In the fall of 2015, Turnkey utilized our Surveyor Network to launch the sports business industry’s third annual nation-wide survey of college football ticket buyers. As in previous years, the study was deployed with two goals in mind: to measure ticket buyer satisfaction with the gameday experience, and gauge season ticket holders’ renewal intent.

33 universities across 8 of the major FBS conferences participated in the 2015 project by distributing online surveys to both season ticket holders and single game buyers. Ultimately, data was collected from more than 48,000 respondents.

Perhaps the most significant finding that emerged from the 2015 study is an enormous hike in college football’s Gameday Experience Net Promotor Score*. Last season’s NPS for gameday experience came it at 43, nearly doubling 2014’s NPS (24) and more than doubling 2013’s score (19)**. This indicates that ticket buyers are significantly more likely to recommend their university’s football gameday experience than they have been in previous years.

This is a noteworthy result particularly because the universities that participated in the 2015 study had a lower winning percentage than those studied in 2014 (.539 vs. .605). In research, it’s not uncommon for strong on-field play to impact fan satisfaction with (and likelihood to recommend) their team’s gameday experience. The fact that the 2015 study participants won less often than the 2014 participants adds weight to the conclusion that universities’ efforts to improve the fan experience off the field paid major dividends in 2015.

College football’s 2015 NPS of 43 still falls short of the combined professional and minor league sports average NPS of 48; however, it’s significantly more “in the ballpark” than it has been in previous years. Potential areas that, if improved, could help increase college football’s NPS include.

  • Overall Venue Technology: Scored a satisfaction of 7.0^ for college football compared to an average of 7.8 in professional and minor league sports.
  • Overall Auxiliary Experience: Scored at 7.5 for college football vs. 8.1 in professional/minor league sports.
  • Overall Food & Beverage: Scored at 6.2 for college football, 6.7 in professional/minor league sports.

College football experienced several other key “wins” specific to the season ticket holder experience according to the results of the 2015 study. For example:

  • The NPS for season ticket holders’ likelihood to recommend purchasing a season ticket plan/package rose from -4 in 2014 to 12 in 2015. That score of 12 actually outranked the pro/minor league average NPS of 8.
  • College football season ticket holders indicated that they were more likely to renew their tickets versus pro/minor league ticket holders: 76% reported that they were likely to renew versus 70% of pro/minor leagues season ticket holders^^.

Overall, the results were very promising for college football in general (and many individual programs on their own). If schools continue to track fan feedback and focus their resources on areas of high importance and low satisfaction to ticket holders, there’s no reason why these numbers can’t continue to increase.

To learn more about this study, or the Surveyor Network, please contact us.


*Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a universally except metric for measuring respondents’ likelihood to recommend a particular brand or activity. For more on NPS, please click here.


**Previously published Surveyor Network NPS’ may differ slightly from the numbers above. This is because the Surveyor Network is continually collecting data. As the data is averaged and weighted, a team, conference or league’s average NPS may rise or fall by several points.


^Scores submitted on a 10-point scale with 1 being “least satisfied” and 10 being “most satisfied”.


^^Percentage determined by respondents ranking their likelihood to renew their ticket packages on a scale of 1-10. Those answering 8 or higher were considered “likely” to renew.