Marketing / Teams / Venues

Stadium

Vikings investments

Author Richard T. Gendreau, University of San Francisco

Posted: November 9, 2016

Tagged: value

When Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones invested $1 billion to build AT&T Stadium, he started a trend encouraging teams to invest unprecedented amounts of money to create the ultimate spectator experience. With such hefty expenditures, some of which may or may not include public funding, organizations may be susceptible to criticism on what could be perceived as wasteful spending. However, as Hightower (2014) notes, “the servicescape can be used to leverage positive brand-related outcomes such as consumer loyalty for the sport organization” (p. 143). In spending $1.1 billion to develop U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings were dedicated to creating a servicescape that will be difficult to rival (Muret, 2016, p. 1).

McCarville and Stinson (2014) wrote that “marketers seek to create a space that facilitates delivery of the sport product” and identified lines as one of the greatest burdens faced by sport consumers (p. 55-56). When U.S. Bank was designed, concourse walkways were set to vary between 32 and 55 feet in order to create a balance between having a steady flow of foot traffic while still giving the feeling of an intimate setting (Muret, 2016, p. 1) According to Lance Evans, the senior vice president of stadium designer HKS, the end zone video boards were hung lower than in other stadiums because “It’s a great experience, normally you’re disconnected from the video boards. With these, you almost feel engulfed as you walk around the concourse” (Muret, 2016, p. 1). By addressing these delivery variables, the Minnesota Vikings have created an environment in which fans will be less likely to negatively associate the team or venue with overcrowding and will not feel disconnected from the event while waiting to purchase concessions.

McCarville and Stinson (2014) wrote that sport marketers create strategy using value proposition, which details how you plan to fulfill your consumers’ desires (p. 61). Utilizing methods such as creating product or package bundles, organizations seek to add value to the consumer by maximizing the benefits of attending the event at a lower price point. The Vikings succeeded in this area through the development of Mystic Lake Club Purple, a seating area geared towards millennials (Muret, 2016, p. 1). The Mystic Lake Club Purple seating area is comprised of rooms with couches that can seat six-12 people at an average price of $600 and come with additional benefits such as fantasy football experts to give advice to guests on optimizing their fantasy football lineups (Muret, 2016, p.1).   By creating a living room type of environment at an affordable price point of $50-100 per guest (depending on the size of the group), the Vikings will appeal to fans who are cost-conscious while also providing a fun game-day experience that they can not find at home.

Hightower (2014) defined servicescape as “everything that is physically present about an individual during the service encounter” and wrote that the consumer experience can be affected by ambient, design, and social factors (p. 144-145). With respect to ambient and design factors such as lighting, temperature, architecture, style, and materials, U.S. Bank Stadium offers many features to build brand loyalty among the Vikings fanbase (Hightower, 2014, p. 145). Muret (2016) points out that U.S. Bank Stadium is the “anti-dome” due to the use of glass walls surrounding the main level and a clear plastic material for the roof, which allows natural lighting and absorbs heat from inside the stadium to melt snow while giving views of the Minneapolis-St. Paul city skyline (p.1). By keeping fans connected to the outdoors in a cold-weather market, the Vikings have created an aesthetic that allows fans to be comfortable while simulating the fun of watching a game outdoors.

 

References

Hightower, R. (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:                          Routledge.

McCarville, R., & Stinson, J. (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: Routledge.

Muret, D. (2016, September 5). Nothing Compares. SportsBusiness Journal, 19(21). Retrieved from http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com

About Richard T. Gendreau, University of San Francisco

Richard Gendreau graduated from the George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice in 2003 and is currently in the Sport Management graduate program at the University of San Francisco. Following his graduation from GWU, Richard served as a police officer and field training officer with the Garden Grove Police Department. His plans are to use his law enforcement background to manage safety, security, and emergency service response at sport venues. This is an edited version of a paper prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage from AT&T Stadium, www.attstadium.com/tours