A U ticket promotion lets a fan keep coming, as long as the team keeps winning.
Are you feeling lucky? Or, to put it another way, how much confidence do you have in the Gophers men's basketball and hockey teams?
Behind that over-arching premise is an interesting ticket promotion unleashed by the U of M athletics department on "Black Friday" and extending through midnight on "Cyber Monday" on its mygophersports.com website.
It's called The Golden Ticket. For $75, a fan (or gift-giver) can purchase a pass to all nine Gophers men's basketball Big Ten home games or a different pass to all 10 men's hockey games after Jan. 1.
What's the catch? If a pass-holder goes to a game in which Minnesota loses, the pass is deactivated and he or she can't go to any more games. If they win?
"In today's day and age, you're trying to be creative in product offerings," said Brent Holck, director of ticketing for Gophers athletics since 2008. "We're trying to work harder at it at the U of M -- not just saying, 'Here's a ticket; hope you buy it.' It's a chance for us to maybe bring in a new group of people. How do we engage people? That's not always done with a traditional ticket."
It's a bit of a strategic gamble, too. The men's basketball team, for instance, plays Michigan State in its Big Ten home opener on Dec. 31. That's an attractive game, but it's also a tougher game to win than, say, Nebraska on Jan. 29. Does a fan put faith in the team and risk a loss right away -- which would diminish the value of the Golden Ticket -- or hold out for more winnable but less attractive games?
"There's a fun aspect with it," Holck said.
The men's basketball seats are in the upper level behind the baskets, and sell for $30 to $50 per game, if sold individually. The men's hockey tickets are standing room only and have similar per-game prices.
As of Sunday, about 30 Golden Tickets for men's basketball had been sold. Only a handful of hockey passes were sold, Holck said, but marketing efforts will ramp up Monday.
Holck said the Golden Ticket idea has been kicked around his office for more than a year. With tickets available now and the technology available through partner AudienceView, the timing was right to move forward.
It also helps that the men's basketball and hockey teams are primed for competitive seasons.
The department will track which games pass-holders go to, and the concept could be expanded to other sports next year.
"Personally I'm proud of what we're doing," Holck said. "[Athletic director] Norwood Teague pushes us to push the envelope and to be on the cutting edge. It's fun for us as a department to do these kinds of things."
|San Diego||12/12/13 7:25 PM|
|Washington||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|San Francisco||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Seattle||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Chicago||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Houston||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Buffalo||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|New England||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Philadelphia||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/15/13 3:05 PM|
|NY Jets||12/15/13 3:05 PM|
|Arizona||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|New Orleans||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|Green Bay||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|Cincinnati||12/15/13 7:30 PM|
|Baltimore||12/16/13 7:40 PM|
|New York||90||4th Qtr 1:05|
|San Antonio||116||4th Qtr 1:08|
|Miami||74||4th Qtr 4:59|
|Oklahoma City||67||3rd Qtr 4:01|
|Minnesota||84||3rd Qtr 2:23|
|Ottawa||1||3rd Prd 12:21|
|Tampa Bay||5||3rd Prd 11:24|
|New Jersey||3||3rd Prd 9:56|
|Los Angeles||6||3rd Prd 12:46|
|St. Louis||1||2nd Prd 11:58|
|Chicago||2||1st Prd :10|
|Phoenix||0||1st Prd 16:05|
|NY Islanders||9:30 PM|
|Kansas||55||2nd Half 0:52|
|Albany||72||2nd Half 0:09|
|Central Conn St||73|
|Central Penn College||67||2nd Half 2:30|
|Savannah State||29||2nd Half 16:41|
|South Dakota||33||2nd Half 17:52|
|Dartmouth||31||2nd Half 15:31|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||38||2nd Half 18:07|
|Ark-Little Rock||31||2nd Half 17:07|
|South Dakota St||35||2nd Half 15:24|
|CS-Bakersfield||39||2nd Half 19:42|
|Idaho State||8||1st Half 15:05|
|Boise State||8:00 PM|
|NJIT||6||1st Half 18:40|
|Gonzaga||12||1st Half 15:00|
|Colorado College||5||1st Half 16:13|
|Pacifica College||9:00 PM|
|Army||12/14/13 2:00 PM|
|SE Missouri St||11||2nd Half 17:03|
|Tulsa||25||2nd Half 17:50|
|Incarnate Word||23||2nd Half 15:58|
|(23) Gonzaga||42||2nd Half 11:29|
|Northern Iowa||37||2nd Half 12:39|
|Chattanooga||50||2nd Half 8:44|
|USC||2||1st Half 17:49|
|BYU||0||1st Half 20:00|