For a soccer team, selling game tickets is part of the work of building its fan base. While raising cash is important, most organizations budget some of the ticket sales money for promotions to bring more people in so that seats are filled and the number of fans grows.
Understand Who the Ticket Buyer Is
Who are the team’s fans? It’s necessary to interact with fans, collect data about them and analyze it, using information from surveys and database records of ticket purchases to arrive at one or more buyer personas. Not only does this focus help find new fans for the team, but it also gives insights for encouraging current fans to buy tickets more often.
A soccer team needs to know why people come to its games. Is it because the attendees’ friends are playing? Are the locals automatically loyal because it’s the local team? Do the fans just love soccer — and soccer? Does a soccer game mean a fun day out for the family?
It’s useful to know if a fan likes to buy tickets in advance or on the day of the game and whether a low price is more important than promotions. This information helps the team’s salespeople design an effective sales process.
Once the team knows who its fans are and why they come to the game, it is easier to be relevant and effective in social media posts, ads and emails. Each buyer persona can have its own targeted communications.
Market to Existing and Potential Ticket Buyers
Part of marketing a soccer team is to build a community. Ultimately, the way to sell tickets is to engage with fans. They should feel like they’re part of the team, and it should feel natural that they would go to the games.
Marketing media for soccer teams include the internet, phone, email, print, radio and TV. Sponsorships are common. A team should have its own website. Teams can use social media to develop authentic interactive relationships with fans. They can grow their social media by making it the place to find last-minute tickets, coupons, contests and affiliate opportunities. They can promote their soccer games as Facebook events, along with infographics or videos, and encourage fans to share and invite their friends.
The team’s best fans should get the first crack at the best seats, the best discounts, the best promotional merchandise. There should be a loyalty program for them.
Soccer team promotions are designed to drive ticket sales and grow the fan base. Theme nights and packages are popular, and, in the UK, “matchday breaks” — game tickets plus a hotel and a meal or two — are common and range from basic to luxurious.
Online contests and giveaways make people aware of soccer events and gather contact info for prospects. These can run on the team’s website or social media accounts or on an independent contest site.
Youth nights are another popular promotion, where the adult soccer team discounts tickets for youth teams. Perhaps a coach will talk strategy with the young players before the game, and the host players may demonstrate their skills and pose for photos with them.
Soccer teams use many varied promotions to sell tickets:
- With the Pups on the Pitch promo, fans bring their dogs to the game. The first dogs get a goodie bag and a bandana printed with the team’s graphics.
- Kids get in free if they wear their soccer team jersey.
- Attendees are eligible for a “Lucky Fans Drawing” to win a soccer ball signed by the team.
- Wear blue and get a free thunderstick.
- In its SoktoberFest, Vanderbilt University offered free team-themed beer steins to the first 250 fans and warm pretzels to everyone.
- West Virginia University offered a Football and Futbol Weekend, where people who attended the big football game could bring their ticket stub to get in free to the soccer game.
A soccer team’s ticket sales are important for the money they bring in, but also because they determine how full the seats are. There’s nothing like a packed stadium to satisfy players and fans alike.