The American population is shifting and teams must respond. In 2015, for the first time ever, millennials outnumbered baby boomers. Representing 83.1 million Americans and holding $200 billion in annual buying power, millennials are a powerful fan segment that teams must strategically market around. Below are three successful strategies teams have adopted to market to and reach millennial consumers.
Millennials are a generation of people who have had their demands met on their own terms and at the times most convenient to them. Given that the generation has grown up with the smartphone and the efficiency it breeds, millennials oftentimes expect their desires to be met on their own terms. Additionally, this generation grew into adulthood during and after the recession. As such, they tend to be more budget conscious and prefer to purchase items for lower prices.
For all of the above reasons and more, millennials’ participation in sports is different compared to past generations. For teams, these considerations should factor into how they sell millennials tickets. When it comes to selling millennials tickets, teams must create flexible attendance options at low prices to meet millennials’ whims and budget consciousness.
1. Meet Millennials On Their Own Time With A Good Discount
Our partner the Minnesota Timberwolves has successfully marketed to millennials through their College Night program. Under the program, college students are able to purchase an upper level game ticket on any Monday or Wednesday night home game. Students have the option to purchase these tickets for as low as $10 with a valid edu email address or school ID. They also have the option to pass on attending the game, which meets their desire for flexibility.
2. Give Millennials An Opportunity To Give Back
Millennials are increasingly concerned about the world around them and want to support brands that make a positive impact on society. Given this, teams must not only continue highlighting their community engagement efforts, but should also consider bringing fans into team-based volunteerism to drive greater fan loyalty and engagement.
The Minnesota Twins’ partnership with Love Your Melon, an organization started by millennials themselves, have fans the opportunity to serve their community while cheering on the team they love. The pair celebrated their 2nd annual Love Your Melon MN Twins Game Night on September 24th, bringing over 2,000 people out to Target Field to support the cause. Each purchase included a ticket to the game plus a Special Limited Edition Minnesota Twins Love Your Melon beanie. This event was a perfect blend of fun and philanthropic service for fans as a portion of the game’s proceeds were donated to cancer research.
3. Let Millennials Join The Team
An interesting trait of millennial consumers is their desire to co-create products with companies. A Forbes report found that 42-percent of millennials desire to help the companies they purchase from design future products and services.
Teams should harness millennial fans’ desire to collaborate and co-create to generate new products and services and drive buy-in from this group of fans. One team that has successfully done this is Sportsdigita partner, the Dallas Mavericks. Recently, the Mavs launched a competition to allow fans to design the team’s alternate jersey. That over 1,000 entries were submitted demonstrates how willing millennials are to engage with teams if teams meet them in a way that’s relevant to their consumer interests.
America’s generational shift means that sport marketers must shift their strategies. Marketers must examine and understand what drives millennials to consume products and then build team-based opportunities around these preferences to build loyalty from this segment of fans.