Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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The Browns The Cleveland Browns haven't had a winning season in years. The past few years, especially the last two, have been a disaster. Coach Chris Palmer, who was hired in 1999 to bring the team out of the gutter, has been unable to break the team's losing streak. Their record in 1999 was 2-14 and their record this year was 3-14. It is a miracle that this team is even able to bring in enough fans to keep up the program. The main reason they are surviving is fan loyalty and the love of the game. It is a fact that people love to gather around and watch football on Sunday or on Monday nights. The majority of people have home team spirit, even when their team isn't winning they still root for them, and if that's only way they are going to be able to go to a game then they are going to go.

It is clear that through geographic segmentation the Browns have targeted the right market, their present goal should be to get them out of the declining stage and boost ticket sales. Despite the lack of success on the field the Browns may still be able to have success in the box office if they alter ticket prices, discuss a new stadium and a new coach, and offer things at the game.

Product pricing, especially value pricing, comes largely into play when discussing the price of tickets to a game. Where a customer would have no problem paying a lot for a winning team such as the Dallas Cowboys, if the team isn't winning, like the Browns, and the customers don't feel like they are worth the price of the tickets then sales will begin to decline. At the present time A ticket to a Dallas Cowboys game is between $40 and $65 and a ticket to a Cleveland Browns game is $25. This may still be a high price for a team that hasn't been winning. The Browns could take one approach and lower the price of tickets to $20. This would increase sales quite a bit. In this case the price is so low that it wouldn't matter what team was playing. Another way they could alter the price is by offering different price packages. They could offer a quantity discount to families or businesses in the area. They could offer a four pack of tickets for $65 taking about $15 off the price. They could also include similar deals for families of five or six. This would encourage more families to come out to a game, emphasizing the fact that for a cheap price you could come out with your whole family to spend quality time together. They could also give a discount to local businesses so that they can sell the tickets to their employees at a lower price. This also helps because they would have someone else aiding in the marketing of their tickets. Another approach they could take is the use of product bundle pricing. They could offer a package of four tickets, four shirts and hats, and a choice of food at the game for a certain low price. This would encourage more people to purchase tickets because they are in turn getting more than just one piece of merchandise. Friends could go to the game for cheaper and also get a shirt or hat, and free food out of the deal. It is important that the Browns keep in mind that people are going to be willing to pay for what they feel is the value of the product.

The browns could also discuss building a new stadium and getting a new coach. Despite the fact that sales haven't been that great over the past few years a new stadium would definitely improve sales. Maybe the location of the present stadium is in a bad area, so maybe the location could be moved. The stadium is right in the middle of downtown Cleveland on the shore of Lake Erie. Games must be very cold to go to as well as the fact that most people who are going to go to games live in the suburbs. It would probably be easier for them if the stadium was closer. Building a new stadium provokes curiosity in fans; it's something new for them to come see. It also shows fans that despite a losing record the Browns haven't died out yet and that they have confidence in a good upcoming season. Another thing they could do is discuss getting a new coach. Even though Chris Palmer has been with the Browns for only two years he has been unable to produce a winning season. In fact he has managed to coach the Browns to two of their worst records ever. When people see that their team is starting to not do so well the first person they think to blame is the coach. Getting a new coach would again increase sales due to the curiosity factor. People will come to the game to check out if the new coach is any good and if he is going to be able to show improvement in the team. Even though it is expensive getting a new stadium and a new coach would greatly increase the sales of tickets.

Finally the Browns could look into offering things at the games. They could provide entertainment and competition for people so they don't get bored with the game. They could have a band in the parking lot before the game so that while people are tailgating they have music to listen to. They could also improve their halftime show by including a live band or some other form of entertainment. They could also do things during halftime or at the end of the game to get the fans involved such as having some sort of contest. Fans love to get involved and they would love to get down on the field and kick a field goal or throw a pass. They could also have benefit games where some of the money from your ticket is donated to a charity. They could have games for AIDS or breast cancer. This would definitely boost sales if people think their money is going to a good cause. At these games they could also provide booths with pamphlets that people could take to get information on the charity. Ticket sales would increase by offering people entertainment and competition at the game or showing them that their money is going to a good cause.

The Browns used to be a very good team but over the past few years they have stood by frustrated watching their ticket sales decline as the performance of their team did. The Browns have been unable to get out of the slump they have been in for the past few years and fans are sick of paying for a game to see their team lose. The Browns aren't dead yet and by altering ticket prices, building a new stadium or getting a new coach, and by offering things at the game, they just might be able to increase ticket sales and keep their fans coming.