It’s not all about wins and weather. Organizations in the world of professional sports who truly understand the impact of the fan realize that there are many drivers of attendance and season ticket holder retention beyond how many wins a team has or how the weather is that day (for you baseball and football teams).
Marketing may bring you into a business as a new customer, but after that, the relationship and affinity for the organization often take over – if the business is smart. It costs a lot of money to execute all those marketing and sales strategies, and the reason why organizations often talk in terms of ROI is that there’s usually a lot of upfront “I” that you need to get the return on as quickly as possible. You don’t get that return if the fan only attends 2 games, if the season ticket holder cancels after 1 year, if a losing record for a season means an automatic loss of the customer.
Sports organizations need to – at the start of the new fan relationship – ask why the customer is now a customer…and why they might leave. Finding those retention drivers is vital to any organization wanting success; even though marketers often think in terms of demographics and client types when marketing to large groups, customer retention experts think of what would keep Joe v. Mary v. Marco v. Terry.
When you think retention, think 1-on-1, develop relationships 1-on-1, serve your clients 1-on-1. Because if it’s all about wins and weather, then to the staff on the business side of the organization, you have zero control. But if it’s about the relationship and the retention driver, the communications and the caring, the impact on their business or their personal lives, then you on the business side of the organization have some control.
Keep the sports fan by knowing what you can control in the relationship with that customer – one customer at a time.