Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rays begin selling flex packs for 2015 season

I talked quite a bit about the Rays flex pack initiative last season. 2014 was the first season the Rays began selling the Rays Cards and associated ticket packages. From what we can gather, the flex packs sold quite well - over 20,000 as of May 15. They had sold 10,000 prior to the season as of mid-March.

Since the Rays sold flex packs until 7/13, and they sold approximately 5,000 per month for the first few months of the season, we might be able to estimate they sold another 5,000 between 5/15 and 7/13. That would mean the Rays sold 30,000 flex packs in 2014.

Not bad.

We also know 2/3 of season ticket holders use the Rays Membership cards and 1/10 of all tickets checked in were through the cards. That's a great start. Fans are getting discounts on purchases and the Rays are getting deeper knowledge on their fans' spending habits.

As of yesterday, 2015 flex packs are now available for purchase. It will be interesting to again chart how well the promotion does. Of course, gone is the flexing marketing muscle of David Price and Joe Maddon. Will the Rays use Kevin Kiermeier on the billboards to replace Maddon's smiling visage? What about Wil Myers? Chris Archer? Zobrist? Longoria?

How many new flex pack buyers will there be? How many will renew and merely add games to their old cards?

It would be really interesting if more than area sports team combined to make a joined flex pack. With the Lightning and the Storm also offering versions of flex packs, perhaps a user can put money on the card and use the same membership account number to buy tickets on any team's website. Call it a Team Tampa Bay Card.

This season I would also like to chat with a scalper or scrape data from StubHub to see how ticket cards are affecting the secondary market. With tickets bought on a card and not via a paper ticket, there is no ability to re-sell a ticket. No ability to re-sell means no scalping on StubHub. Right now, every game in the 2015 season has 236 to 224 tickets available on StubHub. Is this less than in years prior? Is that because of the flex packs or is it because of reduced or increased demand for tickets?

These are questions I would assume the Rays marketing team knows the answers to. At least I hope they do.