Today we’d like to introduce you to Russell Wright.
Russell, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In the summer of 2005, I began writing a white paper with regard to developing a consulting firm solely focused on intercollegiate athletics. I had been working in intercollegiate athletic sports for 10+ years with a firm called FANSonly, which is now called CBS Sports Online; and felt there was a significant need for consulting services within intercollegiate athletics. I shared the white paper with a friend of mine at The Collegiate Licensing Company and literally within 45 days I had the funding and had started the business. We offered traditional consulting services throughout college athletics (Power 5 programs-to-schools starting athletics from scratch and everyone in-between). Five years ago, we got into the ticket rights business, selling tickets to athletic events for institutions and reached 18 partners, We sold that side of the business to IMG-Learfield Ticket Solutions in 2015 and are back to offering solely the consulting services. We are currently at four employees, and during the height of the ticket rights business, we had 54 employees. We have worked with more than 550 institutions and on average work with 20 – 25 institutions annually.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There, as with anything have been hurdles. The consulting business was primarily building up our name and brand equity We were quite fortunate to have a partner who helped fund us and give us office space, so our real key was building our name and generating projects. The ticket rights business was more stressful. There are two main firms in the marketplace and we are/were significantly smaller. We had to be more aggressive with our revenue model and there were significant costs to start the business with regard to staffing and business development travel. Within ticket rights, as the other two firms have seen, there is significant turnover, and we eventually had to have a full-time HR department. The other part, which I believe is the same with all small business is cash flow management.
Please tell us about Collegiate Consulting.
Collegiate Consulting is a comprehensive solutions-based consulting company focused exclusively on the collegiate marketplace. We offer athletic departments, conferences, and associations a single-entity resource across an extensive platform of services.
Featuring a team of experienced and proven individuals, Collegiate Consulting gives our clients the ability to increase revenue, create efficiencies and maximize operations to succeed and prosper in a diverse climate. Collegiate Consulting bases its business philosophy upon three basic principles:
Innovation and creativity
Great attention to detail
Unparalleled dedication to customer service
Collegiate Consulting has distinguished itself within the marketplace through the breadth and depth of services and a proven track record of success. Our flexibility and wealth of experience enables us to offer multiple integrated services to our partners in a seamless fashion.
We are most proud of the depth and breadth of our services and we have a very good reputation in the marketplace and have now been around for 11 years.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
The only thing I would have changed is better defining our initial consulting services that we offered. Initially, we offered everything “under the sun.” The other item, would have been just to have more cash on-hand for year one.
Our services range from projects as low as $5,000 with our highest project being $100,000 for two year project.
Link to original article on VoyageATL