Net Profits: Improving Ticket Sales With Market Research

In just three years, the Portland Trail Blazers went from sellout games to struggling ticket sales. By 2005, attendance had fallen by more than 15 percent, and more than half of the team’s luxury suites stood empty. Management was confronted with the all-important question: How to lure their fans back and fill the stadium?

In the past, they had packaged tickets to multiple games in bundles that included at least one premium matchup and several less popular games, which increased overall attendance. To supplement this strategy, management hired a research firm to evaluate which promotions people valued most. Did they care more about price, seat location, number of games in the package, playoff tickets or freebies at the arena?

Using conjoint analysis — a market-research approach to rooting out what features of a product are most influential on consumer decision-making — the firm set about to determine what perks most resonated with fans.

Read more in “How the Portland Trail Blazers Won Back Their Fans,” in the Darden School of Business/Washington Post “Case in Point” series.

About the Faculty

Ronald T. Wilcox

Wilcox has four specific areas of expertise: marketing financial services, branding, marketing for nonprofits and public policy, and marketing.

His research, focused on the marketing of financial services and its interface with public policy, has appeared in leading marketing and finance journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Marketing... Learn More