San Jose Sharks Use Price Label to Add Value

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A Sharks season ticket holder wrote:

I was surprised to learn that the SJ Sharks are printing variable pricing on the tickets for the games. “This means that the price printed on your ticket will reflect the true market value based on the expected demand for each game.”

http://sharks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=100047

So if you are in a low priced (Tier 1) game, do you wear your old uniform?

Best,
-Dave

It turns out that the Sharks are considering the opponent and the day of the week the game is scheduled to estimate demand and therefore price. This makes perfect sense for pricing individual games.

What didn’t instantly make sense though is why do this for season ticket holders, who pay for the season, not individual tickets. Why should the Sharks bother printing different prices on each paper ticket?

After a little digging you find that this behavior provides more value to their season ticket holders.

To make sense of this you need to know that the NHL hosts a site called NHL TicketExchange, which is where you can legally go to sell tickets to any game you might not be able to attend. However, you can only sell them for the face value of the ticket. This variable pricing allows the season ticket holders to sell the best games at higher prices.

Also, when you add up the prices of all of the individual games, you get a number larger than the price of the season ticket. This means if a season ticket holder could sell every ticket at face value, he or she would make a profit.

What is fascinating about this example is simply by changing the printed price on a paper ticket, the Sharks provided more value for their season ticket holder. Are you always on the lookout for ways to add value to your customers? It doesn’t have to be with the price label (and rarely will be). When we add value, we make happier, more loyal customers who will likely be willing to pay more.

I love to see unusual pricing behaviors. They are intriguing and often we can learn something interesting from them, even if it’s what not to do. Please send me any apparently inexplicable pricing you run into.