Hi. It’s me. I’m back.
So I know I’m a couple weeks late on this one… but after Australia Day on 26th January (Happy Australia Day, by the way) I had a few thoughts. The first one was, “I can’t believe I have to work tonight and can’t partake in the festivities” (I was teaching 2 dance classes in the evening) and the second was, “There has GOT to be a better way to deal with rained out games.”
And I think I have one.
For those of you who don’t know, both the Australian Open in Melbourne and the Australia v India cricket test in Sydney were rained out. I don’t know about you… but that’s a pretty disappointing Australia Day. I was relieved that the boyfriend had to work and we couldn’t get tickets to the Aus v India match like we originally wanted. That’s not the sentiment you want from your fans, now is it?
Rain is no ones fault, that’s for sure, but what if instead of disappointing fans with the loss of a game and letting them leave the stadium… you used it to your advantage?
Listening to a SportsGeek podcast the other day, it was mentioned that the BBL uses new a interesting entertainment (such as motorcycles at Renegades games) to entice viewers and make them want to come back because… WHAT IF THEY MISS SOMETHING? That got me thinking. What would I be devastated I missed, if I found out about it later?
Lots of things. But my personal favourite idea? Rainy Day Party.
To be fair… I’m not sure how the logistics of this would work. But I have to imagine it would be similar to when it rains during a wedding ceremony – you simply move indoors. So what if… if a cricket match is rained out… you move everyone indoors and throw a little party? Play some music. Organise some seating and tables and give the food (and beer, obviously) stands some extra business. Maybe show a old cricket match (or, as the sports world prefers, highlight reels) on the screens. I’m not sure how every venue is set up, but at the SCG there are several undercover areas that would be great to turn into batting areas for kids. Better still? Get the sponsors involved. Every activation they use before the matches can simply continue on – especially those for kids. Face painting? Picture taking? Easy done.
And if you REALLY want to be amazing – bring out the athletes.
Can you imagine? You bought tickets to a tennis match at the Australian Open, only to have it get rained out. Not only are your plans ruined and you’re soaking wet, but you now have to battle the hundreds (or thousands) of other people trying to leave the stadium and go home… where you’re probably just going to drink and be bummed about the fact that the match was rained out. NOT HAPPY, JAN.
BUT WAIT. As you’re exiting the area, there’s Serena Williams signing autographs and handing out hats. Day? MADE.
Even with the Australia Day test. If there had been a rainy day party and the team had come out to sign autographs, take photos and give merch to the kids… how great would that have been? If it were me (which is what I always think about when I imagine these things) I would be stoked. I might even be happy that it rained if it meant it got to see Mitchell Johnson up close. Of course, you could make it more organised and get the guys to sit down at a table and have everyone line up to get autographs… but hey, to each their own.
I’m sure there are one hundred and two excuses that people can come up with as to why this wouldn’t and couldn’t work. But keeping fans happy while creating extra value for sponsors and generating income for the venue? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. People go to games to see sport, of course, but they also come to have fun and if rain prevents you from doing one… you better work really hard to make sure they get the other.