AFL's Philadelphia Soul: Offering The Best Sports Promotion Ever?
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
We've seen our share of ticket giveaways. I think my favorite was when Winn Dixie bought enough Jacksonville Jaguars seats during the 2002 season to get around the blackout rules and handed out thousands of free tickets.
Well, that promotion has nothing on the Arena Football League's Philadelphia Soul, which is partly owned by Jon Bon Jovi. I'm quoting from a press release here:
The entire hometown of Philadelphia Soul star wide receiver Chris Jackson has been invited by the team to attend its Divisional Playoff game at the Wachovia Center on Saturday, July 5 as part of Chris Jackson Day. The Borough of Morrisville has a population of 10,096 and team President Ron Jaworski is offering everyone to pick up free tickets at a community celebration this Tuesday afternoon, July 1, at Williamson Park.
How crazy is that? Talk about a cheering section.
Because of television commitments, the playoff game has to played on Saturday, July 5th. Realizing they were in a tough spot, the team management brainstormed and came up with the idea to give away tickets to the exact area where their star player comes from.
Here's how the math works. The stadium fits 16,000 fans. Team general manager Rich Lisk told me all 8,000 season ticket holders have a ticket to the game as part of their package. In order to motivate fans to show up, the game will just happen to be the game where season ticket holders can pick up their Bon Jovi-Jaworski signed mini helmets. Everyone's not going to show up (I'd guess less than half), so they easily have enough tickets to giveaway seats to Chris Jackson's neighborhood. As to motivate non season ticket holders, who don't live in Morrisville, the team is giving discounts to people who grow "Soul" patches.
I'm looking forward to seeing the final attendance number. The Philadelphia Soul have, after all, drawn a league record 646,000 fans in their five seasons.
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