Kansas City’s perennially losing baseball team is going high tech and basically giving away their worthless tickets. As the weather gets hotter there is basically no reason to go to K now that the team is trapped in an infinite loop of meaningless wins followed by extended periods of embarrassing defeats.
Still, it’s important to take note of their online strategy if only because it reveals the team’s desperation.
The Royals are looking to Groupon.com to unload ticket packages.
It might be a great move that capitalizes on an Internet phenomenon OR it could be a sign that new attractions at the K are even less interesting than the foibles of a consistently losing baseball team. Either way, I don’t think it’s a good sign.
But what exactly does the move mean?
First, for the uninitiated, it’s important to explain Groupon.com. The world’s most accurate encyclopedia defines the online service as: “a deal-of-the-day website that is localized to major markets in the United States.” The company offers one “Groupon” per day in each of the markets it serves. The Groupon works as an assurance contract using ThePoint’s platform: if a certain number of people sign up for the offer, then the deal becomes available to all; if the predetermined minimum is not met, no one gets the deal that day. This reduces risk for retailers, who can treat the coupons as quantity discounts as well as sales promotion tools. Groupon makes money by getting a cut of the deal from the retailers.
It’s basically an online coupon fad that may or may not be around in a year.
While some early adopters and Internet geeks may think this is the best thing since sliced bread, for the most part businesses participating with Groupon.com are either chain stores or local places at the end of their wits and in desperate need of a crowd. It’s an online last resort. It’s the last hour liver transplant of local, small biz marketing. And the fact that the Royals are part of the company’s efforts simply proves that the home team isn’t having much luck attracting a crowd.
Without further introduction, take a look at the main part of the offer:
The online discount should destroy any myth about the late season turnaround or the marketing power of the Internets. The deal only exists because of the Royals losing ways and it’s still overpriced given that the team should probably be paying their last remaining fans at this point in yet another losing season.