Football is a big sport at many high schools, and is sometimes referred to as the number one sport in terms of fan attendance for high school athletics. Online ticketing has arisen to solve many of the problems schools face when hosting these bigger kinds of events. Some of those problems include:
- Lengthy admission times with bigger crowds
- Requiring cash from fans in order to buy tickets
- Difficulty with auditing and reporting gate income
- Acquiring paper tickets to distribute at games
Digital ticketing companies take those difficulties and introduce online options that make those problems easier to deal with, and open up the school to additional revenue.
We did a case study on one of our clients who used StateChamps to host its Fall 2016 football season: Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, KS. Through great communication and partnership with the Bishop Carroll staff, the Golden Eagles’ community was quickly educated about the online offering, and sold several hundred tickets online to the season opener.
Throughout the course of the season, StateChamps’ marketing team created custom content to help promote the team’s games through social media platforms like Twitter:
The Bishop Carroll community would see the social media content, retweet and share it with other members of the community, and create a buzz around the event.
As the season went on, online ticket sales followed a predictable trend: regular season games saw regular use from fans who saw the benefit of buying ahead of time and being able to use a credit card. For the bigger games, like their rivalry game against Derby, Bishop Carroll saw hundreds of tickets sold per game.
The approach here is not to completely replace the current system of offering paper tickets at the door.
Online ticketing supplements a school’s existing system, and reduces the stress that athletic staff and volunteers have to deal with on gameday. Most companies issue payment via check or direct deposit in the week following a game, so the school’s business office simply receives a check in the mail.
Instead, the goal is for members of the high school community to have the opportunity to buy tickets before arriving at the game, and with the ability to use a credit card. As we’ll cover in the next section, this is especially useful for visiting fans.
The Online Approach Drives Football Ticket Sales from VISITORS
One of the biggest benefits seen at our client schools was the increased availability of tickets to VISITING fans. We saw this best through working with two of the larger schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma: Broken Arrow High School and Owasso High School.
The two schools offered tickets online for several of their games, and specifically listed a “visitor” option for buying tickets. The tickets were priced the same- it was just a way to see how many visiting fans might be interested in the online option.
The data overwhelmingly showed that visitors who were coming out to support their team were willing to buy tickets online, knowing that ticket lines and parking might cause delays in getting to their seats. By purchasing tickets ahead of time and having them downloaded onto their phone, Oklahoma football fans could park their car, walk straight up to the door and be in the game instantly.
That data suggests that online ticket sales directly impact a school’s ability to collect more income from gate admission, because fans from opposing schools are more willing to attend a game if their ticket purchasing process is more convenient. That means more money in schools’ pockets from gate admission, plus the extra income now available from additional concessions being sold to visiting fans.
Getting started with online tickets? Check out these other resources: