Southern Miss Introduces Yardline Pricing Model
Specialty pricing is just one of the various deals that was implemented for the University of Southern Mississippi Eagle fans during the month of ‘ROCKtober’ when the team has three straight home games.
For the Oct. 3 home football game against North Texas, Yardline Pricing ignited 500 patrons to purchase at the price of where their seat was located. For the 1-yardline, Eagle fans paid $1 for their ticket.
Southern Mississippi Sr. Associate Athletic Director of External Affairs Brent Jones considered the promotion to be an entirely different initiative with a larger context than a straight discounting measurement.
“It was a group effort where we were asked to come up with some outrageous ideas,” Jones said. “We sat with ticket people, both out-bound and in-bound, and asked how we could make this work operationally. We aimed to do something a little different in order to move the needle and generate excitement, and yardline pricing did just that.”
Conceptually, if a patron wanted to sit at the 50-yardline, they paid $50. Jones said that out of the 500 ticket sales for yardline pricing, the majority were still at the 1-yardline. However, the 5-yardline was out-sold by the 10-yardline, 75-to-150.
“The 10-yardline outselling the 5-yardline makes me think that customers started to catch on, that those are much better seats at the Ten than at the Five,” Jones said. “Even the $1 sales didn’t match what I thought it would. We almost had 60 percent bought on the day of the game, and only half of those were at the 1-yardline.”
Fans had to purchase in-person at the box office, starting Oct. 2 for the Oct. 3 game, and couldn’t buy through online or phone channels, Jones said.
“The deal was the same for upper or lower deck, the ones typically that are the toughest to sell,” Jones said. “We considered it the best way to generate excitement and buzz to try to get people here, especially when we’ve got all of these different promotions. We’ve got fireworks at the game, a letterman’s deal, and so the thought was, let’s try to do this, let’s try to maximize the effort of those seats that will otherwise go unfilled anyway.”
Jones said that he is always sensitive to season ticket holders, in order to retail value for their long-term support of the program and doesn’t feel the Yardline Pricing Model erodes their investment.
“The whole point of this is a daily deal, to hit some areas but we have to show love and growth to our season ticket holders,” Jones said. “Not one of our fans have sent us flack or criticism. Our fans are saying ‘hey, they’re trying.’ They want this place filled up as we do. As long as this doesn’t become the norm, and we continue to protect the integrity of the season ticket holder, we’re fine.”