We are now happily accepting your money!
Have you ever heard this before in a ticket sales campaign? We will now accept your hard earned cash for a sporting event over a year away! Put your money down NOW OR ELSE miss the chance of seeing your favorite team next year live and in person. And of course my old favorite…SEAT LICENSES!
Where are we headed as fans?
We have many, okay too many, choices as consumers today. It is true. But what that should empower us to do is be choosy and spend our money and our hard earned cash with our sports teams because they come up with great reasons and ways to get us into their arena or stadium and give us a great experience that we want to come back.
No I don’t think every place needs to be charging $10 tickets and I also think that beer and food is priced accordingly with a night out at a professional or college high level sporting event.
I think sports teams both pro and college need to do a little better job in getting their fans to be fans not only of the players but of the management and personnel upstairs as well. Players come and go but these guys running the arenas and stadiums are there for much longer periods of time.
I feel instead of PUSHING their product on us they should PULL us in. Give us a reason, make us feel wanted, engage us to the point that we don’t feel like we just aren’t another dollar cashed at the door.
So without further ado…some pretty enticing unique ticket sales promotions!
1) SPRING BREAK!…with the Milwaukee Bucks (in Milwaukee)
Okay so it is not quite Cancun or Cabo but the Milwaukee Bucks just finished up a time sensitive promotion called SPRING BREAK FAST BREAK that had a call to action and a crowd of people that perhaps had a week off work in Milwaukee and were looking for stuff to do.
The Milwaukee Bucks had a five game homestand for the 10 days leading up to Easter which happened to fall on most schools spring breaks in the city of Milwaukee.
So they took advantage of it…
- Andrew Bogut Bobblehead Night
- Half Price Tickets if you purchased them online
- Kids 14 and Under (on spring break) received deeply discounted weekday tickets
- Kids 14 and Under received some promotional items on the way in to games
- Ticket to game and Brandon Jennings T-Shirt for only $20 on the Friday Night game
- Girls Night out Package and a Guys Night Out Package on different games
Overall…a ton of reasons to get your butts in their seats during a late season playoff push. What is important about this promotion is that they actually catered to the fans. Often times teams do ticket promotions with no recollection of what is going on with the fan base. The Milwaukee Bucks knew they had a lot of people offer work during a homestand and tried to play off of it.
2) Florida Panthers NAME YOUR PRICE
The Florida Panthers a few years ago did a promotion where fans had the choice of 7 different ticket level packages and could pick the one they wanted and drumroll please…NAME YOUR PRICE!
A couple of great points about this promotion was unlike ones that have been done in the past there were very few restrictions and limits on this.
Most of the time these apply to “only 300 level seats”, “must have a minimum purchase of 18 games”, etc etc.
They had seven choices…you name your price. That simple!
Now here is the real kicker in my eyes, here is a quote from the Florida Panthers about the promotion. An unbelievable acute sense of their surroundings and awareness of the multiple parties they need to please when running a sports franchise!
Darren Rovell of CNBC saw the promotion thusly after speaking with team president Michael Yormark:
“He mentioned to me that each new fan was worth something beyond just how much they pay for the ticket and food. That fan is also worth something to the sponsors. More eyeballs at the arena means more eyeballs for sponsor signage, which allows Yormark to rationalize higher pricing at that level. The argument against going as low as you could go has always been that you’d price yourself so low that you’d devalue your product. Yormark says that theory doesn’t work in sports because the product isn’t the same every year.”
WOW! What a great quote from the team president! He realizes that fans are worth something to the sponsors and he is doing one thing for the fans: giving them a reason to come catch out the team and the sponsors. He is creating VALUE and demonstrating to the fans that yes we know not everyone can sit center ice all year, name your price and we will see if we can work something out. Fair?
3) MOST UNIQUE TICKET PROMOTION YET: Buy All Remaining Tickets to Avoid a Blackout in the NFL!
I may get reemed for this but I will say it: While a Cincinnati Bengal Chad Ochocinco did more for that franchise and for the fans than any athlete I remember in their history.
There I said it…now I will back it up.
The most unique idea a team could do…if a team is close to a sell out but not there yet what better way to reward their fans than purchase all remaining tickets so that the game is not blacked out on TV locally and give away the remaining tickets through a promotion with a sponsor the day of the game.
THAT IS A UNIQUE TICKET SALES PROMOTION
Who has done it? Not many.
Except for Chad OchoCinco!
In 2009 against the Texans, Chad purchased 1,200 tickets to avoid the blackout and Motorola did a promotion downtown that day to get rid of the tickets. In 2010 once again with the blackout looming and the New Orleans Saints coming to town Chad bought 3,000 tickets to get fans butts in the seats.
And while I think Chad let his ego get the best of him in the end in Cincy and can’t learn routes in complicated offensive systems (see his New England season) I have no ill will towards him and he is probably my favorite Bengal of all time here is another example of something he did to engage fans:
He bought out an entire movie theatre and had them add a special Midnight showing for a movie to be released the next day (don’t remember the movie but it was something people were excited to see) and then invited down Bengals fans through Twitter to come see the movie with him for free.
Now that I think about it perhaps Chad should have a career after his NFL one ends in charge of ticket sales and promotions for a pro sports franchise.
What can sports teams learn?
Chad did something for the Bengals franchise with those promotions that can not be calculated on a balance sheet. There is a Bengals fan out there somewhere who probably has spent ten fold what he would have since then with the franchise because he apreciated so much the gesture of those free tickets.
Sports teams need to be creative just as businesses are today and listen to their customers and their sponsors. Create a reason for them to come down and make them want to come back.
It is not enough to announce “we are accepting deposits for 2013.”
It needs to go beyond that. The game is changing and especially in the pros many franchises are losing money. They can continue to lose money and keep doing their cheeseball ticket packages and promotions or they can step out of bounds and do some radical, gut wrenching with nerves, scary ticket promotions that may just turn their ticket sales around!
What do they have to lose? Be unique, be different, and be unordinary…I didn’t say you had to be cheap and give us free hot dogs remember that.
Good Luck! (And look into hiring OchoCinco for your ticket office.)
Thanks for reading everyone! Have you experienced or seen a ticket sales promotion that really broke through to you? Or an idea of one that you think would be great? Leave your comments here or reach out to myself or Sports Networker directly! We would love to hear from you.