Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tough Times: Opportunity for Creativity

In these tough economic times, companies are finding themselves scrambling when it comes to revenue they were always able to rely upon. Previously reliable corporate sponsors have had to pull out of lifelong partnerships causing teams to scramble to find alternate sources of revenue. This can burden an organization or become a major opportunity to think outside of the box for a change and rid themselves of axioms that hindered their growth as a business.

Take the Milwaukee Brewers and their "Drive In Ballpark" as an example. For two nights in June, they held a Drive In Double Feature outside Miller Park, showing popular movies for family fun seeking crowds. The venture was a big success, averaging 300 cars a night.

While the team's primary business goals are to sell tickets, sell sponsorships, and fill luxury suites, money is certainly money, and people still need to be entertained. Not only are they receiving revenue from cars parking, but they were able to expose over 1,000 people their advertisements, promoting their core business: baseball. If they were able to cover their expenses with sponsors (Mini International sponsored the event), they basically got 1,000 people to watch their advertisements before, in between, and at the end of the event. While there are no other details, they would have been wise to have sales reps, visiting patrons before the show, and have ticket and merchandise booths set up. If they were able to make the show free, and maybe even have it inside the stadium they may have been able to make more revenue in tickets, merchandise and concessions sold than if they had charged for viewing. Assuming the costs are minimal and could even be covered through a partnership with a local business, it's at the very least worthwhile.

Unfortunately Milwaukee winters are cold and harsh, but this concept of drawing people out could certainly be applied to southern teams, or those with Domed stadiums to keep them interested and in tune with their team during the winter. Or have the Drive In night kickstart the individual ticket purchasing season. What a bang that would be to start with, if you had 1,000 cars lined up to buy tickets and watch a baseball movie in the dead of winter!

As for me, the job search continues. Looking forward to the next post!