SBD/December 7, 2012/Franchises

Suns' "Satisfaction Guaranteed" Game Draws Season-High Crowd, Positive Atmosphere

Suns President Jason Rowley on Friday said the team's "Satisfaction Guaranteed" money-back promotion around Thursday night's home game against the Mavericks, which drew a season-high announced crowd of 18,506 at US Airways Center, created a “positive vibe in the building.” While the Suns lost the game 97-94, Rowley noted the promotion was "not set up as a win-loss guarantee," but intended to be "about the entire organization" and the gameday experience. While admitting that experience is largely "about the basketball side," Rowley stressed that the success of the promotion rested mainly in team staff bringing their "A-plus game," and in the gameday improvements made in the arena during the offseason. Thursday’s attendance beat the season average by about 3,000. Data is not yet available on the number of fans who might request a refund, but Rowley anticipates the "vast majority" of attendees will be content with the in-arena experience. He cited early reaction from local media and fans, some of whom were interviewed by TNT's Craig Sager during the game broadcast. Rowley said he was "surprised how much attention it got" from the media and "thrilled to see the positive reaction." When asked if the Suns would bring back the promo or possibly make it a regular feature of its marketing plan, Rowley said, "It is important to see how the redemption actually goes, but I wouldn't remotely rule it out" (Preston Bounds, THE DAILY).

FEELING GOOD ABOUT THE PRODUCT: CBS Sports Network’s Allie LaForce was in favor of the guarantee because it means the Suns are “confident that if they can get you in the stands, that you’ll enjoy your time” (“Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 12/6). But TNT’s Kenny Smith said, “I would never have guaranteed anything.” TNT’s Ernie Johnson said, “Give them credit for a good idea.” But Smith replied, “It’s not. It’s impossible to guarantee somebody a good time” (“Inside the NBA,” TNT, 12/6). The Miami Herald’s Israel Gutierrez prior to the game said, “I see thousands of requests for money-back guarantees because how are you going to prove that I had fun at the game? … That’s free basketball.” But Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said, “Fans will be nice. They’re not going to ask for their money back” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 12/6).
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