Dynamics beyond the sidelines
More Than a Game
Monday, August 29, 2005
By Ron Cherubini
Clock ticking on Ticket
initiative looking for big finish
TICKET CHALLENGE OFFICIAL
All current football
season ticket holders (account holders) as of July 31 are
New paid football
season ticket orders received from 12:01 a.m. Aug. 1, 2005,
through 11:59 p.m. Sept. 2, 2005 will be eligible.
All types of season
tickets orders will be eligible with the exception of the
All new season
ticket orders that include a referral name must have only one
name (first and last) to be eligible. Online orders should
include this in the COMMENT box.
In the event of
ties, a drawing will determine the winner(s).
Winners will be
announced the week of September 12.
ECU SID and Bonesville.net
were used in compiling this article.
With just three days left in August and less
than a week remaining before the East Carolina Pirates host the Duke Blue
Devils in the 2005 season opener, the ECU ticket office, the Pirate Club,
the Athletic Director’s office, and ECU Sports Marketing are burning the
Their preoccupation: an effort to solicit,
field, process and deliver not only a packed house for Saturday's game, but
a record number of season tickets to usher in the 2005 campaign.
To that end, since August 1st, the athletic
department has been full-speed ahead in promoting and running the Pirate
Season Ticket Challenge in an effort to generate a significant spike in the
overall season ticket count, a primary performance indicator for Division
I-A football programs.
“I don’t think that we’ve done anything like
this before,” ECU Sports Marketing Director Craig Curtis said. “We got into
it a bit during spring with online renewals, but the (August challenge) was
the result of wanting to come up with new and different ideas.”
Curtis said that the unstated goal of the
August Challenge was 1,000 new season ticket holders and that the initiative
is closing in on that goal.
“This drive is going very, very well,” Curtis
said. “We usually get the report on Wednesdays so I don’t have the exact
numbers but I feel like we are approaching that number. We usually see
increased activity in August, but we feel like this August has been much
busier at the Ticket Office than (usual).”
The challenge is a referral-based challenge in
which any season ticket holder who refers a new season ticket purchaser will
be credited with the referral. There is no restriction on how the new
purchaser may acquire tickets (online, in person, etc.). Each referring
ticket holder will be tracked for total number of purchaser referrals.
At the end of August, the referrals will be
tabulated and the season ticket holder(s) who has referred the most new
season ticket buyers and total new season ticket sales will be awarded the
Grand Prize, a Pirate Prize Package which includes an invitation for the
winner and three guests to a luncheon with Coach Skip Holtz and the ECU
football staff, a football autographed by Holtz, an ECU Golf Shirt, and 10
complimentary tickets to one home game of choice on the 2005 schedule along
with 10 complimentary invitations to a pre-game tailgate VIP reception for
The grand prize also includes recognition on
the field at one of this season's home games.
The spring ticket drive winners unanimously
pointed to the luncheon with Coach Holtz as the ultimate prize and a great
time with lasting memories.
In addition to the Grand Prize winner, five
others will be awarded Pirate Prize Packs based upon the number of new
ticket accounts referred to ECU Athletics.
For those new season ticket holders, there is
also the opportunity to win a similar prize. The new season ticket holder
who orders the most new season tickets for the 2005 season between August
1st and September 2nd will win the grand prize package as well. All other
new season ticket holders will be entered into a random drawing for one of
five additional prize packages.
Curtis reminds new season ticket account
holders to be “sure you let the ticket office know who referred you” so that
proper credit will be given to the referring ticket holder.
To the larger issue of season ticket sales,
Curtis believes that this August push should help move the season ticket
sales to nearly 15,000 for this coming season.
“At this point last year, we were at just over
14,100 season tickets sold,” Curtis said last week. “We’ve passed that. With
10 days out, we (had) sold more season tickets than a year ago. ...”
ECU Sports Marketing focuses its heaviest
sales efforts on the region from Tidewater, VA, to Wilmington, NC, as this
is where the heaviest concentration of market is. Targeting alumni networks
and leveraging opportunities for exposure through the Pirate Club and
traditional advertising mediums, the athletic department's sales arm has
been pushing hard this summer.
Though it has a ways to go to hit the record
number of more than 16,000 in 2000, the Sports Marketing group sees promise
in the response, particularly in the area of ticket purchases by the
“Corporate sales have taken off this year,”
Curtis said. “We unveiled a new plan last year and a number of businesses
participated and I think the word got out and we have really seen an
increase in the number of participants and number of corporate season
With game week underway, time is running out
for the fan base to push to that season ticket record. Whether the final
goal is achieved or not, the August Challenge is likely to stay part of the
marketing strategy leading up to football season each year. Not only has it
pumped up the ticket sales for the final month before the season, it also
has helped raise the excitement level around Greenville.
If you would like to take part in the August
Challenge or would simply like more information, call the ECU Ticket Office
AUGUST TICKET CHALLENGE OFFICIAL RULES:
All current football
season ticket holders (account holders) as of July 31 are eligible.
New paid football season
ticket orders received from 12:01 a.m. Aug. 1, 2005, through 11:59 p.m.
Sept. 2, 2005 will be eligible.
All types of season
tickets orders will be eligible with the exception of the Corporate
All new season ticket
orders that include a referral name must have only one name (first and
last) to be eligible. Online orders should include this in the COMMENT
In the event of ties, a
drawing will determine the winner(s).
Winners will be announced
the week of September 12.
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02/23/2007 02:06:07 PM