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Is Your Conference Pricing Strategy Due for a Change? | Associations Now

The Atlanta Falcons’ fan-first pricing model sounded like a crazy idea when it was announced. But now that it’s bringing in more money than expected, associations may want to consider upending their conference pricing strategy too.

The other day I stumbled upon a Forbes.com article about how the Atlanta Falcon’s “Fan-First Pricing” model has yielded a number of unexpected benefits.

If you’re like me and have never heard of it before, here’s a quick rundown: When Mercedes-Benz Stadium (home to the NFL’s Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United) opened in 2017, it introduced a “fan-first” food and beverage menu that featured the lowest prices of all major American professional sports teams.

How low? Two bucks for unlimited Coca-Cola in a refillable cup, bottled water, a hot dog, a pretzel, or popcorn; $3 for waffle fries, a slice of pizza, or nachos with cheese; and $5 for a Bud Light or a cheeseburger. Those prices also included tax.

While many said this approach was crazy and almost guaranteed a loss, the numbers reveal it was an overwhelming first-year success. At the Sports Business Journal‘s 2018 AXS Sports Facilities & Franchises conference earlier this month, Falcons CEO Rich McKay reported that although food and beverage prices were 50 percent lower than the previous year, fans spent 16 percent more.

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Is Your Conference Pricing Strategy Due for a Change?: Associations Now.