March 1 – No where in the world, two weeks before a marquee event, patrons are not aware of how to get tickets.
Live sporting events are still pretty much a part of the Jamaican culture and since 1999 when CHAMPS combined the male and female categories, the event has received tremendous support. This is by observation only, as in this case, a patron myself, I have been part of a packed venue the last three days of CHAMPS for all those years.
This begs a question…has the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) ever disclosed how many tickets it has sold from year to year? And if so, have they even tried to figure a way to make patrons feel some ease in knowing they have access to one of the most sought-after tickets for any event in Jamaica. You see ISSA, we are in the 21st century where more of us have way more information we need to and we actually can make better decisions. While it is impossible to fit all the patrons who want to see CHAMPS in the 35,000 seated facility, ISSA must and should be made to handle its ticketing portfolio in a more efficient way.
It becomes difficult to replace the feeling when you are in a stadium, close to the finish line and watch your favourite junior athlete chase another across the line in any race; or see the 6’5” male athlete leap with pride over that high jump bar; or that long-legged young lady from your rural hometown stride down the long jump area to a record. It is all about passion. Increasing the price of the tickets without offering better service is totally unacceptable.
ISSA is largely run by principals and as a teacher myself, I know the limitations I had before I up-skilled myself to understand marketing, promotion and publicity. I would suggest that some of my colleagues have not done that, cause if they did, I would not be writing this note on behalf of so many disgruntled, long-time patrons of CHAMPS.
What happens when an administration doesn’t listen to the voice of the people? Oh well…We move on. As usual, when I point out an issue, I offer a solution. Here are some suggestions for ISSA.
1. Employ a marketing expert with a team
2. Use technology to ease the issue of ticketing
a. Have Prime Tickets within a time frame
b. Offer secondary ticketing through a company that understands consumers – StubHub can offer solutions
3. Know who your purchasers are
c. When do they buy tickets?
4. Work with the Independence Park Limited and see how capacity can be increased (secure it)
5. Have satellite venues and charge for that service. Use similar categories but maybe 15 per cent less than the live venue costs
6. Have ticket venues in all counties and in strategic locations
7. Be open to suggestions
8. Create a better experience for your fans
9. Train the announcers too
We are the fans, listen to us!