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College Athletics: It’s All About the Tickets (Video)
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I’ve had a front row seat as the Athletic Ticket Manager at Appalachian State University for seven years. When I started, we sent out 5,000 season tickets. That’s doubled to 10,000 season tickets which are distributed to more than 2,500 fans. That’s a lot of tickets needing the right shipping logistics to get to our fans.

At Appalachian State, football is the sport that drives everything. It pushes the revenue. It’s what provides a lot of the opportunities for other athletes on campus. It brings in a lot of money and excitement throughout the community. So it’s critical for us to get this right. It’s our number one priority in the athletics department to make sure that the football experience goes well for our fans. And it all begins with tickets – they can’t get in the gate without one.

Here are three game changers when it comes to shipping season tickets:

  1.  Package Integrity

Before we used UPS, we had issues with contents falling out of packages – fans received an empty envelope! That’s not the right fan experience for any college or university. We needed to make sure that the tickets and all the good stuff that goes in the package arrives at the right time, at the right place, and in the right condition.

If a fan gets an empty envelope, we have to reprint those tickets, reprint the parking, and replace everything that we provide to them as part of the original package. It’s an arduous process to resend the shipment a second time. The less often we have to deal with this, the better.

  1. Tracking Capabilities

It’s a big event the day that season tickets arrive. Before our fans get their tickets, we must be able to tell them exactly where that package is, if it’s been picked up or if it’s out for delivery. That kind of real-time tracking information puts their minds at ease.

UPS helps us deliver season tickets in an efficient, timely fashion. If a package lagged behind because of an incorrect address, we have the capability to track it, find it, stop it, and turn it around and put it in the hands of our fans as quickly as possible.

  1. Customized Ticket Packaging

People are excited to see the Applachian State University logo on just about anything. It’s important to the athletics department from a branding standpoint, but from the fan’s viewpoint it’s exciting to see something that’s been customized just for them. That reinforces the fan experience.

The tickets are the kickoff of football season. Fans really start to hear the sounds and feel the excitement when they hold those tickets in their hands. Fans remember the people they tailgate with, who they sit next to, and they’re excited about rekindling those relationships. And it begins when that package arrives at their door.

I think of athletics as the front door to the university. It’s one of the first things that folks see, read about, or hear about a university. With a successful program like we have at Appalachian State, football fans want to feel what we feel here at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday afternoons.  And it all starts with a ticket.

To learn more about what UPS has to offer, visit ups.com/college and watch this college athletics video.

Category: Business Insights, Logistics, Sports Talk
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