Selling more tickets for sporting events

Your university wants to sell more tickets to both men’s and women’s basketball games. The beautiful new arena on campus can hold 14,000 people. The coach, outstanding recruits, and early wins this season are sparking student and alumni enthusiasm. Detail a series of promotions and sales strategies (at least two of each) you would use to increase ticket sales and attendance. Be creative!

Seeing a large crowd, the occupied colorful seats in a full house, there is no way someone could not think that a typical college sports event is most of the time successful and flawless – free from unforeseen disasters. People tend to generalize what they often see; not minding the things that matter, when in fact, just like any other big activities, a sports event has its own pitfalls. There may be a venue problem wherein the venue is too small to accommodate a lot of people, there might be a funding problem within the teams and the organizers, or the target number of the audience may not have been met (Shilbury, Quick & Westerbeek, 2003) – these are some of the possible problems a sports event may face before or during the event itself. These problems, however, may be eliminated by setting a good strategy.


For a sports event to become a hit, it has to be advertised well to the target audience first. Here are some of the best ways to endorse a campus basketball game to the public:

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  • Posters + Freebies – University students are a lot more occupied than how they seem to be, and a flyer may just be equal to “look, scan, and throw it in the trash can”. That is why setting up big, readable and attractive posters for the event is recommended. And who doesn’t want free items? Even a small chocolate with the sticker of the event (including the date and venue) will attract people, and it would definitely make them easily remember the event to which you invite them to attend.

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  • Short Commercials – Considering this generation as highly techie, and the fact that most schools have televisions, a short clip to show a glimpse of the upcoming event (how the teams prepare, how the students feel about it, etc.) can also be a good way to onset the excitement in target audience. Of course in the commercials, the names of the big sponsors, as well as other fun activities (like mini fair, food kiosks, and some mini games), must be presented as well.

These are good ideas in promoting the school’s event, but how would you come up with a whiz that will convince the audience more?

Connect with the audience.

How well do you really know your audience? In organizing a game, you must keep up with the likes and dislikes of the people who will be watching (Kaser & Oelkers, 2008) to get them interested and keep them interested.

Improve what is good.

If the coach, outstanding recruits, and early wins this season keep the students and other prospective audience watching, make them stay, or better, improve them.

Eliminate what is bad.

All things which don’t work, or at least have served their purposes already, should go. For example, if giving away flyers don’t get the increased ticket sales that it used to have, maybe it’s time to change the game by utilizing the advanced technology and Internet to entice people to the event.


Kaser, K., & Oelkers, D.B. (2008). Sports and Entertainment Marketing. 3rd ed.

Cincinnati: South-Western Educationall Publishing.

Shilbury, D., Quick, S., & Westerbeek H. (2003). Strategic Sport Marketing. Sport

Management Series. Crows Nest, AU: Allen & Unwin.