I am a proud Canadian from the Toronto area. I am also an avid sports fan but, for the past two decades, it’s been hard – since 2002, Toronto’s big leagues teams have won only 3 playoff series’. Like many other Toronto sport fans, I am hungry for more winning teams.
When the baseball season started this past April, there was hype that a batch of newly acquired players could help propel the Blue Jays into the postseason for the first time in 22 years. Early in the season, that hope started to dim… but fast forward a few months and the Blue Jays are now in contention for the division lead and a playoff berth. As part of this resurgence:
- Blue Jays ticket prices on the secondary market have doubled.
- The team is enjoying an increase upwards of 40% in merchandise sales, and almost half of these sales are being made outside of Ontario.
- For a recent weeknight series, the Blue Jays TV station (Sportsnet) averaged 1.24 million viewers.
With the Blue Jays streaking, the entire country is starting to catch the fever. Case and point: Sportsnet has recorded seven straight million-plus audiences, compared to the season average of 600,000 per game.
As the Blue Jays continue their postseason push, it seems as though the rest of Canada has started to buy in. If the Jays are able to continue their winning ways and make the playoffs, how many more casual fans might they be able to attract?
Clearly there has been a large shift in excitement around this team, which I’m willing to bet has had an impact on fan satisfaction with the game day experience, and season ticket holders’ renewal intent. Now, the team must maintain this contagious and exciting environment – use the promise of playoff tickets to drive 2016 season ticket deposits, keep the casual fans coming, and collect as much data as possible. The Jays ownership will need that revenue to keep their club strong heading into the next season, so open the doors – there is plenty of room on the bandwagon!