When you have one of the best new stadiums in college football but also one of the most perpetually lousy programs, you need to get creative to put butts in seats. And that’s exactly what the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE is reporting Stanford is trying to do with their latest offer: If you aren’t happy with the “entertainment value” of your season tickets, you can get a full refund.
This is bold, and certainly better than their Plan B marketing strategy: “Remember How We Beat USC At The Coliseum Last Season? Maybe We’ll Do It At Home This Year!”
And therein lies the catch of this incredible offer.
In order to get your refund, you have to return your tickets before the last home game of the season, which happens to be against the Trojans. So, this means sacrificing the one decent home game while slogging through a Stanford Stadium slate of Oregon State, San Jose State, Arizona and Washington State - with those first four games being the scheduling equivalent of Free Cyanide Pill Night in terms of selling tickets.
“Entertainment value” sounds like a pretty nebulous concept to me, and the school seems to be pushing the limits in terms of what that means. As one marketing official for the school said:
“Stanford was an entertaining product last year, and that vibrancy and charisma, winning when they are not supposed to, sometimes losing when they are not supposed - it’s entertainment.”
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the fact that the home team might lose in spectacular, mind-numbing fashion (hello, UC Davis) used as a selling point. Because there is nothing more entertaining than watching your team get blown out by 30 points in a game that isn’t even that close. This is an ad campaign the Clippers should look at: “The Clippers: Finding New Ways to Suck!”
If Stanford wants to ensure “entertainment value”, they need to let the marching band play for about an hour at halftime - maybe even cancel the second half depending on how the game is going. Or, just mic Jim Harbaugh during the game and run that through the PA - make sure you ask him about how Michigan is doing!