7 Stocking Stuffers that Drive Revenue and Attendance in College Athletics

December 6, 2018 Christine Payne

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, there’s still time for your athletics department to take advantage of the holiday shopping season to drive revenue and attendance. What better way than with a range of stocking stuffers that are sure to please fans of all ages.

Here are seven creative seasonal ideas to help get you started!

Special Holiday Packages

Tickets are always high on every fan’s wish list. Who can resist when they are, at least symbolically, wrapped in special holiday apparel? 

The University of Tennessee is giving away an exclusive holiday t-shirt in a deal that they’ve cleverly named their Voliday Package

The package includes four games for the price of three. The free ticket is delivered as a voucher for a later game of your choice when you purchase a trio of tickets for games between Dec. 18 and Dec. 30. 

AudienceView makes it easy to fulfill the packages. Fans simply pick the games they want to attend – men’s, women’s or both – and then choose the size of their t-shirt in a single shopping cart experience. 

In addition to the free ticket, this is a great way to get fans geared up with exclusive, collectible apparel. 

Gift Certificates and Gift Cards

This one may seem old hat but, like Santa’s sleigh, gift certificates and gift cards never go out of style.

In fact, a recent survey by the National Retail Federation revealed that they remain among the top holiday gifts – 56 percent of those surveyed expected to buy gift cards this season. 

The numbers are even higher when you look at year-round statistics: Over $100 billion is spent on gift cards annually and 93% of U.S. consumers purchase or receive a gift card each year.

In college athletics, it’s easy to see why this works. Gift cards offer fans a high degree of flexibility, allowing the recipient to choose a game that fits into his or her schedule. 

Athletics directors will also be interested to know that 72 percent of customers end up spending more than the value of their gift card. Others never use the full value, which ends up being found money for your athletics department. 

Holiday Grab Bags

Even Santa has to clean out his closet once in a while. Why do you think there are so many post-holiday sales? 

College athletics departments are no different – and there’s no better time to do so than during the holiday season. Plus, everyone loves a surprise. Enter the holiday grab bag!

To keep old stock from gathering dust in your storage closet, create a mystery bag full of swag. Include a minimum number of promotional items, like apparel or other items that are left from previous events. Signed memorabilia in some grab bags is a nice touch too.

It’s a win-win for you and your fans. You recoup some revenue and fans get collectible items from past home games, tournaments or bowls.

VIP Packages with Hassle-Free Parking 

Everybody wants good seats to the next big game. Including a place to park might not seem like a great gift – but just ask Santa how hard it is to find a spot to put down that sleigh!

Mid-court or center-ice tickets are one thing, but, if you really want to make your VIP packages stand out, include a parking pass. With so much happening on campus at this time of year, you’ll improve the fan experience by eliminating the need to fight for a spot in a preferred lot. 

Giftable Kids Club Memberships

The holidays are for kids, so why not extend their enjoyment of the season with a kids club membership? Gifting an experience means parents will have fewer toys to trip over — and you can introduce the young people in your life to the excitement of sport. 

Kids club memberships can give youths exclusive access to select ticket deals, team gear and special events, such as a photo with your team mascot.

With a giftable membership redeemed via a parent’s account, an adult has complete control over all communications. You can also consider sending additional targeted offers and even arrange for a specific time on game day to have that treasured mascot photo taken.

Voucher Packages

Another way to offer flexibility is through the use of vouchers.

Instead of choosing a date up front, fans can exchange vouchers for scannable tickets that they can use for any game that fits your criteria.

As an example, Air Force Athletics is driving attendance by selling vouchers for men’s and women’s basketball. The cost is six vouchers for $60, making this an affordable gift that fans can purchase for loved ones – or for themselves!

Liberty University has taken voucher sales up another notch, offering them in large quantities at an even deeper discount.

And, because the vouchers are scannable, schools can track each purchase to determine how many are actually being used.  

Streaker Package

Who can resist a free ticket? A streaker package is a great way to fill empty seats at a time of year when students are away and attendance might be down. 

This one costs the fan nothing unless the tickets go unused. More simply put, fans only get charged if their ticket isn’t scanned in on the day of the event. 

For fans who already have tickets, this is a great way to invite family and friends to come along. And there’s no backing out because they can say they’ll have to pay for the ticket if it isn’t used. Sometimes holiday guilt can be a wonderful thing!

Learn More

These seven stocking stuffer ideas are just the beginning. Want to learn more about taking advantage of the holiday shopping season to drive revenue and attendance for your athletics department?

Check out our webinar for a deeper dive on these topics. Plus, you’ll learn how you can leverage multi-sport packages, a daily price increase strategy, holiday sport passes, overnight experiences, restaurant partners, microsites and more. 

Trust us, this webinar is like the gift that keeps on giving.

You can also reach out to schedule a coffee consultation with Connor Kruggel. He’s our own legendary Kris Kringle – and will send you a $25 Starbucks gift card upon completion of a 30-minute chat!

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