March 31 – As the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) mulls over its management of the current ticketing fiasco, it should equally seek to re-engage fans. Sport has evolved so much that those fans who go out to watch live sport, seek meaningful ways in which to be occupied at the event.
Before I get into the suggestions for Fan Engagement though, I want to make it clear, that the solution I am recommending to ISSA can provide a few positives for them:
- More money from ticketing
- Attraction of a whole new set of fans
- Indication that they are moving into the modern era of event management
As one considered an export in the Business of Sport, I want to offer solution to make the product better, stronger and sustainable. What is clear though, is ISSA has to be prepared to access expertise which are clearly beyond their current operations. An organisation has to outsource roles which are not easily available, but have team members, monitor to ensure all goals are being met.
Since the grandstand is the major issue here, there is a way that there can be significant revenue generation, but a formula has to be reached. My assessment is based on the estimation of the 5,900 available seats. Secure 500 as Season Passes at a premium rate. Those season pass holders are you key customers who regardless of whether they attend CHAMPS or not, will pay for the tickets. Let’s look at Spike Lee for example he has been a season-ticket holder for the New York Knicks for many years dating back to 1985. He is said to pay US$3,600 for each of those two tickets he has, a far cry from the $500 paid in 1995. Spike, despite his fame from his film career, is well known as a Knicks Fan. I am here to suggest we can find 500 CHAMPS fans. The package could offer parking and memorabilia and even time with sponsors.
The other 5,400 tickets can be available online and at box offices and be broken down in a way that the organisation still stands to earn. Fans have become more sophisticated and with more sporting events around, have become accustomed to first class hospitality. Fans all across the world buy tickets for major sporting events in countries thousands of miles away…they are done online and there is fan satisfaction. CHAMPS is a major event!
Back to Fan Engagement, ISSA and major sponsors should do the following
- Have focus groups
- Collate recommendations
- Make an announcement for CHAMPS 2018 in October 2017 so fans will have enough time to plan.
It is also time there is a CHAMPS application (A CHAMPS app) – one that engages the related group of the athletes who are actually competing. The millennials and Generation Z groups are key to the development of the CHAMPS brand going forward. With home television audiences growing and some of us (older folks) are tired of the physical tussle to get in and out of venues, ISSA has to look at refocusing its marketing to a more fan-sensitive meet. I don’t believe any time soon, Jamaica will be able to afford a new stadium; I expect an upgrade soon. In the meantime though, we must make the best of the facility we have.
The other sport which can help the stadium in filling seats more than the average ten per year is football. The Reggae Boyz will have to go after World Cup glory again and that will offer an additional 10 – 15 days.
While I am annoyed at the way CHAMPS is being managed and marketed, I think the process for a solution is in close sights. I urge ISSA to consult.
Let’s monetize the game!