Picks of the Week: November 26, 2018
Account Manager, Consulting
Fan Experience and its Effects on Sponsorship – Mercedes Benz Field
This season, the Atlanta Falcons came forward with a brand-new food and beverage pricing model which lowered them in many instances by over 50% from last season. This came as a reaction to low fan satisfaction scores in this area and the Falcons management making these a focus. The Falcons were only able to lower prices this drastically by changing the traditional relationship teams have with their concessionaire. Instead of a revenue-sharing model that incentivized high prices, lower food quality and lower service, they moved to a partnership model where they pay the concessionaire a flat management fee and the team controls the rest (price, quality, staffing).
As the team was implementing this pricing model, they projected it would increase total sales by around 25% and lose them $4 million in relation to last season. What has actually happened so far is that the Falcons have drastically increased their fan experience scores, seen an uptick in season ticket sales and actually realized a 53% increase in food and beverage sales over last season.
This trend of teams making drastic changes to increase fan satisfaction scores will be interesting to track over the next few years. As the at-home viewing experience continues to become more attractive to fans, teams may have to reassess how important fan satisfaction is to the health of their franchise/revenue streams. There are also opportunities for brands to help improve fan experience through their activations and programs. It will be instrumental for properties and brands to work together in tandem to address these issues as they arise.
Account Executive, LIVE
Fortnite x NFL
In recent weeks, Fortnite and the NFL announced that they were entering into a partnership that would allow players to dress their avatars in NFL uniforms. Although very popular amongst players, this limited-edition activation has already been removed from the digital store due to the quick turnover seen within the game. This official league partnership comes after strong support has been shown at both the team and player level for Fortnite.
Showing authentic player support, Steelers receiver Juju Smith-Schuster teamed up with Drake, Travis Scott and Ninja for a game of Fortnite earlier in 2018 while the Jordan Poyer walked through his off-season routine where Fortnite was a prominent hobby in a Buffalo Bills release twitter video. In September, the Detroit Lions showed support at the team level by inviting Ninja to one of their home games; Ninja then chose a Detroit Lions skin when the option became available in the game. Rachel Hoagland, head of Gaming & E-Sports at the NFL, credited the authentic support throughout the league in addition to the games wide reach and global audience as driving factors in this partnership.
This partnership draws attention to the increased importance of in-game assets for brands as the E-Sports and gaming industry grows exponentially. The development of new, fictional gaming worlds is now providing a platform for brands to activate in creative avenues.