Your fans demand more than ever from their sports organizations. They don’t just want to be in attendance for the games, they want their experience while at your venue to be so memorable that even if their team loses, they’ll still remember the night in a positive light. A big way that your athletics department makes money is by selling season tickets to these games, but in the constant search for “more” from your fans, could these ticket packages be going the way of the dinosaur?
We’re living in a world where commitments aren’t necessary: business travelers are more likely to take infrequent Ubers instead of renting a car, and renting an AirBnB for a few nights when in a new town beats to hassle of booking a hotel. It's only a matter of time until the same level of convenience and non-investment is set to be applied to season ticket purchases. Fans looking to reap the benefits of paying a smaller fee in exchange for a season of tickets have historically always bought in groups and split the costs and the games, but how will the future change this?
The evolution of the secondary market has already given more reason for fans to look outside your organization for single-game seats, since unloading undesirable tickets has never been easier for fans who have subscribed to season tickets. Some companies have started to get ahead of this potential shift by proactively using technology that keeps fans engaged, even when the final score isn't the one they'd prefer to see.
New technology like GameHedge guaranteed that every ticket purchased through their platform comes standard with an exclusive Good Game Guarantee (a 50 percent refund of the ticket price if the home team loses by a certain margin). It's already been adopted by the MLB, and might be coming to collegiate sports in the coming years.
"Game schedules will always be fixed, but consumer schedules will be more and more flexible in the future," says Mike Evenson, VP of Marketing and Product at AudienceView. "Organizations need to evolve their product offerings to match consumer wants and needs over time. The season ticket as we know it will fundamentally change and will shift more towards a recurring subscription model where a fixed seat for each game is replaced by an ongoing set of benefits and access throughout the year."
So how do you get ahead of buying behaviors in a way that’s still financially beneficial to your team? Is it worth pricing regular season tickets at the same value that season ticket holders receive? Will added benefits, like plush seats or VIP areas, be enough to keep season ticket holders happy in the next 5 years? How can you predict what buying behaviors will be like, and more importantly, how do you get in front of them to make sure your department isn’t stuck in the past?