Every sporting venue wants to achieve three things – high ticket sales, a healthy balance sheet and to provide an experience that sees fans returning again and again. Here we look at 5 ways to maximise revenue for sporting venues.

The more people that come through the door, the better the atmosphere is likely to be and the more positive the overall experience (not to mention the higher the chance that tills will be ringing).

When you’ve put the hard work and effort in to pulling in the crowds, you’ll want to ensure you are maximising the potential revenue being generated on site. So, how can you achieve this?

It may be easier than you think. Here are 5 strategies to maximise revenue for sporting venues:

1)    Get out there and increase opportunities to buy

The more opportunities there are to buy, the more likely you are to sell something. This could be achieved, for example, by increasing the number of food and drink outlets on offer, or adding additional retail space to sell branded merchandise, personalised gifts, shirt printing services or programme sales.

The more variety you are offering and the more visible and easily accessible it is to passing footfall, the more sales you will land. Plus, no one likes wasting time in queues. The sight of a long queue can be a real turn off, so any steps you can take to reduce them will also impact on your returns.

How can you do it?

Get mobile – something that has proven successful, particularly for cricket grounds, is having team members with bags of merchandise, personal radios and headphone sets, walking through the crowds. Taking this up a level, at some football grounds mobile trollies will travel round the grounds, for example selling matchday lottery tickets. And of course, pop up shops and mobile kiosks are a low cost way to make full use of all available space.


2)    Have a family focus

The children of today will grow up to be the supporters of tomorrow. The better their experience is at the ground and the more you engage with them, the more likely they are to become a ticket buying fan in the future. But it’s not just about the long-term benefits, focusing on this area can also bring many short-term benefits.

Families are always on the lookout for a good day out. If there are activities for them to do, and the facilities and eating options are family-friendly, then they are more likely to come down to a sporting venue and spend a greater amount of time (and money) there. Think what you could offer and promote directly to families.

How can you do it?

One of the most obvious ways is to introduce a family zone, complete with games, craft table, fun with mascots, special challenges, and offering a mix of free and low-cost activities. Another key area to start making family-friendly improvements is your catering. Do you offer child-size portions and options, child-size drinks and family meal deals? Same on the merchandising front, do you have a pocket-money section, perfect for younger fans to take away a memento?


3)    Plan ahead to grab impulse purchases

Think ahead and be prepared so you can react quickly and jump on any additional revenue-generating opportunities that may present themselves. There are some obvious ones here, such as planning for season changes and other national events that may lend themselves well to impulse purchases.

How can you do it?

If there’s a heatwave on the way, what could you have up your sleeve to capitalise on it? You could find you do a roaring trade in ice lollies, sun hats and even mini fans. But you need them in stock and available at the right time. Again, if it’s roasting then having team members walking round with water bottles and beers on ice will be very hard to resist. And if temperatures go the other way then how about mini hand warmers, or a range of seasonal drinks, following in the footsteps of leading coffee chains. Also, putting together some great readymade gift packages and special offers, to try and tempt lucrative purchases for Christmas, Father’s Day and other gifting periods, is a must.


4)    Think about cross-selling and upselling

This is one of the most simple but effective improvements you could make to your retail and catering offerings. Look at everything you are selling and spot where you may have an opportunity to cross-sell or upsell. By this meaning, find ways to encourage additional purchases or bigger purchases.

How can you do it?

You may have lots of products on show, but review their placement. Are they clearly labelled, neatly presented and placed strategically together? Make sure complimentary items are next to each other and in obvious places.

If someone comes in to order a personalised replica shirt, could you offer them a deal to take some socks as well, or another type of clothing? Could you issue a voucher for the club shop with every shirt printed that can be used when a minimum amount is spent in there? There are loads of ways to do it, so try some out and see which works best for you. Mix your promotions up over time, so there’s always something fresh and new.


5)    Create a unique talking point

Think outside the (5 yard) box. Introduce a new product, or even an area and activity that’s unique to your ground. If you have a long heritage behind you and an interesting history, then make the most of it.

But even if you don’t, look for ways to offer something that is only available at your ground and will make an innovative or unique memento. Social media is a great channel for raising awareness and photo opportunities can be a key driver for this.

How can you do it?

On a simple level, how about creating an area for people to take a photo as though they are part of the team, or scoring a winning goal? Or get a special pie or snack created – potentially using this as a broader marketing opportunity to drive home the community values at the heart of the club.

There are loads of ideas and initiatives out there that could help boost your sales. Give some a go and if you hit on a strategy that works, then invest more in it. Equally, if something’s not making much of an impact, then try something new.

Ensure you get your teams on side with your plans too and working together as one. Encourage team members to share their ideas and insights, so they are fully engaged and working in alignment towards a common end goal. That way, the sky really will be the limit.

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Maximise revenue for sporting venues – contact Rapid Retail

Rapid Retail is a leading supplier of pop up shops and mobile kiosks. For over a decade, the team has been supporting sporting brands, venues and retailers, across the UK and Europe, to fulfil their retail ambitions. For more information call 01386 555044.