On September 7, bitter football rivals University of Miami and University of Florida kicked off to a stadium full of screaming fans. Some people wait all year for football season (including the staff at our Florida advertising agency) – fanatics dress up in their favorite teams’ colors and enter stadiums full of pride, shooting down any social plans that might interfere with a big game.
This year, when UM and UF played, they did so in front of a packed house of nearly 77,000 fans, which was the Hurricanes’ largest crowd since 2004. According to The Palm Beach Post, one of the major reasons college football game attendance has been dropping off in recent years is the fact that it’s all about atmosphere. With today’s fancy gadgets, viewers can get the stadium atmosphere from just about anywhere. Better TVs and more access have made it easier to watch the game from any location.[quote]Plus, social media allows real-time feeds and engagement from anywhere with a cell signal or Wi-Fi.[/quote] Who wants to pay for the experience in person when they can just as easily watch it with up-to-the-minute commentary in front of their high-definition TVs and a dozen friends?
But, there’s something inherently fun about seeing a game in person, a ritual that gets lost in an era of high-tech digital tools. Sports marketers aiming to fill seats at college football games are looking for innovative ways to help fill seats as stadium attendance continues to decline.
For instance, UM’s “Game Pass” card for season ticket holders offers a loyalty program that keeps fans visiting throughout the season and rewards them for doing so. Thirty-five to forty percent of the stadium’s 30,000 season ticket base have opted into the program.
Other schools, like Georgia Tech, are putting their money into aggressive marketing techniques to help sell tickets. These schools have hired third-party sales businesses to help reach out to alumni and other interested parties to sell tickets to games. In years past, there was no reason to be pushy when it came to sports marketing, but in recent years as companies have seen a sharp decline, schools have needed to reevaluate the ways in which they can help sell out football games.
Others are investing in digital ticketing, marketing and fundraising products to help them manage ticket inventories. Working with entrepreneurs who come from sports marketing backgrounds, colleges are aiming to reach a new generation of people who may just need an extra push to make the trek to the stadium on game day.
Some colleges are combating declining ticket sales by altering the ticket price per opponent. For instance, at Notre Dame, big games price in at slightly more expensive than smaller ones, prompting deal-seekers to attend the more affordable games and leaving the bigger games for fanatics.
For many colleges, selling seats is an avenue to better sponsorships, more resources and ultimately, better programs. When viewed in this light, it becomes essential to ramp up efforts, not just to instill school pride, but to help raise the overall status of the school as well. Our Florida advertising agency realizes the importance of maintaining high sales during college football season, and we want to see our local colleges score touchdown after touchdown with their marketing efforts. Contact our team today – so we can help yours!