet and greet and Q&A's with NASCAR legends and officials.
In addition to their guarantee there is significant upside in the form of a revenue split on their mark-up.
NEW BRAND IDENTITIES
During my time with the Salem Red Sox, I worked closely with the highly regarded design firm, Brandiose, to develop multiple brand identities, including the 2018 Carolina League All-Star Classic branding.
These new identities were pivotal in connecting the club with a market that may not have a natural affinity for the Red Sox.
These new identities created new sponsorship opportunities and drove significant new merchandise revenue, boosting online sales where our lack of unique IP limited our opportunity.
The San Bernardos de Salem are part of Minor League Baseball's Copa de la Diversion initiative. The San Bernardos logo is derived from Salem's mascot, Mugsy, a lovable St. Bernard.
This identity was one of the most popular of those designed for the 2019 season.
2017 Carolina League All-Star Classic Logo
The Salem Beer Mongers concept was designed to celebrate the Roanoke Valley's thriving craft beer culture.
This branding was used to elevate our Thursday Night games from simply being a "cheap beer" night to a premium, artisan, craft beer experience.
success with nascar
Built Sales Team from 12 to 102 over three years
Increased First Year fan retention from 12% in the ten years prior to our team being stood up to 28% in 2022
Introduced new sales technology (Outreach.io) to introduce sales automation, insights, and most importantly, connects with a sales rep.
Introduced NASCAR to experience-based group sales.
Sales Team Pre-Integration Projection vs Reality
Group Performance at Michicagn Internaional Speedway