How Lancashire County Cricket Club Uses Personalization to Drive Sell Outs

June 1, 2016

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Lancashire County Cricket Club’s (LCCC) multi-year ticket marketing, sales, and service (TiMSS) strategy allowed them to secure a highly coveted package of international cricket matches at its iconic Emirates Old Trafford stadium from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in December 2014.

The series of matches included England international test matches, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and IT20s, with a focus on the high-profile Ashes (England Vs Australia) test match in 2019. It has also earned LCCC and The Aspire Group a Stadium Business Award in the Sales & Marketing category.

Although the ultimate cornerstone international match for LCCC is three years down the road, their sights are set on driving significant revenue from the England and Pakistan test match in July 2016 by implementing the initial elements of their TiMSS Plan.

LCCC uses a fundamental philosophy to Yield Management and their TiMSS planning: Personalization. Sell the right product at the right time to the right customer at the right price.

The two components considered when developing the ticket pricing strategy for LCCC were: (1) why are fans going to the match; and (2) what type of fan are they.

Aspire and LCCC used these components to segment its seating in the venue based on how the fans wanted to interact with the match and what kind of experience they desired. Through in-depth research of over 1,500 fans, Aspire identified seven key clusters of fans.

Each cluster was assigned a corresponding ticket package and preferred seat location at Emirates Old Trafford based on their game day needs. The venue was divided into five grandstands, each stand having a different theme including “family”, “the serious cricket fan”, “party zone”, among others.

We have a varied audience across a varied stadium experience,” Justin Hopwood, Sales and Marketing Director at Emirates Old Trafford and Lancashire County Cricket Club, said.

You have to ensure you have the right level of pricing across each ticketed experience. The different forms of cricket can attract a particular type of fan, and each stand has a different experience within it. When you combine all these experiences, it adds up to a strong delivery across the whole stadium, but individuals benefit from the segmented areas.

Emirates Old Trafford’s international test match between England and Pakistan in July 2016 is at a higher price level for Days 1 and 2 and at a family friendly price for Days 3 and 4, where children can come in for 5 and 6 pounds. Based on historical international match revenue data, Aspire and LCCC knew that the first days of the test match had the most value to the fan.

This opened the door to both maximize ticket yield on the most in-demand days and provide a great get-in price on less demanded days.

Days 1 and 2 are nearly sold out one month in advance of the July 2016 event.

By creating premium added value experiences in areas of the venue with limited seating, it created a higher value for that seat in that location for a particular day when a supporter wanted to attend.

For example, the Pavilion Terrace behind the bowlers arm had access to fabulous facilities and amenities, and Saturday’s Pavilion Terrace tickets were the first to sell out. This then enables elastic pricing to allow for cheaper tickets on days 3 and 4 including juniors for as low as 6 pounds.

There are two parts to Yield Management,” said Michael Farris, Director of Strategic Consulting & Research. “First, setting the price. Second, getting fans to buy the ticket. Setting the right price points that increase the number of people coming into the venue is a challenge, and that is what LCCC accomplished.

For the 2015 season, Lancashire County Cricket Club was able to achieve near full sell outs or sell-outs for each international fixture following the implementation of the Yield Management pricing recommendations.

Updated June 14, 2016

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