BPL Ticket Pricing Strategies
Since the start of Bangladesh Premier League last year, the committee has failed to attract the crowd for most of the regular games. T20 tournaments are usually exciting and full of entertainment for the crowd with all the power hitting and clever bowling. The duration of T20 games are short enough for most of the social class to enjoy. Tournaments like Indian Premier League and Big Bash have successfully managed to draw in the crowd and that is the very reason why these leagues are more successful than BPL.
Now, if this was Zimbabwe or Sri Lanka or West Indies, than it would have made sense. However, Its Bangladesh, a country of almost 160 Million people! It is a total marketing and strategic failure when BPL cannot draw 10-20 Thousand spectators for a T20 game. Specially when cricket serves almost like a second religion for a large number of the population. Now, some argue that it is due to the lack of stars which prevents a large number of followers. However, the crowd turnout would be higher if Bangladesh played Ireland or other associates. Because we are a cricket loving nation and we want to see our players in action from the venue. However, as a developing nation, pricing is a big factor and if it does accommodate the lower and middle class of the country than the system simply won’t work.
In terms of BPL pricing strategies, there are flaws and errors. Not only are the ticket prices high, they are locked. That means there is no progressive pricing system. I am going to share some ideas that I think would make BPL more successful in terms of crowd turnout.
Usually, the start of the season is a “slow” start for most tournaments. Specially for BPL because the crowd don’t know what to expect or whether the money they spent is worth the entertainment they receive. So the season openers should be priced lower. BPL needs to bring the crowd in and show them what this tournament has to offer. Once an individual sees the attraction of something, they go out of their way to pursue it. But a glimpse of that attraction needs to shown in order to create that desire and hunger. As a result, a cheap opening week could be an effective way to draw more crowd. As the tournament progresses, the ticket prices can be adjusted according to the demand for it. This is the most basic concept of Pricing and Demand.
Another effective way to draw more crowd is through price rush. When we see a limited availability of a discounted product, we panic. Let’s saw, BPL is setting 10 Thousand tickets for a particular stand and they plan to sell it for 500TK per ticket. Now, an effective marketing and pricing strategy could draw the crowd. Let’s say, the first 3 Thousand tickets are sold at 200TK, the next 3 Thousand at 400TK and the last 4000 Tickets at 600TK. This not only ensures the 6000 Tickets that were sold on sale, but also gives the benefit to those who purchase early. I think BPL Committee would agree that 6000 tickets sold at cheaper price will be better than 2000 tickets sold at regular price.
Another strategy is to lower the ticket prices of the games where the home team is not participating. If there is a game between South Africa and New Zealand at Dhaka, obviously the crowd tournout would be lower a match between South Africa and Bangladesh. So why should that be different for BPL games? It does not make any marketing sense to have the same ticket price for a game between Khulna and Rangpur in Dhaka. Lower the price for these neutral games to attract more crowd and the results will be positive.
Speaking of neutral games, suppose the games are scheduled at Khulna for a certain period of time. If tickets are sold at Dhaka for those games, it should be cheaper to reward them and encourage them to travel the distance to watch the games. It’s not a yearlong tournament. BPL only takes place for a month and with this pricing system, BPL management can expect some die hard cricket fans to travel across to watch some crucial games.
Last but not least, almost every sporting league has the luxury of selling season passes. This crucial concept has been missing in BPL. Out of 150 million people, there are thousands that will watch every single game and if they can obtain a season pass at a lower price, they will happily pay a handsome amount at the start. This ensures an increased crowd turnout for all the games. It is basic consumer nature to go for a large quantity of a product when the benefit of doing so is shown effectively. It also brings better revenue. Imagine selling 10 Thousand season passes. That would boost the revenue even before the tournament begins!
There are other strategies but the ones mentioned above are the basic ones and almost all of them ensures a better crowd turnout and an increased revenue from ticket sales. The current ticket prices are simply too high and the lack of options and discount have kept a lot of spectators away. In order to raise the price of something, you need to show them a trial first. When an individual sees a full house match from TV, that person will have a higher desire to enjoy the match from the stadium. An empty stadium discourages spectators.
Bangladesh is a country of diehard cricket fans. BPL needs to respect that and give them the opportunity to enjoy the tournament at a lower cost. It’s the fans that can make a tournament lighten up and exciting. These tournaments are organized for the fans so they need to accommodate the fans first.