Photo by Jed Jacobsohn
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, you heard about the Golden State Warrior’s historic win. It wasn’t as fulfilling as the championship they just lost in the 2015-2016 season, but it may go down as being just as important as the total wins record they set in that same year. Kevin Durant has decided to take his talents to The Bay, signing a contract to play for the Golden State Warriors for the 2016-2017 season.
This is seen as a move that will solidify the Warriors as one of the best teams in the NBA for the upcoming years. But while rival teams will shudder at the thought of facing this behemoth, the front offices across the league are salivating at the possibility of using this Golden State team to help them sell ticket bundles to some of their less desirable games.
Bundling “bad” games with “good” games has always been present in the world of athletics ticket sales. Underperforming teams have always existed, and since fans aren’t as eager to see them come to town, they might be more willing to buy tickets for those teams if they come with a guarantee that they’ll see the prime-time matchup. If you can use bobbleheads or free shirts to get butts in the seats for sub-par games that’s great, but most people will be eager to snatch up a “deal” that allows them the flexibility to see multiple games, especially when one of those games is against a powerhouse.
Bundling allows you to take advantage of basic human emotion without worrying that people will pass up on the less attractive packages in the bundle. If a ticket to a regular game costs $100 and a ticket versus Golden State would cost $150, bundling the Golden State ticket with two other less attractive opponents and selling the whole package for $250 means that you’re guaranteed to sell a seat, but it also means you’re more likely to get a person in attendance.
Humans are more likely to go an see something for which they have spent substantial money on. Hal Arkes, a psychologist at Ohio University, asked 61 college students to assume that, by mistake, they’d purchased tickets for a $50 and a $100 ski trip for the same weekend. They were told that they’d have much more fun on the $50 trip, and were asked to choose between the trips. More than half the students reported that they would go on the less enjoyable $100 trip, since the larger sunk cost mattered more than the greater enjoyment.
By taking advantage of timing, bundling can drive your sales and attendance. Take stock of your upcoming schedule and see which of the games you’re most worried about when it comes to having empty seats. Then, see which of your most competitive games you can use to boost interest. After customer’s buy a bundle, you’ll be able to sort them in your CRM to see if you can offer up larger offers to them, like bigger bundles or season tickets.
The University of Minnesota has adopted this strategy to wide fanfare. By placing high-interest competitors in one group, and grouping less traditionally exciting teams in another, they allow their fans to have a semblance