Teams sell softball tickets ahead of the curve
The 2013 softball season has started and teams from all over the country have started to sell softball tickets. Whether it is a major college or a local community league, the best practices are the same - plan ahead, reward early purchasers and have fun! This post looks at the pre-season activity and why your team should get "ahead of the curve" and sell softball tickets in advance.
2013 softball season
This week is the start of softball season for the University of Texas (UT) Longhorns, as well as many other colleges, schools and communities. The the season is scheduled to be in full swing on February 7th for UT according to head coach Connie Clark. The UT women’s softball scrimmages are held during the annual media day to bring awareness of the new season (video above).
Softball is an immensely popular sport since it has a lower barrier to entry than men only baseball. At the collegiate level, many colleges have both men's and women’s softball teams, some even have separate varsity and junior teams within the gender divide.
At the community level, league softball’s all-inclusiveness often means coed teams and wide ranging age levels. Softball is second only to soccer popularity as a community team sport so it is no surprise that teams are beginning to sell softball tickets in advance, some even offer season tickets just like the big leagues.
In order to get tickets in the hands of the fans as soon as possible, the Louisiana State University (LSU) women's softball team goes the extra yard and personally delivers them door to door. Matt Dunaway writes that the Tigers visit the homes of season ticket holders each year as part of a promotion to get fans excited about the new softball season.
“I thought it was so cool to see how invested the fans are in our program," freshman catcher Kellsi Kloss said. "I was amazed to see their dedication. I always love seeing the children of our season ticket holders because they are so excited to open the front door," junior pitcher Meghan Patterson said. "They greet us with the biggest smiles. It's awesome getting to experience that, and I also really enjoy seeing the collections of memorabilia that fans have built over time."
The marketing-savvy “home delivery” promotion pays off for LSU with softball tickets selling as quickly as the men’s baseball tickets. LSU season ticket holders get home delivery by players and single game tickets went on sale today on the official website. Of course, having a potential USA Player of the Year on the team does help sales.
Rachele Fico continued LSU softball's longstanding legacy and was one of 50 finalists chosen to the "Watch List" for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award announced Friday by Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball. The award, considered the Heisman Trophy of women's collegiate softball, is in its 12th season and designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by all softball players from across the country.It marks the third straight season that Fico has been in contention for this prestigious award.
Even if a softball team doesn't have their own Rachele Fico in their starting line-up, pre-season planning, followed-up with savvy marketing, can increase ticket sales at the community league level.
Get ahead of the curve - Sell softball tickets in advance
One may think that neighborhood league softball is too loosely organized to need advance ticket sales, but it is important to remember the fundraising events that are an integral part of local softball budgets.
Bake sales, car washes and other ancillary activities routinely under perform as fundraisers for neighborhood softball leagues. Local leagues can raise capital much more quickly by asking for donations as part of the ticket buying process, either online or at the playing field box office. Facility rental fees, new equipment, as well as other costs like insurance, can add up to be more than any bake sale can pay for. Also, there are usually more player family members and friends attending the games than there are at an offsite fundraiser.
If the facility where the games are played allows for it, teams can offer reserved seating in the stands and assign the same tiered pricing as the big league games, albeit at a vastly lower dollar amount per seat. Another benefit of reserved seating and advance ticket sales, especially for little league softball, is avoiding the “stampede of parents” who come to see their children play.
ThunderTix has plans for teams to sell softball tickets that uses a flat subscription price instead of per-ticket fees. Our sports ticketing software is based on the number of tickets sold and can be upgraded to have reserved seating charts that match grandstand seating. All of our plans include the tools to ask for donations, sell t-shirts or souvenirs as part of the ticket purchase process.