Phoenix Rising Turns to Pass Options to Give Fans and Students Flexibility

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A look at a few members of the Phoenix Rising. (Photo via Phoenix New Times)

As an upstart USL (United Soccer League) franchise with MLS dreams, the Phoenix Rising are working hard to establish a foundation of devoted fans. Shrewd initiatives such as handing out free car magnets to circulate the brand and build affinity within the community has allowed the franchise to take the right steps forward towards making their mark in a crowded Phoenix sports scene.

Magnets aside, the Rising have stepped their game up when it comes to providing their fans with ticketing options that best suit their needs. Piggybacking on the subscription ticketing model that has gone vogue in sports, the Rising have begun implementing their own system that provides tickets to every home match this season for a one-time fee.

The “Phoenix Pass,” the first option that is open to anybody, gives a fan a standing room only ticket to each Rising home match and a Didier Drogba bobblehead for $99 per season. The second option, the “Rising U Pass,” provides a standing room only ticket to enrolled college students along with the Drogba bobblehead for $49 per season. Each pass comes with the possibility of of getting a seat upgrade 48 hours prior to the start of a match. Both price points fall far below seats that can be purchased of traditional season tickets, and is right in line with how professional franchises are pivoting to accommodate consumers.

“I would be shocked if there is a season ticket in two or three years. The season ticket will be the subscription model,” said Sam Doerr, VP of Marketing and Sales of the Phoenix Rising. “It is the future of sports ticketing and allows for more flexibility. I believe it will have more success in soccer due to the demographics of our fans.”

This system is laying the groundwork for the subscription model that will be offered during future seasons, where fans will be able to choose from different tiered subscriptions that will vary in price and offerings. For instance, one fan may choose, a one-month plan, one may choose a three-month plan, or one may really feel the fever and go for the full-season pass.

“A full season ticket that costs $300 is more daunting for people to purchase than say, $8.99 monthly,” Doerr added.

Indeed, framing is an important cog in the art of selling. With millennial buyers being conditioned to subscription purchasing, clubs like the Rising have a leg up in engaging with the next wave of sports consumers.