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Factors with impact in demand for sports tickets

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Opponent, competition, weather, team performance are just a few examples of variables that can influence demand for sports tickets. Understanding and putting them to your service is key for a club to take its ticket pricing strategies to a new level. Everyone loves a good rivalry. No matter the sport, one can always find great stories of fierce competitors. Teams going neck and neck season after season, only to make a difference in the end, with a small detail, when facing each other. We are talking about a Barcelona-Real Madrid in football or a Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics in basketball. Or even an Australia-England in cricket. On an individual level, take tennis players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as perfect examples of this.

Rivalries are incredible ticket sales drivers. For these games, promotional activities are almost unnecessary. Big names sell themselves easily. That is how powerful they are. The same might not happen when a title contender plays a team fighting to avoid relegation. The quality gap can make it less appealing for fans to show up. On a winter Friday evening, watching the game on TV might well win over facing the cold, rainy weather to see a lesser opponent getting beaten by a top dog. In the last paragraph we already mentioned several factors with an impact in demand for sports tickets: opponent, position in the standings, day of the week or weather. How many more can you think of? 3? 5? 10?

The list is even longer than you can probably imagine. But this tag cloud already gives a good overall idea of the many variables involved in this process.

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A Sunday afternoon league game with no TV broadcast will – generally speaking – lead to high demand levels. But an injury to a star player can push some potential buyers away from the game. The same might go for a popular local event (such as a big music festival).

Of course, reality changes from club to club. At Feyenoord, one of our customers, the data analysis showed that fan loyalty was so high that the results on the pitch had little to no influence on the actual attendance numbers. To put it simply: Feyenoord’s fans are so dedicated that they wouldn’t stop going to the stadium even if the team wasn’t performing that well. That’s an example of extreme loyalty!

By measuring the impact of these factors in demand for sports tickets, clubs and venues will be able to make better predictions and put more accurate prices on their tickets. Being aware is already a first step; using data analysis will allow them to take their ticket pricing strategies to a new level.

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