Tuesday, February 13, 2007

ROI Gone Wrong

Call me a "flip-flopper".

Call me "John Kerry wannabe".

Wave your hands from side to side emphatically to illustrate I can not stand by my own philosophies.

That's OK, I'm man enough to take it. I have recently reconsidered my position on ROI as it relates to marketing.

My longtime belief was that it was absolutely stupid to spend any money if you did not expect a significant return on the investment. The theory came from Jon Spoelstra. I am a disciple, and I usually follow his models religiously. However, I find myself in a baseball mess where I can almost guarantee a 0 ROI, but I am spending anyway.

Let's get one thing straight though, I am still not spending cash on the antiquated idea of mass media marketing. Every dollar will go into direct mail, email, or database phone messaging.

Our situation at VU could not be better. Our baseball team is currently ranked No 3, we have an All American pitcher in David Price (above) and an All American 3rd baseman in Pedro Alvarez who are both considered the top overall picks in their respective MLB drafts (o7, 08). We have a lot of equity in a very likable, intense head coach in Tim Corbin. We have a great atmosphere, but it could improve. We are sold out of season tickets before we throw the first pitch.

What's wrong? No shows.

I know, I know a pro team would NEVER do what I am doing. But I think college sports might be a slightly different animal in that we count on the collegiate energy generated from a good crowd to be a big part of our entertainment. When they are not there, we do not have the entertainment to assist in a poor performance we lose a little equity.

You might be saying "People do not like your product?". That is not entirely true. We have a great turnout, but with only 2,000 seats a missing 150 really is noticed. Word from our fans is that committing to three straight days of baseball in this town with so much to do is quite the tall task.

Therefore, my challenge is to get people who have already paid for their tickets to show up to all three games. Therefore, every ounce of money we spend, will get 0 return. (obviously there are ancillary revenue sources such as concessions) So I will concede and put together a database marketing plan to fill the seats at Hawkins Field. Below are a few of the ideas I am thinking of:

  1. Tennessean.com ad - part of an existing deal, we plan on creating a flash video preview of the next homestand.
  2. Voicemail - We have worked very hard on a very clean database. We will send the audio of the flash presentation via a broadcast voicemail
  3. Email - We will send our flash presentation via email to our qualified database
  4. Gameday promotions - We will begin Fireworks Fridays, and bring our tailgate party from football, Vandyville, to baseball Saturdays filled with kids activities and inflatables.
  5. Direct mail - We plan on sending a letter that would be in homes the Saturday before a home weekend series which would include self addressed envelopes and encouraging season ticket holders to send in their tickets if they do not plan on attending.

We'll see how it will work. I am crossing my fingers. It helps that we are good, and I mean very good.

Take care.

1 comment:

SKI said...

i read Jon a little differently... where is your "outrageous envelop?"

-ski