NBA Ticket Prices (Infographic)

Of all the functions of marketing, one could arge the establishment of an effective price point could be the most critical.

Teams across sports consistently tinker with pricing strategies in an effort to find the right formula for maximizing franchise revenues.  Sometimes those strategies work, sometimes they backfire.

Two seasons ago, the New Orleans Pelicans dropped ticket prices by 10%.  The decision resulted in a 19% overall increase in ticket sales that season.  And this season, as the Brooklyn Nets face the prospect of a challenging season on the court, Bloomberg has reported the franchise will reduce ticket prices by an average of 24% in 2016-17.

Earlier this year, BusBud published an interesting infographic that examines NBA ticket prices and offers some interesting comparisons.  Which teams offer the greatest ROI?  When is the best time to buy?  These questions and more are discussed in the graphic below.

 

Rio 2016: Fun Facts by the Numbers

The lead up to the Summer Games in Rio generated arguably more publicity (both good and bad) than any other Olympic Games in recent memory.  Now that they are finally underway, here is a quick look at “the numbers” behind the Games…

1 – Number of times a South American city has hosted the Olympics

12,000 – Number of Olympic torchbearers that carried the Olympic flame

4,800 – Number of performers and volunteers that took part in the Opening Ceremony

10,500 – Total number of athletes competing in the 2016 Summer Games

206 – Total number of countries represented in Rio

4,924 – There are a total of nearly 5,000 medals up for grabs in this summer’s competitions

2 – This year, two sports will be making a comeback as golf and rugby return as official Olympic Sports in Rio

112 – It has been over a century since golf was last an Olympic sport

92 – It has been nearly a century since rugby was last an Olympic sport

37 – Athletes will be competing in 37 different venues at the Summer Games (32 in Rio and 5 in co-host cities)

$5,700,00 – Brazil’s Ministry of Health invested nearly $6 million to insure the well being of athletes and spectators attending the Games due to zika concerns

32 – More than 30 tons of dead fish were removed from the lagoon where the rowing and canoeing competitions will take place

85,000 – The number of security personnel staffed for games, more than double the number present in London for the 2012 Summer Games thanks to Brazil’s high crime rate

$1.2 B – The amount NBC Universal invested in the broadcast rights for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio

$1 B – The amount NBC Universal has reportedly generated in advertising sales in the US (both television advertising and digital)

26.5 M – Nearly 27 million viewers tuned in for NBC’s broadcast of the Opening Ceremony

35% – Ratings for the Opening Ceremony broadcast declined by 35% compared to coverage during the 2012 Summer Games in London

307% – Viewership of Day 1 of Olympics coverage on NBC’s digital platforms enjoyed a 307% increase from Day 1 of the 2012 Games in London

1,200% – On Spotify, streams of the song “Girl from Ipanema” rose 1,200% after it was played during the Opening Ceremony

7,000 – Number of hours of programming produced by NBC Universal this year (TV and digital) in coverage of Olympic competitions

3.6 B – NBC Universal is expecting 3.6 billion viewers to tune in to Olympics coverage

85% – The number of viewers expected to use a “second screen” for Olympics coverage

7.5 M – Organizers of the Rio Games made 7.5 million tickets available for purchase to various Olympic events

$60-1400 – The face value of tickets to the opening ceremony

$6 – $365 – The face value for various events

240,000 – The number of Rio Olympic tickets being given to underprivileged children

$425 M – According to Rio organizers, sales of tickets to Olympic events have generated $425 million

500,000 – The number of foreign travelers expected to visit Rio for the 2016 Summer Games

1M – The number of tourists that visited Rio last year for their popular annual Carnival celebration

6M – The number of residents in the city of Rio

90% – Rio’s  hotel rooms are close to capacity with over 90% booked for the Summer Games

$261 – The approximate value of the gold contained in an Olympic medal

1.2% – An Olympic Gold medal barely contains more than 1% actual gold

Sources:

WalletHub
Rio Times
thedailybeast.com
CBC Sports
International Business Times
Fortune
USA Today
Associated Press
Adweek 

 

Super Bowl 50 by the Numbers

You just have to love the Super Bowl, especially if you teach sports marketing!  The “Big Game” creates such a fun environment for teaching some of the fundamental marketing principles that drive the business of sports and entertainment.

Looking for a current and relevant way to illustrate the concepts of supply and demand or economic impact? Need a discussion starter on the concept of ambush marketing or sponsorship?  How about advertising, ticket sales or merchandising?  Endorsement?  Promotion?  This look at the Super Bowl “by the numbers” has you covered.  Enjoy the “Big Game”!

$35 Million

According to moneynation.com, estimates put Cam Newton’s career endorsement earnings thus far at $35 million.  Newton’s endorsement portfolio includes brands like Under Armour, L’Oreal, Dannon, Beats By Dre and Carolinas Medical Center (among others).

$12 Million

Peyton Manning earned $12 million in endorsements last year alone.  According to Forbes, Manning was the NFL’s top pitchman in 2014 thanks to partnerships with companies like Buick, DirecTV, Gatorade, Nationwide and Papa John’s.

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Bobbleheads with a twist

Bobblehead promotions have been around for more than sixteen years but they won’t be going away anytime soon.  Giveaways featuring the quirky nodding dolls are still the most popular promotion among sports teams everywhere.  In fact, ESPN reported that the 2015 Major League Baseball season included a whopping 121 different bobble giveaways, ranging from a “talking” Harry Doyle (Bob Eucker’s character from the film ‘Major League’) to a Jonathan Lucroy doll with a green light saber in his hand on “Star Wars” night in Milwaukee.

Speaking of bobblehead dolls and Milwaukee, a “Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum” is slated to open in 2016 in the downtown area.  According to its website, it will be a “high-quality museum with the world’s largest collection of bobbleheads and will feature dozens of exhibits related to the history of bobbleheads, making of bobbleheads and much more.”

One of my favorite variations of the popular giveaway is a bobblehead that commemorates a specific moment.  One that captures a moment and pays tribute in a fun and unique way.  A great example is an upcoming promotion hosted by Georgia State University when the men’s basketball team will distribute bobbleheads that replicate the moment the team’s head coach fell off his chair during one of the more memorable moments of last season’s March Madness.  Promotions like these go above and beyond the traditional bobblehead by connecting a promotional item to an event that invokes memories and connects fans to the emotions they felt “in the moment.”

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Now THIS is a “Theme Night”

This is great!  Georgetown Hoyas soccer will host a “Dumb & Dumber” theme night…pretty unique.  I love the idea of a spin-off from a popular comedy film like this, so much potential and fun way to generate some excitement for a home game.

Some of the film tie-ins as part of the promo include:

  • Salt shaker toss
  • Big Gulp giveaway
  • Announcing starting lineups in an Australian accent

Love it.  If only they were serving “shrimp on the barbie” as a concessions item…

Around the Horn: April 6th

Remember the two-foot-long hotdogs being sold at Rangers stadium this year (aka the “boomstick”)?  ESPN reports they sold 191 of those monsters on opening day.

Brewers fans will see a familiar face in many of the team’s TV spots this season.  Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the Brew Crew will feature Packers’ star QB Aaron Rodgers in several of the ads…interesting decision to bring a sports hero from a different local professional team into the team’s marketing plans.

From the Twitterverse (via @TVSportsratings): “Swamp People (4.5 mil viewers) had a larger audience than The Masters, both NBA games on TNT, 2 MLB games on ESPN2, NHL on NBCS.”  Am I the only one surprised by this?

First it was Tebow Mania, then Linsanity…now apparently three Giants fans are competing for the trademark rights to “Tim-Sanity.”  Sure seems like overkill to me but not sure Tim-Sanity will catch on anyway…wishful thinking perhaps?

Vanilla Ice performed at half-time of a recent Minnesota Timberwolves game…still trying to figure out if the game sold out but love the effort from the Wolves’ staff to attract a crowd.  Attendance at the Target Center is up over 13% on the season, best in the NBA.

Around the Horn: March 20th

Anyone else notice the product placement at Peyton Manning‘s introductory press conference today?  Manning, who endorses Gatorade, managed to carefully place an orange bottle of Gatorade (Broncos‘ team color) on the corner of an adjacent table throughout the press conference, no doubt a gesture appreciated by the brand (tip of that hat to Katelyn Sellers for pointing that out)…

Consider this:  If Peyton would have signed with Miami, the Dolphins would have sold a LOT of tickets.  Instead, the secondary ticket market comes out as a big winner because the Broncos, thanks to a rabid fan base, have limited ticket inventory available for sale.

Two months ago a poll conducted by SportsBusinessDaily revealed  Peyton Manning as the NFL’s third most marketable quarterback.  Tim Tebow was fifth. One can only wonder how Manning’s decision to sign with Denver, leaving Tebow’s fate unclear, might shift those results.  In the end, Manning’s decision deals a crushing blow to brands like Jockey who have a vested interest in Tebow as a product endorser.

Two quick observations on the NCAA Tournament:

I’m not sure which NCAA men’s basketball fan base travels best, but I’d have to guess the Kansas Jayhawks and Kentucky Wildcats are at the top of that list.

There is definitely no shortage of NCAA branding during telecasts: the logo is prominently featured on jerseys, several places on the court, game balls, consistent on-screen graphics, courtside signage, seat backs on team benches, the baskets…even the towels players use on the bench…

Around the Horn: March 7th

A few observations about the press conference announcing the end of the Peyton Manning era that just wrapped up:

  • After the ugly divorce between Brett Favre and the Packers a few years ago and LeBron‘s contentious departure from Cleveland two summers ago, Colts owner Jim Irsay and Manning just showed that difficult, emotional situations like this can indeed be handled with class.
  • Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance received a ton of exposure during the press conference (the company name was featured on the backdrop).  At the start of the press conference, they had less than 50 followers on Twitter…twenty minutes later (and at the time of this post), they had over 200.
  • From a PR perspective, Jim Irsay managed to effectively spin the decision as doing “what was best for Peyton.”  Coupled with the announcement that no Colts player would ever wear Manning’s #18 again, the franchise is clearly motivated to begin the damage control process in an effort to appease a fan base that seems largely disappointed in the decision to release the iconic QB.

Interesting sponsorship news coming out of NASCARMatt Kenseth wins Daytona 500, yet a report on nascar.com suggests he and his team are still seeking sponsors for over 40% of their remaining races.  Apparently 15 of the 36 races that Kenseth will compete in are still not sponsored.

From the Twitterverse, via @FanCostX: “Who’s the team to beat in the #MLB? #Angels definitely reloaded this year. Their tix avg last yr was only $34. MLB Avg was $46. #SportsBiz”  Not sure how much prices will increase this year, but can only imagine the combination of more potential wins and addition of star power of Pujols will drive prices upward.

Minor league baseball’s Lakewood BlueClaws announced that, in an effort to improve the overall fan experience, the team will cap attendance at 8,000 fans per game this year.  The strategy, aimed at shortening lines at concessions stands and bathrooms, is an interesting one but could also provide an effective means for driving demand for tickets.

In an effort to generate publicity and drive traffic to the Yahoo! Sports website, the popular search engine is offering $5 million to any fan who correctly picks a perfect March Madness bracket. With so many options for fans to fill out brackets online, this is a great way for Yahoo! to separate themselves from competitors like ESPN.com and CBSsportsline.com.  For those of you curious about the odds, there are about 9.2 quintillion possible combinations (according to a tweet from CNBC’s Darren Rovell).

Around the Horn: March 5th

Making headlines in Dallas this week is news that Sharon Simmons, a 55 year old grandmother of 2, will be auditioning to become a Cowboys Cheerleader.  The Cowboys Cheerleaders have long-established themselves as a brand, one that is as synonymous with game entertainment as the Laker Girls and the San Diego Chicken.  While Simmons is a nutritionist and personal trainer who is no doubt in excellent physical condition, the oldest member of the squad in team history was 37.  Ultimately, whether she makes it or not, the team will generate a lot of publicity as the tryouts continue… The question is, how will the publicity surrounding her efforts impact the team…will fans view the story in a positive or negative light?

In Major League Baseball news, the Detroit Tigers sold out of Opening Day tickets in just 45 minutes.  Dare we say the Prince Fielder signing is already beginning to pay dividends?

From the Twitterverse:  via @EricFisherSBJ – “Ticketmaster data: 50M sports tickets unsold last year, translating to $900M in lost/uncaptured revenue.”  It will be interesting to see what kind of solution the ticketing giant comes up with to minimize excess inventory in the future…

News from the upcoming Olympic Games in London:  Reuters recently published a story suggesting that, despite the organizing committee’s significant efforts to thwart ambush marketing, many non-sponsoring companies will attempt to align themselves with the Games in some way, shape or form.  While organizers of mega events continue to find ways to combat ambush marketing, it seems marketers have become more innovative in creating new opportunities to connect their brand without investing significant sums as an official event sponsor…certainly an interesting side story to watch develop as the Olympics draw near.

 

Around the Horn: March 2nd

Some troubling news out of the NFL today when it was revealed that the New Orleans Saints have engaged in the practice of offering financial rewards to defensive players who knocked opposing players out of the game.  I wonder how “BountyGate” will impact the league’s image moving forward.  Surely the Saints aren’t the only team fostering a culture of aggressiveness toward opposing players…

Interesting note from the Twitterverse… Jeff ‏ @mindforsports reports: “Even more Oregon Football ticket shock for families: A 2 adult, 3 children “Family Pack” cost $729 in 2011… For the 2012 season: $1647!”

Not many wonder why Major League Baseball opted to expand the number of teams competing in the post-season…no sports league, collegiate or professional, makes decisions without a high probability of significant monetary gains.  Clearly the new format will please MLB television partners, adding bargaining power when rights fee renewal discussions come around.  How else will the decision benefit the league and its teams from an economic standpoint?  How much will it boost ticket sales with more teams in the playoff hunt?  Does it help drive sponsorship revenue at a local level when more teams have a legitimate shot at the post-season?