The Contrast of Premium


The impasse premium is facing is explained by Peter Sorcoff, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of SEER, “However teams are defining premium, our position is that it’s less about tactical details initially and more about creating discernible contrast that goes beyond general market and premium.”

SEER’s view is that the value gap between premium and non-premium spaces has shrunk and is no longer a binary choice for fans. Architecturally, teams can better contrast their spaces and experiences as general, premium, and luxury.

Teams are relying on creative hospitality and spaces to contrast the premium experience. For example, Shari Rainey, Senior Director of Texans Luxe Partnership Services explains the Texans product array now includes new seats on the terrace, a Luxe Lounge, and Luxe Suite Entrance. The critical enhancement to the updates though is little touches (read that: hospitality), like fruit-infused water on entry for Luxe Members and suite wristbands smoother access.

Flexibility in group size and purchase also help create suitable experiences. Ken Knight, Premium Seating Manager, Calgary Stampede reminds us that while Covid restrictions are still fluid, clients want to come back, so long as the environment is safe, flexible, and fun. Where a private room or suite for Stampede events formerly had a capacity of 20 people and charged a flat fee, smaller group are permitted now to maintain safety. Similarly, where a club table may have required a 5- or 10-day purchase in a pre-Covid scenario, any number of days is now acceptable.

Chris Bryant, Chief Experience Officer of Bryant Group Experience, former Training Director for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and guest experience advisor for over 60 sports teams and venues, highlights premium opportunities for innovation, upgrades, and enhancement.

He recently observed an example of this at the beautiful new UBS Arena. In place of the traditional Box Office window is the Ticket Concierge desk, sitting inside the lobby of the premium entrance with no small glass windows or barriers between the ticket concierge and the premium guest. The concierge provides personalized assistance with mobile ticketing, among other elite-level services.



Photo courtesy Houstan Texans