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Guide: How Schools Can Promote Season Passes at Fall Registration

Guide: How Schools Can Promote Season Passes at Fall Registration

As summer break draws to a close, many student-athletes and their families are looking forward to returning to another exciting year of academics, athletics, and activities. This is a unique time for schools to connect with their communities and welcome back students and fans.

A registration event can be a great way to kick off the new school year, meet and greet with students and their families, and get fans involved to support your programs. With a registration event, schools can not only complete required administrative procedures but also capture the enthusiasm for the upcoming year to sell more season passes, kickstart fundraising, and more.

Last year, the GoFan team helped over 1,000 schools sell season passes with digital ticketing to improve attendance for all sports, with the average pass being used at least 3 times. We gathered inspiration from these schools to help you plan a fantastic event that drives community engagement and encourages fans to become season ticket holders.

Step 1: Plan an Exciting Back-to-School Registration Event

A typical athletic registration doesn’t exactly sound fun, but it can be! Each year schools host registration events to distribute information to incoming families, connect with coaches, and complete required administrative paperwork, such as volunteer registration, sports physicals, and more.

Tip: Elevate this event with some good, old-fashioned community engagement. Host a barbecue and sell tickets to attend. Invite various school groups like fall athletic teams, band, chorus, and clubs. Get others involved, like your booster club and community sponsors. Plan entertainment, like raffles, a band performance, a cheer and dance routine, and meet-and-greet with fall coaches.

You are creating value by gathering people in one place. This gives you the opportunity to offer products, such as season passes and ticket packages, one-of-a-kind merchandise and memorabilia, and special access for your most loyal fans.

Event Template

4:30 to 5:00: Meet and greet with coaches
5:00 to 6:00: Barbecue
6:00 to 7:00: Registration and ordering
7:00 to 7:30: Rally with the band and student body

Use the event template above to start planning your event. Feel free to adjust it as needed based on your capabilities and who you can get involved. For busy school administrators, perhaps the most important task is recruiting volunteers to help coordinate the event (see Step 3 below).

Step 2: Bundle Value and Boost the Season Ticket Sales Price

Thank your most loyal fans by offering special, valuable opportunities to support your school programs. For example, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA) hosts an annual season ticket campaign, with early-bird pricing and special incentives for their season ticket holders. They have bundled special parking spaces, commemorative merchandise, and various concessions deals that are included with their season tickets. They even feature a sponsor in season ticket campaigns.

People love a deal. Many schools look at season tickets as the main area to get creative with pricing and provide value to their community.

Tip: Offering special incentives with your season tickets or season passes is a cost-effective way to drive attendance and fan engagement. Exclusive offers make your fans feel appreciated and help foster loyalty.

Potential Items to Offer with Season Tickets

  • VIP parking spots
  • VIP seating
  • Special merchandise for season ticket holders, like mugs or t-shirts
  • Concessions deals, like a free snack or drink at each game

Another great way to bundle season passes is to include other athletic events as part of the pass. Football season is an excellent time to promote other sports too.

For example, football draws large audiences – into the thousands in attendance per game in many cases. Many schools may have lower attendance for other sports or may not even ticket all sports.

By selling All Sports Passes to football fans, you can generate revenue that would not necessarily be realized without addressing this audience in the fall. Fans with All Sports Passes will be more inclined to attend events throughout the entire year. Beyond increasing revenue, All Sports Passes can help establish equity among all the teams at your school by driving attendance and support for sports beyond football.

Step 3: Set Up a Volunteer Team to Help Manage Sales

Planning a back-to-school event requires organization and resources to oversee the logistics. Recruit parents to help process administrative paperwork and to offer products that you have bundled. The good news is that digital processes can help simplify these roles. People really only need to guide users through processes on their phones.

Example Registration Event Team Roles

  • Event Coordinator: This person can visualize how the event will go and manage details leading up to the event. Their job will be to coordinate with the various groups and stakeholders. They will organize coaches and invite students and families.

  • Team Parent for Each Group: This person will represent the team and communicate with the event coordinator. They will make sure that their required administrative processes are addressed during the event.

  • Customer Service Person for Each Process: Each team will have administrative processes that need to be completed. This person can learn the processes for their team and be available to answer questions from parents and athletes during the registration and ordering part of your event.

Use the above roles and event outline to plan your event for the fall. We recommend that you limit the event to three hours max.

Tip: The customer service role is the most important as it relates to generating income. This person should understand the procedures but also be comfortable enough with a mobile device to guide people toward the best deals. A friendly and encouraging tone goes a long way in helping fans order more! Just think about your experience at restaurants. A good server gets you talking and feeling like ordering more food.


Step 4: Make It Easy to Buy Passes with Phones

The simple checkout process with GoFan makes it possible for fans to order their season tickets and customize their requests in seconds. Fans can easily order season passes, enter a shirt size, and customize any other order details in a fraction of the time it would take without a digital solution.

Years back, registration events may have meant counting cash also. Not anymore! With a digital ticketing and event management platform, you can easily process payments with credit or debit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. Digital payments improve security and efficiency at events for your staff and community.

Tip: To take advantage of this feature, sign up for an account and create a season pass offering. You can list the season pass for sale on the registration event page. The pass will also display on your branded event page for fans to purchase throughout the season.

Go ahead and list your season tickets on GoFan and distribute the link to your fans in advance. Host a back-to-school registration event to capture the enthusiasm and build momentum heading into the upcoming season!

Next Steps

To learn more about how digital ticketing and season passes can help your school, check out the blog post linked below or contact us.

Top 10 Benefits of Digital Ticketing for High School Sports


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