Sunday, December 31, 2006

Capturing the casual fan

I have just returned from a Titans party (term used loosely) at a college buddy's house. At the party there were 5 couples, all married and 4 of which had at least one child. We were drinking beer, eating snacks, and having a good time. Every one of us had been to at least one Titans game during the current season. None of us paid for the tickets.

I am sure there were a number of these parties throughout the Nashville area. Now, as a marketer, I am always evaluating human behaviors. I am wondering ... why are none of us at the game? with a playoff birth up for grabs, and the known ease of scalping tickets, why are we choosing to watch the game in someone's house?

That is my dilemma relating to the Commodores.

I have often wondered exactly how big is our fan base? We have over a hundred thousand contacts in our database, but why won't more of them buy tickets?

A little background ... the Commodores have about 10,000 season ticketholders from year to year. We have a stadium that seats almost 40,000 and we average about 34,000 per game. Oh, we have not had a winning season since '82.

For a while I have thought that we were getting an overwhelming majority of our fan base to buy season tickets, which I was very proud to say. However, when we played a crosstown school, MTSU, the TV ratings were off the charts? They were larger than what the Titans receive! Over 400,000 watched the poor old Commodores! (if you buy into ratings, which I don't)

There were other factors, but I want to focus on how I can get more of the 400,000 potential fans into our gates.

That was what I was thinking about as I watched a Titans game with 17 people who fit into my target market. According to the Titans, we do not exist. We have been to games, called ourselves fans, but do not receive any communication, or have had any relationship with the program.

What would you do if you were the Titans? If you were the Commodores? One has a season sold out, and the other has plenty of seats available.

I haven't given it much thought, but there are two missions: identify the fans by getting them into your database, and ratchet them up the fandom ladder to the point of generating revenue for your program.

What would you do?

Take care.

1 comment:

Pat said...

The game is all about the experience, just like your brand. Think about the brands you love. You'll makes sacrifices for those brands. You'll drive extra distances, pay a bit more, wait a bit longer...my point is that attending games requires sacrifice. Driving, parking, paying, crowded stadium. It's one thing being a fan and watching the game on TV in the comfort of your home. Find out who are the ones willing to sacrifice. Figure out how to get more of their friends involved. Connect people to eachother and they'll be better connected to you brand. That's my 2-cents anyway.