Bryant-Denny and beyond: How college football powerhouses are taking on the future of attendance

Some interesting stuff in here, although, I do find it funny that these articles never bring up price or costs of attending games.

Alabama also plans to unveil a new incentive-based program for students who stick around through the fourth quarter. They’ll be able to get credit for “checking in” on a geo-location app that will confirm that they’re still in the stadium at that time. Those bonus points, combined with credit hours, will then determine that student’s standing regarding future tickets.

“Somebody who’s a freshman might have a small number of credit hours, but if they stay for every single game, they could possibly go ahead of a sophomore for postseason tickets and tickets to next year,” said Price McGiffert, who served as Alabama’s student body president this past academic year. “Coach Saban doesn’t ask a lot from the students, but he wants his students to be there the whole game and cheer the whole game, and that’s not that much to ask for if you see what he’s done for this community and what he’s done for this university.”

“It’s safe to say that we recognize that our students are important,” said Finus Gaston, Alabama’s chief financial officer. “Those are our future season-ticket holders, and if we don’t capture them while they’re here, getting them back afterwards when they’re going on with their lives is going to be difficult.”


One creative marketing scheme UNLV used last season was an Eat All You Can Plan, which was paired with a multi-game ticket package. Instead of trying to market tickets as discounted, UNLV simply sold full-price tickets with unlimited hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and soda. Fans felt it was a worthwhile value proposition: UNLV sold about 400 three-game packs for football and a similar amount of five-game basketball packs.

DeLay recommends targeting specific consumer groups — hardcore fans, social fans, etc. — and creating specific strategies for each. Email marketing and digital retargeting (with ads that show up after potential customers have visited your sales site) have made that process easier by providing organizations with a more accurate return on investment for each campaign. The effects of a billboard or an ad read on a radio show on revenue are not as easily measured.

To do all of that effectively, university athletic departments need to hire, train and expand their sales and marketing staffs to understand how to think creatively, market aggressively and track behavior closely. “Tickets don’t sell themselves unless you go to the Sweet 16 or something like that,” DeLay said. “If you’re going to sit back and rely on that, you’re living in a fantasyland.”

Schools often say they can’t use salespeople because they can’t pay them commission, but DeLay said there are ways to get approval to do so, much like coaches get bonuses tied to performance. (He’s worked with schools that have done this.) Alternatively, athletic departments could hire and train students to do the work without earning commission. (He’s also worked with schools that have done this.)

All you care to eat ticket combo…hhhmmmm. Delaware North your on the clock.


Wow, it would be a really bad idea for us, but does anyone remember Astros Foamer Nights in the Dome ??? When a home run was hit when the Foamer Light was On, fans got free beer for the rest of the game…

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Well who wants to see the same 5 or 6 teams every year ?, gee what could go wrong with that
I remember free beer when that little red light was on, then home run and the rush was on
Walk up tickets we so cheap in those days, mybe $4 bucks ?


You gonna stay here and watch the whole Chattanooga blowout or you ain’t getting in next time. Boy…

It works! My son stays the entire game and he is not really a football fan. It turns into a big party in the stands anyway so the kids don’t seem to mind. Sadly many of them don’t appreciate the greatness of what they are seeing and that most teams don’t have the success Alabama has had. The good thing is they EXPECT to win and anything less than contending for the National Championship is a poor season. The bar is extremely high unlike just hoping to finish above .500, maybe a conference championship and a lower bowl game anywhere.