Pacers Seeing Uptick In Season-Ticket Renewals After Successful '11-12 Season
After advancing to the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals last season, the Pacers "seem to have begun digging themselves out of a deep financial hole several years in the making," according to Anthony Schoetle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Pacers officials said that season-ticket renewals “are near 90 percent, overall season-ticket sales are up 30 percent, and sponsorship sales are up almost 20 percent and climbing.” Pacers Sports & Entertainment Senior VP & Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor said that "suite sales -- super soft for more than five years -- are on the rise, too.” He added that all 28 suites on the Founders Level “are sold out, as are about half of the 43 suites on the Club Level." Taylor also noted that increasing season-ticket renewal "was the first step in making gains." The next step was "ratcheting up advertising at least 10 percent this off-season -- especially for six- and 11-game packages." Taylor "declined to predict specific attendance" for the '12-13 season, but said that he is "confident the team will nearly double the six sellouts of last year." Pacers officials "expect average home attendance to approach 16,000 -- a number that hasn't been eclipsed" since the '05-06 season. But better ticket sales "aren't the only selling points for sponsors." A new scoreboard and sound system "will blast out sponsor messages, and the team will be on national TV seven times this year, compared with once last year." FS Indiana will "televise the remainder of the games, making this the first season every Pacers game will be televised." The team also has "signed seven new sponsors, including Ford Motor Co., IUPUI, Mitsubishi, Roberts Camera, Great Clips and Stonegate Mortgage." Taylor "anticipates signing up to seven more in the weeks after the season opens." He added that the "massive" new scoreboard has created a "buzz with current and potential sponsors." The team "will not use the scoreboard and new sound system until the regular-season opener"(INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/8 issue).
SUPPLY & DEMAND: In Indianapolis, Michael Pointer wrote “things are looking up” for the Pacers. But Fanfare Tickets Owner Renny Harrison said that it was “hard to tell how much that enthusiasm has carried over to the ticket marketplace.” Harrison: “I would say overall that for the marquee games … those seem to be selling a little better than in past years. With that being said, it's still too early to say what overall demand is going to be like.” Taylor said that the Pacers “do not benefit directly from the money spent on the secondary ticket market but ... he does follow it." Taylor: “It’s potentially a big positive. When people are buying and selling our tickets above the price we assign them, that tell[s] us there’s a demand out there, sort of a third-party strength and a demand for our brand” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/9).