(Disclaimer: while I’ve been a STH for other teams, I’ve never been a Sharks STH)
Last week during the San Jose Sharks 25th Anniversary gala at SAP Center, team owner Hasso Plattner admitted to being concerned about recent attendance or lack thereof. Soon after this admission, the Sharks launched a revamp of their Season Ticket Holder package, now called Sharks365. After reviewing the PDF, shown below, that the Sharks sent out, it appears the team is now including things for season ticket holders that they should’ve included in the first place.
Let’s have a look at the new additions designed to benefit and incentivize fans to become season ticket holders with my comments in parenthesis:
- 12 Month Interest Free Payment Options
(If you’re trying to lure fans to be STH, charging them interest is not enticing. This is a no brainer.)
- Early entrance to SAP Center
(This is an option that STH should’ve had from day 1. STH should be able to use the entrance that suite holders use to bypass the line. You get early entrance, but how early? 10 minutes? 15 minutes? We all have assigned seats so I don’t really what benefit there is to getting in a little earlier before anyone else other than a place to sit while you’re eating. It’s only really a benefit if I get to bypass a long line.)
- Access to TM+
(TM+ is essentially another way for Ticketmaster to rip people off. I wouldn’t call this a benefit.)
- Special Sharks365 Member pricing on suites
(If you’re a STH with seats you love, why would you care about suite pricing other than for a special occasion? This is another benefit that should have existed from day 1.)
- Membership pricing on addition individual game purchases
(While this is a nice option, chances are you’ll find better options on StubHub. If the Sharks start selling out all their games again, this is a nice benefit. This is no benefit when the Sharks aren’t selling out any games.)
- Preferred Rate for Barracuda Season Tickets
(Considering the Barracuda aren’t drawing well at all and a family of four can see a Cuda game for less than one Sharks ticket, I would imagine that preferred rate is rather significant. Again though, this is a benefit Sharks STH should have gotten from the beginning of this season.)
- Exclusive invitations to Sharks365 Membership Events
(If I’m a Sharks365 member, I would expect an invitation to a Sharks365 event. However, there are no details about any of the events.)
- In-Game Recognition *
(So, every few games the Sharks will put your name on the Jumbotron for 5 seconds during an intermission when everyone is in the bathroom? I would not call this an incentive to purchase season tickets.)
- Guaranteed Giveaways *
(Rather than having to purchase a special ticket for an alumni shirt or mancave sign, you get these giveaways automatically as a STH. Another option that should’ve been there from the start.)
- Exclusive 25-Year STH Celebration Event *
(I certainly hope that wasn’t the event held LAST WEEK! Either way,
this is a one time event rather than something that happens every year, or 365 daysI’m told this will be a yearly event for long time season ticket holders. However, this appears to be another event that non-STH can buy a ticket for.)
- Game Day Vouchers Seat Upgrades *
(For some games, the Sharks will let you sit in seats that are better than yours if those seats weren’t sold. I suppose that may be a benefit if you’re interested in trying out other seats, However, with how empty the Tank has been this season, you can do this now.)
- Group Photo on the Ice *
(Another perk that should’ve been part of the STH package from day 1. However, this is not something that would make me want season tickets.)
The only incentives on this list that would pique my interest are the exclusive events, but while there is mention of a STH celebration event and exclusive Sharks365 member events, there are no details whatsoever about what these events include. Why are the Sharks being so vague?
Another thing I found intriguing is the mention at the very top about getting “up to $660 per seat in food and beverage credits” yet that is not listed anywhere in the table of benefits. However, I think we can assume that “up to $660” means that if you have the most expensive STH package, you will get $660 in credit. Anyone with a less expensive package will get less credits, but $660/41 = $16 so if you’re a top level STH, you get a free sandwich and drink or one top shelf cocktail. If your tickets are in the upper bowl, you’ll get enough for a free bottled water at every game. Either way, a food voucher doesn’t make me excited about being a STH. I’d rather my top level seats by $660 cheaper.
What’s with the * ?
You may have noticed an asterisk next to the incentives “In-Game Recognition”, “Guaranteed Giveaways”, “Exclusive 25-Year STH Celebration Event”, Game Day Vouchers Seats Upgrades”, and “Group Photo on the Ice”. Those benefits are based on tenure. In other words, if you sign up as a season ticket holder right now, you will get none of those perks. I completely understand rewarding long time STH. If you’re 5+ years, you get a team signed photo. If you’re 10+ years, you get a team signed jersey. If I’ve been a STH for 7 years, I’d expect more than guaranteeing me a giveaway anyone could buy.
Aside from first right of refusal for playoff tickets and a discount off Sharks merchandise, I really don’t see much the Sharks are offering me to become a STH. Rather than adding a DJ or live band or ice girls, I’d rather see money spent on better A/C and dehumidifiers so playing conditions are better. How about fixing the sound system so I can actually hear announcements and music clearly, especially the goal song? Sharks fans that are passionate and invested in the team enough to purchase season tickets want a winning product on the ice above all else.