A Few Ideas For Dallas

A Few Ideas For Dallas

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 30, 2010
  • 8 Comments
  • Marketing, Pizza Hut Park

Since yesterday there have been a slew of posts on FC Dallas and their God awful gate numbers. I saw this one this morning from Pitch Invasion and another one here at Match Fit USA from yesterday. Both point out the problems I mentioned yesterday in my mini-rant and both are excellent reads if you have seen them by now.

I thought though long and hard about things the club could do, or even should do to help their numbers. I’m not saying to ditch the “We are NOT spectators” campaign that look to have failed to do what the club thought it would do. No, instead I’m thinking of a few ways to build on it. Grant it I am not marketing genius or pretend to be one but some things seem logical to try if you are FC Dallas.

I hate ragging on this club because I do know a few good folks that work for the club in the front office. They try their best but still things are coming up short. We know FCD really needs their own “Marc Cuban” type owner to get things going here, and from the looks of it the club is headed down a similar path that the Dallas Mavericks were in before Cuban bought that team.

Below are some ideas, feel free to add you own (please spare us the “move Dallas” too, that won’t happen anytime soon).

1. Market cheap tickets to college students (and high school students if you must)

RSL is doing it, Dallas needs to do the same. Hell if the coach is a former SMU guy (and half the team went there) why not throw a big campaign to get those students at the game. Believe me SMU kids like soccer, I’ve seen the jerseys around their campus that are worn. Give those kid incentive to come to games too. RSL is doing a cheap package for the local colleges, one that more teams will pick up on if they are wise.

I throw in high school students here too, with the amount of local schools in the area it would be silly not to try and lure some high schoolers there for some games.

2. Keep marketing to the local youth and hispanics.

Its Dallas’ bread and butter really. With the massive amount of youth clubs in the area it makes little sense to not continue to go towards them. Say a local club wins a big tournament, offer them free tickets to a game or something. Its a quick way to get a big group of fans in the stands.

I know we’ve said in the past to stop going to the Soccer moms but when you need folks in the stands you gotta go back to the basics.

3. Make your concession stand prices more reasonable…and make the food tastier too.

I won’t like the food at Pizza Hut Park has gone down over the years. Sure if you are in the Stadium Club you get nice food but the common folk in the stands aren’t as lucky. I’m not calling for steak and lobster here but the quality needs to improve. Also, let’s not run out of pizza at the park. I’ve seen that happen before, pretty embarrassing if the stadium name is Pizza Hut Park and they run out of pizza.

4. About that “We are NOT spectators” campaign

The idea is nice, the money spent on it isn’t bad either but let’s be honest its not working. In fact its still a bit confusing to the average sports fan. They look at the posters for it and might think something else entirely when they see it. I won’t even go into the look of the website they built for it, just seems like it was poorly thought out. Sad part is it’s too late to turn back the clock on this promo.

5. Fix you billboard strategy.

These billboards and signs around town are nice but NONE give game times (at least the few I’ve seen don’t). Seriously, how can fans get excited about a game when they don’t know when it is? Whoever came up with these billboards dropped the ball big time there if you ask me.

6. About the location of Frisco.

I know in about 7-10 years Frisco will be a real fun place to be around Pizza Hut Park. Lots of construction has been going on in the area and it will look good once its all done. The thing is the club needs to start selling the rest of the DFW area on Frisco. Its a drive but then again everywhere in Dallas take a little while to get to. Why do you think there are so many freakin’ highways in Dallas? Anyways, they need to get more bus stops there and encourage public transportation to the stadium. I know a DART rail doesn’t go all the way up there yet (I do believe one is in the works down the road), but until then find a way to get people up there via the bus system.

7. Speaking of the buses in Dallas

Why not get your name across the city by planting some logos across some city buses. Believe me, it will get people interested in the team if they see a few buses around town with FC Dallas logos covering them.

8. Figure out this Hoops thing.

One year they are Hoops Nation, the next year they ditch it for FC Dallas Nation but based on a billboard in the stadium its back at Hoops Nation. Which is it? Take an identity and stick with it, make it your own. No wonder the club can’t market itself to the community, they change their identity too often.

9. Get their website in order.

This is really a general thing for both the league and the club. It will happen soon enough but before the opener it was a real mess that could have and probably did keep some fans from coming to the season opener. Hell there was very little promotion on the old site for the season opener.

10. When in doubt, give out free tickets.

Sometimes you just have to throw away all ideas and let the masses come in for free. With no Beckham games this year or any other big ticket event coming to play at PHP, the club may have to try this at some point.

  • Hasn't Dallas had $1 beer nights? Do those work at all? We'd kill for HSG to give us that kind of deal in Columbus. Place would sell out with drunk college students from Ohio State.

  • Mo Biggsly

    family friendly sections would be a good idea.Think of some family 4 pack ideas and make them available to certian sections you want families to sit at.

    sit the college/HS student audience you mentioned near the supporter's so there is a better chance of increasing the “fun” atmosphere the supporter's create. eventually the student crowd will spread the word that an FCD game isnt a lame place to be. The youth soccer/family crowd may not like this but they'll be sitting on the opposite end anyway.

    give the college students a break on the parking price if they show a valid school ID or something.

  • ghardin

    Great post with several very valuable suggestions, WV!
    I would add to these the old cotton bowl model of “family side / festive side” atmosphere with a LOW flat rate pricing for a general admission east, festive side.
    The supporters corner was packed and the east side was somewhat full for the opener. Seems this option if they'd stick to it all season could help.

  • anonymous

    pro/rel based on attendance and last place, that way you have every owner digging deep for marketing and any up and coming NASL team will bring in new blood.

  • They typically do a happy hour with $2 beers before the game…but no beer nights that I'm aware of.

  • Dynamo956

    you hit it right on the money, good idea.

  • roflAdam

    Nice thoughts. Your work on this really shows your true support.

    A number of people keeping bringing up the RSL college tickets thing. Frisco is not Salt Lake in terms of colleges, transportation, proximity. And beyond that, FCDallas does currently have cheaper tickets for college students.

    Also I think concessions are contracted, and the team can't really do anything about it, which is unfortunate.

    And giving out free tickets is the fastest way to devalue your brand. Marginal benefit: some people come to the game. Marginal cost: they only want to come again if it's free.

    Again, love the dedication.

  • roflAdam

    Nice thoughts. Your work on this really shows your true support.

    A number of people keeping bringing up the RSL college tickets thing. Frisco is not Salt Lake in terms of colleges, transportation, proximity. And beyond that, FCDallas does currently have cheaper tickets for college students.

    Also I think concessions are contracted, and the team can't really do anything about it, which is unfortunate.

    And giving out free tickets is the fastest way to devalue your brand. Marginal benefit: some people come to the game. Marginal cost: they only want to come again if it's free.

    Again, love the dedication.