Benson Chukwueke Benson Chukwueke Author
Title: LOFTY TICKETING AND FOUR FIRE POWERS - To Shoot-up Attendance Revenue At NPL Games
Author: Benson Chukwueke
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Unless you’ve done your research very well, you’d probably assume – like most people – that Nigeria Premier League (NPL) game are not tha...

Unless you’ve done your research very well, you’d probably assume – like most people – that Nigeria Premier League (NPL) game are not that interesting to watch and that’s the reason football fans stay back at home or go to viewing centers to watch English Premier League (EPL) or UEFA Champions’ League (UCL) games on cable TV. No, It’s not what you think.

Although, there’s no denying the fact that NPL faces stife competition from DSTV and HITV, which transmit these European Leagues into Nigerian homes, but managers of NPL teams must take the bull by the horn. They should know that it’s a daunting challenge that’s taking so much  business from them – football spectators no longer attend NPL games and the revenue that comes from selling admission tickets into the stadium is declining steadily. In fact, to put it in financial terms; each season NPL looses over N10 billion Naira to DSTV, HITV and all the illegal viewing centre across the country.

One way NPL team managers could turn around the attendance trend is to become more creative and strategic in persuading the spectators to attend their games. Lofty ticketing is a beautiful way to appeal to fans’ emotions and make them feel that they are relevant to the team’s success – and truly they are!

FOUR LOFTY TICKETING STRATEGY

1.    VIP and Club Membership Ticketing: The ticket office of NPL teams should start to sell season’s VIP and  club membership tickets that allow the purchasers previlege to sit in a luxury seat at a specially designated area of the stadium. The price of these kind of tickets should be higher than the normal price.
2.      
“Seat for Life” Ticketing: The ticket office can guarantee some VIP seaon ticket holders that they can renew the same seat for the rest of their life. “Seat for Life” is used to boost the ego of some special fans, who can be encouraged to become stakeholders or to frequently donate to the club’s projects. This is the highest priced luxury seat at the stadium.
3.      
Ethusiastic Fans Ticketing: Another way of lofty ticketing is trying to hype fans. NPL team managers should take advantage of any increase in fans enthusiasm. If your team just completed a very successful season, where for example, it got promoted or qualified to play CAF championships, the ticket office should start to sell the next season’s ticket to the fans with little discounts for those that purchased that early.

Also, the signing of a superstar player or hiring of well renowned coach can lead to such increase optimism among fans and they should be willing to respond to such early purchase.
4.        
Community Group Ticketing:  Another type of lofty ticketing NPL team managers should begin to sell during time of low sales, is group ticket. Group ticket is used to build community relationship, where a community group such as students, youth associations, cooperative groups, physically challenged people or orphanage homes could buy a discounted tickets for a price lower than the normal individual ticket price. The type of ticket is usually for some selected games.

Well, if you’ve been studying the attendance trends during NPL games, you’ll understand that time is gone when team manager can sit in their armchair expecting that the stadium would be filled to capacity on match day. At least, recent record has shown it doesn’t work that way anymore. If spectatoers wouldn’t come to the stadium, go and bring them. The fact remains, if you don’t appeal to the spectators to come to the the stadium, they’ll not come; because DSTV and HITV are holding their attention with constant bombardment of thrilling previews of EPL and UCL games every moment of the day, Therefore, for lofty ticketing to succeed, the ticket office of NPL teams must reachout to football consumers.

FOUR METHODS OF SELLING LOFTY TICKETS
1.      
Direct Mailing: NPL Teams should use direct mailing campaign to begin selling tickets. Brochures should be sent to past and potential spectators presenting the various options of the lofty tickets. It requires the ticket office to have a database of past and potential customers. It’s easier done by a computerized process.

The ticket office also needs to be aware of the team’s critical trading radius where spectators come from and the group they are targeting.
2.        
Telemarketing:  Telemarketing is another way ticket office can reach past customers. It’s specailly to encourage purchases by customers who were not contacted during the direct mail campaign.
3.      
Door to door selling: NPL team’s ticket office can use aggressive direct sales campaign. They could employ “a force of full time, commissioned sales people” who will knock on doors in commercial buildings, industrial parks and even residential houses to present these lofty options.
4.     
  Ticket Outlets: Apart from the stadium outlet, ticket office should use some popular outlets such as restaurants, super markets, sports shops, Cafes, Newspaper vendors to sell the tickets. The outlets are nearer and convenient for the customers and it decrease the amount of work for the ticket office.

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