State of the Gameday Experience

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(SRi is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

It’s no secret at this point that it’s become very appealing in recent years for even the biggest sports fans to watch the game in the comfort of their home or a sports bar versus attending a game in person.

In this webinar, Doug Hall and Charles Boehmig of SRi and Fifth Third Bank VP of Corporate Sponsorships Maria Holmes join FOS CEO Adam White to discuss where the most room for improvement lies when it comes to keeping fans coming out to the ball game.

Edited highlights appear below:

On importance of good price points for fans (20:41)

Boehmig: “So in the survey we asked ‘what’s most important to you in deciding to go to a sporting event in person?’ …The number one answer was ticket affordability and concessions affordability was right up there towards the top as well….For folks who worked at a property, we asked, ‘how do you think your property is doing in increasing ticket affordability compared to your competitors?’ And 46% of properties said they think they’re doing a better job keeping tickets affordable. So it’s less than half of the properties feel like they’re doing better than their competition… But for the folks who don’t work at a property, we asked a similar question in a little bit of a different way. We said ‘how do you think your favorite team or league is doing at keeping ticket prices affordable compared to other teams or leagues?’ And across all the fans, only 30% of them thought that their team or league was doing a better job. So there’s a perception among the brands that while they’re still not doing as well as others, they think they’re not doing as well as the competition.”

SEE MORE: Driving Sponsorship Revenue in the Digital Advertising Age

On strategies for keeping fans interested in purchasing ticket packages (27:53)
Hall: “I love the subscription models that have come out recently…That is a really interesting approach…So if you get two season tickets, you can trade them in for certain games and get four on other games or you can build your schedule around that. I think that one of the overwhelming feelings by consumers is you don’t have as much time. It’s harder to schedule things. One of the deterrents to buying season tickets is of course price, but it’s that commitment. Am I always going to be there? So providing a little bit of flexibility in terms of ticket exchange programs makes a ton of sense…That’s certainly something that helps get fans in the gates.”

On how giving fans access to players improves event experience and, in turn, fan affinity (46:11)

Holmes: “I really am an advocate for that idea of trying to get your fans closer to the players. I do think that creates such a more avid fan and somebody who’s going to be willing to pay a higher premium for a ticket or willing to bite the bullet on the concession costs to be at the game. It’s not always about the local team. We could be bringing in a big team from elsewhere that has a big player on it. And if the teams have done their due diligence to let fans closer to the athletes, it’s going to help. A rising tide lifts all boats. I think that will help across the entire league.”

SEE MORE: How to leverage social to connect with student-athletes

On what you’d like to see personally changed about the gameday experience (54:48)

Holmes: “I think it’s probably that convenience factor for me personally and professionally. I think it’s an opportunity for brands to come in and use their brand equity and their brand characteristics to tack onto some of the things that the teams might be doing or might be considering as they need the funding for it…The biggest point of differentiation between watching it at your home versus watching it in stadium and while you can rally at home with your friends and eat the foods that you like….I personally feel like I get to the game and I’m relegated to my seat. I don’t really have that opportunity to get up and get something when I need it or when I want it. It would be nice to have that order from your seats or skip the line more consistently…I think that idea of convenience and we’ve all come to expect is really the missing link for gameday experience

Download the results of the Front Office Sports Spring Reader Survey