Ejected NFL fans required to pass re-entry test
April 17, 2012 Leave a comment
The NFL announced this past week their endorsement of a program that requires fans ejected from games for unruly behavior to pass a $75 test before being allowed back into future games.
Inappropriate fan behavior is an understatement in characterizing the fan violence in NFL venues and parking lots. From highly publicized shootings and beatings to the overt intoxication and threatening behavior –all culturally known and experienced by anyone attending a game, all largely ignored by any universal edict of intolerance from the NFL. Although each market has varying degrees of fan challenges, the league in general suffers from the unsafe perception created by each incident. That perception has a direct negative effect on ticket sales.
In a league constantly battling a culture of licensed violence on the field, it’s amazing that the NFL doesn’t at least attempt to stop the fan behavior challenge in the stands. It’s safety and good business. Even if the game violence attracts the core NFL fan, the ability to market thousands of seats to an expanded core is hampered by the lid put on ticket appeal by the unbridled passion of drunken “guests”. The experience in these venues is being allowed to degrade to the point that more and more potential “guests” will opt out for the living room experience. Lack of NFL meaningful response is not good for fan safety and not good for the NFL wallet.
So we have a testing procedure. It’s small, but a first step. The test, available at http://www.fanconductclass.com/ is designed by Dr. Ari Novick, a licensed psychotherapist. Although there is no uniform usage throughout the league venues, it marks a long awaited response by the NFL to stem fan actions that threaten the safety of all fans.
Room for discussion:
Fan behavior is a safety issue and a marketing challenge. As a marketer, what are some tactics that you would recommend to support fan passion but prevent inappropriate behavior?