During the 2014 season, the Gwinnett Braves and forty other Minor League Baseball (MiLB) clubs participated in Turnkey’s MiLB Ticket Buyer Network Study. Through this study, the Braves learned a great deal about their most important customers – their season ticket holders (STH) and single game buyers – including those fans’ overall satisfaction, renewal intent, attendance habits, and likelihood to recommend attending a Braves game at Coolray Field to others. In addition, the Braves were able to compare their results against data collected across the International League, as well as to other MiLB clubs’ data, providing critical context.
Using both quantitative and qualitative data from the study, the Braves were able to identify that their season ticket holders were laser-focused on value. STHs wanted to feel valued by the organization, and be assured that the club’s season tickets were a good value. Many respondents’ open-ended comments shed light on what might help drive that value proposition: a modification of how the Braves handle STH parking. For example:
“Include season ticket holder parking at no charge for season ticket holders. This would be great for customers using the tickets.”
“Access to the ’A‘ parking lot for half season ticket holders.”
“Offer more discounted parking with packages.”
The Braves heard their fans loud and clear, and elected to demonstrate their appreciation of those fans by taking their advice and offering all season ticket holders (fulls and partials) free parking for the 2015 season. The Braves heavily promoted this change to both current and prospective season ticket holders via multiple channels, including a large call-out on the Season Ticket pages of the team’s website:
“When we viewed our study results beside those of other teams, we were pleased to find that our fans’ satisfaction with the overall game experience was on par with that of the ‘average’ MiLB game attendee,” said North Johnson, General Manager of the Gwinnett Braves. “However, when we dug into our fans’ responses specifically, it became clear to us that by making a simple change – offering free parking to all planholders – we could increase those fans’ satisfaction even more. For us, it was a no-brainer once we saw the numbers.”
*** Case Study Update ***
With the parking initiative in place, the Gwinnett Braves expanded their Season Ticket Holder base by 10%. They also saw an increase in total revenue during this campaign, due to flex plan holders upgrading to full season ticket plans in order to partake in STH perks, including free parking. In addition, several STHs attributed the parking perk as a primary reason for renewing their season tickets in 2015.
For more information on this study or Turnkey’s Surveyor Network, please contact us.