Marketing / Teams

Stadium

Vikings venue value

Author Morgan Fuller, University of San Francisco

Posted: October 21, 2016

Tagged: value

One’s perceived value of a sporting event comes as a result of evaluating the costs and benefits of attending (McCarville & Stinson, 2014). These costs and benefits stem from a number of factors, including experience and delivery variables, as well as the design factors of the servicescape. The new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis attempts to create a greater perceived value by maximizing personal engagement, minimizing discomfort, and focusing on designs that increase brand impact.

Experience variables are those that focus on personal engagement and immersing spectators into the event (McCarville & Stinson, 2014). They grab your attention, and play to your motives for attending a sporting event. In looking to cater to the various motives of those at the game, U.S. Bank Stadium features new premium spaces. The Delta Sky360 Club sits on the playing surface, just feet behind the Vikings’ bench and may be ideal for those who have a sensation-seeking orientation, as described by Pons, Giroux, & Mourali (2014). The Mystic Lake Club Purple may be more fitted for those with a socialization orientation, as it is outfitted for couches and has “a living room feel” according to Lester Bagley, EVP of Public Affairs and Stadium Development (Muret, 2016, para. 27). By catering to the different motivations of their spectators, the Vikings will allow people to feel more engaged and immersed in their experience. Additionally, the new U.S. Bank Stadium’s glass west-side wall serves as a way for spectators to become part of the stadium, if only for a second. The giant mirrored wall creates not only a reflection of the Minneapolis skyline, but creates an engaging attraction. Vikings team president Mark Wilf says, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, this [stadium] is worth more than that…” (Muret, 2016, para. 3). Fans and visitors alike stop to take pictures of their reflections in the wall, visually becoming part of the stadium and the infrastructure surrounding the team.

Delivery variables are those that “minimize various costs for consumers, such as discomfort or inconvenience” (McCarville & Stinson, 2014, p. 53). While the opening of a new stadium can often lead to gridlock and overcrowding as attendees may be disoriented when entering a new building for the first time (Muret, 2016, para. 16), the Vikings have taken steps to avoid this gridlock. Though the upper deck experienced overcrowding at their game against the Chargers, stanchions and portable food and drink carts were used to help dilute the traffic (Muret, 2016, para. 15). As the season continues and facility managers learn more about the flow of spectators in their new stadium, they will be able to move these portable carts to more ideal locations to cut down on traffic and wait times, helping to reduce discomfort for those in attendance.

Hightower (2014) describes the way in which the servicescape, or the physical environment, “has a direct relationship with customer behavior” (p. 144) and can be affected by three sets of stimuli: ambient factors, design factors, or social factors. Design factors are those that are visual in nature and may have stronger impact on purchase behavior and the impact of the corporate brand than ambient factors, which are more non-visual and subconscious (Hightower, 2014). U.S. Bank Stadium and the Minnesota Vikings incorporated many design factors to increase the perceived value of attending a game. The stadium was designed to reflect Minnesota’s “Nordic heritage and its winter climate” (Muret, 2016, para. 7), with sharp angles inspired by shards of ice. Additionally, the end zone boards in the stadium are lower than elsewhere in the NFL, placing them at eye-level for spectators in the bowl and on the concourse (Muret, 2016). This design factor allows fans to remain engaged regardless of their location in the stadium.
 

References

Hightower, R., Jr., (2014). Leveraging sport brands with the servicescape. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging brands in sport business (pp. 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 (pp. 51-65). New York, NY: Routledge.

Muret, D. (2016, September 5). Nothing compares: U.S. bank stadium’s highlight: Bringing the outside in. SportsBusiness Journal, 19(21), 1. Retrieved from www.sportsbusinessjournal.com.

Pons, F., Giroux, M., & Mourali, M. (2014). Consumer behavior and motivation: Why are sport consumers so special? In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging brands in sport business (pp. 21-36). New York, NY: Routledge.

About Morgan Fuller, University of San Francisco

Morgan graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Human Biology and Sociology, and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Sport Management at the University of San Francisco. While at Stanford, Morgan was a varsity athlete on the Synchronized Swimming Team and interned with the Stanford Athletic Department and Cardinal Sports, LLC, a division of Learfield Sports. Morgan currently works as Program Administrator for Positive Coaching Alliance and Partnership Marketing Assistant for the San Jose Earthquakes. Morgan hopes to build on her athletic experience as a member of Team USA to pursue a career in international sports. This is an edited version of a paper prepared forDr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage from USBankStadium, www.instagram.com/usbankstadium.