Too Much 'All You Can Eat'?

hot%20dog.jpgEveryone involved in sports is well aware of the 'All You Can Eat' craze that has provided a healthy boost to single game ticket sales. It is amazing how popular this simple offer has become with the general fanbase. But doesn't this fan reaction relay a strong message to sports marketers? Right now, fans are looking for new ways to derive value out of their game experience. Gone are the days where consumers are satisfied with just having a ticket to experience a game live. With escalating ticket prices, sports marketers need to constantly develop new ideas to show consumers value.

Here are a few notes on the 'All You Can Eat' craze:

  • Currently, nearly half of the major league baseball teams have added All-You-Can-Eat seats in their ballparks
    • The Toronto Blue Jays are charging fans $39 for an outfield seat and an endless supply of hotdogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, and soft drinks. In total, the Blue Jays have opened up 1,600 seats for the All-You-Can-Eat option
  • Nine (9) NHL teams currently offer All-You-Can-Eat opportunities
  • Six (6) NBA teams are offering All-You-Can Eat sections
  • Several NASCAR tracks are offering All-You-Can Eat

But when is enough, enough? When will the health activists begin to criticize professional teams for encouraging fans to endulge in unhealthy eats? It is time for sports marketers to get a little more creative with their ticket opportunities before they get caught up in the negative media surrounding the promotion of unhealthy eating. The All-You-Can-Eat is hot right now, but the criticsm and backlash will soon be hotter.

3.31.08 - Quick Update: Countering the All-You-Can-Eat trend, the Minnesota Timberwolves recently partnered with Life Time Fitness to offer a ticket package the team considers "the healthiest game experience around." Through the exclusive offer, fans will receive a $35 ticket, a turkey sandwich, a bag of pretzels, a fruit cup, a water/juice, and a one-day family pass to Life Time Fitness - all for the low price of $25! (Source: SBD, 3.31.08)