RESOURCE: ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP ARE THE NEW SEASON TICKETS

The Corpus Christi Hooks hired Brandiose Studios to reimagine their ticket program and design the branding for their transition from Season Tickets to Annual Memberships.

MEMBERSHIPS

Season Ticket usage is always a problem. If a fan hasn’t used their tickets, renewals are even harder. For all the energy we put into selling an “experience," we always revert back to a 100-year-old paradigm that we MUST fill this plastic seat. 

The idea here is moving from “buying a product” (tickets) to “joining a club” (benefits). The conversation goes something like this..

"I’d like to talk to you about Annual Memberships."

"What’s that?"

"Well as a Annual Member, you get certain in benefits and privileges (World Series viewing party, hot stove banquet, dedicated entry gate, limited edition merchandise) and we have different levels of membership: 6-game, 24-game and full-season memberships."

So you lead with the benefits. Now isn’t this change just semantics? In the beginning, maybe. But once you switch to an Annual Membership program, you can implement things like monthly credit card auto-bill. It ensures revenue year round and makes renewals easier. Here's how...
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MONTHLY CREDIT CARD AUTO-BILL

A few years back, we purchased Disney Annual Passes. The Cast Member at the ticket window asked, "Would you like to pay $144 up front, or $12 per month, no interest?"

"What's the catch?" I asked. No catch. So we took the $12 per month auto-bill.

During the year we didn't go to the park (games) as much as we thought, but we got into some pretty exclusive parties and special events. They were definitely the most memorable and valuable part of the membership. A year later, Disney reached out and asked if we wanted to continue being annual members. 

Here's where they got us! Because now we're not having a conversation about parting with $144. We're having a conversation about having $12 continuing to be debited from our account, which we didn't even feel leaving our account. 

Plus, we're not even thinking about how many times we went to the park (games). We're having a conversation about all the special events we don't want to miss next year.

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THE NEXT GAME

How do you name your levels of membership? We like the term “Basic” for 6-8 plans, because nobody wants basic. You might go “Diamond” or "Ultimate" for full season - and whatever “ultimate” benefits that gets you. It plays into the die-hard who wants the best available.

For the middle memberships, we like forcing sellouts by focusing packages on a day of the week. Call the Friday and Saturday plans “Friday Night Annual Membership” and the “Saturday Night Annual Membership.” The strategy pushes fans away from “Basic” and gets them focused on the ritual of coming out Friday or Saturday night. A fan who had Friday Night Annual Membership last year, may decide they want to switch to the Saturday Night Annual Membership this year, if their lifestyle changes. We could see someone saying...


 “Hey I have a Friday Night Annual Membership”, you want to join me?"

“This Friday is no good.” 

“What about next Friday?”

“Yeah, lets do that.”


This naming strategy helps with usage because the name of the membership reinforces the idea that the fan has plans every Friday or Saturday night.

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MEMBERSHIP DELIVERY BOX

"Our goal is to always work off our “Hooks” fishing theme and build on it. We created a season ticket box large enough to fit tickets, parking passes, group tickets and season ticket member gifts. The box itself looked like a tackle box. Creative compelling graphics where the box itself had value to the fan. We've done bags in the past, but wanted a box as it's easier to stack and organize and turnkey for shipping if we need to mail and delivery is simple and smooth."

SPONSOR, TICKET, OR MEDIA TIE-IN

"We attempted to get the box sponsored but were not able to do so this go around but is goal for 2018 season. Good vehicle to distrubte membership perks and look at adding special offers and coupons from our partners. Package distribution to our sponsors & members has been a challenge in past, and this help organize and make the operatoin turnkey for the fans and partners. We partnerd with our car dealership so they loaned vehicles and so Membership Packages delivered by Mike Shaw Automotive."

SET-UP

"We typically order as many products and supplies as early as possible. The variables are the season ticket accounts that we have renewed. We were able to back up our timeline quite a bit this last season and have everything ready earlier than we have in the past. Normally package pickup is done in early March and we start process early as September for 2018 season. You need detail vendor list, item list, aggressive timeline and communication channels.

Delivery we allocated person to map out the drop offs, setup vehicle and system in place."

EXECUTION

"We typically put everything together in stages. The last 2 years we’ve utilized our visiting clubhouse as the pickup point for our season members. Unique access to our members.

It’s a large enough area where we can spread everything out and get the boxes ready ahead of time. Usually we utilize our part time ticket office staff to help assemble the boxes. We created check-lists for our Sapphire (mini plans) and Diamond (full plans) members since each package comes with different gifts/benefits. Having that list was helpful and we had it printed on the side of the box this year which allowed the season members to see that we have double checked their boxes. We typically have a few people working on assembling the boxes. We have a few people that are looking up the accounts in our ticketing system and marking down on the check list what each box includes. And then finally you have the folks that are putting the packages together. It seems to work well this way since everything is spread out across the room. Once the packages are put together we organize them by last name and stack the boxes along the perimeter of the room. We typically have our season members pick up their packages and we deliver packages to our sponsors along with the mascots.""Experience is key to this process, and wanted to give them the backstage pass to clubhouse and exclusive experience of how exciting it is season is starting and all the fun stuff they get.

Membership boxes consist of hats, coupon books, parking passes, Info package, exclusive cups, zip drives with media guide info, group tickets, suites all neatly packed.

Packaging should have a perceived value and be practical as well. Something unique to get members sharing it on their timelines and like opening present at Christmas.

Membership incentives we'll attach our collateral but added special Fan Experiences throughout the year.

Key to deliveries are mascot delivery. Huge PR move and created excitement for our partners and perceived value. Mascots are the ultimate foot in the door and getting them around town going business to business creates excitement for the season and may trigger new business."

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THE TAKE AWAYS

SUCESS/RESULTS

"I think the results were much better this time around. We had a better game plan in place and we were much more organized than in years passed."

THINGS TO WATCH

1. Delivery Schedules

2. Communicating with Season Members

SUPPLIERS, VENDORS, OR PARTNERS USED

• National Ticket

• PermaCard

• Success Promotions

• Fantastapack

• Eventcup.com