TicketManager | 4 Reasons Companies Don't Renew

By Troy Tutt

It’s every team’s worst nightmare: your client decides not to renew. What went wrong? Companies will give any number of excuses to be polite and soften the blow. The truth is, customers leaving almost always comes down to one of four reasons.

1. It’s a lot of tickets, for a lot of games and it takes a lot of time when one-offs are so easy

Deciding who should go, who’s available, ordering food, getting parking to the right people, delivering/shipping/or emailing tickets and dealing with last-minute changes for a single event is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time. Spreading that out over a full season full of last minute business travel, kids getting sick, the holidays, quarter closes, company meetings, losing streaks, long homestands, crummy opponents, giveaway days, superstar visits and people changing jobs and you have a whole lot of work on your hands.

There are very few companies who can afford tickets where someone is sitting around with nothing to do who can take on responsibility for valuable tickets on top of their day job.

What can a team do?

Avoid the temptation to oversell to businesses. Yes, they’re excited now but it’s better for everyone to start them in a mini-plan or partial package. The customer will succeed, eventually work their way into the right sized deal and provide much more LTV (lifetime value) to your team.

2. The product on the field sucks

As much as teams don’t want to hear the obvious and make all kinds of rah-rah statements to the contrary, people pay money to see winners. Your team doesn’t have to win championships all the time, but if it’s trailing the rest of the league, clients are going to put their marketing dollars elsewhere. There are plenty of creative ways teams try and keep their customers happy when the team underperforms, and some of them work… for a bit. Eventually, a polite excuse is offered when the reality is: losing sucks.

What can a team do?

Don’t lose. Or be exciting. Much easier said than done.

3. The decision maker left

Many times a decision is driven by an executive who is a big fan of the team. Sometimes, teams spend time building relationships with the “decision maker” and everything seems great. As soon as they leave the company, no one is left to champion their cause. The team spends years focusing on pleasing administrators who don’t have check signing abilities. The decision maker leaves, and the company lets the deal lapse once the passion leaves the building.

What can a team do?

Get deeper in the business. Many times the superfan makes it difficult to get more involved with others at the business, but it’s vital to renewal and customer health. Get more people involved and seeing the value, no matter the political cost.

4. Budget cuts

Companies change marketing strategy all the time. When sponsorships fail to prove their value, they end up on the chopping block – win or lose. Good marketers base budget decisions on data— what’s working stays, what’s not gets cut.

What can a team do?

Run towards the problem. Many teams know who their low attendees are and, instead of addressing the problem early, try to sweep it under the rug and renew. (Applicable to #3 as well)

A company signing onto a termed deal signals the start of a relationship that hopefully lasts for years and benefits both sides. Avoid overselling them. Structure ways to recoup wasted and underused games. Get deeper in the business with more people involved. And show value no matter how good or bad things are going on the field/ice/court/pitch. It takes more work, but it will ultimately lead to longer, more profitable relationships.