At his press conference on Thursday, Ted Leonsis made no secret how important the sale of tickets, specifically full season tickets, is to him. Leonsis said:
“I want to lead every league that we participate in in the sale of full season tickets. Having sold out arenas, arenas that rock, really help the performance of the team. It really helps to bind and bring together the passion of the city, but also serves as a proxy and a metric in how we are doing as an organization delivering services to customers.
Full season ticket holders are the lifeblood of our company. And I will tell you that we need more full season ticket holders for the Washington Wizards. I will personally drive our full season ticket holders to games. I’ll mow lawns, I’ll wash cars. We are in this together. And while I can’t promise championships, I can sincerely and honestly tell you that what is in our control is making the game experience, the value and the way we treat our customers, the best in the plans.”
In an email also sent to fans yesterday, Leonsis reiterated the idea that sports teams are a public trust. Leonsis wrote:
“It will require a group effort. I consider a sports team a public trust, and we will only reach our goals with the cooperation of our fans, staff, corporate partners and players. We have no better partners than our season-ticket holders. I look forward to getting to know you personally and all of our fans, engaging with them and understanding their concerns. One of the first things we did with the Washington Capitals was to listen intently and then take earnest, meaningful steps to improve the fan experience at our games. With your feedback, we plan to do the same with the Wizards.”
He encouraged fans to follow his blog, Ted’s Take, as he will post communications regarding the team there often, and to email him with concerns to his Wizards email address at TheWashWiz@aol.com. Today, Leonsis hosted a Q&A session with current season ticket holders, you can read a brief recap of it by a user on Bullets Forever here.
Leonsis also reached out to former season ticket holders yesterday, which is quite honestly a smart and necessary move. There’s a whole pool of people out there, which has probably grown in recent years, who are interested in professional basketball in the nation’s capital, but for one reason or another are no longer interested in paying for the product, baring change which has rendered them unable to attend games, such as moving out of the area.
Leonsis invited just former Wizards plan holders to a round-table discussion on Monday, June 14th at 6:00 pm at the Verizon Center so he can listen to their concerns and discuss the goals of the franchise. Click here to view a video Leonsis has shared with this group.
They say in business it’s easier, and cheaper, to retain current customers than it is to seek new ones. At the same time, it makes economic sense to try to bring some people back.
Sometimes it boils down to the idea that people, customers, just want their concerns to be heard. Leonsis seems genuinely willing to listen and potentially adjust his plan of ownership service accordingly.
A lot of refreshing news out of D.C.’s NBA franchise lately, one can’t help but get excited for the future.