Case Study 1 The Springfield Nor’ easters : Maximizing Revenues in the Minor League
Li-Hsien Chen 09/16/12 Case Study 1 The Springfield Nor’ easters : Maximizing Revenues in the Minor League 1. Critically analyze the research undertaken by Larry Buckingham, Nor’ easters Marketing Director. Discuss if you feel the objectives, questions asked, sample chosen, and method utilized were appropriated and why they were or were not. What type of questions would you have added to the survey and why? 2. ————————————————- What do you consider to be the key findings of both the League Sports Association Survey and the research survey conducted by the Nor’easters?
Discuss any potential biases that might exist. Comment on what Buckingham learned about a prospective customer profile, pricing, and single ticket versus season-ticket packages from both. The sport marketing research plan that Buckingham tried to do is well organized especially in this short time stress. However, it may not fully accomplish and still need some more steps to achieve the goal. The purpose and problem of the research is simple and clear. Buckingham want to know how many people would come to see and how much to charge them.
There are many of key findings that Buckingham can make a good use of it. According to the League Sports Association Survey, over 73% residences are willing to attend baseball game who having an income ranging from$22,500 to $75,000. Base on the statement, Buckingham used non-probability sampling method. Trying to focus on the most possible group that becoming the game attenders. I think the problem is only one existing finding and Buckingham just used it as model. It seems to me that he trying to prove the result from the previous found but there is no novel or creative finding appear.
It’s a pity that he couldn’t use this time to find something new and more inspiring result, Because of time stress and budget consideration, Buckingham chose postcard and internet survey to finish the research instead of mail survey. But in the end, approximately just 4% of postcards were return to the office and totally 625 responses (add to internet response) were tabulated is just not enough samples for me to make critical decision. According to statistic calculation, the confidence interval of survey is about 94~95% that still can make it more reliable and validity if Buckingham gathered moreinformation.
Blesch noted that Minor League teams (unlike Major League Baseball) won-lost records appeared to have little to do with attendance; mediocre teams that provided a high entertainment value often had very high attendance. What Blesch’s note is so right to me because you have nothing to do with your roster and team’s competition. It’s all in charge of Major League. Sometimes, the most productive or talented player may get promote to higher level of minor league teams as soon as they have breakout performance. It’s graceful if your team has good prospect and future superstar.
But you just cannot put all eggs on it. How to use advertisement, promotion to attract local residences attending games and make them believe it would be great experience no matter the host team win or lose. Another key finding is how much money residents are willing to pay for a ticket. Range from $10-$14. And no matter how cheap the tickets are, concession will make up for it. No less than 39% team’s profit make of concession sales. One MD who Buckingham has talked with said it even makes more than half team’s revenue.
It seems that Buckingham should pay more attention on concession sales. On the questionnaire, Buckingham can put some questions, like what type of snack, beverage and food sports fans hope to have in the games; what kind of souvenir and team’s goods that fans are willing to buy it. It’s all about gaining the profits and fans’ attending. Asking one question that how much do fans expect to spend on concession is too general to me. The potential fan base which Buckingham described by himself is anybody who can enjoy a good ball game. To more specific, they need to be baseball fans at least.
However, 60% of responses were not baseball fans, 72% of responses didn’t attend a professional baseball games in the past year which means most part of this survey result came out from people who really doesn’t care about tickets price or new professional baseball team coming to this city. The result may be misunderstanding and understated because people who are not baseball fan don’t want to spend even one dollar on attending the games. As a result, Buckingham better separate different type of responses. He can establish price policy based on the esponses which are baseball fans and trying to find another way to pursue the non-baseball fans, like promoting the feature and fun of game not related to baseball. To do with these “media consumers” and “indirect consumers” in sport marketing concept is do your best as you can but don’t expect to get too much return of it. 3. ————————————————- Based on your finding who would you recommend that the Nor’easters target and why? Base on the article, I would say that Family with children age from 5~16 and high school (College) students should be the target market.
Without a doubt, the commitment sports fans should be count in too. But it’s easy to take care of those die-hard fans. It’s all about long-term service and other consideration. On the other hand, to create the new potential sports consumers related the article about pricing policy, previous two groups would be critical. According to the research, most part of ticket buyers are group consumers rather than individual consumer. For family, it’s good for parents to take their children seeing the professional performance and have good time in the weekend afternoon with relative low cost compared to other entertainment.
For students, they can hang out with friend and classmates. Why they wouldn’t opt to attend games with reasonable cost and convenient transportation (especially important factor for students. ) Take my personal experience as example, I usually went to see my country professional baseball game not only I’m a big baseball fan but also there is special discount for students. Students can have half price, and take free shuttle bus from my college to the stadium. Because of it, we were glad to attend the games even there is not my supported team of the matchups.
Just experience the games circumstance and atmosphere. So I would recommend the Nor’easters to pursue the more potential attenders as they can. 4. ————————————————- What consideration should the Nor’easter take into account in establishing a pricing policy? The price is the factor that the most visible and flexible part of sport marketing. I think there are few considerations that need to be count in establishing a pricing policy. Offering more ticket packages for different type of consumers that can attract more people attending games.
As I mentioned before, Nor’easter should try to know about and do survey on students, families and school groups’ preference of ticket price. Offering specific ticket package should be good way to focus on different distinct groups’ consumer behavior. Also, special date of calendar can let people willing to spend money on recreation. Minor League short A season starts from mid-June through the first week of September. There are some dates should be used to promote, such as “Father’s day” and “labor day”…etc.
Nor’easters can give a special promotion for these days that let Springfield residences have more choice on their holiday for celebration. Not only setting reasonable price that can compete other sports, varies entertainment should also be counted, such as Movie, bowling and music concert. Knowing why people (as baseball fans) choose other activities over attending games is important for organization to decide the ticket price. I think that it’s opportunity for Nor’easter making more revenue if they take a look at these factors into their pricing policy. 5. ————————————————-
Design a ticket pricing plan for the Nor’easters first season. Your plan should include specific pricing and package. Discuss how and why you decided on the prices and what package you are offering or not offering. Ticket Type| $ per ticket| Note| Regular| | | Single ticket| 12| | 5-game ticket | 10| | 20-game ticket| X| Not offering| 38-game ticket| 6| With grandstand seat and one special team’s souvenir| Package| | | Family plan for single game| 10| $30 for three persons with tickets and hot dogs. Additional can be added on for $10 per person. | Family plan forWeekend| 8| Include two games on the weekend. 48 for three persons with tickets and hot dogs. Additional can be added on for $8 per person. | Students plan| 10| Only qualify with Students ID cards| Group Sales| 8| 25+ with adult group| | 6| 25+ little leaguer or elementary school| Special Promotion| | | Father’s Day| Free for father who take at least one children or wife with him| Ladies’ Night| Free for female who take at least one male with him| Children Day| Every attender person who age no more than 10 get extra hotdogs and beverage| Labor Day| Every attender get special meal for celebration|
I design the ticket pricing plan based on the Buckingham’s survey. Even though there are still some problems and flaws in this survey (as mention before). But that’s all materials I have. Here are some strategies of my plan First, I choose not to offer 20-game ticket because it doesn’t have distinct difference from other types of ticket. Little series package like 5-game ticket are good enough for people who like to attend more than just one game but not every games of season. Furthermore, even though only 2% of responses likely subscribe 38-game full season ticket.
In my opinion, it’s still necessary for Professional Baseball team to work on it. It’s kind of symbol. And teams should take good care of it. Giving them grandstand seat like VIP area and team’s special souvenir like hat or badge that only belong to whole season ticket holder. Make them feel worthy spending on large money supporting this team. I also delete grandstand seating service because 72% of responses will pay only 10% more than original ticket price. It doesn’t necessary for me to execute this policy.
Second, 81% of responses are willing to spend from$6 to $15 on concessions. Concessions sales are somehow equally important as ticket sales. So I try to attract as more attending as I can by the reasonable low pricing policy and various special packages. For different target you will need different specific promotion. The most important thing for the new team of city is to make local residents familiar with and then support this team. I’m sure Nor’easters can provide great game experience and service, and hence my priority is to attract people attending and feeling it.