Thursday, July 19, 2007

Response to Yesterday's Post

DISCLAIMER: The below is an email response I received to my post yesterday "A few things bothering me." The following is from Sam Pierron, Account Executive - Group Sales for the Wizards, and a member of the Cauldron for many years. I appreciate receiving his counter point to the comments and concerns I have stated about the situation with the Argentine's, and ticket prices in the Cauldron. So here is a guest blogger tonight on Down the Byline.

On the matter of the alleged comping tickets for La Porra, I have a few things to say:

1. Much of the time, it's both inaccurate and unfair to paint anything that comes out of the front office as "the FO doing X". We can't coordinate everything, no matter how hard we try. The decision-making is not monolithic.
2. Nobody is getting in by waiting around and going in 15 minutes late. That's a particularly unfounded and harmful accusation. See, there are ticket takers there until halftime.
3. We did, in fact, comp tickets to draw new Cauldron folks in this year, with some success; many of the new high school-aged folks, in particular, stem from a few of the people that took advantage of that program. They are now paying attendees and regulars.
4. Whatever happened before, and I am not in possession of all the details, no group of fans standing in The Cauldron is being comped tickets by anyone in the front office going forward.

Just about everyone who reads this knows me personally, and has my email, cell phone, AIM, etc. When have I ever not given a forthcoming answer when I could on behalf of the club? And occasionally when I maybe shouldn't?

Now, on to the issue of the season ticket/game-by-game comparison.

Let's take a look at what it would cost for one person to have bought an individual ticket in the Cauldron for each game this season, and compare it to somebody who bought game-by-game.

(The $3 order charge began for the June 24 game).

Apr. 25 $10
May 5 $10
May 12 $10
June 2 $10
June 24 $13
July 1 $13
July 4 $13
July 14 $13
July 22 $13
July 29 $13
Aug 19 $13
Aug 22 $13
Sep 15 $13
Sep 27 $28
9/27 Parking $10
Oct 5 $13
TBA 1 $23 (likely)
TBA 2 $23 (likely)
Total $254

The total for the individual who bought the Cauldron season ticket was $255.

For a different comparison, and one that would make your point stronger, let's say that 2 people did it together. Then you're looking at a total of $459, as opposed to the 2 ST total of $510. So
we're talking about $50, more or less.

For that $50, you got:
1. 2 T-shirts (value $30)
2. Media guide (value $20)
3. Car sticker (value $5)
4. Merchandise discounts (the discount value varies from $5 to $20 at every game)
5. Not having to call every time for your tickets and pick them up at will call (whatever that's worth to you).
6. Unused ticket exchange.
7. Preseason Christmas party
8. Access to the videos from Argentina
9. Upcoming renewal party (details forthcoming)

As I said, we fully recognize that we want to do something else for people in this situation. I've had discussions with several people about solutions, and I think we have a really good one lined up—next year's jersey at cost. The only thing holding back finalizing it is figuring out the supply schedule from adidas. This is a considerable savings for those folks, who are, of course, the people most likely to buy the new jerseys anyway. Everyone I've talked to about it, which
is everyone who has asked, has thought it's a reasonable suggestion. Even with the current price break, season tickets still represent both an excellent value and an expression of support in the team and in new ownership.

Further, it isn't like price was the primary reason to get season tickets, anyway. It was $1 cheaper than buying game-by-game. People bought season tickets because of the total package of being a season ticket holder, or so I would assume, because price wasn't really a

You know who's getting the absolute best deal? It isn't the people who just buy tickets game-by-game. It's half-season ticket holders and season ticket holders buying additional tickets. They aren't getting charged the $3 order charge for the additional tickets they
buy, because we wanted to reward the people who bought season ticket packages.

I'm still a paying season ticket holder in The Cauldron, despite my Arrowhead credential and my four employee season tickets. I was a paying season ticket holder (almost) all those years I had credentials for one reason or another. A lot of you are the same way. You paid even though there was a truly ridiculous alternative, the Zard Card. Why did you do it? To show support for the club. For the goodies like those above. And so on.

All I ask is that you have all the facts on hand, and think the numbers through, before accusing the organization of massively undercutting season ticket holders or longstanding Cauldronites.



bfos said...

It's never a good thing when a business has to argue the value they are providing to the customer. You can't argue value into something the customer wasn't feeling before.

Customer satisfaction is not all about fact and figures, and it's surely not about being straightened-out by the business.

Furthermore, businesses struggling (admit it) to find customers like the Wizards are, should be the last to rely on arguments to provide customer satisfaction. It's truly counter-productive.

Anonymous said...

To me, it's not at all about the value-added items and entirely about the continued failures by this front office to fulfill their promises.

I'm sure that most Cauldron season-ticket holders heard the promises of OnGoal, LLC that the process of devaluing the product through comp and obscenely discounted tickets were going away and bought season tickets as a result.

The furor that has ensued is not about the disparity in price but about the failure of OnGoal, LLC to keep the promise they made to fans. And further, it's about failing to make right by the fans RIGHT NOW, as opposed to some ephemeral promise of something some time in the future.

Because let's face it. OnGoal, LLC doesn't exactly live up to their promises.

Anonymous said...

it was stated when we found the poster...that there was going to be a ticket break for the cauldron that STH's would be compensated in some manner by the Wizards. lets look at how he now states we are being compensated...

1. t-shirt giveaways that was already planned and those that are not sitting in now cheaper seats still get
2. a very nice media guide, does anyone actually look at the book...can i trade it back in? its just a little dusty
3. well, its not a sticker,its a static cling thingy, everyone once again in seats that are not cheaper still get, or wait did they have to give five more dollars for it?
4. can i give them more money please? I'm glad we are still not differentiating STH sections still
5. HUH? oh this is for friday cheapo's...lest see, five bucks or take 2.5 minutes to get my tickets, i can still take my beer with me to the window...its not like there is a line
6. If i got my tickets the day before why would i need to exchange them, its not like i'm going to get a ticket without knowing i'm going to go
7 & 9.just for the cauldron...WOW hope that goes well...wait are you jerking us around are you sure no one else is coming?
8. whoopee i get to see...what where were was that? not sure i care its such a perk (I'm rolling my eyes)

oh and maybe the super secret jersey at coast, another way to spend my money on the team...I'm so thankful for them finding ways to compensate me as long as i spend more money on the team.

I understand that this is an experimental year for the FO and that they are trying new (and used) thing, but they need to be A LOT more careful to not alienate its fan base... including the non-cauldron sections for I'm sure they may feel a little cheated by not getting 5 bucks off their sections

sorry for the huge post, i was drunk on cheese

Sam said...

Read it again. The point of those listed advantages for season ticket holders was not specific to Cauldron folks. I didn't say it was. It's the benefit of *any* STH versus a single game this case, of a Cauldron STH versus a game-by-game buyer of the discounted tickets.

I said that the proposed benefit *specifically* for the Cauldron STHs was a jersey at cost, a considerable savings. I'm open to other suggestions. One suggestion in the past was set aside seating for STH in the Cauldron.

You all know my name and my email address. You can get a hold of me at any time.

To bfos:

I get your point, but the argument was being made without considering the facts as they are (namely, the order charges, the free Galaxy parking, the eleveated cost of the Galaxy ticket, etc.). Perhaps Mike didn't know that, and I wanted to clear that notion up with his readers.

To the first "anonymous":

First off, most (almost all) Cauldron STH were STH when the Zard Card, a much bigger discount, was in effect. This tells me that they are in it for the benefits and the support, not for just the lowest price at any given game.

Next, to compare the discounting of this year to the discounting with the Zard Card or the obscenely low group rates of the past is a little silly, don't you think?.

Of course there are promotions. Of course circumstances change.

To the second "anonymous", I ask only that you consider the facts I laid out and the questions to which I was responding, rather than reconstructing the argument to say I'm answering different questions (for example, that I laid those benefits out as specific counters and reward for the after-the-fact discount).

You're all free to call or email me.

Anonymous said...

Here's another bloggers take on the whole situation.

Unknown said...

Ok, now this is all coming out and messing the the fans and everything. Let me say some things about the Wizards Organization, if that is what you want to call it. First all I submitted an email explaining my feeling about the cost of tickets to enjoy a wizards game. In my explaination i calculated the cost of the tickets for 5 people to go to a game. Average cost of ticket $16. (this of course includes parking, "what a joke"). This was all brought about with the newspaper article titled "WIZARDS SEEK TO EXPAND FAN BASE".
When I read this article I sent a email in reply to this article. Just a FYI I had never heard back from the Wizards organization.

To whom it may concern,

I was reading an article, "Wizards seek to expand fan base", by Jennifer Mann, just the other day and was wondering what was the plan to expand the fan base? But after reading the article and seeing that ticket prices have gone up, I wouldn't really say the Wizards are seeking to expand fan base.

Let me tell you.., I use to be a season ticket holder for the KC Wizards back in the beginning. Over the years I have gotten married and have kids now, 3 to be exact. I am a single income family who makes end meet. When I do have a little cash I like to spend it on my kids. When my kids say Wizards games, I'm all for it. Especially when you had the Zard Card program going on. There was nothing better than see a great sport, great players and loyal fans cheering for a great team for a great price. But this year the Zard Card has been pulled, and the prices have gone up on tickets, "because parking has been added to the ticket", this is a joke. Parking was what last year, $8, so what your stating is a family of 5 or 7 end up paying more for parking than a family of 4. Is that really catering to your fan base? Not really.

I understand that the Wizards are under new ownership and they are trying to find a location for a new stadium and to satisfy the city and blah blah blah... But I think that the fans are the ones being left out of it. You can have a great team, great stadium but if your ticket prices are not so great, your not going to get the seats filled with fans. Management wants butts in the seats, but if no butt in the seat then no support, no support means no fan base, no fan base means no money, no money means no revenue, no revenue means no income, this becomes no good for anyone. I am one, just one, of those fans who want to go but can afford it. Let me tell you if I had over a $1000 sitting around I would by a few season tickets, but I don't have the money so I can only afford what I can. Now that your prices have going up I can't even afford to go to 6, 5, 4, 3 games this year. As I said earlier if i had the money I would be season ticket holder again, but there are currently other factor, besides money, like my work schedule, school schedule and my family schedule don't support the purchase of season ticket. So I try to go when I can.

I really want to know what the Wizards are going to do to expand this fan base? Because if there is anything they have not communitcated to their fan base.

I don't want this to sound like complaining but because of the price hike I will only be able to attend one game this year,(after not receiving a email it is now NONE) with my family. You know your fan base is an advertisement for you. For the past few years I supported the Wizards and informed people around my work, which is about 1000 people and others outside, about the Wizards and the ticket prices. And I know that people take their families to the games. And of course they would only say good things in the thought that others would go to the games.

Its bad that I can get tickets to the Kansas City Royals cheaper than the Wizards games and that's even getting some good seats. So far my family has chosen to go to this Fridays Royals game instead of going to the Wizards Home Opener because of cost. This also included a parking pass for only $8 for a Royals Game.

I really would like to know what your going to do about the fan base that your going to lose? Are the prices going to be better for the Wizards or the Fans? We are willing to support, but we can only do so within our means and currently the prices are not within those means.

Again as I said earlier I never received a response to the wizards. So basically the Fan base means nothing to them. They do care about us. I found out months later that, IF I WENT TO A SEASON TICKET HOLDER THEY COULD GET ME $10 TICKET", but it must be done inadvance. This of course came from a member of the Cauldron. My friends who are season ticket holders never heard it until I told them. So you were catering to one group of people. The average house hold in Kansas City Metro area make around $50K a year. I would seem that the organization has forgotten those people as fans.

Months later I received a response for the organization after many many emails to them. They never once apoligized for lack of communication. Infact they tried to turn it around saying it was my fault for the prices going up. They told me that they would have another program like the Zard Card, but in the future.

By the way since tickets are $10 in advance does that mean the Organization will credit back all their season ticket holders. They purchased their tickets in advance?

The Wizards Organization and Front office have forgotten who their fans are.

Sorry for the length, but the organization is failing to who mean so much.

Unknown said...

Season ticket holders paid per seat of $248. If the numbers you put int are correct fan who go up and pay Now only $215. But in the Beginning if someone wanted to pay at the gate for each game they would pay $275. Last year it only cost a fan with a child who had the zard card $128.

Also tickets for the LAG game with Beckham cost the public $35 and if the public went to a season ticket holder the could get it for $25. So you are only looking out for the Wizards not the fans. Number prove that.

As of told tickets are still $16 and $20. don't forget the surcharge.

The front office is tring to pull the wool over the eyes of the public.

Fans if you want cheaper tickets go to a season ticket hold and have them purchase your tickets. You'll save $6 a ticket. Of course you will have to sit in the Cauldron.

Anonymous said...

There should probably be a kids priced season ticket, but the Zard Card was heavily abused by adults. I'm glad they got rid of the program. This isn't a charity, it's a professional sporting event, and if there were 81 soccer games per year I'm sure you could get a ticket as cheap as the Royals.

Also, we don't sit in the Cauldron, but I hope you call the front office to take advantage of the 10$ Cauldron ticket in advance deal. We have a great time! Bring your kids, we've got lots in there.