How the RedHawks increased sales

Michael Byrnes, Oklahoma City RedHawks

Many teams will dedicate a lot of resources into discounting and offers in the marketplace. In the last couple years, the RedHawks have been very purposeful to stay away from that.

In 2010, the RedHawks had 87 different price points for a ticket. At that point fans became bargain hunters, trying to find a deal. The lowest price ticket is usually going to be for a game we don’t want them to go to.

If the guest finds a two-for-one deal on a Tuesday night, that Tuesday night isn’t the experience I want them to have. I want them to be at the game on a Friday night or a Saturday night when the stadium is full. Then that guest walks away as a great advocate for what we do.

We have 72 games over the course of a home season. We aren’t going to sell out every one of those games. There are not enough baseball fans in Oklahoma City to keep the park filled 72 games a year. That’s just the reality of our business. But, there are plenty of people looking for family entertainment on a Friday night. We focus our marketing on that effort.

Back in 2010, we decided we weren’t going to focus on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday games, we’re going to identify target games and a peak-on-peak philosophy so that all of our focus is on a certain number of games. This year it’s 20 games out of the 72 games.

When we introduced new ticket packages, the previous organization had only sold one package option and that was the full 72 game package. It’s hard to expect clients and customers to attend all 72 games. So we created a 36 game plan, 18 game plan, and then a 7 game plan that we market very heavily to families.

We match up the 7 game plan with our peak Friday and Saturday night games. If I can get a family to come to our Friday night game that has fireworks or one with traveling entertainment, then we’ve won and they have a great experience.

Our group sales team had a challenge in the market a couple years back with groups walking up to the window the night of the game and purchasing their tickets. It’s really more beneficial for us to get those advance ticket sales. So our group sales team began calling on churches, youth sports teams, and anyone that might want to do a once a month outing with their group.

The problem was, group leaders didn’t see the benefit in buying tickets in advance because in the past they were able to buy tickets the night of. It was a real eye-opener for us, so we started offering value-added promotional items. Instead of discounting our ticket price, we give groups souvenirs, like a hat, with every ticket purchase.

Having these target games helps the decision makers in these groups move that decision along quicker. Often times, our group sales will call the group leader and have a conversation about the ticket package opportunity. The response might be “that sounds great, let me take it back to our committee and we’ll select a date.”

It’s a much different conversation if the salesperson says “I see your group attended an event in July last year. On July 15th, we’ll have fireworks and a giveaway. Would you like to purchase tickets for July 15th?” Then the conversation with their group is about the date of July 15th instead of the ticket package.

We’ve incorporated these various strategies in our group sales and package sales that have resulted in over 100,000 more ticket sales this year compared to 2010.

As we finish out this baseball season, we’re excited about the success our RedHawks team has had and we look forward to another winning season.

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