This post is from guest blogger Brian Gainor:
If you were offered the chance to go to an NBA game with a group of friends, what would be your dream scenario? Courtside seats? A meet-n-greet with the team cheerleaders? Unlimited drinks? Post-game interviews?
As NBA organizations continuously look for new ways to fill arena seats and provide incremental value to fans, a new trend sweeping across the league are "Guys Night Out" promotional nights. "Guys Night Out" themes have been commonly implemented throughout the years, but NBA organizations are now beginning to get extremely creative with the way they leverage their supporting partners and their most sought after assets.
"Guys Night Out" packages often include tickets, beer/soda, hot dogs, and a meet-n-greet opportunity with the dance team, all at a discounted price for fans. But in the past two years, NBA teams have been expanding their "Guys Night Out" offerings to include sports bar passes, dance team calendars, personal hostesses, pint glasses, $20 gift cards redeemable at the team shop, and passes/gift cards from supporting entertainment partners.
The key to a unique "Guys Night Out" package is tying in appropriate corporate partners. Presenting sponsor categories can range from alcoholic beverage providers (AB, MillerCoors, Heineken, etc.) to entertainment properties (theme Parks, Dave & Busters, movies) to nighttime destinations (sports bars, nightclubs, post-game parties, etc.). "Guys Night Out" themed nights provide brands with a way to directly engage with the end consumer in a compelling manner.
Tickets for "Guys Night Out" sections can range anywhere from $12.50 (Indiana Pacers, '07-'08) to $62.25 per person (Toronto Raptors' lower bowl seats, '04-'05). To attract different segments of consumers, NBA organizations commonly offer "Guys Night Out" and "Girls Night Out" packages in groups of two (2) or four (4) in the lower bowl and upper bowl sections.
Some of the best "Guys Night Out" packages that NBA teams are selling in 2008-09 include:
Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers offer the best "Guys Night Out" package available: four tickets, four domestic drafts, four hot dogs, four Philadelphia Park Sports Bar passes, four Sixers Dancers calendars, a special meet-n-greet with the Sixers Dancers and four Dave & Buster's $10 Power Cards for either $175 (lower level ends) or $149 (mezzanine corners) (either $43.75 or $37.25 per ticket depending on the seating option).
New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets are offering a "Guys Night Out" plan that includes two upper sideline tickets, two beers or soft drinks, and a post-game photo with the Honeybees for $65 ($32.50 per ticket).
Sacramento Kings: The Kings are offering one Kings ticket ($40.50 value), one Kings Combo Meal (which includes a hot dog, soda, and French fries), and a meet-n-greet opportunity with the Kings dance team members 30 minutes prior to tipoff for $55.
Other NBA organizations that have offered the "Guys Night Out" packages include the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs, and the Denver Nuggets.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com