Dynamic Pricing in College Sports

Dynamic pricing in college sports is at an early stage compared to development in the professional ranks. But adjusting prices on the fly based on market conditions at the collegiate level remains an area of keen interest for university administrators and ticketing companies alike.

Barry Kahn, chief executive of Qcue and a key progenitor in the development of dynamic ticketing across sports, said the goal is not simply to raise and lower prices based on supply and demand, but also to help encourage certain behavioral and purchasing patterns and drive larger, strategic objectives. "For low-demand games, for example, it's not just lowering prices to fill the house. A lot of what you're trying to do in driving revenue is getting people to buy better seats. The last thing you want is somebody in the last row with 30 rows of empty seats in front of them."

The Future of College Ticketing?


Dave Butler, Paciolan
Michael Espada, Florida State University
Roger Gardner, Learfield Sports
Barry Kahn, QCue
Ayo Taylor-Dixon, University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is a typical example of a college athletic program experimenting with dynamic pricing. The school last year began to dynamically price for football, and has since expanded the program to basketball. But the school shifts prices at most three times for each game, far less than many pro teams that could have dozens of small price changes for any particular game.

"We're being cautious about it," said Ayo Taylor-Dixon, USF associate athletic director for marketing and revenue development. "We're not yo-yoing our prices. It's about fitting all this into the broader strategy."Many schools and their marketing and ticketing partners, not surprisingly, also are aiming to use dynamically priced single-game tickets as leads to help drive future season-ticket sales.

"If pricing structures can get somebody to sample the product, then you've got a prospect for the season ticket for the following season," said Roger Gardner, vice president of Learfield Sports. "Our job is to create demand. If we do a better job with season tickets, then this fits in nicely."
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Related Topics:

Football, Basketball

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