During the 2014 season, the University of Connecticut and 39 other college football programs participated in the second year of Turnkey Intelligence’s FBS Ticket Buyer Surveyor Network study. The goal of this study was to enable FBS programs to learn more about their ticket buyers, identify key attendance drivers and evaluate fan satisfaction with the game day experience. Importantly, every institution participating in the study was able to view their program’s data side-by-side with FBS and conference averages, providing rich context and insights.
UConn elected to use the 2014 study as the cornerstone of a complete season ticket holder and game day experience evaluation. As part of this initiative, UConn spent time reading each and every individual verbatim response that was collected as part of the study, in addition to reviewing the results of each metric measured. Their goal was to achieve a thorough understanding of what their fans wanted and expected of their institution, their athletic department, and their game day execution.
One finding from the study that surprised UConn was the loyalty of their fans: despite low scores on several of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measured, UConn’s fans still indicated a high intent to renew their season tickets. By reading those fans’ open-ended responses, UConn ascertained that being a UConn football ticket buyer and fan gave those fans a sense of pride, and was considered a badge of honor in the community.
To emphasize those sentiments and reinforce fans’ pride at being connected with the University, UConn launched a spring marketing campaign focused around being “Connecticut’s Team”.
In addition to gaining a better understanding of UConn fans’ feelings about the University and football program, UConn utilized the study data to identify multiple elements of the game day experience that they could easily add or modify to increase fan satisfaction. The new “perks” season ticket holders will receive in 2015 as part of this initiative include exclusive additional tailgate time, a hat identifying the wearer as a season ticket holders, and new concessions deals and discounts. UConn made these modifications in time for the 2015 football season, and is confident that they will improve fans’ on-site experiences, no matter how the team performs on the field.
To show they are listening and reacting to fans’ concerns and describe the new benefits, UConn sent the following email to their Season Ticket Holders earlier this year:
The key to this initiative’s success is actually two-pronged: first, the University made the changes its fans desired; then – just as importantly – they made a clear effort to communicate those changes. By doing this, UConn let their fans know their opinions were heard and are valued. (And another upside, as proven by other Turnkey client studies: letting fans know what changes were made based on their feedback will likely increase the likelihood that fans will participate in future studies!)
UConn is looking forward to the 2015 season, and to participating in this study again, to see how their 2014 efforts have moved the needle.
For more information on this study or Turnkey’s Surveyor Network, please contact us.