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Peter Sorckoff on Promotional and Theme Nights
Promotional Nights are a way to enhance your game presentation and present variety to your fans. A promotional night can be a theme night (like Disco Night), a Holiday celebration (St. Patrick's Day) or a premium item.
A strong promotional night can help attract new fans to your event as well as keep your show fresh for the fans who attend every night. A poor promotion can be costly, by not drawing fans or disappointing your faithful.
In the last few months, Gameops.com has been looking for a Game Operations Director who has been successfully creating new promotions with clever marketing plans, added value, with complete integration into the game.
We found him.
Peter Sorckoff, the Manager of Game Operations for the Atlanta Thrashers, just completed the inaugural season in Atlanta with rave reviews from fans and his peers. Peter joins us for the July interview to talk about Game Day Promotions and Themes.
Gameops.com: What are the best reasons to have promotional nights?
Peter Sorckoff: First and foremost, to sell tickets. Second, is to add variety for your fans, especially season ticket holders. Even well-packaged promotions and contests can get old if you do them the same way every night.
Promotions are a lot like fishing. It's all in the presentation.
Gameops.com: How important are promotional nights to fans?
Peter Sorckoff: It is difficult to track if fans are coming to be entertained or coming just to see the sport. We want fans to leave being entertained either way and we can often do that through promotional nights.
Gameops.com: How do you approach each promotional night?
Peter Sorckoff: Our goal is to tie in everything, so we look at each element of our game presentation and ask how we can tie that to our promotional theme. We also consider our sponsor and what demographic we are trying to reach with the promotion.
Presentation is everything. A great promotional night will be everywhere you look in the arena. It must touch everything to be really successful.
Finally, the promotion has to have its "call to action." It needs to clearly give a reason for fans to buy a ticket and come out to the game.
Gameops.com: You talk about extending the promotion throughout your entire presentation, can you expand on that?
Peter Sorckoff: It is easy to identify when you see it...when you don't go far enough with a promotion. If you don't touch all aspects of the fan experience the promotion can look half-baked.
We look at all of our elements and try to find ways to involve them in the promotion.
- Concessions, Security and Ushers
- Concourse areas
- Premium items
- Current contests and promotions
We did a Toga Night last season. We did it as a sponsored event to help promote the opening of a new "Coliseum" Movie Theater here in Atlanta. The whole theme was Roman Coliseum Toga.
We started by planting some fans in Togas. We posted Roman Centurion guards around the building as our security and we enticed some of our ushers to wear Togas as well. Outside we hired some Legionnaires to ride around on their horses in outfits.
In game we had altered our contests to include a chariot race and our standard "Name the Movie" contest used footage from 5 gladiator movies.
We brought the theme to every game element we could. In this case it was hard to use the theme for our in-game music so we only used the theme music for contests.
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