Winning Teams = Winning Titles
What would you point to as the most difficult challenges presented by the sports book market today?
Hulsey: Today’s challenges are probably not that much different [than] those of several years ago. Historically, sales on a book covering a team will increase as that team has a good year. If a team has a poor year, the sales of the book can do the same. Balancing your list is essential. … We have a feel for which markets are strong. There are certain markets where … the teams’ books will sell come rain or shine. For example, [Chicago] Cubs fans will buy a Cubs book no matter how good or how bad they are. Usually once a season starts, everyone’s excited about it. But if a team starts to slow down in mid-season, book sales will slow down. So we manage our print runs based on that, and we watch the market. We use Nielsen’s BookScan a lot, just to see how book sales are fluctuating. We also talk to our accounts a lot and ask them what they think, so that we don’t overprint a particular title. If it’s a winning season, that book will sell all season long and even after the season.