Monday, March 08, 2010

 

Last-minute baseball season ticket sales ideas

We’ve had the pleasure of working with a handful of professional baseball organizations over the past year, and March is crunch-time for season-ticket sales. Although season tickets are sold throughout the year (with renewal campaigns mostly done by now, and mini-package sales ranging through most of the season), this is the last chance to get full season tickets sold before most teams start playing for real in April.

Sales teams are reaching deep into their playbook by now, but here are a few additional ideas that might help get even more fans into the ballpark this year.

· Social Media Mining: Every team – in the Major and minor leagues – has a vast ecosystem of social networks, blogs, Twitter streams and other social content devoted to their every move. How effectively is your team mining that stream of content for prospects who are ripe to buy tickets? Is your team participating as an active member of these communities, offering inside information about the team peppered with occasional ticket offers?

· Past Customers: Not just renewals, but those who were once season ticket holders but have been dormant for awhile. How far back does your database go? How many past customers might be interested again, and just need another phone call to get them over the hump?

· Fans of Other Sports: What about a co-marketing opportunity with the local football, basketball or hockey team? Football season is months away, college football is too. Season ticket holder of those sports need something to do until late summer. Why not give them a deal on a baseball package to keep them occupied? Could you partner with the other organization (professional or college) on a joint marketing campaign? Would you get creative about the ensuing revenue to make it worth their while?

· Corporate Incentive Programs: I worked at a start-up that had four season tickets to the Seattle Mariners for years. Those tickets were most often used as incentives by the sales team to drive performance. Which organizations in your market could use season tickets to drive employee, sales team or customer behavior? How can businesses in your market use season tickets to make money? The possibilities here are vast.

· Charity Contributions: What if for every season ticket sold this week, you donated a % of the ticket costs to a local charity? What if the featured charity helped promote this offer to their own lists? Could the buyer get a tax deduction for the % of the ticket price donated to charity? Could the charity and contributors be recognized in a pre-game ceremony sometime in April?

· Food Vouchers: Buy season tickets today and get $X00 in concession vouchers to enjoy throughout the season. There are countless ways you could play this, but the end-game is incremental revenue. Better to sell that empty seat and get some income. Plus, you know well-selected food vouchers will lead to additional food and other concession purchases at that and future games.

· Little League: Little League and other youth baseball organizations are gearing up for the season ahead already. Could late season ticket sales also be a fund-raising opportunity for the local Little League organization? For every ticket sold, a % goes back to the local Little League. Or, if at least ten season tickets are sold to people within a specific local Little League organization, a team from that league will get an opportunity to come onto the field before a game, meet a player or coach, etc.

· Season Ticket Sharing: Are there groups who could buy a set of season tickets and share them with their communities? Would a condo building do this? What about a retirement facility, or the yacht club, or a local union? How could you make it easy for them to buy, maybe even give them tools to help organize and split up their tickets?

· What about April?: The season starts, and fans are filling into the stadium. How many of them have bought just an individual ticket? Do you know who those fans are? How do you reach them, register them, and follow-up with them with a compelling package for the rest of the season, or at least a mini-package? Could you make package purchase offers that expire after the ninth inning? Every game, especially early in the season, is an opportunity to capitalize on your best sales tool – the product on the field – to upsell those fans into more great game experiences.


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