70 Ways People Won’t Use Their Tickets

The Ways List

The ways people won’t use tickets is long, and brutal. And often, listing the methods that customers won’t truly utilize their tickets is promoted by teams. Confusingly, it seems like nearly every pro sports team has a slightly edited version of the same document on their website. The document shares the many, many ways you or your business can use season tickets.

If you play 70 home games, the list probably has 70 ideas, just to be cute. Some teams get super ambitious and list 100 different uses for season tickets. Even the New York Yankees, the baseball elite, couldn’t resist posting 81 different ways to match their 81 home games.

Reality And Concept Aren’t The Same

The idea itself is a noble one. We, as teams, want to help our customers achieve the best return for their investments. However, the reality doesn’t quite match up with the nobility of the concept. If you scan these various lists, you’ll find suggested ideas that would be a stretch at best.

Examples Of The Generic Ways To Use Tickets

Here are a few season ticket uses currently appearing on team websites:

Watch Your Fantasy Team In Action

While this may be entertaining, I am not sure anyone has ever attended a game solely to get fantasy results. I guess if you’re a dedicated fantasy player who would rather scout players in person than trust those pesky stats, this might apply to you.

Propose At A Game

While the merits of making a very public and grand gesture are not being debated in this forum, the person who buys a ticket package with the intent of using it to propose marriage seems like a pretty narrow audience. It also seems like something a single-game ticket buyer could do.

Give Tickets To Your Favorite Restaurants

The idea is to provide these tickets to restaurants that you frequent with clients or family members. My hunch is that the restaurant owner, server, or manager would prefer your money over your season tickets. Unless you want unordered special sauce on your burger at your next visit, don’t mistake showing gratitude for offering a gratuity.

Give Tickets Because It’s Not Secretary’s Day

I am still trying to figure out the cryptic meaning behind this use. Should the client honor people other than secretaries? Or, should they honor administrative assistants because the word secretary is more associated with the Mad Men era? Or, is it just another way of saying that you don’t need a holiday to thank someone?

We could play this fun little game all day, but the most egregious part of this practice isn’t the somewhat questionable ideas or benefits provided. The worst part is how the lists are used. Most teams either place the list in their customers’ season ticket packages, year after year and without discussion, or they post the list online and hope the occasional prospect digs deep enough into their website to find it.

Inspiring Customers To Buy

In fairness to these lists, the right idea can inspire customers. Assuming they both find and read the list, they may realize that there are people in their lives who might appreciate spending a night at the ballpark with them or the gesture of getting the president’s seats. They might identify an opportunity.

Reshape The Argument, Eliminate Generic Reasons

I would like to see teams consider a different approach. Instead of simply creating a generic list and hoping the right idea connects with the right client, let’s get to know our clients and help them truly understand how they can get a return.

Let’s show them how to build relationships at the ballpark and emphasize the importance of executives accompanying their clients, prospects and/or employees to the game. We need to ensure each buyer understands and uses the benefits available to them. This includes making sure that the person coordinating ticket usage is as well-versed, or better, as the person who authorized the purchase.

During the sales process it’s important for prospects to understand why they should buy your product. To ensure they stay your client though, answering why isn’t enough. If they understand how to use their ticket package, you’ll increase retention and put your team on a path for growth.

Greg Coleman

Greg Coleman is the President of the Erie Seawolves of Minor League Baseball's Eastern League, a Double-A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Coleman will be teaching "Engaging Sports Marketing Sales Tactics" at the Sports Sales Boot Camp in Pittsburgh on June 28, 2016.

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