This is from Katie Stine's blog ``As Seen in Indiana.''
Very interesting article, thanks for posting it Blake!
I wish the Komets would offer a few more perks, but at least to me the most important thing is the on ice product and we have been very lucky in that regard by being a top tier team almost every season!
Over nearly all the years I've been a STH I've almost never missed more then one game a season with many seasons where none were missed, and for the past 16 years that includes my wife.
That changed last year for my wife, to the point we didn't renew her ticket this season. This season, it changed for me and I've missed more games then I can ever remember missing in the past.
The most frustrating part of that aside from missing the games is the ticket exchange policy. Starting last year, no matter what you paid for the ticket you can only exchange it for a 600 level ticket. This is OK I suppose if it were random friends I wanted to use the tickets for, but generally it's not. My wife won't come if shes not at least within a seat or two of me and there is no way I'm going to bring one or more of my grand kids and tell them they have to sit way up there by themselves.
This is a great article, and I know there are many reasons the Komets can't offer some of the same perks as other teams, such as reduced or free parking. But I do feel they could do more, and come on, make the ticket exchange a real perk, OK?!
For me the jury is still out on next year due to the commitments that have kept me away from games this year probably increasing, but a couple more perks and a decent exchange policy would go a long way towards me putting that money down. Heck, a decent exchange policy would go a long way towards convincing me to do it.
I'm a sth because i want to sit in my seat all season and the playoffs, i dont expect to get anything else, if the komets owned the arena i'm sure other perks could be thrown in but when your main revenue is ticket sales the cost of these extra perks has to be paid somehow.
What am i missing, why should I as a season ticket holder expect anything in adddition to the tickets i want each game.
Very good job...well thought out and great analysis. Many points that I thought of before but couldn't put into words. For those that are already STH that don't have a problem with the current program and are happy this article is not for you. It's for all of us that have been STH in the past and have dropped it because we didn't feel we were getting anything above the same seats for each game. It would be nice to feel like management valued their STH since they are the ones that create the financial base the team builds their budgets from.
I agree with Burgee60 for the most part. However, I would appreciate a thank you from the Komets. I am a Tin Cap MINI season ticket holder(12 games) and get a thank you gift at the end of each season. The gifts are actually very nice. I am not saying the Ks have to do that but a simple thank you note would be nice. It is never a bad idea to show your appreciation for anything that someone does for you.
Just think of a season ticket holder as being one of your best customers that you can count on through good times and bad. You are a valued customer and should be treated as such. You deserve to be recognized and catered to once and awhile for offering your continued financial support year after year. The more season ticket holders a franchise has, makes that franchise look even stronger on a balance sheet. The rest is just icing on the cake.
The season ticket holders also help to establish a base number of fans in order to continue to recieve the rent package that the komets have with the coliseum. Walk-up fans are good, but they offer no guarantees in numbers on any given night. I bleieve the rent is free depending on a certain number of fans each night. Season ticket holders offer guaranteed ticket sales each game whether they show or not.
I would treat every season ticket holder as the backbone of my organization and would be always willing to do extra for them. It's just good business. If these people were never to recieve any benefits at all they may consider saying what's the point other than getting my same seat each year.
The value that a season ticket holder brings to a franchise is financial stability to your club. Interest free money up front that you do not have to borrow from the bank . The club can use that money any way it deems necessary throughout the year to help offset other costs to be covered by other means of revenues that have not been collected yet.
Excellent business practise used every day by corporations to generate operating income.
I am guessing that the Frankes get all the STHs they want right now, and if they saw a drop-off, I think their first instinct would be to try to improve the product on the ice, since (except for the corporate ones) the STHs are first and foremost hockey fans. Yeah, a few more perks would be nice, but like somebody said, they all cost money. I think the Frankes are making money off the K's, but they're not exactly using $100 bills as TP. I think a lot of the other teams with less history or in tougher markets need to offer the perks to sell the seats.
Just a terrific article, Katie. Thank you.
Burgee is right and Burgee is wrong, too. You pay for your seat(s) and the fee assures you that you own the right to attend or not attend the games. Nothing else is implied. Any other additions (perks) are solely the choice of the Fort Wayne Komets Hockey Club.
Komet hockey is a form of entertainment and as such, is competing for your income. They have lots of competitors. Movies, restaurants, dancing, baseball, basketball, and others to name a few locally. Some people atend MLB, NFL , NHL, college sports, theater, and shopping in some of the larger cities that surround us. All are looking to share part of our income. You get the idea.
Part of the question, I guess, is are season ticket holders important? I'd love to hear the K's brass answer that question and explain why or why not? How many season tickets are sold? What part of the budget is addressed by income from season ticket sales? I don't expect them to answer those questions , but don't be fooled, they do know.
Season ticket prices are going up. All one has to do is to compare last year's early bird package to the one received a couple of weeks ago. Yes, this one has three more games on it (36 compared to 33, but this season's package included three playoff games so essentially it is 36 games also). The problem the average STH feels is the fact that as prices have gone up, other advantages like a STH night, a news letter, and most importantly the policy of season ticket exchanges being solely placed in the 600 level are steps backward in value.
Burgee is correct that he pays for his tickets and doesn't expect anything else. Good for him. At the outset it would be hard to argue that point. Still, I believe that Burgee is a successful business man. I am sure that whatever product he represents is a quality product sold at a fair price. As such I would bet that in his 'contacts" list is included the birthdays, the anniversaries, the interests of each of his clients. I'll bet he sends cards in the mail, he sends Christmas greetings, and things like that. I'll bet he took a client to lunch one in a while, dinner once in a while , and even provided hockey tickets to some. So if, and it is an important "if", that is true then why do it? The answer is simple. It is just good business to keep your customers happy.Burgee is a smart man. He knows the value of a product just isn't defined by cost, but by value added items also.
Just as some of the above comments reflect an impatience of sorts, the Komets may want to reflect on some of their policies towards the STH's. There will be a time when the prices just get too high. A time where the attitude and budgets of their best customers are stretched too far. Have we reached that point yet? Probably not. We may be getting close.
As the Komets venture off into the ECHL ( and make no mistake about it, that is where they will be playing next year), I'm sure they are doing their best to evaluate costs vs. income. Things are going up. ( I know. I just paid $4.00/gl for gas today). They may be 'walking" in uncharted land, unsure of the future, and have many questions. To me, I would submit that is exactly the time when I need my "base", my season ticket holders the most.
Like Burgee, I may be right. I may be wrong, too.
Just a couple thoughts, have to guess at numbers i'm not at a pc. 3,400 sth's, and 4,300 walk ups per game.
I did get a thank you in the letter sth's got.
Lets say a $5 thank you gift for sth, where is that $17,000 coming from? The already discounted tickets?
Would they get an advertiser to pay for and sponsor that gift? If they did wouldnt the rest of the fans be mad because at that advertiser because they were excluded?
If they had sth gifts left over would they give them to anyone or sell them? I was in Muskegon a couple years ago and won or purchased a STH gift, was that fair to the real sth.
On my trade in tickets, if i could trade for the seat beside mine i couldnt get it, its already someone else's.
so what i'm trying to understand is that i feel some sth's feel some sense of entitlement..... I don't know, just trying to understand it. just got home and checked my Muskegon glass, its a 2009-2010 season ticket holder gift, why on earth would they give it to a non sth, especially a Komet fan! i think i got it free with a purchase at their souvi stand.
ive been a sth for 38 years and i expect nothing in return except for the discounted ticket i receive. plus i get the same seat every game and i dont have to call or stand in line to buy game night tickets. i do take advantage of some of the deals on the back of the tickets and i do receive gifts at the end of the year thru the orange collar program and i do get a discount at the souviner stand plus the one time 20% off coupon. would i like more ? of course who wouldnt? im happy i get what i get but i could stand for free parking or a free bobblehead, but that would just be icing on the cake.
The comments here are a real love fest. I don't have an opinion really other than to say that Wheeling can come up with better perks than the most storied franchise in minor league hockey? That doesn't jive. I don't expect anything to change. Why would it? If you can count on the same people ponying up cash without expecting more, why give it away? Burgee makes a good point, thats taking 17k or more right out of the Franke's pockets.
This has been a great discussion with strong points made by everyone.