As an executive overseas, you’ll have built-in support and a familiar culture in the work environment. However, your family has to develop its own network in the new country. They also have more downtime in the beginning because those social connections are still blossoming, so be prepared to provide emotional support for your family.
Is there an overseas assignment in your future? To be selected, you must possess a strong performance track record, a great reputation, and be culturally sophisticated. “Although English is the international business language, when you know a language like French or Spanish, the door of receptivity just opens up,” says Dixon. “Also, in certain relationships with customers or consumers, they only speak the local language. Reach out and let them know you’d like to establish relationships with people from other countries when they visit your headquarters,” he says. To get a better feel for the country and its surroundings, get to know the locals.
Getting a global assignment should start as early as business school. Dixon says college and business students should study abroad and master a foreign language. “Be really clear about your aspirations and the series of assignments you need to achieve to get to your goals.”
Successful companies understand their target demographic. Take the New York Knicks, for example. Although the team isn’t No. 1 in the NBA, it has a fan base that is loyal–and growing. The Knicks franchise has one of the highest renewal rates for subscription tickets in the league. How do they keep fans coming back, particularly in the New York post-9-11 economy?
Anucha Browne Sanders, the Knicks senior vice president of marketing and business operations, attributes the team’s success to a number of factors. “We have a series of retention programs,” she says. “We know our tickets have a high price point, so we offer our customers a number of incentives. “Season ticket holders have access to discount parking, forums where subscribers meet and greet team executives, and are treated to spectacular halftime shows. In addition to the Knicks City Dancers, subscribers enjoy performances by the Knicks City Kids and the Knicks Double Dutch and Streetball teams. Last year, the franchise established a special halftime talent search program. In the past, performers such as Kool & The Gang and Gloria Gaynor have headlined ’70s night.
Browne Sanders says the team’s location has also helped the franchise leverage new customers. The Knicks is one of the only teams that play in the center of a major city–and Madison Square Garden is located right on top of one of New York City’s major transportation hubs. Last August, the franchise’s ads dominated most of the advertising space in Pennsylvania Station.
Why the sudden pitch to the commuter crowd? “We have more [lower-priced] tickets available now than in the past,” admits Browne Sanders, who notes that their high-end subscription base, which includes celebrities and the city’s powerbrokers, remains strong.
In a case of smart marketing, the team is branding the lower-priced section of the arena as festive and