SBJ/Dec. 16-22, 2013/Franchises

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  • DePaoli, Mets are working for the weekend

    The new head of business for the New York Mets thinks his fans want more weekend fun.

    Accordingly, a promotional calendar built around Friday, Saturday and Sunday games is one of the hallmarks of the new way Lou DePaoli, the Mets’ executive vice president and chief revenue officer, is marketing the team.

    Lou DePaoli has built the Mets’ promotional calendar around Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
    Photo by: TERRY LEFTON / STAFF
    Even before the Mets started to fill in their roster from the free agent market with the likes of outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Bartolo Colon, research from Turnkey confirmed what DePaoli suspected when he came to the job from the Pittsburgh Pirates in July — weekends are where it’s at. So the Mets have designed a promo calendar with those days in mind.

    Targeting ’tweens to younger 30-something singles, there are 12 T-shirt giveaways (“Free Shirt Fridays”) on Friday nights and four concerts on Saturdays, including Boyz II Men and Huey Lewis. The 40 promotional dates (all Friday through Sunday) are eight more than the Mets had during the 2013 season.

    Single-game tickets for 2014 went on sale earlier this year.

    “We’d had a lot of midweek and Saturday day games, but fans told us Saturday night is a better opportunity,” said DePaoli, inside his office overlooking Citi Field.

    Sundays are being pegged as family days, with family fun planned for the plaza outside the park and kids being allowed to run the bases during the “Mr. Met Dash” after every Sunday game.

    Mets attendance has declined for five consecutive seasons, during which the team has averaged a .462 winning percentage. Last season, the Mets averaged 26,696 a game while going 74-88 for the second straight year.

    “On-field performance is critical, of course,” DePaoli said, “but also, maybe we just haven’t been giving fans the right value proposition.”

    The Mets also are augmenting their sales and marketing staff, adding three sales positions and two service positions, plus 10 additional ticket sales positions, and building an in-house group to generate analytics around ticket sales and sponsorship ROI.

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