Team Behind the Champions: Nathan Burger

Nathan Burger has been with the Indiana Fever for five seasons and this year marked his third as a Group Event Specialist, having been brought on board after initially being selected as an intern with basketball operations during the 2009 season. Nathan works with area basketball leagues as well as corporate and nonprofit groups to help them with arranging for tickets to Fever games, and says that he just loves making people happy. "It's hard not to be proud when you have a group out and everyone is smiling and you know you made that happen," he replies when asked what his favorite part of the job is. Watching the Fever capture its first WNBA championship was "surreal," according to Nathan, who also said he "wouldn't trade it for anything now that we've won the whole thing."

What are your personal ties to sports, particularly women’s basketball?
NB: I was actually my high school’s girls basketball team manager for three years. Since the Fever have been in town, my mother has always gotten me tickets to check it out and I've been hooked ever since.

What made you want to work for the Fever?
NB: I started my internship with the Fever and with my knowledge of the league and players that made it easy for me to transition into a career in ticket sales.

What are the biggest rewards of your job?
NB: My biggest reward is just making sure everyone that comes out to the game has a great time. If they have a great time, they are going to tell their friends and hopefully since they had a good experience, more people will want to come out in the future.

What are the biggest challenges you face?
NB: The biggest challenge I face is trying to convince the non-believers that the WNBA is a great brand of basketball. As long as I can get them here once, the atmosphere and speed of play sells itself.

The Fever proved they are great competitors on the court. How important is it for you to be competitive in your position?
NB: It is very important to be competitive in my position. I am the only Fever-dedicated group event specialist so I am always first on the board when it comes to revenue so I like to challenge myself against other reps from other teams and see how I do compared to the rest of the league.

Describe your relationship with fellow members of the Sales staff.
NB: Our relationship with the rest of the staff is great. We joke around a lot, but we know when it's time to get serious and we work well together on game days.

What have you learned from your co-workers during your time with the Fever?
NB: Have patience and good things will work themselves out. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to move up in the ranks here and working with my co-workers has helped with that.

What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in sales with a professional sports team?
NB: You have to love what you do. Don’t waste your time if you don’t like it. If you don’t believe in the product, then when you’re on the phone, the clients won’t believe in it either.

Your job requires a lot of interaction with fans. What stands out most to you about Fever fans in particular?
NB: DIEHARDS. Once you become a Fever fan, you will be a Fever fan forever. Every time you go to a game, you are sure to have a great time and will then always keep track of how we are doing throughout the season because you know how much fun it is to be here.

Other than the players and coaches, what makes the Fever a world champion organization?
NB: The atmosphere. The Bankers Life Fieldhouse game-day staff. Sales Staff. Customer Service. Game Operations Staff. We all worked really hard and with the players’ help, we are able to call ourselves champions.,br>