After seeing two years with steady attendance declines, the Staten Island Yankees (short season A; NY-Penn League) front office is doubling down on a small-business sales strategy.
When Nostalgic Partners bought the team from Mandalay Baseball Properties and the New York Yankees, the team’s marketing focus changes from corporate accounts to small-business owners seeking an all-inclusive experience. Many teams have been successful with this kind of shift, and judging the success of a MiLB team with no access to financials like per caps is always a complicated thing, so take reported attendance declines with a grain of salt. Team president Jane Rogers says the new strategy will work out in the long run:
The primary task at hand is rebuilding an attendance base that has floundered in recent seasons as a weakened economy collides with an industry that fights not to lose its novelty in an increasingly competitive entertainment market. Reported attendance figures dipped more than 34 percent last summer, from 5,664 fans per game in 2011 to 3,715 in 2012. It also was a noticeable decline from 2009 and 2010 seasons when the club reported selling out 25 of its 38 home games….
Rogers said there has been a major marketing shift back from Mandalay’s corporate emphasis to an all-inclusive strategy geared toward small-business owners on Staten Island. She said stadium suites, many of which often have been unoccupied during games, are now more affordable and attractive for private parties.
“We don’t want to alienate the mom-and-pop business,” said Rogers. “Whatever your advertising needs are and whatever you can afford, we can make it work. As for our ticket sales, we’re concentrating on 22 core games (post-game Fireworks shows on weekends, Cyclone games, Fourth of July, etc.) and building them up. Let’s take what would be a good night and make it a better night … perfect something you know is already good and the idea is to get a sold-out crowd, to get as many people in here as possible.”
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