Marketing / Venues

Stadiums

Braves fan value

Author Travis Rowney, University of San Francisco

Posted: November 2, 2017

Tagged: value

One of the first initiatives for Atlanta Braves President of Business Derek Schiller was to create value for the consumers attending games in their new ball park. This included establishing the consumer’s value criteria. The value criterion contains: “Individual things consumers seek as they pursue their sport interest” (McCarville, & Stinson, 2014, p. 61). In other words, what do fans value, and what do they dislike, when attending Atlanta Braves games. The Braves management then created a value proposition, or a plan, for their new stadium, to meet the consumers’ desires. Once the proposition is successfully developed, a stronger connection between the brand and the client can be made. Clients, in this case Atlanta Braves fans and consumers, will be have a much better experience in the new stadium, building loyalty and brand identification.

Experience variables focus on “personal engagement and immersion rather than removal” (McCarville, & Stinson, 2014, p. 53).  With the opportunity to create more experience variables with a new ballpark, the management had to work with delivery variables first. Delivery variables are things that “minimize costs for the customers; they rarely create personal satisfaction” (McCarville, & Stinson, 2014, p. 53). There were many obstacles that came with attending an Atlanta Braves baseball game at Turner Field. Downtown traffic and parking was frustrating and insecure. Another important factor was before and after game entertainment. There were very few bars or restaurants nearby to serve consumers. There was no value in getting to a game early, and staying after to eat, drink, and socialize. The new SunTrust ball park has proved to be a valuable experience for consumers. The new stadium is located 14 miles up the interstate. According to a heat map of ticket consumers, most of them come from the “northern burbs,” which ties into the new location of the ball park, making the trip more convenient for fans (King, 2017, para. 52). The new ballpark is also encircled by a “50-acre mixed-use development” which includes all kinds of residential estate, offices, restaurants, and nightlife (King, 2017, para. 50). These new experience variables provide a better social environment which creates a much more valuable experience for consumers.

Following the lesson of the Braves, the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Hawks are creating a new “servicescape” with their new stadium and arena. A servicescape is defined as everything that is “physically present about an individual during the service encounter” (Hightower, 2017, p. 144). Their goal is to create an environment that is entertaining, comfortable, and visually attractive. Design factors are “elements more visual in nature” (Hightower, 2017, p. 145). Design factors associated with the new facilities will give Atlanta teams “a reset” that leads to longer success (King, 2017, para. 62).

There are two sub-dimensions of design factors: functional and aesthetic (Hightower, 2017, p. 145). The wide concourses at the new Falcons home, Mercedes Benz Stadium, will now offer food from more than a dozen local restaurants. The functional amenities, along with its lower pricing, will move away from the “fan-as-hungry-hostage” markups associated with many sporting venues (King, 2017, para. 65). The Hawks are taking an aesthetic approach to their improved arena. Before, there was a large drop off in perceived value between people who sat in regular seats and people who sat in premium seats and suites. Now, the renovated Philips Arena will provide more visual and audio entertainment to all fans. The Hawks want to create an experience similar to a “great night out” that their target audience values (King, 2017, para. 64). This includes providing a barber shop hosted by rapper Killer Mike. This symbolizes the Atlanta community and provides an aesthetic trademark. These factors will have a strong effect on the “servicescape, purchase behavior, and the corporate brand’s potential impact” (Hightower, 2017, p. 145).

 

References

Hightower Jr., 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, NY: Routledge.

King, B. (2017, July 10). Reimaging Atlanta. Sports Business Journal, 20(12). Retrieved from www.sportsbusinessjournal.com

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.

 

About Travis Rowney, University of San Francisco

Travis Rowney (@rowntown23) graduated from San Jose State University in 2016, with a Major in Communication studies and Minor in Journalism. He is a Masters student in Sport Management at the University of San Francisco, while being a Graduate Assistant in Game Day Video and Live Streaming at the USF Dons Athletic Department. Travis is a former Division 1 Golfer and Club Lacrosse player at San Jose State and is currently pursuing internships in media operation, event operations, and marketing. This article is an edited version of a paper Travis prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage by @SunTrustPark, "#SunTrustPark inaugural season logo! Is it April 14, yet?", Retrieved from www.instagram.com/p/BNFuEWbA6h7/?taken-by=suntrustpark.