Season Ticket Holder Surveys: How to Measure Fan Experience

season ticket holders cheering

Season ticket holders are some of the most loyal fans a sports franchise can have. 

Their significant financial commitment emphasizes their love and dedication to the team. Therefore, decisions should not be made without their input. 

A recent study found that 75% of Americans are either casual or avid sports fans. With that great of a figure, the US sports industry has much insight to gain.  

Conducting season ticket holder surveys can provide you with valuable insights from the heart of your fan base. 

Our blog post will cover everything you need to know about season ticket holder surveys including how to measure fan experience, example questions, and the best time to conduct a survey. 

Looking to hire a market research company to conduct season ticket holder surveys? Contact Drive Research today. Reach out via email ([email protected]) or fill out a form on our website.

What is a Season Ticket Holder Survey?

A season ticket holder survey is a type of survey conducted by sports teams or entertainment venues to gather feedback from their season ticket holders.

Season ticket holders are individuals who have purchased tickets for an entire season of games or events in advance, and they are often considered to be among a team's most loyal and committed fans.

The purpose of the survey is to collect information on season ticket holders' experiences with the team or venue, as well as their opinions on various aspects of the experience, such as ticket pricing, game-day atmosphere, and customer service.

The results of the survey can then be used by the team or venue to make improvements and adjustments to enhance the season ticket holder experience and strengthen their relationships with this key group of fans.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Season ticket holder surveys are a great feedback-gathering tool used by sports teams or entertainment venues to gather input from their most loyal and committed fans, who have purchased tickets for an entire season in advance.

How to Measure Fan Experience with Surveys

As with any project, conducting season ticket holder surveys follows a specific market research process

But first and foremost? Ensure you’re working with a third-party market research firm.

An online survey company, like Drive Research, already has a good handle on these steps and will spare you the time and confusion of creating a survey on your own. 

Below are the key steps involved in a market research survey for season ticket holders. 

1. The Kickoff Meeting 

Items covered in a market research kickoff meeting vary depending on the topic at hand. 

That said, these meetings will always revolve around a few basic action steps. 

  • Team introductions. A kickoff meeting is an introduction of both the research team and the client. Both teams need to know how to communicate with each other, and a kickoff meeting is the perfect first step in doing so. 

  • Questions and concerns. The client and team will review any pressing concerns or questions about the project.

  • Description of the timeline and process. This is also a great chance to cover the following steps that will take place. It’s always a good idea to include this in the meeting so the client knows what to expect.

2. Survey Writing & Programming 

This step encompasses the creation process of your season ticket holder survey.

Writing an effective survey takes time and creativity. Most importantly, you want the survey to be engaging for respondents. Unsurprisingly, respondents are far more likely to drop off if a survey is dry with no variance. 

That’s why it’s important to switch up the question style and language! Think of it this way–wouldn’t you be more inclined to take a well-written survey than a bland one?

After the survey is written, it will be taken from its original document and placed into an online survey platform. 

Programming a survey should follow a linear pattern, and it’s essential to not go back and forth between steps. 

To ensure everything runs smoothly, a programming checklist for surveys is often followed. Since this process is so detailed, keeping a list of steps helps the programmer avoid mistakes. 

3. Fieldwork and Analysis

Fieldwork refers to the period of time when respondents are taking the season ticket holder survey.

The amount of time fieldwork lasts really depends on the project, but it can be wrapped up in as little as a few weeks.

But before the survey is launched, it always goes through a rigorous editing/testing process to ensure there are no errors.

After fieldwork ends, the data will be collected and cleaned. “Cleaning” data means carefully pouring over all survey feedback for faulty/skewed responses. It’s essential these responses are removed to ensure the best data quality! 

4. Reporting

After the data has been thoroughly cleaned, an extensive report will be created to cover all the findings of the season ticket holder survey

Whether they’re topline or comprehensive, market research reports always cover these key findings: 

  • Common response themes
  • Areas to improve
  • Steps to move forward

At our market research company, we always host an in-depth debrief meeting with our clients to review the report. While a report on its own is incredibly helpful, having the team review the findings with a client only enhances the information. 

A debrief meeting will allow the team to discuss the above points in-depth, and answer any spur-of-the-moment questions that may not be covered in the report.

💡 The Key Takeaway: The market research process is best conducted by a third-party team to provide the best data. When all steps are followed accordingly, the client can feel confident the survey insights are high-quality. 

Example Fan Experience Survey Questions

Any ticket holder survey could include a variety of questions and collects responses from general to specific topics. 

The most common questions could include topics such as:

  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • Levels of satisfaction
  • Open-ended questions asking about what season ticket holders like/dislike the most 
  • Demographics

Let’s discuss what these questions detail and offer! 

1. NPS

A net promoter score can be applied to the season ticket experience. 

For example, the question could ask: 

How likely are you to recommend purchasing season tickets for the [insert team name] for next season to a friend or family member?

The options to this question would be asked on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 meaning “not at all likely” and 10 meaning “extremely likely.”

Based on their answer, respondents would be assigned into three categories; Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

  • Promoters have rated their likelihood a 9 or 10 and can be considered your best word-of-mouth advocates when asked by a friend, colleague, or family member about purchasing season tickets. 

  • Passives are less likely to recommend purchasing, as they rated their likelihood a 7 or 8. Some may offer a positive picture to a friend but most passives are neutral.

  • Detractors are not likely to recommend season tickets to someone who asks them.

Given that they selected a rating of 6 or below, they are not pleased with their purchase and don’t want others to feel the same. 

The NPS score is calculated by subtracting the % of detractors from the % of promoters. Scores can range from -100 to +100, -100 being awful and +100 being extraordinary.

While +100 is unlikely, you want your score to be positive and as high as possible.

2. Level of satisfaction

Satisfaction scales are less involved than NPS but can offer similar feedback.

A satisfaction scale question could look like this: How satisfied are you with [insert topic]? 

The answer scale would range from 1 to 5, 1 meaning “not at all satisfied” and 5 meaning “very satisfied.” 

The fan experience survey questions could include anything relevant to season ticket holders including:

  • Concession offerings
  • Season ticket prices 
  • Benefits 
  • Stadium seating/layout 
  • Member services

Receiving a mean score from all responses and/or creating the top 2 and bottom 2 boxes is how the results would be presented. 

This would give you a sense of what areas are of the greatest and least satisfaction.       

For example, our market research company surveyed 1,100+ Buffalo residents regarding the new Bills stadium and what fans were satisfied and unsatisfied with. Learn more about the findings and methodology by reading, Survey Shows What Bills Fans Want for New Stadium in Buffalo.

3. Open-ended questions

Asking too many open-ended questions is typically frowned upon in the market research industry and for good reasons. 

A season ticket holder survey is not immune to this belief but given the scope of the audience and survey, asking some open-ended questions should be encouraged. 

Open-ended questions are a qualitative component that gives the data life. 

For example, reading a season ticket holder’s response in their own words on what they like most about the stadium is another insight into understanding the data from just asking them to select from a list of options.

4. Demographic survey questions

Demographics in any form of market research are useful, especially when dealing with fandoms. This information can tell the client where and how they need to position marketing goals. 

These ticket holder surveys also present the opportunity to gauge the demographic makeup of season ticket holders. 

For example, you asked season ticket holders to select which age range they are in.

You find that 45% of your audience is between ages 55 and 64 but only 6% is between ages 18 and 34. With this information, you meet with your marketing/sales team and identify ways to target the Gen Z and Millennial audiences.

Another key demographic question to ask is how long they have been season ticket holders. The results will tell you the percentages of longtime holders (options could include 1 to 5 seasons, 10+ seasons) and first-time holders.

Other areas you could measure include: 

  • Percentage of partial season plan versus full season plan holders
  • Household income of ticket holders
  • Usage of tickets for personal versus work 

These are vital pieces of information that can help you understand your audience better and make effective marketing decisions.    

💡 The Key Takeaway: Ticket holder surveys reveal key data through NPS, open-ended questions, and satisfaction scales. Often, through quality feedback, these questions can affect the future of the fan experience.

When Is the Best Time to Conduct Season Ticket Holder Surveys? 

There are 3 times or periods that would be appropriate to gather information. Let’s see why each is opportune and what survey topics are best to ask!    

1. Preseason

Launching a preseason survey is great for collecting information on new ideas that you’re proposing for the upcoming season. This allows you to revise or eliminate anything before it could cause any harm.

In addition, the results of some questions asked in a preseason survey can be compared to results in a mid or postseason survey.       

2. Midseason

Midseason surveys should be brief and ask simple questions. For example, it could measure general satisfaction and/or initial feedback on any new changes you might’ve made. 

It’s appropriate to use this survey as a check-in with ticket holders. 

You could ask questions such as:

  • How satisfied are you with your fan experience? (Rating scale 1 to 5)
  • Are you aware of the new [promotion or fan experience item]? (Yes/No)
  • Is there anything you would like to say about your fan experience? (Open-end)    

3. Postseason

Season ticket holder surveys conducted after the sports season is over should focus on feedback. 

This includes general feedback on the ticket holder's experience as well as reactions to new programs and/or processes. 

Additionally, final satisfaction scores can be collected to determine how satisfaction changes throughout the course of the season.

The post-season survey should also include open-ended questions to let ticket holders discuss their experience in their own words. 

As mentioned earlier, open-ends are terrific at adding personality to the quantifiable data and can explain the reasoning behind a low or high satisfaction rating.  

💡 The Key Takeaway: Measuring fan experience at sporting events through ticket holder surveys should be run either during the preseason, midseason, or postseason. Each option has its own set of benefits, leaving it up to the client to choose. 

Final Thoughts

Season ticket holder surveys are a valuable tool for sports teams and entertainment venues to gather feedback from their most dedicated fans.

By measuring fan experience and gathering opinions on various aspects of the experience, these surveys can help teams and venues make data-driven decisions to enhance the overall experience for their season ticket holders.

As referenced in this article, it's important to ask the right questions and choose the best time to send the survey to ensure maximum response rates and actionable insights.

With the information gathered from season ticket holder surveys, teams and venues can improve customer satisfaction, increase loyalty, and ultimately, drive revenue.

Contact Our Fan Experience Research Company 

The opinions of season ticket holders are very useful to measure fan experience ideas

However, understanding and organizing them can be difficult when trying to enact change. Conducting season ticket holder surveys with us will provide you with the relevant answers needed to understand your ticket holders and execute effective decisions. 

Drive Research is a national market research company in New York. Our team of seasoned pros has years of industry experience to create a top-quality project for your business. 

Want to know more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the ways listed below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Justin Eisenhauer

As a Research Analyst, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. His intrigue in market research formed during his time at Marist College, where he studied business and entrepreneurship.

Learn more about Justin, here.

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