Great season ticket marketing?

Football season in the biggest leagues has reached the end and clubs are now entering a new pre season full of transfer rumors. But what about the fans? Is it time to rest? Can real fans actually survive without their team? Most of the teams will fly abroad and play friendly games, which is great because they will represent their brand in a totally different place, and present themselves to potential new fans. However, this approach might harm the loyal local fans, ones that are actually supporting the team and going to games during the entire season.

Despite that the fact international travels and friendles might gain an increase in global reach and merchandise sales, club’s marketing department still needs to work and plan according to next season’s budget. And when it comes to estimating next season’s budget we can all agree that it is much safer to work when you actually know how much you will earn versus just guessing. But how can you or anyone else know for sure?

One source of revenue that is always hard to predict are ticket sales. How many tickets do you believe you will sell each game? Do you know for sure that all games will be sold out? What happens if you don’t sell as many season tickets as planned? These are all valid questions. With this said, I would like to show you two interesting season ticket marketing cases…

Free tickets?

Yes, you read that correctly! Spanish football club Levante was relegated from Spanish La Liga (Spanish first division) in 2015/16 season, but they earned their La Liga berth after one season in Second division. The club’s president promised to give free season tickets to all fans who came and supported Levante at at least 18 out of 21 home matches in Spanish second division. Levante management wanted their fans to feel appreciated for supporting the team through the tough times, and they kept their promise. They will give around 10,000 free season tickets for next season to most loyal fans. 

What a nice way to keep the fans engaged! I really believe that being relegated is a tough time for a team and a lot of fans usually lose interest, they do not want to watch a worse game or opponent. Those magic atmosphere moments that are keeping the home team supported and energized while the away team might get distracted and afraid of the fans can be the difference between a victory and a defeat.

And yes, you might think the club is losing a lot of money for giving season tickets away for free? Sure, but it is a one-time deal. Maybe they will lose  some money, but how much would they lose if they weren’t promoted to the top division again? More fans would stop coming to games, and they would lose more long-term. Instead they strengthened their relationship with the most loyal fans, and probably attracted more fans into attending their matches. Also, we musto not forget that Levante will recieve more money from sponsors and TV-rights for cometing in La Liga

Season tickets based on winning?

Have you ever been a part of something more fair as a fan than never having to pay for a game if the team loses? If you have, please share your knowledge with us, but you probably haven’t heard of this. So let me introduce to you the Pay per Point concept by FC Den Bosch in Netherlands, simply paying per point in the league.

They want to reward their loyal fans for their support and they are doing so through a unique and innovative season ticket concept. Fans or potential fans of FC Den Bosch can buy next seasons season tickets through the concept of Pay Per Point from €25.00! This is the fixed amount you pay before entering the following sides of the arena, the M-side, the North and South stands. At the main stand the fixed fee for adults is €125.00.

During the season, you pay based on the club’s performance in league matches. With a win, you will pay (as an adult) €10.00,  €5.00 for a draw and nothing for a loss! Thus, the sporting achievement determines the price of the season tickets, which of course is built for a maximum amount. Half of the amount from Per Point payments goes to the club and the other half will go to the youth and the FC Den Bosch Foundation. So by purchasing an annual season ticket, you will not only support FC Den Bosch, but also actively contribute to the future of the club!

But that’s not all. Fans who ordered their season ticket before Monday, June 12, recieved the new jersey for the 2017-2018 season for free!

Yes, I really think this concept is WOW! If you only pay €25 or €125 and the club loses all the matches, then you saw all the games for free. However, if the team wins all their matches, it will be a bit more expensive, but as stated, they have set a maximum amount. However, for each 3 points (a win) it costs €10 (under 18 or 65+ paying €5) and for every 1 point (a draw) it costs €5 (under 18 or 65+ paying €2.5) and last but not least, every loss is free of charge.

Conclusion

These are some exciting and unique ways to activate your fans early into the new season and also to attract more fans to the stadium despite losses! The question is whether we will see more such examples out there. It may be difficult to apply these to the biggest sports clubs but it would be really interesting to see if more organizations can apply these or similar concepts in their organisations.

Meanwhile, even though the season has gotten to an end, you can and you should still care and communicate with your fans.

 

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If you have some great examples, please share it with us in comments bellow the article.

Jakob Wikenstål

Jakob Wikenstål

Overtime Sports Marketing

If you have any questions about sports marketing, feel free to contact me at jakob.wikenstal@gmail.com

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