Automatic Renewal for Season Ticket Holders — The Wave of the Future?

"LeBron James," © 2014 Erik Drost, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

“LeBron James,” © 2014 Erik Drost, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

“The Cleveland Cavaliers have become the first NBA team to require all season-ticket holders to agree to an automatic renewal policy, essentially eliminating the need for the club to pursue season-ticket renewals annually,” John Lombardo reports in a recent Sports Business Journal article.

All new season-ticket buyers have had to agree to an auto-renew policy since 2012 — but this new policy affects existing season ticket-holders, too.

“Now, like a gym or a country club, you are in until you want out. There is no chasing people down, and we can focus on engaging the fan,” says Brad Sims, chief revenue officer for the Cavaliers.

More time, money and resources are available to dedicate to the fan’s experience.

In Jim’s post about subscribers, or season ticket holders, he wrote about the importance of the fan/subscriber’s experience. He wrote:

“[The season ticket] has certainly transformed, … taking on aspects of membership in a club, rather than just a bulk ticket purchase commitment. I would say that, in fact, when it’s done right, subscriptions are hotter than ever. When they’re as much about a statement of self-definition and exclusive access rather than best price and reduced purchase friction, they can be very powerful. Heck, even restaurants are selling out of season tickets.

So if you’re in this business and you’d like to keep seeing blue-chip returns, you can if you make your subscription mean more than cheap tickets and a single-purchase moment. Make it special; make it be something that enhances the eventgoing. In other words, if you offer me membership in a club I want to be in, I’d subscribe to that.”

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