Jun 10, 2010

We win, or your money back

Here's an interesting article from Darren Rovell about "win insurance" a bit of a trend in sports to refund/credit fans if their team plays poorly. I've heard of "guaranteed win" nights in the minor leagues but this is a bit different. Some highlights:
Tough times have forced even the most creative to be even more creative. For the River City Rascals, an independent Frontier League team based in O’Fallon, Mo., that means selling win insurance for the upcoming season.

When sponsorship talks heated up with the Midwest Agency, a locally based insurance company, the talk focused on bringing more customers into the agency. So the team came up with the idea of selling win insurance.

The team will sell “Midwest Agency Winning Insurance” for $2 if purchased before the start of the eighth inning. The team will sell $5 win insurance in the middle of the eighth, even if the team is losing 10-0.

Ticket prices start at $6, but fans who buy the insurance will collect on the $11 box seats if the team loses. General manager Chris Franklin told CNBC said he can’t imagine the team losing much money, especially considering the fact that it brings repeat customers back to the 2,406-seat ballpark. More than 50 percent of fans last year only attended one of the team’s games and more bottoms in the seats also means being able to make more money at its concession stands.


No team has offered by the game insurance like this, but a few teams have made win guarantees to their season ticket holders. The most risky was the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers, who said for the 2007-08 season they’d refund the entire season to season ticket holders if they didn’t make the playoffs. The Rattlers barely made the playoffs, saving roughly $2.2 million.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were likely the first team to offer a guarantee of sorts in 1987. They didn’t make the playoffs that year, resulting in a reported $500,000 in rebates to fans.

Read the entire article...

And here's another article from The Seattle Times about the MLS Seattle Sounders FC. They'll be giving season ticket holders a one-game credit next season, as a make-good for a poor on-field performance this year.

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