Are Your Fans' Birthdays Worth Free Admission?

Are you looking for new ways to stimulate fan attendance? Are you looking for new fan promotions that can tie in corporate partners?

In September, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced a new promotion that enables guests to get into one of their parks for FREE on their birthday. All visitors have to do is show valid identification and proof of birthday to qualify at the ticket office or online. The promotion is part of Disney's ongoing "What Will You Celebrate" thematic to drive traffic/interest in the Disney parks in 2009.

Which leads to the question, can't this promotion also serve as an effective traffic driver in the sports marketplace? All teams are risking by implementing such a promotion is the revenue from those people whose birthdays it is that might have come to the game/event anyway.

Teams can view the promotion as a way to drive incremental attendance and revenue streams from concessions/merchandise/parking, figuring that when a consumer decides to celebrate his/her birthday at the game, they will never come alone (they will bring their spouse, friends, and/or family members).

Organizations can consider tying in a number of corporate sponsors to a birthday-incentive promotion (after all, who doesn't remember receiving a razor from the Army when they turned 18?):

  • Retailers (Target, Best Buy, etc.) may be interested in offering such a promotion to target a general consumer base
  • A company like Anheuser-Busch may be interested in rewarding consumers on their 21st birthday with a special admission/exclusive experience package
  • Build-A-Bear may find it to be a great way to drive awareness for their products amongst young consumers and their families.
  • Auto companies and life insurance firms may be interested in using such a promotional concept to target Baby Boomers.
  • QSR's offering special discounts for senior citizens (senior coffee) may be interested in targeting an aging group of consumers