Whether the category is marketing, ticketing, concessions, or anything else, sports teams continuously look to innovate. Rather than sitting in a meeting room with colleagues, proverbially throwing ideas against the wall to see which ones stick, why not let your fans (i.e. consumers) help out with the work?
Concept testing via consumer research is not new, but the sports industry has been slow to adopt the practice. Consumer packaged goods, financial services, and retail all utilize market research to hone in on the right product concept, styling, packaging, and utility. A simple example of this is toothpaste packaging. Colgate now offers a flat-top flip cap toothpaste tube. After understanding their consumers’ needs (e.g. that consumers wanted to stand their toothpaste up, and didn’t want to have to look for the cap on the floor), they came up with various concepts by mixing and matching product attributes. Then, using specialized research design (what is often called conjoint analysis), researchers identify the combination of product features that led to the optimal packaging.
Truth be told, this capability exists today in sports and entertainment. Say you are a basketball team looking to design optimal ticket packages. How many games should be included in each package? What should the price point be? Which seating levels should be in play? Should the package include loaded tickets? Consumer research and conjoint methodologies provide an efficient way to answer these questions and identify optimal combinations, leading to products with the highest appeal and revenue potential.