Morning Papers Take: Coyotes players hand out tickets in Glendale to woo fans

Posted by David Minuk in Morning Papers take,NHL Morning Papers on November 13, 2009 — 2 Comments

In today’s Western Conference Papers Rebekah L. Sanders of the Arizona Republic discussed how the Coyotes were out and about in the valley giving away free tickets:

Then, on Tuesday, Coyotes stars scattered across Glendale with 150 free tickets, schedules and smiles for fans and hockey newbies alike to drum up support.

Five minutes after arriving at the Arrowhead Towne Center mall, left wing Taylor Pyatt and center Peter Mueller were surrounded by four teenage girls.

“I think he’s gorgeous,” one girl said of the muscular, tattooed Mueller. “Can we take a picture?”

Another, 17-year-old Sarah Meader, hung back. But she bubbled with giddiness at being near the players.

While some might question this as a desperate ploy, I think it is good marketing idea.  Getting the players out into the community more, having them interact with fans, is an important way to build up a relatonship.  It isn’t simply the NHL that is being “forced” to get innovative with ways in which to build up fan/team loyalty.

In the NBA, the New Jersey Nets had a promo which:

For $25,000, the Nets are offering four courtside tickets for 10 games, parking, access to a private lounge at the Izod Center with free food and beverages and something more — a one-hour appearance by a Nets player of your choice at your home, office, school or party.

It is just a function of this economy that fans aren’t choosing sports as a place to spend their money, so it is good for the Coyotes that they are being pro-active in the community.  They need to continue this as well as come up with other innovative ways to continue building that relationship all season if they are to have any hope of getting fans to come out to games.

My only question is why limit it to 150 tickets?  Since the Yotes are only averaging 9,586, why not get a really big promo going?  The article doesn’t detail whether this was a surprise visit or an announced one, but the team could have gone a bit bigger to try and lure fans to the game.

So what do IC readers think of this latest idea by the Coyotes?  Good, bad or other?

  • Bob Roberts

    Why not indeed? I say go for it, go big, make a splash and keep it going. Can’t be bad — if the seats are going to be empty for $0 (US), why not fill them and at least get possible parking and concession $ (US) and atmosphere and all that?

    Maybe the Coyotes will stay in Phoenix, but stories like the one this quote comes from:

    “NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy Bill Daly will meet with Glendale officials Monday to discuss the Phoenix Coyotes’ arena lease and other issues related to the sale of the team.” CP November 9, 2009.

    could be taken two ways: the NHL is serious about keeping the team there or the NHL is dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s so it can move it at some point, saying, “Well we tried to negotiate a better lease and other issues so that an owner could be found to make it go, but…”. It all depends how you look at it.

    On the ice, though, the Coyotes’ great start…

  • @ Bob – I think giving away tickets at this point makes sense (or slashing prices way down). Do it for a month. See if things pick up. If they don’t, well then nothing you can do. I’ve not looked at the business model to see if parking/consessions would compensate the team for lessening the costs of tickets so I can`t say if this is a good idea, but it just seems like best way to get people to the games.

    I also think the NHL is doing some good PR. This way they are making it appear that they are bargaining in good faith. And they now have a fall guy (arena) if things go south (wouldn’t that be Mexico) they can escape blame.