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chalupa1Sports teams have been giving away free items at games forever, but right now is the perfect time for teams to use promotions. Because of the economy, most people don’t have a lot of extra money to spend. If people have the opportunity to receive free items, they will probably be more willing to spend money and attend games.

To fill seats, teams need to reach out to fans. Promotions are a great way to reach and excite fans. At home games, the Blazers give complimentary Taco Bell chalupa coupons to all fans when the team scores 100 points. When the Blazers are close to scoring 100, the whole crowd chants “CHA-LU-PA.” When the team finally reaches 100, everyone goes crazy. People love free stuff.

Brian Gainor discusses similar promotions. The St. Louis Blues of the NHL teamed up with Dairy Queen to give all fans a free blizzard coupon when the Blues score five goals at home. Fans also receive one free trading card. This is a great promotion because fans will be excited about the possibility of getting a free blizzard when they attend games. Dairy Queen also benefits because people may buy other menu items when they redeem their blizzard coupons. Gainor says, “The promotional offer serves as an effective way to drive direct store traffic and a mechanism that can translate fan affinity for the Blues organization into fan affinity for the Dairy Queen brand.”

When the Columbus Blue Jackets score three goals, fans can redeem their ticket stub for a free Wendy’s chili. The Nashville Predators reward fans with a free taco from Taco Bell when the team scores five goals. Fans yell and cheer on their teams in hopes of the team performing well, so they can get these free items.

Some teams also use giveaways outside of games. Before the season started, the Detroit Pistons gave away free gas to 200 people. We all know that buying gas can burn a hole in our wallets, so this really helped people. What made this promotion even greater was that the players actually pumped the gas. Drivers were able to chat with players and get autographs. This promotion gives people the opportunity to meet athletes and connect with them. Hopefully by feeling connected, people will attend games to support the players and teams.

More teams are relying on promotions to receive media attention, reach fans and fill seats. I wonder what types of promotions teams will come up with next.

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