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Ad Genius: Panthers Putting Tickets Where Their Mouth Is ... Playoffs? Guaranteed

Madmen Give the Panthers' marketing brass credit for one thing: They're creative. Oh, and they have plenty of brass. So make that two things.

The latest out of One Panther Parkway comes a playoff guarantee.

Basically, the team is saying if you buy a four-game pack of tickets to this year's playoff run and the team doesn't make the postseason, you score four freebies next year.

Which you can probably parlay into tickets for 2010-11 if they don't make the playoffs again next season. It could be the gift that keeps on giving!

In a press release I got from Barry Jackson (yet, interestingly enough not directly from the Panthers), Pete DeBoer is quoted as saying “I thought it was important to let fans know, to promise them, that our team will do everything possible to be successful on the ice over the next 31 games.

Playoffs ''We’ve made no secret of our goal to make the playoffs this year, and we want fans to get excited and support us during the stretch run.”

Here's what Chad 'C.J.' Johnson, the team's VP for sales and marketing says about the ploy:

“Our marketing department worked directly with Coach DeBoer to come up with this new, innovative campaign.

“The purpose of the campaign is to activate the South Florida marketplace and let everyone know – whether you’re a hockey fan or just a casual sports fan – that we are in an exciting playoff hunt and we need their support. Every game is a big game and we want to make the BankAtlantic Center the best home ice advantage in the NHL.”

My take: Putting this out there now is a bit risky, and it'll be interesting to ask the players what they think of this tomorrow.

The team hasn't made the playoffs in nine years, and this only amps up the pressure (not the giving away tickets thing. They give away tickets to various people for various reasons).

Panpromise For the consumer, this is a great deal -- just another good deal in Panthers history. I mean, where else can you spend $17 for a professional sports ticket and get free parking, a food voucher and other stuff?

But you can bet the Toronto folks in town tomorrow are going to get a whiff of this promotion and have themselves some fun with it.

Of course, the Panthers front office could give a flying flip what the Canadian media thinks of them. Doesn't matter what the team does, they're going to get made fun of. They're kind of an easy target.

But if the Panthers make the playoffs, no harm, no foul.

And CJ is right. The team is doing their part on the ice (for the most part); now it's time to get some fannies in the seats and get that playoff atmosphere going.

Comments

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Sounds like an interesting plan George, but what about season-ticket holders. If they do not make the playoffs this year will they deduct 4 games from my bill next year?
This would be a big step in starting to trust the ownership of this team again. This year I was charged for 43 home games when, in fact, the Panthers will only play 42. The Panthers basically ignored this situation and pocketed the money.
I just renewed my seats for next year and believe this team is finally headed in the right direction.

I'm waiting to renew because it's not even the end of this season yet. I like to think of myself as a UFA, like Jay Bouwmeester.

This is an "innovative" campaign? Right, no other team in pro sports has done something like this. Not.

How about if I buy a 4 pack, the panthers marketing team will leave me alone. They are really annoying with the daily emails and desperate attempts at regaining their fan base with hair brain ideas. This is another way they screw the season ticket holder. Commit to a zillion games and then they run 2 for 1 tickets and other almost FREE deals for people that show up once a year. I'm really happy I gave up my $5,200 seats when I did :)

George--is it really risky?? It cost them nothing to give away the free seats. With the cost of the food & drink, they should give all the seats away for free....

How about if they open the season in Prague next year. Do you think season ticket holders will receive a credit for the "home game" that they paid for? Not. They probably will get a voucher for more tickets. Of course, there will be a restiction on which games they can be used for. You can get extra tickets for that exciting Tuesday night matchup in November against Carolina.

I guess not so dumb an idea, 'cause I'm in!

I never said it was a dumb idea...

It's not a dumb idea, but as a season ticket holder, I can't say it really encourages me to renew...

George I wasn't referring to you. I will rephrase it. Great idea, I'm in! Haha. As for the Canadian media who cares what they think? If it wasn't for the Canadian media they wouldn't have chased Bryan McCabe out of town and that is our gain. The joke is on them. They pay high prices to watch the floundering Leafs. They are the suckers for paying to watch krap. If people keep going to games to watch losers then they deserve what they get. No fan should pay high prices to constantly watch their team lose regardless of whether you live in Florida or Ontario. The only say a fan has is it at the box office.

"we want to make the BankAtlantic Center the best home ice advantage in the NHL.”

Have you ever heard of crawling before you run? Why say you're shooting to have the toughest home crowd in the league when you're stuggling to get to 15,000 in attendance. It just sounds dumb. It's OK to say we want to make BankAtlantic Center a tougher place to play without resorting to ridiculous claims. South Florida is never going to have the type of crowds that Philly or Montreal have. Why not start modestly and say you want to have the best crowds in the Southeast divison? I watched that game Saturday against Washington. Now that's a home ice advantage. When you're 26th in the league in attendance, I don't think you're intimidating too many opposing teams. Sometimes I swear these club promotion guys must think we're idiots.

"If they do not make the playoffs this year will they deduct 4 games from my bill next year?"

I am very interested in hearing the answer to Chris's question.

There is only one ad genius that you know, and he does not work for the Panthers.

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