SBJ/December 13-18, 2010/Franchises

Nationals roll out new microsite as quick pitch for season tickets

Nationals web

The Washington Nationals last week launched a microsite designed to spur season-ticket sales for next season.

The site, nationals.com/2011, was created with the aid of MLB Advanced Media and the team’s advertising and branding agency of record, Forty Forty. The intent is to create a more streamlined ticketing environment than what exists within the club’s primary online destination, nationals.com.

“The feedback that we got from fans was that the ticketing section within nationals.com wasn’t as easy to use, as simple to navigate, as they wanted,” said Andy Feffer, Nationals chief operating officer. “That experience needed to be improved.”

The new microsite provides details on full-, half- and partial-season-ticket plans. The site also serves as another component of the club’s overall rebranding strategy, one that includes a recently unveiled set of new uniforms and logos and a marketing campaign built around the team logo that’s known as “the Curly W.”

Nationals officials have generally declined to outline ticket sales, and Feffer said it was too early to make firm attendance projections. The 2010 season ended with the Nationals posting MLB’s eighth-lowest total attendance, at 1.83 million.

Feffer did say the club received a “big increase” in new ticket sales last week following the free agent signing of outfielder Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million contract. The pact is nearly three times the previous record for the largest player deal in franchise history, a five-year, $45 million pact for star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman signed last year.

Werth is not part of the new ticketing microsite at present, but over the offseason he will become a significant part of the club’s marketing plan, Feffer said.

The microsite will stay up through Opening Day 2011.

About a dozen MLB teams over MLBAM’s decade-long history have created similar microsites for either sales purposes or to amplify community and charitable initiatives.

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