SBJ/Aug. 5-11, 2013/Franchises

New sales, loge boxes lift Hawks’ numbers

A series of offseason marketing efforts by the Atlanta Hawks is driving revenue for the franchise.

With much of the offseason sales period still in play, the Hawks to date have seen total revenue grow 9 percent. The increase is tied to a 12 percent increase in new full-season-ticket sales to date, with a 6 percent increase to date in total ticket revenue.

The team also is benefiting from the expected sellout of seven new loge boxes in Philips Arena expected to generate close to $1 million in additional annual revenue.

The Hawks also have a season-ticket renewal rate tracking close to 88 percent, the same as last season.

More revenue-enhancing loge boxes also are expected, though the team has not yet announced any specific plans. The current boxes are 20 rows from the playing floor and offer all-inclusive food and beverage along with access to other events at the arena.

“We are continuing to look at enhancing our revenue streams,” said Andrew Steinberg, chief revenue officer of the Hawks.

The team’s ticket sales increases have been bolstered by two strategies: The Hawks again will waive service fees attached to the sale of tickets sold through Ticketmaster; and the team has created a year-round season-ticket membership program that delivers benefits to season-ticket buyers with a series of events held throughout the year.

“We are up on new fulls and full-season equivalents, and last year we were No. 3 in the league in group sales, and that is a big part of our business,” team President Bob Williams said.

Much like many other NBA teams that have adopted similar season-ticket membership clubs, the Hawks offer a variety of membership levels designed to provide a “behind-the-curtain” experience for members with events such as meetings with executives and coaches as well as special events.

“It is the first of its kind in the Atlanta market, and we are trying to enhance the value proposition,” Steinberg said.

The Hawks also are completing some new sponsorship deals, but team officials would not disclose specifics.

“We have some solid corporate deals that are coming to fruition and there are some significant deals we are trying to close,” Steinberg said. “That is a big swing.”

Like all NBA teams, the Hawks are looking to secure a deal for the league’s latest piece of inventory on the floor, in front of the team benches. Steinberg would not say whether the team will land a floor-signage deal by the start of the coming season.

“It is an exciting piece of inventory,” he said. “I am bullish on the asset, but you need the right partner.”

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