This week’s half-price tickets/dollar dogs promotion got me thinking more about the Reds’ fairly unique situation as a “regional draw” team. There are others who lack an enormous city fan base, but who have a significant multi-state following, like the Rockies, Royals, and Cards, but the geographic scope of Reds Country is often offered as an explanation for why the Reds don’t draw particularly well on “short notice” (though they’ve had some amazing walk-up crowds the last couple years), or when school is in session (though they also do very well with the Business Day Specials).
In any event, it seems that the Reds could benefit more than most teams by having more, and more accurate market data. They really need to know who their customers are (both the regulars and the infrequent guests), where they’re coming from, how often they come, etc., etc.
Some businesses just pester their customers for such information (“Your Zip code, please?”), while others offer something in exchange, in the way of a registration/membership/affinity plans – something similar to a frequent flyer program, grocery store or movie theater club card. (I’m assuming they have those back in Ohio).
The Padres and Dodgers both have something like this for season ticket holders and anyone else interested in signing up (The Padres have a special club for kids, too). The program specifics differ, but each have stadium kiosks where you scan your card every time you attend a game, and earn entry into prize drawings and earn points toward rewards. The unstated bargain is that in exchange for the trinkets, you’re giving the team personal data that they can use to market their services to you (and others). It’s also fun, though, and an inexpensive way to continue building fan loyalty — the fan who carries a Reds Rooters Club card in his wallet is a fan who’s coming back.
Do the Reds have anything like this? I can’t find one.
I’m sure MLB.com and the other MLBAM ventures provide excellent demographic information, though from a narrow (hard-core) segment of the fan base. Seems like this would be an inexpensive (i.e. corporate sponsored) way to learn a lot more about their market, build their mailing list, and encourage loyalty. And it would be fun.
Feel free to pass this idea on to Castellini and the gang – and don’t say I never try to help.