Just what is a season ticket holder? Does it mean that I am holding a season ticket? Of course it does. But is that the best way to describe a team’s most loyal fan? I think not. And neither does the Detroit Pistons.
A couple months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the CMO for Palace Sports and Entertainment (owners of the Detroit Pistons) at an event we hosted during AdWeek. As we started chitchatting, I was just blown away by his point of view. Being a long-time season ticket holder to the San Francisco Giants, it has always bugged me that I am called a season ticket holder. I am a fan; a passionate, and loyal fan. And that is exactly what the Piston’s think too – so they are taking steps to make sure their fans feel special.
As the Pistons kick-off a new season, Detroit is reaching out to its season ticket holders in a far more personalized way. They want to maintain an ongoing conversation by listening and responding to fan feedback. They are working to go the extra mile so that their most loyal fans feel like they matter more than just a specific seat, in a specific row, at their arena.
To be honest, going this extra mile seems like a no-brainer. It is something that every professional team should do. Think about it: season tickets are expensive and a huge luxury. There are plenty of things I could spend my money on but each year, but I re-up for my beloved SF Giants seats. I love it. But, I can’t say I feel as loved by the Giants as much I love them.
Why? It all comes back to feeling like I matter. Sure, we get a phone call at the end of the season to get my feedback about what could be done better. And we get an email thanking me for the renewal purchase. During the season, we get generic emails about concerts and playoff tickets. But the trick to making me feel like I matter is to engage me. When the team sends me offers, they should be based on my unique history, the ways I have engaged with them. During the season, the team should engage me in a two-way conversation, listening to what I like and don’t like showing that they are paying attention.
Frankly, it is quite simple: make me feel like I am more than Section 127, Row 3, Seat 9.
Hats off to the Pistons. They get it.