Plenty has been going on lately with the Jazz. They hired Quin Snyder as head coach, are wrapping up a free agent mini-camp, added an assistant coach, and have been working out draft prospects with the NBA draft coming up next week. With all of the coverage of recent news, I’d like to go a different direction with this post. One way that professional sports teams at all levels use to build rapport with fans and sponsors is promotions. Usually these come in the form of giveaways to fans that come to games, contests where fans can win a wide variety of prizes, or even theme nights. With the 2014-15 season being months away, let’s talk about some promotions the Jazz can use to keep their fans engaged. I’ll break these up into the areas mentioned: giveaways at home games, contests, and theme nights.
As a big Jazz fan, giveaways are my favorite type of promotion. I love the chance to take possession of more Jazz-related things. Over the years, I’ve gotten things such as hats, t-shirts, posters, and more. With the Jazz playing 41 regular-season home games each season, there are plenty of opportunities for giveaways. The most obvious limitation that comes into play is that the team relies on sponsors to help with giveaway opportunities. A lack of sponsors can result in a lack of giveaways. With all of that being said, here are some of my ideas for giveaways. Some may be more serious than others.
1. Bobbleheads – Yes, I know that some Utah Jazz bobbleheads are out there. But I think that bobbleheads would make for nice giveaways for a couple of reasons. First, they’re just fun. Second, there could be a series of them put out in any given season. Why not make a bobblehead for 10 or so players from the roster? The Jazz could also do a “Legends” series of bobbleheads. I feel that there are a lot of possibilities with this one.
2. A CD (or download code given how times have changed) for a new collection Jazz-related songs by Robert Lund – Many of you may remember that Robert Lund put out a lot of Utah Jazz songs during the late 90s. The Jazz could reach out to him again and see what new songs he could come up with.
3. Lunch Boxes – these could make for a unique addition to fans’ collection of Jazz merchandise. Sure, there was the utter disaster that resulted when Jiffy Lube started giving away Carlos Arroyo lunch boxes right before he was traded, but to be safe, this could be done after the trade deadline has passed. Also, this could be done as a giveaway at at game as opposed to being sold by the sponsor.
4. Trading Cards – I collected basketball cards when I was younger, and it was always fun looking for Jazz player cards. This would be another thing that could be done as a series over the course of the season.
5. Discount on tickets to a future game – Jazz fans familiar with Utah are probably aware of the fact that the Lagoon amusement park has a bounceback special, where within a specified date range, you can go to Lagoon, get your ticket stamped, and then use that ticket to go back another time for a greatly reduced rate. In seasons where games aren’t selling out and there are a lot of empty seats, this would be a good way to keep people coming back.
6. Special Event Tickets – There can be a special giveaway item only available to those who purchase a special event ticket. The San Francisco Giants are one team that does this frequently.
I always enjoy entering some of the various contests that come along over the course of a season. There are usually some fun prizes for the lucky winners (which sadly, never seems to be me). Here are some of my ideas regarding contests.
Dream Job contest update – The last few years the Jazz have held a Dream Job contest (sponsored by Zions Bank if I’m not mistaken) to give Jazz fans the chance to do their dream job for a day. I have a couple of suggestions for jobs that could be added to the list of options. One is pregame show host. It would be a blast for a lucky Jazz fan to be on a segment of the pregame show. Another idea is analyst on the TV broadcast. Who wouldn’t want to join Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring on the TV broadcast? I know I would.
Jazz Season Tickets – The Jazz could hold a contest every summer, with a few lucky fans winning a pair of season tickets for the upcoming season. I’m sure the Jazz could get sponsors to help offset the cost on this one.
In my time as a Jazz fan, I don’t recall many different theme nights that the Jazz have had, so there is a lot of potential in this area. Last season’s 80s Night (which coincided with honoring members of the 1983-84 Jazz squad) was pretty cool. The Jazz have held costume contests when the home opener is on or right before Halloween, which makes sense. Here are some other ideas.
Bikini Night – The old Salt Lake Golden Eagles Hockey team became well-known for their Bikini Nights. However, this tradition ended when Larry H. Miller bought the team. I think this tradition could be revived once per season, at a game in February to promote the Utah Jazz Beach Bash. I don’t think it will happen, but it just makes sense.
Star Wars Night – We Utahns (well, a lot of us) love our Star Wars. This could be a fun night where people show up in Star Wars costumes and would be an opportunity to give away a Star-Wars, Utah Jazz item, which would be pretty unique. With a new series of Star Wars movies on the horizon, let’s make this happen!
Latino Night – As part of this, the Jazz could wear uniforms that say “El Jazz”. Note that I’m not a fan of the NBA’s Latino Nights uniforms, but if the Jazz were to do this, it would make sense for them to wear special uniforms. There could be a Latino-themed halftime act along with discounts on nachos and churros at the concessions stands.
What are some ideas you have for promotions that the Jazz can do? Throw out some suggestions in the comments. Maybe we can give the Jazz some ideas they’ll end up using.