This portion of the blogging is brought to you by our dear sponsor COOP Ale Works.
Oklahoma State announced earlier this week that it is working to improve the overall football gameday experience for Oklahoma State fans. That’s no small thing and one that I’m sure OSU finds paramount as college football sees declining attendance and yet over 15 percent of OSU’s overall athletic department revenue comes from ticket sales alone.
They need butts in seats, and they need to make sure they are maximizing their revenue from those
butts people. So they are introducing beer sales at 2018 football games. Here’s what they said in a press release.
OSU’s concessions partner, Sodexo, will administer all beer sales at Cowboy and Cowgirl sporting events following the pilot program that took place during the spring of 2018 at OSU baseball and softball games.
Beer will be sold at up to 22 locations adjacent to existing concession stands throughout Boone Pickens Stadium, and will include craft selections.
The catch? No re-entry into games. However, tailgating will now be open at 8 a.m. regardless of what time the game starts. And OSU has partnered with the Tailgate Guys to enhance an already-great experience even further.
Oklahoma State athletics will begin beer sales at its venues beginning this fall. #okstate
🎥 “We’re constantly talking about ways we can enhance the overall gameday experience for our fans.”
— Oklahoma State (@OSUAthletics) July 12, 2018
But back to the beer sales. This is a smart move and really, the only move for a university that ranks 40th in revenue. Plus, it’s like legalizing marijuana. You’re not really changing the overall structure of who’s doing it and who’s not, you’re just serving yourself a piece of the pie.
“These changes will enhance game day safety,” said OSU Chief of Police Leon Jones in a statement. “Other schools that we have talked to have experienced a decrease in overall consumption and overuse of alcohol in and around their stadiums once they introduced sales in the venue, and we believe the same could happen at Boone Pickens Stadium.”
Schools like Texas and Ohio State have raked in millions in revenue from their sales of beer, and while OSU isn’t likely to touch their numbers because of a much smaller stadium, they’re at least jumping into an arena everyone will be playing in soon enough.
“Ultimately, and I mean sooner than later, the vast majority of schools will sell beer in their concessions,” collegiate marketer Rick Jones told Sports Business Journal last summer. “TV money and a lot of the other collegiate revenues are flat. Schools are looking for new revenue and (beer at concession stands) will be a significant new giant income stream.”
To be sure, there are myriad ways to make money off of beer. First, beer. Second, contracts with beer companies. And the list goes on. But I think the bigger win here is making the game day experience more attractive so that you’re consistently filling up a stadium via season and individual ticket sales.
“We need to give people more of a reason to come to the games in addition, of course, to winning,” Tom Schott, Purdue’s longtime communications chief, told SBJ last year. “We’re not even sure what the revenue will be, but (beer) is an amenity we can provide.”
Attendance is where the real money comes from. A few years ago, Texas made about $5 per fan in attendance. That’s good money when you fill up a 100,000-person stadium six or seven times. But it pales to, you know, filling up a 100,000-person stadium six or seven times.
In 2016, Oklahoma State’s total revenue from ticket sales was $14.9 million, as I mentioned above. Total attendance was just over 375,000 for seven games. That’s nearly $40 per person. Bringing in more and more fans has to be (and will remain) goal No. 1. For Texas. For Oklahoma State. For every team in the country.
Selling beer will certainly help.
And hey hopefully it’s COOP.