Thoughts on Flex Packs and the Rays 2014 Marketing Strategy

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Business Journal posted an article on the Tampa Bay Rays 2014 marketing strategy. According to writer Alexis Muellner, the Rays strategy is highly focused on the team’s new “flex pack” ticket buying concept.

With the card plans, fans can buy seats in three, six or nine-game bundles with no blackout dates, and the ability to pick games at any time.

I am curious to see how well the “flex pack” cards work. Will fans use them for high profile games only (ie. weekends vs Yankees or Red Sox)? Or will fans use them for more “cheaper” games (ie a Tuesday night game vs the Royals or Twins)?

Is this a concentrated effort by the Rays to fix a problem, or are they introducing a new idea in an effort to get novelty bump in attendance? If it is to fix a problem, what problem are they attacking?

Would this reduce the amount of physical tickets on the secondary market? According to the Rays website:

No paper tickets will be issued. Your Rays Card is your ticket to the game.

I can see the flex pack resulting in more tickets purchased in 2014. The article cites the Rays have already sold over 10,000. The flex pack is a novel concept that according to the article is unique to the Rays and is not employed by any other team. But are fans buying flex packs instead of season ticket packages? Will one substitute for the other?

The flex pack is an interesting new arrow in the ticket office’s quill. How effective it will be is one of the more interesting marketing questions of the Rays 2014 season.

Personally, I have always bought season ticket packages based on day (Fridays usually), allowing me to schedule the game as a part of my regular week (get off work and go to a game). Purchasing an amount of undated tickets with no specified commitment to attend would probably result in me putting games off or forgetting to attend. Sort of like a Christmas gift card I forget to use.

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