I heard them loud and clear.
After my last column about only focusing on your biggest and best games to get sold out, the Naysayers came out of the woodwork. It was as if they could smell blood.
That’s okay. I’ve heard them for years. You’ll heard them also if you take my advice and focus on selling out your best games first.
Naysayers are so boring; they always complain about the same thing and they’re always wrong. Your naysayer could be your boss or the administrative assistant or the team owner or your neighbor or almost anybody who hasn’t successfully marketed tickets before. Here’s what you most likely are hearing:
Naysayer:“We need to run some promotions for those crummy weekday games against no-name opponents just to make it look better.”
My response: “There are several things wrong about promoting a crummy weekday game. Number one, it takes you away from your mission of focusing on just increasing the number of sellouts. Doing a promotion for a crummy game will get minimal results, will cost valuable marketing dollars, will take time and energy and, unfortunately, you’re always disappointed with the results.
“Lastly, what promotion would you use? 2-for-1s? 50% off? Free bobblehead to the first 1,000 fans? Thirsty Thursdays? Whatever you try, it will have a minimal effect. 200 seats sold? Maybe 300 seats sold? Heck, Thirsty Thursdays at most only bring in several hundred drunks. Are three hundred drunks for one game worth it? Of course not.”
“Focus on the games where you have a chance of selling out if you put muscle and manpower behind it.”
Naysayer:“It’ll look bad playing in front of a lot of empty seats.”
My response: “Yeah, it will, but that’s just a temporary situation. You will be selling out those crummy weekday games in about three years because you’re increasing your sellouts every year and eventually you reach those crummy weekday games. One consolation about those empty seats: If nobody goes to the game, nobody knows that nobody went to the game. Conversely, with a sellout, people talk about it the next day at work.”
If nobody goes to the game, nobody knows that nobody went to the game.
Naysayer: “Can’t we just dress up the stadium a bit by comping a thousand or more tickets to some charity?”
My response: “Papering the house with free tickets really doesn’t work in your goal of creating more sellouts, and it proves to be counterproductive in reaching that goal but I’ll cover freebies in more depth in a future column. This is what I told a group of owners of a team that had dismal attendance who hired me as a consultant. ‘I’m going to give you a list of games that you can come to,’ I said. ‘You’ll feel great about the energy in the building. It will please you that you own the team.’”
“What about the games not on the list?’ one of the owners asked. ‘I own the team, I can go to any game I want.”
“I said, ‘For those games not on the list, it won’t be much fun. There won’t be a lot of energy in the building. You won’t feel good about owning the team. You’ll think the community should provide more support. You’ll get depressed. You’ll want to gobble down a bunch of anti-depressants. All that depression is temporary, but it is real for certain games this coming season. It would be better if you scheduled a business trip when those games are played.”
In case you’re wondering, I take some of my own medicine for my team in Macon, the Macon Bacon. Even though we’ve sold out just about every Friday and Saturday games in our first two seasons, we still have some weak Monday and Tuesday night games. I know going in the crowds aren’t going to be good. My staff knows and I’m okay with that because I also know as we continue to build, those poor weekday games will eventually turn in to sellouts.
Hang in there against the naysayers. Send me an email or give me a call and I’ll act as your support group when the pressure mounts.
ONE THING TO KEEP IN THE FOREFRONT OF YOUR BRAIN
One goal: Increase the number of sold-out games.
NEXT TOPIC: How to build your Sellout Matrix – January 6