Many sports organizations are re-evaluating their stadium security measures after tragedies like the Boston Marathon Bombing, including the NFL, which recently implemented a new bag policy. Since these safety measures can significantly affect a fan’s game-day experience, it’s important for sports organizations to make their fans aware of these new policies throughout the entire buying process.
According to Euan Johnston of B2B Marketing, there are five stages in the consumer buying process:
- Problem/need recognition
- Information search
- Evaluation of alternatives
- Purchase decision
Each stage of the buying process should be considered as an opportunity to educate fans about new stadium security policies.
- During the problem/need recognition stage, fans decide that they want to purchase tickets to a game. An organization can include the stadium security policy changes during a commercial for an upcoming game. Another alternative is posting a blurb about the policy changes with an upcoming game schedule in the local newspaper, on the team’s website or on social media.
- A sports organization is going to want to make sure the new policy changes are readily available on its website and social media pages for fans in the information search stage. Were do fans go first when they want to find out more information about purchasing tickets? Those pages will be the most helpful when spreading the word about any new stadium policies. Third-party sources, like newspaper interviews and sports bloggers, are also a good way to get information out to fans.
- When fans are evaluating alternatives, the new security policies could factor into their purchasing decision. Fans could be deciding between going to your sporting event, attending a concert, or seeing a movie. An organization is going to want to focus on promoting all the benefits the new policies bring to fans, such as a safer environment and faster entry into the stadium.
- Fans will expect there to be some mention of the stadium security policy during the ticket buying process when the fan is at the purchasing decision stage. Some key spots to place a link to a new policy are where fans will pick the game or their seat, when the fan is reviewing their purchase before check out, and after checkout when they are able to print out their tickets and other information about the game. If the ticket purchase is over the phone, it’s important to inform the fan about the security changes before and after they purchase tickets.
- Post-purchase is possibly one of the most important stages of the buying process to educate fans about any policy changes. A fan could purchase tickets to a game long before new security policies are enacted. Before game time, a follow-up email with all pertinent game-day information is probably one of the best ways to do this. You can also catch fans early on game-day with social media reminders. If the organization has a text message program, sending a text on game-day would also be helpful. When a fan arrives at the stadium, signage, customer/fan services, and open ticket offices/will-call are great places to remind fans about the new security policies. There should always be some measure on game-day to help fans who missed the message during the beginning stages of the consumer buying process.
The goal with new stadium security policies is to make the fan experience better. By providing information throughout the consumer buying process, sports organizations should have a better chance of spreading knowledge of the new policy to their fans before there are any issues on game-day and, in turn, make their game-day experience a great time for all.
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