‘Judging’ the Difference
As we come to the unofficial midpoint of the MLB season its time to take a look at what the millennial-dominant Gametime user base is buying in 2017. Some interesting trends have developed and a few prominent factors are leading the growth among the biggest gainers in sales so far this season.
Yankees and Marlins Experiencing Hypergrowth on bats of Judge and Stanton
Has New York found its modern-day Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle? It’s far too early tell, but the Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is challenging the MLB rookie record for HR’s (Mark McGwire, 49, 1987) has already broken the team rookie record of Joe DiMaggio (29, 1936) and may put up the first 60 HR season in nearly two decades while challenging the hallowed team mark of Roger Maris (61, 1961).
That type of excitement is displaying itself in the Gametime marketplace as Yankees sales have increased as much as 250% through the first half of the year. The team currently ranks 7th overall in total sales with an average ticket price of $40, well above the league-wide average of $34.
The team switched to mobile tickets last season after not accepting the format in prior years. The change caused some early frustration, but fans quickly caught on to the convenience of not having to print tickets and finding those last minute deals on their way to the stadium via their smartphones.
Like the Yankees, the Miami Marlins have their own slugging superstar in Giancarlo Stanton, and he is much of the reason their tickets sales have spiked on Gametime in 2017. Combined with a very nice average ticket price of just $26, seventh lowest in the majors, the Marlins have seen sales grow to over 335% thus far in 2017.
8 of top 10 Fastest Growing Teams Have Avg Ticket Prices At/Below $30
Millennials are cost conscious but know a great value when they see it which is driving much of the fastest growing teams on Gametime this season. With average ticket prices under $30 for eight of the top 10 teams, the results on the field are not as important as an economical outing together at the ballpark. To wit, the Marlins, Tigers, Angels and Blue Jays are each sporting sub .500 records as of July 7, and their ticket prices are reflecting it at under $26 for each. Despite the struggles, each has grown over 270% on the year driven by that affordability.
Breakout Teams Showing 200% Growth on Average
There’s nothing more motivating for fans than watching a winner and a few non-perennial teams have raced out of the gates in the first half driving their sales to over 200% growth on average. The Astros (180%), Rockies (264%), Diamondbacks (211%) and Brewers (204%) have had stellar starts to the season, each leading their respective division or wild card races. The increased winning is clearly driving attendance with prices remaining in affordable ranges for the bandwagons to fill. Conversely, on the downside of the performance spectrum are the defending World Champions Chicago Cubs. At 43–44 overall, the team is second to last in sales growth for the season. While 100% growth is normally impressive, it stands out as lower than expected given the steep demand for Cubs tickets. Contributing factors such as the league’s highest average per game ticket price ($67) combined with changes to the team’s ticketing platform affecting aftermarket availability certainly plays into the smaller gains.
Last Minute Decisions
46% of MLB Fans Buying on Gameday
As we’ve seen in years passed, the Millennial user on Gametime is spontaneous and on the go. And there is no better sport to make a last minute decision on that a baseball game, with easy access to many of the downtown ballparks and low day of game prices, 46% of MLB buyers on Gametime have purchased on the day of the event. Looking a bit farther out, 70% have purchased on the week of the event. With the accessibility always rich and the access point at the ready the trend continues for fans to plan later and find tremendous savings more often.