Turning Off The Spout
When an organization which has routinely given away free product tries to stop, they fail. Because they’ve conditioned the audience to think otherwise.
This isn’t just a sports problem, but they are the most notorious at it. The taste test theory lends to the idea of a massive free buffet, that at some point, everybody will pay for. And it won’t happen.
I’ve done it myself as a customer.
When I received a product as a specific discount, even though I knew that the company likely wasn’t making money, I used it until they raised prices. Then I stopped using that product. It wasn’t hard either, because generally, I understood that I was taking advantage of the company.
There is a mindset when the organization or team decides to disrespect their product. Eventually, they get the customer to stop taking it seriously too. And when the company decides to do a 360, and charge full price, its deemed as unfair by the consumer base, because they’ve been conditioned to the discounted price as being the fair market price. Even though everyone knows that it wasn’t.