By Troy Kirby, Director of Ticket Operations at UC Davis & NAATSO President
Minor league sports executives are continually trying to meet and even exceed their per capita estimations. A lot of folks see a ballpark or arena built simply on fun, but there is a cohesive plan for each organization with a critical end goal — to create the ultimate revenue machine.
These plans cross over and incorporate tickets, merchandise, parking, concessions and more. Yet it is not uncommon for organizations to miss key opportunities to increase overall revenue. This is often specifically caused by the platform that they choose to use.
In the sports revenue ecosystem, all branches must thrive to create success. One area cannot be sacrificed in favor of investing in another. When minor league sports executives choose to battle their budgetary struggles by spending less on technology advancements, they end up costing themselves in quality over quantity.
There are three missed opportunities that could be immediately repaired when implementing a new system that meets the needs of both the organization and its fans.
All of them are related to your data and whether it is being effectively captured, stored and leveraged.
1: CRM — The Core Missed Opportunity
Data is more than a buzz word, but it is rarely cultivated in an effective way, especially at the minor league level. Forget using Excel spreadsheets to track customer calls and sales. Without a true customer relationship management (CRM) system, data becomes lost, forgotten or looked at as conjecture or unusable information.
Every franchise should be able to accumulate, dissect and analyze their data. Only then can it be used to help the organization build a true revenue engine based on customer profiles, fan engagement and individual preferences.
2: Missing out on Merchandise
With wearables, it is important to know how your customers interact with the products and ultimately move to make a purchase. Unfortunately, too many franchise executives focus on the point-of-purchase data without knowing how long a customer took to view, consider and rate the merchandise products online.
This is where data needs to flow directly into a CRM system to build the overall profile of who that fan is and what he or she considers when making a decision to buy merch. And, good data is beneficial for upselling and cross-selling, which should form part of every organization’s sales strategy.
3: Consolidating Concessions
Concessions play an important role in your per-capital revenue. Data for concessions however should not focus solely on revenue. It’s also about waste and spillage, which can reduce your net profit.
Is revenue going down your organizational drain because inventory is not being effectively tracked and cross-referenced against sales? Not only will the franchise accountant love you for figuring out how to combat this issue, so will the local environmentalists, as you go more green by producing less waste. This type of information can be tracked through an integrated system that shows each piece of inventory and how it is bundled, sold and delivered to the customer.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive — there are many more things that an integrated entertainment e-commerce system can do!
It should however challenge execs to think differently about technology and how it can help ramp up revenues while providing a great fan experience.
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