*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else.
From 2010 through 2014, the San Francisco Giants were dominant on the field, scooping up three World Series victories in five seasons. Since then, the team has only made the playoffs once in the last four years.
Boasting a seven-year sellout streak until 2017, the team is now looking at new ways to keep fans engaged with an on-field product that hasn’t lived up to expectations set by past success, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
What do you need to know?
1. The team, which finished 3rd or 4th in attendance each of the last eight seasons, currently finds itself 13th in the league.
2. One of the changes includes having weekday games start at 6:45 p.m. instead of 7:15 p.m., giving fans the opportunity to be home earlier during the week.
3. Another change includes forgoing the annual hike in season-ticket prices this season.
4. In an effort to improve the fan experience in the venue, the team unveiled a new $10 million scoreboard this season. At over 150-feet-by-70-feet, it is the third-largest in the league.
Focus groups prove successful…
After another poor on-field performance last year, the team turned to focus groups to make sure they were getting a pulse on their 30,000 season ticket holders. Hosting 10 of these focus groups after the season, many of the strategies implemented this season have come as a direct result of those groups.
The biggest, according to Schulman, was the team reducing their season-ticket base by 2,500 by limiting sales to legal ticket brokers. The goal? Give season-ticket holders the chance to get more money for their tickets on the secondary market.
“We need to learn as much as we can from them so we can be selling more of what the customer wants and not what we want to sell.” – Russ Stanley, the Giants’ managing vice president of ticket sales and services, to Schulman about the benefits of the groups.
Is it all bad?
While the total butts in seats might not be ideal for the team, there are other metrics that ownership is likely very pleased with.
For one, according to Forbes, the team, now valued at $3 billion, is the fifth-most valuable team in Major League Baseball.
The team has also done a good job at maximizing the fans it has when it comes to revenue opportunities. According to the same Forbes report, the Giants make $183 in revenue per fan, far and away the most in the league. The next closest? The Red Sox at $105 per fan.