Pacers Senior VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor said that the “season-ticket renewal rate for next season” is around 93%, and season-ticket sales are 15% “ahead of last season,” according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The first seven rows of the lower bowl at Bankers Life Fieldhouse are already filled with full- and half-season ticket holders for the “first time in a decade” and Taylor expects only a “limited number of 11-game lower-bowl ticket packages to be available behind the basket and in the corners.” Meanwhile, the Pacers saw a 10% “gain in sponsorship sales” last season and Taylor “expects a gain of at least that much” for next season. He said that overall merchandise sales during ’13-14 were up 52% "compared to the previous year.” Top-selling items were “player name and numbered T-shirts and headwear.” The team’s “up-and-down playoff performance seems to have done little to dampen surging ticket demand.” To “bolster the effort,” the team launched an ad campaign June 16 featuring President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird “touting the accomplishments of this season and promising to do better next year.” Taylor “isn’t concerned about some of the complaints about the team’s spotty play on the court late in the season.” Taylor: “The fans are showing they’re engaged, and they care. That’s a huge change from where it was five to 10 years ago” (IBJ.com, 6/21).
The Hornets unveiled their new court this morning at Time Warner Cable Arena, the last major piece of the team’s rebranding effort. The court, like the Hornets' new uniforms, was designed in part by Brand Jordan and features a cell pattern stained in the wood with the team’s primary logo at center court. The court has a teal border and purple free throw lanes. It includes for the first time floor advertising, with Novant Health buying the apron signage in front of both team benches. “The court needed to be unique,” said Hornets Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Pete Guelli. "Fans need to understand that they are walking into a new experience and the court is a critical piece of that.” Cincinnati-based Robbins Sports Surfaces manufactured the floor.
Teams with the top picks in tonight's NBA Draft are readying activation plans in their home markets. The Cavaliers have the top overall pick for the second consecutive year and are hosting a free event at Quicken Loans Arena, with Mountain Dew KickStart as the presenting sponsor. The event will include a concert by local band Skinny Moo, a fan zone of interactive activities, games, and $1 hot dogs and sodas. Tickets are being distributed online through Flash Seats, the arena box office, and at Northeast Ohio Discount Drug Mart locations. Fans who claim tickets in advance via Flash Seats and attend the draft "after party" at Horseshoe Casino will also receive two free tickets to a Cavaliers preseason game. The Bucks hold the No. 2 pick, and new Owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry are inviting fans to what the team is billing as the “World’s Largest Draft Party.” The free event is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and will be held outside the Marcus Amphitheater at Summerfest, Milwaukee’s music festival. Since the 76ers' home, Wells Fargo Center, is hosting the NHL Draft tomorrow night, the team, which has the No. 3 pick, opted to hold draft parties at 76 restaurants and bars around Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, with Coors Light as the lead sponsor. Participating establishments have posters, window clings, coasters, table tents and Sixers flags. Ten of the larger locations got 76ers/Coors Light-branded T-shirts, caps, ticket vouchers and autographed jerseys to give away. The Magic, which have the fourth pick, will be holding a draft party at Amway Center, also sponsored by MTN Dew Kickstart. The team said that 8,500 fans already have downloaded free tickets, and it expects upwards of 10,000 to attend.