SBD/November 26, 2012/Colleges

Univ. Of Minnesota Offering "Golden Ticket" Promotion Through Cyber Monday

The Univ. of Minnesota athletics department unveiled an "interesting ticket promotion" on Black Friday and extended it through midnight tonight on its mygophersports.com website," according to Michael Rand of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. With The Golden Ticket promotion, a fan for $75 can "purchase a pass to all nine Gophers men's basketball Big Ten home games or a different pass to all 10 men's hockey games after Jan. 1." However, the catch is "if a pass-holder goes to a game in which Minnesota loses, the pass is deactivated and he or she can't go to any more games." If they win, though, it is "game on." The move is a "bit of a strategic gamble." The men's basketball seats are "in the upper level behind the baskets, and sell for $30 to $50 per game, if sold individually." The men's hockey tickets "are standing room only and have similar per-game prices." As of yesterday, "about 30 Golden Tickets for men's basketball had been sold." UM Ticket Manager Brent Holck said that "only a handful of hockey passes were sold ... but marketing efforts will ramp up" today (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/26). ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted the idea of the deal "is simple: Get someone who hasn't typically purchased tickets to try it out." That fan will "come see lower-interest games because he or she doesn't want to lose out on the value, and it will keep pass usage low (they're selling 250 Golden Tickets) for the higher-interest games." The program was "devised by AudienceView." This type of ticketing promotion "only works ... with a middle-of-the-road team." If a team "isn't any good, no one is going to have faith to buy the ticket." UM was "picked to finish sixth in this year's Big Ten media poll" (ESPN.com, 11/23).
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