South Florida Sports Pass undershoots sales goals in first go-round
By Scott E. Pacheco
The first shot at an inclusive pass for 10 Greater Miami sporting events fell "well short of our expectations," says Aaron Davidson, chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce's Sports Committee.
"I would say we have to put this initiative into the category of valiant effort, unprecedented effort but experimental," he said of the South Florida Sports Super Pass. "It needs to be tweaked. It's going to work."
Mr. Davidson, president of the Miami FC soccer club, said the chamber is still "working on finalizing the final numbers" but that "we didn't meet our expectations" and the committee still believes "in the joint team event platform."
The two packages sold during October — premium and regular — offered savings of more than $550 and $150, respectively. The South Florida Sports Super Pass cost $1,125 for the premium package, $330 for the regular.
The joint ticketing campaign brought together Calder Casino & Race Course, the Florida Marlins, Florida Panthers, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, Homestead Miami Speedway, the Miami Dolphins, Miami FC, The Miami Heat, Sony Ericsson Open and World Golf Championships CA Championship.
Promotional partners included the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and Chamber South.
"Clearly, from a South Florida standpoint we are pioneers but it was not a success in terms of sales," Mr. Davidson said. "The concept and vision was successful, the execution and results weren't. [The question is,] how do we tweak that and make it more effective?"
One thing that will be looked at is how the public relations and marketing was handled.
"Another thing, we have to realize who sells these," he said. "It was a chamber-driven initiative — there were no sales people."
A main question moving forward will be "how do you drive home that sale?" he said.
President Curtis Gray has been at Homestead Miami Speedway 10 years and knows this initiative has been in the works a long time.
"We've been trying for years to put something like this together," he said. "Now that everybody has bought into the benefits of having a package like this, it's just going to take some tweaking, some modifying."
Mr. Gray said a problem may have been that there were "too many events for fans to swallow."
Those who bought packages now have access to one event at each of the 10 venues. Some, such as the Dolphins, are for a specific game, Dec. 27 against the Houston Texans. Others, such as the Panthers, are good for any regular season home game.
"They're great packages," Mr. Gray said. "For real sports enthusiasts you can't beat it. It's just not everybody likes everything. There's a great menu to pick from — I don't think there's any city that has as many options as South Florida."
He said the speedway will continue supporting collaborative efforts in the future.
And he may not have to wait long.
Mr. Davidson said he's already looking at a spring sports pass that would be a modified form of the recent effort.
Homestead's Mr. Gray said he's glad the effort is continuing.
"They have a real good committee working on it, and I'm sure they'll come up with a great plan."