It’s very complicated to write about ticket sales, but I will try to analyze the best ways to sell (season) tickets. The “smart teams” can be a good example of moving forward and offering their fans more than just a ticket.
I would like you to try and forget the word “ticket” and begin to sell the whole game experience, giveaways, private access and much more. Try not to call it a “season ticket”, give it a membership name. People love to belong to communities, they don’t like to buy tickets, especially season tickets, which are expensive.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
The New York Red Bulls, a member off MLS, has removed the term “season ticket holder” from their vocabulary and replaced it with “Red Member“. “Red Member” receives benefits such as invitations to private practices, members only merchandise and preliminary access to other happening events at the Red Bull arena.
The fans who renewed their “Red Membership” were given an exclusive Red Bull ,red jackets, that are worn only by the players. This is an additional value for the real fans.
Another great example comes from the UK, where West Ham named their fans as founders! They include their fans in campaigns and they get great results. Anyone who buys a ticket for the season 2016/17 is not just a “season ticket holder”, he is the founder of West Ham’s new stadium and his name will be displayed at the new stadium. They also have a chance to visit the new stadium, pick their seat and take a memorable photo. West Ham United is proudly sharing photos of their founders on its social networks and website.
Prizes, giveaways, private access to events are great ticket sale drivers. The key is to give them something they don’t normally get when buying a single game ticket. Big ticket sale driver can be price discount, but I don’t think it’s essential, as you could see from earlier examples of New York Red Bulls and West Ham.
By creating value for your season ticket holders at every opportunity (special access and/or events, gifts, problem resolution, etc.) rather than waiting for renewals, you will find that your fans will take the opportunity to get involved for another year.
— Ranko Vucinic (@rankovucinic) October 7, 2015
BE CREATIVE – FANS NEED EXTRA EXPERIENCE
Be creative, try to find something new for your fans, try to entertain them and award them. For example, if fans renew their season tickets, they can be included in prize winning games. Prizes can include: concert tickets, courtside game seats, gift cards, watching players warm-up etc. Extending your ticket sales deadline is also a great way to get season ticket holders to renew their membership even before the new campaign starts. For example: If you renew it before April 31st, you will receive 20% discount on the season ticket price, if you renew after September 1st they will receive 5% discount.
I really like the way handball club Poreč approached their fans in season ticket sales. It was very creative. They gave a jersey to every season ticket holder instead of a season ticket. You can imagine the atmosphere in the playing hall when all season ticket holders wear the clubs’ jersey.
There are also many other ideas: special exchange deals for missed games and ticket swaps, guaranteed meal vouchers for every game, a season ticket holder discount card for merchandising and concessions, guaranteed giveaways even for missed games , a special season ticket holders entrance to some areas, team practice entrance for season ticket holders, special tournaments with players, making a music playlist for games and etc. The season ticket holder needs to feel like an authentic part of his club.
DON’T FORGET YOUR ‘OLD’ SEASON TICKET HOLDERS
Don’t forget your old season ticket holders, they are your main power. You can make some surprises for them such as, players delivering season tickets personally to them, giving them access to the first team training of the season, organising a dinner for them and giving them ‘first hand’ information about the upcoming season etc. Don’t forget the examples from above, New York Red Bull gave red jackets only worn by the players.
Of course, you also need to offer them some price benefits. I would offer the ‘old’ members even better prices than the new ones. By doing this you show respect to them.
IDEA SOURCE: Linkedin