College Nights: The Best Predators Incentive
By Miranda Martina
If tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues was at home, it would be just one of many Thursday College Nights in Nashville.
Since the College Night discounts have been available to colleges particularly in the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky region, students have been taking advantage of the ridiculously cheap seats. Over the years, prices for the tickets have varied from being $10 to $40 per seat, with some occasions the tickets being 75-80% off face value. For the shortened 2013 season, there are 5 college nights ready to go on the schedule, including the next home game February 7.
As a post-lockout incentive, the Nashville Predators announced during their broadcast of Tuesday’s game in Minnesota that College Night will be cheaper than ever. For the game on February 7th against the Los Angeles Kings, students can purchase 2 tickets for the regular prices of $15 for upper bowl or $30 for lower bowl. Basically, it’s for the college kids who couldn’t afford the buy one/get one incentive for the first two games. But it’s a marketing plan which already has all of my college friends chirping about buying tickets.
There are so many reasons why college night is one of the most successful and smartest ideas from the front office staff. Let’s face it. College kids live like they’ve never seen money before. I still live like that. Beyond the cheap tickets, the Nashville Predators take it up a notch. If you purchase at the box office before the game, there are vouchers for free tacos, as College Night is sponsored by, of course, Taco Bell. Taco Bell knows it’s in business because of college kids, so it seems so appropriate for them to sponsor the discounted night.
But that’s not enough. Let’s also give them half off beer when they first get there! So now you are speaking college language. Say the words “cheap tickets, cheap beer, and a free taco” and butts are scrambling to those seats. It is a great idea for students who have never experienced a hockey game before due to the prices being too much. Also, the cheaper the tickets, the more likely people are going to go in groups, which inevitably makes them more likely to attend. Also placing the students in close proximities within the sections make it feel like a college atmosphere within a professional game. Not to mention it is a major boost to the Nashville economy Thursday nights, because who actually goes to class on Friday?
Beyond the perks for college students, there are significant incentives for the Nashville franchise as well. College students right now are the next branch of paying consumers in the franchise. Most students who pursue a degree in a Tennessee school will stay in Tennessee. After graduation and the year(s) of ramen noodles before finding a decent paying job, these patrons who enjoyed Predators hockey while in college will have some dispensable income. Since it was already integrated into their lifestyle then, they will be more likely to return to hockey before spending money elsewhere. So it is implementing hockey into the consumerism of the next generation of hockey fans. Simple economics, but genius economics.
Nashville isn’t the only franchise who does college night, but it is definitely one of the most successful marketing ploys. It seems so simple, but in reality, it is pure genius. I look forward to seeing all the college kids at faceoff on February 7th.