Here’s another misstep.
Scott O’Neil tweeted a shorthand apology this morning after a bobblehead promotion for last night forgot to include, you know, the team’s most important fans. The promotion was that fans purchasing single-game tickets using code “BOBBLE76” would receive a Jahlil Okafor bobblehead.
Fair enough. But the added step of having to use a code to get one is a rather remarkable one in its lack of awareness. As you might expect, season tickets holders were not happy. Also, they were confused:
This comes on the heels of… the Sixers raising ticket prices at the last minute for Kobe Bryant’s last game in Philly… a miscommunicated promotion that fans attending the SNOW GAME a few weeks ago would receive free tickets (and Scott O’Neil’s ensuing snark)… the news that StubHub will handle all ticket sales starting next year… the petty feud with the Wells Fargo Center (which the Sixers lost)… all while they’re pounding their chests over their $82 million taxpayer-funded practice facility in Camden.
This, this is what I mean when I write that the Sixers are taking chinks out of the goodwill armor. You can’t do these things. Not when you’re, intentionally, the worst team in the NBA. There’s already enough fair skepticism surrounding ownership’s motives – rebuilding, or cost-cutting to flip team? – so consistently nickel-and-diming fans at every corner, or neglecting your most loyal fans on little stuff like bobblehead giveaways, erodes trust in the organization.
What’s more, I have genuine concerns about the news that StubHub will process all Sixers ticket sales beginning next year. StubHub sent out a letter to its top brokers yesterday explaining how “this is good for the whole marketplace!” And while that may be true (for the Sixers and resellers), it means the Sixers have a middleman through which they can adjust pricing on the fly and control the market without taking the PR hit for jacking up prices. Oh, that $500 ticket floor price for the Spurs? THAT’S JUST THE FAIR MARKET VALUE, BABY!
I’ve been pretty complimentary of the Sixers’ overall business efforts. They’re forward-thinking, progressive, and are setting themselves up for financial (and maybe on-court) success. But, I don’t trust them, and they’re currently operating like a minor league team with these bungled promos and other amateur-hour missteps. Get it together, guys.