SBD/May 24, 2011/Research and Ratings

Padres Top All MLB Clubs In Survey Grading Season-Ticket Sales Staffs

The Padres' season-ticket sales staff "scored the highest performance rating among a field of MLB clubs in a recent mystery shopper survey" conducted by Ohio-based research firm IntelliShop, according to David Broughton of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The study, "thought to be the first of its kind to be conducted across an entire league," graded team sales agents’ "proficiency by having two dozen professional mystery shoppers telephone each club to inquire about buying season tickets." The shoppers "evaluated how well the agents performed through the various steps of the sales process." The following chart lists team-by-team rankings (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/23 issue).

RANK
TEAM
SCORE (MAX: 100%)
1
Padres
63%
2
Indians
59%
3t
Yankees
53%
3t
Rays
53%
5
A's
51%
6
Pirates
50%
7t
D'Backs
49%
7t
Braves
49%
9
Mets
47%
10t
White Sox
45%
10t
Nationals
45%
12
Royals
44%
13t
Dodgers
43%
13t
Giants
43%
15t
Astros
41%
15t
Brewers
41%
17
Rangers
39%
18
Orioles
36%
19t
Reds
35%
19t
Marlins
35%
21t
Angels
34%
21t
Mariners
34%
21t
Blue Jays
34%
24
Tigers
28%
25
Rockies
25%

METHODOLOGY: In the month leading up to each club's home opener, each MLB team was contacted by an IntelliShop rep posing as a potential season-ticket buyer. The Phillies, Twins, Cubs and Red Sox stated, during three separate mystery calls, that they had no season tickets available. As a result, they were excluded from the survey. The Cardinals, similarly, capped their season-ticket sales shortly after the project began (after 10 mystery calls were completed), so they also were excluded. For the remaining 25 clubs, between 20 and 24 calls were made to each club, with each call marking a survey opportunity. Shoppers were educated on the teams and the physical layouts of the teams' stadiums, and they were trained to sound disappointed that the season seats they wanted would cost as much as they did once they learned the quoted price for those desired seats was more than their budget. This allowed IntelliShop to measure which alternatives the sales agents used to overcome the price objection. The survey consisted of 27 mostly multiple-choice questions. While it was possible for a team to score a perfect 100, it was improbable that every option for every question would be covered to get that 100 result.

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