The University of Florida Student Ticket Office Thanks Fans for Their Loyalty

Numerous opportunities exist in the sports space for teams and corporate partners alike to reward loyal fans for their perfect attendance during a season. While most professional organizations will periodically honor fans who have been season ticket holders for 10+ years, very few go the extra mile to thank fans for their commitment on a regular basis.

The University of Florida Student Ticket Office recently thanked season ticket holders for their loyalty with a simple, yet impactful gesture that should be replicated throughout sports. Travis Leyndyke and his team in the UF Student Ticket office emailed all ticket holders who had their tickets scanned for every home game during the 2011 football season to thank them for their support.

Fan congratulatory emails can serve as a great platform to integrate corporate partners as well, as they present an opportunity to tap into the University/team's most avid fan base and sincerely acknowledge/reward them for their support. Properties can also consider creating a virtual wall on their official website that features all fans who had perfect attendance throughout the season (a platform that could be sponsored by a brand who provides an exclusive promotional discount/reward).

Check out the University of Florida's email communication below and consider new ways that your property can acknowledge fans firsthand for their support!


Harvard Rewards Students for Attending Sports Events with Crimson Cash

The Harvard University Athletics Department recently teamed up with the Undergraduate Council to create a unique initiative designed to drive attendance at sporting events throughout the year. The two parties collaborated to launch a Crimson Cash program that provides students with an opportunity to earn$1 of Crimson Cash for each Harvard sporting event that they attend on campus.

The initiative, designed to drive attendance and school spirit, allows students to earn a maximum yearly salary of $30 of Crimson Cash simply by swiping their student ID at several designated swipe tents located outside the student section of each event. With each swipe, students are also automatically entered to win a larger grand prize that is awarded at the end of each sports season. 

While some industry professionals may criticize the notion of paying students to attend sports events (notably Olympic sports events), the concept could serve as an effective way to drive attendance, interest, and sponsorship dollars on campus. Athletic departments could seamlessly integrate corporate partners (looking to target college students via swipe tent branding/activation, ID card branding, and student rewards/prizing. Athletic departments can also benefit from students cashing in their team shop dollars to purchase additional merchandise, etc.

Consider ways that your school can implement a similar initiative to drive attendance at sports events throughout campus!

The Florida Panthers Prevent Opposing Fans From Entering the Red Zone

In August 2011, the Florida Panthers announced a terrific new ticketing strategy that coincides with the team's new "We Are Red" marketing campaign and stresses the importance of fan unity. The team unveiled a new Red Zone section at the BankAtlantic Center where no fans of opposing teams will be allowed. The Red Zone area will span sections 105-114 and will only be available for full, half, and mini season ticket holders. 

While the team didn't reveal how they plan on policing the special seating area, the notion of the "Red Zone" is very intriguing because it serves as an easy way to create a loyal supporter section based on artificial demand. Fans rarely want to sit next to other individuals rooting against their favorite team, so why don't we see more organizations offering similar guarantees? If the area is policed appropriately, the Panthers' Red Zone could soon become a benchmark for many other organizations in sports.  

The Red Zone is part of a master plan that will unite Florida Panthers during the 2011 season:

“The RED Zone is a place for passionate and committed Florida Panthers fans – that may not already be season ticket holders – to be among their dedicated peers and set the tone for every Cats home game at the BankAtlantic Center,” said SSE president & COO Michael R. Yormark.

“In addition, our great partners at South Florida Ford are giving fans an opportunity to ‘see red’ even more in a 2012 Ford Focus. The RED Zone is just the latest extension of our ‘We See Red’ campaign and the full-scale red conversion of our franchise including the new red home jerseys, red lower bowl seats, red paint and signage in the arena and the new blood that will be featured on the Panthers’ opening night roster.”

Georgia State Offers a "Power Hour" Delivery Guarantee to Drive Ticket Sales

Georgia State Athletics recently announced an intriguing "Power Hour" promotion that is designed to drive ticket sales and buzz prior to the University's first football game on Friday, September 2nd.

On Thursday, August 18th, Georgia State Athletics is running a "Power Hour" ticket promotion guaranteeing that any fans who purchase season tickets between 10am-5pm that day will have them delivered within one (1) hour or else they get them for free. It's important to note that the guarantee is only good for individuals who live within a two (2) mile radius of the GSU Sports Arena but nonetheless, it's a terrific, captivating promotional idea.

The first ten (10) fans who take advantage of the Power Hour offer will also receive a free $20 gift card to Six Feet Under restaurant - an offer that is available to all potential ticket holders regardless of their home address. The GSU Athletic Department is also planning on featuring its mascot, Pounce, in a cage on top of the ticket box office to generate buzz and help the Department achieve its goal of driving 25 new season ticket sales that day. 

The Dallas Mavericks Distribute Playoff Tickets with Augmented Reality Functionality

The Dallas Mavericks partnered with Qualcomm and Big Playar to distribute 2011 NBA Playoff tickets with augmented reality functionality, an extremely novel fan engagement tool.

Fans who had an Android phone were able to scan an image of a Mavericks player on their game tickets to receive immediate access to an interactive game on their phone. Fan participation was guided by a set of instructions featured on the back of the team's ticket stubs, which required fans to download the Mavs AR app in the Android market and hover their phone over their ticket to access the game. 

Mavs fans attending the game who did not have an Android phone could play the game at various phone zones situated through the American Airlines Center.  

It will be very interesting to see if more teams begin to experiment with ticketing-based augmented reality applications. As fans look to engage fans in new ways prior to games and during the offseason when season ticket mailers are distributed to fans, interactive augmented reality extensions could provide a perfect solution. While there are currently some drawbacks (fans can only use select smartphones / need to download the AR app to interact), these hurdles will soon be overcome as technology evolves and apps become even easier to access.

Check out a video detailing the Dallas Mavericks' augmented reality ticketing initiative below!

The Brewers Drive Season Ticket Sales By Offering 40 Fantastic Prizes

The Milwaukee Brewers are supporting their 2011 season ticket sales efforts with a "Fantastic 40" initiative that rewards 40 season ticket holders with 40 unique prizes and experiences over the course of 40 days (January 17th - February 15th). The terrific concept rewards all fans who sign up to become season ticket holders with the organization. Once fans' payments are received in full, they are automatically entered in the promotion, which offers some truly incredible prizes and experiences.

The Brewers are promoting the initiative by announcing the daily winners on a digital billboard in Milwaukee and posting an announcement, including a photo of the custom billboard, on their official Facebook page. The live billboard, complemented by a daily Facebook post, serve as a great call-to-action to entice fans and drive buzz in the weeks leading up to the season.

With an offseason of exciting acquisitions, ticket promotions, and fan-friendly incentives, the Brewers organization sold 1 million tickets for the 2011 season by January 19th, matching the earliest date that the club has ever reached that milestone. Season ticket and 9-Pack sales were deemed to be a priority for the club heading into the offseason.The Brewers tremendous "Fantastic 40" prize offerings include:

  1. Sausage for a year delivered by the Klement's Famous Racing Sausages
  2. Your photo on every single Brewers ticket for one game
  3. A game with Brewers legend Gorman Thomas in a club suite
  4. Groundskeeper at Miller Park during a game
  5. Experience a friendly game of catch with a Milwaukee Brewers reliever (10 pitches)
  6. Four (4) games of luxury seating in the Gehl Club, including a gourmet buffet
  7. Autographed bat and jersey from your favorite Brewers player
  8. Take the ultimate slide down Bernie's Slide at Miller Park
  9. $500 in concessions vouchers
  10. A game with nine (9) guests in the owner's suite with Brewers executives
  11. Watch batting practice with five (5) friends in the bullpen
  12. Co-present a jersey to a Brewers All-Star for the 2011 MLB All-Star game
  13. Win a private party in the visitor's clubhouse with (19) guests
  14. Announce the starting lineup over the Miller Park P.A. system
  15. Surprise your sweetheart with roses from the Brewers mascot on Valentines Day
  16. Take a tour and control the Miller Park roof
  17. Sit in the owner's field level seats with (3) friends
  18. Win an exclusive hitting lesson with tips from Brewers legend Dale Sveum
  19. Win a trip to the 2011 MLB Draft, including airfare, hotel, and a spot at the Draft
  20. Win a club suite for (20) with complimentary food
  21. Win pizza for a year from Palermo's
  22. Run the Klement's Sausage Race during a Brewers game
  23. Win a $1,000 private shopping spree at the Brewers team store
  24. A party with Brewers GM Doug Melvin and (9) guests in a club suite
  25. Autographed baseballs signed by each member of the Brewers starting rotation
  26. Opportunity to play video games on the Brewers new scoreboard
  27. A fully catered tailgate for (20) guests, including tickets to a game
  28. A party in the Dew Deck for (19) guests, including food and beverage
  29. An opportunity to manage the Mini Sausage Race for a Sunday game
  30. A chance to sit on a Wrigley Field rooftop with (3) friends for a Brewers/Cubs game
  31. A chance to sit in the owner's box at Wrigley Field (including train fares to the game)
  32. Experience a full broadcast in the Brewers TV booth, including the post-game show
  33. A chance to get a photo taken with the entire Brewers baseball club
  34. A VIP seat at the head table of the Brewers SSH Luncheon
  35. A pre-game dinner and (3) innings of a game in the Brewers press box
  36. A chance to watch a Brewers game live from the control room
  37. Autographed baseballs from each Opening Day starter
  38. A private party in the club level board room
  39. A softball game at Helfaer Field, including food and beverage for (20) guests
  40. A major league contract for a day, including a full uniform plus pay



The Florida Panthers Offer a Good Time Guarantee to Fans

The Florida Panthers recently turned to a new ticket sales strategy to draw fans to the Bank Atlantic Center in January. The Panthers are offering a "Good Time Guarantee" that ensures fans that they will receive their money back if they don't have a good time at any of the team's nine (9) home games during the month.

The Panthers are leveraging the guarantee and appealing single game ticket offers (game ticket and free parking for $9) to attract fans to the arena and assure an unforgettable live game experience.  The Money Back Guarantee applies to up to four (4) tickets for one (1) game during the month of January. The refund guarantee does not incorporate issues due to service, maintenance, parking, or building fees. 

Sunrise Sports and Entertainment President and COO Michael Yormark commented on the unique promo by saying, "We have been saying all season long that Florida Panthers hockey at the BankAtlantic Center is one of the best live experiences in South Florida, and the professional sports industry. Now, we are putting our money where our mouth is and guaranteeing that incredible experience or your money back.”

A "Good Time Guarantee" serves as a creative, unique idea for sports organizations looking for ways to spike attendance during months of slow attendance or poor attendance. It's important to note that the Panthers have played this strategy right - only offering it for a month-long period. Organizations can offer the "Good Time Guarantee" as a general slogan/cause throughout a season but they would not want to consider making a full ticket refund available for fans purchasing multiple game ticket packages.

Select Fans Pay Their Age at the 2012 London Olympics

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games recently announced an interesting ticket promotion designed to benefit senior citizens and kids. To keep ticket prices affordable and accessible to as many people as possible, Locog is offering a "Pay Your Age" promotion that allows anyone who is 16 and under at the start of the Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 to pay their age in pounds and senior citizens ages 60 and older to play a flat rate of 16 pounds.

The London Organising Committee is offering 1.3 million tickets available to senior citizens and schoolchildren via the "Pay Your Age" promotion and are also planning to offer 120,000 free tickets to London schoolchildren so that one (1) in eight (8) will have the chance to see the Olympic and Paralympic games live. Standard pricing for tickets to the 2010 London Olympic Games will range from 20.12 pounds to 2,012 pounds for the Opening Ceremony and 20 pounds to 725 pounds for sporting events.

The promotion serves as a great benchmark for sports organizations looking to adopt new ticketing strategies to fill the seats at their stadium venues with senior citizens and school children. The promotion is attractive, relatively easy to understand for consumers, and can serve as a great way to demonstrate value to fans who usually cannot afford to pay to attend live games.

The Yankees Launch Ticket Booth at Modell's in Times Square

The New York Yankees have teamed up with Modell's to create a ticket sales booth at the sporting good chain's retail location in Times Square. The unique sales location will offer tickets on sale at discounted prices, up to 50% off, starting at 8 AM for day games and noon for night games. Each customer willing to wait in line for tickets can purchase up to four (4) "Mo Saver" tickets, which will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Yankees and Modell's drove buzz for the launch of the new ticket sales venture on Monday by featuring former Yankees star Tino Martinez on hand to greet fans and speak to future opportunities. The booth is part of Modell's plans to turn its retail locations into more of an interactive experience for fans.

 The venture serves as a great way for the Yankees to drive buzz in Times Square and capitalize on selling tickets to tourists and busy fans looking to purchase tickets at a discounted price that are sold directly from the team.  The Yankees and Modell's senior management are expecting the new service to be an instant hit with locals and tourists alike.

The Panthers Let Fans Pick Their Ticket Plans

Sports organizations looking for new ways to sell existing ticket inventory should closely examine a new strategy the Florida Panthers are implementing to kick off the 2010-2011 NHL season. The team is offering "The Perfect Plan" campaign, where fans can choose their preferred seat, name the price they would like to pay, and submit it to the team for a response in less than 24 hours.

The team is currently featuring a flash page on that redirects to a form that fans interested in the offer can fill out. The form provides available ticket inventory (with standard pricing) and allows fans to go in and submit a live bid to the team. If the bid is accepted by the team, the consumer's credit card is automatically charged and they instantly become a member of the Florida Panthers season ticket holder family. A great concept!


Looking for a New Way to Sell Season Tickets?

If your organization is looking to create a new OOH campaign to sell season tickets, consider creating billboards that say, "Looking for a Sign to Buy Season Tickets This Year? Here it Is". Organizations can take this call-to-action to the next level by accompanying it with a special promotional offer (discount on tickets, free premium item giveaway, unique experience, etc.).

Just remember - if you go ahead and use this idea... just remember to tell people where you found it!

The Cleveland Indians Feast on Lunchtime Tickets

Are you looking for new ways to attract fans to the ballpark? Are you looking to create promotions that specifically target businessmen working 9-5?

The Cleveland Indians are currently offering a terrific "Lunch and Three Innings" promotion that enables persons working downtown to purchase a $15 upper deck ticket to the ballpark for games played at 12:05pm and receive a $10 credit towards lunch at any Progressive Field eatery.

The $10 concessions credit is applied via a bar code on the ticket that can be easily scanned. The promotion, devised by Indians Vice President Bob DiBiasio, has proven to be very popular yet just one other MLB organization (the Cincinnati Reds) currently promotes a similar offer.

Thus far, the Indians have held five (5) "Lunch and Three Innings" promotions in 2010 and have another scheduled for the team's home game against the Chicago White Sox on September 1st. From a traction standpoint, the Cleveland Indians recently sold 1,250 (of 3,065 game day tickets sold) for the Lunch and Three Innings Promotion when the team hosted the Toronto Blue Jays for a 12:05 game on Thursday, July 1st.

While most consumers who purchase the Lunch and Three Innings offer stay for about 1.5 hours before returning to work, the promotion serves as a great way to get fans in the stands and engaged in the action and entertainment offered at Progressive Field. But business people are not the only ones taking advantage of the unique offer. A camp counselor recently brought 250 kids to a game, realizing that he only had to pay $5 a ticket once the offer was all said and done.

Hats off to the Indians for coming up with an out-of-the-box idea to fill the stands at Progressive Field during afternoong games!


SUBWAY Unveils A Fresh Promotion in Columbus

Are you looking for new ways to leverage QSR partners? Are you looking for ways to tie ticket sales drivers into partnership agreements?

The Columbus Blue Jackets recently announced a partnership agreement with SUBWAY Restaurants offering the team's fans an incredible promotional offer. SUBWAY and the Blue Jackets organization are teaming up to offer a "4 Subs, 4 Stubs" promotion that enables fans who purchase four (4) foot-long subs in one (1) transaction to receive a voucher for:

  • (4) select Blue Jackets tickets for just $5 each (in the SUBWAY Fresh Seats)
  • (4) Blue Jackets/Subway co-branded shirts

The Blue Jackets have designated 250 SUBWAY Fresh Seats for five (5) select games during the 2009-10 season. When the allotted tickets are gone, fans can use the voucher as a $5 discount on select area tickets. Consumers may take advantage of the SUBWAY Fresh Seats at the following games:

  • December 14th vs. Nashville
  • January 18th vs. St. Louis
  • February 4th vs. Dallas
  • March 2nd vs. Vancouver
  • March 15 vs. Edmonton

The Blue Jackets organization did a terrific job concepting the "Subway Fresh Seats" section - an idea that will most likely be replicated in many other venues. Check back for additional "fresh" ideas from the Blue Jackets soon!

The Wizards Use Globalization to Sell Tickets...

Are you looking for new ways to drive ticket sales? Are you looking for new ways to leverage the globalization of sports?

The Washington Wizards currently feature a cool "Wizards vs. the World" tab under the Schedule drop-down bar on the team's official webpage. The "Wizards vs. the World" tab leads to a creative webpage that features a breakdown of 85 players representing 38 countries currently competing in the NBA. 

The Wizards vs. the World page is designed to sell tickets to consumers interested in seeing their favorite international players/countries represented, versus necessarily coming to see the Wizards play. This ticketing concept could prove to be very successful, especially in a city like Washington, D.C. that serves as a melting pot for different cultures and nationalities.

The "Wizards vs. the World" page gives consumers a one-stop shop to search and purchase tickets to see their favorite international players competing against the Wizards organization. The team even offers a special discount for groups of 15+ through the website. Check it out below:

The Spurs Provide Loyalty Benefits to Fans...

Are you looking for new ways to incentivize season ticket holders? Are you looking for new ways to reward fans for their years of dedicated commitment to the franchise?

The San Antonio Spurs have unveiled a tremendous fan loyalty benefits program for the 2009-10 season. At a time when clubs are faced with continually providing incremental value for fans, the Spurs organization is offering a five (5) tier loyalty program (based on tenure) that rewards their most avid followers with unique experiences, offers, and discounts:

  • 6th Man (season ticket holders for 1-4 years)
  • All-Stars (season ticket holders for 5-9 years)
  • MVPs (season ticket holders for 10-19 years)
  • Hall of Famers (season ticket holders for 20-29 years)
  • Legends (season ticket holders for 30+ years)

Here is a grid that provides a breakdown of all the loyalty tiers for comparison purposes.


NBDL Mascot Lives on Billboard to Sell Tickets

Are you looking for new ways to spur ticket sales? Are you looking to leverage a team mascot in a media campaign?

The Utah Flash of the NBA D-League recently called on their mascot, Flash Fox, to pull of an incredible stunt to drive season ticket sales. The team asked their mascot to live atop of a billboard along I-15 in American Fork, UT until the team sold 500 incremental season ticket packages... so he did.

On Friday, October 16th, Flash Fox took residence on a billboard touting the team's "Buy Tickets, Save Flash Fox" campaign and lived there for a full week until the team sold 500 season ticket packages. To pass the time, Flash Fox chatted with fans online, broadcasted his day-to-day actions to fans across the nation via Ustream, and camped out with a tent and a rocking chair.

The Utah Flash did a tremendous job supporting the campaign with a custom microsite ( that fostered Flash Fox's online fan interaction and linked to official Twitter/Facebook pages that featured frequent posts and video updates. The site featured tickers that detailed how long Flash had been living on top of the billboard and how many tickets still needed to be sold. It also mentioned local companies/persons who purchased tickets in support of the cause. 

When the team successfully sold 500 tickets, it called on the local fire department to help Flash Fox get down and filmed the entire story. Check out a terrific video of the entire campaign here:

Check out some of the media exposure the team received from the campaign:

The Coyotes Look to Draw Fans with "We Win, You Win" Offer

Are you looking for new ways to bump attendance at home games this season? Are you looking for ways to rejuvenate excitement amongst your fans?

Heading into the 2009-10 season, the Phoenix Coyotes are offering a "We Win, You Win" promotion designed to drive attendance at select games tis season. As part of the team's "Join the pack" season marketing initiative, the Coyotes have designated five (5) home games this season where fans can win a free ticket to a future home game if the team wins.

The Coyotes will be distributing a voucher for a free ticket to an upcoming game to fans attending one (1) of the following five (5) Saturday games. If the team wins, fans can redeem their voucher for a free ticket exclusively at the Box Office.

  • Saturday, October 24th vs. Los Angeles Kings
  • Saturday, November 14th vs. Dallas Stars
  • Saturday, December 5th vs. Ottawa Senators
  • Saturday, January 16th vs. Minnesota Wild
  • Saturday, February 15th vs. Dallas Stars

The team's 2009-10 marketing efforts are designed to strengthen the relationship between the organization and its fan base after a rocky summer of buyout and relocation talks. It will be interesting to see if Coyotes fans respond favorably to the promotion and whether it is a move that will either generate incremental ticket sales or backfire down the road (e.g. fans waiting for another free offer to attend games vs. taking action and purchasing). Nonetheless, it is a creative way to drive interest in the team and fill the seats at the Arena.

Marquette Uses Social Media to Sell Ticket Plans

Are you looking for new ways to drive interest in partial season ticket plans? Are you looking to create a rewards program for season ticket holders?

Marquette University recently launched an extensive social media ticketing strategy that is cutting edge in the collegiate sports space. The site,, was created to provide fans with extremely affordable mini-plans that offers prize rewards for spreading the word virally with family and friends. The site organizers have developed an impressive scheme to encourage fans to make the site as viral as possible.

How does the site work?

  • Fans are asked to create a user name, soak in the excitement of Marquette basketball, and earn prizes for doing so
  • The more videos fans watch, the more people they share the site with, and the more tickets they purchase = MORE PRIZES
  • Fans receive prize points for a variety of tasks:
    • Signing Up (500 points), Watching a Video (100 Points), Finding a Bonus Video (1000 Points), Passing Along the Site to Friends (2500 Points), Posting the Site on Twitter (2750 Points), Connecting with the Page on Facebook (2750 Points), Submitting a Personal Video (4000 Points), Buy a Mini-Plan (3000 Points), Buy Season Tickets (4000 Points) 
  • Just for participating, fans can win a variety of prizes:
    • Commemorative 2003 Final Four Ring (2500 Points), Travis Diener Bobblehead (5000 Points), Fleece Blanket (10,000 Points), Winter Hat (15,000 Points), Mini Backboard and Hoop (20,000 Points), Al McGuire Statue (25,000 Points)

The site offers a ton of information on ticketing plans (in the lower left corner of the screen, in a non-intrusive manner) that enable consumers to explore their options and choose which plans might work best for them (and get rewarded for it).

The site is extremely well done and is a "must-see" for sports business professionals working in all aspects of the industry because it serves as a terrific example of ways to leverage social media to drive your business. Marquette's prize structure (providing fans with points for spreading the site virally and the chance to redeem those points for quality prizes) is a terrific benchmark for brands and sports organizations looking to rewards fans for their call-to-action.

Marquette is leveraging its Twitter page (@MUAthletics) to drive awareness to the page with posts that say, "Watch videos, earn prize points, spread the excitement of #mubb basketball" and "100 reasons to Experience Marquette Basketball. Have fun and let us know what you think".

The Colts and United Way Help Dreams Come True

Are you looking to implement new philanthropic efforts? Are you looking for ways to help fans make a difference?

The Indianapolis Colts have teamed up with the United Way to create a tremendous Horseshoe Dreams initiative to provide memorable experiences for underprivileged persons in the local marketplace. The program was designed to allow Colts season ticket holders to donate their game tickets to Colts fans who may not don't have the financial resources to attend a game.

The initiative serves as a great way for Colts fans, who may not be able to attend a home game for various reasons, to donate their tickets to persons of need, that could really enjoy the experience. All too often, fans realize in the hours leading up to the game that they cannot attend and feel like they have to put the tickets to waste. This initiative can help them feel like they are instead making a difference in the local community (and also benefit from their donation being tax deductible).

Fans can submit ticket donations up until three (3) hours prior to kickoff (although it is preferred that they send them in 72 hours before the game). To donate tickets, fans just have to follow a few easy steps:

  • Log into their My Colts Ticket Account
  • Click "Forward your tickets to charity"
  • Check the boxes next to the seats they would like to donate, then click "Forward"
  • Select "Donate tickets to charity" and click "Continue" to complete their donation

This initiative serves as a benchmark for other organizations looking to align with philanthropic properties to make a difference in the community. Think of the little things your organization can do to provide memorable experiences for others!