Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Genius or desperation (or both)? Nets unload 100,000 tickets via Saveology.com

Saveology.com™, a consumer comparison-shopping portal based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, has announced "it has purchased 100,000 Nets ticket vouchers that are being distributed to charities, hospitals, and people in-need in the New York metropolitan area, as well as to Saveology.com customers."

"During this sharp economic downturn we felt it was important to provide people with the opportunity to enjoy attending a Nets game on us," said Saveology.com CEO Benny Aboud in the press release. "This initiative also will enable our customers to attend Nets games and to receive future promotions, as well. We are thrilled with our partnership with the Nets as we continue our goal to help people."
(Emphasis added)

Besides helping people, Saveology.com is seeking customer leads: those "who sign up for tickets will have the chance to receive beneficial information on how to save on their essential services, which include home phone service, Internet, wireless phones, insurance, home security, moving services, and more."

Nets CEO Brett Yormark called it "a major investment by Saveology.com;" unmentioned in the press release was the discount the Nets offered. It's unlikely the team charged Saveology much to give away tickets to "people in need." For the Nets, the advantage comes in filling seats that otherwise seem empty, and with concession sales.

How many seats available?

The Nets are averaging 15,185 in an arena that can hold 19,968 people, leaving an average of 4805 seats. They have 26 more home games; that suggests that at least 124,358 seats would be available.

If the Saveology.com deal only covers this season--and it's not clear--that sounds like a tight fit. However, if, as I've suggested, there's a 25% fudge factor regarding attendance, there are more tickets available--and some the Nets are currently giving away might instead go to Saveology.com.

There's a reason for the fudge factor. With the NBA, official attendance does not refer to gate count but rather all tickets sold or distributed.

And how did Saveology.com connect to the Nets? I can't be sure, but here's one link. The company does deals with the Florida Panthers hockey team near its headquarters, and that team's CEO is none other than Michael Yormark, twin brother of the Nets' Brett--and subject of mutual laudatory profiles.

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