SBD/September 1, 2011/Franchises

Jaguars Launch Preseason Ticket Promotion To Help With Regular-Season Sales

Jaguars have at least 10,000 tickets to sell for home opener to avoid blackout
With almost 11,000 tickets "left to sell to avoid a TV blackout" for Week One of the NFL season, the Jaguars are “trying a new marketing tactic," according to Ashley Gurbal of the JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The Jaguars are “giving away tickets” to their preseason game against the Rams tonight. The team's mascot announced the promotion on Twitter yesterday morning, and fans who mention the mascot while buying tickets for next Sunday's home opener against the Titans “will receive free tickets” to tonight’s game. Those fans will receive the “same number of free tickets that they bought” for Titans-Jaguars. Gurbal noted the team “can’t give away tickets to fill seats to avoid a blackout in the regular season, but blackout rules don’t apply to preseason games” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/30). As of Tuesday afternoon, a “little more than 10,000 tickets needed to be sold to avoid a season opener blackout.” Jaguars Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Macky Weaver said, "The last thing we want is the first regular season game to be blacked out." He added, "With the 9/11 significance of the game and the hated Tennessee Titans as the opponent, we're going to have a big rally here in the next 10 days." The team is offering a promotion for “every ticket purchased through the organization, $10 is donated to the charity of your choice.” The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida is “hoping the latest ticket promotion will help boost ticket sales” (ACTIONNEWSJAX.com, 8/30).

REELING THEM IN: In Palm Beach, Ben Volin noted Dolphins coach Tony Sparano yesterday “gave a de facto State of the Union address” at the team’s kickoff luncheon, but it “served as much as a plea for fans to show up to the stadium and help the home team avoid TV blackouts.” Sparano said, “I’m talking to the fans, the supporters -- we need your help. We need you in that stadium. This team needs your support. They need your undying loyalty” (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 8/31). Meanwhile, Tribune Co. sports writers weighed in on the Dolphins’ plans to honor the Univ. of Florida's ’08 football team during a Broncos-Dolphins game this season. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Dave Hyde wrote the promotion is “a really dumb idea.” Hyde: “Can’t they see how this is a slap at Canes fans?” The L.A. Times' Baxter Holmes: “Swing and a miss.” The Orlando Sentinel's George Diaz wrote, “This reeks of a desperate ploy to snag a few Orange and Blue fans to blend in with the fading number of Aqua jerseys in the stands.” But the Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei added, “What the Dolphins are doing by honoring the Gators is all about reaching out to another fan base and selling themselves. They hardly can be blamed for that” (LATIMES.com, 8/31).

HOT ON THE MARKET: The Bills announced that their home opener against the Raiders and the third home game against the Eagles are “sold out.” The Bills also revealed that there are “only limited tickets for the second game” against the Patriots (BUFFALO NEWS, 9/1).
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