Phase One of the Road Ahead: Creating Consumer-Based Virtual Packages

Phase one of Kathy Burrows’ road ahead for the sports and entertainment industry involves tiered year-round memberships accessible to all fan segments, enabling fans to choose their own adventures and teams to get closer to more customers.

What is one thing we have learned during our time away from the office? We love curbside pickup for dinner with margaritas included. Grocery pickup is much easier than spending an hour wandering through the store. New ways to enjoy interests have emerged. We have started creating and enjoying a new normal.

As things begin to reopen, we find while the new normal is enjoyable, we really want both lives. So why not?

As teams look to start selling, we focus again on having lunch and learns, explaining why our entertainment packages will work well for a company. But companies are moving on. While they are trying to rebrand and create new plans of their own, entertainment is not top of mind. Budgets are being reconsidered.

Consumers are moving on too. We may be eager for sports to come back, but we’ve found additional things we also enjoy. Are we going to move on in sales or commit to fulfilling Einstein’s definition of insanity?

Moving forward starts with creating a true year-round membership no virus, no silent stadium can take away.

Phase one of six in moving forward is creating a true year-round membership no virus, no silent stadium can take away. We all say we sell great experiences. A select group of fans can do a high-five tunnel, a field of dreams, watch fireworks from the field, and more. But what if we gave everyone experiences, some virtually?

To do it well takes knowing your own community and what its people like to do. Do they enjoy trivia at the bar? Watching cooking shows on TV? Love happy hours? Like HGTV and home remodeling? How about exercising? How do we know these things? Through conversations with our clients. When we’re checking in with them, why not ask, and create a thought board of ideas of what people like to do.

Next, you and your team (sales, service, marketing, corporate, premium, merch, foodservice, operations) collaborate and build-out what each of those categories might look like. How can you do some sampling currently on social media? How will you advertise it to draw followers? What time of day will you present it for the best audience? What will it look like? How long will it last? What would be enticing to start?

Once you start your sampling on social media, collect your followers. Meet again and build-out what year-long membership packages look like. Note I said “packages”. Why? People want to be in control of their own buying dollar. They want choices. Why don’t we offer them? Not only do they feel more in control, but more often than not, they pick more than a basic package. It enables them to upsell themselves as they want. Your price points and opportunities will reflect the degree of involvement to which they want to commit. We are not selling to but partnering with.

Fans want control of choices. Why don’t we offer them? More often than not, they pick more than a basic package and upsell themselves.

Following the samplings, call those fans who are engaged. Ask them what else they would like to see/experience. Getting more information and tweaking existing packages customizes it for that market, making it more appealing.

Once tweaked, it’s time to roll out one more sampling and start the conversations. We offer packages that enable fans to “choose their own adventures.” It’s a true membership, and they have the option of paying in full (gets its own special experience), in payments, or monthly auto-pay membership fees.

What does the client get? They get to choose options in their packages, from basic to elite. They get what they like to do brought virtually to them. They get a monthly membership that has year-round value. They get a year-long experience, culminating with a select number of games in season, which can be vouchers or assigned games ticketed. They get to be in control and choose options.

What do we get? A clientele we can reach out to in a new way. A warm lead versus a cold lead. True experiences we currently use as a buzzword but don’t really fulfill normally. True memberships people are used to subscribing to with on-demand experiences. Committed clients who feel more value in their buying dollar.

What about current season ticket holders? Why can’t they experience virtual packages for an add-on cost? The days of selling season/half/partial/premium packages are going to be less and less. People now expect more from their experiences. It’s time we gave it to them.

Are you interested in what a virtual experience might look like, such as a home remodeling package?
Write to Kathy at kathy@soldoutseating.com.