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You need these prospects to buy if you’re going to prosper

26 May 2020 8:01 AM | Steve DeLay (Administrator)

Welcome back from a three-day weekend and the unofficial start of summer.  It also should be the unofficial start to selling tickets again.

I’ve been saying throughout this coronavirus challenge that your mantra should be Survive and Advance.  I’m stealing from Jim Valvano and his famous 1983 NCAA basketball team as they worked upset after upset to win their now legendary championship.

I want to add one more word to that mantra.  Survive, advance and prosper.


You might be thinking, “Prosper?  I’m just trying to get back to even.”  Or, “I just want to get my sales staff back in the office.

The prospering I’m talking about is expanding your fan base.  Specifically, who to target and how to expand your sales effort to widen your fan base and ultimately increase attendance. 


You already have the hard-core fans.  Don’t worry too much about them.  They are the ones who have joined your Zoom season ticket holder calls.  They are the ones who have engaged on social media as your broadcaster has done an online interview with your coach or top player.  Unless they’ve lost their job or are in an older, high risk category, they should be back next season.

For now, don’t pay a lick of attention to your social fans either.  These are the ones who decide to come to your games on a whim, not necessarily because they are a big fan.  If it’s $1 hotdog night, $1 beer night or some other crazy entertainment act, they’ll show up if there isn’t a better offer that night.  Don’t stress right now about your single game buyer budget as you have no idea what the future holds when you start playing.  Control what you can control.


There are three types of prospects you can truly make deep inroads in to now with the right strategy.  Yes, even during a pandemic and 15% unemployment, you can still sell tickets and expand your fan base.

  • Casual fans.  These are the fans who may go to 2-3 games per year.  They like your team and your sport but can survive without it if needed.  You on the other hand can’t survive without them.  These are the fans that are perfect for 5 game plans or 7 game plans.  Don’t expect them go from 2-3 games to 36 or 41 games, especially in a challenged economy.  However, mini-plan sales can keep you afloat until the economy turns back around.  At my team, the Macon Bacon, we’re going to hit our 5-game plan budget number of more than 1000, despite the pandemic, a month-long delay and the challenges in the economy.  To succeed, your mini-plan needs to have real value with extra benefits, not just a discount.  Check out the Macon Bacon 5-game plan page to see more.
  • Group Buyers.  This continues to be the most undeserved area in sports tickets.  As the economy and society return to some normalcy in the coming months, people will be looking to socialize and gather.  They’ll want to gather not just as family and friends but as part of their school, church, youth sports league and more.  Now is the time to find those group leaders and discuss what they want to do and how they want to do it.  Sure, it’s a little harder to get commitments to buy right now with the uncertainty, but they will come back, provided your staff is saying the right things and making the right offers.  Nearly 300 salespeople from the G-League and WNBA just completed Group Sales Superstar to learn just that.  Check out to see what they picked up.
  • Companies.  The common theme from teams in the last three months has been, “We have to do a better job selling companies.”  Companies are most stable, less likely to cancel at the whims of team performance or the need for a new roof or new transmission and generally spend more money.  However, selling to companies is dramatically different than selling to hard core fans or even casual fans.  You have to answer the question for your prospect, “How will owning your sports tickets help my business?”.  Especially in a challenged economy, your sales pitch needs to evolve.  Not sure how to do that? We can help.

We’re getting back to work, finally.  The fall sports season looks promising despite the gloom and doom you are hearing.  Control what you can control.  If you need help, check out the tools at or give me a call at 702-493-2661 or email me at  I’d be delighted to help.

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