While the number of potential title winners in this year’s NBA playoffs is down to four, the remaining teams in the league have already started their preparation for the next season. In most cases this means: Selling season tickets.
The most interesting season ticket promotion is coming from California: The Golden State Warriors are offering what they call “the first official contract between a professional sports team and its fans”: They promise to accomplish four points in the next season and define compensations in case any of those will not be met (hat tip to Russell Scibetti for digging this out):
They promise to reach the playoffs – if they fail, prices will not increase for the 2012-13 season
They promise to have a player participate in the 2012 All-Star Game – if they fail, subscribers will receive an autographed item and participate in a draw for a trip to the All-Star Game.
They promise to win 25 or more home games – if they fail, subscribers will be invited to an autograph session with the whole team.
They promise a risk-free renewal at 5% interest in case games or parts of the season will be cancelled (e.g. due to a lockout).
Let’s look at these points in a little more detail (I’ll leave out the last one as it’s of a different nature):
1) This year they didn’t make the playoffs by ten games, so a significant improvement would be needed.
2) As far as the All-Star Game is concerned, no Warriors player even came close to making the team this year.
3) They won 26 home games this year, so only slightly more than the 25 they promise for next year.
4) A lockout in the NBA is maybe even more likely than in the NFL and a prediction if there will be missed games next season cannot be made at this point in time.
So basically I wouldn’t bet all my money on the Warriors meeting all four of their promises – this is quite challenging stuff (maybe with exception of the fourth one, which has a different character than the other ones). Obviously, the Warriors management feels the same and offers some rather lame compensations.
Still I’m fond of the idea:
Guaranteeing the customers a performance that will be challenging to reach and is exactly what they want to see. How many companies do you know that do the same? And is you company one of them?
Probably not. So join me in imagining what guarantee you could come up with that your customers would love to see. And to spice it up a little bit, why not use exactly the structure and approach the Warriors used:
1) Reaching the playoffs:
This means performing better than most competitors throughout the whole season. Translated to our world it’s a consistent high overall level of quality of your product or service. Would you guarantee that? And what if you don’t meat it?
2) Having an all star on the team:
This refers to the personal performance of the star player. For your customers the star player of your company is – you! The one directly interacting with them. Can your customers expect an all-star performance from you or just one in the better half of the pack? Monta Ellis, the highest scoring Warriors player in the All Star ballot, only received a third of the votes Chris Paul got and only a sixth of those Kobe Bryant had. He’s a good player, but the Warriors promise more than just good – they promise an All Star. How can you guarantee world class customer interaction and service, not just one slightly above average? What do you have to do to make your customers vote for you in their All Star ballot? By the way: They don’t call it this way, they call it buying decision.
3) Home games wins:
This is what season ticket holders love to see. It’s the experience they’re after. What could you guarantee that creates a great customer experience and connects on an emotional level with them? What makes them feel like a winner? What can you do to make you and them successful?
4) Finally there’s the lockout protection:
It stands for money for value. Customers are afraid of being ripped off, and let’s face it: There are many out there that give them reason to think this way.
You’re not. But how can you prove it? How can you guarantee it? What can make your customers understand that you’re offering a fair deal to them?
The more I think about this Golden State Warriors promotion, the more I like it. No matter if this was intended by the Warriors or not – It’s great, as it touches all major levels of a great value offering to your customers:
A consistent high overall level of quality, outstanding efforts in customer interaction, an emotional connection and integrity.
If this is what you offer your customers, you will sell more “season tickets” than you can imagine. Or whatever else you have in store.