UNDERSTAND YOUR NUMBERS
Your sales teams are deep into sales season. You're building relationships with prospects, making them comfortable with your offerings while creating excitement for the team and the inventory you are presenting to them. You're selling that sizzle, not the steak, right? Your multi-year contracts are in and you’ve already sold to your waiting list, if you had one. At the same time you are also trying to hold onto some clients that are really making you work for the renewal this year. And let's face it, what's left to sell isn’t going to be easy. With the season rapidly approaching, how do you sell the remaining inventory? At this point, you're going to need every tool in your toolbox. While relationships are critical to making the sale, you need to make sure you've got your numbers in order.
So, does your team have numbers ready if you are asked for them? When I worked for the Reading Fightins, there were times that I took “Educated Guesses” to answer specific questions. I delivered confident responses about attendance figures, awards, and recognition our team received as to circumvent not knowing my impression numbers. If you don’t prepare now you won’t be ready when you are asked. While I truly believe the added value MiLB teams deliver to their corporate partners is amazing, sometimes you have to be analyzed by a spreadsheet. Selling the sizzle is always the goal, but when that fails, lets make sure we know a lot about your steak.
METRIC 1: THE HOMERUN HITTER
Basically, the way to calculate CPM for an outfield billboard goes like this: Let’s say your total attendance for the season is 400,000 fans. You charge $7000 to have an outfield billboard for the season. We can calculate that each impression costs about $0.0175 ($7000/ 400,000), so the cost per thousand is about $17.50.
METRIC 2: IMPRESSIONS
Instead of tracking only the number of people that sees/hears/receives an ad, impressions is a way of measuring the number of times that any given person sees/hears/receives the same ad (even if they've seen it more than once).
Let’s say you sell someone 2 PA Announcements or on-field contests. Each person is counted as one person and impression but each person is exposed to the sponsor announcement 2 times so your impression increases to 2. So if you have 5000 fans in the ballpark your sponsor receives (up to) 10,000 impressions per game. Please note that yes, I said up to. That is my way of accounting for bathroom breaks and trips to the concession stand.
METRIC 3: IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK RESPONSE
Use a simple but measureable feedback system. For example, corporate sponsors often ask about having table displays at your ballpark. Perhaps at this table they instruct fans to take a coupon or entry form. By recording the number of coupons given out you can gauge how many people are paying attention to sponsor displays at your ballpark. (Research and keep this data) This technique can yield more accurate results than just using ballpark attendance.
These are three quick metrics to investigate. Check out the Annual Sponsor Impressions Spreadsheet below. This can get you started if you don’t already have something like this. Baseball is after all a numbers game, do your sales people have them ready?