Fans / Marketing / Venues

Stadiums

Raymond James Stadium enhancements

Author Noveen Moinpour, University of San Francisco

Author Shawn Whelchel, University of San Francisco

Posted: April 9, 2016

Tagged: fans / value

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are following trends around the NFL and other major sport venues by upgrading their facilities to renovate and reevaluate their elite club level amenities.  With the addition of two new club sections to Raymond James Stadium prior to the kickoff of the 2016 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to entice an affluent fan base by adding value on both the consumer and the servicescape level.

 

The move by the Bucs plays on a key marketing principle of enhancing the setting in which the sport is consumed as a means of influencing delivery variables. According to McCarville and Stinson (2014), “One of the most important features of the total product is the place where it is bought and consumed” (p. 55) In fact, many leagues and teams are keen to emphasize stadium enhancements to consumers as a sign of added value as well (p. 55). By taking part in a two-year, $100 million stadium enhancement, the Bucs now find themselves with a mean to present additional value and attractiveness to their stadium by marketing the renovations as added value to the customer’s overall experience.

 

In order to impact the patron’s reference pricing to a similar suite experience, the Bucs tested the new concept over the past two seasons to ensure that they were delivering what was expected. Not only did the availability sell out, they also provided customer feedback opportunities in order to capitalize on ways they could enhance the experience for their fans. The new club’s membership fee includes the cost of food, nonalcoholic drinks and access to most events that take place in the stadium year-round with few specialty exceptions (Muret, 2016, para. 3). This package provides value not only as a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, but provides access to other events that may take place within the stadium; it also benefits the University of South Florida’s football team who share the stadium. The access to a variety of experiences with multiple teams, events and entertainers creates a sense of exclusivity for the fans. Through membership of these clubs, their accessibility and ability to socialize with other members will create a new social experience benefitting the fan base.

 

While the objective pricing hasn’t been disclosed, the perceived value of this club membership has increased through the accessibility and entertainment opportunities alone. At a whole new price-point, members essentially gain year-round access to a variety of entertainment, including but not limited to football. This creates interest for a group larger than just Bucs fans; this opens the conversation of revenue to a larger fan base. McCarville and Stinson state that part of the model of value creation includes the clients’ comparison of “the benefits they gained to the costs they believe the endured” (p. 62). By opening this membership level to the stadium versus the team, it will help generate interest, revenue and fans for not only the Bucs, but the stadium’s social value as well resulting in multiple benefits for the price paid.

 

Through these benefits, the client’s assessment of the price they will pay for admission will be influenced positively, lending to a better transaction value for Tampa Bay (McCarville & Stinson, 2014, p. 53). The packaging of these incentives together also use a leveraging technique that offers both benefits and cost reductions to consumer groups that attempt to add even more value (McCarville & Stinson, 2014, p. 62). Furthermore, by listing the benefits prior to releasing information on the cost of admission, the Bucs will be able to influence the transaction value and reference pricing of prospective members. As McCarville and Stinson (2014) state, “ marketing professionals typically offer a favorable context when clients assess their prices. The more favorable the context, the more acceptable the prices seems” (p. 54).

 

The design features of the two clubs are prominent on both the functional sub-dimension and aesthetic sub-dimension. This includes features such as privacy, comfort, and a plethora of televisions situated around the club, which not only enhance the design, but looks to add distraction to potential queues for food or drink. This, in turn, will ease the participation cost of attending a game by distraction (McCarville & Stinson, 2014, p. 57), leading to increased benefits. Lastly, the Bucs looked to enhance the social factor by capping the limit of patrons, which will reduce crowding, satisfying the Stimulus-Organism-Response in a positive manner in regards to the sport firm (Hightower, 2014, p. 146). And while the club’s may not have outdoor seating, the ability to open the front-facing sliding glass doors do not detract from the experience variables of being in the club, allowing Tampa Bay to add value by immersing the client, rather than removing the particular occupant from the setting characteristics (McCarville & Stinson, 2014, p. 53).

 

New stadium advancements and renovations are taking place all over the nation. By upgrading the facilities, amenities and overall game-day experiences, franchises are capitalizing on the socialization and entertainment factors of live sport that look to add value to a brand and its servicescape.

 

References

 

Hightower, R. (2014). Leveraging sport brands with the servicescape. In M. P. Pritchard & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging Brands In Sport Business (pg. 142-156). New York, NY: Routledge

McCarville, R., & Stinson, J. L. (2014). Creating value as part of sport marketing. In M. P. Pritchard & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging Brands In Sport Business (pg. 51-55). New York, NY: Routledge

Muret, D. (February 22, 2016). Buccaneers developing new clubs; HOK designing Barcelona arena. SportsBusiness Journal, 18(43). Retrieved from sportsbusinessdaily.com

About Noveen Moinpour, University of San Francisco

Noveen Moinpour is currently a production coordinator at Pac-12 Networks and is enrolled as a graduate student in the Sport Management Master’s Program at the University of San Francisco. Graduating from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater, Noveen was able to marry her passion of theater and sport through live television broadcast. Noveen is a proud UCLA Bruin and wears her 2010 Softball National Championship ring loud and proud. You can connect with her on Twitter (@noveenjoon) or LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/noveen). This article is an edited version of a paper Noveen prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

About Shawn Whelchel, University of San Francisco

Shawn Whelchel is a sports journalist in the Bay Area covering a variety of organizations for various local websites. He is currently a member of Cohort 44 in the University of San Francisco Sport Management program, along with Noveen, looking to gain a better understanding of the media relations and communications aspects of the sport industry. He can be found on Twitter (@ShawnWhelchel) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/shawnwhelchel). Writing samples can also be found at http://sfbay.ca/author/shawn. This article is an edited version of a paper Shawn prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage by Jared, "Tampa - Outback Bowl - Raymond James Stadium - Buccaneers Pirate Ship", www.flickr.com/photos/jared422/. Accessed via Creative Commons license.