Jaguars Make a Push

Coming off a season where nearly every home game was blacked out, the Jacksonville Jaguars are making a serious push to make sure that every home game is at least on television this season. This effort has not only been made transparent by the organization, but it is also being helped by a former player and grassroots efforts.

Former Jaguars offensive tackle and first ever draft pick Tony Boselli is heading up a campaign called "Team Teal". The ultimate goal of Team Teal is to sell out the stadium. Many may remember the "Teal Gate" prior to the Indianapolis Colts game back in December, and Team Teal is headed up by the same group. The group schedules rallys throughout town and surrounding counties in order to inject some enthusiasm back into the local area and drum up ticket sales. Since January, they have reportedly sold roughly 3,000 tickets. In January of 2007 and 2008 combined, the Jaguars organization only sold three season tickets... total. Team Teal encourages the involvement of local businesses and groups to engage in the intiative by offering up rewards and incentives based on tickets sold.

Not only are their grassroots efforts popping up to help support the organization, but the organization has decided to be completely transparent in how many tickets are being sold and how far off they are from their goal. According to Jaguars CFO Bill Prescott, the Jaguars need to sell 50,957 season tickets total to "fill up the tank". There are currently roughly 26,000 season tickets up for renewal. If those tickets are renewed at a 100% rate, that would put the general bowl already half-way to the goal. "We think it's important, with all the public discussion and with the efforts of ‘Touchdown Jacksonville!' and ‘Team Teal,' for everyone to know what our progress is toward achieving that goal," Prescott said.

It is a very novel approach by the organization to be completely open with how many season tickets are being sold and how many they need to meet their goal. While most teams do not do this simply because they don't need to, it is a refreshing approach to selling the seats. It gives people and the community a sense of accomplishment. The goal is made tangible and the progress can be tracked. Fans and potential buyers should no longer be scared off with the constant national stories of the "Los Angeles Jaguars", because they can now see the goal at hand to keep the product in town. There are quite a few potential buyers who are scared off by the threat of the loss of their investment, what is the point of investing in something that will leave? Well, now with the Jaguars being completely forthright with how many tickets are sold and how many are available, it can ward off that fear.

"This effort is sufficiently critical that we have decided to be very transparent with this goal. Beginning this Friday we will post on our progress towards this goal. There will be an icon of a fuel gauge on the front page that will show our progress towards filling the general bowl. You can click on the button 'View Ticket Sales' and you will see a graph of new season ticket sales, season tickets renewed, and the remaining seats needed to fill the general bowl from remaining renewals and new sales.

We believe this is unprecedented transparency by a sports team with regard to ticket sales," CFO Bill Precott wrote in his "Inside the Business" blog.

As I mentioned, this is a great and novel strategy by the front office brass. I also believe this is something they should continue moving forward, even if ticket sales become a non-issue. In a small market, it is important for people to feel that sense of accomplishment and to know that they are and can make a difference on such a large scale. There is still a groundswell of people who think that the only way to save the franchise is to draft a certain player, but it's been the efforts of a player who was already drafted that has ignited the fire so far in the potential fanbase.

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