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View Full Version : Ross Miner: "... the men's sold out in three minutes after they put up the tickets.."



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Meredith
11-18-2011, 11:45 AM
I don't think the US or Europe can compete with the market of figure skating in Asia right now. It was quite depressing to see Skate America almost empty, but in Canada it was a very enthusiastic and plenty crowd. We have to see how it goes in Paris, as I suppose Russia will fill nicely



My theory: If you're in the audience at a skating event and you find yourself cheering, that is a positive thing - regardless of where you are. The focus of figure skating may have shifted to Asia, but it has for good reason. :D

I'm happy that Ross Miner had an opportunity to be one of the recipients of that enthusiasm first hand.

skatedude4
11-18-2011, 12:40 PM
Skate Canada also had field trips of students who came to the practices to cheer the skaters on, and audience rivalry between the various schools as to who could cheer the loudest, etc., promoted by an mc. This was quite well-attended, as they came on their school buses, and the kids had papers and had to take notes.

Here's a thought. What if Skate America had a pre-event say 6 weeks out, flew in at least Team USA and whatever big names they could talk into coming, offered the skaters a chance for free practice and acquaintance with the arena? At that time, USFS could hopefully drum up some school field trips, local publicity, assisted and independent living field trips to get some people interested. Perhaps they could have a meet and greet with the skaters and discount advance tickets in order to get some interest going? The skaters might appreciate the opportunity to get advance knowledge of the area, restaurants, hotels, arena etc., and it allows time for momentum to build and increase interest in sales. Of course, it all has to be within the rules about ISU events, so I am not sure if it could be done, but just thinking outside of the box.

gkelly
11-18-2011, 01:35 PM
Why six weeks out? If Skate America is first in the series as it usually is, six weeks earlier might be the first week of school for wherever it's located, so not likely to include field trips. Also, there would likely not be ice in the arena because of other events occurring there that week.

Why not just market to schools in advance to arrange field trips for the week of the actual event? There's usually at least a day of practices before the actual competition starts.

skatedude4
11-18-2011, 03:47 PM
You are correct, gkielly, that 6 weeks might be a little early for the school calendar. I was thinking that get the school kids there, get them excited enough to generate more advance ticket sales, same with maybe organizations like Girl Scouts. Maybe 4 weeks is a little more realistic for advance, but definitely get them to practice sessions as well. I think the Skate Canada kids had to actually answer some questions about what they were learning - you could maybe even have an audience participation crossword or something. Winner gets 2 free tickets and an autographed T shirt maybe.

Just ideas - just like to see more fans in the seats for the skaters.

paskatefan
11-18-2011, 04:05 PM
I'm happy that Ross Miner had an opportunity to be one of the recipients of that enthusiasm first hand.

So am I! :encore:

gkelly
11-18-2011, 04:52 PM
The thing is, Skate America usually is held in arenas that also host concerts, basketball, etc., so they don't always have ice put in. Installing the ice is part of the cost of hiring the arena for the week of the competition. To hold a separate on-ice event weeks earlier at the same arena would mean renting it for another day at a completely different point in the schedule, paying for a whole additional ice installation (or using hockey ice without the Skate America logo if it there happens to be hockey scheduled in September), paying for lots more travel for the participants who might not want to take a couple days out of their training schedules to do promotional events a month before the actual event. This plan could easily end up losing money rather than earning more.

Hence my point that all the activities you suggest would be more cost effective to be held the same week as the competition at the competition venue.

If the practices are open to the general public or inexpensively sold to school groups on Wednesday or Thursday, that might inspire some of the attendees to purchase tickets to the actual events over the weekend.

A month earlier, it would make more sense to use a local ice rink, but that probably wouldn't hold many spectators and wouldn't generate the same kind of anticipation for the real thing.

However, if you could arrange prior field trips at the local rink for school kids to get on the ice themselves with one or two skating stars and several local coaches, that could generate a different kind of excitement that might get some of them out to the competition the next month. Or get some of them to sign up for ongoing skating lessons.

crzesk8dad
11-18-2011, 05:16 PM
Well in all fairness to Ontario California (my home town), the event was not advertised to the masses.

And I totally understand why... The cost of advertising in California is ridiculous. Who could afford to advertise it? And from what I have heard, when events are held at Staples Center, AEG chips in with some advertising $$. I doubt Citizens Bank Arena would do the same, and certainly not on the same scale.

Your points are well taken, however, to clarify the CBBA did in fact pay for some advertising, albeit late in the game, due to lack of publicity and advertising from the "event promoter". CBBA is owned by the City of Ontario, however, it is managed by AEG. The "4 for 4" ticket deal came from the CBBA, in an attempt to get more people to the event.

While advertising is not cheap in California, there are methods to go around those costs and get it in trade or free. Social media works remarkably well. When organizing Synchro Nationals and "Skaters Care" we utilized these methods to help ticket sales and were somewhat successful. Although there were no "sell out" arena nights at either of these events.

To be fair, Southern California is a busy place, with lots going on around it. There is lots to do, especially on 80 degree days in October (when Skate America took place). There is a close knit skating community, which supports these events, however, with traffic concerns, high unemployment, lack of publicity, SA just didn't turn out as well as one would hope.

crzesk8dad
11-18-2011, 05:19 PM
The thing is, Skate America usually is held in arenas that also host concerts, basketball, etc., so they don't always have ice put in. Installing the ice is part of the cost of hiring the arena for the week of the competition. To hold a separate on-ice event weeks earlier at the same arena would mean renting it for another day at a completely different point in the schedule, paying for a whole additional ice installation (or using hockey ice without the Skate America logo if it there happens to be hockey scheduled in September), paying for lots more travel for the participants who might not want to take a couple days out of their training schedules to do promotional events a month before the actual event. This plan could easily end up losing money rather than earning more.

Hence my point that all the activities you suggest would be more cost effective to be held the same week as the competition at the competition venue.

If the practices are open to the general public or inexpensively sold to school groups on Wednesday or Thursday, that might inspire some of the attendees to purchase tickets to the actual events over the weekend.

A month earlier, it would make more sense to use a local ice rink, but that probably wouldn't hold many spectators and wouldn't generate the same kind of anticipation for the real thing.

However, if you could arrange prior field trips at the local rink for school kids to get on the ice themselves with one or two skating stars and several local coaches, that could generate a different kind of excitement that might get some of them out to the competition the next month. Or get some of them to sign up for ongoing skating lessons.

Maybe SA should be held in large, nice rinks, that hold 2000-3000 people, such as Westminster, CO or Salt Lake City Sports Complex (where Pac Coast is being held). I doubt the ISU or television would agree to that concept, but I think that based on this and past years SA attendance, these facilities would do well and sell out, and have a much cheaper cost.

Or another thought is to always have it at World Arena in Colorado Springs. That facility appears to have reasonable costs (based on prior events P/L statements on USFS website) and there would be a savings in staff and shipping costs coming from USFS HDQ.

But, we are going off topic. Back to Ross' impression of much the Japanese fans love figure skating....and they do!