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Thread: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

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    Default Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    This may seem like a silly question, but when I was at the game Friday I noticed that the stadium was quite empty. I was talking to Since about it a little but and he said he was even a little surprised at how empty it was.

    Now I realize some will say that winning cures all, but I do remember some games in the 61 win season where the Fieldhouse did not looked all that packed.

    Is this just a case of the NBA being to long and people not having interest in 41 home games, are the fans just plain fickle and show up on a hit and miss basis, are they waiting for the team to start winning, or does the Pacers PR and Marketing staff need to step their game up?

  2. #2
    Leisure Suit Larry
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Its the Colts. They do plenty of advertising and if a ticket salesman gets a hold of your phone number he feels the need to call you every other day.

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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    The PR staff has a huge challenge right now. The Pacers have had a number of issues since the brawl, and since Reggie called it quits, there are many fans who feel alienated from this team. The off-court issues have made things worse.

    The Pacers need to win some games, they need to stay out of trouble, and they have to show serious effort day in and day out.

    In the meantime, clever marketing to get fans in the fieldhouse is always a good idea.
    When you're playing against a stacked deck, compete even harder. Show the world how much you'll fight for the winners circle. If you do, someday the cellophane will crackle off a fresh pack, one that belongs to you, and the cards will be stacked in your favor.
    -Pat Riley

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    Member Dr. Goldfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Sometimes it's hard to get out to a game on a Tuesday night.

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    Member rabid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Colts + cold xMas season + no Reggie anymore + small market + mediocre record + a bunch of new relatively unknown players....

    ...oh yeah, and four players getting involved in a shooting incident at a strip club right before the beginning of the season, right in the middle of what was actually a decent/clever marketing campaign (by Pacer standards)...

    Not exactly a recipe for record-breaking ticket sales.

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    Member Dr. Goldfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Indiana's attendance rankings.

    '02-'03 15th
    '03-'04 15th
    '04-'05 17th
    '05-'06 24th
    '06-'07 21st


    While their ranking has changed the actual number really hasn't.

    '02-'03 16,352
    '03-'04 16,556
    '04-'05 16,994
    '05-'06 16,179
    '06-'07 16,572

  7. #7
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Goldfoot View Post
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    Indiana's attendance rankings.

    '02-'03 15th
    '03-'04 15th
    '04-'05 17th
    '05-'06 24th
    '06-'07 21st


    While their ranking has changed the actual number really hasn't.

    '02-'03 16,352
    '03-'04 16,556
    '04-'05 16,994
    '05-'06 16,179
    '06-'07 16,572
    I don't believe those attendance numbers. Maybe, somehow, that is tickets sold (plus whatever is given away) but I don't think the Pacers are averaging that amount of butts in the seats.

    I'm basing this on what I saw last year at the games I attended with a little bit factored in on what I saw at the one game I attended this season plus the amount of empty seats the TV cameras are picking up.

    Maybe I'm off base but I just don't think the numbers add up to butts in the seats.... anybody think those numbers are an accurate count of people in the stands (on average)?

    -Bball
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    I think the Pacers need the Colts to start losing on a regular basis. I've long held that this city doesn't have room in it's collective conscious for 2 professional teams.

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eindar View Post
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    I think the Pacers need the Colts to start losing on a regular basis. I've long held that this city doesn't have room in it's collective conscious for 2 professional teams.
    If you are a mediocre team you'll get mediocre support. As you build your teams, you'll build fans in the seats. Yes, if the Colts started losing there might be a few more dollars that would go thru Conseco's gates BUT not unless the product was solid. And not enough to really make that big of a difference.

    Indiana is no different than anywhere in that they will support a winner... anything less... and the support will be less.

    But I believe a core goup and even some more casual fans would also support a team that is building towards something as long as the fans can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the community can get on board. So 'winning' isn't always about the final score. But you really have to be building something, you can only sell snake oil for so long or else it becomes clear your not really building anything at all (eventually that building process should start paying dividends on the scoreboard). That light at the end of the tunnel can dim or go out completely. That might be part of what is happening to the Pacers. What say you, Kegboy?

    -Bball
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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Quote Originally Posted by brich View Post
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    .

    The Pacers need to win some games, they need to stay out of trouble, and they have to show serious effort day in and day out.
    So are you saying it's up to them? Hmmmmmm That might make a good marketing campaign... errrr, uhhhhh, ummmm, waitaminute... nevermind!

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I don't believe those attendance numbers. Maybe, somehow, that is tickets sold (plus whatever is given away) but I don't think the Pacers are averaging that amount of butts in the seats.

    I'm basing this on what I saw last year at the games I attended with a little bit factored in on what I saw at the one game I attended this season plus the amount of empty seats the TV cameras are picking up.

    Maybe I'm off base but I just don't think the numbers add up to butts in the seats.... anybody think those numbers are an accurate count of people in the stands (on average)?

    -Bball


    The NBA always just counts tickets sold and tickets given away. The Hawks for one have been known to give thousands of tickets away to certain games and those count in their attendance figures just like any ticket sold. The NBA has never counted how many people actually are in the building. So there hasn't been any change at all.


    I've stated this before, the pattern of where people are sitting this season has been very diffgerent from past seasons and IMO it makes it look especially on TV like there are a lot fewer people there.

    Let's start with the lower bowl - the crowds have been arriving really late and there has either been a lot of no shows or people just aren't in their seats. I do believe though all those seats are sold.

    Legends - if you compare that area to what it looked like in the past you would think the area is now empty. There are three sections on that far end that is reserved for people who are members pf Legends. Last I heard they have sold about 65% of the total memberships - so even if everyone who is a memeber shows up probably less than half of those are actually sitting in the seats - so that area looks empty.

    But the biggest difference this season has been the club seats. I think there is where the unsold tickets are. Likely a few decided to purchase tickets in the Legend area - but for the most part the Club area is usually less than half full.

    The balcony this season has been more crowded than it has been in about 3 or 4 seasons. But the balcony does not show up on TV.

    My point is if you watch the games on TV you would think attendance is down several thousand - and while people actually there might be down quite a bit - I think most of the difference in tyhe way it looks is that more peole are in the balcony and fewer are in the club and Legends area.

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    I think stronger marketing can always help, but to me the deeper issue is that most fans just don't like this team very much. From the players off the court, to the players on the court, to the way this team plays, to the mediocre performances, it just isn't something that makes many people want to pour their heart, soul, and wallet into.

    The second it looks like we're going to have a deep playoff-run season with a team built around character, non-baggage guys (like Granger), I think the Pacers would be wise to make a huge marketing campaign to go with it (if they've gotten rid of the guys who could mess it up with off-court/on-court negative moments).

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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    I'm not a marketing expert, but I'm sure their team is looking for every way possible to market this team. Not being there, I don't know what they do locally, but i know what the Spurs do here. No team has been as consistantly successful as they have been over the past few seasons, and they still market the heck out of the team. The middle of the week games always have special promos attached to them. I'm sure its the same in every city.

    My point is, if the Spurs have to market themselves as much as they do in order to fill seats, especially when bad teams come to town, then I'm sure the Pacers and everyone else is as well.

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    You are my Lucifer D-BONE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    All depends on how you look at it. I've been to 4 games so far. Would it be nice to have more people in the seats (especially lower level)? Definitely. Does the attendance level seem low relative to how the team is playing and all its other baggage? Not so much.

    I guess I have to agree with the philosophy of winning being the biggest attractor. Win two lose two, Good effort no effort does not get it done for most people.

    At the same time there's probably some truth to the dueling pro teams, too. But only to the extent that one is highly successful relative to the other and the successful one only plays eight home games always on Sunday afteroon while the less successful and thus less exciting one has myriad games at random different times.

    And the final factor of course being the core of the Pacers. I think people are getting tired of this group. They've put up with all the on and off the court trangressions and feel like they are being repaid for their patience with uninspiring, mediocrity or worse. Although I follow the team closely under any circumstances and will continue to do so, I must admit to warding off these feeling often.

    So the quickest way to increase attendance a bit would be to start winning. Due to the "trust" level of the fans and our core players, a three or four game streak won't be enough. It will need to be a more pronounced and representative run that I frankly don't know if this bunch is capable of. So attendance could begin to dwindle from its current state.

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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Some great points guys. Let me jsut clarify a few points.

    I agree that 11/19 and other incients (strip club shooting) hurt the team a lot, but I have to go back to a point that I heard a few nights ago. Ray Lewis plays out here in Blatimore, and he was on trial a few years back for murder. The fans out here still love the guy and the Ravens still have a pretty good showing. (I realize basketball is different because the game focuses more on individuals)

    As for the comment about how its hard to get to games, the game I was at was a Friday night game.

    As I said in my original thread we can say the team just needs to win time and time again, but I still remember that 61 win season. The team was just on pace to break all kinds of records and the fieldhouse still was not sold out. At least not untill the playoffs.

    I also have to say I thought the Pacers PR and Marketing staff had a great campaign, untill the whole strip club incident. So I do kind of follow the logic of those of you who say that maybe the locals are just plain losing type with this core group of players on this team.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    The media coverage doesn't help. Over the past two plus seasons there has been really only two types of coverage. It has either been extremely negative or it has been about Reggie's retirement.

    Today there isn't an article about the Pacers and there is a game tonight (yes I know it is on the road) I can't remember the last time the Star didn't have an article about the team on game day.

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    Member SycamoreKen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Wow Buck, you're right. How can there not be a story on the game, even if it just touches on how the new look Sixers will be. Amazing.

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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    i think many have hit on some excellent points here. i would also like to point out one which i think is happening around all the sports (both college and pro) is that ticket prices just keep going up. not just going up but outpacing inflation and inreasingly out of reach for more and more fans. some simply cannot afford the luxury of throwing down major bucks anymore (which is what it takes) for a few hours of sports entertainment. then there is the fact that there are ever increasing ways for the people to spend their limited entertainment budgets and i don't just mean the colts.
    i would have to say though- the feeling of no real connection with the majority of this teams players is probably a pretty big issue too. no one left from the good to great 90's teams left to cheer for.

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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Quote Originally Posted by clownskull View Post
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    i think many have hit on some excellent points here. i would also like to point out one which i think is happening around all the sports (both college and pro) is that ticket prices just keep going up. not just going up but outpacing inflation and inreasingly out of reach for more and more fans. some simply cannot afford the luxury of throwing down major bucks anymore (which is what it takes) for a few hours of sports entertainment. then there is the fact that there are ever increasing ways for the people to spend their limited entertainment budgets and i don't just mean the colts.
    i would have to say though- the feeling of no real connection with the majority of this teams players is probably a pretty big issue too. no one left from the good to great 90's teams left to cheer for.




    i would have to say though- the feeling of no real connection with the majority of this teams players is probably a pretty big issue too. no one left from the good to great 90's teams left to cheer for.[/quote]

    You hit the nail square on the head.

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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Goldfoot View Post
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    Sometimes it's hard to get out to a game on a Tuesday night.

    VA mentions it later, but it was kinda hidden.

    It was last friday's game against NY, and it happened to be a veteran night so that probably inflated the number of people there anyways, if that can be imagined.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The NBA always just counts tickets sold and tickets given away. The Hawks for one have been known to give thousands of tickets away to certain games and those count in their attendance figures just like any ticket sold. The NBA has never counted how many people actually are in the building. So there hasn't been any change at all.
    I didn't really think there'd been a change in the way the numbers were being used..... just that they weren't indicative tof fans in the stands. If ticket sales are still relatively the same then the take at the gate would remain close even if no-shows are higher. But with higher no-shows comes less money for the vendors/concession stands and souvenir stands. And less support from the stands for the team.

    So then I have to wonder if the team is giving away more tickets (Or even the same amount as always) and they're just not being used (public apathy).... Or if the these no-shows are actually paid-for tickets and the fans have elected to not use them (serious fan apathy). Or possibly businesses that bought several tickets that no longer use them (no takers or don't feel the team makes a good impression to be giving the tix away to clients)... or still give them out but the receivers don't actually use them.

    I just have a hard time imagining a scenario that is good or hopeful here. Even if the amount of people attending is only down a bit and the balcony sales have picked up, I'm not sure that is a hopeful sign. But I suppose if the team could start stringing together inspiring games and play then maybe those people get hooked and slowly start buying more and/or better tickets.

    Ken... What kind of promotions do the Spurs do on weeknights? Are we talking halftime concerts or free calendars or ????

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  22. #22

    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    I don't understand that thing about "hard to get out on a Tuesday night." Indianapolis is easy to move around in compared to most other cities, and parking is more available on weeknights than on weekends. So there is no comparative disadvantage there to explain why we have empty seats.

    The Pacers' marketing effort through the summer was strongly focused on season ticket holders. But the "It's Up to Us" media campaign and the $4 and $8 tickets were aimed at the rest of us. I'm not sure how much effect any of those initiatives have had. Anyone else know? What Uncle Buck tells us suggests the cheap tickets have helped to fill the balcony.

    I was happy to pay $8 but would have attended the Detroit game anyway if I'd had to pay the regular $25 or $35. So it didn't persuade me to attend a game I wouldn't have done otherwise.

    The Wednesday night Detroit game was the first game I've attended this season, and I'll probably attend five more mid-week games. I can't see well enough to really benefit from being in the arena. All I get by being there is the sounds ("Two Minutes. TWO-WAH"!! ) and smells. (...and the tiny tots dance troupes that come on "for your pre-game entertainment.") To really follow the game, I'd be better off sitting in my car listening to Mark and Slick and then looking at the box score afterwards.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    You allways need better marketing

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Does marketing need better Pacers?


    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    re: Do the Pacers need better marketing?

    Does marketing need better Pacers?

    -Bball

    Good point. It would be easy to sell tickets if the Pacers were winning games and putting the likes of Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Bonzi Wells, Scott Skiles, the Van Arsdale twins, Glenn Robinson, Damon Bailey and Stacey Toran out there on a nightly basis. They would market themselves.

    But in practice, marketing is making people want something that they don't want, and making them willing to spend money on it.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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