Concession Tip February 2019
By: John Gibson, University of North Texas
Just before Christmas, the North Texas Men’s Basketball Team captured a big-time victory on the road over the New Mexico Lobos. This win continued a tremendous start to the season for the Mean Green, with 13 wins and only 1 loss; matching the best start in school history since 1953. The opportunity to set the school’s all-time best start to a season presented itself during the upcoming Conference USA Home Opener on January 3rd. Because of this chance, UNT Athletic Department leadership wanted to create a special environment for the team and help increase attendance for this opportunity.
To accomplish this goal, our Ticket Office, Marketing Team and Concessions Operation partnered together and created the “Throwback Game” to increase fan interest and attendance at the game. General Admission Tickets were reduced to $5, throwback UNT logo’d T-shirts were produced as a giveaway for fans, and our Concessions Operations offered $1 Popcorn and $1 Regular Sodas during the game vs Louisiana Tech. While popcorn and sodas are typically a Concessions Operation’s highest profit margin items, the price of Beer, Bottled Water and all other food/snack items remained at regular price. The thought process was that enough fans would attend this first Conference game and visit the Concession Stands to make the event profitable.
Did It Work?
Overall, the game was a success! UNT Fans packed the “Super Pit” with announced attendance at 4,238. Our Concessions Operation provided service to the second most Customers ever at our Concession Stands, based on data from our POS System. The only other game with more Customers served was during the CBI Championship game, which was hosted at the end of last season.
While our Per Caps and Average Check size was reduced significantly for this game, we observed the highest Gross Revenue in sales for this season.
When compared to another game earlier in the year, with similar gross sales, we observed a 400% increase in the number of popcorn servings sold and over a 300% increase in the number of beverages sold because of the promotion. The amount of popcorn served was comparable to a September home football game for us, which is an incredible amount for our specific operation!
Most importantly, sales of our regular priced items, such as Beer, Hot Dogs, Burgers, Chicken Tenders and Nachos increased across the board, helping make the event a profitable one.
The crowd size and energy created in the arena helped the Mean Green get the win and set the record for best start in school history. More importantly, it provided a discounted opportunity for new fans to check out the team. My hope is that these new fans will be encouraged to purchase tickets to the remaining home games this season to cheer on the Mean Green as they work toward a Conference Championship.