The latest surveys bear out a continuing trend:a clear majority of sports fans would rather watch a game at home than live at the stadium.This trend extends to each of “The Big Three” sports in the United States – football, baseball, and hockey.Billion dollar stadiums have done little to reverse this trend.Fans are staying away in droves, particularly in smaller, less established markets.
When I first heard ESPN radio’s Mike & Mike discussing this report on my drive in this morning, it came as no surprise.Tickets to games have gotten incredibly expensive – out of reach for the ordinary fan.The cost of attending one game with the kids, when you factor in gas, parking, a few hot dogs and some snacks could buy a case of Doritos and a couple months’ worth of the Red Zone Channel.
But I was wrong.The survey showed the cost of attending a game to be a distant second among reasons to stay home.The winner by a mile – convenience and overall experience.At home, fans have a perfect view, can follow all of their fantasy players, and are able to hear the announcers describe what they may have missed.Older stadiums don’t even have instant replay.
As for why fans did want to attend the game, the leading reason, once again, was the experience.There is something communal about watching an event with people holding strong similar interests.Factor in tailgating, and it’s not just a game, it’s an experience.
Here’s Why Do You Care?
In survey after survey, people rate experience above cost. It’s an emotional response. How did their purchase make them feel? Would they want to experience that feeling again?
In this respect, there is no difference between a 10 person accounting firm and the NFL. Sure, price counts for something. A business can, after all, price itself completely out of the market. Aside from the extreme ends of the price range, however, what counts most – in the engagement of a small landscaping company as well as in the attendance at a baseball game – is experience.
The decision to buy, we are told, is often an emotional one.What we can draw from this is that it is the experience of the sale that matters.
My takeaway from the Mike & Mike discussion was a renewed focus on firsts.What is the client experience when s/he first calls, visits, engages us, takes part in our first post-engagement communication, receives the deliverable, or reviews our bill?
I’m sure it may be a tweak in e-mail signature here or format there, but in the end I think those tweaks are worth it.Roger Goodell knows.So does Bud Selig.Experience matters.
Which do you prefer? The Stadium or Your Home? Let us know below.